Roar of crowd goes on and on
Last month, New Zealand beat India in the World Cricket Final in a Covid-safe empty stadium in England. What has changed in the three weeks since then that has allowed Britain to throw open their doors to mass crowds like the 65,000 unmasked, undistanced fans allowed into Wembley Stadium for the England-Italy Football final?
Over that time, the UK's daily Covid cases have continued to increase, and in just one day yesterday it had 32,000 new cases and 26 deaths. Wembley will no doubt prove to be England's largest mass-spreader event to date.
In the meantime, the Argentinians kept their heads screwed on this week by hosting their South America Football Final against Brazil in an empty stadium. England lost and Argentina won, and not just on the football field.
Jeremy Hall, Hauraki.
I read Michael Neill's column (NZ Herald, July 12) with sadness.
In the mid-60s, our tutors in the English faculty included the names Stead, Curnow, Pearson. My tutorial was an argumentative group of about 10, tutored by Don Binney. And we could study Latin.
What a huge loss, New Zealand.
Anne Butler, Tauranga.
Follow the science
I was very pleased this morning to see some correspondents' remarks (NZ Herald, July 12) on the opinions of armchair expert journalists regarding navigating our way out of Covid's
Ill-considered theories and advice are not going to rid us of a virus that, given the chance, would wreak havoc among us if any of their options were adopted. Science hopefully will, so I think I will stick with this and our Government's ongoing plans to keep us safe.
Jeremy Coleman, Hillpark.
When the bubble with Australia was opened, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stated quite categorically that people went to Australia at their own risk if the bubble closed.
Why then are returnees from Australia receiving free managed isolation?
What right has she to burden New Zealand taxpayers with their costs of isolation when they were fully aware of the possible costs of return?
Perhaps someone in Government might like to explain.
Russell Stewart, Rothesay Bay.
Why would the Labour Government contemplate a purpose-built MIQ quarantine facility, rather than using the current commandeered hotels?
If we are all to be vaccinated, which apparently is going to protect us and free up our borders, our lives, and make the hotel quarantine facilities redundant, why spend billions on a new facility?
Who are they going to quarantine? Surely this could only be justified if the vaccine protection is in doubt?
Carol Johnson, Ōrewa.
If Covid has taught us one valuable lesson, it is that employers and the Government need to train up their own staff for their particular businesses; whether it be hospitality, construction, medical, education, infrastructure, horticulture, viticulture, dairying, etc. instead of being reliant on overseas migrant workers. For all eligible employees it should be mandatory to skillset train for some employment opportunity when they leave school. NZers must work toward self-sufficiency and technological mechanisms to take the place of human workers.
Marie Kaire, Whangārei.
All Sir Richard Branson's flight (NZ Herald, July 13) has highlighted is that the super-rich have no consciousness of ravaging the world's resources or the environment for the rest of mankind who now face imminent extinction from climate change because of it, all for the sake of a super roller coaster ride.
This only the tip of the iceberg of the wasteful ways of the super-rich, exemplified by ghost houses, land banking, ghettos, maximising carbon emissions, etc.
By all accounts, 2050 will mark the beginning of an era of mass starvation, massive shortages of the earth's resources, climatic events with great loss of life, exacerbated by the current excesses of the super-rich which should make great viewing from their ivory towers floating in earth's outer space.
Gary Hollis, Mellons Bay.
Return to sender
That a rapist with a deportation ruling is being released into the community (NZ Herald, July 9) is appalling.
Forget the low-level chance of reoffending. Deportation from prison should take place straight from the prison. Are we also accommodating him in a hotel for his holiday on the taxpayer before sending him home?
Send him straight to the aeroplane for his ride home on the taxpayers of NZ and continue this practice with all deportees who don't make the news upon their release from prison.
Lynne Lagan, Hauraki.
Last week's article about the new rail service to and from Hamilton (NZ Herald, July 8) confirms my view that it is likely to become as extinct as its namesake, the huia. Urgent action is required to give it some chance of survival, such as:
Reduce the weekday frequency to one per day in each direction. At current patronage levels, it will still be only half-full.
Implement stops at Te Kauwhata, Pōkeno and Tuakau, which house many workers from the Auckland area.
