I have spent three days in Wellington. When Auckland and the south were battered by bad weather, the capital was beautiful. But walking the kilometres of people-friendly wharf areas, with entertainment, it makes you realise how we, in Auckland, have been let down by our council.
Give us back our harbour. Get rid of the port.
We should be able to walk from Mechanics Bay to Westhaven, and we don't need a stadium in the middle either.
And don't even get me started on the difference between our disgraceful airport and Wellington's.
Aucklanders need to start holding the inept Auckland Council to account. It's no wonder we are the laughing stock of the rest of the country
John Little, Milford.
I would like to correct your editorial (NZ Herald, August 1) concerning the Tiananmen Square event. This event was not cancelled by AUT (it wasn't ours to cancel) or by the organisers. It went ahead elsewhere and apparently was very successful.
No one at AUT officially had any knowledge of the event until an advertisement in the NZ Chinese language media was brought to our attention.
We don't allow external groups to use our premises without seeking approval (and in most cases paying the basic user costs), regardless of the organisation or the nature of its event. In addition, it was on a Public Holiday when the building was closed.
At AUT we are not unfamiliar with China's requests for events to be stopped. The present case was not new. These are requests to which we do not accede. We were not intimidated by Chinese officials.
We do seek to maintain a courteous relationship with the Chinese Consulate – as we should with any country's official representatives – and my communications reflect this.
At AUT we are committed to free expression. We hold to our status and responsibilities as an autonomous institution with academic freedom, and to our part in an open democratic society.
Derek McCormack, Vice-Chancellor, AUT.
Trish Deans claims Panuku Development Auckland failed to do the consultation properly.
This community consultation was approached with two surveys; the first was a request for feedback from the community in general and the second was one-on-one questioning of over 500 people by research company Colmar Brunton.
Both consultations, held in July and August 2018, were to seek information from the community on the preferred location of a civic public area in the new Takapuna Metro Centre development. The first received 5385 responses with 84 per cent by way of the online feedback form. The rest were hard copy response forms or some other way like email or letter.
With the online submissions, 53 per cent of submitters came from the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board area and another 1520 or 28 per cent were from Kaipatiki, Hibiscus Bay and Upper Harbour local board areas.
The Colmar Brunton survey showed 69 per cent of the 563 interviewed respondents preferred one of the two proposed options, with 40 per cent opting for the area that has been decided upon. A majority of the 5385 respondents to the community consultation also supported a civic public area with the majority of these people stating that their preferred location is between Hurstmere and Lake roads, which has been chosen.
Using a scientific survey, such as has happened here, shows there is sound verification of the community engagement.
George Wood, chairman, Devonport-Takapuna Local Board.
I feel Sir Peter Gluckman is giving mixed messages by urging New Zealand to loosen laws governing the application of gene technology in agriculture and the environment (NZ Herald, July 31) while calling for robust public debate on the subject. In his opinion New Zealand will become a "backwater" if we don't embrace genetic modification and that the technology is safe. This language is not only patronising and presumptuous, it is incorrect. To date there have been no long-term studies on human health and wellbeing of consuming genetically modified foods. Nor is there international agreement or understanding of liability or redress when it comes to environmental damage or adverse effects of GMO (genetically modified organisms) release and consumption.
There is a growing number of countries, 41 at present, that have banned the cultivation and release of GMOs. Many also ban the importation of genetically modified food and other material. Of the remaining nations including America, Australia, Scandinavia and some in Europe, whole regions have been designated GMO free. People the world over want pure natural food, with ethics and animal welfare also more of a priority. Far from becoming a backwater, New Zealand has a valuable window of opportunity to be one of the cleanest, most ethical, sustainable, GMO-free food producers in the world.
Michelle Androu, Narrow Neck.
My heart goes out to the American people who have lost their loved ones in the latest gun massacres in Ohio and Texas. But my mind registers no surprise.
Could that be because I have come to accept the gun culture and the accompanying gun violence as an integral part of life in America?
It's so tragic that a civilised people should live that way.
Rajend Naidu, Glenfield, Sydney.
