Letters: Youth, MIQ, traffic lights, free public transports and on-street parking

Our youth are leading the way
As a retiree I am blessed to have three adult children who have all succeeded in their chosen careers. But what inspires me even more is to learn of an
even younger generation producing heroes such as the late Jemima Gazley who, when stricken with a debilitating disease which took her life, worked selflessly to raise money to go towards research for a cure to benefit others. Also to be commended is the young Greta Thunberg for her relentless work towards curbing climate change. A big thank you to all our youth who are showing us oldies where we could have and could do better.
Warren Cossey, Morrinsville.

MIQ pleasant surprise
Last month I returned home from a necessary overseas visit to my terminally ill sister and 100-year-old mother in the USA. My stay at MIQ was surprisingly pleasant, after my having heard so many complaints in the media. From the moment of touchdown in Auckland, the procedures to inform us, get us through checkpoints for tests, immigration and transfers to the Chateau on the Park in Christchurch were faultless and well-mannered, even welcoming. My hotel room there was spacious, clean, with an opening door to a balcony. Every day we had several specific hours for exercise and fresh air in their garden, keeping our masks on and distancing. Meals were healthy and generous. The most important feature though, was the positive attitude of all the staff we dealt with, from signing in and out, to phone calls if we had concerns, to being regularly Covid tested. I had expected them to be jaded and they weren’t. My thanks to them all for making isolation more than just endurable.
Holly Sanford, Devonport.

Traffic light frustration
Going into Christmas under the traffic light system as it is currently operating is to me highly reminiscent of monster Boxing Day traffic snarl-ups. At the head of the queue Jacinda and Grant are hogging the centre line going 50km/h on the open road. They know it’s the open road and the rules as written say you can go 100km/h but they’re kindly adding a layer of safety for the people following them. Close behind we have David, driving his homemade car with Brooke at his side honking the horn, flashing the lights, pointing to the 100km/h sign and waving a copy of the road code. Behind them there’s Chris and Nicola, other Chris (Bishop) standing on the back seat, sunroof open, head and torso out, yelling and waving his arms and about to get clocked by a low-hanging branch. Then there’s a massive queue of business slowly having the life choked out of them, ordinary citizens blood boiling in frustration, they’ve all read the Covid 19 Protection Framework too and can’t for the life of them understand why Auckland is not at orange and the South Island’s setting as green as the scenery.
John Christiansen, Mt Albert.

Bus pros and cons
Free transport has made a world of difference to the mental health of many pensioners who can, thanks to Winston’s wonderful Super Gold Card, freely use buses, trains and ferries (except in peak morning hours in Auckland). It gives you time to relax and catch your breath, read a book, catch up on your device, watch the scenery or just ruminate. However, some bus drivers need to up their game — some don’t change their destination signs. Some drive like fiends and jerk you around, thinking they’re in their own car. Some turn on the heater on a scorching day instead of the cold air conditioner. Some sail on past stops where people want to get off, or on. Some are just grumpy with everybody. On the other hand, some go out of their way to cheerfully offer a greeting, offer help, and generally make your journey a pleasure. Even if just one day a week were free for everybody, that would be an excellent start, and a way for car-lovers to break their habit.
Vanya Lowry, Glenfield.

Whose parking space?
Phil Goff says AT will be “bloody arrogant” to tell homeowners they are losing their parking space outside their home. Well, guess what Phil — it is not their parking space; it is public road paid for by all the motorists over many years. Surely a bus lane is far more useful. Public transport is our future, if we are to have a future.
Vince West, Milford.

Pride in city gone
Driving all over the city it is very obvious that city pride has disappeared. Motorway driving shows how much graffiti has been left unremoved. Getting home owners to take responsibility for berms has not worked, so many are now unattended. Come on Auckland Council, get the jobs that matter done.
Linda Beck, West Harbour.

Water takeover necessary
For decades New Zealand has been sitting on this perception we have the purest water in the world and it’s not until recent times we realised perhaps we do not. Previously, all these services have been supplied and maintained by local councils. For the past 30 years, ratepayers have paid for all the materials and maintenance costs. Also for the past 30 years, our local councils have not kept up with correct maintenance programmes to the point now our assets and infrastructure have become worn, broken down and getting worse by the week. I am disappointed with our current Three Waters and completely lay the blame with our local councils. I don’t blame another party stepping in to update and make the system better and up to date. NZ local councils have all had long enough to keep our water systems safe and up to date. They have brought this shift of Government takeover on themselves.
Tim Claudatos, Napier.

