Fall in, 501s
For every action, there is a reaction.
Australian politicians have set in stone that even more Section 501s are to be sent back to New Zealand. And no amount of "browbeating" by Jacinda Ardern will stop the flow.
501s arrive back in New Zealand with, no support, no friends, or family ties. I feel sorry for them.
In many cases, they have little alternative but to gravitate to gangs, where they can make friends, have a roof over their head and have something to eat.
I would have thought that Ardern would have thought of some solutions to this problem. We do have an infrastructure in place that could help them.
Send them to Waiouru Military camp, not to punish them but to help them integrate back into our society.
The army is set up to train them as truck drivers, chefs, storemen, trades and many other skill sets, along with some military discipline, including overnight camps in the bush, competitive games, like rugby and many other sports.
I was in the army at Waiouru for military service and saw the advantages it had.
Tom Reynolds, St Heliers.
Two recent opinion pieces, although coming at the issue from slightly different angles, are basically saying the same thing, each drawing attention to the role of the education system in ensuring a better outcome for tomorrow's students.
Bruce Cotterill (Herald, May 21) opines that if we can convince kids to believe in the value of education, we can turn some of them around. Professor Stuart McNaughton (Herald, May 23), quotes from a recent Disinformation Project analysis which emphasises a pressing need for the education system to arm students with the tools they need to be resilient.
I would go further by saying that those things, while good in themselves, must not preclude preventive measures that go beyond the education system. Child poverty, homelessness, foetal alcohol and drug syndromes to name a few.
G E Adams, Waiheke Island.
In reply to the letter "Luxon beats same old drum" (NZ Herald, 23 May), we need residential investors in NZ like never before.
In 2018, this Government did an audit on housing. This report showed there were 581,000 private rentals. In February this year, it was reported that there were 537,000. This, in four, years is a loss of 44,000 residential rentals.
This is the result of policies put in place to deter investors and treat them like pariahs. Did the Government have a plan for those 44,000 families who are now unable to find a rental? Of course not.
Scarcity causes rent rises; 25,000 are now on the emergency list. Many of the rentals are now registered with Airbnb where the new policies don't apply.
I think it is more to the point to thank Luxon for retaining his rentals.
Margaret Turner, Milford.
The big take from the swing left in the Australian election is that climate change is now the number one issue.
The thinking Australian voters have finally taken on board that serious action is now needed to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
The same will play out here next year. This will not be an election about short term cost of living issues or cultural wars. I believe National and ACT will lose if they go down that route again.
Both Labour and the Greens are in the driving seat on climate change, the question is will they seize the moment?
Playing lip service but not seriously doing anything is no longer an option. Enough voters now understand this. We have run out of time. Worsening wildfires, droughts, marine heatwaves and stronger storms are all ringing alarm bells. Voters are finally listening.
New Zealand must tackle the methane emissions of industrial dairy farming like we are finally tackling transport emissions.
Whoever boldly confronts climate change will win in the long term.
Jeff Hayward, Auckland Central.
What a welcome relief from the anthropocentric discourse to see Guy Body's cartoon (NZ Herald, May 23) showing the vulnerable Australian wildlife, grateful for a climate-friendly election result.
The climate debate is almost always focused on the human economy, mitigation and survival, when in fact what we are doing in polluting the fragile atmosphere is putting at risk the very survival of "all creatures great and small".
Paul Judge, Hamilton.
Those making assumptions that Jacinda Ardern had better "watch out" after the political changes that took place in Australia, must be unaware that Jacinda Ardern has been Australia's top choice for Prime Minister for quite a few years.
It looks like, therefore, the public went for a leader most like New Zealand's, a leader who is concerned about people, places women in important positions so their voice is heard and works well with the Greens, and puts in place measures with climate change front and foremost.
No need to go backwards.
Emma Mackintosh, Birkenhead.
Richard Buddle (NZ Herald, May 23), in comparing New Zealand's position with the Solomon Islands, refers to the Defence Agreement signed with China in 2019.
This is a document that includes the requirement that New Zealand protects information about the arrangement. It seems that this includes failing to inform us about what is meant by "defence" in this agreement.
It is not a peace agreement, but an agreement that allows full participation of the Chinese military in all aspects of the operation and training of the New Zealand military. It provides for the Chinese to be involved in the military education of all New Zealand military forces. As well, it allows for the support of Chinese warships when they visit New Zealand ports.
It seems this agreement or treaty is about as important to New Zealand's future as was the Treaty of Waitangi.
We needed to know full details about it before it was signed in 2019 and we certainly need to know about it now and why what was being done in 2019 was not made known to us at that time.
Roger Russell, Castor Bay.
