New Zealanders - take a breath and calm down.
You are stressing because a few people in NZ have been tested positively recently for Covid-19.
Try to imagine how it feels to live in a country with hundreds of thousands of cases and thousands of deaths. Maybe you might understand why New Zealanders are returning home.
Yes, it is costing to put them in isolation but would you expect anything less?
If you are one of the thousands whom the Government paid to keep you from sinking because you couldn't go to work, think how you would feel if it changed the rules and said: "You all have to pay it back. Too bad if you can't afford it."
Many expats couldn't leave the country they were in due to job contracts, rental agreements and border closures. Is it okay to penalise these people because they didn't get back early enough?
Tell their children that mum and dad may nor have jobs or accommodation and they never see their friends again, but you want your money back.
Tell them to their faces "we wish you had stayed away because you are a risk and costing us too much money to have you here".
Or grit your teeth, find some compassion and be the safe place to fall that so many returning home are hoping you will be.
Anna Osborne, in transit, ex-Istanbul.
Call the army
As It seems most likely that quarantining everyone as they arrive at our airports will be necessary for a long time to come, I suggest we set a large quarantine station at Waiouru Army Camp.
It would be administered by the army and provide very basic accommodation and food for free.
Those who wished to have more luxurious surroundings could opt to pay for themselves (accommodation, food and supervision costs) at designated luxury hotels
Penny Wilson, Glendowie.
Let's just welcome home our whānau. These are New Zealanders who left for a variety of reasons. Some to further their education, some to enhance their employment future and others for the sake of great adventure. All these people left to experience something other, and now on their return, New Zealand can benefit from their experiences.
Should they pay? Why? These people will soon be in jobs and paying taxes. They will be members of our community and giving their efforts to schools, sports areas, art, theatre, and all that makes this country we love so good.
Open your arms and your hearts and say welcome home, you have been away too long.
Rae McGregor, Mt Eden.
I am absolutely appalled at recent articles I have read in your paper about New Zealanders returning home and refusing to take a Covid-19 test. How irresponsible and selfish.
They are returning to a country of people that banded together for several months to fight this. They are coming from countries that have terrible death rates and they think that they can blithely come back home with no responsibility. How do they think we got rid of it?
They should be forced to take one, they should not be allowed out of quarantine until they do and they should have to pay for their quarantine.
Sharon Powell, Tauranga.
Monday's editorial (NZ Herald, June 29) got New Zealand's current options re the pandemic right on the button. The New Zealand Government and team of 5 million delivered on our response to the virus, on our economic recovery, and, after some problems, on securing a safe border, compared to surging cases of the virus in so many countries - Germany, US, South Korea, and Australia, to name a few.
As a result, the Government is now being cautious before opening up to other countries. And right now, caution is clearly the right path to follow - despite the baying calls by some to open up "bubbles" to the world. With the Pacific? Probably yes. With Australia? Not yet. With the rest of the world? Who knows when?
Derek John, Ōrewa.
I wrote the "Good Oil" column twice a week in the NZ Herald between 1997-2012.
Every now and again I tossed in a throwaway line about how Auckland needed more water storage to trap the millions (billions?) of litres of rainwater being wasted each year.
The first such reference appeared in the column in the winter of 1999. Since then, say government statistics, Auckland's population has swelled by around 420,000, an average over 20 years of around 400 people a week.
But the city's annual rainfall hasn't changed. It was between 1200-1300mm in 1999 and it's still between 1200-1300mm.
Rainwater continues to be wasted. There is no explanation other than a bad one for why this has been allowed to happen.
Alastair Sloane, St Heliers.
It is good to see Auckland DHB looking at ways to improve access to care for disadvantaged groups, focusing on Māori and Pasifika and use of elective (planned) surgery (NZ Herald, June 29).
It should be noted, however, that papers tabled at the board meeting showed Māori and Pasifika were not under-represented in almost any specialty – as one would hope to be the case, given their greater need – and their waiting times were mostly similar to other groups.
It should also be noted more than $50 million is being diverted from non-hospital services to balance the shortfall on the hospital side of the DHB's budget.
