Kicking protectors in the face
When you see the images of protectors (not protesters) being kicked in the head by security guards at Pūtiki on Waiheke Island, it's easy to take sides. But
take a step back and read Anne Gibson's article and another story emerges, one that resonates across our beautiful city.
Auckland Council's pro-developer, pro-Government, pro-concrete and steel approach to our city has caused friction from one side to the other. The cursory approach to consultation and the arrogant box-ticking attitude to engagement is why we have people across the city taking such a determined and dramatic stand.
These people are not activists. These are people who have never protested before, literally putting their bodies on the line. Why? Because there may have been boxes ticked and a whole lot of talk but there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of listening.
And it's not just Waiheke; it's happening across the city from Parnell at Mataharehare, to Western Springs, to Mount Albert/ Ōwairaka, Canal Rd in Avondale and now, no doubt Dome Valley will follow, if those in power don't see sense.
Decision makers need to pause and step back. The future of our city depends on it.
Jo Malcolm, Parnell.
Recent announcements, as reported by the Herald, by Covid Response Minister Hipkins regarding the return of stranded Kiwis from New South Wales, and on future vaccination planning, raise questions that he or the Prime Minister may wish to answer for the benefit of the team of 5 million.
What has happened to the warning of "traveller beware" issued when the transtasman bubble was first opened. Why should those members of the team who have chosen to stay in New Zealand now pay the cost of MIQ for those returning from NSW who chose to take the risk and cross the ditch?
Can the team be assured that planning for administration of booster doses for those who received early vaccination will not put additional pressure on the existing vaccine rollout process, currently performing pathetically in a number of the country's DHB areas? Getting two jabs into all those who desire this should remain the priority to allow the maximum number of our team to have some level of protection.
Brian Milestone, New Plymouth.
Prepared for life
Schools need to teach students how to thrive in the world for the rest of their lives. Some of these skills include how to budget, file taxes, paying bills, managing student loans, purchase insurance.
Although there are classes offered with these subjects, the topics are often spread out among different electives. This is an easy way for students to miss important life skills that may not be explained properly by parents or advisers.
Sometimes students finish school and enter the workplace with no idea how to behave in a professional setting. Communication breaks down because they don't have guidelines and rules for sending an email to co-workers and superiors, or what type of behaviour is polite. Classes should teach how to respond appropriately in a range of situations.
Adults who don't know how to cook will eat food handed to them through a drive-through window. They may have working parents who don't have time to cook, or who never learned themselves. Part of the reason for the obesity epidemic is a large portion of the population doesn't know how to prepare healthy meals. Basic cooking skills will help improve health, save money and create positive family interactions.
Felicia Chen, aged 12, Browns Bay.
Derelict shopping centres. This is the price we pay for driving everything online.
It is sad many businesses are forced to close or re-direct how they move their goods.
Equally, it is just as sad that people-watching, social interaction, or just a person to speak to, has been taken away.
This leads to many people becoming isolated, lonely, or even depressed, by not having the opportunity, or reason, to get out and about.
How will these people be monitored for the change forced on their lifestyle?
Margaret Dyer, Taupō.
No means no in both English and Brazilian. It's appalling that a Christchurch woman may be re-victimised because her rapist might be released into the community before deportation (NZ Herald, July 9).
It's disingenuous and simplistic to deem Fernando Barbosa a "low risk of sexual re-offending", as he doesn't even acknowledge he did anything wrong, and for that reason hasn't received any rehabilitation whilst in prison.
If the Parole Board won't do its job, I'm happy to contribute some of my pension to a Givalittle fund to enable private security to escort him back to Brazil. Whilst there, perhaps the women in his life could give him a crash course in how to treat women with dignity and respect. I'm sure many women would join me in donating to this cause.
It's time to take the trash out.
Mary Hearn, Glendowie.
Tracks and bridges
Auckland Council, Auckland Transport and central government should seriously take great heed of proposals put forward by Professor David Grinlinton (NZ Herald, July 6). The proposed light rail to the airport should be dropped and the newly rebuilt Puhinui station served by an existing line from the city, should have an inexpensive link to the airport, Mangere and Papatoetoe.
Thus billions could be saved on a stop/start, slow train which will be rarely used by travellers from the eastern or northern suburbs.
This also avoids the chaos and failed businesses along the way. It would make the long-suffering retailers of Albert St think that they had got off lightly.
Also the absurd, ridiculous proposal by the Government to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a bicycle and pedestrian-only bridge across the harbour, a plan not researched or properly costed, should instead be a duplicate vehicle bridge alongside the existing Harbour Bridge and in time relegate two lanes on the old bridge to cyclists and pedestrians. Tunnels should be planned now. This, of course, would be all too easy to be taken seriously by our planners.
