Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces the lifting of most restrictions, 906 days since the alert level system was introduced on March 21, 2020. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Say goodbye to Covid restrictions and bow with a team of 5 million.
We trusted our government, we worked together; achieve high vaccination rates and low mortality rates.
Our confinements, although very harsh for some, have protected our vulnerable people
and reminded us of some simple joys in life.
Our border control and health care officers were true heroes.
There were a few fussy critics but we stuck to plan and received praise from around the world.
The Covid has not disappeared but we can be proud of our unity. Well done New Zealand.
Roger Laborn, Hamilton.
Take on the challenge
I am not a professional but I do not see, for my life, how face masks and vaccinations can take away our freedoms and cause mental distress.
Yet these two actions can save the lives of thousands of people.
I think they should always be mandated when they are in the community.
As for me, I will always wear a face mask to protect myself from any new or existing virus.
Ailsa Martin-Buss, Glendowie.
Thank you, Willie Jackson, for highlighting Hana Te Hemara Jackson’s role in the revival of te reo (NZ Herald, September 12). Mention should also be made of the efforts of the Māori Women’s Welfare League which, from its first conference in 1951, supported the teaching of te reo in schools.
It was women who formed the backbone of the kohanga reo movement. According to Merimeri Penfold “it was urban mothers who were fired with this idea…and they turned to their older wives and nannies”.
Jackson is correct that actions such as the articulation of Maori sovereignty “horrified Pākehā”, but not all of them. Donna Awatere’s groundbreaking essays on sovereignty were published by the feminist magazine Broadsheet. We then published the essays in book form. It is exactly 40 years since Broadsheet published these articles and 50 years since Hana Te Hemara presented the Maori language petition to Parliament. Today we see well-articulated young Maori women speaking Te Reo on television: it is a symbol of New Zealand’s growing maturity as a nation and a cause for celebration.
Sandra Coney, Piha.
I wonder how many people remember receiving a beautiful gold medal tied with a blue ribbon when the new Queen Elizabeth made her first visit to New Zealand after her coronation.
All the school children received one and I still have mine. I was 10 at the time and my older and younger sisters don’t remember ever getting one.
Florence Young, Papakura.
Heads of the Republic
I feel compelled to respond to the arguments made by Reg Dempster (NZ Herald, September 12).
In the 1990s, I discussed the monarchy with the granddaughter of a Sinn Fein activist, not herself a Republican. She raised the issue of malfeasance and rabid politics, as evidenced by the Bill Clinton impeachment saga. She argued that this made a republic unsafe.
The issue of leadership inadequacy is far from new. The ancient Celts used to execute tribal kings during drought and famine, to appease the gods. Then they would elect new ones to further appease the gods. Hope is eternal.
It would take very little to make New Zealand a republic like the Finnish or Indian republics, where the president is largely ceremonial.
I am in favor of the French idea, where the president and the prime minister share the executive role, to ensure that neither feels comfortable.
The American example is far too close to the absolute royalty that King Charles I had executed to have tried.
Leaving the role of head of state to haphazard genetics doesn’t make me comfortable either – how many Kings Leopold II can the world afford?
Wesley Parish, Tauranga.
The cartoon (NZ Herald, September 13) of a worker begging to attend a funeral echoes the sentiments of Dilbert’s cartoon (NZ Herald, November 14, 2019).
Staff member: “Can I take a day off to attend a funeral?”
Boss: “Of course. I didn’t even know you were sick.”
Personal: “This is not my own funeral.”
Boss: “Oh. In that case, no.”
Apparently compassion is an expensive commodity.
Norm Murray, Browns Bay.
I thought freedom of speech was a right enshrined in our Westminster democracy.
But a man has been arrested for calling Andrew a ‘sick old man’ as he walked down the Royal Mile in Edinburgh at his mother’s funeral.
Doesn’t a citizen have the right to suggest that a public figure, supposed to have a royal demeanor, is not exactly a charming prince?
Andrew actually paid a large portion of his mother’s royal books to a woman he was seen with while in questionable company with Jeffrey Epstein.
