Worn down by anguish
My daughter has been a nurse in New Zealand since 2009 and there is more to the dispute over pay than meets the eye. There are three issues but only one
– the pay dispute - has been partially addressed by the Government.
Extreme staff shortages have not been meaningfully addressed for years by either National or Labour. Patients waiting up to 31 hours before being treated (NZ Herald, August 3) is exacerbated by an ageing nursing force not being replaced by new recruits. Without sufficient qualified staff, patients' lives are compromised and backlogs cannot be eliminated.
The mental health of children, farmers, single mothers, golf and tennis stars, and Olympic athletes are exhaustively considered, but imagine the anguish of a nurse, after stressful shifts day after day, having to walk past 40 seriously ill patients waiting for 30 hours in the emergency department or, worse, in the passage. All the nurse can do is walk past to a patient lucky enough to be in a ward. This must be most demoralising to a person trained to help but powerless because there are not enough nurses and doctors. This stress also results in many nurses leaving the profession early.
Johan Slabbert, Warkworth.
Petty and mean
The nurses' vote to reject the district health boards' (DHBs) offer and to strike for a day is, in essence, a resounding vote of no confidence in their employers. It is, most of all, an attempt to force DHBs to ensure safe staffing of hospitals and health services, despite long-standing and successful attempts by DHB management to avoid this.
As such, the DHB legal action against the nurses in order to ensure safe staffing during the strike is both hypocritical and hostile.
Hypocritical because nurses have historically ensured safe staffing in previous stop works and this strike is to try to hold DHBs to honestly guarantee safe staffing in the future.
Hostile because this action is unnecessary, given this matter could be resolved by negotiation. It is a distraction and it is not difficult to guess why the DHBs would pursue court action.
Interestingly, the DHBs point to any number of reasons why their services are short-staffed. Absent among these reasons are their own recruitment and retention policies (or the lack of them); their treatment of their staff; and general pettiness and meanness of spirit.
Chris Cottingham, Te Henga.
Just action, please
Chester Borrows, lawyer, former National Party MP, and policeman talks a lot of sense (NZ Herald, August 4) based on his experience and research rather than on party affiliation.
The recent report produced by the Government's Safe and Effective Justice Advisory Group on which he worked gives the Government plenty of ideas for improving society.
The Labour Government has had ample time for inquiries and it is time for positive, effective action.
Bob van Ruyssevelt, Glendene.
Not carried away
The vast majority of Auckland commuters are poorly served by current services and will gain no benefit from a $10-$15 billion investment in a single route for light rail; described even by former Labour finance minister and AT board member Michael Cullen as an "enormous cost" for "an idea whose time has passed" (NZ Herald, August 2).
Those of us who do live adjacent to Dominion Rd already enjoy a high-frequency bus service, with bus lanes throughout and new routes allowing a 15-minute trip from Mt Roskill to the CBD. Even if an upgrade was free, most of us would much prefer the status quo to years of "enormous disruption", just to gain an incremental improvement.
While the Minister of Transport notes that buses "cannot compete with the capacity" of light rail, capacity was doubled when air-conditioned double-decker buses were introduced to Dominion Rd just four years ago. With international student numbers past their peak, and trends towards telecommuting and flexible working hours, it is hard to imagine capacity will be a major issue in the next 30 years. It is even harder to imagine that light rail will be the technology of choice in 2051.
Stephen Bayldon, Mt Roskill.
A journalist asks NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian: Why is Bunnings still open but not in Queensland if "we have one of the tightest lockdowns in Australia"?
The same is cleverly put to NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant: "All our health advice comes from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation."
A question is put to Brad Hazzard, the NSW Health Minister with excessively dry wit: "Victoria has reduced to zero twice, do you talk to [Victoria's Health Minister] Martin Foley?"
"Yes, all the time."
"Martin Foley needs to talk harder then?"
"I appreciate your epidemiological expertise."
To Berejiklian: "Has modelling showed if we have reached the halfway point?"
"I'm not a health expert."
Anyone wanting a break from the Olympics? Aussie politicians make humour worthy of gold medals.
Steve Russell, Hillcrest.
Many things that Teuila Fuatai (NZ Herald, August 4) writes may or may not be accurate but one thing that is beyond dispute is that the New Zealand education system is failing.
Too much "niceness" and "kindness" together with a myopic one-size-fits-all system introduced by the Clark government has left New Zealand lagging well behind most advanced nations.
