The Press

Hagley paths should be wider


I try to enjoy my daily cycle commute through Hagley Park and not upset the walkers but it’s becoming increasing­ly difficult not to.

I don’t have and don’t want a bell, so I used to shout, ‘‘Coming through’’ when the shared cycle and walkway path is blocked by, for example, three walkers and two dogs. But that can be confusing for some, apparently.

I’ve resorted to braking hard just behind them to slide the tyres slightly, but not everyone appreciate­s that.

The path can accommodat­e three people walking side by side but then there’s no room for anyone (walkers or cyclists) to pass without going on the grass or risk unloading over the wet wood strip between path and grass.

When two people are walking side by side with half a person width of path on either side, I can sometimes get through by leaning the bike out over the grass but keeping its wheels on the tarmac. But I occasional­ly clip an elbow or similar depending on how someone is walking.

Hagley Park paths should be replaced with wider options, just like the Hagley Ave path.

Nick Summerhaye­s, St Albans

Sweden failed its people

Graeme Power lauded Sweden’s Covid19 approach as good and orthodox (July

29). It is neither. The situation is more complicate­d than he suggests, but the core question of whether a country has a duty to save the lives of its citizens from an invader remains simple, and New Zealand did the right thing.

As to Farr’s ‘‘law’’ and the ultimate costs of each country’s actions, though, much should be said. Beginning with the fact that 0.8 per cent of Sweden’s population were infected, similar to Singapore’s and Saudi Arabia’s infection rates, but their death rate was 100 times Singapore’s and much higher than most similar countries. Hence the open letter from over 2000 experts complainin­g about Sweden’s policy.

Government­s that shirked their duty of protection are losing trust and creating divided countries that will have problems outlasting the economic hiccup. And 0.8 per cent is far short of ‘‘herd immunity’’ – so their cases and deaths and economic disruption could still get much worse.

Mark Aitchison, Sydenham

Lockdown price worth it

In response to Graeme Power, I really don’t know how to respond to the selfish and ill-informed letter you have written about having only 2000 deaths in New Zealand and the cold-heartednes­s of your human lives equals money approach.

It is not only 2000 extra deaths avoided, it’s also 2000 families not grieving, it’s also a health system not overwhelme­d by treating thousands with Covid-19.

New studies are coming out often showing the long-term effects of surviving Covid-19. We have avoided probably tens of thousands with on-going health conditions that will decrease their quality of life and could, again, unnecessar­ily overwhelm areas of the health system.

When viewed sensibly $25 million for each person not dead seems a small price to pay.

James Robinson, Halswell

Quantitati­ve easing?

As one of the team of 5 million, I fail to understand what quantitati­ve easing means. We see it described as ‘‘creating new money’’ to buy things like government bonds and to spur economic growth.

If it’s new money, calculated on some computer in the Reserve Bank, it is just that – digital data, not based on reality. So, do we have a mythical debt?

Do we have hypothetic­al wealth? Will someone still have to repay this somewhere? Whose so-called debt/wealth is it? What is its impact on ‘‘real’’ wealth? Do politician­s understand quantitati­ve easing – it seems they do as both main political parties are promising to keep spending it – whatever it is.

Could someone please inform the team what we are getting into and what it means for us and future generation­s? Bede Martin, Kaiapoi

Water charges by stealth

I remain totally opposed to the water charging proposal before Council last Thursday. Christchur­ch residents were saved from this additional charge by a divided council.

I was a councillor from 2001 to 2013 and every three years staff suggested a water charge, which previous councils rejected. Christchur­ch was taking a minuscule amount of water (53 million cubic metres) compared to the Canterbury Plains (6116 million cubic metres).

Why would you place an additional water charge on Christchur­ch residents? This charge was being introduced by stealth. If Council was to consider an additional water charge, it should be done through the Long Term Plan. Annual Plans are for minor adjustment­s only. This additional water charge was not indicated in the initial Annual Plan.

The proposal for water charging will resurface next year and residents must be more engaged in the proposal, as the charge is likely to affect more residents. Helen Broughton, Riccarton

While I agree with much of what Mike Yardley (July 28) had to say about the council spending especially cutting wages of office managers, I think they made the correct move by continuing the ban on Roundup.

The Environmen­tal Protection Agency in America may have reaffirmed its safety but Bayer has just paid out US$10.9 billion in settlement costs for claims against the effects of the chemical.

Also, whole beehives are being killed off and the export honey industry worth many millions to NZ is in danger due to traces of glyphosate found in its product. While not a danger to local consumers, many countries have a nil tolerance when it is imported.

Trevor Sennitt, Avonhead

Disappoint­ing world view

Thank you Mike Yardley for enlighteni­ng me about CCC decision making ethics. I trusted these elected councillor­s to make well grounded, unbiased and well researched decisions that would enable them to claim they had the business community, the environmen­t, feet-on-theground thinking, sussed on behalf of Christchur­ch citizens.

An open-minded approach should be at the forefront of all their considerat­ions – free from just maintainin­g their place at the council table.

Denise Burrow, Northwood

Bureaucrat­ic style

I think charging Kiwis for their isolation when returning to this country is a great idea. Think how many new jobs will be created for all the new staff that will be required to ensure that everything is done correctly. Carried out in true bureaucrat­ic style, this could reduce unemployme­nt by a considerab­le figure.

Vic Smith, Halswell

Make them pay for food

Our politician­s seem to get themselves in a tangle when considerin­g proposed charges for managed isolation. Their stances seem to be dictated on what effect it will have on their chances in the September elections. What the Government should have done from the beginning is charge all incoming passengers for their food costs while in the hotels.

D Mee, Northwood

RMA overhaul

Another election and another Resource Management Act overhaul. As cynical as both Labour and National have been over the environmen­t, letting a QC (or quick cash) run the review is like letting a death-watch beetle insulate your house. Simon Rolleston, Bromley

An out-of-date letter by Helen Broughton on Christchur­ch water charging was accidental­ly published yesterday. The Press apologies. The correct letter follows.

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