Fair dinkum, Kiwi?
NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern comments, "I'm very disappointed at the actions taken by the Australian Government as we have controls in place but, in the end, this a decision for the Australian Government."
New Zealand still requires all Australian visitors (no matter where they reside in Australia) to complete two weeks' managed hotel quarantine at their own expense.
Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory, Tasmania, and Western Australia have had no community transmission for in excess of six months. States like New South Wales has kept borders open with minimal local transmission and well-managed control and tracing systems.
New Zealand's overall Covid-19 strategy – i.e: eradication/suppression - is confusing at best. It is only a matter of probability as to whether Covid-19 escapes hotel quarantine.
As a New Zealander living in Sydney who would love to visit elderly relatives, we only ask that the New Zealand Government treats Australian visitors as all Australian states and territories have treated New Zealand visitors since October 2020. This is the definition of a transtasman travel bubble.
It is accepted that borders may close briefly on the outbreak of any community transmission. There are hundreds of thousands of Australians who would also love to holiday in New Zealand and I'm sure New Zealand's tourism industry and economy would appreciate the business.
Robert Ludecke, Roseville, NSW.
Parents of a friend of mine who have lived in London for more than 10 years have just returned from London for their annual Kiwi summer holiday. They are New Zealand citizens but have no intention of living here anytime soon.
As their stay in NZ is for more than three months, the NZ taxpayer generously fully funded their entire MIQ stay, supplying free food and accommodation for the first two weeks of their holiday.
I was astounded to find out that the policy of "accepting all returning citizens" includes people with no intention of staying here and that their MIQ stay is free of charge.
While most of us have done the hard yards contributing to the team of five million, the current policies are putting us all at risk, at great expense to the taxpayer.
Fiona Cameron, Green Bay.
The Government and Ministry of Health have learned little from the Simpson-Roche inquiry into New Zealand's Covid response, which found the local success was luck rather than good management, and delaying its release to Christmas seems designed to cover it rather than act on the criticisms.
The situation in Northland is unacceptable when a single easily-identified case, who has done everything right, causes panic and queues for testing. People have been advised to be tested but wait up to eight hours while health workers write on clipboards, bureaucrats make excuses and our PM talks of being kind.
Taxpayers expect and deserve competence in troubled times; the amateur way everything is organised, even after a year to prepare, is disgraceful. They cannot efficiently manage one community infection and it does not bode well for the vaccination scheme.
Government departments should have taken expertise from industry and commerce to re-purpose existing resources; a booze-bus has all the facilities to become an instant testing station wherever it is needed, McDonalds has an iPad system for taking customer details in the line, the supermarket system for distributing perishable goods could adapt to handle vaccines, and many more.
Learn - and do it better.
Alan McArdle, Glen Eden.
Why are we mixing travellers and Covid suspects in hotel rooms? It's crazy.
During World War II in the Pacific, the American Army brought many of their wounded to New Zealand and quickly built special pre-fabricated hospitals to house them (the one in Cornwall Park was there for many years).
Our health authorities/government should be doing something similar for Covid Isolation suspects instead of contaminating hotel rooms and placing unsuspecting travellers at risk.
Infections are here for many years and yet we have no adequate isolation areas to house them. It 's just incredibly silly.
Catherine Curlett, Remuera.
The world has known for a year that vaccinations would be required to control the worldwide spread of Covid-19. Yet there has been, to my knowledge, no development of robotic vaccination.
Surely, with the amazing abilities of robots to carry out so many precision operations in medicine today, the simple process of placing a needle "X" mm into the upper arm and injecting "Y" ml of vaccine would be a straightforward operation?
To vaccinate six-seven billion people, not the entire world population but sufficient to control the spread, we will need to automate.
Warwick Reed, Te Mata.
Last week I was forced to wait in a queue that was all the way out of the door.
During my approximately 40 minutes wait to deposit my rent, I counted nine people who walked out in disgust. More alarming was three elderly people in their 80s that were also forced to wait. Their distress and discomfort were clearly obvious.
In the last few months, ANZ has closed both the Grey Lynn and Mt Albert branches. I've noticed branch closures from other banks happening all over too.
