Wright right on pay gap

The New Zealand Herald - - EDITORIAL & LETTERS -

Two is­sues have been high­lighted re­cently in the Her­ald, the ex­tent of home­less­ness and poverty and the ex­or­bi­tant salaries paid to man­agers in our pub­licly funded health sys­tem. Derek Wright, the in­terim chief ex­ec­u­tive at Waikato District Health Board, vol­un­tar­ily took $50,000 less than he was of­fered. At the same time he sug­gested the high salaries of­fered were “prob­a­bly needed to at­tract the right peo­ple”.

It would be good if Wright’s com­ment opened a con­ver­sa­tion about the re­spon­si­ble use of public money, and the rights of ev­ery­one to at least a liv­ing wage. It would be good if some of the “right peo­ple” joined in this con­ver­sa­tion, recog­nis­ing that the in­equal­ity gap can only be closed with ev­ery­one work­ing to­gether with a col­lec­tive sense of what is fair. Lucy Lamb, Ep­som. I found your summary of the eight peo­ple the Her­ald has de­ter­mined are con­tenders for the role of leader of the Na­tional Party quite strange. In a typ­i­cal at­tempt at “fair­ness”, the Her­ald has found four fe­males and four males as po­ten­tial lead­ers. The sum­maries of two of the women ref­er­ences solo moth­er­hood and a third men­tions breast can­cer. None of the four men pro­posed men­tions any­thing about their fam­ily lives or health. Why the dou­ble stan­dard?

Fur­ther, this ar­ti­cle should be of­fer­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics and/or achieve­ments that as­sist in un­der­stand­ing the re­spec­tive qual­i­ties of the eight “can­di­dates” of­fered as a pos­si­ble leader of the Nats. This ef­fort falls well short of do­ing that.

Pe­ter Cat­tin, Orakei. The other day I spent about 15 min­utes in a queue for two trans­ac­tions that took about two min­utes once served. The rea­son for the de­lay, three staff were deal­ing with Asian cus­tomers who had limited or no English and had to be shown in­ter­net bank­ing and the like. I thought you had to pass an English test to im­mi­grate? If cus­tomers need that much help they should make an ap­point­ment, it is ridicu­lous hav­ing other cus­tomers wait­ing in a queue that long.

When I com­plained to the as­sis­tant man­ager, all she said was, first come first served. Fur­ther­more, please don’t have staff mem­bers float­ing down the queue ask­ing what ser­vice you need. Just get that per­son to open up an­other counter.

Carol Richard­son, Bayswa­ter. Am I alone in strug­gling with your cor­re­spon­dents’ use of sta­tis­tics? Ac­cord­ing to two sep­a­rate ar­ti­cles in the last few days, Phil Goff is con­cerned that grid­lock on Auck­land roads is set dra­mat­i­cally in­crease by 30 per cent at peak hours and 50 per cent off peak. With­out a times­pan it is dif­fi­cult in­ter­pret the mag­ni­tude of the prob­lem. If it is likely to hap­pen in 30 years then ho hum, 15 years — time to do some­thing about it, five years — too late, to­mor­row — I will stay home. John Kothe, Tor­bay. Deb­o­rah Hill Cone’s ar­ti­cle on si­lence should be com­pul­sory read­ing for all re­tail­ers, restau­ra­teurs and bar own­ers. So of­ten one’s ex­pe­ri­ence is marred by un­nec­es­sar­ily loud mu­sic which seems to have been cho­sen by the staff mem­ber with the low­est IQ. One usu­ally goes to a restau­rant or bar (night clubs are an ex­cep­tion) for quiet en­joy­ment of the food, drink and con­ver­sa­tion. Hav­ing to shout at the top of one’s voice ru­ins that ex­pe­ri­ence. Ray Gil­bert, Mata­mata. When is a pedes­trian cross­ing not a pedes­trian cross­ing? When Auck­land Trans­port de­signs it, that’s when.

Ac­cord­ing to the road code a pedes­trian cross­ing is marked by ze­bra stripes and you legally have to give way. How­ever Auck­land Trans­port are about to in­stall a “pedes­trian cross­ing” in my street that will have no painted stripes. Need­less to say Auck­land Trans­port will say the cross­ing does not war­rant the stripes given the traf­fic vol­ume. That may be so, but there is sig­nif­i­cant con­fu­sion with these “cross­ings”, par­tic­u­larly around schools.

Ve­hi­cles have the right of way but chil­dren es­pe­cially are led to be­lieve these are safe cross­ings. They can be, but only if the mo­torist ac­knowl­edges them as such. It is only a mat­ter of time be­fore a child gets hurt be­cause of the am­bi­gu­ity of this de­sign and Auck­land Trans­port need to re­think their pol­icy around this.

John But­ler, San­dring­ham.

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