Mahurangi Matters, 6 December 2021 – Readers Letters

Great work MM

I am writing to applaud you for your banner article “Restaurants ready to bar unvaccinated” (MM Nov 22). It is brilliant to have you guys on board – informing the vast majority of us who have been vaccinated, where we can safely eat and maybe shop too. If would be great if you created a handy list of eateries and other retailers who support a no vax/no service rule. We all want to be safe, and hopefully it will encourage as many of the vaccine hold outs to step up and do the right thing as well. Congratulations and well done.

Dennis Thompson, Te Arai

Under the Covid-19 traffic light system all hospitality businesses must check patron’s vaccination certificates or else face severe limitations on their operations.

End of an era

It was with sadness today that I walked under the old pepper tree (Schinus molle) in front of the Warkworth Pub (Southgate’s Hotel) and noticed that the last few persistent leaves have fallen. My earliest memories of this tree go back to 1944/45, and the fascinating sight for a small child of an old man who used to sit out under the tree with a beer in one hand and a pipe in the other. He wore the grey working trousers of the day that I think were called “moleskins”, and a pink woollen singlet. These singlets had buttons from the chest up to the neck, and sleeves almost to the elbows. Pulled up over the singlet, and buttoned to his trouser top was a pair of braces. There were small burn marks all over the singlet front, where sparks had fallen from his pipe. His grey hair was lank and untidy, and I doubt he had ever been attended to by a barber, and his long grey beard was yellow with nicotine. My mother would pull me along and tell me not to stare, then she would explain that he lived down the river and came to town in his dinghy. My memory is a bit hazy, but I have an inkling he wasn’t the only such character to be seen there. What will happen to the venerable tree now? Its tortuous shape would make a wonderful sculpture to be left standing, but of course the branches will inevitably start to fall and the tree will need to be felled. No longer will locals be able to say, “ I’ll meet you under the pepper tree.”

Maureen Young, Warkworth

Covid and camping

Regarding freedom camping (MM Nov 22). With the borders opening and a new strain of Covid coming, and hundreds of rental campervans waiting at the airport, what on earth could go wrong? The New Zealand Motor Caravan Association (NZMCA) will get freedom camping on Auckland streets outside residents’ homes even in a Covid-19 pandemic. The NZMCA will get even more freedom camping sites on reserves with the help of their cronies on the Auckland Council and Local Boards. We have in these bylaw decision-makers, a group of self-elected, self-interested, easily-led people. Of the most part, this group of decision-makers is of unparalleled incompetence, whose probity is in doubt, and whose lack of diligence will result in many Aucklanders dying of Covid-19 in their homes. Covid is at your door courtesy of the Auckland Council. It is obscene. You do not need modelling to see that.

Chas Benest, Snells Beach