Letter of the week: Don Howarth, Mellons Bay.
"Building a Port" by Andrea Fox (Weekend Herald, June 5), on the all-round leadership skills of the very successful retiring CEO of Ports of Tauranga (POT) Mark
Cairns, was revealing.
Relate that to the ongoing vexatious Port of Auckland (POA). I found the comments of Auckland mayor Phil Goff (or the lack of them) following the meeting at Sky City Theatre about two weeks ago disappointing but not surprising. Council has not had any dividend for some time and poor dividends prior to that.
It took Minister Michael Wood to say "ports had a primary responsibility to make a return to shareholders" and "a conversation" was needed.
Mayor Goff and his council should wake up to the benefit of an initial public offering, opening up 49 per cent to private capital.
The retiring CEO of POT should also be offered a directorship immediately, so he might have a say in the selection of a new CEO.
All POT shareholders have been very satisfied with returns achieved, while having both a safety record, port efficiency record and a growth record second to none in New Zealand. POA needs radical change.
It is stunning that people still believe in the Skypath project on the Auckland Harbour Bridge. As John Roughan stated (Weekend Herald, June 5), "the cost benefits were so bad, the consultants presumed that it was out of the question".
Any engineer can categorically state that if cyclists and pedestrians are allowed to cross the Auckland Harbour bridge on a regular basis, their activity will create a harmonic within the bridge structure and that harmonic will cause the bridge to collapse. Great videos to demonstrate exactly this happening, on YouTube.
If a refresher is required, London Council did almost that by commissioning and building a pedestrian bridge across the Thames for their Millennium project. This was open for just one and a half days before a harmonic caused closure of the bridge pending rebuild.
No-one in their right mind would ever categorically state that the bridge would not collapse with cyclists and pedestrians as common users.
Joe Little, St Heliers.
I was relieved to read John Roughan's column (Weekend Herald, June 5), where he challenged us to think about white privilege. This stemmed from the very light treatment of the predominantly white cohort of cyclists who broke through a police cordon and occupied part of the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
These illegal acts have had little by way of condemnation from politicians, the media or those commentators from "middle" New Zealand who normally have a great deal to say about law and order. It is notable that there has been no denunciation from Simeon Brown, who has been loud in his denunciation of those who belong to other sectors of society. This surely is a moment for those of us who belong to the white middle class to reflect on how the systems in our society are biased to our advantage and what might be done to ensure that the presence and voices of all communities in our country are equitably recognised and heard.
Susan Healy, New Lynn.
'Sensible and reasoned'
I must compliment the John Roughan article in the Comment section (Weekend Herald, June 5). It was a breath of fresh air to have such a sensible and reasoned article on the
vexed topic of cyclists and harbour crossings.
The article contained suggestions on actions and good ideas in place of the pretentious demands for the spending of an exorbitant $800m for the suggested crossing that would benefit a relatively small proportion of the Auckland population.
Graeme McLeod, Epsom.
I read with interest Kim Knight's article (Weekend Herald, June 5) backgrounding the lack of documentation on Ralph Hotere's recent Dunedin exhibition Ātete.
For artists of equivalent major status like Frances Hodgkins and Gordon Walters, their recent exhibitions have been accompanied by informed, insightful commentary in books/catalogues. These are also critically important when the exhibition itself is over, becoming the key records of such significant events.
Though reasons for the Hotere case may differ from those pertinent to other exhibitions, I noticed that two other major exhibitions, also by Māori artists, the Auckland Art
Gallery's Toi Tū Toi Ora (billed as one of their biggest and most successful, yet with no linked conference either, if via Zoom) and Brett Graham's Tai Moana, Tai Tangata at the Govett-Brewster in New Plymouth, also did without.
These publications are central to how Aotearoa/New Zealand's art history is constructed, meaning that the artists, ideas and issues associated with these three critically important exhibitions will lose out.
Elizabeth Eastmond, Waiheke Island.
I recently met Jason Oxenham (Canvas, May 29). We chatted about what motivates people to write letters to the editor, articles, etc. and he told me about his piece in Canvas, and calmly informed me about his cancer diagnosis that was most likely incurable.
Jason also told me he wasn't a writer but putting his cancer battle to paper was cathartic for him.
I, much to my husband's chagrin, am not often lost for words, and I mumbled some banality about always having hope. Jason, you are a writer, as reading about your journey I felt your fear and pain. But I also felt your courage and determination to battle on, and other cancer sufferers will feel it also. Keep fighting for yourself and your beautiful family and know you have inspired others to do the same. Kia Kaha.
Mary Hearn, Glendowie.
No direction home
As traffic congestion increases all around Auckland, and new intersections with multi-direction lanes are created, would it be too much to ask Auckland Transport to use some common sense and put extra lane direction road markings a bit further back in the queue?
It is quite daunting to arrive at the back of a queue and not have any indication which of the three or four lanes you need to get into to continue your journey in the direction you want to go, sometimes necessitating a scramble to change lanes at the last minute when you finally reach the only road markings 20m from the intersection.
Fiona Downes, Hobsonville.
A quick word
The major issue facing nurses for the past decade is that DHB hospitals are unsafe workplaces due to ongoing nurse understaffing. Come on Worksafe, where are you? Paul Carpenter, Rotorua.
I was once told my local ANZ branch was "moving". The venue to which it was moving already had a branch, so what they really meant was "closing". R Harries, Kohimarama.
As a paid-up member of the Steve Braunias fan club I am disappointed that the emphasis is now on scones and a cuppa. A glass of wine with cheese and biscuit is far more suitable for people such as Steve and his proteges. Reg Dempster, Albany.
I make very moreish lemon cupcakes and love mangroves and table tennis. There's not a porcelain doll in sight. Fancy a cuppa, Steve? Lucy Dunningham, Mission Bay.
I remember all those years ago my father telling me to read the letters pages to gain a broader insight into public opinion. Now l even read them ahead of the sports pages. John Norris, Whangamatā.
By the time the government has finished reading the Climate Change Commission's 418-page report, climate change will be worse. Robert Clarke, Albany.
How are New Zealanders going to afford all the electric vehicles our politicians want them to buy and in such a short timeframe? Has any thought been given to this? Tom Reynolds, St Heliers.
Clearly, Harry and Meghan only have time for one current royal family member now – Lilibet Senior. Glenn Forsyth, Taupō.
Isn't it time to close the borders to Australia again? The risk of people not playing by the rules is too great. Paul Cheshire, Maraetai.
Should all taxpayers have to contribute towards the cost of a "public" school, access to which can be bequeathed and inherited by certain families but denied to their neighbours? Rowan Hill, Mt Eden.
Maybe Heath & Safety should insist cyclists crossing Auckland's harbour bridge should wear parachutes. Gary Hollis, Mellons Bay.
When the harbour bridge was new, car drivers had to pay a toll to drive across. How much will the toll for cyclists be on their new bridge? Nick Hamilton, Remuera.
While Te Huia train between Auckland and Hamilton may not yet be perfect, the fact that 5000 passengers have so far travelled on it is not to be sneezed at. Danna Glendining, Taupō.
It's obvious some Herald readers do not like Mike Hosking. However, it seems many appreciate his "straight-talking, no punches pulled" as he was announced Sir Paul Holmes Broadcaster for a second year. Congratulations Mike, keep up the good work. Janet Boyle, Ōrewa.