Test both boarding and landing
Fortuitously, we just might have escaped a possible nationwide lockdown, with the Aussie traveller to Wellington - who later tested positive for the Delta strain of Covid - not shedding a lot of virus, owing partly to having had a first vaccination.
But next time - or even currently - we might not be so incredibly lucky. We need look no further than Sydney to see what could easily have transpired here.
I concede that our Government was pressured into establishing an Aussie bubble, both by interests across the Tasman and here. But this seemed possible at the time due to an expectation of far greater vaccination coverage (rates are particularly poor in both Wellington and Christchurch) and that we were contending with the infinitely less spreadable and less serious Alpha variant.
I would suggest that both pre-departure testing to/from Australia and instant tests (some now being on a par with the usual testing for reliability), both on departure and definitely on arrival, could be a path forward. Such testing would be far less expensive than any lockdowns and it's possible that travellers themselves could share in the cost.
Ella Harris, Christchurch.
The speed at which the Covid-19 Delta strain has spread through Sydney is alarming and sad.
We can understand the frustration people feel at the last-minute cancellation of visits to loved ones. We went to Brisbane a month ago to visit my wife's terminally ill father. There were no outbreaks then, but the day before a breach at Brisbane Airport had occurred. We were on high alert because of that, and what we saw in the different approach to contact tracing and preparedness (or lack of).
We don't have the issues Australia has; a Federal system, individual State laws and bureaucracy and depending on their politics, different approaches. Like a mini-me America.
We were glad to get home, but were prepared for an unexpected extended stay.
I have lived and worked in both countries. At the moment, I know where I would rather be; in a country that listens to scientists - not some bloviating radio hosts and political commentators who bang on every day.
Peter Simpson, Mairangi Bay.
Matthew Hooton sure does have extreme views. Under the guise of commenting on the ill health of National (NZ Herald, June 25), he makes scathing and exaggerated smears on the Labour Government .
There are many of us who understand that some three and a bit years ago this Government inherited a rundown health and infrastructure asset and a housing crisis that will take some years to remedy. Judith Collins was stridently denying that a housing crisis even existed.
Now housing is being built at record levels. Mental health isn't just about facilities... It's more about people resources and training. It will take years to fully remedy.
Bill Mathews, Auckland Central.
Nothing illustrates the incompetence of our current Government more than the shambles that is the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccinations. No amount of spin by the chief spin doctor, the Prime Minister, can escape the fact that New Zealand is now ranked 122 in the world stakes for the vaccination roll-out, and bottom of the OECD. It's a disgrace.
The Government is more focused on its socialist agenda than on protecting New Zealanders from the deadly virus. Too busy taking the economy back to pre-1984 when the government exercised total control over all aspects of the economy. None of the current MPs will remember what a disaster it was. Now we see centralised education management, centralised health control, and soon back to centralised wage-fixing. All the better for political meddling and control.
With the Opposition National Party in total disarray, it seems there is no one to save us from yet another politician-made disaster.
Vince Ashworth, Morrinsville.
Zespri which owns the intellectual property rights for gold kiwifruit has announced 5500 hectares of the protected variety has been planted in China without authorisation. New Zealand's trade reliance on China carries risk, as exposed by the punitive tariffs imposed on Australian exports to that country due to their affiliation to the 5 Eyes intelligence network that China opposes.
One safeguard, the possible incorporation of the UK and US Into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) which includes the sunrise economies led by the tiger states of Southeast Asia and which would create the largest global trading bloc, secure our future and minimise our dependence on any one nation.
P. J. Edmondson, Tauranga.
Twenty-two years for Derek Chauvin's murder of George Floyd. the longest sentence ever given for unjustified violence by police against people of colour. How I celebrate this.
At age 15, I took to the picket lines to protest poor treatment of two black students chosen to integrate my all-white school. We had police protection against white supremacists shouting threats at us. A large kindly black woman told me not to be afraid because if anyone laid a hand on me she would take her stilleto heel off and "pound that person on the head". I had never seen white adults from my own culture behaving so badly.
Living in a white, southern neighbourhood, I witnessed my brother beaten up for playing with two black children. On a public bus riding to school I saw black people burned with cigarettes as they walked to the back of the bus. At age 15 this was shocking.
Little did I know how bad prejudice really was. So bad that, even now, a "Black Lives Matter" campaign would still be necessary 60 years after I carried my picket sign on the streets of Lexington, Kentucky, USA.