The question now is whether his multi-million debt to his mother still needs to be repaid.
Rob Buchanan, Kerikeri.
How edifying to read (NZ Herald, September 12) an analysis of the economy by a real economist rather than the endless calculations of National Party spokesmen.
Craig Renney has carefully dismantled all claims by Matthew Hooton (NZ Herald, September 2) of a declining economy, pointing out that the economy has never been stronger despite a global pandemic and war in Europe.
Hooton is good at analyzing major dysfunctions within the national party but should leave economics to the experts.
Mark Nixon, Remuera.
What a badge of honor when columnist Simon Wilson targets some elected members of Auckland council for criticism.
Eighty per cent of Aucklanders do not trust the current regime, as measured by the council itself.
People want the board to get back to its core business and live within its financial means. If Wilson is targeting a certain candidate in the election, he’s probably the one we should vote for.
Ann Wilson, Kumeū.
Hugh Aitchison is right on the button (NZ Herald, September 12) with his critique of the way the national anthem is performed for us at events, particularly rugby matches. It becomes a very different song when performed as a march and sounds less like a pleading letter to God.
I’ve often wondered where NZ Rugby finds performers who can’t sing the song as written, adding twiddles and twaddles with unnecessary key changes.
If you want to hear a great anthem, watch YouTube and search for one of the Cardiff Arms Park Welsh Games. It makes the skin tingle, and I’m sure God of Nations can do it too if performed and presented as the composer intended.
Richard Morgan, Maunu.
Here our voices
The singing of our anthem on Sunday on the steps of Parliament was brilliant.
So inspiring and sung in te reo and English with such empathy and dedication on such an auspicious occasion. The tempo was superb.
It brought tears to my eyes.
I waited all day to hear a rehearsal.
Peter Walden, Rotorua.
short and sweet
On the monarchy
I would prefer King Charles III to President Clarke. Margaret Bellard, Orewa.
Frank Olsson is wrong to suggest that New Zealand should have a resident head of state. Ex-politicians vying for the job would make it totally unacceptable. Hylton Le Grice, Remuera.
For the sake of consistency, at least, the public and media calls for a new Black Caps coach should be growing louder given the team’s consistently disappointing results. Matt Elliott, Birkdale.
Jock MacVicar considers New Zealand’s record Covid death rate “a disaster” (September 12), unlike all those countries that did not lock down and had death rates several times higher. I would hate to see what he calls success. Jeff Hayward, Auckland Central.
Presumably, not every dedicated Republican can, in good conscience, take a day off. Nick Hamilton, Remuera.
Your report on a daytime flight to Auckland (September 13) is no surprise. Such an event happens daily for taxpayers via the Wellington spending administration. Garry Wycherley, Awakino.
Kushlan Sugathapala’s article on Kiwibank (September 9) referred to Fonterra and Fletcher Building having “recently” recorded losses of more than $500 million. These losses were for the 2018/19 financial years, not the most recent reporting period in which the two companies reported significant profits.
The premium debate
Ardern announces end to most Covid restrictions
The audacity to try to pretend that it is Covid and not the government that has taken control of our lives for almost three years, and to claim that this control has in fact been abandoned while the enabling legislative framework remains in place. As for maintaining the isolation requirements and the ridiculous entry declaration… The next election can’t come soon enough. Jonathan S.
Goodness – the “perpetually wronged” are alive and well in New Zealand. Brian H.
And rightly so. Many lost their families and were unable to attend the funerals. People were unable to visit sick relatives and many lost their livelihoods. Mark Y
Painful costs, of course. But they were needed to save the lives of thousands of Kiwis. We have come through this pandemic with a fraction of the economic and health damage that the rest of the world has suffered. Steve E.
Yeah. Complainants keep complaining even when it’s something they agree with. Shannon S.
“The system is no longer fit for purpose.” Right dead. Jacinda Ardern is again late in the starting blocks. People have long moved without his permission, including many shopkeepers and employees. Mike I.