In a rational world, Auckland Transport would be trying to find out whether or not there was a problem – and maybe there is. Then they would look at what we have got – airport express buses and airport shuttles – to see if they could cope with the increasing demand.
They would discover that it would be easy to treble the capacity of buses and airport shuttles.
In the not too distant future airport shuttles could be replaced by driverless minibuses with computer optimised routing that are now being tested in Singapore.
Why is everyone pushing for expensive and inflexible trams that serve a single route to the city centre and will need massive subsidies?
To my knowledge, no one has studied the problem and the options. Instead, they are determined to squander our money on an expensive, obsolete solution that will not solve the problem.
Bryan Leyland, Pt Chevalier.
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The convention centre roof was basically compressed straw between sheets of ply with bitumen on top (for acoustic reasons).
Auckland Council should never have rubber-stamped it. That is as stupid as putting a donkey in charge of a carrot.
Dave Miller, Rotorua.
Why, in 2019, are we putting straw bales in the roof of the convention centre?
Combined with bitumen it seems to be a recipe for disaster. It sounds like The Three Little Pigs all over again.
Who will be held accountable?
Bruce Tubb, Belmont.
Democracy in peril
Dr Maria Armoudian and Timothy K Kuhner have a grim and urgent warning for New Zealand democracy (NZ Herald, October 23). If we do not have transparency and bans on foreign corporates' money interfering with our elections we may as well be a state of Trump's US. This calls for an effective lobbying act. If research shows that the wealthy 0.5 per cent of the adult population controls campaign funds in favour of big business we are in big trouble. This needs to change for the sake of true democracy and ultimately, the planet.
Geoff Barlow, Remuera.
As Dr Armoudian and Professor Kuhner of Auckland University outlined in careful words (NZ Herald, October 23), the New Zealand democracy is "easy prey for concentrated capital".
The influence on politicians, on the civil service by the power of capital is presented in the article. You could easily make the case that New Zealand is no longer a democracy. The country is controlled by moneyed interests.
"New Zealand looks more like an undeveloped country from the 1970s than a leading democracy", says the article. Let's face it: We lost our freedom and to win it back will need a huge effort.
I suggest that we buy TV3 and turn it into a citizen forum financed and run in a co-operative system of government directly by the people of New Zealand. You pay $200 per year to become a co-owner. We would need a minimum of 100,000 citizens to be part of it.
We determine which journalists work for us. We shall give them all the freedom they need to really enlighten and inform us. The truth for all to see and hear. And by God, then we shall soon have democracy again.
Hans Geese, Whangaparaoa.
It is little wonder that TV3 is losing money. The lavish spending on journalists, both in stationing them overseas and sending them to notable events is a typical example of excess expenditure.
For several years there has been one journalist stationed in London – for months if not years. Currently Lloyd Burr is permanently in London following other long-term residents Tova O'Brien and Melissa Chan-Green (nee Davies).
They travel all over Europe to report on events, often at short notice and for only two or three minutes of "air time" per day. It must cost hugely in fares and accommodation for these people for such little return.
Then there is the travel (probably business class), accommodation and other costs associated with sending journalists to major sporting events. In Japan for the Rugby World Cup are Mike McRoberts (at least two trips), Andrew Gourdie, Emma Cropper, Patrick Gower, Ross Karl and possibly others. What would the bill for this lot come to?
Surely there are people living in these places who are competent to provide reports and/or commentaries?
Any business indulging in such unrestrained spending is bound to go belly-up eventually.
Robin McGrath, Forrest Hill.
Those who criticise Jacinda Ardern for failing to implement promised polices seem not to understand that she is constrained by the demands of her coalition partners.
If disappointed people want to see her take effective action on the policies she promised, I have a simple solution – vote Labour in the next election.
Susan Grimsdell, Auckland Central.