Caroline Mabry, Glen Eden.
Find a winner
The credibility of the World Test Cricket championship was saved by the Black Caps. Surely, rules of play should evolve from the collar of tradition. Why not revert to limited over cricket for the second innings where a draw seems most probable? The fans would witness two styles of play and not a dismal result.
Equally, penalty shoot-outs are a farce, causing unnecessary stress on individual players. Why not play "extra-time" with seven players instead of 11?. First to score wins.
Finally, the fundamental principle of any competition is to demonstrate which is the best - the will that took humanity from the Stone Age.
Kenneth Lees, Whangārei.
In my mind's eye, I picture an elegant span across the Waitematā carrying walkers, runners, prams, wheelchairs, bikes and scooters, skateboards and even dogs.
In reality, it will be a windy, arduous climb both ways in order to meet the required height restrictions for sea traffic. Travelling south it will lead eventually to the Wynyard Quarter or offer a steep climb to Herne Bay and Ponsonby. But travelling north is a bridge to nowhere except the picture theatre and restaurants at the Bridgeway or a long haul through the mangrove swamps to Takapuna.
Like most of our city cycle tracks, even the "pink path", it could become an empty folly, an edifice to the entitled at the expense of projects which really make a difference - not just a possible vote-catcher.
Mary Tallon, Takapuna.
Jam and custard
Another day, another delay to critical transport infrastructure with Auckland Transport's inability to deliver delaying the Eastern Busway, again.
Auckland Council and its CCOs experts in doublespeak - we pay extra fuel taxes but suddenly there's not enough money. Last year, the mayor promised funding cuts wouldn't delay the project. Since declaring a climate emergency in 2019, Auckland Council has increased public transport fares every year.
Meanwhile, our roads are more congested, they're less safe and our carbon emissions continue to grow.
Damian Light, Botany.
We Kiwis revel in the triumphs of our national sportspeople. Recently though, we have been alerted to the price some are asked to pay for their on-field heroics.
The risk of serious and permanent head injuries in high-impact sports, the scourge of depression due to pressures of performance and expectations add to fears of injury and team selection.
Keyboard warriors and armchair quarterbacks must consider the effect of all of these pressures before launching their, often critical, assessments of sporting performance on Monday morning.
Larry Mitchell, Rothesay Bay.
Short & sweet
There is a debate at the moment about changing the name of the country to "Aotearoa". I say, do it now, so we can enter the Olympic stadium ahead of Australia. Doug Hannan, Mt Maunganui.
Warmest congratulations to our marvellous Black Caps cricket team. Coverage of this historic game in the paper was first class - a great souvenir of an unforgetable match. Rosemary Howell, Ellerslie.
Auckland clearly needs another hospital and $685million would go a long way towards building it. Ron Baker, Onehunga.
Poor Charlie Chaplin has succumbed to the latest "cancel culture" madness. How far will the pendulum swing until we erase history altogether? Marie Kaire, Whangārei.
On K Rd
A visit this weekend to Karangahape Rd after the much-hyped removal of the traffic cones did nothing to dispel its reputation as a traffic-jammed, seedy and unsafe location. Chris Parker, Campbells Bay.
I don't know why NZ growers see a challenge in getting rid of plastic labels on fruit. Bananas from all around the world have paper labels. Lindsey Roke, Pakuranga Heights.
On NZ Post
New Zealand Post had the cleverest logo in the world, a simple "N" and "Z" in the shape of an envelope. So, what does NZ Post do? They waste $15m changing it into a nondescript squiggle. Grant McLachlan, Mahurangi.
Never thought I'd be lamenting the loss of the NZ First, but Labour without a handbrake is even scarier. Simon L
Hooton helped poke a hole in the bottom of the boat and now ponders its sinking. Peter N
Are all the failures really all the Government's fault? I think there are way too many unrealistic expectations put on governments these days. As long as we are expecting the government of the day to fix everything, the longer we will be disappointed. If every parent raised respectful hard-working citizens, there wouldn't be so many "government failures". Time to take responsibility for our individual actions and look less to the government for all the answers. Gemma L
Judith is on the right track. Nats need to tighten up and to do that there may be a bit of short term bloodletting, but it will be to the benefit of the party long-term. Garry R
Spot on. A more polite version of what I sent to the National Party management when they asked for feedback. Their internal discipline is appalling. Their policies are so vague that even as a paid-up member of over 10 years standing, I can't name a single one. Pull yourselves together, National. Marcus A