Regarding Rob Paterson's letter (NZ Herald, May 22), the responsibility of the Reserve Bank to set interest rates has been devolved from one person, the Governor, to a committee. Whether the concept of a committee decision is better than an individual's is a moot point but no one has questioned the calibre of the people who have been appointed. I am sure they have taken their decision after due consideration of all the facts, including the interests of savers and risk-averse investors.
These investors should rest assured the purchasing power of their investments is more likely to be preserved in a low-interest, low-inflation financial environment.
If they do not like that, that can invest in other investments with higher interest rates, and commensurately higher levels of risk; that is their choice; that is how the market works, and how the world actually works.
David Vinsen, West Harbour.
A lot of journalists and academics, both here and in Australia, are perplexed about the Australian election result, as it defied confident expectations. I'm sure the answer is complex, but I suggest one reason is that many journalists and academics are so utterly partisan that they are no longer able to distinguish between what they think will happen and what they want to happen. Long ago, we had honest brokers doing this work for us, where did they get to?
Gavan O'Farrell, Lower Hutt.
Josie Pagani's column on the rise of political conservatism (NZ Herald, May 23) is insightful and timely. National needs a coalition partner and the place to look is to the conservative right. National has drifted left of centre socially and is alienating its natural support base. The New Conservative party is a natural, already existing, partner which incorporates many Christian values. There is no need to split the conservative vote with a new Christian party.
David Gibbs, Beach Haven.
Loss of hearing
How ironic that the online article on the findings of alarming loss of hearing among NZ kids (NZ Herald, May 22) linked to an article on cochlear implants.
It may be drawing a long bow but as a hearing-impaired person (that's being deaf, by the way) I would say is that one is definitely preventable to a large extent. The other is primarily aimed at rectifying deafness from birth or medical complications that lead to total hearing loss. The cochlear implant system works miracles for some people, especially very young children, who would otherwise be seriously disabled for life.
My husband gradually developed industrial-related deafness related to the "gung ho" working environment of the 1960s when workers were not protected by health and safety requirements, or ignored ear-protectors and dust masks as being for sissies.
A warning note to young people: loss of hearing related to screamingly loud music played straight into your fragile hearing systems for hours on end will not get you to the top of the long waiting list for an implant in later years. It will, however, get you into an ever-increasing silent world of internal noise which will frustrate, isolate and depress you – it may not happen this year, but it will happen.
I guess this plea will fall on deaf ears (sorry) but think about what you are inflicting on yourself and your families. There are enough nasties out there to get you; don't add this preventable disability to your list.
Aileen Hart, Havelock North.
I'm rather saddened to see letters such as "Not 'appy " (NZ Herald, May 22), because they reinforce opinions that seniors aren't open to change. What I think she is really saying is that she doesn't have a use for mobile phones and computers, and she has a point. That's why it's great to see money being spent on education as part of this upgrade package; hopefully some seniors can make themselves useful by volunteering to pass on their knowledge.
Personally, this senior had no great use for a smartphone until I started travelling around Auckland by public transport. Then I started using AT's excellent app, and was surprised when my suggestions for improvement were taken up. I use the local rain radar to keep dry while walking the dog, and am happy to tell others about both of these. Hopefully the SuperGold app will develop over time, so we have good reason to use it and tell others.
The other thing that saddens me is that we have to accept we will become less mobile and more isolated over time. Those who reject technology as a way of keeping in touch will, I think, feel that isolation more keenly.
Mike Diggins, Royal Oak.
While applauding the new "iwi" series, the second part (NZ Herald, May 21) contained a slight error when referring to the raising of the flag "at what is now the top of Queen Street". The raising of the flag was done on Point Britomart, now demolished.
In Quay St, on the wharf side, near the Rainbow Warrior mural, you can view - imprisoned behind the red railings - a rough rock on which is mounted an old National Trust plaque marking the site. The flag raising is also the subject of a often reproduced contemporary painting and is of interest as it portrays only one woman being present, Sarah Mathew.
