Private birthcare an asset
In response to recent articles relating to private obstetricians operating at Auckland Hospital and the rates of caesarean sections. Many, like my wife, engage the services of a private obstetrician after a lengthy process to even fall pregnant while having difficulty maintaining a pregnancy to its full term. With these complicating factors, the individual and specialised care a private obstetrician provides is critical in maximising the probability of a successful birth, for both mother and in our case, twin boys (who were delivered recently at Auckland Hospital via caesarean section).
Medical disagreements over timing and perhaps I would argue, a holistic reluctance to perform a caesarean section at the "public" Auckland Hospital, even with multiple complicating factors associated with my wife's health, contributed to her nearly bleeding to death on the operating table (when the complicating factors raised their ugly head). My children were also at risk and I was not far away from leaving hospital on my own with the rest of my family requiring a burial in the lead up to Christmas. I would like to publicly thank and support our private obstetrician for her skill and professionalism in keeping my family alive on that day (while working at a public hospital).
I submit that private healthcare professionals are an asset to a burdened public health system and that their skills and experience should be welcomed, rather than treated with scepticism and suspicion by those within the "upper levels" of the public system. When those with decades worth of experience in women's health recommend birth via caesarean section, perhaps we should be more willing to listen to them rather than question them. The only statistic I care about is the one relating to having a healthy wife and child(ren) leaving hospital together in one piece. In our instance, 100 per cent and for that, once again I say to our private obstetrician "thank you".
Stefan Roberts, Pukekohe.
Labour's lost the housing love
It would appear that Labour has lost interest in helping to provide housing at a reasonable price, that the common everyday worker can afford. Jacinda Ardern's plan is to let property investors carry on, which makes it impossible for the people on an average wage to get a rung on the ladder in the housing saga. She also has figured it out that the opposition can do very little. Property investors say they are providing rental accommodation for the people. That's nice. Where are all the organisations in New Zealand who profess to be of the humanitarian kind? We need concern and the miracle of home ownership now.
Ron Chamberlain, Tauranga.
Closed borders until vaccine
The thought of a Covid bubble with Australia fills me with trepidation. Currently, because of quarantine restrictions, the interchange is at a minimum and therefore any positive cases are caught at the border. One can only assume that should an outbreak occur under free travel, level 4 would have to be implemented immediately as it is the only way to stop the virus in its tracks. These summer holidays are also a worry as all the helpful guards, such as wash your hands, social distancing, masks, coughing into your elbow etc, have lost their shine and are being followed by too few. The main concern is that introducing a bubble with Australia doubles the risk as quarantining others is not a magic bullet as, regardless of control, the virus can escape. Until the vaccine has been distributed we should maintain border restrictions as this will at least maintain our recovered economy, not cause further pain.
Reg Dempster, Albany.
Overly cautious on bubbles
The Government is finally deciding to allow travellers to the Cook Islands.
There has been no mention of a bubble with Tasmania, which also hasn't had any community spread infections.That could also have happened a long time ago.
I have no doubt at all that tourism here has suffered unnecessarily because of the overly cautious approach.
Dave Miller, Tauranga.
No coal, no back-up, no power
Whilst any government ambition to decarbonise New Zealand by 2050 is a really ambitious goal, it is actually not achievable because of cost. Could it be explained how in a dry year, with low wind and low sun hours, a consistent power supply be maintained without a gas back-up? The alternative — of battery back-up — is not tenable because of cost. So what happens? No power, no payment systems. So what actually does happen?
Geoff Williamson, Mission Bay.
Tax all sales profits
Your correspondent Peter Lewis makes the point that tax is not applied to many enterprises that show increase in value over time. He lists farms, shares, and businesses all of which, along with houses, are not taxed when they are sold, no matter how much profit they have accrued. If we want to see inequality increasing in our country, continuing to exempt these enterprises from tax is a good way to achieve that. If, on the other hand, we want to live in a fair society, tax needs to be imposed on all of those, as it is on every dollar people earn by their labour.
Susan Grimsdell, Auckland Central
Border security at risk
So when we open our borders how safe are we really? Ardern is pandering to the wealthy once more. Labour needs a new name for the next election — the "Panda" party. Cuddly Ardern snuggles up with the holiday set (Seymour and Bishop's constituents) and hospitality while the real workers "labour" on.
No country has managed elimination and opened the borders successfully while still importing Covid into MIQ. One slip up anywhere at the border of all countries involved and her elimination strategy of 28 days Covid-free does what? Who knows.
Please explain who has jurisdiction when an Aussie brings it in? Do we send them home? Do they pay for MIQ? What will the testing regime be; do we rely on Aussies to remember which cafe they went to two weeks ago? How do we track and trace them? Can our community testing stations cope with thousands of foreign visitors when an outbreak occurs? Will MIQ have enough nurses?
Will our nurses have the vaccine before they arrive? There is no transparency yet or any royal commission on Covid. How will we know we can cope as flu and Covid vaccinations need to be actioned by proven shambolic organisations (the DHBs)? We need to remain Covid free — we are not all desperately rich and pining for holidays overseas to spend tax-free capital gains. Where did Ardern get that idea? We are enjoying our own country for once.
Steve Russell, Hillcrest.
MPs need wider knowledge
On the second day of my call-up in 1959 for two years' National Service in the Royal Artillery I, along with 300 of the intake, sat an intelligence test to decide which trade in the regiment they would best contribute.
Extending that practice to the selection of prospective MPs would, I believe, cull the gross over-representation of the legal fraternity, to the benefit of those with more practical worldly skills in the professions, business and skilled artisans. For as Benjamin Disraeli observed: "Experience is the child of Thought, and Thought is the child of Action. We cannot learn men from books."
Kenneth Lees, Whangārei.
Gov-Gen has the real power
The significance of the recent disclosures in Australia that the Queen had no role in the Australian Governor-General dismissing Whitlam as Prime Minister in 1975 may have been overlooked here.
Until now, it was often assumed that the Governor-General, being the Queen's agent and representative, would act to dismiss Parliament only with the Monarch's knowledge and consent. Instead, new releases show that the Australian Governor-General was congratulated by the Queen's Private Secretary for his skill and wisdom in not warning her of his decision. It is now clear our Governor-General has the sole responsibility to exercise the last-resort power without advising the Queen or obtaining her consent.
This clarifies and underscores the total independence of New Zealand. It also means great care must be taken for political objectivity in the appointment of governors-general.
John Collinge, St Mary's Bay.
Short & Sweet
Congratulations to Emmerson for "Still Winning" (December 16). Brilliant! A classic. John Hampson, Meadowbank.
Obviously Trevor Mallard didn't get the memo about kindness and compassion from the Prime Minister. Shame. Glennys Adams, Oneroa.
If Trevor Mallard was in the private sector, how long would he have lasted? Gone by morning tea — and his employer would not be picking up the $330,000 tab. Jim Radich, Red Beach.
On Oranga Tamariki
Grainne Moss may have the confidence of her staff, presumably having been involved in appointing them, but she lacks the confidence of a large number of the public, including me. Janet Crawford, St Johns.
With regard to the letter "Leaky Homes" from Kathleen Hawkins, detaining returning citizens in their own home where others live, indeed would not work. However, hubby and I would love to go to Queensland to see our family. We would be quite willing to self-isolate on return, in our empty home for two weeks, with a tracking device on our ankle, if necessary. I am sure there are plenty of others, who also live on their own, who would be quite happy to do this and leave the quarantine facilities vacant to those that have no alternative. Suzanne Howie, Pāpāmoa Beach.