Letter of the week: Alexander Campbell, Waiheke Island
I am sorry for those who have lost their livelihood as a result of the Covid-19 virus. However, I am not wholeheartedly sorry for the hit on the tourist industry.
Like many, I imagine, I've been turned off the idea of walking our renowned tracks such as the Abel Tasman or Heaphy knowing there will be columns of foreign tourists doing the same.
We've developed this obsession to scrabble and scrape for every foreign dollar we can possibly squeeze out of every nook and cranny.
It's the inward, self-indulgent, playtime consumer society, when we desperately need to be looking outward and more broadly to deal with the desperate challenges ahead. Instead of investing $10 million in a bungy company, it would be vastly more advantageous for the Government to support the development of a broader range of local enterprises to support local communities by encouraging the renowned Kiwi ingenuity and creativity; invest $10 million there.
Develop broader opportunities for growth and self-sufficiency that are more sensitive and less invasive. Limit the number of foreign tourists, keep the door open for Kiwis to enjoy their country, while protecting and regenerating our environment.
John Roughan (Weekend Herald, June 27) and other right-wing commentators demand the opening of the economy and the borders, ignoring that Covid-19 is a very serious illness. Even in asymptomatic Covid cases, long-term lung damage is shown.
People with Covid are not all getting better, many are suffering from post-viral symptoms making people chronically ill.
Roughan suggests that we lock down the elderly in rest homes as the solution to containing the illness. All ages are getting the virus and they are all likely to have long-term health destruction.
Thank goodness we don't have his National Party in government. We don't want to be like the rest of the world, allowing Covid in with long-term chronic illness and destroyed lives. He maintains the Key Government brought us out of the last depression, but ignores the terrible health, housing and education those policies have left us with. Don't be a Scrooge, have some empathy John.
Frankie Letford, Hamilton.
I am now waiting anxiously for Steven Joyce (Weekend Herald, June 27) to announce that he is the original "Very Stable Genius".
He of all former ministers should be well-acquainted with the old saying "hindsight is 20/20 vision".
Even if there hadn't been the minor "hiccups" at the border quarantining, where are the much-vaunted foreign tourists going to come from to save NZ business? The US? China? Australia? All these nations are now dealing with extensive Covid outbreaks with no end in sight - Australia is even now talking about a 2021 "bubble".
I therefore expected Joyce to be advocating for the construction of huge "Stalags" on the outskirts of our major cities, equipped with razor wire, forced Covid testing stations and german shepherds. A win-win for both the construction and tourism industries.
Until Covid is no longer rampaging outside our borders, that's probably the only means by which our foreign tourism industry could return to "normal".
But as everyone knows "normal" is simply a setting on their automatic washing machine.
Graeme Samson, Whāngarei.
Co-hosting the FIFA Women's Football World Cup in 2023 (Weekend Herald, June 27) will be even more significant than most people realise.
This is because FIFA has increased the number of participants from 24 to 32 countries. Based on current world rankings, teams and supporters from these countries will be heading down under in just three years' time. USA, Germany, France, Netherlands, Sweden, England, Brazil, Canada, North Korea, Japan, Norway, Spain, Italy, China, Denmark, Belgium, South Korea, Israel, Switzerland, Scotland, Austria, Russia, Colombia, Ukraine, Mexico, Poland, Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, Portugal and Argentina. The combined population of these countries is in the billions. The global reach and television coverage is actually mind-boggling.
I anticipate this event will do more to showcase NZ internationally than the Rugby World Cup and the America's Cup combined. I guess time will tell.
Glen Stanton, Mairangi Bay.
The co-hosting of the FIFA Women's World Cup is, as you say, a golden opportunity for New Zealand (Weekend Herald, June 27). It will provide an enormous boost to football in this country.
It is a real shame there has been no mention of Ria Percival, who has been flying the NZ flag in professional football competitions around the world since 2008.
Ria currently plays for Tottenham Hotspur. She is the most-capped football player, male or female, in New Zealand having played 150 games for the country. Ria has played for New Zealand in four World Cups and three Olympic games.
Alison Feeney, Remuera.
MIchael Woodhouse was right to highlight the audacity of a homeless man and the laxity of our Covid-19 quarantine controllers. Todd Muller believes it is true, and why would he not as this is a story that cuts across everything we believe in.
The last thing we want is the great unwashed, often sleeping under a bridge in the freezing cold, getting a decent feed and a warm bed for a couple of weeks. We need these beds for our returning miscreants from across the Ditch. At least we now have one National policy that is abundantly clear.
