I am behind reducing greenhouse emissions and accepted the closure of natural gas in New Zealand as inevitable and necessary but my mind boggles at the coalition that is so outspoken in reducing fossil fuel dependency but is increasing imports of coal.
Using just natural gas could have been a stepping stone to ending fossil fuel use. Even using high-quality New Zealand coal, much as I hate to say it, makes more sense than paying for and importing a dirtier, lower quality. Where is the R&D for alternatives?
Continued use of coal will end life on Earth and New Zealand is now just as bad as the world's worst polluters. So much for the clean, green image.
Part of the problem is our overconsumption of electricity. How many neon signs are really essential? And the number of houses leaving all the lights in the house on all night? Something to do perhaps with the free power they have via government subsidies?
I used to support the Greens in their efforts to improve the world through this country however I think now they don't care as much as they say.
Mike Howell, Waimā.
The Greens accuse National of hypocrisy; perhaps a look in the mirror is required. They are a part of a government that has presided over the greatest import and burn of dirty coal in living memory.
Have a shower before you start throwing mud around.
Steve Dransfield, Karori.
Warren Johns' proposal (NZ Herald, August 10) to defer the second dose of Pfizer vaccine by 12 weeks to increase the final antibody level (by a factor of 2.5) is correct. Most vaccines work that way. The optimum immunity is delayed when the highest risk is right now though. Jabbing at three weeks rather than a 12-week gap means much lower immunity levels for about eight weeks.
You can't have your cake and eat it too. On the other hand, eating it after a 12-week gap it might not taste quite as good if Lambda arrives sooner rather than later. I admire his resilience though and it allows more to get theirs first. Those unable to book a three-week gap can be consoled by facts supporting a better final antibody count.
Of course, a third booster sends your antibodies up by a factor of 11.
However, immunity fades with time. Book-my-vaccine will be forever. Sir John Key should factor that into his demand to open the borders.
Steve Russell, Hillcrest.
What's up, dock?
The Maritime Union was reported (NZ Herald, August 9) as saying Port of Tauranga workers are "angry and disappointed" they were brought back to work after contact with a Covid-19 infected ship. Would that be the 89 unvaccinated workers?
How much more awareness of the vulnerability of our borders do these workers and the port authorities need before they take some responsibility for getting vaccinated?
Instead they're quick to blame the Government and no doubt will be just as quick to cry out that we're in a nanny state when the Government is forced to be more coercive.
David Sanders, Torbay.
An irony surely is that at the time of the power outages on Monday night it was very windy, perhaps not everywhere but certainly around Auckland.
Some years ago there was a proposal for a wind farm along the hills to the west of Waiuku. It is an ideal location. It gets the prevailing wind, is sparsely populated and is close to the Transpower high voltage lines that serve the steel mill. A proposal should be urgently investigated.
Leo Neal, Ellerslie.
In their element
While climate change and electricity supplies are such a serious problem, why do we allow the importation and active promotion of those massive outside electric heaters, so that people can have their drinks and snacks outside in the rain, wind and snow, rather than inside their heated, double-glazed home, just a few steps away?
Who buys this junk?
Tony Berg, Taupō.
The recent loss of one of our Olympic athletes (NZ Herald, August 11) is a poignant reminder of how high-level sport can impact negatively on participants.
Children take up sport for fun and enjoyment. As they move into adulthood, they often continue to pursue a sport as a leisure activity, for enjoyable recreation.
But for some of those who make the transition from pleasure to intense rivalry, something changes. Sport, from a child's fun activity to a tragic loss.
Where are we going wrong?
John Walsh, Green Bay.
The Three Waters adverts correctly identify that we want our councils to provide clean water to their citizens. But that doesn't mean that Government needs to take over the facilities, established and already paid for by each council's ratepayers.
The Government simply needs to establish a small bureaucracy that must receive water test results on a frequent basis from the various water suppliers. This small office needs clear parameters and enforcement powers.
Three Waters and the Auckland harbour bike bridge are notional concepts only, without any costings. They are designed to test public opinion and once that is gauged, and the alienation of huge numbers of voters is assessed, the Three Waters will disappear just as has the bike bridge proposal.
Bill Boyle, Ōrewa.
I read Dr Wesselbaum's piece on New Zealand's lack of productivity (NZ Herald, August 10) and had a wry smile. Ignoring that NZ's manufacturing industries never really embraced the ILO's (International Labour Organisation) Work Study manual, examples of poor productivity are with us every day.
Auckland City should have been renamed "City of Cones". Someone, somewhere, seems to have made a directive that the cones need to be about 300mm apart. Really? I gather the cones are hired so, if the spacing was increased to 600mm, we'd halve the cost and substantially reduce the labour cost.
Every building site now loses productivity from daily, mandated site safety meetings. Who made that decision?
