Your correspondent Isaac Broome had some great suggestions about projects which the Government could consider for "nation building".

But attempting to re-establish the Ministry of Works to do the work is impractical and would not achieve the desired outcomes.

The civil construction industry fought successive governments to get a fair share of major works and the Clyde Dam project being put out to competitive tender was the breakthrough. The Public Works Department, and its later entity, the Ministry of Works, did a great job in developing a young New Zealand, but their time had come.

The civil construction industry today is an experienced body of companies, has the plant and equipment, the experienced personnel, and the ability to quickly provide employment if the work is there.


To create a government-owned body to do the work would take years to create a critical mass, and by then it would be too late to make a difference.

The quickest way to get work under way is to negotiate with contractors to do it, and to mandate they employ and train any additional personnel a project might require. That is the only way to get the ball rolling immediately.

To try to recreate the Ministry of Works would gain nothing.
Roger J Douglas, Cambridge
NZ Rail should listen

Isaac Broome of Pukekohe is always a valuable advocate for rail, with another great letter on Sunday.

NZ Rail should engage with his foresight. Including keeping all our logs in New Zealand, and the jobs that go with making the (end) products within the forestry industry, which he also mentions.
Glenn Forsyth, Taupō
Pretence about babies

Thank you, Bernie Allen, for pointing out how the recent Review piece afforded the same "sensitivity and tenderness" towards parents who lost "babies pre birth, at birth or soon after" (May 31).

It reminds us how perfectly natural it is to think of a foetus or embryo as a baby: try telling all those parents it isn't. And it reminds us how painfully contrived and contorted it is to pretend it isn't a baby when abortion is discussed.
Gavan O'Farrell, Lower Hutt
Immigration debatable

"Immigration has been a huge driver of NZ's economic success for the past decade", says Liam Dann (May 30).


Tell that to the unemployed, those trying to buy their first home, those stuck in traffic, those waiting for an operation and closed school rolls.
Bruce Tubb, Belmont
Cardboard crowd a hit

Rugby League is back with crowd noise and people in the stands. The Roosters v Rabbitohs last Friday night had recorded crowd noise plus life-size cut-outs of real people in the seats, bought for $22 each. Will rugby do it too?
Murray Hunter, Titirangi
Figures in story miss the bus

I wish to provide clarification on the Auckland bus-lane trial story (May 24).

The comment Auckland Transport netted $4.6 million in three months is incorrect. It was $2,233,950.

The September-November 2019 infringement numbers provided in the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act response used for the story data match the number in the article below: "Numbers released under the Official Information Act reveal in the three months prior to the trial — September to November 2019 — the Khyber Pass Rd bus lane issued 10,020 infringements, equalling $1,503,000 in fines."

However, the numbers for December 2019 to February 2020 provided in the LGOIMA response do not match the numbers used in the article. The LGOIMA response equates to an infringement total of 24,913, not 40,980 as published. Thus, $4.6m in three months is incorrect.
John Strawbridge, Auckland Transport