Idle, able workers a road-block
It is scandalous Hawke's Bay orchardists watch their fruit rot on the ground, conventional foreign workers shut out, the community unable to fill the vacuum. Growers have expressed frustration as many local employees fail to persist, the work deemed arduous. Unemployment statistics indicate national numbers are low yet assessment only captures a fraction of those idle, no calculation incorporates those out of work unwilling to seek employment. Across the political divide our politicians have been content to fund welfare payments for the able-bodied unemployed yet have never sought a reciprocal contribution to society. The idle capacity is a road-block to prosperity, our Achilles' heel.
P. J. Edmondson, Tauranga.
Covid passports sensible
Annette Stewart is on the button regarding vaccination certification (NZ Herald, April 9) for the relevant vaccinations that are still required. Vaccinations against smallpox and yellow fever and typhoid and paratyphoid were compulsory and the responsibility of travellers to comply with, were officially recorded and had nothing to do with invasion of privacy. Covid-19 is no less lethal. Why can't this vaccination certification now be included as a mandatory feature in every international passport? Surely the World Health Organisation and various other administrations must see this as a common-sense means of utilising an existing method of monitoring travellers and protecting the wellbeing of everyone internationally.
Max Wagstaff, Auckland.
Erebus memorial site plea
Many suffered along with Erebus families, 40 years ago. And now, thousands of families into the future will go on suffering, re-living the tragedy in the form of a gigantic cantilevered concrete and steel structure. Why does our Prime Minster and her Government not hear the wishes of over 60 per cent of the families who don't want it there? It was a non-notified pre-selection of the site. Please, Prime Minister, reconsider, and relocate your National Erebus Memorial to Western Springs. There you have a large site where it is actually wanted. There is plenty of room for an education facility, for all the stories, and that is what most of the Erebus families do want. It is peaceful, away from a noisy port, helicopters and railway shunting, and picnickers and weddings. It is only a 10-minute drive away from that little park in Parnell. As it is, the plan is to destroy one more beautiful little green space in our densely populated CBD. It is also the site of the ancient Mataharehare Pa, Dove Myer Robinson Park. It is about to be taken over for six months. Bulldozers will raze 500sq m of the green space. Above all, the monument will endanger long-term the life of a 180-year-old heritage pōhutukawa tree, beloved by all. Incidentally, a French tour guide spoke of the guests she brought to see that tree, who said it was the best experience in their whole trip.
Barbara Baragwanath, Auckland.
Warriors offence 'pathetic'
The Warriors offence was pathetic against Manly on Friday. It's about time they gave the gifted Paul Turner his chance in the halves. In his first game last year he was unlucky not to get down three tries. Didn't the leadership group see that game? If we lose Turner for whatever reason it will be a huge mistake by the Warriors.
Rex Head, Papatoetoe.
Tourist accommodation lack
The Australians are coming and will be flocking to our two "hot spot" tourist destinations: Rotorua and Queenstown. Tourist operators and all the downstream businesses will be rubbing their hands with glee and welcome them and their much-needed money.What a shock it will be for the Aussies to find the Government has put an estimated 2000 homeless and beneficiaries in most of the motels in Fenton St, Rotorua, and some hotels are managed isolation facilities and little accommodation is available. Has any thought been given to this predicament?
Tom Reynolds, St Heliers.
Public works gap
Bruce Cotterill's article (Weekend Herald, April 10) was spot on. Since the abolition of the Ministry of Works, the Government has not had an in-house engineering department to advise it or to implement its construction policies such as housing. However, there are top-class engineering consultants in New Zealand, many with overseas connections, who are quite capable of assisting the Government should it wish to implement its public works policies. As Cotterill notes, planning sessions need to result in agreed actions and timeframes.
David Chandler, Mt. Roskill.
Transtasman bubble fears
One couldn't agree more with the editorial on MIQ (NZ Herald, April 7), we should be eternally grateful for the liberty they have given us. Unfortunately that safety barrier with Australia comes down on the 18th and the flood gates open. We are going from being ultra-secure to no line of defence. With 95 per cent of the population not vaccinated, why couldn't more prudent steps be taken? There are several checks prior to departure or on arrival that can be made, such as temperature or saliva. Covid-19 passports will be the only way the world will ever open up again. What better opportunity than to start introducing it here with Australia on a trial basis now but permanent when everyone has had the opportunity of inoculation. Let us hope our luck holds as it would be a catastrophe if all the hard work was lost by one tick of the clock.
Reg Dempster, Albany.
Power prices history
It was a thoughtful article on power price issues from Hamish Rutherford (Weekend Herald, April 10). It pretty much hits the mark. But somehow he seems to avoid one of the more obvious issues with what is wrong with the electricity generation industry. Not since the Government-funded Clyde dam was completed in 1992, and since the part privatisation of the industry, have any investors put their hands in their pockets and forked out cash for investment in significant new generating capacity. Quite the opposite, in fact. A perusal of power company accounts over the past few years will show an emphasis on paying high levels of dividends (which has of course kept the share prices at all-time high levels). This pseudo asset stripping of these companies, denuding them of any meaningful cash for investing in new infrastructure, means that now, as Rutherford rightly points out, industry and consumers are going to pay the price for this.
Neil Anderson, Algies Bay.
Climate march courageous
It was a thoughtless statement by Principals Association President Patrick Walsh declaring little support for the students' climate change march throughout New Zealand on Friday and stating it "probably had zero" impact. Perhaps this is a sign of naivety as to how much impact protest marches have made. One just needs to look back at the success of the march against the Vietnam War, or the one stopping nuclear power intrusion here or in our Pacific Ocean by the French Government. Then there were the massive, constant and eventually successful marches against apartheid and a more conciliatory one in support of the Homosexual Law Reform Bill. All these proved successful in stopping or passing a change in law, where human decency and safety prevailed. School threats like referring to students who went on the march recorded as "unjustifiably absent" or "truant" is insulting. Students who were there showed courage, sincerity, intelligence and were forthright in their desire to get our Government to act more quickly on the changes necessary for them to live healthy, happy lives. After all, what is the point of having an education if you have been left a world so changed that survival is the only thing on your mind.
Emma Mackintosh, Birkenhead.
Prince Philip brilliant consort
After the tribulations and tragedies of World War II, the romance between the much-loved Princess Elizabeth and her handsome sailor was like a breath of fresh air to the people of Britain. I clearly remember my family gathering round the "wireless" to listen to the broadcast of their wedding. Such a long time ago. The princess became queen and her prince was her staunch supporter for more than 70 years. Prince Philip fulfilled the role of consort brilliantly, with dedication and good humour. He will be greatly missed.
Anne Martin, Helensville.