Did gun buy back misfire?
A person should be able to go to work and expect to be able to come home again at the end of their shift, not in a wooden box. The same should apply to our police. The murder of Mathew Hunt was a cowardly act as being shot in the back did not give him a chance. If he had been armed there is a slight chance that he and his colleague David Goldfinch may have been able to defend themselves, as a pistol against a rifle is not good odds.
The Government has just spent millions on a gun buy-back scheme which does not seem to have worked as the rifles used were on the prohibited list. How many more rifles of this type are still in circulation?
Arthur Moore, Pakuranga.
Govt needs health partner
Columnist Richard Prebble stated ( NZ Herald, July 28), "Government's plan to merge all the DHBs into one centralised health system is doing huge damage". In addition, nurses have rejected the latest pay offer, we must not lose them. Government finances are now constrained, healthcare costs no exception. To assist, the growth of private clinics and hospitals is essential to ease the burden imposed on the state — Government needs a partner.
The introduction of tax concessions for personal health insurance costs would encourage independence, do much to confront funding shortfalls and free up public hospital beds.
P.J. Edmondson, Tauranga.
MIQ spot finders
TV1 news on Saturday ran a story on organisations who help people find an MIQ allocation for a fee. It seems the Government is not happy that people are giving their MIQ log-in to these organisations and are going to go after people who do this.
Is it illegal to give one's MIQ log-in to a third party? Perhaps the Government is a bit sensitive about their MIQ system being very clumsy and there are some who are taking advantage of this ineptitude.
Janet Boyle, Orewa.
Lease instead of rent
While it will not entirely solve the housing crisis, private renters and welfare agencies should consider leasing arrangements rather than rental agreements. A fair annual lease can be negotiated at a price which takes into account a fair rental, plus a reasonable sum such as 10 per cent to allow for reasonable increases in the rental market price. Both the renters and the owners will reap the benefits of such arrangements, such as never being stressed by unpaid rent because the leases would be paid in full upfront.
In housing hardship cases such welfare organisations as Kainga Ora/Housing NZ and Winz could fund such fair leases up front and garnish repayments or part repayments from benefits, giving much needed security to leasers and beneficiaries alike, rather than paying eye-watering amounts for buying motels at twice their value or paying greatly inflated rents to house desperate beneficiaries.
Dennis Pennefather, Gisborne.
UN Covid patient
It was reported that the transfer of the Covid-infected patient from Fiji at the UN's request will be "hugely appreciated by the UN and her family".
What would be more appreciated by NZ's 5 million citizens who live in a Covid free society is if the person was not transferred here at all. We can only wonder if the Ministry of Health's commonsense objection was overruled by somebody in authority or the MoH was pressured into a change of mind.
Should there be an outbreak of Covid in the community because of this then the person who signed off on it or who pressured a change of tack should be held accountable.
Jeff Cooper, Auckland.
Poor cycle infrastructure
On August 1 two new bridges opened on Northcote Rd on the North Shore. They will make cycling safer, particularly for children. They are also an example of how badly we design cycling infrastructure in New Zealand.
Cycle paths generally fall into two categories — shared paths built for safety but unsuitable for able-bodied adult cyclists because they are indirect routes or have uneven surfaces, or unprotected street level lanes unsuitable for children and more vulnerable cyclists.
Unfortunately the new bridges and shared path on Northcote Rd fall into the first category of safe for vulnerable cyclists, but unsuitable for most adults. As on other roads where shared paths exist, many adult cyclists will continue to use the road, much to the frustration of motorists.
In the Netherlands, which does cycling infrastructure well, cycle paths are built to accommodate all cyclists — adults, pre-schoolers, elderly and the disabled, people on bikes, tricycles and mobility vehicles. We don't just need more cycling infrastructure in New Zealand, we need better infrastructure.
Dr Francis Reid, Milford.
