Letters: Climate change, sports, water shortage and level 3 complacency
Reminder, this is a Premium article and requires a subscription to read. A clear blue sky on the last day of level 4 lockdown in Auckland with a view from Narrowneck beach of the Hauraki Gulf and Rangitoto. Photo / Penelope Venuto Experts say that now is likely to be our best possible chance to take effective action to reduce carbon emissions. The big issue at stake, right now, is how the Government will allocate billions of dollars to new projects. It is necessary that all proposals be assessed in the light of the extreme need to reduce emissions. This consideration must be at the top of the list. The experts tell us that if we carry on as we have been doing, our species will cease to exist. And the changes need to be big. With the world in "lockdown", emissions have reduced but we would need these reductions, or better, to occur every year for 10 years to meet the target. We can't afford to miss the target. There is no backstop. We must, Government and people, take the required action now, in this propitious situation, or we almost certainly never will. It will never be easier. It will be the young and the as-yet unborn who will bear the pain. David Tyler, Beach Haven. I read in this week's Herald on Sunday Rob Nicol, on behalf of various sporting bodies, berating the Government for their lack of financial assistance during our Covid lockdown period. The Government stated clearly at the beginning, essential services would be provided with whatever assistance was required to help keep them up and running. What Nicol and seemingly many sports bodies haven't grasped is that there are no "essential" sports. Not one. There are certainly some entertaining ones, but if the fan base and sponsors aren't there to support them, why should any Government body be held responsible for their upkeep in the hard times? It is surely up to each sporting association, its fans and sponsors to provide sufficient funding to bring their product to the public arena. It is the responsibility of any world government to provide for the health, welfare and safety of its citizens, not to entertain them. This applies to all sports globally. If these clubs and associations want the funding they feel they deserve, then pass the hat around to those prepared to pay for the privilege of keeping their chosen sport alive, not demand taxpayers' money, which would be far better used for the education, health and welfare of current and future generations. Jeremy Coleman, Hillpark. Here we go again! In 1993 Auckland faced a serious water shortage, with the holding dams at only 36 per capacity. The four Auckland mayors of the day (when we had a local body system that worked) Bob Harvey, Waitakere, Les Mills, Auckland, Barrry Curtis, Manukau, and myself North Shore, met urgently to address the situation. Household water consumption was lowered by publishing slogans such as "if it's yellow let it mellow, if it's brown flush it down" and by putting bricks into toilet cisterns to limit waste water use. Investigation of alternative fresh water systems showed that Rangitoto Island sat on a vast body of fresh water, which drained from Lake Pupuke through deep larval tunnels, the overflow then ran in a river of water under Ngataringa Bay and then west under the Waitakere ranges, to fountain up offshore along the west coast off Piha. Trawler fishermen had known about these fresh water fountains for many years as they attracted fish in great numbers. The immediate solution was to pipe water from the Waikato River and we were told "that Auckland would never again run out of water". But here we are again nearly three decades later experiencing the same serious problem. Dam storage facilities are totally inadequate with population growth and climate change and they must be greatly expanded, as without water there is no city. Paul Titchener, Grey Lynn. With our confirmed Covid-19 case numbers low, and the country on the verge of dropping another level, what worries me now is the very apparent complacency among many. The old Kiwi attitude of "She'll be right" is not applicable in this instance. Matt Elliott, Birkdale. Sincere appreciation for Simon Collins' weekend feature, bringing so many eloquent, informed voices to your readers. Their vital message was also echoed from the other side of education's social divide, when the AGS headmaster similarly advised Parliament's Select Committee of the importance of relationships in quality education, and although top students can readily access content online, face to face contact is essential to meet the needs of students who find learning more difficult. Your article is very clear on why and where these greater needs are concentrated, and there seems to be a national groundswell of feeling that improvement must happen. Is now the time to implement some of the wisdom in your article? Curriculum delivery could easily be rebalanced in secondary schools, with more online content made available, while strengthening the personalising of education and family partnerships developing Communities of Care to meet our glaring needs. Ann Dunphy, Parnell. We in Auckland are about to go into another lockdown of sorts: water restrictions. I cannot understand why the council/Watercare did not put these in place back in early January when it was patently obvious with the drought that we would go short of water. Some of "us" way back then did our own restrictions. Please, Phil Goff and cronies, do NOT use Covid 19 as a reason to start restrictions now that came much later. Jude Collins, Ellerslie. After the obvious flouting by the NZ public on Saturday of alert level 3 restrictions, it is time the Government gave the police stronger and additional powers to enforce the pandemic constraints before considering a move to alert level 2. No police warnings should be given; but heavier on-the-spot fines be imposed, and vehicles impounded until the country is free of the Covid-19 issue. These suggested penalties would be the best public deterrent that a Government could wish for. South Korea and Singapore Governments downgraded coronavirus alert levels. People in those counties abused the privileged lower restrictions, and the Covid-19 problem has returned with a vengeance. Norman Bennett, Grey Lynn. Schools had very few students attend during level 3 whereas Early Childhood Centres filled their 10-child bubbles quickly. Parents showed their need during this time for education and care for their young children. The Ministry of Health required an increase in the amount of space to safeguard these vulnerable young children. Three metres per child was required for Covid-19, but why not this amount of space at "normal" times for other illnesses such as year-round colds, flu and rotavirus? The early childhood profession is at a crisis with low wages, instances of poor working conditions and teachers leaving. As well as improving conditions for children, it's time to act to improve teachers' salaries and working conditions, for EC centres to continue to provide the service that children and parents obviously need. Chris Bayes, Torbay. I was interested to read the article "Plastic makes comeback" (NZ Herald May 3). The world decided there is a need to abolish plastic, so what would replace the hygiene provided by plastic? I remember when we didn't have plastic and what a difference it made when introduced, to the cleanliness and the convenience it provided. We now have the pandemic and some supermarkets have rules such as not taking your own reusable bags into the store because of the germs they could carry. Also, notices on the delicatessen counter say in the interest of safety at this time they will not accept your containers. If it's not safe at this time how can it be safe at any time? Maybe the reducing of hygiene standards throughout the world has something to do with the pandemic spread and maybe many more in the future if we are not more careful and thoughtful of each other, so why dismiss the plastic if it protects your health and wellbeing? Chris Bennett, The Gardens. A minuscule article in Saturday's Herald surprised me somewhat. A gentleman was arrested with $8m of methamphetamine having managed to fly to and fro from the world's most Covid- afflicted country, not once but twice during our much heralded lockdown. I can't even fly to Christchurch. Once. Robert Burrow, Taupo. Reminder, this is a Premium article and requires a subscription to read. The Labour party has released its Rainbow Manifesto.