Produce and prosper
I concur with Heath Smart (NZ Herald, October 2) and I'm surprised our political establishment has failed to join the dots.
The surest way to drive a country to poverty is to increase the population at a rate greater than the ability to manage the capital to support the infrastructure that underpins it. History is filled with these challenges.
In NZ's case, we have had one of the fastest population growth rates in the OECD during the past two decades. Our capital infrastructure deficit today is far in excess of $100 billion.
If this capital demand is then spread across the incremental population over the period, each arriving family would be saddled with a capital charge of $150,000. Since this hasn't happened, this cost is spread across all taxpayers.
A country's wealth can only come from productivity which in turn is propelled by education closely tuned to the needs of the economy. Immigration creates a shot in the arm for the economy but once this wears off, we are left with finding the dollars to keep up with the effects. Unchecked immigration also tilts the capital/labour equation towards a low-wage economy. And we wonder why we are where we are?
Harvey Weake, Greenlane.
Cancel the election, at least in the Tāmaki electorate. There have been no public MP
meetings or candidate debates, virtual or in person, in the Tāmaki electorate, despite going to Level 2 on September 24, and there are none scheduled.
The National Party Tāmaki Electorate Office response when asked why no events was: "I understand they (candidate meetings) have been cancelled. In terms of public meetings, Simon (MP for Tāmaki, Simon O'Connor) normally holds these however with the Government lockdowns and existing commitments he is not sure he can fit any in. You are most welcome to email Simon directly with any questions."
Even his own leader, Judith Collins, managed to hold a public debate meeting in her
Papakura electorate on September 29.
Tāmaki is one of the safest blue seats, however, that doesn't mean the electorate doesn't
deserve to hear and be heard by its elected MP and other candidates.
In the words of Opposition Leader, Judith Collins: "Democratic fairness is absolutely crucial and people who are voting should be able to have access to candidates, to policies."
Kathy Gilroy, Kohimarama.
Will Menzies' letter (NZ Herald, October 1) about arrested yachties was very welcome but did not state clearly the choice this crew made in coming here.
The choice was either to stay in the Pacific Islands and risk losing their yacht and possibly their lives in a cyclone, or come to New Zealand and face the wrath of our Government.
I suspect there will be other yachties making the same choice, so are we prepared to continue to make criminals of these people, or is there a better way to handle this problem? I hope so.
A. Price, Hamilton.
Lord Ranfurly (whose name, minus his title, was Uchter Knox) was appointed Governor of New Zealand in 1897. He arrived in the country with 30 personal servants, 60 tons of baggage, and 600 dozen of bottles of wine.
Firm-minded Ranfurly led New Zealand in a difficult period. Six-thousand New Zealand soldiers, plus nurses and teachers were sent to South Africa to participate in what became known as the Boer War. Ranfurly also supported sports. He became patron of the NZRFU and ordered the making of an impressive trophy to be awarded for excellence in rugby.
After the trophy was first awarded (to Auckland in 1902) some misinterpretation was noticed in its silver decorations. The engraving on the silver centrepiece showed players not playing rugby, but playing soccer. A silversmith managed to engrave rugby goalposts on the centrepiece but he wasn't able to re-shape the soccer ball.
This minor fault has never held back the trophy's prestige. Soccer ball or not, 118 years later, the Ranfurly Shield remains a major annual trophy in New Zealand rugby.
Max Cryer, Ranfurly Village.
The lack of support for Pasifika teams and their amazingly talented stars who are so prolific they need no mention is anathema. The excuse that they might be whipped shows how selfish rugby governance is and always has been. We owe them more than that but money dictates this game now.
The Japanese were annihilated game after game but beating the Boks and their innovative style showed their inclusion was warranted. By denying our Pacific rugby cousins we ignore the evidence of Japan and lose a brilliant style that makes for diversity. Rugby will be the loser.
If rugby is to survive, diversity of style and innovation is necessary. The professional game is driven by money and will be the author of its own demise.
It has been a game of two halves. The ascension of rugby under amateurism and its ultimate decline under professionalism.
Steve Russell, Hillcrest.
I heard recently that the National Party will (if elected) establish a Ministry for Technology.
But wait, the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) was founded in 1926 by Ernest Marsden, initially with five divisions, focused mainly on improving productivity in the agriculture industry. Over the years, the focus moved to emerging new challenges, including new technologies.
In the 1980s, there was a Minister of Science and Technology under the Muldoon Government. That ministry continued to function through the next Labour government and into the next National government.
In the early 1990s, MP Simon Upton was told to dissolve the DSIR and, on April Fool's day, 1992, presided over the destruction of the DSIR and the creation of 10 semi-independent Crown Research Institutes, (now under the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment).
In 2000, I visited the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as Dean of Science and Engineering at the Auckland University of Technology and was reintroduced to no less than seven Kiwi technologists who had moved to America.
It's a bit late now to attempt to re-establish a Ministry for Technology. Our best technologists have long gone and are probably encouraging our brightest Kiwi technologists to join them at MIT.
Dr Ian Shearer, former Minister of Science and Technology.
Your editorial on the port requiring more of Goff's attention (NZ Herald, October 2) is timely with POAL's new Bledisloe Wharf parking building nearing completion and contributing hugely to the city's debt.
Often deserted wharves beg questions of why the urgency to build and, given the port has been put on notice that it is no longer viable and must move, why build it at all? Committing millions of ratepayer dollars, contrary to both expert and government advice and at a time when non-urgent expenditure is being asked to be put on hold is inexplicable.
Clearly, the most cost-effective solution would have been not to build, but instead, commence the inevitable process of moving the operation to more economic low-cost ports where it belongs.
Goff should also query how this structure is intended to fit in with Auckland's current world-class waterfront development. It would seem our legacy for future generations has been needlessly imperilled by an ill-conceived white elephant.
Neal McCarthy, Auckland Central.
It is reassuring that Retirement Commissioner Jane Wrightson (NZ Herald, October 1) has come to appreciate the older generation now that she is part of it.
As Sarah Gaitanos records in her recently-published biography of Shirley Smith, the renowned Wellington barrister was proposed as the model for an elderly "eccentric but brilliant" lawyer in a television drama to be called Old Bailey but was rejected by Wrightson, then TVNZ's commissioning editor, as being "too old" to be of interest.
Tom Frewen, Manakau.
Short & sweet
I hope the two politicians from here and America who used "I'll tell you what..." ad nauseam will learn from their mistake. Hubris won't buy votes. Consuelo del Castillo, Mt Albert.
New Zealanders' problem is, and we are not alone in this, we listen to politicians, and, even worse we actually believe them. Gary Hollis, Mellons Bay.
It's time to stop bringing people back to New Zealand from countries that are struggling with outbreaks of the Covid virus. Nigel Bufton, Pāuanui.
I used to shower every day but now I only shower once a week. The water I save goes on my vegetable garden. Derek Cunningham, Gulf Harbour.
Three scintillating Ranfurly Shield matches where the one-week holders have been brought to their knees. The challengers, via club rugby, have really stated what rugby is all about. Dennis Ross, Glendowie.
The Air Force has five Hercules. One could be made into an aerial firefighting aircraft as is done overseas. These aircraft can take off and land on grass fields and can be refilled almost anywhere near a fire. The Hercules can also fly in strong winds. Norm Empson, Tauranga.
The best definition of left and right in politics is this: the right think what's good for them is good for everyone else. The left think what's good for everyone else is also good for them. Jeff Hayward, Auckland Central.