Letter of the week: Paul Charman, Takapuna.
Jamie Morton marked World Oceans Day with an excellent article explaining the Southern Ocean's huge value to our planet (Weekend Herald, June 8).
The references to HMNZS Wellington turning back from a 2014 voyage to the Subantarctic Islands rekindle a maritime controversy.
Morton writes the Wellington was forced to turn around due to an extreme storm which drove waves up to 14m high; and yes - that was the press release at the time.
But surely a warship - in this case, a Protector-class offshore patrol vessel - could reasonably be expected able to cope in such seas?
A few years ago a Navy employee who served on the voyage in question, assured me it was curtailed primarily due to worries over the welfare of passengers, including then-Conservation Minister Nick Smith.
Also, a boss at eco-tourism company Heritage Expeditions - which regularly plies Subantarctic waters - wryly observed to me that, for him, encountering such conditions in the Southern Ocean amounts to "just another day at the office".
One page of your Saturday edition of your fine newspaper (Weekend Herald, June 8) says it all. An Edgecumbe family of five who have been living in a tent for the last seven months, opposite a piece revealing the duplicity of Government Ministers in their cynical and bumble-footed handling of the Treasury data security breach. Given all of the Coalition's rhetoric lauding their fairness and transparency, their constant pratfalls and incompetence merely proves the adage that ... "talk is cheap".
Larry Mitchell, Rothesay Bay.
The only tattoos I used to see as a doctor were on old seamen and they did not improve with age and I found, sadly, they can hide a skin cancer. I view visible tattoos as a sign of exhibitionism and generally low intellect. Putting into your body permanent scars, possible infections and allergens is dopey. In the next few years the fashion will change and tattoos will be a dated, degenerating, deteriorating, drooping disfigurement leaving a permanent message even David Beckham tries to hide.
David M de Lacey, Remuera.
D-Day 6th June commemorations and the bravery of those involved have had the expected media coverage (Weekend Herald, June 8). But less than six weeks prior the botched rehearsal Exercise Tiger took place at Slapton Sands, Devon on April 28. 946 American servicemen died. This little-known tragedy needs remembering too. The men died as a result of a number of factors: bungled communications, inadequate training, unexpected use of live fire resulting in friendly fire deaths, attack by E-boats, lack of coordination of radio frequencies, departure of a protective vessel for repairs, and wrongly attached water life-saving equipment.
Exercise Tiger has been "under the radar" until relatively recently. Its now more recognised role in WWII military history is largely due to the research of local man Ken Small and his book The Forgotten Dead. Beachcombing in the 1970s he began to uncover remnants of uniforms etc. Later his discovery of a Sherman tank led to his setting this up as a memorial for the 946 men who died so tragically and unnecessarily.
Elizabeth Eastmond, Oneroa.
Lizzie Marvelly is critical of sport regulations which try to neatly divide athletes into male and female. She notes that there are many people who do not fit easily into either category. Of course, this could be solved by abandoning separate divisions for the sexes, but that would mean that in contests involving speed or strength, women would almost never get on the podium and men would dominate. I doubt this idea would get much support. Another option would be to allow athletes to simply choose which sex they compete as. But such a system would certainly be abused. I agree that making Caster Semenya take drugs to alter her testosterone levels is wrong. If testosterone levels are the key then we should first establish the cut-off level, then test every athlete's level and allocate them to one side or other of the divide, thus replacing the male/female distinction with a low testosterone/high testosterone distinction. Under this system Semenya would simply fall into one or the other category. But this also seems unlikely. Chromosomal distinctions are not binary either, so that wouldn't work. Moving away from the traditional way of determining sex could lead to calls for more than two sex-based sport divisions, or to none at all. Marvelly has highlighted the truth that the male/female distinction is not as clear as our binary sport arrangement suggests. But beyond telling us that Semenya "deserves to run free", Marvelly offers no practical solution. I don't have one either. It would be useful to hear from experts in the field of biological sex.
Rowan Hill, Mt Eden.
Dogs on beaches
I wish to comment on dogs running around on free beaches (Weekend Herald, June 8).
What often happens is a dog owner arrives at a beach and immediately lets their dog off the leash. That dog takes off flat-out to join other dogs exercising in the water or running around by the water.
That dog takes no notice of people enjoying a walk along the beach and, if it is a big dog, it can knock people over. A number of times I have experienced this and had to step out of the path of such a dog.
I would suggest that dog owners walk their dogs down to the water's edge and then let them off their lead. Some concerned dog owners do this, and I thank them.
I am a dog lover and enjoy seeing dogs off their leashes, enjoying the beaches as I do, but there is a need for some owners to be more responsible.
Eric Strickett, Henderson.
A quick word
Lizzie Marvelly may see a powerful cat when Semenya runs. What I see are all the women who finish the race behind her.
Andrew Tichbon, Green Bay.
I should have voted for National, at least then I knew that they would screw me over and I would not be holding out unfound hope of something better.
Robert Wilson, Waipu.
It was strange that Germany, the aggressor country, was invited to the D-Day anniversary while Russia, the country that made the biggest effort to defeat Nazi Germany and was opposed by 85 per cent of the German forces as opposed to the 15 per cent that faced the Allies on the Western Front, was not invited. I am not against Germany being invited, but Russia should also have been invited.
David Mairs, Glendowie.
Reducing the speed limit on any road will not stop motorists passing on double yellow lines, using cell phones, or make them ensure that all seat belts are fastened. These are things that cause accidents, not the roads.
Ayleen Riesterer, Te Kauwhata.
Letters: Blood donations, climate change, MP sisterhood and Sir Graham Henry
Letters: Judith Collins, war in Iran, tattoos and airport trains
Letters: Referendums, D-Day, child poverty and Waiheke ferries
The focus on speed limits and road conditions as a remedy for our road toll ignores a systematic approach to improving driver skills, knowledge and attitude, which is the major factor in this equation.
Erik Bates, Henderson.
If Simon Bridges was a team player or smart (only one is required), he would ring Andrew Little for advice on how to pass on the baton for the next election.
Glenn Forsyth, Taupo.
We have now gone a highly unusual 21 days with not one single sunspot. Perhaps, instead of worrying about President Trump's take on climate behaviour, the Herald might tell us whether or not our world is on the verge of another inter-glaciation cooling?
Terry Dunleavy, Hauraki.
Yes, the vehicles we drive cause pollution and therefore contribute to global warming. Face the facts and do something to help.
P Skipworth, St Johns.
Why it is that we are seeing vaping advertisements on primetime TV? The law prohibits tobacco and alcohol advertising, so why is it deemed to be appropriate to advertise vaping products?
Bruce B Owen, Bombay.
I find it hilarious so many people have been offended by someone telling them that a God they don't believe in, says in a book they don't believe in, that they will go to a place they don't believe in, unless they repent to a Saviour they don't believe in.
Kent Millar, Blockhouse Bay.
From images of the amount of damage inflicted on vehicles involved in two recent crashes in urban Auckland, it would be safe to assume the offending vehicles were travelling well in excess of existing speed limits. Could the autocrats planning to reduce speed limits, specifically in Auckland urban areas, please explain how their plan will prevent such incidents in future?
Jeffrey Langford, Belmont.