Kia ora and welcome to NZ
Shutting down Auckland makes little sense to our country's wellbeing and economy.
Covid is omnipresent and will be for the next five years. It will mutate and nationwide lockdown is the Government's pandemic elimination strategy. Some who resent lockdown will react with civil disobedience. Aucklanders are shouldering too much of the country's pain.
Ōhakea is an airforce base in the middle of the Lower North Island that has New Zealand's third-longest runway. Our airforce does not fly fixed-wing jet fighters, nor do they need to train jet fighter pilots at Ōhakea. Ōhakea should be repurposed as our airport for all "inbound" international travel for the next five years.
The Government should invest its Regional Development Funds in MIQ and medical isolation centre construction (suggest relocatable housing units) for 3000 passenger arrivals.
Accommodate all passenger arrivals for three days "paid accommodation" in Ōhakea. Do not release any passenger before negative tests.
This keeps Covid and any other pandemic treatment out of our major cities and opens up a healthy New Zealand.
John Cortese, Takapuna.
Generous to a fault
Our Prime Minister said recently "my Cabinet ministers are aware of the hardship their constituents are suffering under lockdown". May I suggest that none of them, sitting there on generous salaries, are at risk of losing their homes, businesses or wondering how to put food on the table.
The inability of this Government to secure vaccines earlier in the outbreak and the incredible decision to delay until October the largest shipment still to come has increased the risk of more business failures, more mental health issues and delayed treatment for the already sick of non-Covid illnesses.
No amount of spin and be kind messages will absolve them from responsibility for a lot of this unnecessary mental and financial carnage.
James Archibald, Birkenhead.
I believe the majority of Aucklanders are prepared to shoulder the burden of an extended lockdown to keep the rest of New Zealand safe, notwithstanding personal sacrifice and the cost to business.
Normality for the whole country will be restored more quickly this way.
Ian Dally, Royal Oak.
Hero to zero
It gives me no pleasure to identify the origin of the current Auckland Covid outbreak. He is a beloved figure, but truth must out. To deduce the answer one needs is a basic knowledge of TV ads and be aware that his spokesperson lives in Devonport where the first case came to light.
The clues are all there. A number of supermarkets had to shut down. He shows various symptoms such as an unnatural fluey voice, and limbs dropping off from time to time. And he has the ability to slide under a quarantine facility door. Yes, case zero is Stickman. You're welcome.
Roger Pheasant, Whitianga.
Lyall Dawson's letter (NZ Herald, September 14) assumes that those over 65 were contacted months in advance and offered to be vaccinated. This is simply not true. In fact ARPH (Auckland Regional Public Health) went with a digital-first strategy in contacting the over-65 group via text and email only.
I know of one 104-year-old who did not get a letter until the end of July and was only able to get her first jab at the beginning of this lockdown. In fact, the digital-first strategy was so embedded that when you were at a one of the few vaccination centres getting your first jab, you could not book a second jab appointment without a mobile number or email address - the "system" wouldn't allow it.
If ARPH had simply had an 0800 number for over-65s to book and they had been told to ring for their jab our most vulnerable would have been able to have their "preferential" treatment.
Claire Teirney, Whangaparāoa.
Chris Bishop is to be congratulated for taking a collaborative approach to the control of Covid-19.
With the serious challenges facing humanity, it would be pleasing to see more evidence of this and less petty, political point-scoring.
Peta Barker, Whakatane.
I can't understand why vaccination is not made mandatory - just like conscription was made mandatory during the two world wars.
Vaccinations guarantee immunity, and total community vaccination protects us all and provides the platform for a return to full normality. Pretty simple isn't it?
We can't have "the few" holding us all to ransom. Have we lost our sense of reason ?
Hugh Perrett, Remuera.
The recent death of Billy Apple has recalled another, although a little more distant, loss to Auckland and New Zealand.
The Collard Brothers Winery (Sutton Baron), on Lincoln Rd, Henderson were pioneers, producers of quality wines and headed by patriarch Lionel, and his sons – Bruce and Geoff.
In a European "tradition" established by Mouton-Rothschild, and as a possible first in New Zealand (I stand to be corrected), Collard commissioned Billy Apple to design the label for their premium "Bordeaux" blend.
The label was simple but distinctive, likewise the wine. Cheers.
Jock Ferguson, Milford.
James Shaw needs to state what he hopes to achieve by his flight to "Save the planet prayer meetings" at Glasgow as Tony Olissoff (NZ Herald, September 14) put it.
I'm thinking a youthful incisive evangelist like Chloe Swarbrick might be more effective, her invective able to clear the smog of complacency, focus the urgency of the stilted huddled boomers on the rapidity of climate catastrophes worldwide that will affect her generation massively.
Shaw has yet to effectively rebut the aspersions on his junket. What will he achieve is the salient question. If nothing, then why go? Let Swarbrick cut her teeth on a crowd of proven to be useless boomers.
