Essential criteria far too tight
We are now in the second week of lockdown. Noticeable now are occasional incidents of frustration and antisocial attitude, and this behaviour will increase as time passes.
Only those businesses offering essential items or services are viable. The term "essential" is very tight, allowing little room for an objective view. I would like to see a change in criteria to "threatening". In other words, does this business pose a threat to our objective of "staying ahead of the curve" in combating the spread of Covid-19? If not and is not within a shopping mall, then let it operate.
Pharmacies and dairies are operating on "a one in, one out" basis without problem. So why not greengrocers (all fruit and veges should be washed at home anyway); retail bakeries, butchers, fishmongers, florists ( seeing the TV news bulletin about those flowers getting destroyed illustrates what stupidity can arise from a lack of objectivity ) and any other non-threatening outlet that can operate on the "one in, one out" policy, such as liquor outlets, local hardware-style stores and similar. In no store should customers be able to sit and mix. Even some takeaway food outlets could operate — at a pharmacy, one leaves a script then returns. So at a takeaway outlet, give your order, leave, then return.
Notwithstanding the comment of deputy chief executive Paul Stocks of MBIE that: "Evidence overseas suggests the virus has been spread via poor food hygiene practices", we in NZ have very high standards and I can't see any business behaving in a manner to threaten its very existence.
We will still be in lockdown, but if restrictions on those businesses that are not a threat are lifted, frustration and anger must ease with the resumption of some normality. Additionally, more businesses will be open with staff employed.
Warwick Maxwell, St Heliers.
Why does the NZ Government think it is its responsibility to assist NZers who live overseas to return to NZ? These people freely left NZ at their own expense to make a new life overseas. When they left, did it say on their ticket, if it doesn't work out and you have no money or means of support the NZ Government will guarantee to fly you back home and will provide you with a benefit and accommodation?
This repatriation issue is an elephant in the room.
NZ can simply not afford to take the hundreds of thousands that could potentially return just from Australia let alone the rest of the world.
Jock Mac Vicar, Hauraki.
Sale of alcohol
Why is in-store sale of alcoholic wine and beer at supermarkets considered an essential service? Lotto outlets and cafes at supermarkets are closed.
Surely it would be easy to cease alcohol selling in-store too and limit it to online sales.
Bob Pearson, Tōtara Vale.
Fran O'Sullivan delivers yet another rather sour criticism of the Government's response to Covid-19. Paul Glass joins the fray as well. Yet, in the same business section is an article reporting the views of six business leaders unanimously rating the Government's response very highly. Does this not expose a negative political bias?
Constructive criticism is fine but negativity is unhelpful at this time.
Bill Mathews, Auckland.
If individuals go fishing, surfing, or kayaking then confiscate their equipment, that will stop them in their tracks. Stop being so damn nice about it, let the police do enforcement properly, this is real.
Dave Noke, Pāpāmoa Beach.
The latest Herald on Sunday has some real gems that need some serious consideration by the whole of New Zealand.
Heather du Plessis-Allan's column and the letter from Kay Ganley are right on the button. Even at this late stage, if quarantining of all overseas arrivals was introduced, then after 14 days or more (say 21 to add a buffer) not only would the quarantined arrivals, if healthy, be allowed to rejoin society, but more importantly, the lockdown could cease. Surely it would be more beneficial and economic to restrict the few so that everyone else can resume, unhindered, their daily lives.
Barry Towers, Cambridge.
Trust eroded by actions
Since the first onslaught of Covid-19 hit our shores, I have been impressed with the Government's action to try to shield New Zealanders from the worst of this insidious virus. The Prime Minister and her team have done a good job and it has been gratifying to see all political parties act in a bipartisan manner.
Unfortunately our trust in the Government has been severely eroded by the actions of Health Minister, David Clark. Jacinda has repeatedly said; "Stay at home in your bubble, don't go anywhere unnecessarily, but do get outdoors for exercise in your neighbourhood and don't engage in risky activities".
My wife and I are both over 70 and although fit and healthy we have heeded the Government's instructions. We restrict our daily five to six-kilometre walks to our neighbourhood.
Now David Clark throws the PM's advice in our face. Drives his vehicle 2km to a mountain bike track, unloads his bike and cycles on said mountain track. Jacinda was quoted as saying he should have followed official advice. Should have? He's the "Health" Minister for God's sake! His stupidity beggars belief. "Do as I say, not as I do" comes to mind.
May I ask Rod Emmerson to send a framed original of his cartoon in Saturday's (4/4/20) Weekend Herald to the PM, whereupon she insists that David Clark hang it on his parliamentary office wall as a reminder of his inanity and that he should be grateful he only got admonished by his boss rather than being delegated to the back bench and his health portfolio given to someone more trustworthy.
Ron Czerniak, Northcross.
As the immediate C-19 crisis is over and signs of the spike have not eventuated, consideration must be given to the long-term consequences of the Government actions for/on all NZers.
We over-70s have had a "good run" we have not, unlike the previous generations, had to suffer major depressions, nor lived through major wars and the subsequent mental damage suffered by many of those who returned, as a generation before us did.
It is time now to look not just at our "blessed generation" but to the three following generations who will have to live with the long-term consequences of the C-19 lockdown, with unemployment, bankruptcy and an economy destroyed.
After the four-week lockdown, the chances of being killed on the road or in an industrial accident will be far higher than dying from C-19.
Let businesses restart where they can, retain a strict two-week curfew to all who enter the country , and police it properly.
Let the rest of us take our chances and if a few of us over-70s don't make it at least our survival will not be at the expense of the generations following us.
Raewyn Tremaine, West Harbour.
Someone has to pay
The NZ Government has made some significant choices on behalf of its citizens and residents in its response to Covid-19.
In essence it has chosen to protect the lives and welfare of one group of people at the financial and emotional cost of another group.
We should acknowledge that those largely benefiting from the Government's action are the elderly. I see no option but for the Government to seek cross-party support to re-establish a time-limited death duty. Every estate could have an exemption of $250,000 and then the next $150,000 would be paid to the Government as a Covid tax. This could be suspended for a couple until the second died, when $300,000 would be payable with interest for the intervening period.
In addition, the Superannuation social-welfare benefit would also be Covid means tested. Just like other social-welfare benefits are already. People on superannuation would only be entitled to earn $100,000 single/joint additional income. .
The Covid Tax and Means Test would not meet all the cost but would help reduce the burden on the younger generations who will be competing against machines for a livelihood in the future.
Warwick Ayres, Herne Bay.
Empty buses, trains
Auckland Transport don't seem to have adapted to level 4 lockdown. After the first couple of days of the lockdown, the buses and trains have been running with no passengers on board. When I walk for exercise at various times of the day, empty buses pass me. I also see empty trains coming and going from Britomart.
Essential workers do not seem to be using either buses or trains outside peak hours. AT should reduce their services while no one is travelling and save ratepayer money.
Nigel Gerbic, Remuera.