Reg Dempster, Albany.
The proposal to take an extra 50 megalitres from the Waikato river to a total of 200 per day seems innocuous enough. Two hundred megalitres is less than 1 per cent of the total daily river flow at Mercer.
I think all those Auckland-haters south of the Bombays need to be told to get over it. The argument that increasing the uptake at Tuakau would impose compensatory restrictions upriver just doesn't wash.
Tuakau is only 22km from the mouth of the river.
Instead of discharging all that heavily polluted water to the sea, isn't it better if Auckland uses some of it, treats it kindly, and cleans it up before discharging that same water into the sea at Mangere?
We really don't have a choice. With climate change adversely affecting the weather patterns, our droughts may become like Australia's.
Paul Cheshire, Maraetai.
Perhaps the reason that Simon Wilson, a first-class journalist, was unable to elicit even one meaningful opinion or comment from Todd Muller and Nikki Kaye in a lengthy interview (Weekend Herald, June 27), is that they have nothing of substance to say.
That would seem to be borne out by the summary. Of seven points listed, most were negative: "do not believe…do not have a position….unlikely to support….no date will be set…".
They will "speed up plans for a third harbour crossing" and "support more ferries". Is there a person in Auckland who would disagree with either of those?
Hardly earth-shattering. So close to the election, it seems they should have a few more ideas than were revealed in that interview.
Susan Grimsdell, Auckland Central.
Natalie Akoorie reported (Weekend Herald, June 27) that the Hamilton City Council was using the Public Works Act to acquire land allow it to widen Peacockes Rd in preparation for a new subdivision.
Before I read about the compulsory acquisitions entailed, I presumed that when the State gained land through the Public Works Act, owners were adequately compensated for their forced sale. In this instance, where only part of two properties is being compulsorily acquired by the council, the respective owners' only recompense for losing about one-fifth and one-third of their land, is the "betterment" of what remains.
This seems very unfair and comparable to shoplifters forewarning victims of their intentions; claiming that the theft will eventually be in the shopkeepers' best interests because having more space on the shelves will allow better presentation and create a shortage that eventually will be likely to generate higher prices.
The council being fiscally prudent in this manner might be claimed to be in ratepayers' best interests. Well, this ratepayer takes a dim view of it and considers the victims are being cheated.
Lindsay Wyborn, Hamilton.
A quick word
I don't mind people refusing to be tested, but surely we also have the right to deny them entry, deny them from deliberately killing us? Randel Case, Buckland Beach.
Letters: Focus on gross domestic waste, not just GDP
Letters: Ventilation, business nous, testing arrivals and rates rises
It is time to change the Government, but with who? Max Wagstaff, Glendowie.
After the border bungles, the team of five million is disappointed to discover there is no team in Jacinda, just an I. Sad. Peter Mayall, Tamahere.
I hope the All Blacks can keep their name. J. Alexander, Millwater.
The year 2021 is the year, the year for the Warriors, I can feel it. Glenn Forsyth, Taupō.
Some cannot afford fancy smartphones for contact-tracing. The Government should invite Huawei to supply 5 million free phones. Five Eyes will prevent them stealing our souls. Hing Yu, Pakuranga Heights
My take out from John Roughan's opinion piece on Saturday is one of considerable relief that he is not a politician with influence over the running of the country. Bill Mathews, St Marys Bay.
What happened to Woodhouse's invisible homeless man? He fell into Steven Joyce's fiscal hole. Roger Laybourn, Hamilton.
I guess the job description for the position created by Matthew Hooton's departure read something like "must be able to write in terms of right-wing ideologies and criticise the Labour-led government at every turn". John Deyell, Ellerslie.
What is Ian Lees-Galloway getting paid for these days? Or is he now the Minister of (no) immigration? Tony Pope, New Plymouth.
Let's give residency to any under 50-year-old travellers currently here and/or extend any time-limited work visas for another five years. If you're already here, you are one of our 5 million. We need you. Tony Gavigan, St Marys Bay.
New Zealand citizens should be entitled to return to New Zealand but surely it would be reasonable to expect them to pay the costs incurred. Gillian Dance, Mt Albert.
The first returnees were confined to motor homes at Army Bay. Why can this type of set-up not be considered as an ongoing option? Maxine Samson, Whakatane.
Why doesn't Todd Muller state his plan for opening the border, instead of criticising someone else's? Colin Shearer, Northland.