Double-track the line over the Whangamarino swamp and the rail bridge at Ngāruawāhia, which will enable the train to run on a faster schedule.
Give it a year and if passenger numbers don't improve by 50 per cent, suspend the service.
The business case seems to have been based on inadequate research and wildly optimistic traffic projections.
Ian Dally, Royal Oak.
Correspondent Margaret Dyer (NZ Herald, July 13), says shopping centres will never be "phased out".
I'm a fussy shopper and don't buy clothes, groceries or anything online, I like to see the product in real life - especially clothes, as sizes and colours aren't what they seem.
They need to be tried on.
I love interacting with customers and staff and will continue to support the retail industry.
Also there is one clothing store that has done the complete opposite; they have a website but you can't order online, it's closed. You have to visit the store. Hooray.
Helen Lowe, Albany.
Height of inconvenience
David Speary, 5'11 of Northcote (NZ Herald, July 13), thinks he has problems.
Spare a thought for those of us who rise up to 194cm (6'4). We cannot even stand up in a bloody bus, let alone sit in one.
Neither can we endure 12 hours in cattle class or take the back seat of an Uber Prius. The world has discriminated against tall people long enough. We should be able to stand in the front row like everyone else if we choose, without fear of abuse from those at 5'11. It is time we stood tall against all that is against us and demanded equal rights for us all.
John Ford, Taradale.
Euro Cup draw
Fifa should scrap penalty shoot-outs that humiliate individuals who miss scoring in a supposedly team game, and either: Play seven-a-side in "extra time" where there is a far greater prospect of scoring a goal, or take alternative corner kicks with four players a side.
Slice the cup in half and present each team with half after drawn games and clip back together whenever there is a result.
Kenneth Lees, Whangārei.
Short & sweet
Louisa Wall expresses concern about the erosion of democracy in Hong Kong. I wonder if she is equally worried about the erosion of democracy currently under way in her home country? George Williams, Whangamatā
The deportation of a man who has lived in Australia since the age of 11 months reaches new depths of their deplorable policy. One wonders whether the use of New Zealand as a convict ship has any historic resonance in the Australian psyche. David Sanders, Torbay.
Am I alone in thinking that it would perhaps be more appropriate to provide grants to owners of "clunkers" to be scrapped? Patrick Robertson, Hobsonville.
How can the PM demand that thousands of small businesses close for weeks but not demand workers at the border have the Covid-19 vaccine? Wendy Tighe-Umbers, Parnell.
With the Mongrel Mob getting $2.75 million from the Government, maybe our nurses should consider joining up. Peter Judge, Wharewaka.
Will the Government be giving back seized assets from white-collar criminals so they can run programmes to prevent others committing fraud? Neil Hatfull, Warkworth.
The Government, in deciding not to charge MIQ fees for returning NZers caught in the Oz lockdown, brings to mind a word my late husband liked to use: "SOTDA" - say one thing, do another. Brenda Barnes, St Heliers.
The premium debate
So they won't let workers in, because we don't have enough workers? My head hurts from this circus of a Government. Andy G
The Government is bumbling and tripping over its own policies; how does it feel to not have enough staff to achieve what you want to do with MIQ? Maybe now you can feel in some small way what the small business owners and large industry together are suffering with as a result of your policies. Rachel H
Wasn't the minister's response to small businesses struggling for workers to simply pay more and they will come? Well Mr Faafoi, where are they when you need them? Craig M
I don't get why the Government didn't know they couldn't get reliable people to fill these roles a long time ago. Businesses have been crying out for months to get staff. Anita W
It's well known that MIQ don't have any staff. It's a troubled ship with no captain. That's why we have up to 2000 empty rooms with Kiwis stuck over the world. And we are paying for empty rooms. Chris B
We have 120,000 "work-ready people" according to the Government. What's the problem? John O
Pay a decent wage and you will get the staff. Currently, their pay is the same for a nurse at a vaccine site or MIQ, so I know what I would choose. Better still get all those looking for work trained to do the roles needed in MIQ. Stephanie T
So what do the majority of military personnel do in times of defending our shores? Surely we could mobilise more army, navy and air force personnel? That's the whole reason why we have a defence force, isn't it? Peter M