Re: "Coroner highlights danger of tired driving after two teen deaths". I noted it was stated twice that the THC in cannabis that causes impairment on performance and associated sleepiness only occurs for up to three hours, which could be very misleading.
Impairment certainly peaks between 1-3 hours after consumption. However, the various effects of THC ingestion can last for up to 10 hours in some people, with the fatigue associated with consumption usually setting in after the peak has been felt.
Although the article has discussed the combined effects of consuming cannabis, alongside the reduced attentiveness from the lack of sleep as a cause of the crash, the article almost discounts the impairment from cannabis playing a part by mentioning the crash occurred "hours" after the consumption.
Impairment from cannabis consumption does not just cease at three hours, and the effects of impairment vary greatly from person to person.
If you are out driving and the consumption of cannabis is likely at any point in the same day, it is still safest to plan ahead and have someone who has not consumed it become the responsible driver.
Cam Smailes, Whakatane.
Ahead of time
Has anyone thought to fast-track the City Rail Link (CRL)?
Pour all available resources at it; dispense with the consultation conundrum, give it all the Covid exemptions it needs and have it open 18 months earlier than the assumed late 2024 opening.
The financial return on this bold move will be measured in the rapid revitalisation of the central city that businesses and the public at large are crying out for.
John Ford, Taradale.
My phone startled me on Sunday evening with a heck of an important-sounding noise.
I thought it may have been the message I was dreading, that Dancing With The Stars had been cancelled due to Covid.
Glenn Forsyth, Taupō.
Regarding Simon Wilson's "let's get Queen St moving again" ideas (NZ Herald, May 24).
Why would anyone go there when they can go to a shopping mall in their local area with three times the amount of different shops to visit?
Auckland Transport and the council sowed the wind and now they reap the whirlwind.
Brian Henman, Algies Bay.
Short & sweet
After his election as the new Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese made the pledge that he would lead the most transparent government that Australia had ever had. I hope that he doesn't turn to the Ardern model as a template. A.D. Kirby, Pāpāmoa.
There is a very good reason the Manukau and Kaipara have not already been developed for major ports and that is they are not suitable. The only people to benefit from this study will be the consultants. Quentin Miller, Te Atatū Sth.
Yes, Marie Kaire (NZH, May 23), Christopher Luxon is exactly who we need as PM. He has demonstrated, through owning those seven rentals, that he works hard, has been very self-disciplined in saving up, and has financial nous. Alice Muir, Lynfield.
Australians in Victoria decisively rejected the federal government that constantly called for the opening of borders during the pandemic and voted for the people who put people before money, and kept them safe. Food for thought? Ken Taylor, Māngere.
Ukraine forces are now using e-bikes to carry armaments around and avoid detection. Can we send them some Kiwi-made UBCOs? Nick Nicholas, Greenlane.
How can New Zealand's Government commit it to military involvement in a war, without a mandate or any parliamentary debate having tested the argument for it? M. Evans, Tāmaki.
The Premium Debate
One huge and massive point of difference is large overseas cities have easy, rapid, efficient, and regular public transport to and from their city centre from almost all suburbs. Auckland, nah, not so much. In fact, I would say it is deliberately so, as it surely cannot be incompetence. Add to this, AT is also making it extremely difficult to get anywhere near the CBD and its tentacles are starting to strangle the suburbs as well. Ross H.
Just a guess, but the landlords are probably leaving the premises empty because they are not viable to run at present. It is extremely unlikely that this is ineptitude on the part of all of them. I also thought that when you own property, you have the right to do with it as you see fit. The concept of ownership. But no, the socialist view apparently is, it is not really yours, and penalise them. Debbie D.
If tenants are lacking, owners and landlords have only two options; sell or keep advertising for occupants. Rates still have to be paid, health and safety in respect of properties have to be in place, maintenance continues, and you talk of "penalty payments"? Unrealistic and not solving the problem of no tenant. Parking bans in central city areas have caused the death of central city retail in Auckland, Wellington, and to a lesser extent in other cities where public transport is wholly inadequate, unreliable, inappropriate, and often expensive. Try carrying home a domestic appliance on your bike or on the bus. Andrew R.
Just take a walk down Queen St during the day (don't at night) and you'll see why retailers have vacated their shops. The street is not inviting, it is more like a war zone than a place you'd enjoy for a stroll. Queen St or, should I say, the heart of Queen St has been ruined by this and previous council's ideas of what makes a city enjoyable and vibrant. Sadly, the city has no soul at all, and the only ones who choose to hang around there at night are the undesirables. Chris B.
We attended a concert at the Town Hall last week and decided to have dinner before the concert. We struggled to find anything open and the streets were dead. No energy, no life. The Sky City entertainment area was a wasteland. A wasted opportunity. Margi L.