In praise of emergency services
We would like to express our praise for ambulance, emergency, critical care, HDU and neurosurgery at Auckland Hospital for the fantastic support, empathy and help they gave us during a medical episode. After dialling 111 my husband received great support from the operator when he found me unconscious and totally unresponsive on the floor in our house. Ambulance and Fire staff arrived and took me to Auckland Hospital Emergency. My husband was taken into the hospital by friends and our sons joined him at the hospital later in the evening. The information and support given to my family and me was superb and we can't thank everyone enough, particularly after a lot of criticism about the health system recently. In early November I had surgery on my brain after a long consultation with a registrar from the neurosurgery team. We were never hurried, and we were given every opportunity to seek advice. Many thanks to the neurosurgery team. While preparing in the hospital for surgery, I can't express enough amazement at the information that was given to me every step of the way. Thank you all. I had MRIs at what has been a critical time for that department and CTs and X-rays throughout the whole process.
The nurses were beyond kind and supportive and the orderlies and people who served the food were fantastic. Thank you all too. I do understand that everyone's experience can be different. This started off as an emergency and was totally unexpected but was all made so much easier to cope with due to the wonderful medical care and support we received.
We have a classic case of history repeating itself. During the influenza pandemic after WWI New Zealand did not close its borders and exported the disease via ship to Samoa, killing 22 per cent of the population, or an estimated 8500 people.
Happiness is taxes
US economist Richard Easterlin has carried out research on people's happiness in countries all over the world. He found the highest-taxed countries all score top in the happiness measures. That's the Scandinavian countries.
How do people whose political "beliefs" (I use quotation marks because these beliefs are not based on research or evidence) advocate low tax when the evidence is clear — high taxes and high levels of government support make people happy. Isn't it time New Zealand moved away from myth and followed policies that truly bring happiness to our people? We were pretty good at it after World War II and we can do it again.
Susan Grimsdell, Auckland Central.
It seems Grant Robertson is advocating infrastructure over raising benefits. Couples and single people haven't had a decent payment rise since 1990. Do these Kiwis not exist? What is more important, roads or humans? I remind Robertson that the party was born from the socialist coal strikers on the West Coast during the Depression. It's a tragedy that Labour has slipped away from left-wing policies. I challenge Robertson to do the right thing concerning benefits. Perhaps he should take advice from Bernie Sanders, who does advocate socialism against dog-eat-dog capitalism and the tyrant Trump.
Rex Head, Papatoetoe.
Bullies often pick on those most vulnerable. Simon Bridges' suggestion to arrest and charge beggars beggars belief. Isn't he a Christian? Isn't this the time of year where charity and tolerance should be demonstrated more than ever? Every religious institution in the country will be spending this month begging for money from its members so let them demonstrate their generosity and share this abundance with those truly most in need.
Ingrid Memelink, Dunedin.
Lime were electric scooter trailblazers in this country, creating the path for others to follow. The public focused on the injuries and Lime users didn't contribute to the costs of ACC. However I would love to know how much other sports injuries cost this country by comparison, as they don't pay for ACC either.
Chris Bennett, Kohimarama.
Coach policy flawed
It must be really embarrassing for NZ Rugby thinking that every man and his dog would be wanting to be the All Black coach only to find out there are only two contenders, Ian Foster and Scott Robertson.
It appears the policy of continuity of coaches has fallen flat on its face. Hansen had become stale, the ABs have lost invincibility and many countries now see them as beatable.
Neil Hatfull, Warkworth.
Letters: Erebus, Ports of Auckland, Grace Millane, fast foods and violence
Letters: Grace Millane, Erebus, ports, health, maunga and trams
Letters: Vaping, trial evidence, cars, history, exams, gangs and Simon Bridges
Always a champ
Journalists and broadcasters frequently describe someone as a former champion. That is fine but not when they are alive. Similarly they refer to those who were, or are, four times a former champion rather than they have won a championship that number of occasions. After all, while a champion he or she is a champion, every second of the day.
G Edwards, Milford.
When I heard that Auckland Council had cancelled the licence for Lime scooters I thought fantastic, the footpaths will be safe again for the blind, the elderly, for young children and indeed for all pedestrians. But, no, it would seem that the council has gone mad and will make footpaths even more dangerous, with several other scooter providers approved to operate.
Motorised vehicles should operate on roads, the only exception being mobility vehicles.
Mike Jarman, One Tree Hill.
I support the view that Dove Meyer Robinson Park seems to be the wrong place for the proposed design for the Erebus memorial. It places a large barrier between the main grassy area and the trees, appears to dwarf the old pohutukawa, and is a very "hard" element in a park of real "softness" — roses mainly. More time should be taken for public consultation and the search for an alternative site. Now that the anniversary date has passed without a decision, it may be possible to find somewhere that all can agree on. One possible alternative is the area now subject to negotiations, which reportedly include the Auckland Council: Ihumātao. If the outcome here led to a part of the land becoming a public space, I believe this would be an ideal site for the Erebus memorial. Anyone who has visited the land will know that it has a wonderful feeling of peace and openness. It is a space where you are drawn to contemplation. Pukeiti is already a sacred maunga for the people of Ihumātao, and the area contains sacred burial caves. It overlooks the harbour and is close to the airport, the departure point for the flight. It signifies a place of arrival and departure. Clearly the discussions regarding the land need to reach their conclusion before this could even be considered, but it seems premature to me for the Waitemata Board to make a decision before these other discussions are finalised. It may also be that this proposal could become part of the discussion, enabling wider acceptance of the use of this very special land.
Margaret Kaye, Waterloo Quadrant.
Place of unity
This morning I went for a walk up Ōwairaka/Mt Albert to see what the protest is all about. So much open space! Why is there any need to cut down 300-odd trees, when there are swathes of open grassland — not including the sports fields — already begging to be planted? The solution is obvious. Why not undertake the proposed urban planting in a staged and ecologically managed approach? Select one precinct at a time, install alkathene irrigation and drippers, plant new trees, suppress the grass and preserve moisture with a mound of mulch. As each area establishes, progress to the next. Meanwhile, the existing trees provide shade, cultural amenity, and a home for the birds. As the new plantings take hold, the birds will move across, and ultimately the older trees can be individually removed in a staged and gradual transition.
The current and proposed approach of stripping out all the exotics before replanting beggars belief. The Tūpuna Maunga Authority, with the support of Auckland Council and the vocal support of Tau Henare, seem hellbent on doing it their way. The peaceful protesters at Ōwairaka/Mt Albert have a valid point, but the official kaitiaki are not listening. When tongues speak and ears listen, there can be compromise: but when chainsaws start speaking, there is no return. The iwi want to plant natives. The community want to plant natives. Let us all work together for the common goal. The maunga should be places of unity, not contention.
It is about kotahitanga, manaakitanga, āwhina, aroha; meeting in the middle.
If only the authorities would listen.
Roger Evans, Ranui.
I can only admire our Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for her apology speech about the Erebus accident.
As a politician, she's had to learn quickly but this type of honesty cannot be learned. Our country is so much better for it.
S. MacGregor, Burswood.