Port location unfathomable
That a report has recommended the Manukau Harbour as Auckland's new port beggars belief.
A shallow harbour that nearly empties completely towards Onehunga, and has a very tricky and constantly shifting sandbar at the entrance? The constant dredging needed and the disposal of such would be a huge ongoing expense and problem.
There are ongoing concerns about where to put the Waitematā's comparatively small dredgings, raising questions of where to put the huge amounts that would be dug up from the Manukau. If not taken far out to sea, a lot of it would end up straight back in the harbour, or be annoyingly washed up on West Coast beaches.
Why everyone argues the pros and cons of where to site a new port, with ridiculously expensive reports, why not just shift the car-unloading facilities to Northport? It would free up a wharf here for either recreation or freight or both, and obviate the need for a parking building for used cars right on the wharf. The building could become a market.
Dave Spiers, Henderson.
'Shoddy' all round
Mayor Goff claims the report recommending moving Auckland's port north, prepared by a group of industry experts, was shoddy but the report by health economists that recommends Manukau harbour is better.
Perhaps he can show his faith in that by heading out over the Manukau bar in a westerly.
As far as shoddy goes, his budget hole jumping from $500m to $750m in a week sets the mark for shoddy.
Why are all of us ratepayers facing rate increases so he can keep the port that doesn't pay a dividend or even make a profit? Shoddy thinking.
Wayne Brown, Mangonui.
Lowering the bar
The suggestion that Manukau Harbour could be an international port is not unreasonable.
However, there are two main problems.
Though large in area, the harbour is very shallow over much of its expanse and secondly it has a very dangerous bar. The west coast of New Zealand has a very strong littoral drift going north. This is a river of sand moving along the foreshore due to winds and current. It crosses the Manukau Harbour like a conveyor belt of sand, it cannot be stopped. However, the shape can be changed to a much wider and lower conveyor belt by increasing the velocity of the outgoing current on an ebb tide. By dredging areas of the harbour which lie between low and high water, the outgoing current is increased.
Years ago, a model of the Westport Harbour was built in the Ministry of Works hydraulics laboratory in Wellington. This demonstrated dredging the bar was a waste of time but removing material from the intertidal zone did flatten the bar.
Dredging would also be required to provide a roadstead for ships awaiting a berth.
One advantage in the Manukau Harbour is it is closer to Australia. In the days before aircraft, there was a passenger service between Melbourne and the Bluff, as this was New Zealand's closest safe harbour.
Les Jones, Half Moon Bay.
Throw the book
It is good that the man, who left his managed isolation and went to a supermarket, is being charged and could face six months' imprisonment.
The Government should look at whether the charge and imprisonment would allow it to rescind his NZ citizenship and deport him.
He apparently took selfies of himself in the supermarket, which had to close for cleaning and to ask its staff on duty, at the time, to isolate themselves.
The supermarket should sue him for losses incurred from the closure and for the cost of the cleaning.
P Rama, Auckland Central.
I believe the new National Party leader has displayed decisive leadership in dealing with what is an entirely inappropriate situation with the Clutha MP Hamish Walker, who within 48 hours lost his shadow portfolios and potentially his career.
Clutha will select a new candidate, who will be decided by the electorate. If the past is any indication, a better and more qualified candidate will be selected as this seems to be the National Party way.
Refreshment from retirement, or in this instance potentially being pushed, is the way of the National Party whereas other parties seem to rely on either death in office or not being re-elected to refresh the ranks.
Muller deserves a settling down period and distractions such as Hamish Walker are
certainly not what he would want or prefer, but handle it well he did.
Mike Baker, Tauranga.
Right to know
There are important advantages in our community to knowing the people with Covid-19.
It will allow their contacts to be well aware that they may be carrying Covid-19 into the community and be tested.
It is the community spread which is so dangerous and causing devastation elsewhere in the world, and with our neighbours in Victoria.
A community outbreak here would be disastrous and destroy all the good work we have done and endured,
David de Lacey, Remuera.
In response to Tony Molloy's proposals (July 7), there were two main reasons why the Taneatua-Gisborne railway was never completed: lack of finances after World War II and the very difficult terrain that would have required tunnels and a spiral.
