Donating blood can save donor's life


recently highlighted (June 11) the need for approximately 55,000 more blood donors in New Zealand. Healthy men of a mature age are in greatest demand as new donors.

A similar number of adults, primarily in the same age bracket, are believed to be carriers of Hepatitis C without realising they have this virus. Untreated, Hepatitis C leads to death through progressive liver damage but, once diagnosed, there is now a medical cure available.

Every unit of blood donated is automatically tested for Hepatitis C, so if all middle-aged adults went at least once to donate blood, not only would the Blood Service benefit, but potentially thousands of Kiwis would have their Hepatitis C diagnosed through their donation, and their own lives would be saved in the process.


Dr Greg Judkins, Epsom.

Unwanted donors

In the matter of "healthy men of a mature age" and the donation of blood products, the editorial (NZ Herald, June 12) asks "Where

are ya?". One answer is that the New Zealand Blood Service does not want some of us.

I have an untypically (for my age) low resting pulse rate. I am on no medication, I am a competitive cyclist who trains five days a week and averages around 200km a week. I was a blood products (whole blood; plasma and platelets) donor in Australia and New Zealand for some 52 years and, up to mid-2016, made in excess of 250 donations. I have never visited the UK; I do not have any tattoos etc. For maybe 20 years, I had made a plasma donation every second Tuesday night.

In mid-2016, I reported for my usual Tuesday plasma appointment, and was stood down because I had just had an arbitrary birthday. I was informed it was simply "policy". The NZ Blood Service could not provide any evidence-based clinical reason why I could no longer donate.

I became a donor when I was 19 years old - my grandmother had required a full whole blood transfusion to save her life: I was grateful to the various unknown donors, and decided to "answer the call to arms". I'm still available.

With the need so increasingly great, perhaps the service needs to be more flexible?

Peter Slocum, Royal Oak.


Climate emergency

It seems bizarre that the same day the Auckland City Council declares a

Mayor Phil Goff is seen on TV announcing the plans for American retail giant Costco to build a 14,000 sq m warehouse in Westgate.

If the declaration of an emergency is somewhat late in the piece, it is going to take even longer before we see a meaningful co-ordination of the various branches of local and national government in order to adjust their aims and objectives.

The "jobs and economy" mantra is just too pervasive, making the climate action appear like an afterthought, only happening because it can no longer be ignored. It's a bit like admitting there's a fire risk in an old house and deciding to buy a fire alarm.

I would like to see our politicians sent to the Indian villages suffering severe drought, reported on by the Guardian this week. They should be given one litre of personal water supply and only allowed home after a week. Then, after that glimpse of the future, they can lead us perhaps to salvation.

Paul Judge, Hamilton.

Time for change

My 8-year-old dog and Gen Z kid are both rapt about Auckland Council's pledging the last 5 cents of its true debt ceiling to defeating climate change ( i.e. the weather since AD1).

Now would our (interim) mayor mind winding up our St Marys Bay/Old Ponsonby Post Office clock? We don't want it left at midnight, 24/7. We citizens own half of it apparently, but do not have any access.

Tony Gavigan, St Marys Bay.

Floating carport

At long last Auckland Council has voted unanimously to declare a climate emergency in the city. Thank you so much. But what are they actually going to do?

On their doorstep the Hauraki Gulf is in desperate need of rehabilitation, and yet they have agreed to allow a 186 (possible) berth marina with a floating carport for 70 vehicles to proceed at Kennedy Point, Waiheke Island.

What value is that to the rehabilitation of the Gulf and how is that going to ameliorate climate change? Words are cheap. Actions cost money.

Erin Tipping-Clatworthy, Waiheke Island.

Sisterhood praised

Congratulations to Rachel Stewart (NZ Herald, June 12) on recognising the

as a strong female politician. It is shameful that strong women politicians have to put up with excessive gender-based vitriol, not only from men but also from feminists of the opposing political ilk. At the risk of being vilified by my sisters, I am happy to express admiration for strong women politicians across party lines who have served their community with integrity in the face of endless nasty personal denigration - Marilyn Waring, Ann Hercus, Julia Gillard, Julie Bishop, Theresa May and Angela Merkel, to name a few.

Judy Keall, Stanmore Bay.

Sisterhood, yeah right

Judith Collins criticised a speech by Metiria Turei as "vile, wrong and ugly, just like her jacket today". Anne Tolley lashed out at Turei too, complaining that she wouldn't be lectured to by someone who "lives in a castle and comes to the House in $2000 designer jackets". Paula Bennet told Jacinda Ardern to "zip it sweetie". Nikki Kaye said she "struggled to name anything Jacinda had done" in her time in Parliament. Graciousness? Sisterhood? Yeah, right.