Steve Russell, Hillcrest.
It is of major concern that despite the best efforts of Auckland Transport's suburban road safety and engineering advisers, our local Auckland City area road deaths have lately risen significantly (NZ Herald, September 14). Lower speed zones, traffic calming and speed humps alone are plainly not working.
Absent from these endeavours has been an active police presence at danger spots as well as a lack of enforcement of the new lower speed limits. Added to this are driver behavioural issues including a growing societal disrespect for our country's laws and a rise in youthful risk-taking.
A complete rethink and reset of these failed road safety policies is needed to put a stop to this carnage on our suburban streets.
Larry Mitchell, Rothesay Bay.
Simon Wilson defends himself eloquently (NZ Herald, September 14) against critics calling him "bonkers". The trouble is, he is not bonkers enough.
His suggestions for our cities - more public transport, cycleways and walking, and for our economy - replacing diesel trucks with rail, amount to rearranging deck chairs on a sinking Titanic.
We need more radical and urgent measures than this. We must question our high-traffic-volume economy, and transform not just transport, but all infrastructure. We must prioritise adaptation and resilience, over lowering emissions - a battle we have already lost.
Climate change is now certain, imminent and irreversible, quite possibly abrupt, and very likely catastrophic. The only measures that may avert a complete collapse of what we call civilisation are a rapid, planned energy descent and de-carbonisation of all technology; de-growing the economy; and de-centralising cities and all infrastructure.
Bonkers? Not if you know the current independent climate science and if you value the lives of your children more than your lifestyle.
Dr Dushko Bogunovich, Cornwallis.
Good on Jenny Jones for flying her Tino Rangatiratanga flag (NZ Herald, September 14). It is much more dynamic and more relevant to our country than the colonial Union Jack flag that is usually flown.
It was such a shame to see our athletes waving the colonial Union Jack at the Tokyo Olympics. At previous games the Silver Fern was displayed.
It is time for another conversation about our national flag.
Carrick Bernard, Mt Albert.
Short & sweet
Now that AT has failed again, can the speed limits go back up? Thankfully, that didn't take too long to work out. Hugh Chapman, Hingaia.
If ever there was proof that our accidental Prime Minister was playing us like fiddles, it had to be the invite to come up with catchy names for the" better late than never" mobile vaccination buses. Bruce Renwick, Mellons Bay.
The Prime Minister, weeks ago, said there was no vaccine shortage. Hailing new supplies, she is now saying everyone can be vaccinated this week. Hylton Le Grice, Remuera.
Come back, Quade – all is forgiven. David Morris, Hillsborough.
As both an animal lover and holder of a tertiary qualification, I look forward to the speedy processing of my application to be an essential worker. Ann Grounds-Turner, Henderson.
Is she Canadian, British, Chinese or Romanian? They all want to claim her. What a nice story. Hing Yu, Pakuranga Heights.
I loved the article on the geese by Hamish Clark; however, they are not "Canadian" geese, they're Canada geese. Tony Lawson, One Tree Pt.
The Premium Debate
House owners from Tauranga and other regions around NZ are happy to sell up for big money but they have to find another house to live in. Locals start moaning about house prices and rents going up but it is them doing it to themselves. Just like what happened in Auckland. Agree hospitals in the regions are very limited in services. We will need to fix these for when we open up to live with Covid. Could someone please whisper this to the Government? Chris B.
I'm selling my Tauranga house in a couple weeks that I've owned for 12 years. Now I can afford to build on my neighbouring section I've owned for 21 years. I cashed out of Auckland to semi-retire at 49. Happy days. The traffic in Tauranga is nothing like Auckland's. I was raised in Tauranga and glad to be home. Auckland served its purpose. Jason M.
As more people move to other regions, there will be more reason to upgrade the hospitals in those regions so fewer people have to seek treatment in Auckland. It will also be easier for more businesses to base themselves outside Auckland. This trend is good for Auckland, and good for the rest of the country too. Far too much business and wealth gets sucked into the Auckland vortex, while many of the people living in Auckland are struggling to afford even a modest home. Ed W.
Please stay in Auckland. We don't want any more people coming here to clog our roads up even more. We simply don't have the infrastructure and it doesn't look like we ever will. This Government and the previous governments have failed this area massively. John G.
Amazing how real estate agents and their industry try to turn any stone to gold, even when the nation is reeling under a pandemic. And how fast they can clearly forecast conclusions about causal effects of a situation just gobsmacks. Thilal P.
And who would blame them? Auckland is a nightmare in more ways than one. Have you noticed how quickly industrial and commercial land is being swallowed up in the Waikato as smart industries see the advantages of getting out of Auckland or face growing staff shortages and huge delays owing to costs and infrastructure chaos? Plus Covid is not going away. Alan S.