The young people testing our Covid hotel perimeters want freedom. So do we — who earned our freedom in lockdown levels 4 and 3.
A suitable deterrent would be just what they least desire. Full payment of the cost of a further lockdown in a secure facility called prison.
They have little appreciation of what we achieved. They seem to be acting like spoilt children entitled because they have had overseas lifestyles.
A minority may have mental health issues that a safe environment with food and lodging provided for free doesn't placate. Perhaps on entry each one needs to sign an oath of allegiance to the 5 million who earned their entitlement to freedom. If not: send these people back on a return flight.
The risks may be mostly trivial but one intentional idiot could escape spreading Covid amongst a population that now think they are safe. Without a Covid Card that is yet to be tested as in Australia.
Steve Russell, Hillcrest
The mum who escaped isolation with her kids to see her deceased partner says the compassionate exemption doesn't work and "what do you want me to do?".
Really, 5 million people want you to do your two weeks. The reason for that, is we don't want 200,000 New Zealanders lying next to your partner because of your actions.
I hope this answers her question.
Randel Case, Bucklands Beach
Hotels a lottery
Once we had health camps, transit camps (for new migrants) and holiday parks with cabins. Today, our first homecoming evacuees were satisfactorily housed in an enclosed settlement of individual campervans.
The current lottery of varying hotel accommodation is both inequitable and expensive on the collective budget. Better to build settlements of solid, durable units in suitable coastal/scenic settings to serve as basic government-funded accommodation in which to isolate returnees, who would have the choice of paying the excess if they desired more upmarket hotel accommodation.
Then, in a happier post-Covid future, such accommodation could be used for holiday accommodation for low-income families, school camps, or facilities for 'freedom campers' — all of which would be socially beneficial.
Mary Cornford, Pt Chevalier
Climate change action
I am grateful for Simon Wilson's opinion piece, "Emission Impossible?" (NZ Herald, July 24).
Being aware that climate change has already destroyed people's lives, homes, livelihoods and health, and the loss of millions of animal species, I feel enormous grief.
It is solely for this reason that I have chosen not to own a car. My commute to work is considerable and I do it by e-bike or a combination of e-bike and train.
I'm not a sporty person, but I love being out in the air and biking through green areas.
I'm not put off by the rain and cold.
The only thing that puts me off is the aggression of some drivers — at least one a day — who see cyclists as an inconvenience and try to intimidate me. I'll let you know that it works.
I feel scared for my life every day. I arrive home stressed. Like Simon Wilson, I feel a lot of frustration — sometimes despair — wondering how we are going to achieve a 50 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 (with transport causing 43 per cent of this city's emissions) if people continue to refuse to take up their small share of responsibility.
The debate about who is responsible for taking action on climate change has been an incredibly effective stalling tactic.
We are all responsible — governments and councils need to do everything in their power and everyday citizens need to do everything in their power — for one, by participating in the initiatives of the council to reduce traffic. Now. Today. Yes, you.
Trevor Mallard's hypocrisy knows no bounds. I bet Tau Henare wished Trev's 'come to Jesus' moment on MPs' behaviour had happened before Trev smacked him for commenting on Trev's personal life in 2007.
I've come to expect Mallard running interference in the House so his playing fast and loose with ethics is no surprise: setting himself up as an arbiter of proper behaviour, however, is breathtaking.
Colin Rippey, Mellons Bay
Video game violence
Regarding the statement in the Herald (July 23) that violent video games do not cause any 'major, long term effects' on aggression and the inference that there is a bias in many of the surveys examined.
Equally, a bias could be present in this latest announcement as the quoted Dr Simon McCallum lectures in Computer Science, Game Development and Virtual Reality.
My personal bias is with the countless parents who suffer frustration and aggression in their homes with and from their children when attempting to get them off Fortnite and the like for meal times, homework, bed or just to limit their game time.
I also have a bias toward the numerous international studies, many carried out by doctors of medicine, that do show a link between violent video games and aggression (especially in the young) linked in part to the effects of the secretion of dopamine and adrenaline.
Our children's freedom lies with parents making informed choices and not accepting without investigation the announcements of others.
Brett Neilsen, New Lynn
Greens' wealth tax
The reason that the Greens' 'wealth tax changes' will never see the light of day and a push against further taxes is likely is because a progressive income tax only works if the population is on a level playing field in terms of education, health, and working opportunities.
The working population may also in future find it increasingly difficult to find jobs if there is a large influx of returning Kiwis from offshore.
While we have a substantial portion of the working population refusing re- education and employment opportunities our present tax system will never operate as it should.
Unfortunately we have a large section of unemployed who could find work, but have no reason to do so, while the workers support the non-workers through various benefits and unemployment schemes.
It's that simple.
Bruce Woodley, Birkenhead
John Samy (NZ Herald, July 23) touches on the worldwide and ever-present problem of inequality, in conjunction with the need to have a government of national unity at this time in our country.
Surely this is a time like never before, to forget about the old confrontational style of politics and put in practice the principles of MMP.
I think we would all heave a sigh of relief if we could see all our politicians working together to solve the challenging issues our country (like the rest of this Covid-19 world) now faces.
This is no time for sniping or personal attacks. There's too much work to do!
I felt inspired during the lockdown, by the way our Prime Minister, together with Dr Bloomfield, kept us informed about what was happening and made us feel we were all in this situation together.
I enjoyed the spirit of friendliness and co-operation that was abroad during that time too.
We need that spirit to continue in the days ahead so that we can all pull together to create a new normal.
Lucy Lamb, Epsom
My understanding of why we can't have a NZ-Rarotonga bubble is twofold — being 1. "Transit passengers" and 2. "Airport passenger intermingling".
Easy to solve: 1. Only Kiwi citizens or PR holders can go, provided they have not returned from overseas since November 2019. Easy to verify, simply check their passports' previous entry stamps at the airport. Thus, no transit issues.
And 2. Have a dedicated day(s) per week when no inbound or outbound flights to or from countries other than Rarotonga are allowed.
Have inbound from Raro in the morning and outbound to Raro in the afternoon.
Thus no intermingling.
Dave Feng, Torbay
Tamaki's 'mother's touch'
Surely Hannah Tamaki (NZ Herald, July 24) wasn't serious when she said about herself, "maybe the nation needs that mother's touch".
She tried to paint a warm, fluffy, caring version of herself but it didn't work.
To say that most people have a pool is complete nonsense. People who belong to the Destiny Church tithe, give offerings and cash donations to fund the Tamakis' lifestyle.
I doubt many of the congregation have a pool in their backyard, let alone the majority of New Zealanders.
Tamaki says she is not a politician.
I hope she doesn't become one.
Lorraine Kidd, Warkworth