Euthanasia won't help

Last week in Palmerston North, Gareth Morgan spoke about the values and policies of The Opportunities Party. He challenged the audience as to whether New Zealanders really care about creating a fairer society.

This week on Radio Live, Judge Neil MacLean, the former chief coroner, highlighted that New Zealand has the highest teen suicide rate in the OECD, and was ranked second for youth suicide.

In the Chronicle (July 13), the headlines drew attention to our shameful culture of domestic violence and child abuse - the third highest in the OECD.

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While I enjoy the warm fuzziness of our weekly dose of Good Sorts on TVNZ 1, the dark underbelly of social wellbeing indicators in our country is that all is not well. We are dis-eased.

Despite the distractions of the America's Cup and other sporting achievements, the reality is we no longer care for ourselves, other people and our land.

How did we get to this? I believe we have taken our eye off the fundamental values of our society " the dignity and worth of every individual.

And what will be the impact of the Act Party leader David Seymour's End of Life Choice bill? Will physician-assisted suicide and human euthanasia raise or lower our standard of caring for ourselves and our neighbours?

If successful, I can confidently suggest our social wellbeing indicators will plummet further.

New Zealand can be proud of the fact that we have the third most advanced palliative care regime in the OECD. Let's improve it and become a world leader.

We must not succumb again to pseudo-compassionate arguments to devalue human life and worth.

JOHN MALCOLM, St John's Hill
Export hub

In last week's Chronicle farming page, Hew Dalrymple promoted the idea that part of Ohakea air base could accommodate an export cargo facility.

With the basic infrastructure already operational, the potential boost to the lower North Island's future economy is significant.

This is not a new concept. Currently Chatham Island crayfish sprout wings and fly to Japan, venison and flowers are air-freighted to the United States and Levin asparagus is distributed in Asia within 24 to 30 hours of picking.

Affluent Asian customers demand freshness, quality and confidence in the product they purchase. Marketing gurus constantly emphasise that customer focus and niche marketing of higher valued products has a more rewarding future than traditional commodity trading.

In terms of dollar value, in 2015 approximately 9 per cent of all agricultural and horticultural exports were dispatched by air.

The Whanganui, Rangitikei and Manawatu regions have a surprisingly diverse yet complimentary agricultural and processing capacity, hence the potential of developing a sophisticated export orientated "Food Bowl".

I strongly support Ohakea accommodating an export hub, the encouragement of Kiwis' entrepreneurial spirit and suggest local councils instigate meaningful research.

JOHN TARRANT, Whanganui
Jay a godsend

I wish to extend a huge thank-you to Jay Kuten for his opinion pieces on the Chester Borrows trial. You are a godsend, Jay.

I, too, have pondered the possible scenario that a man who wears the white ribbon protesting against violence against women could have possibly used his vehicle as a weapon against two citizens.

While on this subject, thanks for the chuckles, D Partner (Letters; June 17) - your statement that one of our own pushed us under the car was hilarious. We only had police behind us, so was it the plod who pushed?

However, you were spot on in saying that I would be going under the car. That is exactly what happened and the reason why I could not move away because I was already trapped.

DENISE LOCKETT, Whanganui
Fact of life

Abortion is not for the faint-hearted. It is a fact of life.

It is a miscarriage if God does it, and is against the desires of the parents.

If a doctor does it, it is abortion, but done at the desire of the parents.

Abortion was legalised to try to halt the enormous damage being done to women by backstreet clinics. We would all wish it did not happen, but humans are humans and they resort to what they think is best for them at the time.

It is a bit of cheek for some Christians to say they are nice people because they oppose abortion. The Pope has a new scandal on his hands, right on his doorstep. Unmarried pastors have to live a life that is against all human instinct, which they could quickly change if they weren't indoctrinated.

G R SCOWN, Whanganui
Code biased

I am outraged at the latest "Code for the Teaching Profession".

This document indicates a disturbing obsession with everything Maori within the Education Council, and expecting teachers to comply with such a racially-biased code is a recipe for disaster.

The Treaty of Waitangi, which is now just an historical relic, made us one people.

There was no reference in its terms to any partnership, and New Zealand is now a multicultural nation comprising many peoples and races.

The code is an inauspicious document and needs to be purged of the indoctrination, racial bias and prejudices.

J D WRIGHT, Tauranga