With another "boring" week of school break staring at solo dad's 9-year-old "dynamic" daughter, I decided to check expedia.com for flights to Melbourne, Australia, where the temperature was 25C. To my amazement, I was able to get non-stop airfares for two on Virgin Australia and accommodation in Central Melbourne for a total of $1400. However, this was only from Auckland and it seemed kind of weird that when I punched in a Nelson departure I got a crazy high amount.
So I booked from Auckland at this incredible price and then found out that it would cost me $1200 on Air New Zealand and $900 on Jetstar to connect from Nelson to Auckland return, a simple one-hour trip on a turboprop aircraft.
Have we become so complacent in this country that we accept being continually screwed by Air New Zealand on domestic flights? It seems obvious to me that their only competitor, Jetstar, has decided to jump on board. Why, when our government is a major shareholder in Air NZ, should we have to bend over and take such abuse? We need a revolt, but where do our representatives (whose airfares are paid by us) stand with this travesty?
Bruce Dooley, Nelson.
Every Thursday, a group of us who raise and train service dogs, descend upon Trusts Arena in Henderson to commence our 45-minute walk, but this week was different. As our group of seven adults, seven labradors with three children in tow, approached the track, we were stopped by "security" who said we were not allowed to go any further as "the All Blacks had booked out the whole area". We were not even permitted to go up the side of the stadium to use bins for our waste collection, but rather, forced to backtrack 400 metres to the carpark and out onto the footpath passing the track. I must say, that the thought did occur to me to hurl my compostable poo bag onto the All Blacks bus, but that would only have equated to the behaviour of the All Blacks, described by one in our group as "juvenile". We are a group of people who go out rain or shine to prepare these dogs to become operational working entities, giving those who cannot see, the gift of freedom. My message to the All Blacks management and team is "get real". Our focus is on contributing to our society and making a difference, not on watching you throw a ball around, so stop behaving like pretentious show ponies. There was a time when anyone could watch the All Blacks train.
Martha-Louise Asmus, Totaravale.
I hope Fire and Emergency and Civil Defence understand the importance of not switching to EVs without careful thought.
During a civil emergency with an electricity outage, these vehicles can not be charged unless backup generators or energy storage devices of some sort are installed at charging stations. Is this being done, can anyone tell me? A reliable source of solar power with adequate storage of this would also suffice, but I question that this energy source would be adequate as things stand.
In the event of a power cut I'm informed the fibre optic network and internet phones will not work without electrical backup. Once again, I would like to know if this backup is being provided. If so, how much is being provided and how long will it last?
Why are we as a country not planning to continue, longer term, to have the copper network maintained? This works without electricity.
Letters: Justice, Auckland airport, end of life choice, good Samaritans and Simon Wilson
Letters: Parking, climate taxes, police chases, ethnic affairs and superannuation
With recent research into the frequency of the Alpine Fault earthquakes, I think this matter needs serious attention. After a significant AF earthquake, electrical supplies to much of the country could be affected, and not for just a brief period.
C Chambers, Parnell.
Congratulations to the entire New Zealand cricket team. Their performance throughout the Cricket World Cup was spectacular, and the whole team made us very proud. These games will go down in cricketing history - let's get the red carpet out for their triumphant return.
Rosemary Howell, Meadowbank.
Your correspondent Gerry Hill (Weekend Herald, July 13), who has motor-neurone disease, is right to call out the sheer cost and lack of availability of medicinal cannabis products currently in New Zealand. He, like thousands of others, will be keenly watching progress after Parliament passed The Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill late last year.
Last week the Ministry of Health released its discussion document on the proposed regulations for New Zealand's Medicinal Cannabis Scheme. Widespread concern has since been raised over a "specialist recommendation" being required before a GP can prescribe. This is a move many medical experts, including The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners, believe is excessive and unnecessary.
We applaud the Ministry of Health's overall direction for the proposed regulations. However, thousands of patients like Mr Hill will continue to face substantial barriers to access if this extra layer of medical sign-off is needed to obtain a medicinal cannabis prescription.
I strongly encourage Mr Hill and other suffering Kiwis to have their say, with public consultation closing on August 7.
Paul Manning, executive director, Helius Therapeutics.
The recent announcement of a new discount/fee structure for newly imported motor vehicles based on emissions (NZ Herald, July 11) definitely has merit. This country needs to reduce emissions and play its part on the world stage and drop its ridiculous attraction to large utes.
I do, however, question the timing of the announcement compared to the proposed implementation date.
