Letter of the week: Andrea Dorn, Meadowbank
We are so very fortunate to have Starship Children's Hospital, which helps children not only in Auckland but throughout New Zealand.
I am privileged to visit Starship through the pet therapy programme. At the end of each visit, I come away just filled with admiration for the amazing level of care, total commitment to, and, compassion for their patients shown by all the staff at this wonderful hospital.
I am appalled that they seemingly have to almost beg, cap in hand, for funds to increase the number of beds in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) when millions of dollars is spent on projects throughout New Zealand which prove to be totally laughable and futile.
There is no better place to be, worldwide, for a sick child and their family than at Starship. Struggling to raise funds for more beds is the last thing they should have to worry about.
I wonder if the proposed Waiheke Island Marina (Weekend Herald, May 1) has the same kind of resource consent that the Pine Harbour Marina has.
I remember when the Pine Harbour development was in progress, there was a fish ladder built below the newly constructed pond on the creek leading past the marina. No water ever flowed through that fish ladder and eventually the fish ladder disappeared.
Likewise, the neighbouring Formosa Golf Course had an associated sewage treatment plant that failed to operate for years, dumping raw sewage into the harbour.
Then there is the public boat launching ramp that is little used since it is never dredged.
We seem to have a resource consent process for developments but no system of ensuring that the terms of the resource consent continue to be adhered to.
John Caldwell, Howick.
I applaud the many recent letters regarding the travesty that is Queen St and the efforts of Save Queen St and Heart of the City. But these are all too late.
The elephant in Queen St, not mentioned in your sensible editorial (Weekend Herald, May 1), is Auckland Transport's Vision Zero ideology, which, several years ago, Auckland Council unwittingly signed up to on the premise that lives would be saved.
In reality, Vision Zero gives AT carte blanche to do whatever it wishes ostensibly in the name of safety. Mere prettifying will not return Queen St to the popular, busy, attractive and economically viable street that it once was before AT destroyed it.
Council need to do only one thing to sort out this mess, and thereby save the millions of dollars needed to fix its major assets like the library, art gallery and Leys Institute: cancel Vision Zero.
C Johnstone, Grey Lynn.
Your letter of the week (Weekend, May 1), quoting figures from the US between 1959 and 1990, doesn't convince me. Surely, this was the same period the move to giant malls and suburban shopping centres was taking place.
I rely on what I have seen in Europe and the UK in more recent times where the successful bustling pedestrianised city centres reign supreme. Same goes for Times Square.
Bill Mathews, Auckland Central.
The article about Karen Chang (Weekend Herald, May 1) is typical Financial Markets Authority (FMA) on its effectiveness as the sheriff of the investment scene and protector of investors.
The article emphasises the problems of defrauded funds leaving our shores, yet the vast majority of our most damaging fraudsters have been NZ-based.
The article mentions David Ross. My understanding is that the FMA received 27 complaints from the public about Ross before shutting him down. Apparently, urgency and protecting investors aren't among the FMA's priorities.
The elephant in the room is our very poor legal process for returning defrauded funds to investors.
Most of David Ross' victims received about 20c in the dollar, while a minority got back all of their investment, an outrageously inequitable distribution sanctioned by our courts. The funds recovery process here drags on for years and mostly enriches liquidators and lawyers.
By comparison the victims of USA fraudster Bernie Madoff have so far received about 75c in the dollar. The FMA should be screaming for our government to put in place a process to equitably return defrauded funds to victims, similar to the one they have in the US.
Andrew Tichbon, Green Bay.
A quick word (Weekend Herald, May 1) asked what world leaders attending forums on climate change and King Canute have in common.
A huge mass of ice in Antarctica, the Thwaites Glacier, is melting fast and warming water is getting underneath it. Within 10 years, we'll know if it's going to break up and raise the sea level 650mm.
If we don't reduce GHG emissions now, we will end up in the same boat as King Canute.
Dennis N Horne, Howick.
If the NZRFU deal goes ahead with Silver Lake (Weekend Herald, May 1), let us hope the community rugby funding that comes to Auckland is ring-fenced off from the Auckland Union.
In recent times, they have embarked on a programme to systematically wipe out club rugby except few a few nominally " elite" clubs. There is a clear message given to the club players that you need to play for one of a small number of clubs if you want to go further. This has resulted this year in three more clubs being unable to field a senior team.
The failure to recognise the role smaller clubs play in starting the rugby journey is leading to the collapse of the game in parts of our biggest city.
The end result of club amalgamations is fewer people play.
Gil Laurenson, Eastern Beach.
A quick word
Equality of opportunity for all citizens, as mentioned by Ian George (Weekend Herald, May 1) is a myth promulgated by the privileged to hide from the increasing inequality of outcomes. Steve Russell, Hillcrest.
David Seymour did not own the three properties in question, they are owned by various family trusts and he may never own any property. Bruce Woodley, Birkenhead.
Indeed, Mr Seymour, we've all been guilty of "honest mistakes". Perhaps that's something to remember next time a microphone is put in front of you and you are tempted to be all-wise after the event in your role of wannabe leader of the Opposition. John Capener, Kawerau.
Kerry Davies, the Public Services Association's national secretary (Weekend Herald, May 1) tells us "If a government agency has almost no women in senior roles, that agency is stuck in the dark ages". Many would say any government agency or other employer not hiring the best-qualified person are indeed the ones stuck in the dark ages. Alison McGill, Blockhouse Bay.
The assumption that an executive should – or should not – hold any particular role because of gender, or gender quota, is nonsense. Ian Barron, Waimauku.
First it was the "Naked Chef", now the "Naked Gardener" (Weekend Herald, May 1). Who will be revealed next"? Pam Salvador, Hobsonville.
With our defence capabilities almost nil and a total dependence on imported oil, what a disaster NZ would face if, as some predict, there is an inevitable war in the Pacific. Hylton Le Grice, Remuera
Mike Hosking is now referring to the government as "being run by clowns". If I suffered from coulrophobia, I would be giving him a wide berth. Paul Blakeney, Waihi.
A Ministry of Delivery appears to be governmental recognition of endemic incompetence as it clutches at a straw. Cam Calder, Devonport.
To all the people complaining about our MIQ and border security, please note all the current breaches are Australian-based. Gordon Walker, Piopio.
This week, I read of a $15m mega-project aiming to create "virtual humans". They could only be an improvement on the current model. Andrew Montgomery, Remuera.
Just imagine what a ghost town it will be when the CRL is operational and city workers travel underground to and from work, bypassing the retailers who rely on the passing trade. Bob Wichman, Botany.
Old photographs show a stream once ran down the centre of what is now Queen St. With rising sea levels predicted, lower Queen St could be rebuilt as a canal, complete with gondolas. Auckland could be the Venice of the South. John St. Julian, Clover Park.
If Trevor is not prepared to stand down and Jacinda is not able to sack him, then the customary knighthood conferred on retiring speakers should be withheld. John Olesen, St Heliers.
As a threat to the safety of democracy, Trevor Mallard should be removed from the premises. Mike Wagg, Freemans Bay.
Why are we going out of our way to get the money-grabbing cricketers home? They took the risk for the money. And I am a cricket lover. Ian MacGregor, Forrest Hill.
The Consumer NZ study ranking New Zealand as the second-worst recycling nation may need to be recycled. It ranked Hong Kong as the best. In Hong Kong housing estates, all waste typically goes into a single rubbish bin and off to the landfill. At least New Zealand is better than that. Jamie Diprose, Herald Island.