I am sure most of us here are shocked by the way Australia is deporting New Zealand citizens because they have been found guilty of a crime or considered to be of "bad character", such as belonging to a gang – calling these people "trash".
Like most of us here I immediately reacted to the news, wanting our politicians to take some sort of reciprocal action. However, on further consideration I realised that by doing so, we would be stooping to their level.
The fact that Australian politicians do not show compassion for others shows flaws in their character. They continue to follow the white Australia policy and do just what Britain used to do in deporting its "trash" to Australia.
At least here our voters are intelligent enough to look for moral character when we vote for our leaders, not like Australia where they end up with leaders who will stoop to underhand methods to get what they want – even in cricket.
Duke and Duchess of Sussex
I feel a bit sorry for Meghan and Harry. They are stuck at home with a baby. It's not as if they can decide to get away for a holiday, which they seem to need.
They sit at home, talking over the things that have been said, dissecting them in detail and are totally removed from the real world.
They have no work to go to or have to arrive home to a fractious baby needing dinner, bath and bed, like working parents who need two full-time jobs to pay the mortgage.
Did no one dare to explain to Megan that under the George V convention Archie could be a prince as soon as his great-grandmother dies?
Meghan has the best of maternity care, could she not have asked for the best psychiatric care as well? She is certainly articulate enough.
Being in the royal family, and with their massive influence Harry and Meghan had the chance to do real good in the world. They have squandered it all to sit at home brooding and alienating his family by appearing on inflammatory interviews.
Expecting MIQ issues
Could the Government please explain how it plans to adjust or wind down MIQ requirements as an increasing percentage of the population are vaccinated.
Clearly there will be pent-up demand for travel, and from the middle of 2021 it seems that we can expect outbound business and leisure travellers in increasing numbers, all currently requiring to enter MIQ on their return to New Zealand.
It looks obvious that unless MIQ facilities are expanded greatly or, preferably, the Government works with a lighter touch, there will be a massive MIQ bottleneck and extensive travel delays by late 2021.
This will be aggravated by the reopening of international student business – extremely urgent for our tertiary education institutions.
While it appears that having been vaccinated does not necessarily stop one from being infectious, can we nonetheless reconsider more flexible possibilities for returning travellers such as self-isolation at home, as has been allowed in special cases already?
Heaven forbid, but maybe even wearing an ankle bracelet might help with compliance and give our officials sufficient peace of mind if we move to more self-isolation.
Business lockdown decisions
There's an outcry of indignity and disappointment from the business community on the decisions our Government made with this latest outbreak in Auckland.
We all understand the difficulties faced by business and we all wonder where the Government could have drawn a line when placing level restrictions.
But the priority from Jacinda Ardern's Government on the advice of Ashley Bloomfield and the science community has always verged on the side of caution.
One wonders where we would have been without their "over" reaction, or the kind of leadership we would have had from those professing greater knowledge.
We are also aware many countries right now are facing a third wave with a great number of their citizens still dying, mainly because they did not move quickly enough, or opened up too soon.
Perhaps instead, businesses might think appreciatively of the number of people still walking around as potential consumers and not lost forever.
Listen to Jacinda Ardern
Despite the naysayers and some sensation-seeking opinion writers the team of 5 million, although not always happy, do listen to Jacinda Ardern who acts on advice from experts on Covid-19.
It is difficult to accept restrictions when we have very few community cases but do we appreciate why this is so.
We have a relative in Ireland who bemoans the way Covid has decimated her country.
There, the lack of adherence to restrictions and advice has caused several spikes and business has suffered much more than this country.
Ireland has the same population as us but as of March 13 have had 226,358 cases and 4534 deaths compared to our 2422 and 26 deaths and it can't get more stark than that.
It all gets down to risk and how much we are prepared to take.
We should congratulate ourselves on our efforts to stave off an epidemic and that with the jab just round the corner perhaps we should stay with the course just a little longer.
Treat all Auckland the same
Perplexing questions of fairness and logic arise out of the Government decision to prioritise one geographical section of the Auckland region for Covid vaccination.
Few would dispute that people over 65 should be given priority for jabs, but why is it that those living in the Counties-Manukau DHB area are to be placed higher in the queue than the rest of Auckland's elderly?
