Letter of the week: Dr Mark Craig, Mt Albert
As an MIQ worker and Aucklander, I empathise with those protesting about lockdown - my kids really need to go back to school and people to work - but before protesting at government decisions, they should be protesting a hundred times louder at the causes of the need for lockdown first.
We have a large population of people who are chronically sick with diet and lifestyle related diseases, in no small part due to aggressive marketing of cheap obesogenic foods and our tolerance for them. These people are the ones who are getting very ill from the virus, and a large part of the reason we need universal vaccine coverage - most healthy people who get Covid will be okay.
The virus has also reached our most deprived populations, extremely challenging to manage in MIQ, and for whom remaining isolated in the community is challenging due to a variety of reasons - lack of housing, mental health, substance use and so on. These are the factors we should be protesting for - a more equal, healthier society is more able to withstand Covid's harms to the health system.
Taken for a ride
Great article by Steven Joyce (Weekend Herald, October 30). I too am concerned at the recklessness of this Government in committing to a $15 billion, ideologically driven infrastructure project at a time when Labour is borrowing a billion dollars a week to keep the team of 5 million in perpetual lockdown. This will be a crushing burden on this and future generations.
I have been an enthusiastic user of public transport here and abroad in my 30 years of post-backpacker travel but I have never once used a train to get to or from an airport.
I don't want to drag a suitcase half a mile through pedestrian traffic to my hotel when a taxi will drop me off at the door. I believe most travellers who use the CBD as a base will feel the same.
The Government's risible assurance that estimates are accurate will not stand scrutiny. I expect the cost to double. This will, by design, be a slow, all-stations service and take longer than a taxi ride. It will appeal to no one and is doomed to failure.
Mark Street, Devonport.
It is very encouraging to see the new Act that the Minister for Disability Issues is introducing (Weekend Herald, October 30).
But I urge a different title than "Ministry for Disabled People", with all its implications of people who can't function in society. The people in mind in the Act are those who face disabilities, which is a very different concept.
Three possibilities come to mind: Ministry for Disability Issues; Ministry for Special Needs; Ministry for People with Disabilities.
For decades, we've been embarrassed by the words behind the IHC – "intellectually handicapped," from an unfortunate mindset of a long-ago era.
It's hard enough for people with special needs and their families to face a lifetime of disabilities. Surely, the official language used can carry some sensitivity.
David Cooke, Pt Chevalier.
Climate of fear
Yes, John Roughan (Weekend Herald, October 30), the risks of climate change might be overblown. But why take the risk?
There is no Planet B. In any event, digging up and burning coal - polluting soil, air and water in the process - is such dumb technology. And the coal won't last forever.
Bring on renewables.
Allison Kelly, Mt Roskill.
In the Yorkshire town of Todmorden, vegetables are planted everywhere (Canvas Oct 30) and in their book "The Future We Choose – Surviving the Climate Crisis" Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac paint two possible scenarios for the year 2050.
In the positive and only acceptable one, trees are everywhere including outside cities - no more wide open plains or monocultures.
People buy their food from small local farmers and producers. Everyone grows food as well - in community gardens, on rooftops, at schools and hanging from balconies.
I hope the Government has factored this into their new building intensification rules.
Cathy Fraser, Devonport.
M Carol Scott (Weekend Herald, October 30) asks "Where are the 'build to buy' schemes?" New Zealand had the highest rates of home ownership in the world and no rough sleeping or living in garages from after the first Labour Government introduced measures to stop the high homeless and rough sleeping common in New Zealand prior to the mid-1930s, until the Bolger/Shipley administration abolished all the mechanisms that were responsible for high home ownership and warm dry housing for all. We've had the current Government for only a year, but Arthur Grimes estimated recently that we are providing new housing for 9000 more people per month. This is an astonishing achievement in a worldwide pandemic. Ironically, had we had a different government we'd be losing so many people there wouldn't be a need for more housing.
Mark Nixon, Remuera.
"Cents and Sensitivity" (Weekend Herald, October 30) was an appropriate and clever heading for her piece about university fundraiser Mary Jane Boland
Readers will have noticed how headings these days for journalists' writing are eye-catching and often very clever. They draw us in. We are enticed to read their column.
One gets the impression that today's journalists have received a much broader academic education than did writers of the past. Jane Phare's article was interesting too.
Diana Walford, Greenlane.
A quick word
It's not the mayors and councillors who have let their water infrastructure slip, it's the council CEOs, managers and other unsackable shiny bums the councillors condone. Richard Kean, Ngongotaha.
I feel an "election promise" is not good enough reason to push on with the light rail project in Auckland. Do it only if it is absolutely the right answer for the city's transport/development needs. B Darragh, Auckland Central.
"The retirement village has been operating under alert level 3 guidelines for visitors, meaning people have only been able to visit the village on compassionate grounds," a Ministry spokesman said. The most compassionate thing that could be done for rest home residents is to allow them unfettered access to their family and friends. Andrew Montgomery, Remuera.
Jock MacVicar (Weekend Herald, Oct. 30) claims we are going too far trying for 90 per cent vaccination and that other countries are happy with 70 per cent. Perhaps he should check out the WHO herd immunity vaccination recommendation - 95 per cent. Neil Anderson, Algies Bay.
Looking at all those places of interest and noticed that all those healthy, anti-vaxxers getting Covid-19 sure eat a lot of junk food. Neil Hatfull, Warkworth.
Our society is crumbling under the strain of people who believe that society norms do not apply to them and that they have the absolute right to do whatever they wish, whilst also relying on society to provide for their needs. Rod Young, Kerikeri.
If any of your family want a spot in MIQ, the best way to get one is to play sport. Wendy Galloway, Ōmokoroa.
Hard and fast lockdowns work but dragged-out partial lockdowns don't. The number of rule-breakers in the community is growing by the day. Complacency has set in and people are over it. Mark van Praagh, Hobsonville Pt.
Is it a bird? No, it's a long-tailed bat. This lockdown has affected not only our health, but our minds as well. P. Salvador, Hobsonville.
My advance vote goes to the bumblebee for Bird of the Year 2022. Pat Taylor, Bethlehem.
I certainly hope the police are sufficiently alert to anyone outside of Auckland's borders trying to get to our retail stores once they open next Tuesday. Alan Walker, St Heliers.
November 5 has gone on for far too long. Fireworks were more gentle on the ears in the 60s and 70s. Tony Ward, Mission Bay.
My vote for quote of the year: "My name is Cleo." Stephen Symes, Eastern Beach.
Having read Auckland Council's latest parking proposals, I am convinced that either they are on the wacky baccy or they have lost the plot completely. Geraldine Taylor, Remuera.