John Hodgson, Morningside.
The threat by 11 secondary school principals to stop all sporting contact with Kings College (NZ Herald, July 10) due to an eligibility dispute over one rugby player, takes the "whole class gets punished" to another level.
Is it any wonder that bullying and threatening behaviour is becoming rife in our society when this sort of behaviour is being promoted by supposed educators?
I M Phillips, Muriwai Beach.
There has been a lot of discussion lately over various modes of transport Aucklanders use, or should use.
Have any of the authority figures running Auckland actually travelled on a bus? If so, and with reasonable comfort, I wonder how tall they are?
It seems the buses are built for a human slightly shorter than the average Pākehā, Māori or Pasifika male.
I am about 5ft 10in (1.77m) and still have to stick my legs sideways to sit in a bus.
Until AT make the bus journey comfortable as well as convenient then they will wish for more customers for a long time to come.
David Speary, Northcote.
From recent comments made by some left-leaning "experts" it appears the hospitality industry is not an industry worth saving due to its inability to offer fixed fulltime contracts at above minimum wage. As someone who spent nearly 40 years in the industry supplying work at above minimum wage to young parents, university students, inexperienced school leavers and a host of others where 40 hours, 9 to 5, Monday to Friday does not work for them. To the unionists, accountants or academics it might seem like these people are being exploited but to those who find casual and flexible hours essential it can be a lifeline.
Please expose those in the industry who do not treat their employees properly, but do not tar all of the industry with the same brush. There are a lot of workers who depend on this industry's flexible hours and customers who would quickly complain at the extra cost or lack of choice when dining out if this attitude wins out.
James Archibald, Birkenhead.
Short & sweet
The hypocrisy of the protesters at the Waiheke marina is all too obvious when they shout and scream on the penguins' doorstep. Maybe it's not about them after all. Richard Brown, Manly.
How can Chris Hipkins be earnestly saying some people will be getting a third jab when there is a huge number of people who haven't even had the first one? This will make those people even more disgruntled. Lorraine Kidd, Warkworth.
Auckland Transport seems to have missed three excellent mini roundabouts within 200m of each other in Glen Innes. It is high time to replace them with traffic lights to ensure congestion, pollution and the destruction of local businesses. Stewart Hawkins, St Heliers.
The Government is considering building specialised MIQ facilities. If so, they should have finished by the time the next pandemic arrives in 2120. Michael Walker, Blockhouse Bay.
Mongrel Mob-led Kahukura meth rehab programme given $2.75 million from proceeds of crime funding: The geniuses in law enforcement are once again outwitted by the wily mob. Andrew Montgomery, Remuera.
May the good sense of those making New Zealand's Covid-19 decisions and their belief in well-grounded science continue to keep us all safe. Jennifer Ma'u, Hamilton.
The premium debate
Firstly - there is no excuse for anyone to kick a person in the head. The guard should be dealt with via the legal system. The same legal system which all parties engaged through the consultation and planning stages of this build. I'm no fan of marina developments, however, if we wish to live in a civilised society we all need to adhere to the law. If there are aspects we do not agree with, we can go through the democratic and peaceful process to have the laws changed. It appears since Ihumātao, some protesters believe if they behave in an unlawful manner for long enough the Government will step in and they will get their way. They have been empowered by the Government to act this way. Philla A
These protesters are attempting to bait the workers and security through verbal assaults and intimidation. The developers have won in court and are simply attempting to do the job legally. We have a law in New Zealand and I hope the police start prosecuting these people who think they have a separate system to the rest of us. A lot of people on Waiheke are afraid to speak out as the protesters intimidate and threaten people's livelihoods if you have a different opinion. Gareth B
This is disgusting to see in NZ. Those security guards must be prosecuted for the vicious assaults they are blatantly committing. Kicking and punching are not reasonable force and they have no legal right or authority to act in that manner! Where are our police to hold them accountable? Shameful that decent people simply trying to protect our environment are subject to this kind of abuse. Warwick J
I don't have a position on either side, but the legal right is with the developer. Protesters have a right to protest, but once on the building site are at personal risk and should be moved. If they resist, their rights are not unlimited. I bet the full video of the incident will show a more nuanced picture of the actual incident, rather than cherry-picked social media posts. Kim C
Whatever the developer says, seeing a protester being kicked in the head after being shoved into the water is inexcusable. Until the kororā can be protected while nesting, the developer can expect more people to support the protesters. Judy J
Clearly, this project has been subject to many reviews, in the final analysis it was approved, protesters like these create the problems, they should be arrested and charged with trespass. Garry B