The stark truth about vaccines
The existing response to our Covid epidemic is a huge ticking time bomb that is not being fully addressed as a priority. Because of historic inaction we remain short of
Pfizer vaccines, when it is imperative that the whole population should be urgently vaccinated to achieve basic herd immunity from the virus. Added to this, resistance and complacency by a significant percentage of the population over vaccination is not only putting their own lives at risk but also endangering the entire population to fresh outbreaks of the virus. A situation where these self-centred, unknowledgeable people would nevertheless demand, and be entitled to, free hospital emergency care if they were affected.
Clearly there is a dilemma between acceptance of this unvaccinated group and the inevitable outcomes for the wellbeing of New Zealand as a whole. There has to be a choice, therefore, over 100 per cent compulsory vaccination or not — with a clear understanding of the dire consequences medically, socially and economically if this is not achieved. The question of basic human rights versus compulsory vaccination is the urgent and huge dilemma we face as a nation.
Additionally, an added priority are follow-up booster doses for those who are already vaccinated.
Dr Hylton Le Grice, Remuera.
No excuses over attack
Much effort has been made by Jacinda Ardern to persuade Kiwis that the proposed law change may not have prevented the New Lynn terror attack. For every day of her nearly four-year tenure, the PM knew this day was potentially coming and that the law was impotent. It seems 'S' was unique among terrorists in terms of the exceptional risk he posed, and the immediacy of that risk. It is clear that police needed a law change to have any hope of detaining 'S' lawfully and that Ardern knew that, too, for a considerable period.
A change of a few dozen words in our terrorism law would have given police a fighting chance of arresting 'S' and having him convicted and imprisoned before attacking seven innocent people. It seems that police and officials did all they could to bring the matter to the attention of this government but government failed to give police the legal tool they needed.
Ardern's pleas of frustration and claims of being "gutted" at this predictable incident are deflecting from the real issue. Wringing your hands in public now and taking urgent steps to change the law is simply too little too late. The Labour government, with a clear majority in Parliament, has no excuse for failing all New Zealanders, and especially the victims and their families. Let's hope they all make a full recovery.
Paul Jamieson, Remuera.
'Choice', and bad decisions
There has been a lot of discussion regarding one's choice to be vaccinated or not. Recently it was suggested that the port of Tauranga may introduce a "no jab, no job" policy. On TVNZ there was an interview with a port worker who claimed that having to be vaccinated to enable him to retain his job was in breach of his rights.
May I suggest the same person considers how he would respond to some other issues such as: if you wish to legally drive a motor vehicle you must have a licence; your choice — drive or don't drive. If you want to collect unemployment benefit you provide your personal details, ID, or whatever else Work and Income may require — it's your choice whether to provide the information or not, to receive the benefit or not.
There are many aspects of modern society that require choices, and where some choices may have poor outcomes for the majority of New Zealand society, serious decisions must be made.
Dick Ayres, Auckland.
Health system needs attention
I am right behind Sam Clements for his intolerance toward the ignorant, gullible and misinformed anti-vaxxers ( NZ Herald, September 4). However, I think there is a need to take it further. In this day and age we cannot afford to have free choice over whether or not other people's lives can be put in jeopardy because of a person's misguided belief.
Because people use the health system when needed, there should be no place for those anti-vaxxers who catch Covid then require acute hospital care. Why should they take precedence over those who have had the jab, or are medically unable, but need special hospital care?
However, a big callout to our government is also needed. There is a huge need to update our health system. Buy those beds, buy those ventilators, recruit more staff and, for goodness' sake, pay our nurses and care workers better. Give them a bonus first. You can praise as eloquently as you like, but it doesn't help with recruitment or retention, or the feeling of unworthiness they must feel being underpaid for such a stressful, lifesaving job.
Emma Mackintosh, Birkenhead.
See the bigger picture
Along with a smattering of frontline workers who refuse to be vaccinated against Covid 19 we now have a larger number of port workers doing the same, apparently making a stand for their individual freedom. It is long past time that these people who think their freedoms trump all else saw the larger picture: we are not completely free. We are all part of a society which has laws and regulations to make that society work. We cannot do whatever we damn well please — we are not free to commit assault or to steal; we enjoy freedom of speech but not the freedom to slander or libel; and we are not free to drive a car without a licence. And so on.
So get with the programme, join the rest of us in looking after each other; it's not all about you.
Peter Cooke, Whangaparaoa.
Border staff must be jabbed
New Zealanders have a choice whether to get the Covid vaccination or not.
To protect our borders from Covid, it must be a requirement for those working there to be vaccinated. This is to protect all of us in New Zealand.
If people choose not to be vaccinated, then they have made their choice, and will need to find employment where the vaccination is not required. Their freedom of choice has not been taken away, but their choice cannot be allowed to endanger others.
Linda Hogg, Mellons Bay.
To Steven Joyce: As a former National MP and Minister of Finance you did a great job but in much easier conditions, and had a pretty easy ride back then. Could "former MPs" please stop criticising their successors, who are coping admirably under very different and much much more difficult circumstances, akin to a world war. If you are so impressed by the way other countries are dealing with this pandemic can I suggest that you go overseas to live in Britain or Australia at the moment.
Charles Hadfield, Glendowie.
Get home carers back to work
During the level 4 lockdown, the amount of help provided by personal home carers has ceased.
Older seniors need their personal carers to help them to remain living in their homes. They need assistance to get dressed or to shower. They often need help to avoid having a fall.
Personal and domestic carers need to be able to get back to work to earn their income. If they are fully vaccinated then perhaps this should be possible.
Surely it is far cheaper to have home carers and to support senior people living at home than to provide hospital or rest home accommodation?
Gillian Dance, Mount Albert.
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Judges 'too soft on criminals'
With the Prime Minister revealing the details of the terrorist attack this week, questions need to be asked.
Not of the police, who did their best to protect us, nor the immigration department, which tried to deport the attacker, nor the Government, which by the PM's account tried its best to support the departments, but of the judicial process and the people who make the decisions in our courts.
Have they taken an individual's human rights to the extreme and forgotten that others also have a right to life and society the right to live? By all accounts the police do not charge and put people on the "danger to others" list often, therefore when they do should we not heed their expert advice?
Why do I always get the feeling in New Zealand that criminals have so much going for them and the law always seems to be on their side? No witch hunt is necessary but there needs to be a serious debate on this issue: why are our judges so soft on criminals?
Al Tan, Remuera, Auckland.
Short and sweet
It seems to have become a kind of mantra that we need to "rejoin" the world. Is there a reason why we should do this that withstands scrutiny? JS Bach wrote all of his music without ever travelling more than 100 miles from where he was born. Bruce Rogan, Mangawhai Heads.
It's unthinkable that a known terrorist can come out of prison, walk around Auckland with impunity, then stab six people. Our pathetic deportation laws need reviewing immediately so this atrocity doesn't happen again. Rex Head, Papatoetoe.
A very sad day last week, when a horrendous crime was committed at New Lynn. I am sure most New Zealanders do not want to see a large photo of his face and his name in the Herald, give him no publicity. Linda Beck, West Harbour.
On vaccine rollout
Australia has recently secured extra supplies of Pfizer vaccine from three other countries; Poland, Singapore and the UK, which it will repay from its future supplies. Why can't we do the same to quicken our rollout? Nick Nicholas, Greenlane.
I understand there are 30-40 more people under surveillance by the SIS. Is there any reason these people can't be deported? Janet Boyle, Orewa.