Two minutes late
In my view, Air New Zealand has an unhealthy monopoly and is not business friendly.
We had an appointment in Auckland. On the morning of our flight, I allowed plenty of time but had a small accident.
Thankfully we arrived and they had yet to call for boarding. Passengers were still milling around, drinking coffee, etc. We went to check in our tickets but were two minutes late. We listened to the call to board and watched as everybody boarded. I said that there are two seats on the plane which are ours. All the man said was "it is our policy". I said "I bet you have given them to somebody else". I felt like I was talking to a robot.
Our pre-booked, pre-paid shuttle, prepaid hotel room and pre-paid return flight for the next morning were all unable to be used. We told the airline that the flight next morning could no longer be used by us, so they would have pocketed our money and on-sold the seats for 100 per cent profit.
We are rescheduling our business meeting for next week. This time, we will travel in our hybrid car. It will be a pleasant, stress free, scenic drive and far less expensive. We will also have the pleasure of knowing our car is not contributing tons of carbon dioxide into the environment.
S Hansen, Hastings.
Air New Zealand response: Final check in for all Air New Zealand domestic and regional services is no later than 30 minutes prior to departure and we strongly recommend customers allow themselves plenty of time by arriving at the airport well before check-in closes. Online check-in is available for all customers from 24 hours prior to departure via our mobile app and at www.airnewzealand.co.nz.
As part of our focus on getting passengers to their destination on time, from July 1 our "Straight to Gate" check-in process was discontinued. Straight to Gate previously enabled domestic travellers without a bag to go directly to the boarding gate and scan the e-ticket barcode on their phone as they boarded.
However, this had meant our teams weren't always able to complete all necessary final pre-departure procedures on time. Very few customers were using Straight to Gate (approximately 0.07 per cent), and its removal means we can deliver better on-time departure performance. We communicated this change to customers who had used the Straight to Gate process to check-in previously and to travel agents in June. Anna Cross, communications, Air New Zealand.
According to the Living Wage Organisation, a living wage is "the hourly wage a worker needs to pay for the necessities of life and participate as an active citizen in the community".
One person works 40 hours per week at the "living wage" rate of $21.35 per hour.
That is a total of $846 per week.
Another can only find a part-time job of 30 hours per week at the "minimum wage" earns the person $634.50 per week.
Are both these people earning a "living wage"?
A minimum wage should be the minimum amount per week "a worker needs to pay for the necessities of life and participate as an active citizen in the community" not for an hour's work.
Brian Alderson, Glen Eden.
Governor Hobson was certainly invited in 1840 to establish a presence in Auckland by Ngāti Whātua chief, Apihai Te Kawau (NZ Herald, December 3).
This strategic move ensured security of his tribe's land conquests from further inter-tribal warfare. But most importantly, Te Kawau didn't gift the land – it was sold to the Sovereign, the Queen of England.
As Auckland's value rose, the tribe readily sold more to the growing population. Despite this, recent governments have made generous settlements helping the tribe to accumulate about $1.4 billion in high income-earning city assets.
Now all attention has moved to the Port of Auckland land. Interestingly, the plaque acknowledging the 1840 purchase has been replaced with one thanking Ngāti Whātua for "the gift" of the land.
Let's hope we can still see the harbour once the wharfs are covered in apartments.
Fiona Mackenzie, Whangaparaoa.
A couple of weeks ago, in the early evening, a group of workmen arrived outside our house on Hillsborough Rd and began cutting the concrete along a lengthy stretch of the not-long-installed footpath. They worked with the usual noise and clatter of road workers until just before 5am.
At no time did Auckland Transport bother to warn us that we might be better off staying in a motel for the night to get some sleep.
Last night, on midnight, another group of workmen arrived and began cutting concrete on the roadway. After copping a verbal assault from me, the supervisor invited me to calm down and we had a wee chat. He agreed it was a bit late for such activities and, unlike the moguls who order these things, decided to cease and desist. We shook hands and I wished him "Peace, bro".
Again we received no warning that a late-night disturbance was on the cards.
Fortunately, the contractors are a lot more considerate than the Rulers Of The World in Fanshawe St.
