The other day, I had a task of reviewing footage and watching a person leave life.
Within minutes of the patient going down, the St John's Ambulance staff were in attendance. They started CPR with a determination that was conveyed through the CCTV. They were relentless.
After an hour, they assessed the need to cease and let whānau in to express their aroha, to connect before total departure. The paramedics' gentleness and compassion was palpably visible.
After a few minutes the St John's staff, with dignity and respect, transferred the patient to the ambulance and quietly left.
Seeing this made me think that I need to say thank you to all St John's ambulance staff. Most days there is a positive outcome for your efforts and I am now reminded, there are also many days when there is not.
Please people, when St John's staff are attending to someone, keep out of their way. The job of saving a life is intense. The patient needs their expertise, energy and determination to live.
Thank you St John's paramedics, you are all appreciated and deserving of safety when you are saving us. Arohanui.
Richard Ghent, Freemans Bay.
Quite some time ago South Africa and India requested that Pfizer waive its Covid patent to allow greater production and inoculation of the vaccine in poorer countries.
It didn't happen; even though greater world inoculation rates could well have prevented this latest South African mutation. Should've, could've, would've.
Robert Myers, Auckland Central.
The Act Party, the now insignificant National Party and all the other usual suspects in "business" have been castigating the Government for their tardy response in opening the borders. Even the Prime Minister of Australia has chimed in.
Faces red, everyone?
Seems like the Government's cautious approach might well be the correct one.
Watch Omicron go though America with its 60 per cent vaccination rate and Europe like a dose of salts.
We need to keep our borders closed a little while longer yet. It is unprecedented bad luck for those in the tourism industry. Get vaccinated everyone – best guess for Pfizer at the moment is 75 per cent efficacy – still a better bet than nothing.
Paul Cheshire, Maraetai.
Ready to lead
National Party members should give (hearty) thanks to Judith Collins for having the guts to skewer her political life trying to eliminate Simon Bridges as leader.
No matter how he's dressed, he is shopworn.
Luxon is shadowed by a sense of oneness.
The only pragmatic realist who can herd the cats and put a human face on the necessary proceedings is Mark Mitchell - not "after a while" but now.
Anne Wilks, Devonport.
A modern leader
In making their decision on a new leader, National MPs need to give thought to the nature of modern New Zealand. Today we have a huge East Asian community, a growing population of people from India, a huge cohort of young Māori coming through, young women pushing into the senior ranks of the professions and the business community and minority groups insisting on their place in society.
In such a dynamic social environment, Chris Luxon would be precisely the wrong man. We do not need another middle-aged, white, deeply conservative businessman to lead the country
David Nicholson, Wellington.
One can only wince when we read of former National Party leaders developing a social conscience in their twilight years. Now Jim Bolger has become aware of the gap between the "obscenely rich" and poor (NZ Herald, November 29).
Never mind that the Nats have consistently and vehemently rejected a capital gains tax adopted by every other country in the OECD to bring fairness to their tax systems. Last time Labour ran on this much-needed policy, National called it a "tax on the Kiwi lifestyle" and turned what should have been a mature debate toxic.
In fact, history will record that the ever-increasing wealth gap flourished under their reign and was fuelled by their inaction when the housing crisis began to develop at pace - at a time they embarked on selling state houses.
Earlier, National Prime Minister Rob Muldoon jettisoned Labour's universal superannuation scheme, which would have made New Zealand the envy of the developed world.
As they scramble to find yet another leader, there's a compelling case the country would be better off if they don't get near the Treasury benches anytime soon.
Ron Jackson, Greenlane.
Regarding Professor Linda Mitchell's piece (NZ Herald, November 23), early childhood education (ECE) in New Zealand should not be commercialised by overseas investors.
It is astounding to me that we can welcome overseas investors into the ECE sector.
Why is taxpayer funding being used to increase the financial assets of private business, especially international companies?
It is not okay that a sizeable number of New Zealand ECE centres are now in the hands of big international companies out to make a profit while receiving the same government funding as non-profit, smaller and community-based centres.
The education of our youngest children is the most important investment we can make for the future of New Zealand. We all know that quality ECE is critical for our children's future.
It will take the will and direction of the Minister of Education in setting policy to grow and support community-based non-profit and small centres with New Zealand educational standards and priorities at heart, with a strong commitment to public good.
K Delany, Papakura.
Lift the sanctions
Sanctions against Afghanistan must not continue while children starve and hospital workers go unpaid, with even people's simplest medicines unobtainable.
What are our media commentators saying, and our Government doing, to have these disgraceful sanctions lifted?
Hollow claims of nation-building as the motivation for our military intervention in Afghanistan are now being agonisingly revealed for what they were: merely the sycophantic accommodation of American revenge imperialism.
