This is your captain speaking
I have read the latest Manukau Harbour report by Sapere Consultants, and I would like to comment, as a professional master mariner.
During my career I have spent over 30 years working the Manukau Bar on a variety of coastal vessels, up to 8000 tonnes deadweight. From 2004 to 2011 I worked as a qualified Manukau Harbour pilot, bringing in and out small LPG carriers to their terminal in the Papakura Channel.
The Manukau Bar extends 4.3 nautical miles from the entrance at Paratutai Island, on an arc from South through SW, to West to NW. It is a huge area of constantly moving sand.
The depths on the bar vary but average about 5 to 6.0 metres at chart datum.
The entrance of the harbour lies on an open coast offering no shelter, no anchorage. During SW gales, swells can attain a height of 6 metres, and completely alter the bar configuration with the shifting sand. Attempting to dredge a channel 4.3 miles out to sea on an open inhospitable coast beggars belief. It would need to be at least 18 metres in depth to accommodate modern container ships with a draft of 15 metres. One decent gale and the cut channel would disappear.
I fear our council has wasted another two million dollars on another study of this port.
In my professional view, the only viable option for a new container terminal is Northport. It already has a deep water port; it has spare land to develop surrounding it; it just requires the necessary infrastructure of road and rail to Auckland.
Brooke Hibberdine, Mission Bay.
Wake to heed
Ever since the industrial revolution we have defined the worth of a person in terms of their ability to do remunerative things.
Also, since that time, a very great deal of the most ingenious effort has been directed at eliminating the need for people to do anything.
Tiwai Point brings it all out into the open, and at the same time it exposes our total inability to grow up and recognise that the world has changed.
By linking income to jobs we perpetuate nearly everything that threatens to make us extinct. Everyone is running around in circles trying to find "jobs" for the (estimated) 3000 people who will be redundant when the smelter closes.
Inevitably, many of those jobs will be contrived solely to ensure that people are employed, as though this was a valid societal goal per se..
I don't have the solution, but if we worked as a team like we have over Covid, we could find solutions, and live in harmony with our beautiful but fragile environment.
When I say I don't have the solution, I must add that I and everyone else over 65 in this country is living proof that work is not the only way to distribute wealth, and in any case, those who currently distribute wealth by way of wages and salaries are as hell-bent as they can be on finding ways to avoid paying those wages and salaries in the future. As the immortal J S Bach said "Wachet Auf."
Bruce Rogan, Mangawhai Heads.
Rio Tinto aluminium smelter has received special treatment for years and it is a relief that they will finally stop complaining and pull out. This is an opportunity to bring in one of the up-and-coming industries that can use the unique situation of cheap electricity and ready-made infrastructure to benefit Southland and the whole of New Zealand.
One obvious contender is lithium manufacture; the growing requirement for lithium in electric vehicle batteries is forecast to outstrip supply, and the extraction process, similar to aluminium, uses large amounts of electricity. There are huge deposits of the ore in Australia and the bulk transport to Tiwai Point already exists. Alternatively, lithium salts have been found in commercial quantities in NZ's geothermal fields, so that could become another Kiwi-first industry.
There are probably other industries that would love to take over and operate in such a resource; our Minister of Industry should throw a party to celebrate the end of a troublesome era and start contacting industries who will appreciate what we have to offer.
Alan McArdle, Glen Eden.
Hydrogen is the fuel of the future. Its manufacture requires huge amounts of electricity, surely the obvious use of our now spare electricity capacity?
A whole new green industry for Southland that can be exported as worldwide demand grows.
Vince West, Milford.
I was curious to read Hamish Rutherford (NZ Herald, July 10) ponder in relation to financing that "the people of Southland must wonder what is it that is so important about Wellington's film industry".
As a Kiwi who has travelled a bit in the stunning perimeters of Southland over the last few years, I find that quite astounding.
As a tourist I was in the 1 per cent of New Zealanders and surrounded by 99 per cent foreigners of whom at least 85 per cent were there because of watching Lord of the Rings, despite it's release being 20 years ago.
More than TourismNZ could have dreamed of. This is an electorate that proudly endorsed the "turn Ardern" magazine frenzy, and who do not seem to realise, every time our PM is on international television, she does so to promote markets for NZ products, including theirs.
Sam Cunningham, Henderson.
I agree wholeheartedly with your editorial (NZ Herald, July 10). Now is a good time for the team of 5 million to remember to use the ever-present hand sanitiser going into and out of shops and in particular supermarkets.
Don't touch your face, and wipe down the trolley. It makes a difference; when you later find out there was an infected person, your chances of transmission are way down.
Also, yes, use the Covid Tracer app, then you can be easily contacted very quickly.
John Buchan, Waiake.
Karen Forsberg asks (NZ Herald, July 10) where are the qualified people who can do jobs properly in government and councils.
In New Zealand, the reality remains that to get such jobs it's not about what you know, rather it's still about who you know.
Until that changes, we will continue to see failures in performance and accountability.
M P Boardman, Browns Bay.
Samiara Taghavi ( NZ Herald, July 7) has restored some judicial sanity to the calls to promote the Sexual Violence Bill. I am a retired South African barrister, having practiced law for over 45 years, and there is one overriding fear by everyone who practices law, and that is that an innocent person will be convicted.
Can any reader comprehend the utter horror and despair of being wrongfully convicted and being imprisoned for years and years? New Zealand has had its fair share of such wrongful convictions for rape, and the cases of Teina Pora (served 20 years in prison); Aaron Farmer (2 years); David Dougherty (3 years) come to mind.
Having been involved in dozens and dozens of rape trials in South Africa, I can confirm Taghavi's observation about a fundamental flaw in the call to amend the law of evidence, namely, that there "is an underlying premise that all complainants are truthful victims".
This truth that women do actually lay false charges is unpalatable to feminists, and we should not pander to their demands which in effect makes it easier to convict an innocent man by eroding his fair trial rights.
Johan Slabbert, Warkworth.
The House of Representatives is our most important institution. For Dr Jian Yang to have once trained spies in China is something that should have been disclosed and therefore have disqualified him from being considered worthy by the National Party to sit in that institution.
In addition, the MP's refusal to engage with the English language media in recent years was both arrogant and an insult to the institution and New Zealanders.
His retirement will be welcomed and cheered by many. It is to be hoped that all political parties are vetting candidates thoroughly for the upcoming election.
Craig Clark, Remuera.
Short & sweet
Since Auckland Council is not allowing water blasters for businesses who rely on them, could the council employ these businesses to find the leaking of at least 50 million litres a day from drinking water pipes? Margaret Bellard, Ōrewa.
If any constructive good should come from the justified condemnation of Walker and Boag, it will be the QC's findings naming the people and Government bureaucracy that failed us. Larry. N. Mitchell, Rothesay Bay.
It is tragically clear that it was Michelle Boag's uncompromising self-sacrifice for others that led to her downfall. I see nothing less than canonisation in her future. Isaac Donaldson, Takapuna.
Tiwai's closure will not mean cheaper household power. Power companies will make sure of that. John Ford, Taradale.
With banks closing so many local branches, hopefully they'll provide us with more telephone operators. Peter Judge, Taupo.
Why does nothing change when I scream at the TV: "Stop kicking the b*****y ball and giving possession away!" What part am I missing? Chester Rendell, Paihia.
Why not get National Party MPs to patrol the hotels, doubtlessly guaranteeing 100 per cent compliance from the returnees and no more shambles? B Darragh, Auckland Central.
If Phil Goff wishes to move the port to the notoriously dangerous Manukau Harbour, he should first experience a trip across the bar on an ordinary day. Marie Kaire, Whangārei.