The possible closure of Tiwai Point (NZ Herald, October 24) would give New Zealand a real opportunity to take a big step in mitigating climate change. The available electricity should be used for the production of hydrogen. In recent times a consortium in Switzerland has established a partnership with Hyundai which is going to use an under-utilised hydro power plant for the production of hydrogen. Hyundai are going to provide the trucks at standard cost models. Maybe a similar partnership could be put in place in NZ. This type of initiative would achieve far more then the present blaming and box-ticking exercises. This would also be superior to taking land out of food production to plant trees so Mr Shaw can keep flying around the world.
Chris Kaelin, Te Awamutu.
I am absolutely in favour of reducing the speed limit around the city. As a pedestrian, I have more than once narrowly missed being hit by traffic at an intersection; by cars rounding a blind corner (at speed) behind me.
Surely lives are more precious than people being late for work or the business area slowing down?
Ailsa Martin-Buss, Glen Innes.
The Government is killing Kiwis with kindness. Acting with impunity or having no fear of consequences is one of the main reasons people run from police in cars, sell drugs and act violently.
Also a major factor is that people who commit such acts actually enjoy it, which the Government fails to see or admit. They think acting kindly will turn hardened criminals from their ways. They are sadly mistaken.
The Government's response is no more than what a fad food diet is to an obese person. Short-term restraint doesn't quell the appetite and only long-term incarceration that runs side by side with rehabilitation will keep innocent people safe.
Dave Purcell, Orakei.
Once again, the NRL has suspended a key Kiwi player just before the test series against Australia and Great Britain (NZ Herald, October 19).
Suspended for three matches, which is how many tests there are, for defending his team mate who was being attacked.
I've lost count of how many times this has happened over the years, the NRL judiciary made up of Australians finding "reasons" to suspend Kiwi players before test matches. Many high-profile NRL players have said they would have done the same thing in defending a mate. The Kiwi coach has said he thinks it's unfair so why doesn't the NZRL take a stand and say "we're playing him".
They would get the backing of the players and it would send a message to the NRL that we won't stand for their inconsistent rulings anymore.
L Mallon, Te Atatu.
This Government supposedly with green credentials lacks the nerve to raise fuel prices dramatically enough to reduce the excessive use of fossil fuels.
But certainly there are three easy options available to reduce this wasteful polluting and expensive practice.
First, introduce emission tests on all vehicles at the time of WOF. Second, bring in congestion charges. And finally, have a graduated registration charge, perhaps free for under 1000cc and electric vehicles, rising dramatically for big gas-guzzling monsters that invariably have only the driver on board.
Motor fuels are this countries most costly single import. What an indictment when it is all imported to be wastefully burnt.
Vince West, Milford.
Short & sweet
Motorcyclists pay hefty ACC levies, Lime scooters hurt riders and pedestrians and pay none. Is this logical or fair? Richard Underwood, Whakatane.
Now that we are more fully aware of the destructive power of unharnessed fire and smoke, perhaps we should think twice before we rush out and buy our supply of November 5 incendiary devices. Peter Culpan, Te Atatu Peninsula.
Am I missing something here? Sprinklers spray down, so surely would not have stopped this fire in the roof?
David Laidlow, Rotorua
Another great cartoon from Emerson. He pictures what Winston Peters has been doing to democracy in New Zealand for years. Rod Lyons, Muriwai.
Surely the Herald is above such schoolboy toilet humour? Sheryl Lyon.
Of course there should be a referendum on the Euthanasia Bill. Why should people whom we don't know personally be the only voters on such an important and controversial matter? Pamela Russell, Orakei.
I am sure many will agree with correspondent Allan Jackson (NZ Herald, October 23) regarding current tax rates. Surely a worker should be allowed the first several thousand dollars earned tax free? Don Anderson, Rothesay Bay.
The Opposition continues to ignore the following at their peril: "'Tis better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all." Lois McGough, Orewa.
It appears that Phil Twyford has thrown the businesses affected by the CRL disruption under the proverbial bus (or in this case train) as the CRL project doesn't have a remit for compensation. Only the Government has. Glennys Adams, Oneroa.