Wright right on pay gap
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.