Good afternoon all, I trust you are well. I have certainly had enough of being stuck in my ‘bubble’ and am looking forward to some freedom, especially some ‘freedom to fly’.
As a community we do appear to have ‘dodged the bullets’ of Covid, we have done well. The strategy our country adopted was appropriate at the time when we were looking at an unknown level of pandemic illness and death. The threat of our hospitals being overrun required firm action; thankfully they remained quiet and intact. We now have a wealth of information plus we can compare other nations journeys; so, we have the capacity to manage our way out of this near calamity.
It is time for us to anticipate reclaiming the freedoms which we have been denied. The ‘war time’ like situation we found ourselves in was unprecedented in modern times, mistakes were made and rules were applied; in hind sight not all were assisting the common good. We now need to deal with these illogical determinations and apply good governance and common sense.
I like to remind people that 26 New Zealanders die of cancer every day and 16 New Zealanders die of heart disease every day. This assists our perspective of the situation at present.
AOPA exec and others have been very busy advocating our case in Wellington. The ‘Level 2’ rules which are still on the Covid web sites were developed, with a high degree of urgency. This was when we were ramping up the ‘lockdown’ plan, they are presently under review as we move to freeing up our community. We have had sympathetic input at very high levels in the government and with senior officials. We are quietly confident that our ‘freedom to fly’ will return in the near future.
I have had a lot of communication with members, some would like us to make strong political comments. This is not appropriate, we need to remain apolitical, we must not become partisan. There are many more issues for AOPA NZ to address in the future so we need to ensure our ability to ‘lobby’ all political parties remains intact. If you wish to make your political views heard then I suggest you speak to your local MP or the relevant minister.
Our stance on Airways planned closure of numerous regional airport towers has been sought by Airways and CAA. We are comfortable landing at airports with or without towers. The likes of Timaru and Whakatane work fine for us sharing airspace with commercial passenger aircraft. However, we are very concerned that the ‘national infrastructure’ pertaining to air space must not be compromised. We have always had national disasters and these will continue to occur; air transport is a critical part of our community’s preparation for dealing with these. We have noted that this infrastructure should be community (centrally) funded and cannot be sustained if it relies solely on a ‘user pays’.
I don’t want to dwell on death but would like to share my personal experience of a rest home secure unit, dementia and the death of my much-loved mother. All death is unpleasant, but not all deaths are 'tragedies'. My mother’s death, ostensibly from a minor infection, while she was in a secure unit of a very well-run rest home was a relief for her family. Relief full of grief and tinged with guilt. We believe it was also an escape for her. As a calm capable mother and wife, dementia changed her significantly. She became angry and had violent outbursts, plus ongoing anxiety; eventually she did not know my name. The largest group of New Zealand’s deaths from Covid-19 have been patients in secure rest home units; patients who most likely have ‘Not for Resuscitation’ declarations signed by their family and loved ones. Patients who ICU and respirators would be most inappropriate. Emotional language about every death being a 'tragedy' is not correct.
We need to recognise that we do not need to have zero reported daily infections of this one particular bug before we can start to rebuild our country’s economy and restore the individual rights which were taken from us.
Looking forward to the hum of aero engines overhead.