If a concerned buyer purchases an EV or hybrid over the next 12 months then their vehicles could depreciate by an extra $4800-8000 as these vehicles are re-priced in 2020.
Perversely, purchasers of large carbon-emitting diesel and petrol vehicles will be rewarded by the higher prices after 2020.
This new proposed system should have just been introduced unannounced thereby encouraging smarter buying decisions now.
Brent Murdoch, Greenlane.
Why hasn't any of the virtue-signalling ideologues in government started to think outside their slogan-plastered boxes and convert Huntly and any other coal- or oil-fired power-generating plants around this country to super incinerators to burn the mountains of plastic waste accumulating we are shown stockpiling at "recycle" depots?
Singapore was shown on the TV news recently having done just that with super efficiency and no pollution or villainous carbon impact to the atmosphere and little other than clean ash, free of plastic particulates, a by-product of the process.
If the Greens and the Labour Government are determined to electrify the transport system and road fleet as our population grows and swells, this country is going to need every source of power generation it can cobble together very soon given the knee-jerk diatribe pouring from the Beehive and reported daily in the media.
Selectively banning some plastics and not others is just hollow, empty-vessel-banging noise, just so much shallow window dressing and an illusion of actually addressing a long-out-of-control by-product of the contemporary world we are part of.
Max Wagstaff, Auckland.
Shane Jones hit the nail on the head regarding forestry log suppliers (NZ Herald, July 12). These log sellers never learn from history. When I was associated with the industry, we went through the sell off of the State forests (biggest scandal ever) and, in that time, the major companies went on a felling spree, plundering the forests.
China became one of the biggest markets and they went crazy, selling to them at the expense of our local industries by pricing the local, small sawmiller out of the market. After a while, China stopped buying, which left stockpiled logs on the wharf going blue. These of course, these were taken off their hands for a greatly reduced price. It has always been a boom and bust market and if they have not realised that by now, they never will.
Jim Anderton tried his best to encourage mills to add value instead of selling raw logs but he was flogging a dead horse.
I hope we don't see them asking for government (taxpayer) bailouts as they start to go down the tubes.
Tom O'Toole, Taumarunui.
Devonport, until the 1990s, had three petrol stations - Old Lake Rd beside the gas tanks, Wynyard St in the village and Tainui Motors at Cheltenham. By 2010, there was but one, Tainui Motors, then we had none.
To gas up for some years now has been an inconvenient drive to Hauraki. This month, the BP station at Hauraki is closing and will not reopen until December. The population of Devonport is just short of 60,000; many, gas guzzling "mummy wagons" and two-car families. A proposal to reopen the Tainui pump with a major development is attracting serious opposition from local residents and, even if approved, will be some time away. The entry and departure, Lake R only, in and out of Devonport, is recognised as the most congested in Auckland. Traffic to and from the Naval base and large numbers of out of Devonport residents who park their cars in the village and take the ferry to Auckland add to the numbers. The Herald last weekend interviewed a long-time car-stealing fellow, now retired from that profession. He stated many thousands of cars are stolen every year in Auckland, but not from Devonport, due to there only being one road in and out of the village, so i guess that's some comfort for we residents.
John Cooper, Devonport.
Short & Sweet
Do the people at Auckland Council's licensing department have working hours? How is it we got to the absurd stage where police and safety checks are required for a one-off two-hour licence extension for things such a cricket final? Ken McIntyre, Half Moon Bay.
A brainless, drug-taking drunk, drags two innocent people from their campervan in the dark of night and proceeds to beat the hell out of them, and only gets nine months' home detention due to his "youth, remorse and guilty pleas". How damned pathetic is that? Paul Baker, Waitakere.
Phil Goff? John Tamihere? Nah! We need someone who fully understands this mess. Where's Rodney hiding? Terry Harris, Mangawhai.
Does Auckland really need a mayor who cannot remember a helicopter ride to one of the district's grandest houses, receiving a $50,000 donation to his political campaign, and lunching with "the most beautiful woman I have ever met"? Greg Moir, Kerikeri.
Why aren't we selling the buy-back guns to the Americans to recoup the compensation costs? Why destroy them? They want them, we don't. T Fitzpatrick, Mt Wellington.
Bugger, sooooo close. Stand tall Black Caps, you did New Zealand proud. Gary Stewart, Foxton Beach.
Since when have words such as "street" and "strong" had an additional "h" to become "shtreet" and "shtrong"? Listening to this pronunciation is very "frushtrating". Janet Boyle, Manly.
Hey people, there is an "or" in deteriorate. Deteriate is not a word. Ailsa Greenwood, Paihia.