Thoughts and blessings
It's tragic that a young police officer has been killed in such a senseless and cold-hearted manner.
The NZ Police need public support in their role of keeping peace and order, especially when they place their own lives at risk in life-threatening situations.
Our burgeoning crime rate is concerning and the next generation don't deserve to live in a "Lord of the Flies" society, where breaking boundaries and causing harm are lauded as survival of the fittest.
Deliberately committing a crime is a negative choice that never renders a positive outcome.
My deepest sympathy to the family and colleagues of Matthew Hunt. This fine young man will always be remembered for his courage and loyalty to New Zealand.
I also wish a speedy recovery to the injured police officer, and the innocent member of the public who has been physically injured as a result of this tragedy.
E Smith, Henderson.
New Zealand cannot afford expensive and high-maintenance desalination plants, and high salaries for Watercare Management staff.
We should start with sustainable and educational programmes first.
Schools, communities, and the public should be made aware not to waste water, to recycle water, use gadgets to save water, storage tanks, campaigns etc.
The Government should issue free thimbles to households to save water.
Public amenities, restaurants, offices etc should install push-button taps.
We should by now be learning not to take water for granted.
Chris Toh, Greenhithe.
Watching the chair of the Waikato Regional Council, Russ Rimmington, being interviewed about Auckland's water crisis was revealing.
It would seem Rimmington's main concern was the promotion of the Waikato region being the agricultural powerhouse of New Zealand - and mismanagement of Watercare's drawing and processing of Waikato River water was entirely an Auckland problem, Waikato was not prepared to bend its rules for, no matter how dire the crisis Auckland faces.
Such territorial shenanigans over capturing water Auckland needs before it flows into the Tasman Sea reeks of the Wild West times in the US when wars were fought over water as settlers moved in to stake claims on land often stolen from the indigenous people.
All the members of our Parliament, whatever their party affiliations, who reside in the Auckland area - especially the PM with a home in Mt Albert - should unite to change the ridiculous laws mooted by Waikato as being inflexible in this water crisis. With Covid-19 still alive and arriving on each repatriation flight into Auckland, adequate sanitation must be the highest priority for the lawmakers of New Zealand.
Stop fudging the issue. This is an emergency. MPs please fix it.
Coralie van Camp, Remuera.
I note in my latest bill that Watercare has decided to increase charges by 2.5 per cent from July (NZ Herald, May 30).
I am unaware of any improvement it has made to explain that, nor any executive salary reduction.
Since then I've heard on the news that further water restrictions will put Auckland businesses (and jobs) directly at risk.
Meanwhile, our mayor is off begging Wellington for help to resolve this unplanned-for crisis, when we are told that we physically can't process increased supply from the Waikato River... not yet at least.
Are we all seeing how this is starting to turn into a cluster?
B Watkin, Devonport.
Riddle me this: What's the real cause of Auckland's drought?
It isn't a lack of water; it's a lack of able management and governance.
Instead of flushing millions of gallons of drinking water down the dunny with each flush, why doesn't Auckland Council ensure new houses have roofwater-capturing tanks and grey-water flushing systems installed? Oh yes, rates revenue.
A friend has exactly that reticulated at his place. The outside taps and toilets are connected, but Watercare declined approval so the infrastructure is completely wasted.
Taking more water from the Waikato River will not fix the fact that Aucklanders unnecessarily waste millions of litres of good water to ensure council captures rates revenue rather than solves Auckland's water issues.
Boriss Sokratov, Campbells Bay.
The problem behind Auckland's water shortage goes back to the Auckland Regional Council's short-sighted decision to sell the land (at Riverhead) which had been destined to be the site of a new water-supply dam.
Riverhead had the highest rainfall in the Auckland region.
This decision was a consequence of a rates rebellion. The ARC had proposed to raise rates by 40 per cent to pay for the new headquarters palace it was building above Spaghetti Junction.
When Aucklanders refused to pay these excessive rates, the ARC cancelled the increase and leased out the building to commercial interests (prior to an eventual sale).
There was also anger over the council's refusal to sell the public works-confiscated land back to the original owners.
Another water crisis in the 1990s occurred when the authorities drained a dam during the summer dry period to do maintenance work.
Hugh Webb, Hamilton.