S. McLaren, Titirangi.

Unkempt streets

In reply to the

letter (NZ Herald, June 11), I totally agree. I have emailed and phoned the council so many times regarding all the trees and leaves on Curran St in Herne Bay and just get a standard "we will look into this". The trees are all in the power lines, even a creeper growing up the power poles and the street is full of dead branches and leaves blocking the gutters. The grass hadn't been mowed for six months at Mansfield Beach walkway to Westhaven. This was finally done after many emails and phone calls on my part.

It is really sad to see how neglected the streets have become under the Super City yet they still waste money on putting in new curbing and resealing streets where there is nothing wrong with the existing!

Michele Wade, Herne Bay.

Brexit voters


Gerry Beckingsale (NZ Herald, June 12) wrote, "Many Brexit voters second-guessed the outcome, voting for Brexit but actually wanting to stay in the EU. They got the result they didn't want."

Given that a total of 17.4 million voters - nearly 52 per cent of the total poll - voted for Brexit, could Beckingsale enlighten readers how many of those 17.4 million voters he, or anyone, has personally polled to justify the claims he made?

Sir Robert Jones, Wellington.

SUVs and safety


Vince West's anti-SUV letter (NZ Herald, June 13) overlooks simple facts.

I happen to have one car that is only waist height and, sure, it may well hold the road better than our SUV - if driven fast, but we'd only find out if exceeding the posted speed limits by a substantial margin.

The chance of either turning over is minimal but in an accident caused by someone else I know which would be safer, right way up or upside down.

New Zealand drivers don't use their mirrors and, believe me, driving a low GT car on Auckland's crowded roads can be a very scary experience - and visibility ahead is also severely compromised.

The majority of accidents do not involve pedestrians as they seem to stick to the pavements, where the bigger issue may be scooters rather than SUVs.

Ray Green, Birkenhead.

Rugby coaching


John Rush suggests Canterbury rugby coaching does not transfer readily to anywhere (NZ Herald, June 11). I suggest that it can and has been done. John goes on to say that the Blues have won the Super 12 only when Sir Graham Henry was head coach or part of the coaching team, but fails to acknowledge that Sir Graham was Christchurch-born and bred and transferred his talents here when his teaching career brought him north.

Mike England, Orewa.

Sports coverage

I suspect that rugby fans will be severely disappointed when trying to view matches via the internet.

Trying to watch live tennis matches from the French Open during the night on my computer was impossible. The amount of stuttered buffer delay was twice as long as the action and occurred every few seconds.

I am on Vodafone broadband with modern equipment and do not know if the problem lay with them or Sky. Watching the close match next day after knowing the result was not the same.

Eric Powell, Glendowie.

Short & Sweet

On ferries

A recent Herald item commented that consideration was being given to handing over the running of the Waiheke ferry service to Auckland Transport (AT). Really? Heaven forbid.

Dennis Ross, St Heliers.

On referendum

If you only honour the result of a referendum provided, say, 75 per cent vote in favour of a change and you get a result in which only 74 per cent vote in favour, are you not ensuring that the 26 per cent who voted against actually win? That's not what I understand by democracy.

Gerald Payman, Mt Albert.

On Bridges

Using his repetitive dialogue when discussing an issue as though he was addressing a jury: It's obvious, it's quite clear, it's undisputable, it's a certainty he is going to end up on the back bench.

Derek Cunningham, Gulf Harbour.

On midwives

Isn't it time the mediaeval term "midwife" was replaced by something that sounds more scientific? Would they get more professional respect if they were called "birthing

consultants", "parturition experts" or "natal specialists"?

Jeanette Grant, Mt Eden.

On driving

A few steps to help reduce the road toll. Seat belts on, kids in car seats and patience. Patience with other drivers and patience with yourself - you don't have to overtake to be two cars ahead.

Karola Wheeler, West Harbour.

On airport

Oh for goodness sakes, it's an absolute "no-brainer" that linking Puhinui Station to the airport by rail is what most Aucklanders are thinking is the right thing to do. Why on earth can't the authorities agree and just get on with the job?

Margaret Dyer, Taupo.

On Brexit

Gerry Beckingsale's comparison of the UK Brexit and our cannabis law referenda is a leap. Despite other arguments, any cannabis law reform will not compel us to smoke the stuff.

P K Ellwood, Beach Haven.