Letter of the week: Rob Buchanan, Kerikeri

While "where thou goest, we go" has no meaning any more, New Zealand still clings to "mummy" far away in Britain as "supreme leader" of our Parliament.
The "common wealth" still has most member countries with citizens unlikely to earn $1 per hour so the wealth still remains unfairly distributed.
Should we still be somehow beholden to the UK which showed much incompetence managing containment of Covid and is stuck in so many of its own ruts?
The second century since the first missionary settlement in Rangihoua and Paihia is upon us and maybe we need to take a reality check that the Queen and royal crew can't really do a lot for us here "way down south" and doesn't do a lot.
New Zealand needs to grow up and strike out like an 18-year-old leaving home with anxious parents.
Face it fearlessly and famously.

Card is real deal

Jamie Morton's well-written article (Weekend Herald, September 5) on the global Covid-19 pandemic left me a little confused.
He stated that experts supported manual track and trace processes over digital solutions such as smartphone apps and the excellence of a well-designed CovidCard on a lanyard currently on trial in Rotorua and an MIQ facility.
Smartphone apps rely on most of us using them correctly let alone carrying a phone turned on when travelling outside the home.
The well (Sam Morgan) designed CovidCard is self-contained for a year after issue, and when issued to the team of 5 million, plus new border arrivals, after thorough testing can track and rapidly detect close proximity to our fellow Kiwis.
Rapid computer-assisted follow up testing can quickly slow the spread of virus infections, giving minimal cause for lockdowns and economic issues that result.
Manual tracking methods are slow, time costly, prone to errors and rely on our memory of past social contacts.
Bob Lenihan. Orewa Auckland.

Bio-waste bins

The Covid-19 pandemic has crippled economies around the world and killed millions. In New Zealand, our Government has mandated that masks must be worn on public transport and encourages us to wear them in public. This begs the question, where are all the biological hazard waste bins for us to dispose these masks? As I travel past bus stop after bus stop, I hardly see any bins at all, yet alone ones designed to contain waste that is full of the most contagious virus we have ever known.
My scepticism runs wild.
Kent Millar, Blockhouse Bay.

Burning questions

We are being warned about the future shortage of clean water and the ever-increasing cost of supply to our own citizens so why do successive governments allow our pristine ground-water to be taken offshore for free? It is too precious to let go at any cost.
Why do we crush our food producers under the weight of more and more compliance and ticket-clipping expenses while we import food from countries with no such obligations? Why are we now importing pre-fabricated homes from China when NZ companies, instead of being encouraged and incentivised, were strangled out of the market? Why do we send our livestock on a cruel journey to a country with non-existent animal welfare that wouldn't be tolerated in NZ? I am waiting to vote for the political party that will stop this hypocrisy which drives NZ producers out of business and keeps living costs high. That party doesn't exist yet.
J. Leighton, Devonport.


Policy versus practice

Don't pat yourself on the back just yet ("Covid 19 coronavirus: New Zealand ranked second-safest country, after Germany" Weekend Herald, September 5).
The original report on Deep Knowledge Group's website gives an unusually high rating to New Zealand's "quarantine efficiency". No other country comes anywhere near it.
While in theory our quarantine measures may justify such a rating, recent exposure of the multitude of blunders surely would see this rating plummet.
I surmise that the Deep Knowledge Group's researchers only took note of our Government's policies but did not look at how, or if, the policies were put into effect.
Richard Powell, Wellington.

US redemption

I am as tragic as John Roughan (Weekend Herald, September 9) in that I did sit up half the night watching CNN's coverage of America's conventions.
I got exactly what I expected from the Republicans. A vision of an apocalyptic America, devoid of law and order if those leftist radical Democrats win the election.
The Democrat's message was more muted, more of hope and rebirth of a damaged nation. They did acknowledge the pain of racial division in our country and that police reform is desperately needed.
I totally agree with Roughan, that Biden and Harris must prioritise a national policy for police reform. Racism in America is as old as the country itself, and education programmes across the police force could be one of many effective methods used in hiring policies. They cannot afford to shy away from debating President Trump, because the only tool in his nasty little box of tricks are "alternative facts" and scaring the very constituents he vowed to protect.
We need to be the country once again, that during World War II, inured all Americans to drive at 30mp/h or less to preserve the rubber on their tyres, because the Japanese had the world monopoly on rubber.
Now, 70 years later, innovation and courage are needed more than ever to make America great again.
Mary Hearn, Glendowie.

Cat contaminant

Ruth Spencer (Canvas, August 29) states that an indoor-only rule for cats "sounds pleasant if you've never been in charge of a litter-box". Apparently neighbours should do this unpleasant task for her.
I detest removing cat poo from our vegetable garden - required almost daily. Leaving it can infect soil with toxoplasma gondii for a considerable time - at the ready to infect those with broken skin, small children who play with it, etc.
This parasite can invade the brain, and occasionally the eye, especially in those deficient in immunity, or on chemotherapy for example. Sometimes it leads to serious illness or learning difficulties.
Joy Mace, Devonport.

A quick word

Surely management can find others like Simon Wilson who can think deeply and deserving of one's time and money? P. Belsham, Mt Albert.

Interesting comment from Eric Murray (Weekend Herald, September 5) that we hear claims of bullying more from athletes who "missed the cut" than those who performed well. Or could it be that top athletes aren't exposed to the bullying that is aimed at the less successful? W Hitchins, Kohimarama.

We are at heart barbaric in our treatment of animals and this is borne out in decisions to jam thousands of creatures into a hellhole of a ship to make more money from China. Judy Morley-Hall, St Johns.

Learnings? Will your reporters and correspondents please desist from this archaic tripe which is unidiomatic pretentiousness and instead use "lessons"? Stewart Hawkins, St Heliers.

The very latest research from the US shows that the Covid-19 virus specifically thrives in the human nose. It is imperative therefore that masks at all times cover both mouth and nose. Hylton Le Grice, Remuera.


Pink paper for our old 8 O'Clock sports paper but not pink shirts for our new All Blacks. Pam Grant, Orewa.

In this age of being kind to all, and slaps with wet bus tickets, it comes as a pleasant surprise to learn that the women's prison at Wiri has a "punitive culture". Roger Clarke, Te Awamutu.

Re: Steve Russell (Weekend Herald 5 September) attempts to excuse MP Chloe Swarbrick's contempt for the elderly by describing individual words in a phrase to arrive at a benign result. The phrase uttered was nothing less than a calculated insult to the elderly. Ross Nielsen, Half Moon Bay.

You can generally tell a politician is lying when you see their lips are moving. However, if masks become compulsory, does that mean we will hear the truth? Glenn Forsyth, Taupo.

If there are 300,000 Kiwis on the dole; 388,000 on student loans;10,000 in prisons; and 1,258,000 receiving superannuation, nearly half of New Zealand's population are being supported by the work of the other half. Which half is the smartest? And, also, why work? Gary Hollis, Mellons Bay.

A truly "green" party should be able to form a coalition with either major political party to further its environmental objectives. Mike Wagg, Freemans Bay.


Opposition parties have no cause for concern about the pledges being made by the Labour Party. Labour made some very impressive pledges last election too. A J Petersen, Kawerau.

Have you noticed that President Trump is totally lacking a sense of humour, notwithstanding much of what he says is laughable? Alan Milton, Cambridge.

Misjudged elbow-knocking risks bruising ribs. Feet-knocking is even more stupid, we can fall over. Why not namaste? Hing Yu, Pakuranga Heights.