Aloha from Hawaii
As long as New Zealand is considering a bubble that includes Australia why not include Hawaii?
I am a resident of Hawaii County (the Big Island) which has had 78 cases, one hospitalisation, and no deaths). Currently one is in isolation. The others have recovered.
In the state of Hawaii, which includes Honolulu, we have had the longest decline in new cases of any state in the US, down for six straight weeks, and had reported only 639 total cases as of May 17. As of May 20, 578 have recovered and we have had no new cases for several days.
There have been over 42,000 people tested in an ongoing community-based mobile testing programme.
It makes sense for New Zealand to open up to areas that have controlled the virus, because that can gradually provide some economic recovery which can be just as important as stopping the virus.
So how would you accomplish opening to Hawaii and Hawaii opening to New Zealand? Visitors would simply require a driver's licence or State I.D. in addition to the passport when passing through Customs.
Opening gradually to places that have suppressed the virus makes sense in so many ways.
Jonathan Cole, Hawaii.
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Waste of space
In the time of Covid-19 pandemic lockdown and economic collapse, the US prioritises billions of dollars for space travel, colonising the Moon and Mars, a Star Wars Plan, plus new nuclear weapons of mass destruction.
This is glorified as positive, exciting news, but warrants public outrage at the waste of money in militarisation and exploitation of Earth and space.
We are in a climate crisis in which fantastic military space budgets should be redirected to
environmental protection and restoration of nature, with permanent reduction of carbon emissions.
Launching space rockets and 20,000 satellites, plus investment in nuclear, conventional and technological warfare, threatens climate, health and security.
The media should be brave enough to express disapproval. Space travel is a distraction from the real challenges facing humanity with degradation of the atmosphere. Who wants to live on a toxic planet in a hazmat suit?
Imagine if taxpayers demanded that their hard-earned money could only be used for building a healthy, equitable life on earth for all citizens. Imagine if governments prioritised providing healthcare, education, clean water and renewable non-polluting energy. We can do this.
Laurie Ross, Glen Eden.
I loved the common sense in Dr Gary Payinda's article on the pandemic (NZ Herald, May 26).
Bolstering our hospital system so that it is prepared to cope with future waves of the Covid-19 virus, and all the unknown viruses that will come at us in the future, should be near the top of the shovel-ready projects designed to increase employment.
How long would it take for our training institutions to be ready to train up three or four times the present number of intensive care nurses and doctors? And vaccine research scientists? Time for that medical school at Waikato University?
In times when we are not under pandemic attack, this extra medical staff would be useful in bringing our run-down hospital system back up to more acceptable standards.
Tony Molloy, Morrinsville.
How predictable. National's "new brooms" Todd Muller and Nikki Kaye take a poke at Labour over its Kiwibuild and light rail failures and Phil Twyford takes the bait by claiming talks with the tram funders was progressing,
Thank heavens for Winston Peters putting the kybosh on budget blowout trams happening any time soon, saying heavy rail was a New Zealand First priority. This common-sense policy is good enough reason to hope his team are in the government after the election.
Coralie van Camp, Remuera.
The Auckland Ratepayers Alliance has published a list of the 86 people on the Auckland Council earning more than $250,000 a year - the top eight earning more than the Prime Minister.
This at a time when so many ratepayers are losing their jobs or struggling financially as a result of the pandemic lockdown.
Let's be kind and assume that these 86 people are all doing wonderful work helping transform Auckland into a vibrant, world-class city.
However desperate times call for desperate measures. In my view, all 86 of these people should be made redundant, including the CEO of Watercare. Then they should all be invited to reapply for their positions at a fixed rate salary of $160,000. This is the figure the average CEO earns in NZ.
If they choose not to re-apply I am sure there are plenty of people in the community who could, and would, admirably carry out their roles. These applicants could come from the hundreds losing their jobs including airline pilots and others with good credentials and good brains. Savings made would be roughly $20 million which, whilst not huge, is significant, equitable and fair to the ratepayers would theoretically pay their salaries.
Glen Stanton, Mairangi Bay.
Mayor Phil Goff seems to think that opening our borders to a flood of international students is good for the city and okay for our health. And this from a mayor who couldn't even get all Auckland's libraries open when Covid-19 Level 2 came into force.
Whatever view you might have on the value to the economy of providing an often marginal education to anyone willing to pay, Mayor Goff would be better off spending his time giving Watercare a good, sharp kick where it hurts.
Council 101 should always be ensuring that our city's basic services are fit for purpose.
Don Bunting, Freemans Bay.
Strength in unity
Let's have leadership in unity with accountability. Scrap that old Westminster conflict style of government.
We cannot go back to endless-growth, GDP-based economy. That is far deadlier than Covid. It will kill everything. We need prosperity through sustainability. stability through care.
Can you see beyond the square? New Zealand is one of the few who can move to a new paradigm.
We need all the talent we can muster, working together, yet keeping each other honest. Praising good work, yet with hearts open to a different perspective.
The old styles are over.
Graham Crookes, Waiuku.
How refreshing to hear Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, outline his sensible economic proposals for recovery from a huge Covid-19 emergency expenditure, similar to that in New Zealand.
Rather than punish the more successful part of the population with a counterproductive increase in taxes, he will instead focus on others in the workforce becoming increasingly successful. This is by encouragement of small businesses to focus on job creation, and a new standard of co-operation between employers and employees.
Jacinda Ardern, please note.
Hylton Le Grice, Remuera.
It is truly great news of the rescue of the two trampers lost in the dense bush of Kahurangi National Park.
They were commended by the search team for having "excellent equipment".
It would have been even better had they been carrying a personal locator beacon which would have narrowed down the search time considerably.
William Black, Remuera.
War of words
Our biggest store has re-opened but customers have to queue, in order, according to signs at the entrance, to reduce the "amount of people" in-store. This is not a correct construction. "Amount" relates to "quantity", as in coal, gold, salt.
"People" relates to "number", so it should say to reduce the "number of people" in-store. Does it matter to point out this error? Of course it does.
We purists will go down fighting.
John L R Allum, Thames.
Letters: Recovery work, adversarial politics, film sector exemptions and Waikato River water
Letters: Time for a bi-partisan approach to Government
Letters: Elderly gratitude, Pacific Islands and Watercare
Short & sweet
So the $30 million contract for the call centre with the hard of hearing app has been awarded to an American company. Good on you MBIE in thumbing your nose at NZ business. K.S. Agar, Onehunga.
Choking or poisoning your children, or their friends, in a car with your toxic emissions should deserve at least $1000-$1500 instant fine. Rob Buchanan, Kerikeri.
I reiterate Carol Johnson's views on the ridiculous $300 million spend on a walk/cycle way that is pandering to the few local wants when we have a regional water crisis that needs immediate addressing. Graeme Pullar, Orewa.
Do we really need council-funded luxuries like the America's Cup at this crucial time in the country's economy? Pamela Russell, Orakei.
Where does this leave members on the other side of the House with Lenin, Mao and Guevara caps collected in their travels? Nick Nicholas, Greenlane.
"The cargo-cult argument that we need foreign capital and migrants to create jobs and bring value to New Zealand is totally implausible," writes John Gascoigne (NZ Herald, May 25). These words should be on a plaque on the wall of every MP's office. C.C. McDowall, Rotorua.
Dear Arthur Mead, please come back, your city needs you urgently. Tony Goodwin, Pt Chevalier.