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Our lives have been put at risk

Mal Yazdan made this Official Information request to Jacinda Ardern

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From: Mal Yazdan

1 April 2020

The Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern
Prime Minister of New Zealand

Dear Jacinda Ardern,

I am writing to you as I have no hope anymore that the problem which is created here in our residence for the last week or so by authorities and some profiteers be resolved. Authorities are taking no action to fix the problem, instead are cooperating in intensifying it.

Unfortunately, I have not much skill in writing an organized letter like what lawyers or news people do, but I promise this letter won’t take more than 2-3 minutes to read and reveals very serious problems threatening the life of many people by Coronavirus.

I am a New Zealand citizen at the age of 67 with high blood pressure and respiratory problem from past, very vulnerable to Cornavirus based on scientific findings. I am living as a resident in a hotel and apartment complex named Ramada located in Manukau, Auckland. As customary for such complexes, a Body Corporation is in place who in turn nominates and contracts a management company (in this case Mersden Group) for necessary services to the complex. The first 3 stories of the building are hotel and the next 5 stories are residential apartments. The company that is managing the building, Marsden Group, is not only paid by body corp to take responsibility for everyday required services to the whole building, they also run the hotel in a separate contract with Ramada or developer. They have also established another business for themselves by long term contracting with some hotel room owners and apartment owners (some of them living overseas as investors) for fixed rental of their properties and in turn is renting those properties to either hotel guests or short/long term tenants at higher rates.

As the business has slowed for all companies due to Coronavirus pandemic and level 4 alert by government, they have thought of a trick to make more money than what government is assisting all businesses and they started to offer packages for 14 days’ self-isolation. From a week ago, we residents noticed that they have brought the overseas travellers who are considered potentially sick and/or high risk (and must be isolated according to the rules) in our complex without even informing the us. Therefore, we were kept in dark for a long time and were encountered with the high risk of potential contamination without knowing what was happening. They were totally ignorant of telling us and the question is who gave them that right to act unanimously and put the life of the others at risk. When I and few others found out about this and approach them, they never provided a reasonable answer; instead told us they do not need to get permission from anyone or answer anyone. The police also showed up a week ago as if they have full control on those hotel guests. A few days later, a group of nurses arrived and have occupied a section of our lobby for taking precautions for those passengers, still with the presence of police. As the things got more serious and the body corp spokesman also claimed that they did not know anything about that, we found no other option except to take the matter to Herald and requested them to monitor the situation to see if it is being done with initiation of Ministry of Health and the police/civil aviation or it is all the actions of that management group, Mersden, and their affiliates, say Ramada hotel head office. You or your staff have certainly noticed the article in Herald about this subject. Interestingly, the Ministry of health has not yet responded to Heralds inquiry, nor the civil aviation cooperated in providing information. As the pressure increased on that management company, they removed their ads and promotions from the websites and started taking the pose of an angel that is assisting Ministry of Health and Civil Aviation and ultimately New Zealand and continued keeping and bringing those high risk travellers to our complex. One of the things which is obvious is that this management company is benefiting from this by getting rent for the rooms they rent (which on the other hand they have contracts with their owner to pay them) at the price of putting so many other residents at risk. While we are all trying to observe and obey the rules to isolate ourselves at home, they have brought the danger next to us with an allegation that they are taking all precautions with the supervision of ministry of health and civil aviation, but no one ever cared about us. We all know that a virus is not a big thing to be seen and it is a microscopic being that can be anywhere, specially in common areas which are used by both residents and hotel guests and now is being used by these travellers and people who are servicing them too. Whatever the management company is claiming that they are doing in coordination with health authorities and civil aviation, they can not guarantee to remove the virus if it arrives by these highly potentially sick travellers; otherwise, what was the point of putting them in 14 days’ mandatory isolation? Shouldn’t the isolation of high risk people be done in an isolated place? Overall, it seems that no one is caring about us and that management company for their own sake of making profit and the health authorities for reducing the pressure on them to provide services to these travellers have come to conclusion to use our complex without even notifying the residents who should have a say. While there are so many other hotels-only (with no residential) and motels in the city, why this residential complex? The hotels and motels could receive these traveller at a much lower risk for others as they are only meant for travellers. It is not the matter of the life of me or a few other individuals, but our whole community who also own this building and are paying huge amount to body corp to take care of our safety too, but we are witnessing none of the people involved in this case, government personnel or companies, care at all. This situation has not only put us at high risk, but has added much more stress in our lives while the lockdown already has put pressure and stressful days on every New Zealander. For your information, there are old and very vulnerable people living here and those can hardly take more anxiety.

Dear prime minister, if there was no alternative and if these people would act responsibly, we would never take your valuable time, but you are our last hope as we are disappointed by the actions of greedy people who only care about money and their own problems. Everybody and every business is suffering in these circumstances and the government is doing its best to assist them with aids to the extent it can. We, like many New Zealanders, are all having difficult time by observing the rules in the hope that this disease be controlled and god willing takes no/less lives, so what is distinguishing this specific management company and its affiliates from other businesses who are mostly continuing on the government aids. I am pretty sure that our honourable government is also assisting this company in terms of financial aids, but they are greedy and want to make more money at the risk of others’ lives.

