I’ve been forced to ponder what happens when a local business refuses to support certain members of their local community. My local pharmacy (Wellsford Pharmacy) is not acknowledging Ministry of Health issued mask exemptions. I am unable to wear a mask and applied and was accepted to have a mask exemption. When I entered Wellsford Pharmacy to, ironically, pick up a prescription for the very thing that prevents me from wearing a mask, I was told that I was not allowed in their store and would have to wait outside. The way that this was communicated was not subtle and was in front of my young child. They were not interested in my mask exemption, and I was left feeling humiliated. Now I am in a privileged position, and I am able to take my business elsewhere, but I did contact Wellsford Pharmacy on behalf of others in my community who are unable to wear masks. What will happen to them if the weather is extreme and they do not have a vehicle to wait in? Do they just stand outside in the rain or heat as a punishment for their health condition or disability? Well, according to Wellsford Pharmacy the answer is “yes”. And it’s not their fault because they “don’t control the weather”. I’ve been wondering about this situation as this is an unfortunate example of how current events are negatively impacting us rather than bringing us together, as we have seen countless times locally, and I believe that it’s so important to pull together and support one another.
Caitlin Cartwright, Wellsford
Matt Cross and Jacqui Rogers of Wellsford Pharmacy respond: While we will not be commenting on any individual situation, speaking generally, we, as the only pharmacy in Wellsford, must balance the needs of individual patients against the risk of virus transmission that could affect the safety of our community and our pharmacy team. We recognise that some patients may not be able to wear a face-covering and for those patients we provide alternative options such as home delivery and phone consultations with one of our pharmacists, to ensure the same level of care is given.
The printing of the Viewpoint by Rodney Local Board member Steve Garner (MM Nov 8), gives me a clear picture of who not to vote for at the next local body elections. I certainly cannot support a peddler of racist disinformation. In his Viewpoint article, Mr Garner says that “Three Waters appears to be an opportunity for Government to grab an asset that can be given to Maori”. Nothing could be further from the truth. If Mr Garner had bothered to access the Government’s information published by the Department of Internal Affairs, he would see that the assets remain with the local communities. And I quote from the DIA website on Three Waters: “Councils will collectively own the water services entities providing services for their district on behalf of their communities”. It is shameful that an elected representative should peddle such racist disinformation. Hopefully, Mahurangi Matters will see the harm in printing such disinformation and put the record straight.
Neil Anderson, Algies Bay