Much of New Zealand's poor productivity and skills shortages are from government-driven initiatives – or lack of them. The occupational priority list when I applied to come to New Zealand in 1982 had no mention of my industrial engineer profession. It was a real battle to get in to accept the job I'd been offered.
I suspect nothing has changed, and won't, as long as our MPs have zero experience, or even exposure, to productivity improvement techniques.
Ray Green, Birkenhead.
Get the picture
Now the excitement and the joy of the Olympics is over maybe some of the presenters on TV1 could have a quick refresher on how to say some words. There is no "a" in ceremony (ceremoany) . Mischievous is just as it is spelt with no extra "i" after the "v" and there is definitely and always has been a "c" in picture.
But full marks to Scotty Stevenson who after a gang of sporting experts had talked through their knowledge and experience he turned to the camera and said. "And I am really good at talking to a camera." He's right.
Rae McGregor, Mt Eden.
David Carter said, on the first Jacinda Ardern government, " this Labour Government will die the death of a thousand cuts".
Obviously, David is no Nostradamus.
Maybe it's a good thing that he has chucked his toys out of the cot.
Callum Gunn, Tūrangi .
I spent $250 for two tickets, a couple of drinks and some "food" to sit in an uncovered, poor-view corner seat to watch the All Blacks v Wallabies on Saturday.
The queues for the distinctly average food were diabolical as was the cost of it. How about having staff walk around the aisles serving food and drinks as they do at so many other international stadiums?
As for the cost of tickets, they are over-priced for what you get viewing-wise and especially for school-age children up to age 18. Please don't argue that they are comparable to international events overseas because this is New Zealand and the majority of people earn much less than their overseas counterparts.
I won't be going again, I'll watch on TV with friends and family and make my own food or order in some reasonably priced quality takeaways.
Keith Moran, Stonefields.
As a property owner in West Auckland, I am perturbed by the ever-increasing rates and the ever-diminishing say the ratepayers have in how our money is spent.
The latest fiasco is in Henderson with a UCO (uncontrolled council organisation), Auckland Transport, implementing a "public safety trial" - a prime example of wasteful extravagance against the wishes of the people who are funding it.
Gary Osborne, Te Atatū South.
Short & sweet
Electricity generation must cease to be a "nice little earner" for those gaming the supply and must become an "essential commodity" regulated for the benefit of all of us. Stan Jones, Hamilton.
Tell me again why we don't incinerate our rubbish in order to produce electricity thus killing two birds with one stone? Renton Brown, Pukekohe.
Imagine what it will be like in the future with many more EVs projected and no immediate plans to increase our current power production. Jock Mac Vicar, Hauraki.
I strongly disagree with Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier; a "lip-service apology" from the principal sounds perfect to me. Keep up the good work, Macleans College. Heather Mackay, Kerikeri.
A very cheap way to create gender-neutral toilets is taking down the "female" and "male" signs on doors. Doetie Keizer, Riverton.
The Erebus Memorial is Parnell's blue intersection. David Jones, Parnell.
It has now become obvious that this Government's talent pool, starting from the top, is as shallow as a bird bath. Bruce Renwick, Mellons Bay.
The Premium Debate
Megan Woods wants to know why Huntly wasn't fired up. Maybe because you stopped mining our coal or maybe a shipload of Indonesian coal hadn't docked or maybe you haven't vaccinated enough portside staff to unload. Just maybe, Megan, your Government has failed us. Garry R
Can't go nuclear. Can't build more dams. Can't burn coal. Must drive electric cars. But power outages are "unacceptable". Give me strength. Gerard W.
Maybe it is time to reconsider oil and gas exploration in New Zealand. Seems ludicrous that we are buying dirty coal from Indonesia. Cannot understand the logic of burning dirty Indonesian coal, NZ coal is better quality and we just need to mine it. Gail S
It's sad to watch what's happening to NZ. The Government wants to spend $600m on a cycleway across the Harbour Bridge, meanwhile the citizens are cold in their homes. Bruce C.
The biggest losers are those who cannot afford high prices. Elderly and the already struggling families. I wonder how many managed to sleep with little or no heat as they can't afford it. Anita W
Why aren't more generation stations being built? With more demand for electricity as the population increases and EV vehicles become popular, our ageing electricity network can't cope with the increased load. There's been a severe lack of forward planning. Scott B.
The Government still owns 51 per cent of Genesis, Meridian and Contact, the generating companies in NZ. They take the profits and the GST on power, as the major shareholder and should be held to account. Caroline M.
Is there any lesson to be learned here from our recently imposed restrictions on gas exploration and coal mining impacting our national electricity supply through the resultant power outage? And the proposed removal of our oil refining capacity at Marsden Point impacting upon the security of our national fuel supply (i.e. diesel, petrol and aviation fuel)? Robert B.