Even a fraction of that would do much to improve the circumstances of Maori, Pasifika and other disadvantaged groups by tackling the deficits in primary and community care. The practices they attend can struggle financially and professionally to provide high-quality services. This results in avoidable hospital admissions and ED presentations; a focus on episodic symptom relief, rather than holistic care; inadequate outreach and prevention; and sub-optimal referral for elective surgery.
To really help, the DHB needs to reorient its priorities to the primary and community sector rather than tweaking the decision criteria of clinicians.
Peter Davis, elected member, Auckland DHB.
Congratulations for highlighting racist attitudes still apparently endemic in NZ today (NZ Herald, June 29).
The article by Michael Neilson was excellent reporting. He doesn't shout, but skilfully uses the lens, as he puts it, of the conflict that has arisen over the Tipuna Maunga Authority's desire to remove exotic trees and replace them with natives.
Some locals vehemently oppose their plan and Nielsen suggests that the conflict "has never been just about trees". It's about racism.
Letters delivered in the Mt Albert area proclaiming "One Treaty One Nation" gives weight to his claim.
Khylee Quince's article contained a revelation that I didn't at first believe. That Māori were banned from serving on juries until 1961 is an appalling notion. Who among us knew that?
The Herald editor says the paper wants to be a change agent in terms of confronting and fighting racism. Let's hope there are many more insightful contributions to assist this long-overdue process.
Diana Walford, Greenlane.
Racism in history
I am an 87 years young Pākehā but also interested in my fellow citizens of Aotearoa. I find it difficult to follow the current debate which has so many nuances. But the piece by Khylee Quince (NZ Herald, June 29) struck a disturbing chord. It should be framed and put up in every school in the land. In addition, I hope that when the historians finally set a curriculum it should start with the arrival of Kupe, with some back story from Māori verbal history that came with him. From then on, it should be based on the facts as we know them - warts and all.
Brian Giles, Hauraki.
Based on overseas examples it is no accident that the Act Party now has a gun lobbyist as number three on its party list.
By itself, this would not be of concern but, when combined with the agreement with National, that ensures Act gets a seat in Parliament and under current polling likely to have some list MPs as well, it becomes a serious consideration.
Without the agreement with National, Act would be unlikely to hold an electorate seat and therefore would have no MPs in Parliament.
Given the disproportionate power afforded to minority coalition partners under MMP, do we want someone who essentially equates to NZ's version of the NRA getting into Parliament solely because National needs a coalition partner?
Peter Kelly, Glendene.
Letters: Ethics and economics, managed isolation, Ports of Auckland, tourism and heroes
Short & sweet
I like Guy Haddleton's idea (NZ Herald, June 29) of a military-managed impenetrable border, but where isolation is an entree tourism experience rather than purgatory as now. Ron Mark's (NZF) and Mark Mitchell's (NAT) responses are depressingly unvisionary and one-dimensional by comparison. Tony Kaye, Hamilton.
Amid all the catastrophising about the absolute disaster at NZ's border, it seems to have got lost that there is not a single case of community transmission here. Frances E Edmond, Ostend.
Thank you to all our new essential workers: airport and hotel workers and all those in between who are managing and caring for those in isolation. You are the new front line against Covid-19 in difficult circumstances, keeping us all safe and we appreciate it. Susan Maiava, Ōrewa.
It seems some higher entity has felt sympathy and pity for us drought-forsaken Aucklanders. It is good hearing the pitter-patter of rain on my roof. I imagine Watercare is relieved too. Rex Head, Papatoetoe.
Dear Auckland, your application to take more water from the Waikato River is 106th in the queue, more commonly known as the far queue. Yours faithfully, the Regional Office River Team (RORT). Glenn Forsyth, Taupo.
Hats off to the man who cried "bring it on" after the frontage of his bathroom showroom in East Tamaki was blown away by a tornado. Great respect for reminding us of the true Kiwi spirit. Sue Rawson, Papamoa Beach.
Monday's cartoon embodies so well the mess Michael Woodhouse is making of his supposed Opposition role. Couldn't he just join our team of 5 million and fight this thing alongside us? John Hunt, Hobsonville.