Less political labelling
Your letter of the week correspondent (Larry Mitchell, July 31) throws the age-old political label of "socialists" and "centralisation" at the issues he says need to be debated — public water facilities, health care and state housing provision.
He claims private sector innovation is what we need, but he doesn't want dramatic alterations to his way of life. You can't have it both ways.
Privatisation is not a viable option, and local body control has failed all of these services. Water reticulation is in a mess. State Housing fell away when governments tried to get the private sector to provide rental accommodation with city councils also failing to deliver on that, and private health insurance has not delivered a comprehensive or affordable health care system. Seems to me the Government's rethink needs less political labelling and better proper consideration of its merits.
Neil Anderson, Algies Bay.
Too many of us
The Values Party, founded in 1972 by Tony Brunt, espoused two basic policy planks — zero population growth and zero economic growth. There are too many of us and we are living beyond the means of the planet. We failed to support them.
Stephen Hawking suggested the only other possible solution — colonisation of another planet. A long shot indeed.
John Billing, New Plymouth.
GST on food
In response to Ray Gilbert's letter suggesting removal of GST on supermarket prices. Had more of us supported our smaller "local" retailers supermarkets would not be as prolific and controlling.If Government removed GST on food the loss will be whipped from our pockets by another method, maybe by raising GST to 20 per cent?
Susan Williams, Mairangi Bay.
Economies of scale
I disagree with Larry Mitchell's "letter of the week" on centralisation. DHB boundaries never served the patient well. I have been transported across the harbour bridge in an ambulance at 11pm complete with nurse and swinging bottles so that one DHB could avoid paying for my overnight stay, in spite of me having gone to the most convenient hospital. The rivalry between Auckland and Waikato water authorities and drawing lines across the Hunuas makes no sense either. And housing needs the largest possible economy of scale. NZ is too small for internal borders.
Martin Bal, Kelston.
Kindness at checkout
I wish to acknowledge the extraordinary kindness and generosity extended to me by a young man in the Milford Shopping Mall. At the supermarket checkout I realised to my horror that I had mislaid my credit card. I was about to leave, with the intention of returning later, when to my amazement the young man reached across and swiped his credit card, paying a not unsubstantial amount.
To that young man who would give only his Christian name and that he worked at the Devonport Naval Base, I extend my sincere gratitude. We are fortunate indeed to have such caring, selfless young people in our society today.
Patricia Cox, Browns Bay.
Less jargon please
I approached your Friday supplement (Sustainable Business) with enthusiasm, hoping to gain a clearer view of the sustainability and environmental issues affecting us all.
By the time I had finished reading my head was spinning with abbreviations and I was lost. If we are to properly understand these important issues and commit to doing what we can to improve matters, we need to be told about them in real and meaningful terms.
Mike Groves, East Tamaki Heights.
Short and sweets
On golden service
A fitting "Vaccination Olympics" cartoon by Emmerson on Saturday. My wife and I had our first jab at Highbury on Friday, just before the rowing races in Tokyo started. The whole process was exemplary, worth a gold medal.
Philip Versfeld, Browns Bay.
On good science
It is good science to get vaccinated against any virus that could kill you.
John Ford, Taradale.
On home anonymity
Why in New Zealand nobody has their names on letterboxes or doorbells in apartment buildings? How do you find somebody? What are they afraid of?
Siegfried Jordan, Auckland.
On zipping it
Andrew Little as Minister of Health picks and chooses when to comment on the nurses' pay dispute. Absolving himself when convenient then adding his two cents of denigration. If he wants to be impartial he should zip it. Leave it to the negotiators. If nurses are being offered less than they are worth, the world is their oyster. Fully vaccinated they owe us nothing.
Steve Russell, Hillcrest.
On Govt inaction
It's great that the Government has moved quickly on banning conversion therapy. Sadly it seems incapable of moving at the same speed with our mental health, child poverty or affordable housing problems.
James Archibald, Birkenhead.