While I am somewhat ambivalent towards the polytechnic merger (NZ Herald, August 2), I can see the good sense behind the idea.
What I am interested in, however, is the idea that our district health boards, all 21 of them, could actually benefit from such a planned merger. How is it common sense, for the Auckland region to have three sets of DHB administration for the same population? Yes there will be push back on a loss of local identity, but what would you rather have; disfunction at a micro level or a superior service where early assessment and treatment is the norm?
John Ford, Taradale.
Imagine questioning the supervision of a learner driver over a pedestrian death, if that person was killed crossing a motorway? It is equally ridiculous for a coroner to criticise the supervision of a little girl, tragically killed while walking along a footpath (NZ Herald, August 1). If children cannot walk safely on footpaths, neither can the frail elderly, the blind or others with disabilities. Should they be deprived of their freedom too? Can they not go out without supervision either? Pedestrians have absolute right of way on footpaths. There is never any excuse for drivers who fail to check for them or vehicles with inadequate visibility.
Stephen Bayldon, Mt Roskill.
Might I nominate Simon Wilson to be mayor? In his review of the problems of traffic in our city (NZ Herald, August 2) he exhibits a degree of common sense sadly lacking in the "professionals" employed to recognise and solve them.
An example of their "planning" is the insistence that every cyclist from the Eastern suburbs - St Heliers to Meadowbank - will use a track along Tamaki Drive with its congestion- to end at the Ferry Building. This is despite safer more flexible alternatives being available. The problems that will face everyone in using Queen St or other major city roads to reach their destinations in the CBD are so obvious that they should not be ignored.
J Binsley, Parnell.
In a world awash with anxiety about virtually everything real and imagined it is a total mystery how e-scooters got to share footpaths with pedestrians completely unregulated. Suddenly the simple concept of footpaths for walkers and roads for motorised vehicles was swept aside by the city's urban designers with no visible public buy-in or discussion. Though I applaud lateral thinking on new ideas for public transport, and e-scooters definitely fit this category but being body slammed by some dude speed weaving through crowded footpaths really doesn't appeal. Why not do something simple and memorable to address this right now. Call it the 10/10 Rule. If you're riding an e-scooter on a public footpath and you're 10 metres or less from pedestrians you can only go 10km/h or less. Get busted and they impound the scooter. Which then gets billed to the rider's credit card by the hire company , no convoluted, expensive and hard to enforce fines process involved - naturally there'd be a right of appeal. Just watch those reckless riders start to behave themselves overnight.
Phil O'Reilly, Auckland Central.
Short & Sweet
Letters: Diabetes, royal tours, the Blind Foundation and Lizzie Marvelly
Letters: Port car park, diabetes, twin-key apartments and Jacinda Ardern
Jacinda Ardern should be commended for showing us all and leading by example the holistic work/life approach to one's career. Just waiting now for the work part to kick in.
Dave Purcell, Ōrākei.
The proposal to construct 1600 apartments on land near or on Smales Farm is straight out of Agenda 21.
Alan Slater, Arkles Bay.
Is there any truth to the rumour that Simon Bridges and National sycophant Mike Hosking are competing for a photo on the cover of Vague magazine?
David Field, Rotorua.
The latest government announcement on the unification of polytechs is just another sign the they want to control what we do.
J Boyle, Orewa.
It does seem an inefficient and absurdly wasteful use of our scarce police resources to have 15 police cars at the scene of a (concluded) car chase.
Graham Steenson, Whakatāne.
The disruption in Albert St for the new rail link will be like a sandfly bite compared to the disruption Labour's light rail project both along and getting to Dominion Rd.
Derek Paterson, Sunnyhills.
Peter Ellis can be reassured that as in the case of Louise Nicholas and others, the truth became obvious to most New Zealanders despite a court verdict to the contrary.
Janet O'Sullivan, Avondale.
Lorikeets have been buzzing around the North Shore for at least 20 years and it is only now that they are being rated as a risk to the country . Where have these people charged with looking after our biosecurity been hiding?
Jock MacVicar, Hauraki.