Janet Charman, Avondale.
Dominion Rd, as the Auckland isthmus' premier bus route and the site of several beloved, long-established town centres, certainly deserves attention to both public transport capacity and the public realm. Problems of construction disruption for businesses along any light rail route are real, and the Minister of Transport has committed to building business support into the project from day one.
Trackless trams, however, will not provide the savings in cost or disruption that Gary Holmes (NZ Herald, November 26) hopes for. Most of the cost and disruption of surface light rail comes from relocating services and strengthening the road – a trackless tram "system" would require the same work, and therefore a similar level of cost and disruption, without the ongoing benefits in operating cost and energy efficiency of running on rails. It would also have a lower passenger capacity than light rail, falling well short of projected passenger numbers.
Light rail, whether surface or underground, is a proven technology that will show its value in reducing transport emissions, enhancing the urban realm, and giving many more people the chance to move around and enjoy our city by public transport.
Christina Robertson, Sandringham.
As one of the many Erebus families who strongly oppose the memorial going ahead in Dove-Myer Robinson Park, we often wonder why we are referred to as "protesters" and those family members who support the memorial as the "Erebus Families?"
This project, so poorly managed, has divided every single stakeholder group, especially the Erebus families. This memorial on this site can never bring us together as it was intended.
We can never heal when this structure has brought so much hurt on both sides of an increasing divide.
The protectors offered to come off the site several weeks ago and fully accept the outcome of the Ombudsman's report, if the Ministry committed to pausing all works and accepting the same. They refused.
Surely, with the Ombudsman's decision imminent, a fair, kind, and reasonable Government, would pause and wait for that result.
Jo Malcolm, Parnell.
In support of Renton Brown (NZ Herald, November 29) and to reduce fear of waiting five days for test results, during the current outbreak I have had four nasal tests, with the results for three coming through in 26, 36 and 28 hours. The most recent, last week, took 23 hours.
Well done all those hardworking nurses and lab people - we get too much coverage of the worst-case scenario.
I'm looking forward to my booster jab later this week. It's so simple to do our bit.
Judy Lawry, Golflands.
Smoke without ire
No smoking in the car just because of the kiddies.
This outrageous attack on my freedom could well be the last straw the killed the Camels - not to mention all the other brands.
Old smokers must be turning in their graves.
Dean Donoghue, Pāpāmoa Beach
Short & sweet
Time for a change from JAFA to JAVA - Just Another Valued Aucklander. D B Hill, Freeman's Bay.
Kāinga Ora should build social housing on Campbell Island and send their problematic clients there. C C McDowall, Rotorua.
I hereby nominate Mike Hosking as leader of the National-Act coalition, thereby ensuring a third term for Jacinda. George Collins, Tauranga
If NZ is planning MIQ for Omicron and other variants, please, for the love of your people (and the next elections), don't do it in Auckland. Randel Case, Buckland Beach.
It's interesting that the anagram for the recently identified new variant of Covid -19 Omicron is moronic. How apt. Lorraine Kidd, Warkworth.
To suggest going to a website, if you haven't got a computer, to find a chemist to get a Covid Pass because you haven't got a computer... is Monty Python still in the building?Barbara Matthews, Onehunga.
The Premium Debate
Looks like Luxon has it if he wants it. It's a shame Collins stopped polling because some information on voters would be handy at the moment. Labour are trending down in the polls but we are about to open up. So they are likely to arrest the trend. Anyone who wanted to abandon them would have done it by now. Given where we have been. They are still miles adrift. I would wait till next time if I was him. There is likely a chance before the election. Reti is the one who could win. And he isn't standing. Ross W.
While I like Bridges - I feel opposing factions will probably continue under his leadership -- and I am not sure lawyers necessarily make good leaders. Luxon has a successful leadership background and will better know how to bring opposing factions together. While he is new to politics, he will bring fresh thinking and I hope a new vitality to the National Party. This country badly needs an effective and strong opposition to challenge this "stumbling" Labour Government. John A L.
Does anyone actually have any clue what National stands for? Tax breaks for corporations and billionaires that despise their voters and push the Woke agenda? If they want to be a diet-Labour version of Labour, National voters, donors and supporters might as well continue the exodus to Act. Maybe it is time to come to terms that National Party's time has come to an end and move on to other right-wing parties. Hudson K.
Just what the country needs.. another wealthy white man running the country and not caring about inequality, pushing a conservative religious belief system on to the country and only looking after the wealthy. Jason P.
Based on what? His successful leadership of Air NZ where he was respected from the workshop floor to the executive offices, or the fact he was elected to Parliament as opposed to riding a list like so many others? Jason G.
He was handed the safe seat of Botany, there's little difference between that and getting a good position on the list. Jeremy C.