Cycling rules Silver Ferns’ bold return welcome
Rather than question why NZ Netball didn’t include Laura Langman in previous test matches can I just say welcome back Laura, your presence is felt and welcomed. And yes welcome back Maria Folau who is also playing with passion and purpose. And of Noeline, the netball fraternity are in raptures. Thanks Silver Ferns, your return to the stage deserves accolades. Keep it coming.
Ann Kidd, Motueka.
Did Ports of Auckland get resource consent from Auckland Council to erect those three huge new cranes? Collectively they are visual monstrosities and should never have been allowed. Their bulk and height are completely out of character with the existing port infrastructure. Proposed extensions to the existing wharves pale in visual significance.
Bruce Tubb, Belmont.
Breast cancer call
Yesterday’s front page and two-page spread stories of seven women whose lives and those of their loved ones would be extended or enhanced by the Government funding $6000 per month for treatment with a new drug, bothers me. In an unfortunate juxtaposition on the following page there is a small article on the inequities in the health system between groups of people according to ethnicity.
While not wanting to be unsympathetic to the plight of these women whose lives have been seriously affected by cancer, I am grateful that Pharmac continues to effectively carry out its function of making health funding decisions based on population health principles, cost effectiveness and the principle of “greater good” in a dispassionate way, free from political and emotional pressure and not on the basis of anecdotes.
There are many examples of potential benefits for a larger number of people from more funding — nurses in schools, better access by disabled children to support services, easier access to cataract operations and hip replacements, the list is endless. I would rather my taxes went towards these than subsidising the ticking off of items on bucket lists.
I hope that for balance, there will be a similar voice in the Herald for the Government to fund expensive interventions for groups of less articulate people where inequities already exist.
Marion Howie, Epsom.
Dealing with a bully
After prolonged bullying of her daughter, Nicola-Jane Jenks took action. Her action was described as “a bad decision” by the learned judge. I just wish that judge had offered her a real and effective alternative if he saw the action taken as being wrong. But no, never. Because we all know there is no effective alternative to the action taken by Nicola-Jane Jenks. And, she had probably been doing everything else possible prior to this incident.
The judge is playing his part in the charade which says there is a proper way to deal with this and it is effective and the bullying will stop. Never gonna happen. The 17-year-old thug-ette, in her words and threatened actions towards Jenks, reveals the type of human she is. Her biggest problem was her humiliation in front of her peers! Yet another sign of a veteran bully. No admission, no denial, no excuse, no apology. She, like all bullies, hopefully, finds there is always someone bigger. Kevin Clarkin, Hamilton.
Just hire the best
Oddly enough you cannot fix racism by institutionalising it. I would have thought the Auckland DHB would have had management who understood that. If Ma¯ ori, Pacific islanders, Indians, Chinese, New Zealanders and so on, are not being interviewed then it is possible that they do not have the pre-requisite skills for the job or they have not been given the skills to enable them to write a CV that would inspire a potential employer to talk to them. And if, as it was suggested that management are not inviting Ma¯ oris and Pacific islanders for interviews because their names are too hard to pronounce, then surely that is an education issue with management at that DHB, who may well be the racist issues facing said students in the first place.
It is of course possible too much time is spent on an issue that will encourage the best candidates to simply move to anywhere other than Auckland and then said issue would resolve itself and we would end up with the incompetence we deserve running and working in our hospitals irrespective of race or name.
Craig Dalton, East Tamaki.
The Auckland Council was established to serve the people of Auckland. So now that 34 claims for customary marine title and/ or protected customary rights have been lodged for Auckland’s entire coastline, you’d think the council would be proactive in investigating each claim and representing the best interests of the public. But no. The council’s “democracy services” unit employee, James Stephens, has recently written, “I wish to clarify that Auckland Council lodged notices of intention to appear as an interested person . . . neither opposing nor supporting the applications”.
And regarding the hundreds of other claims for New Zealand’s coastline, we are advised that, “The Attorney-General does not consider it is his role to oppose applications in the public interest . . . ” Our governing bodies are very happy to take our money, pass dubious legislation, then leave the public very much high and dry. Public servants? Yeah nah.
Fiona Mackenzie, Stanmore Bay.
I enjoyed John Tamihere’s article on New Zealand values but while his scathing description, “post office boxes”, wasn’t quite the way I would describe burkas, I do have some issues with them. It does seem intolerant to single them out but it seems to our Western eyes a very public way of repressing women.
I remember seeing on one hot summer’s day last year a woman all done out in black including burka, covered from head to foot, with her young daughter in a black scarf and a long black dress. The husband was wearing jandals, shorts and T-shirt which befitted the heat of the day and his son was dressed similarly. My blood boiled at the injustice of it all.
Perhaps, women who are so dressed could give us their take on it (we only seem to hear from the menfolk). It may help to increase tolerance of us New Zealanders on the subject.
Susan Wilson, Surfdale.
It’s true, cycling makes you happy. I knew it, you knew it. The only people who don’t are the unfortunate walkers on shared paths whose peaceful reverie is destroyed by a speeding cyclist who for some reason considers “alert when approaching” does not apply to them and gives you the finger, laughs or, more usually, completely ignores you as you shakily recover, perhaps to yell out “ring your bell”.
Excuses like, “I don’t have a bell” don’t ring true. Legislate before the walkers die of heart attacks. There are five simple rules. Keep left. Faster traffic gives way to slower. Alert when approaching ( bell or yell “passing/behind you”). Slow down when passing. Be polite. Share with care.
Samantha Cunningham, Henderson.
Why is there so much fuss about Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist for the Washington Post seen walking into but not out of the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul? The fuss surely isn’t about him being a journalist who has been murdered for what he reports, as unfortunately that’s not uncommon. The Committee to Protect Journalists lists 44 other journalists being murdered so far in 2018 and 46 in 2017 with names and details supplied as to who they were and what happened.
The International Federation of Journalists suggests larger numbers have been killed, 82 in 2017 and 73 so far in 2018. There are at least 100 journalists killed in just the past two years and these have not been prominent in the news despite collegial support and even selfinterest. There must be another reason.
It has been suggested that there is an unwillingness to upset the Saudi community and their lovely oil supply. There is no proof to date of Saudi involvement apart from the location where he was seen last. There is however also no evidence that provides an alibi, another sighting or any contact in over a week so it is likely that he won’t be reporting on anyone in the Saudi royal family nor condemning them again. This suggests foul play and the international community should step up to investigate, act and protect journalists. When journalists are killed, freedom of speech is diminished and true freedom comes under attack.
Dennis Fitzgerald, Melbourne.