Quarantine is not a new concept, having been used over hundreds of years with travellers being isolated on islands offshore, ships indicating infection by flying yellow flags, etc. New Zealand citizens quarantined themselves for six to seven weeks to gain the outcome that we now enjoy, and now we have returnees whinging about two weeks quarantine while receiving board and lodgings on the taxpayer. Many of those New Zealanders living in poverty, the homeless, disabled, or elderly, would consider this a heavenly experience.
Returnees have two choices: Accept the quarantine regulations in Godzone; or remain offshore in Covid-ridden countries.
Stop complaining and count your blessings.
Marie Kaire, Whangarei.
New Zealand sounds like a nice accommodating place to come back to from overseas - but only for a temporary sojourn.
You get free food and accommodation for a while, and then you can return to wherever you came from when you feel like it.
Pamela Russell, Orakei.
It was disappointing to hear that staff at Stamford Plaza may lose their jobs (NZ Herald, June 22). Opposition MPs such as Nikki Kaye need to take a deep breath and check out all the facts and weigh up the situation properly before rushing in. It is not a time to be putting political gain before people's livelihoods.
If the residents were concerned, it may have been possible to address any concerns, rather than rush in and cancel the contract.
From what I have read, the management at Stamford Plaza set in place all the requirements that would keep the residents safe.
Judging by the reaction to people being sent to Rotorua, there is now a stigma attached to having the virus. Sadly, the National Party has created a climate of fear and anxiety where people have forgotten to be kind to each other - I have not heard those words used for a while now. How quickly they have been forgotten.
I look back on the wonderful togetherness that existed during lockdown. Teddy bears, Easter bunnies, funny sports videos. It all seems like a dream now. Where has it all gone?
S. Hansen, Hastings.
On preparing for a day of fishing, I noticed the warrant of fitness (WOF) plastic envelope containing the sticker had been broken off so that the boat trailer no longer displayed the required documentation.
On replacing the WOF sticker which VTNZ kindly re-issued, I noticed no reference on the sticker linked to the registration plate, which means a thief can easily transfer the WOF to his own boat at no cost.
As there are literally thousands of trailer boats parked in boat ramps and throughout properties all over New Zealand, is this a flaw in the system?
Shouldn't boat trailer WOF stickers have the registration plate of the boat trailer printed on them so that police can quickly identify a stolen one?
Gary Hollis, Mellons Bay.
End of life criteria
In response to J. Gibbs (NZ Heral, June 23) and others, it's a shame that the law would have to be changed for people with neurodegenerative diseases to become eligible for voluntary euthanasia. Considering that it took Parliament nearly three years to manage the current law, it will be a frosty day in hell before they get around to making any changes.
Also, people should be aware that the End of Life Choice Act specifically denies assisted dying to people whose only reason for applying is that they have any kind of mental illness (including dementia), have a disability of any kind, or are simply old and sick of living. Concern about being a burden on your family is also not grounds, although perfectly understandable. Since the Act prevents doctors from suggesting that their patient might consider assisted dying, I don't think there's going to be a queue to apply. But if I was unfortunate enough to meet the eligibility criteria, I am glad to think I would have the choice.
I say vote yes at the referendum, and hope you never have need of it.
D. Cooper, Waikanae.
Short & sweet
Deification of any politician is a perilous road and I am surprised so many who call so stridently for democratic rights and freedoms have fallen so meekly into line. Bea Braun, Hamilton.
If it is too difficult to charge people for the cost of their quarantine, maybe those who are coming in could voluntarily pay the cost or part of it. Why should they expect taxpayers to be burdened with the cost? Danna Glendining, Taupo.
Bruce Robertson (NZ Herald, June 23) exaggerates. The border foul-up has resulted in immediate tightening of its administration. It is not business as usual. Frank Tay, Papanui.
What a shambles, we don't even know who has been tested or not. A J Petersen, Kawerau.
Has the influx of New Zealanders led to a major reduction on the overdue student loans?
Don Maclellan, Tauranga.
Local news reporters: You might not know it, you are just as good as any other lockdown superheroes (essential workers). Thank you for playing your part for New Zealand. Chelsea Simpson, Browns Bay School.
Travel supplements, featuring where to go in New Zealand have been excellent, but yesterday's (NZ Herald, June 23) is so good, it's a keeper. Rosemary Cobb, Takapuna.
Yesterday's edition (NZ Herald, June 23) was great. I learned a lot and didn't feel indignant about anything. I especially liked the op-ed by Lou Sanson. How nice it was to hear someone speak well of someone else. Sarah Frost, Onehunga.