I, for myself and on behalf of all endangered residents, request you to do whatever you find necessary to put an end to this atrocity (if not a crime) which is imposed on us in the name of so-called assisting New Zealanders, but we all know what is behind it.

I well remember that a few years ago I had a house down a long 60 metres driveway. One day I received a letter from Auckland Council that they intend to put a small sign in the front road and still 50 meters away from our driveway and were asking my opinion if I am happy with it or not. When people are that important (and they are) that are being consulted and their rights are being observed (which is what I appreciate a lot as a New Zealander), how come such an important matter which involves the life of people are taken so lightly by authorities and some profiteers.

I personally thank you and your team for all your efforts in this delicate time to help people to have less issues in their life and am sure that every one of the residents in this complex is also thankful for your consideration of this serious matter.

We all wish you and your team full health and success in your job.

Yours faithfully,

Mal Yazdan
Apt. 705, Ramada Building
770A Great South Road
Manukau/Wiri
Auckland 2104
E: [email address]
T: 021 1377122

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From: Rt. Hon Jacinda Ardern

Kia ora,

Thanks very much for taking the time to get in touch with Prime Minister
Jacinda Ardern.

We are currently experiencing unprecedented numbers of emails about
COVID-19. If you are writing about an issue relating to COVID-19, here’s a
list of links that you may find helpful:

[1]Latest Government COVID-19 info

[2]For COVID-19 financial assistance

[3]For business and tax info

[4]For up to date travel advice

[5]For immigration and visa advice

If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, please call your local GP.

We hope one of the above links helps answer your question.

Thanks again and please take care.

Authorised by Jacinda Ardern MP, Parliament Buildings, Wellington

 

 

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References

Visible links
1. https://covid19.govt.nz/
2. https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/
3. https://www.ird.govt.nz/covid19
4. https://www.google.com/search?q=safetrav...
5. https://www.immigration.govt.nz/

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From: Rt. Hon Jacinda Ardern

I am writing on behalf of the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, to acknowledge receipt of your Official Information Act request.

Your request will be responded to under the provisions of the Official Information Act 1982.

Yours sincerely

Dinah Okeby
Office of the Prime Minister

Authorised by Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern MP, Parliament Buildings Wellington 6012

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From: Mal Yazdan

OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER

3 April 2020

Dear Dinah Okeby,

Kia Ora,

I just wanted to thank you very much for your prompt reply of 2nd April 2020 to my request of April 1st . I am now confident that my request is in a good hand and will be taken care of. May I just express my sincere appreciation to Hon. PM Jacinda Ardern and to you for your attention to this highly significant matter while I realize how busy you are nowadays with so many requests and important matter? I am proud and privileged that I am living in a country that people matter and the government is so dedicated to its people.

I look forward to hearing from you.

God bless you all

Mal Yazdan

Yours sincerely,

Mal Yazdan

Link to this

From: Rt. Hon Jacinda Ardern

Kia ora,

Thanks very much for taking the time to get in touch with Prime Minister
Jacinda Ardern.

We are currently experiencing unprecedented numbers of emails about
COVID-19. If you are writing about an issue relating to COVID-19, here’s a
list of links that you may find helpful:

[1]Latest Government COVID-19 info

[2]For COVID-19 financial assistance

[3]For business and tax info

[4]For up to date travel advice

[5]For immigration and visa advice

If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, please call your local GP.

We hope one of the above links helps answer your question.

Thanks again and please take care.

Authorised by Jacinda Ardern MP, Parliament Buildings, Wellington

 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

References

Visible links
1. https://covid19.govt.nz/
2. https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/
3. https://www.ird.govt.nz/covid19
4. https://www.google.com/search?q=safetrav...
5. https://www.immigration.govt.nz/

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From: Toni Atkinson


Attachment image001.jpg
3K Download


Dear Mal

 

On behalf of Hon Dr David Clark, Minister of Health, thank you for your
correspondence.

 

As the issue you have raised falls within the portfolio responsibility of
the Minister of Health, Hon Dr David Clark, your letter has been forwarded
to this office for consideration.

The Minister has noted your concerns.

 

I am sorry for the delay in getting back to you and hope that you have
found ways to resolve this issue. If you follow the level 4 restrictions -
stay in your bubble, only go out for essentials, wash your hands
frequently - I trust you have been able to remain well over this period.

 

Kind regards,

 

 

 

 

[1]cid:image003.jpg@01D5DA9C.EAF66FB0 Toni Atkinson

 

Acting Private Secretary - Health |
Office of Hon David Clark
Minister of Health

 

DDI: (04) 817 9727 | M: 021 196 0514

Email:
[2][email address]   
Website: [3]www.Beehive,govt.nz

Private Bag 18041, Parliament
Buildings, Wellington 6160, New
Zealand

 

 

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From: Rt. Hon Jacinda Ardern

Dear Mal Yazdan

Thank you again for your message to the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, and sincere apologies for the delay in responding to you. I hope your situation has improved since you wrote to Jacinda. I note I had acknowledged your message as a request made under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). On further consideration, I believe your message to be intended as correspondence rather than an OIA request, and that the Ministry of Health are best placed to address the concerns you raised. Accordingly, I have referred your message to the Ministry of Health, and trust you will receive an answer from them in due course.

Kind regards

Dinah Okeby
Office of the Prime Minister

Authorised by Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern MP, Parliament Buildings Wellington 6012

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