As for the Napier-Gisborne line, the very unstable land north of the Mahia Peninsula has seen the track-bed washed out on numerous occasions and would require re-routing part of the line at massive expense to resolve this problem. Besides which, the traffic simply isn't there. Apart from the short harvest time in Gisborne, for most of recent years there was only one train a week. A line from Napier to Taupō would required tunnelling through two rugged mountain ranges.
As a train enthusiast myself I'd love to see these lines in operation, but fanciful ideas need to be balanced by a dose of realism.
Ian Dally, Mt Albert
Further to "rail stimulus" (NZ Herald, July 7) with which I largely agree, surely we should not be simply renovating what we have but upgrading our national train set to the widely used standard gauge of 4 feet 8 ½ inches (1435mm).
Such a track does not have such tight bends as our present 3 ft 6 in gauge, and higher speeds are obtainable.
The time for the Auckland-Wellington trip could be greatly reduced from the present 10 or so hours – a much more appealing option for passengers. Transportation of containers would also be faster.
Costs would be colossal, but would be a significant advance on our present rail system. However, refurbishing the present rail system would also be very costly exercise, at the end of which we would get little more than we have had for over a 100 years.
About a 100 years ago, a tiny population (1 million approx.) boldly built the main trunk line; it is time to be emboldened once again.
Paul Huffam, Stanmore Bay.
Thank goodness the "brains" are coming home from overseas (NZ Herald, July 8).
We badly need some intelligence in the Government, Opposition, councils and water boards. What a fiasco.
Surely there are qualified people who can do these jobs properly. Where the bloody hell are you?
Karen Forsberg, Northpark.
Rhys Morgan (NZ Herald, July 8) rightly praised the quiet and clean electric link bus he recently travelled on. The great shame is there are so few of them and further rollout by Auckland Transport has been stalled.
Barely half a dozen are operating and further purchases put on hold due to the Covid funding hole.
Short-sighted penny pinching means nearly all AT's bus fleet are to remain noisy toxic fume-belching diesel monsters. Many of them are quite old and have high health-damaging emissions.
Every new bus should be fully electric, which quickly recoup their initial higher price with much-reduced fuel and service costs.
AT should be doing the opposite of what it's doing now and putting everything into making Auckland's bus fleet fully electric as fast as it can.
The time is up on dirty diesel and AT is letting Aucklanders down badly with their lack of foresight on this important issue. The future has to be electric in all road transport.
It appears it's not only the lumbering diesel buses that are the dinosaurs when it comes to Auckland Transport.
Jeff Hayward, Auckland Central.
Short & sweet
What is disturbing about the leaking of these documents is the complete lack of human decency shown by the two perpetrators, National MP Hamish Walker and party president Michelle Boag and a disconnection toward the feelings of those used. Emma Mackintosh, Birkenhead.
Todd Muller is always quick to label any mishap in quarantine as "shambolic" but not so quick to acknowledge the leak of coronavirus patients' details by one of his MPs. It seems he and his lot "can't manage important things well" either. Frank Tay, Papanui.
Thanks to Hamish Walker, National now has less chance of winning the election than the Warriors do of winning the next Soccer World Cup. Phil Chitty, Albany.
Why would the Russians offer them money when the Taliban would gladly kill US soldiers for free? John Wilson, Rotorua.
On Commercial Bay
I had been hearing that the new Commercial Bay development in downtown Auckland was the cool place to visit. It sure is. Never have I experienced a retail area that is so cold. Matt Elliott, Birkdale.
Both the Government and the Opposition appear to be taking turns to see who can generate the most embarrassing gaffe. B Watkin, Devonport.
The Government could have saved much finance by asking any mariner the feasibility of sailing a container ship over the Manukau Bar and up Onehunga Harbour. Alec Hill, Devonport.
They say that if there are enough monkeys, enough typewriters, and an infinite amount of time, those monkeys will eventually produce an encyclopedia. Someone compressed time and produced the latest port relocation report. Phil Sheat, Stonefields.