It adds insult to injury when plastered all over the walls are ANZ posters blaring the slogan, "Banking your way." This is not banking my way, my time is valuable.
Our elderly people deserve dignity and respectful treatment. Moreover, employees, local communities and the economy need the jobs and income.
The obscene "profits over people" ethos in the banking and other sectors needs to be addressed.
Kirby Malcolm, Waterview.
In a Business article (NZ Herald, January 27), James Doolan, from the Hotel Council Aotearoa, suggested that losing a room night at a hotel is like a farmer throwing away part of a crop of cherries every day.
This emotive comparison is totally incorrect, in my view.
That farmer has spent all year tending to his cherry crop and the loss of any part of it is a major long-term setback for him.
The hotelier may lose one room night but that room is ready and likely to be used on any following night.
The cherry farmer would be very happy if his crop could remain fresh and ready for sale into the future when sales picked up.
Rhys Morgan, Northcote Point.
Richard Prebble writes (NZ Herald, January 27) as if he knows everything about education and that teachers and teacher unions know nothing at all. This seems somewhat unlikely.
While I agree that school principals should be educational leaders and motivators, his claim that class size doesn't matter as nothing has been proved needs challenging.
Perhaps he should try teaching a university lecture hall full of 5-year-old children how to read, write, count, share, co-operate, be polite and how to use simple equipment like scissors.
Then he could get back to us about class sizes.
Roger Young, Ōpua.
"Vaccine makers target mutations" (NZ Herald, January 27) reports preliminary worrying observations by researchers at Moderna. The caveat is added: "The results have not been published or peer-reviewed yet, but were posted online at BioRxiv".
The BioRxiv website enables scientists to share their preliminary findings quickly with their peers for informed discussion. The website explicitly states "…these are preliminary reports that have not been peer-reviewed. They should not be regarded as conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behaviour, or be reported in news media as established information."
Skipping the scientific peer review process before bringing observations to the attention of the public degrades the time-honoured scientific process down to the uninformed level of the chattering classes on social media. That type of reporting affords a great disservice to the concerned public, and also to scientific endeavour.
Steve Goldthorpe, Warkworth.
Judith Collins' call (NZ Herald, January 25) to use emergency powers to free up greenfield land for housing is certainly drastic.
Many city fringe suburbs have major road congestion now. Who would want to move to these areas if we make road conditions worse by building more houses there, especially if this happens ahead of more infrastructure?
More building sites is not the same as more houses. Her solution does nothing to increase the building rate or housing supply, so it does nothing to solve the problem.
Also many people do not want to live in sprawling suburbs, they want infill housing close, for instance, to the city centre. They may want a short commute to save time and they may not want to have to use a car. This is not 1960.
Her solution sounds like a dictatorial Muldoonist mistake and it will not win back seats such as Auckland Central.
Selwyn Irwin, Glen Eden.
Short & sweet
Let's hope that the new Oranga Tamariki board doesn't produce another doorstop. I'm running out of doors. Glennys Adams, Oneroa.
So, how many people actually complained about the Lotto Six60-branded scratchies?
Was it just the two people? William Llewellyn, Waihi.
The PM helpfully told us, in relation to delivery of the vaccine, it was not the beginning but the end of the delivery that was important. I've never studied logic but I would have thought that the beginning would bear some relationship to the end. Peter Newfield, Takapuna.
The fact that our country can pounce on a positive case in the community, the way we do with a fruit fly stuck in an Auckland suburban trap, is something to be proud of and very grateful for. Glenn Forsyth, Taupō.
In light of the recent Covid-19 revelations, it is time the Ministry of Health made public the assumptions behind its "gold standard". B.R. Maunder, Kohimarama.
Is Tom Brady, described as maybe the greatest American footballer of all time, the same man who was suspended for cheating after admitting to deflating the ball? Just a matter of time folks until D.J. Trump is hailed as the saviour of democracy. G.M. Campbell, Hamilton.
Cyclists avoiding the bumpy new Tamaki Drive cycle lane have been moving out to the road instead of using the original cycle lane shared with pedestrians. They now slow the traffic and pose a danger to themselves. Pamela Russell, Ōrākei.