What lies beneath
The crazy destructiveness, thuggery and looting in the guise of protest and "rights" currently sweeping the land of the free has degenerated into opportunistic violence for violence's sake which is totally inexcusable no matter what shade of colour or which side of the argument is taken.
No real leadership anywhere is to be seen or heard — just opportunistic politicising, self-serving agendas, highlighted, cherry-picked, presented and media-encouraged sensationalism.
It is so sad to see what just lies beneath the surface under an increasingly thin veneer of what now barely passes for civilisation.
Max Wagstaff, Auckland.
Democracy and trust in Council and Government has been harmed by the lack of public input into the Erebus Memorial in Dove-Myer Robinson Park. More trust and co-operation will be needed in the post-Covid years. Once, individual park or reserve management plans were the main means of engaging the public in the development and operation of major parks. Now they are being ignored in favour of non-notified resource consents, expert reports, hidden processes and generalised plans.
Kit Howden, Mt Eden.
Rich man's sport
Yet again we have this tired old chestnut from correspondent Andrew Kincaid about the America's Cup being a "rich man's plaything". He needs to understand all sport is professional in this day and age and if you look at any global sports, there are individuals and companies that support them.
If we didn't have sports events like the America's Cup he wouldn't have any public toilets to use. These events pay their way by leasing and buying properties, goods and services when in New Zealand and the payroll tax, gst and other taxes and costs they pay will allow Kincaid to have as many public toilets has he thinks he needs.
The television spectacle will show off this country off all over the world at a price we couldn't even contemplate and bring in thousands of tourists for the benefit of our economy.
Chester Rendell, Bayswater.
Letters: Economy, armed response, water shortage and Covid 19
Belmont road woes
Locals are not so impressed with the well designed project of 800 homes off Eversleigh Rd Belmont. At no stage has the Auckland City Council North Shore Board implemented anything constructive to manage the probable 1600 plus cars that will be added to the crush exiting this new development on to one of the most densely used roads in Auckland.
The developers should be charged with limiting the number of cars allowed; and contributing to the improvement of Lake Rd. It is not the developers' fault — it is inept council mismanagement of roading on an intensely developed isthmus while cramming in a large retirement village and major land development.
Lynne Lagan, Takapuna.
The Northern Corridor Motorway will soon have two tolling stations when extended to Warkworth. People living in the north, but working in the city, will fork out $48 a week. Why is this road is so heavily tolled but the Northern and Southern Motorways in Christchurch, Transmission Gully and the Waikato Expressway are not? This "Holiday Highway" will certainly benefit holidaymakers travelling north from Auckland, but it will be regular workers travelling to the city who bear the costs.
Neil Hatfull, Warkworth.
Dark and mysterious
Our recent Kiwi television dramas The Luminaries and One Lane Bridge seem to me to be masterpieces of darkness and incomprehensibility, lacking in characters that engage the viewer at any level. Bring back a new series of the Brokenwood Mysteries, I say!
Ian Dally, Mt Albert.
The death of an unarmed black man George Floyd while being arrested by white policeman Derek Chauvin highlights why America is in decay. Whilst Covid 19 is still raging, New York and many other cities burn. Yet Nasa celebrates sending yet more men into space. It seems to me they have their priorities wrong. Donald Trump's manta of "making America great again" seems to have been an abject failure. While America burns China has defeated Covid 19 and is quickly back on track to supersede it as the world's largest economy.
Hopefully here in New Zealand our Government won't have to pick sides. Pressure will come for us to side with America as our traditional ally. However I think we should be cognisant of the fact that China is a better option as we are more than ever linked with them as our major trading partner.
Glen Stanton, Mairangi Bay.
Moving to level 1
Sir David Skegg characterises those advocating moving quickly to level 1 as "ignorant", that "abundant evidence from overseas" warns against it. This opinion, however, is from an epidemiologist, a doctor who tries to derive medical truths from mathematical models, but who does not practice in real world medicine. Epidemiological models are inherently inaccurate as biological systems are excessively complex. The modelling published by the MOH early in the pandemic illustrates this well: although performing reasonably during March and April in predicting case numbers, it also predicted a long tail of cases over several months, which patently has not occurred. This model, therefore, fails completely in its ability to inform when to reduce restrictions. In terms of evidence from overseas, there is none — no other country with completely sealed borders has yet eliminated the virus. Real world data shows most of NZ eliminated the virus more than a month ago, and one single cluster in Auckland ceased slightly more recently. Real world data tells us we should be in level 1 now.
Dr Rees Cameron, Upper Hutt.
Fran O'Sullivan has joined with Winston Peters in saying we should move to level 1 immediately. Peters' motives seem politically based so why is O'Sullivan arguing for this too? We have gone with the medical and scientific advice so far and this has worked. Let us remember that the virus has a demonstrated long tail.
Peter Pascoe, Tauranga.
Fran O'Sullivan has hit the nail on the head by noting the Prime Minister is proving "wilfully deaf" to the message that it is time to get New Zealand fully back to business. We are teetering on the precip f an economic and social disaster. Wage subsidies and other government life support are holding the economy in a state of animated suspension but they are not sustainable. By refusing to move to level 1 now Jacinda Ardern has her head in the sand. Ms Arden needs to heed the call from business leaders batting on the front line to keep the economy afloat and take decisive action to move to level 1 without further delay.
William Black, Remuera.
Now that the political commentators and cartoonists have had their week of fun with the hats and bloopers of the National Party, maybe it is time for them to have a little fun with the Labour Party? They have the classic Three Stooges to work with. There is Phil Twyford, Minister of Lite Rail, Lite Housing, and Lite Cycleways. David Clark, the seldom seen Minister of Lite Health and noted rule-breaker. Kelvin Davis, the Minister of Lite Tourism. I could add a List of Lite Labour list MPs, but nobody knows their names.
Rob Elliott, Kohimarama.
A tickertape parade, even a memorial must go to the millions of New Zealanders who tolerated being locked down in their houses for two months with only limited freedom to move about, cut ties with family, put their livelihoods and mental state at risk in a common goal to protect the health and lives of their fellow citizens and — when given limited freedom to move about — obeyed social distancing, greeted others with a caring, friendly smile and had a common goal of defeating the enemy and saving the lives of others. As Winston Churchill might well have said: "Never have so many suffered to save the lives of so few." The New Zealand Herald and the Government must acknowledge them with the grandest and finest humanitarian medal of all.
Gary Hollis, Mellons Bay.
Short & sweet
The US has encouraged demonstrators/ rioters in Hong Kong and said it is democracy in action. So what are the demonstrations in the US? I wonder how Trump would react if China interfered in US politics with encouragement of riots.
Vince West, Milford.
I get the impression mayor Phil Goff's statement that council should cut costs and be more responsible with its finances is a brand-new concept.
PK Ellwood, Beach Haven.
I see the Australian banks have had a surge in their share prices. This includes the Commonwealth Bank (up 12%) which owns the ASB. I dearly wish that this huge wealth would translate into more regard for their customers and that they would re-open a few more branches.
Jennifer Paxton, St Heliers.
We rely on caught tank water. We use a basin in the sink to rinse our dishes (no soap) and the water is ultimately poured on to plants. The dishes are then placed in dishwasher which when full is used on economy wash every two days (10 litres). Less water use and cleaner sterilised dishes. Your correspondent Peter Cook should do more research.
Ian Walker, Mangawhai.
I suggest Peter Cook updates his knowledge of dishwashers. Modern machines use less water and power and are very efficient.
Sheila Sivyer, Pukekohe.