Letter of the week: Simon Stokes, Parnell.
I read with interest the article (Weekend Herald, March 21) regarding the proposed
Erebus memorial in Dove-Myer Robinson Park.
I believe I am in a unique position to comment. My father was on the flight, I live next door to the park, I have seen the information obtained under LGOIMA [Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act] and OIA [Official Information Act] and I have seen the Erebus family feedback.
I have seen first-hand the appalling way my wife has been treated, simply seeking information.
The entire process has been rushed through, the design process cut short, relevant information not shared with decision-makers, including, it would seem, the PM herself.
Briefings confirm the site was the only one left on the table before the families had returned their surveys. There is no mention of the Boffa Miskell report in any briefing document we have been given. I have seen the email, in which Brodie Stubbs dismisses the offer of Auckland Council to identify alternative sites, claiming the report "was not a fatal blow".
That decision was made in less than five hours. Then the report seemingly buried.
There are references to Erebus family members the Ministry "are close to". Who are they
and why is their opinion more important than mine?
When I read the quote from Stubbs that he hopes the gaining of resource consent will give the community comfort, I can assure him it most certainly does not.
Nothing short of a full and independent review of the Ministry's handling of this matter will.
• Erebus Memorial mix-up: Wrong plans shown to public at special consultation, says local politician
• Erebus memorial taken off fast track: Decision delayed until after local body elections
• Controversial Auckland Erebus memorial gets resource consent for Parnell location in Dove-Myer Robinson Park
• Sir Dove-Myer Robinson's daughters: Erebus memorial doesn't belong in our father's park
At times like this, you can see what drives your columnists (Weekend Herald, March 21). Audrey Young, who usually damns the Coalition Government as full of mistakes, found the action taken by Jacinda and her team as fast and necessary. I expect she will be hating to admit that.
Even John Roughan gave faint praise to the Government. However, his comment that the Budgets of Ruth Richardson up to Bill English mean that we can withstand an economic shock is erroneous. The "10 years of neglect" he refutes, have actually made us more vulnerable to a pandemic. DHBs have been starved of funds so they cannot cope with an epidemic.
The homeless and poor are unable to self-isolate or keep up with directives. If we had the level of full housing and benefits those previous governments cut, we would have a much better chance of surviving this pandemic. Their cuts to everything have had a devastating effect on society and, thus, our economics.
Frankie Letford, Hamilton.
Groan and cringe! Just when Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's well-deserved public admiration for her handling of the Christchurch mosque attacks and Covid-19 pandemic is recognised globally, she has dropped the ball on an inane decision from her pet portfolio - Ministry for Culture and Heritage.
How one independent commissioner has the power to approve a non-notified resource consent for a huge ugly Erebus memorial to be erected in the Parnell Rose Garden (Weekend Herald, March 21) to please a small select group of people and MCH "art experts", against the wishes of locals in the community, is mystifying.
Hopefully, but not to hold one's breath, Waitematā Local Board members as landowners of the site, will deny construction permission.
Coralie van Camp, Remuera.
Has any thought been given to building an incinerator if Rio Tinto closes?
All NZ waste could be transported there by sea, thus improving local sea industry.
No more landfill problems for the rest of the country. Several problems solved.
Brian Giles, Hauraki.
Times were hard
Once again Lizzie Marvelly (Weekend Herald, March 21) has shown a rather myopic and worrying lack of understanding of just how difficult life was for us non-millennials.
When I were a lad, I used to walk 10 miles each way to school in bare feet, live in a hole in the road with only a tarpaulin for cover and boiled up empty marmite jars to make a soup for dinner. And I was one of the lucky ones as at least I had my own hole.
And you try and tell kids these days about how tough life was then and do they believe you?
Do they heck!
(With apologies to the Pythons)
Pat Taylor, Tauranga.
I must take issue with Saturday's "Letter of the Week" (Weekend Herald, March 21), which implies politicians should be taking the pandemic actions they are now taking, to combat climate change. The pandemic is a true emergency that threatens to kill tens of millions if nothing is done. The required actions will hobble economies worldwide and may well cause a depression the like of which has not been seen since the 1930s. This is a massive price to pay, but without governments acting, rapidly escalating deaths would frighten populations into group actions that would still result in a depression, but with far more deaths.
There is simply no comparison between the pandemic emergency and climate change. How pandemics work is well understood. How climate change will pan out is not so clear, but it is certainly a slow-burn problem that requires careful consideration and not the sudden halting of world economies.
Ron Baker, Pauanui.
I note (Weekend Herald, March 21) that Countdown is to limit the purchase of baked beans and toilet paper to two per customer.
Surely there is a direct correlation in this, and that if baked beans were totally removed from supply, the apparent panic buying of toilet paper would reduce accordingly.
Quite simple, really.
Michael White, Takapuna.
Now that Air New Zealand has received a super-sweet bailout of $900 million from the Government (i.e. the taxpayers) will we get assurance from Air New Zealand that if and when this nightmare blows over, we will no longer be crammed into their planes like a bunch of battery hens being shipped off to the slaughter? Otherwise, I would rather "self-isolate" for the rest of my life than get on one of their torture chambers.
Donald Kern, Kaikorai.
A quick word
A deadly virus has literally cleaned up the atmosphere in just a few months. It is doing what humans could not manage voluntarily. Rob Buchanan, Kerikeri.
In the blink of an eye, Mother Nature tackled two of civilisations biggest problems, overpopulation and greenhouse gases, which politicians for more than two decades dismally failed to do. Gary Hollis, Mellons Bay.
Forget about the threat of intercontinental nuclear rockets, it only takes a little germy thing to bring us all down to earth. Jack Waters, Taupo.
Now is the time to appreciate what we have on our back door. A brisk walk and/or cycle in our native bush, pastureland and beaches is needed to clear the mind and raise flagging spirits. Kia kaha! Bruce Tubb, Belmont.
The arrival of Covid-19 has highlighted how much affected families and whānau and public health systems need better support; now is the time to put the military spending on hold. Janfrie Wakim, Epsom.
With news reports of travellers taking no notice of self-isolation requirements it is now urgent that New Zealand takes firmer action. Neal McCarthy, Auckland Central.
One would hope in cases where tourists arrogantly ignore the restrictions, the law is rigorously applied and such people are deported immediately. She'll be right just isn't good enough. Paul Beck, West Harbour.
It will be our farmers, horticulturalists, apiarists, the fishing industry and those agencies serving their needs who will prove our mainstay despite farmers being disrespected and pilloried by coalition politicians in recent times. P J Edmondson, Tauranga.
It is time some opinion writers, who try to score headlines by nitpicking the Prime Minister, pulled their heads in and concentrated on the strategies to try and control this pandemic. Reg Dempster, Albany.
My father always said, "Leave something for the next guy." But he's from an unselfish generation, now mostly gone. John Wilson, Rotorua.
I guess we could change the old headache cliche to – Not tonight, dear, I have Covid-19. Glenn Forsyth, Taupo.
Your article regarding America's sluggish response to the pandemic (Weekend Herald, March 21) sadly highlights an ill-equipped leader who's inconsistent messages to the American people have engendered only confusion and anxiety. Mary Hearn, Glendowie.
Has anyone told Mr Trump that Spanish flu originated at Army Camp Zachary Taylor in Kentucky? That's in the USA, spelt: A-M-E-R-I-C-A. Robert Burrow, Taupo.
Well done, Steve Braunias. Your "visitor to New Zealand" piece in Saturday's Herald raised my spirits greatly. Lesley Clark, Manurewa.