It is estimated trucks transporting containers from Northport to Auckland will depart every five minutes on a tortuous, congested highway.
Most drivers are unacquainted with long haulage, which is a cause for concern. The reason apparently for this disruption is less than half the straddle cranes are in use due to a shortage of skilled operators.
Is the competence of Ports of Auckland's board in question? Why did Auckland City stage a buyout, delist the company and assume a management role?
Mixed public and private ownership of Port of Tauranga has been a resounding success so why not emulate their modus operandi?
Make no mistake, international shipping companies are frustrated and our credibility is on the line.
P. J. Edmondson, Tauranga.
So if I've understood the data about house hunters correctly, the investment of choice with the best return and least tax is still other people's housing, wherever in the country it might be? Nothing about providing warm, dry and secure housing for those less fortunate than themselves, just a capital gain-driven investment with little or no tax.
When will this, or indeed any, government find the backbone to correct this and finally accept that as long as there's a real tax advantage in housing, those with the cash or assets to borrow against, will be willing to take advantage of that. And if you can borrow against your home asset to invest in another property why on Earth should you not be treated the same as any normal business and pay tax on any subsequent gain? And I'll bet my bottom dollar that those higher earning, high asset owning "investors" will be hoping change won't happen any time soon.
James Archibald, Birkenhead.
Don't blame boomers
Does anyone have statistics on the percentage of boomers who own extra properties? I suspect there are many boomers (like me and my whanau) who are not property investors. Further to that, there are plenty of investors who are older (75 plus) or younger (under 56) than boomers.
Why is it acceptable to constantly refer to boomers as leeches on society? This sort of stereotype is just as offensive as any other. Boomers are likely to be undertaking a modest lifestyle in retirement, usually making an ongoing contribution to society. Much of our early "advantage" was not of our doing, the rules were designed by the older generation who wanted a better world. Property investors sitting back and watching portfolios flourish? No, simply not the reality for most boomers.
Judy Lawry, Golflands.
Queensland has just announced freedom of entry. The elephant in the room, however, is the 14 days in managed isolation holiday makers must undertake on return at a cost of $3000 each. But more compelling are transtasman families, desperately wanting to reunite. Even when the cost of isolation is a price some may be prepared to endure, there is a need to " join the queue" to purchase the necessary returning MIQ voucher.
No one questions the need to protect our border, but is not a viable option to consider the use of electronic monitoring? The type of tracking adopted by Corrections to monitor offenders at a home address could be used. Detaining returning citizens in their own home is a far more acceptable option to those returning than being grouped in a MIQ facility with others.
The penalty for breaching home quarantine could be severe enough to deter the most desperate of detainees. A bond could be forfeited if an individual set off the alarm.
Des Trigg, Rothesay Bay.
I have read with interest the initial sections of the Health and Safety at Work Act. It states that a purpose is "promoting the provision of advice, information, education and training in relation to health and safety".
Is Worksafe New Zealand prosecuting itself for neglecting to "promote" the provisions of the Act? Why did the agency permit any tours to Whakaari in the first place? What about Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland, Whakarewarewa Scenic Reserve or Waimungu Thermal Valley? We do live in a country of known geothermal activity and we know the consequences of living in this wonderful country.
Steve Cornwall, Paihia.
Bravo Derek Cheng for your insightful and objective reporting on Covid-19 during 2020, culminating in your feature article in Friday's Herald. You always brought a challenging and fearless approach to your reporting on the successes as well as the failures of the country's response to the pandemic.
We all look forward to your coverage of the roll-out of the vaccines, which we all hope will be done in a more orderly, efficient and transparent manner than we had with the distribution of PPE.
Chris Parker, Campbells Bay.
I share the concern of Auckland Mayor Phil Goff regarding rising gun violence. I have always taken pride and comfort that guns do not pervade the social fabric in this country.
One should feel safe walking down the street and not be second-guessing whether a fellow citizen is armed with both gun and nefarious intentions. We must not be a country where we fear being out in public. We must not be a country where gangs roam the streets and shoot at rival gangs.
Our response should not be to arm the police force, our response should be to decrease the number of guns that exist in our country, they have no place in our society. We need to seriously think about banning guns entirely, and imposing strict penalties on anyone found to be in possession of one.
Guns are like another virus spreading through our communities, the sooner we eliminate it, the better.
John Deyell, Ellerslie.
Both Britain and the United States have announced similar priorities for the vaccine. Top goes to health workers and those in care homes for the elderly. The first is logical but the second seems economically and medically bizarre. This group comprises only 35 per cent of those 80 or older so the unfit will be saved while the fit elderly remain unprotected. Further the life expectancy of the care group is sharply limited, which seems like throwing good money into an act of monumental inutility.
If we insist on this strategy a better approach would be to ring-fence care homes allowing only the vaccinated contact with residents.
John Werry, Emeritus Professor,University of Auckland.
The United States democracy is broken. The US has lost the right to lecture the world, as it has repeatedly done, as the supposed champion of democracy. The bizarre episode where one US State, supported by 18 attorneys general and more than 100 Republican congressional representatives, who took a totally spurious case to the Supreme Court seeking to annul the result of a democratic vote in 4 other States, is a shameful derailing of the democratic process. If this had been happening in any other country the US would be readying its military to play the role its believes it has as the world's democracy police. It has totally lost that already tenuous right.
Neil Anderson, Algies Bay.
Giving women choice
Auckland hospital's clamp down on providing elective cesarean section (CS) facilities is ill-judged cost control. International guidelines state that all women requesting CS should be offered one. Due to the safety of modern surgery, CS has little effect on maternal or infant mortality. Some 20 per cent of women have obvious evidence of pelvic floor trauma immediately after vaginal delivery but studies show that 70 per cent will have potentially critical microscopic damage. Women should be allowed to choose CS to avoid the immediate or delayed consequences and costs of vaginal delivery: urinary and faecal incontinence, prolapse, sexual dysfunction and psychological trauma.
Stewart Hawkins, St Heliers.
Short & sweet
Trev's given his reputation a real kick in the guts. Mike Wagg, Freemans Bay.
The Speaker of the House has once again proven that he is an unsuitable person to be in the third most important political role in the country. He should show the courage and fortitude and resign from the role before he is pushed. Mike Baker, Tauranga.
The fantasy that eliminating/reducing carbon emissions alone will reduce the frequency of extreme climatic events is detached from its overriding source of uncontrolled exponential population growth — presently around 90 million a year. Kenneth Lees, Whangarei.
Anyone in any group that has lost 58 lawsuits over alleged unfair and fraudulent elections in just a few weeks in the United States deserves the award of Time "Loser" of the Year. No one other than President Donald Trump and the Republican Party could so richly deserve that title. It would make an excellent magazine cover. Rob Buchanan, Kerikeri.
On the eruption
I concur with everything John Roughan wrote about the Whakaari/White Island rescue. There should be an enquiry. I also agree that the Prime Minister has been quiet regarding this shocking tragedy. Kay Wheeler, Kumeu.
Here in Auckland at present we get not-so-sweet strawberries. The Bay of Plenty varieties available now are very sweet by comparison. Can a local strawberry expert tell us why please. Larry Mitchell, Rothesay Bay.
On America's Cup
This is not a proper yacht sailing contest now. It is high speed water skiing. They have corrupted the original contest. Derek Cunningham, Gulf Harbour.
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