Added to that is a continual push from lefty do-gooders to create a "no winners" environment which has left our children with an average-mark-is-acceptable attitude.
No wonder New Zealand has crashed down the international rankings.
Anthony Browne, Birkdale.
More of the kind
I note that one of the reasons to let [Suhayra Aden] back is being kind to her two little children.
Yet how about the same kindness being shown to migrants who have been separated from their children and loved ones for nearly 18 months?
Looks like double standards to me.
Dr Alan Papert, Queenstown.
Rule by rote
I finally get it. Some of our ministers are actually robots with limited programmed answers. In Kris Faafoi's case, he has about two: "We are looking into it... " and "We are empathetic..."
Jacinda Ardern has additional: "I utterly reject... " and "It's very complex..."
Their routine non-responses makes me think they are frequently out of action due to short battery life.
Claudia Barthlen, Kerikeri.
Paved with intentions
There's a reality that many residents of Whangaparāoa and Warkworth don't seem to grasp. Penlink and the Pūhoi-Warkworth Motorway won't deliver the "fix" that they expected.
The pitch of the benefits of these two projects over the past two decades was like red rags to a bull for developers.
By the time the projects are completed, the Hibiscus and Kōwhai Coasts will be subdivided to death and many of the traffic efficiency gains promised by the roading projects will be countered by increased traffic volumes.
Grant McLachlan, Mahurangi.
There's a lot of talk right now about the pressure on sportspeople. It brings to mind a quote from Keith Miller, a former Australian Test cricketer and World War II fighter ace.
After the war, during a TV interview with Michael Parkinson, he was asked if he felt the pressure when playing Test cricket.
Miller replied, "Pressure is a Messerschmitt up your a***. Cricket is just a game."
David Morris, Auckland
The Olympics have been an absolute delight to watch.
Laurel Hubbard deserves a gold medal for her gentle bravery and eloquence in the face of a world media frenzy. She is a credit to NZ along with the rest of the wonderful team.
Samantha Cunningham, Henderson.
Short & sweet
On life jackets
Coroner Robin King proposes making the wearing of life jackets compulsory. Sadly, however, you cannot legislate against stupidity. Ray Gilbert, Pāpāmoa Beach.
There is a better chance of Auckland having a cycling bridge over the harbour in the next 10 years than Judith Collins becoming Prime Minister. Graham Fleetwood, Botany Downs.
What is the difference, in principle, between including mātauranga Māori in the science curriculum and including (Christian-based) "creation science" in that curriculum? Rolf Turner, Birkenhead.
A spur line from the southern rail trunk to Manukau was opened in 2012. Now, how about another from the newly opened Puhinui Station to the airport? Chris Kiwi, Mt Albert.
Vaccination delayed is protection denied. J. Livingstone, Remuera.
With the economy approaching full employment, how can that be when we have 190,000 people getting the Jobseeker Support? Neil Hatfull, Warkworth.
Every teacher in the land should go on strike as a result of the Chief Ombudsman's decision over the Macleans College reprimand of their foul-speaking student. Heather Orchard, Tauranga.
The premium debate
Unemployment at 4 per cent is not good news. It means we are at full employment as there will always be those you don't want to work or can't work. The shortage of labour is a major constraint on our ability to grow and will further fuel inflation. Kev T.
Wheels always wobble side to side before they fall off and a movement of this magnitude is not a good thing. I suspect we are in for some serious inflation. Keryn D.
Great news - hopefully, this will make employers increase wages to keep their good staff and give them a better career path with training. One thing Covid has told us is how reliant Aotearoa New Zealand is on cheap transient migrant labour. Donna H.
Unemployment down to 4 per cent is great news. At last a chance for our real incomes to increase as employers are forced to pay better wages. Megan C.
Good to see employers paying good staff an incentive to stay. Treating good staff right actually saves money and increases production. Alan S.
How can unemployment, no matter how good it is, be 117,000. Employers are screaming out for unskilled workers. Can someone please explain? Tone T.
New Zealand needs far more migrants and/or migrant workers. Many countries - America, France, Germany - are eyeing 5-7 per cent growth right now (China of course stellar growth at 18 per cent). Ardern's two-stroke New Zealand is putt-puttering at, what? 0.5 per cent. Spare me days. Robert O.
Not all unemployed are counted in these figures. I am aware of three people made redundant due to Covid and yet they do not show on any stats due to their partners/wives working. Theresa H.