Letter of the week: David Sanders, Torbay
Sir Brian Roche's pandemic overview reports (Weekend Herald, November 27) should be welcomed for pointing out the weaknesses in some of the Government's pandemic responses. There must always be progress and improvements. However, Mike Hosking can barely contain his glee in using Sir Brian's reviews to lambast the Government in two successive opinion pieces that are dripping with political bias and negativity.
To say that "this Government has been woeful in its handling of the pandemic from day one" is an absurdity. Not once in either piece has Hosking credited our Government for maintaining our extraordinarily low Covid death rates.
Thankfully we have objective journalists, such as Derek Cheng, to present the facts and the truths they show - both positive and negative.
Some commentators seem to think that the latest Roche report on Covid actions (Weekend Herald, November 27) should have been implemented before it was actually received.
It is clear from the Government's actions and its replies to news media queries, that it took the report seriously and implemented many of the recommendations. Isn't that what you are supposed to do with reports?
That is why you commission reports, to find out if you have done things okay and, if you haven't, to implement the appropriate recommendations. Exactly as it seems the Government has done. It makes no sense to criticise the failure to implement actions before knowing what is needed.
Neil Anderson, Algies Bay.
A free press
Diana Wichtel (Canvas, November 27) presents the dangerous view that the media should report from a government policy-friendly perspective.
The very idea that questioning the prime minister in a vigorous way could be "career limiting" indicates we may have more in common with North Korea than many of us think. Wichtel further implies interviews need to be conducted in a way that discredits those who have differing views.
Recently I watched the PM avoid questions; abruptly move a press conference to a more controlled environment; and tell a TV reporter "you may want to re-shoot that". In another instance, a spokesperson for Nanaia Mahuta threatened a journalist with restricted access after publishing information deemed "unflattering".
Do any of us believe our media would accept this level of control from a centre-right government? Democracy is not served when so much of our media act as extensions of the PM's press office.
Mark McCluskey, Red Beach.
A question to the politicians on the right. What would you have done differently to the present administration if you had been in power since March 2020?
I seem to recall opposition to lockdowns and agitating for our borders to be opened for tourism - although it is hard to envisage where these tourists would come from and how.
Even Australia closed its borders and banned its citizens from overseas travel for quite some time. Would we really have wanted thousands of them here anyway considering the outbreaks in Sydney and Melbourne for instance?
Do you really think New Zealanders would have been happy with a Boris Johnson type policy?
Far wealthier countries than this have seen (and are seeing) their hospitals and staffs being overwhelmed by this virus and very high death rates. Would that have been fine with you?
Elizabeth Urry, Devonport.
Why are we waiting?
As the owner/operator of an accommodation business, I was excited by news of a plan for the opening of the border at long last. But as far as the opening of the border to non-Kiwis is concerned, as long as they're vaccinated (sensible), have a negative pre-departure Covid test (reasonable) and subject themselves to periodic testing while here (acceptable) — I don't see why we have to wait until late April, nor do I see how the requirement that they self-isolate for a week is meant to work.
It seems to me that a rapid antigen test, administered before departure for NZ as part of the check-in process, or, as a fail-safe, on arrival as part of the passport inspection process should allow us to do away with the week of self-isolation.
The current plan only sows doubt in the travellers and in Kiwis worrying if those people with the cameras and the accents are a potential risk. I was really hoping for a better plan than what we've got, and hope that in the coming weeks and months it will be refined further so that we can look forward to something more like normality in 2022.
James Glucksman, Oamaru.
I was very sad to read Olivia Podmore's story (Weekend Herald, November 27), and of her suicide at age 24.
Considering Aotearoa's devastating statistics around our young Māori males ending their lives, I think it's high time and incredibly appropriate for your journalists to focus on some of those stories, as well.
Rachel Senior, Auckland.
Keep calm, carry on
The letter in Saturday's Herald from Dunstan Sheldon (Weekend Herald, November 27) was absolutely on the mark.
I have been getting more frustrated with the complaining than with the Covid situation.
Please people, this is a one-off situation (we hope) that we have to weather be it good or bad. None of us likes restrictions on our lives but it is what it is.
No matter what the Government or the authorities do, half of the population seem to complain. When a system works, there are negative comments about "conspiracies" etc. When it doesn't work, the other half say "told you so!"
There's no point in expecting everything to work first time. Even the Government and Health authorities are in new territory, and have tried what they think will work, based on overseas advice and experiences.
It is over 100 years since a government had to face these problems, so let's just put up with things, try to keep safe and encourage others to do the right thing.
Trish Heikoop, Pakūranga.
A quick word
The Brent Crude Oil Price has fallen $US16+ in the last five weeks. Where is the corresponding price reduction at the pump? Greg Keenan, Poroti.
Some people won't be satisfied until the non-vaccinated are made to wander about ringing a bell and crying "Unvaxxed, unvaxxed!" Mike Wagg, Freemans Bay.
Goodness me. It will take me at least two days to read the paper (Weekend Herald, November 27). Many thanks to all the staff involved. June Krebs, Gulf Harbour.
How can you trust a system that allows records to be duplicated, sent from one computer to another, edited, have no photograph, and a layout probably easy to forge? Geraldine Taylor, Remuera.
We have a new leader for the Opposition. Sir Ian Taylor continues to ask this government the hard questions and makes them accountable for their actions. Rob Denton, Snells Beach
Now that a precedent has been set, no one will mind if I put two chains across the road outside my place to stop viruses and boy racers, etc. Tanya Fitzpatrick, Mt Wellington.
Surely, with over 1000 staff, the Ministry of Health could find someone who can produce a graph that is actually readable on the TV coverage in the Covid 1pm slots? S Hansen, Whangārei
Could Mathew Hooton write my CV? If he can elevate a humble "gofer" such as Nicola Willis to "adviser" and "executive" then his hype could no doubt talk me up as a "writer of renown". John Capener, Kawerau.
If Luxon is a harmless moderate what is Willis balancing out? Her words. David Patterson, Levin.
National has spent too long in purgatory, so best of luck for its second coming. Hope your Lux – in, Chris. Peter Patten, Albany.
Given their low vaccination rates, perhaps the rest of us should set up vigilante border controls to keep out the whānau, hapū, and iwi of Northland? C C McDowall, Rotorua.
I find restaurants advertising they are seeking unvaccinated chefs a useful dining guide. Peter Dodds, Chatswood.
On a positive note, we are more than halfway through this pandemic - Omicron is 15th letter in the Greek alphabet. Kimberley Kemp, Remuera.