Originally, I thought it a good idea to remove transport planning from the pork-barrel instincts of local politicians. Sadly, it appears the CCO concept is yet another unfortunate experiment.
David Morris, Hillsborough.
I find it totally incomprehensible that the government and local councils are not now strongly encouraging all house builders to always install systems that will reduce the pressure on New Zealand's infrastructure in all new houses and apartments. Sure there is an initial cost up front but that is far less than trying to install such systems later.
What are these systems apart from double glazing and insulation? Firstly, given the amount of sun that shines in this country each year sufficient solar panels to power the house (and possibly apartment) over the year. This would reduce the need to build more power stations.
Systems to collect and store the copious amount of rain water that fall in some parts of New Zealand each year for use in the house which would reduce the need to build more dams and to purify the water.
Finally, for houses that have gardens, a system for collecting the grey water and using it to water the garden in dry spells.
Shaun Wilkinson, Mt Eden.
Professor Boyd Swinburn's dialogue (NZ Herald, December 2) revised in me the call for a tax on sugar, especially sugary drinks.
The tax on cigarettes has been effective with overall smoking rates dropping throughout the community, let's do the same on sugar.
There is a refreshing drink freely available - tap water.
Craig Fraser, Mission Bay.
In the fifties, my uncle and oral surgeon, Thomas Cavey Crewe, was a dentist in Auckland. Appalled by the poor diets of patients, he struggled with authorities to introduce policies to make the food environment healthier.
In the years since, our supermarkets have exploded with aisle after aisle of processed foods, full of additives and colours, as well as many teaspoons of sugar.
As a teacher helping children with moderate to severe behaviour problems, a five-day, forever-additive-free diet with water only, and perhaps the identification of intolerance for certain foods, helps concentration, the ability to learn and aids happy family dynamics.
Brain Food has worked hard to replace the International Reading Association's parent nutrition brochure "Good Nutrition Leads to Better Learning" with "Brain Food / A guide to food for better learning".
These parent nutrition brochures have been funded by the Oxford Charitable Sports Trust and distributed through Northland schools.
Other schools, such as South Auckland's Yendarra and principal Susan Dunlop, introduced water only and Auckland epidemiologist Simon Thornley has documented improved oral health in these pupils.
Adoption of healthier diets by schools with water-only policies, is a cost-effective solution for health and behaviour problems.
Julienne S Law, Snells Beach.
Your correspondent George Brown (NZ Herald, December 3) is right on the button about the dire need to avoid the social disaster of divisive simple majority referenda. Look at Brexit - such a slim margin, no one knows if a majority is even still in favour and enormous political mayhem ensues.
We are sleepwalking to angst. MPs are ducking their responsibilities and need to ensure such referenda have appropriate participation as well as margin threshold.
Setting the bar at 75 per cent participation and 67 per cent affirmative in the proposed cases or similar is imperative.
John Pausina, Kohimarama.
Short & sweet
In the absence of any care for people, the government needs to take action to ban these vehicles of mayhem and save the country millions of dollars and Aucklanders ongoing pain. Rod Lyons, Muriwai.
It is not often that I find reason to applaud Auckland city bureaucrats, however, the building inspectors are now worth their weight in gold. Neville Cameron, Coromandel.
Moving the port to Northport Whangārei is like putting all the taxis and buses in Whangārei and then asking them every day to drive to Auckland to pickup commuters. Reg Dempster, Albany.
Aucklanders did not campaign to stop further encroachment into the Waitemata, in order for the current reclamation to be privatised, and further shutting out the public. Grant Gillon, Devonport.
Assuming Dylan Tipene's car (NZ Herald, December 3) is fitted with working brakes, there is at least one other option to avoid wasting my tax dollars and filling the courts with his frivolous claims. Craig Stanton, Birkdale.
As for the sheer muddle-headedness of banning cigars while preparing to encourage the use of cannabis, words fail me. John Hampson, Meadowbank.
Can any readers advise why the use of cannabis is referred to as recreational? The word usually applies to sports activities. After all, we never applied the word recreational to cigarette smoking. C Davis, Milford.