Mask etiquette
It is probably correct to say that very few of us would wear a mask out of choice. They are uncomfortable and unnatural. However given the notion that Covid is constantly poised to attack they are seen as a self-defence mechanism. The variety of masks on display is remarkable, ranging from the ubiquitous blue el cheapo to some truly elaborate and sometimes scary examples. Observation of car drivers indicates that while most remove the mask as soon as they enter the vehicle others grimly drive off protected against I know not what. For some it is fashionable to carry a mask dangling from one hand, or even an ear, indicating readiness to be protected at the drop of a hat. Many leave the nose uncovered, oblivious to the fact that while this makes breathing easier, it negates the whole purpose.
Peter Clapshaw, Remuera.

Beacon of light
A message to all the doom merchants out there who peddle their daily dose of negativity: you should have ventured to Cornwall Park on Saturday. It was packed with thousands of Aucklanders of different age and ethnicity revelling in the idyllic environment it provides. Most sat in groups, large and small, enjoying the delights of picnics, sharing food and laughter under the magnificent stands of trees providing welcome shade. Crowds thronged around the local cafes. The more energetic were cycling, skateboarding, dog walking, jogging; all appearing relaxed and carefree. Looking on were flocks of sheep and herds of cattle, completely oblivious to the challenges of our time. May this be the sign of good times to come.
Alan Brennan, Epsom.

Dog decision
The unfairness of the dog eats guinea pig case is not that the dog has been ordered destroyed. Rather, it is the unfairness of keeping it expensively for 18 months when it ought to have been quickly euthanised. To suggest it ought to be ordered contained with clearly irresponsible owners ignores a serious risk. That is, what if it attacks a child when off lead? We cannot entrust people with dangerous dogs to keep them contained. As a dog lover I fully support the very costly decision of the High Court, which should not have been needed if the legislation were more pragmatic.
Steve Sangster, Kaikohe.

Police disillusioned
Two of our friends, ex-cops but now successful in other businesses, got out for the same reason — they were sick and tired of trying to enforce justice, only to see it never upheld. They wanted to make a change for the good of society, but when the children of the thugs they were locking up then started coming through the ranks too, they had had enough.
Glenn Forsyth, Taupo.

Short & sweet

On vaccine
The relationship between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated in this Covid-19 climate is not reciprocal. I endanger nobody by my vaccination. The unvaccinated threaten me. John O’Neill, Whangarei.

With publicity now appearing around a man who was paid by at least nine other people to be vaccinated for them, we can see another poorly-thought-through aspect of the vaccination process. Had there been a requirement to produce photo ID this situation would not have arisen. Janet Boyle, Orewa.

On Aspen
A dog kills a chicken and a guinea pig and is put down. A man who kills 51 innocent people and one who kills an unarmed policeman get to live. Where is the justice? Ray Gilbert, Papamoa Beach.

On Luxon
I would be far more concerned if the new National Party leader had no assets rather than the assets he has accumulated from being successful as this is the sort of person we need to move the country forward. Mike Baker, Tauranga.

On borders
Surely this nonsense cannot continue. There is plenty of vaccine available. It is not a matter of “disadvantaged” or “vulnerable” communities. It is only people who choose not to get vaccinated. What a waste of police resources. Rod Young, Kerikeri.

The Premium Debate

Who’s in charge at checkpoints?

As a Northlander, I’d like to point out that Hone [Harawira] and his band of merry men do not speak for the majority of us. I don’t know anyone here who agrees with these borders and the division of society they are subsequently creating. I don’t believe it has anything to do with vaccinations and it doesn’t bode well for the future. Ian B.

If checkpoints are needed (and I have my doubts) they should be manned by the army. Not iwi and not police who have more important duties to perform. The army are uniformed, apolitical and independent and would be viewed as such by the public. David H.

So an unvaccinated Far North resident travels unchecked to Auckland since there will be no checkpoint on the south-bound route. Will they be checked and refused entry when they return home? This is absurd to say the least. Pim V.

May I ask about the thousands of boats that go north for Christmas? Will the NZ Navy create a blockade? Mikki S.

There are fellow Kiwis up north who are trying to keep their families safe, desperately trying to counter the damage done by antivax disinformation on social media. They are requesting — very respectfully I believe — a little more time to persuade whānau to get jabbed. We live in a beautiful, relatively safe, country with many places to visit. Here’s a suggestion — this year, holiday somewhere else. Alfred T.

Submission guidelines

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Letters should not exceed 200 words and must carry the author’s signature, name and residential address. Emailed letters must include a full residential address and phone number, allowing a check on bona fides. Attachments will not be accepted. Noms de plume are not accepted; names are withheld only in special circumstances at the discretion of the editor. Letters may be edited, abridged or discarded.

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