Vexed issue

Your correspondent Elisabeth Greaves-Den Broeder (letters 1/1/18) has raised a vexed issue regarding the NZ Government's deducting overseas pensions from one's NZ Superannuation.

Because my late husband was an American citizen, I qualified for an American widow's pension, and yes, this has ended up subsidising my NZ Superannuation.

This iniquitous legislation is in urgent need of change, and Winston Peters has addressed this in the past.


The National Government was to review the issue several years ago, but it was put on to the "back burner" with the excuse that the "tax department did not have their computers up-to-date".

I have made many representations regarding my superannuation reduction over the years, and several weeks ago have again raised it, in writing, with Winston Peters.

There will be many of us having our overseas pensions used to subsidise the NZ Government Superannuation payment, and it's well past time to end the financial penalty placed on us, so hopefully more will come forward in support of a change.


Farcical rants

G R Scown (letters, January 6) starts the new year with a reiteration of his opinion that there is a "grievance industry" — a Maori one, separate from the legal profession.

He confuses the post-war (Fraser) Government's determination to spread the sacrifices caused by war (conscripting people's lives) by "conscripting" some of our country's wealth — with the earlier confiscation of Maori land by earlier settlers' governments.

The apparent intention to belittle the Treaty settlement process could be explained, but not excused, if the proponent had inherited benefits from the disputed land confiscations.

D Partner (January 6) also starts this year with a reiteration of his dismissive opinion on all things Maori. However, to the detriment of his opinion, he suggests that giving the status of a "legal entity" to anything, imbues it with a "personhood" and this reduces the rest of his opinion "to a purely farcical rant" status.

"Legal entity" is the status also given a registered company — it does not impute "personality" attributes — it is, variously, a legal fiction.


Thank you

My heartfelt thanks to the following:

A. To the bus driver and two passengers on the Aramoho bus route on the afternoon of December 28.

B. The ambulance crew.

C. All hospital staff who assisted me.

May you all enjoy a pleasant and prosperous 2018 in response to the kindness shown to me.


Good news

What peace, harmony and joyous tidings we have from the proclamation of Pope Francis that "Satan is not a metaphor but a real person armed with dark powers".

Presumably, in association with the Swiss Guards, Interpol, CIA etc, an arrest is imminent. This will be stupendous news for Catholics and offshoot Christian fundamentalists worldwide.

My personal scepticism through your columns in the past year will have been proved to be all in vain. I admit humble defeat. With Satan's arrest, evil will be eliminated from the world. What an excellent start for the New Year.

Of course, I'm assuming this is not more fake news from 2017 and really sincerely hope that truth can be expected naturally from His Holiness the Pope, presumably through divine influence?


Mother Earth

How about a present for our dear Mother Earth? She has nourished us for millions of years, but we have not been very kind to her.

So how about leaving the oceans full of life again and empty of plastic? Wouldn't that be a wonderful surprise? We lived without plastic for millions of years, so why do we need it now?

And if we left our cars in the garage, our planes on the tarmac and the fossil fuels underground, wouldn't the air in the big cities become wonderfully fresh and invigorating?

Oh, what about a worldwide UN-backed population policy of only two children per two parents! Wouldn't that make Mother Earth happy again?

Yes, this could be a long list, but you will get the idea. Think of the Earth first, before you think of yourself.

Believe me, if we don't, our Mother Earth will get too hot, too crowded, too exhausted to support any of us.


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