Cy­cling rules Sil­ver Ferns’ bold re­turn wel­come

The New Zealand Herald - - Editorial & Letters -

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.

Big cranes

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.

Coastal claims

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.

Burka re­pres­sion

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.

Killing jour­nal­ists

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.

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