The MOH website says they are more "high-risk", but this is questionable. Counties-Manukau, which includes places such as Howick and Pukekohe as well as "South Auckland", has no demonstrably greater risk than the rest of Auckland.
Government statements have mentioned the prevalence of MIQ facilities in South Auckland as indicators of risk.
Yes, there are seven facilities in the region, almost all in the airport precinct, but there are 10 others in the CBD, Ellerslie and Mt Wellington, to say nothing of the 14 in other New Zealand cities.
And since those who work in border-facing jobs, those in medical front lines (and the families of both groups) are already prioritised, is there need for a geographical split of the elderly as well?
It also seems unfair that when it comes to Covid outbreaks, alert levels and lockdowns, Auckland can be treated as a huge undifferentiated mass, with Orewa for instance assessed as being just as risky as Papatoetoe.
Yet, when it comes to positive prioritisation for inoculations, suddenly the city gets redefined and fragmented geographically.
There is a logical disconnect here. If one of the three local district health board regions is truly higher risk than the other two, then maybe the next lockdown (heaven forbid) will not require the entire city to be closed down.
Covid rules, buses
The public has been bombarded with pleas to follow the Covid rules and use the Covid tracer etc. Now we are on the cusp of the vaccination roll out it would be a good time to put out more information about why and how the vaccines work and why it's important for everyone to co-operate.
This should be presented in an easily understood format and advertised on TV on a regular basis so those people who are less sure of the process are better informed and thus less likely to be swayed by silly ideas.
The elderly have memories of disease outbreaks and realise the vital importance of vaccinations but the younger citizens need to be convinced.
There is a fundamental flaw ... a glaring gap in Auckland's public bus services.
Here in East Coast Bays, many people will not use existing bus services because the nearest bus stop to our homes is too far to comfortably walk, particularly
for the young and elderly.
In my case the walk is over 800m... the first bit is steeply uphill.
This situation is an artifact of the Bay's roads, many first made in the 30s when our area was just a collection of coastal baches. Most of our roads, 90 years later are still just narrow lanes, following steep contours and some distance from bus routes and arterial links
If the authorities are genuine in promoting greater use of public transport the solution to these issues is obvious.
If a minibus feeder service, secondary to the existing one - or a service in its own right, was to be established, our fleet of smaller buses could ply our narrow seaside roading network with ease.
The physical constraints to our use of buses would then become irrelevant. If provided with this convenient and accessible local solution, many more of us would gratefully become bus fans.
Remembering Sir Dove-Myer Robinson
Today when Aucklanders enjoy their America's Cup harbour they should thank the man who preserved it for them. When Robbie became mayor he ended the plan to lay a large underwater pipe to carry the city's untreated sewage to be discharged by Brown's Island. If that had been done our eastern beaches would now be buried beneath plastic and the waters too contaminated to be used.
On his death the citizens dedicated the Bastion Point headland overlooking his harbour to his memory and so it should remain a natural place - free of other unrelated structures. It is time for our present mayor to act decisively by preserving the place to its dedicated purpose.
The Erebus casualties do deserve a memorial but it should be in a place that has a relationship with Antarctica - that is Christchurch Airport which is the last place in this country where those to be remembered stood on NZ soil.
John E Binsley
It must becoming obvious to everyone now that in these light wind conditions this America's Cup is becoming a roll of the dice.
The boat that wins the start wins the race as the combination of the inner harbour course preferred by the race committee and the light winds makes it almost impossible for any passing.
The odds are that we could go into the last race six-all and I don't like those odds with Jimmy Spithill's start skills and his luck.
So how can we change those odds? Only a sizeable increase in wind pressure will change the odds, allowing Emirates Team NZ to use the speed advantage most think it has in higher winds, to pass Luna Rossa. Just for once wouldn't it be great to watch a race that wasn't predetermined two minutes after the start. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the long-term forecast through to Wednesday is light winds.
The red socks didn't make Peter Blake's boat go faster, it was all about showing support. I don't know how to make the wind stronger but I can imagine everyone starting to blow in unison around 3.30pm.
If the wind gets stronger then I will claim it works. If not then we have all done our best to will this to happen.
The alternative is to do nothing and leave it to the current odds which I put at 60-40 to the Italians based on the last eight races.