I have no idea how Queen St got into the story, however it is the second time I have seen this written in the Herald. The first time was about four years ago by a columnist who, after I informed him of the Quay St site, went in search of it, as he had also understood it was the top of Queen St.
The other oddity I found was the statement that Ngāti Whātua had "purchased the former Devonport Naval Base". The Navy and the ships remain there as it is not "former" at all. I believe this may refer to the removal of the former naval houses fronting Ngātaringa Bay and presently under a joint development as a Ryman village complex. There were only houses there and not a naval base.
John Webster, Takapuna.
Part of the $7 million upgrade to SuperGold Card users plus $600,000 in the Budget (NZ Herald, May 21) will provide digital literacy training to seniors. In the same publication there is an article on Women's Refuge and Pet Refuge - a shocking and heartbreaking article to read.
Senior Net already exists for Seniors who are keen to update their computer skills. My heart breaks for women, their children and indeed their animals who live in fear of their lives every day living with men who assault their families on a regular basis.
I think most seniors would agree, $600,000 would be better spent on Women's Refuge than tutoring seniors on their computer and telephone skills.
Helen Pieterson, Kerikeri.
The Long Bay Okura Marine reserve is part of the 0.3 per cent of the Hauraki Gulf currently protected as a "no take" area. But banning all fishing (Herald, May 22) is only part of what's required for fish stocks to be healthy and to replenish the Gulf's tragically depleted marine life.
Last winter, water in the Okura estuary repeatedly ran brown as sediment from the bulldozing for housing sites on adjacent land entered the reserve in torrents. Entire beds of cockles died.
Such pollution was deemed by Auckland Council to be within planning rules.
It's great news that the Hauraki Gulf Forum is recommending at least 20 per cent of the marine park be upgraded to marine reserve status. But how will this stop sediment from building development and pollution from urbanisation damaging the marine ecology?
Pat Baskett, Okura.
On Tuesday, I was nearly collected by a chap on a green scooter, travelling at speed, as he cut his way through the crowd on the pavement outside Auckland Hospital. Had I moved even slightly to the right we both could have ended up as patients.
That area outside the hospital can have people in wheelchairs, others using sticks to walk, elderly visitors and patients and children in prams. As well, there is a bus stop with passengers getting off and on. The pavement is wide enough to accommodate everyone as long as everyone is on foot.
Would it be possible to make the footpath between the Domain exit and Grafton Rd a "scooter free" area? There is a perfectly adequate footpath on the other side of Park Rd which could be used by scooter riders to reach their destinations.
Patricia Judd, Newmarket.
Short & Sweet
Letters: Economic cake, contacting IRD and Frances Hodgkins
Letters: Rough sleepers, e-scooters, Botany and Jacinda Ardern
The unnerving thing about the peddlers of doom, is that many of them actually want bad things to happen.
John Clements, Orewa.
On the wall
Oh, the benefits of a National Handwriting Week. The writing's been on the wall for years.
Dianne McKinnon, Morrinsville.
What kind of sad, pathetic, excuse for a man harms a pet to punish or coerce a woman who chooses to no longer be used as his punching bag?
Brian L Hunter, Matamata.
I often wonder why school days are the happiest days of one's life, and then it came to me. They are the only time in your life money doesn't actually matter.
Gary Hollis, Mellons Bay.
With Brian Tamaki in parliament there should be no need for the house to seek guidance with the parliamentary prayer because there will be direct representation.
Peter Culpan, Te Atatu Peninsula.
Cheques have not said "legal tender" on them for several years. I became aware of this at least two years ago with our own bank cheques from ANZ.
Gordon Bowers, Thames.
If there is some master plan for electronic payments to be the only method of payment then a power cut would be most inconvenient.
Gary Andrews, Mt Maunganui.
One is a "woman", two or more are "women". Pretty basic stuff - yet we hear so many on our TV screens getting it wrong.
Graeme McIntosh, Army Bay.