Letter of the week: Jeremy King, Taupō
Recent media articles regarding the impact of new credit rules on people's ability to borrow highlight a fundamental problem with the current economic model that New Zealand and other economies subscribe to.
That being that credit provides the sugar to fuel an economy that requires ever-increasing growth in consumption.
While the consequences of these new credit rules do appear to produce unfair outcomes in some cases, it does suggest that an economy based on ever-growing debt that is funding unproductive endeavours such as housing and consumption is not sustainable, nor good for the environment.
Though this adjustment to tighter lender standards will be hard, in the longer term it may force us all to live within our means, which should be beneficial for individuals, the economy and environmental well-being.
An inclusive view
Once again it seems Eurocentric essentialist assumptions preside along with "status anxiety" for the seven professors who feared science would be debased by association with "other disciplines, belief systems and colonisation" (Weekend Herald, January 15). Enlightenment assumptions that "West is best" and should preside in definitions within the hierarchy of knowledge is a purist and excluding reassertion of the canon.
Educational philosophers, and teachers who inform and shape curriculum, (eg. NCEA curriculum issues) are looked down upon by "pure" disciplines at "higher" levels.
However, educators in primary and secondary generally have a much more inclusive and sophisticated view of what education means for the greatest number compulsorily sent to school. They have worked out that listening to Māori and other indigenous knowledge claims about environmental ecology is healthier for the planet, something we seem to have overlooked as we are throttled by climate destruction and Covid threats.
My grandson's expressive painting "Polar Bears on Thin Ice" says so much. As Salmon Rushdie writes in Languages of Truth, quoting Joan Didion: "But what if the narratives we compulsively tell ourselves end up being the death of us?"
Janet E. Mansfield, Mt Eden.
Coming into land
Over the past 70 years, the world population has grown from 3 billion to 7.8 billion with urban populations disproportionately growing from one billion to 4.7 billion over that period.
The property section (Weekend Herald, January 15) features three rural properties destined for urban development: a large 191ha farm at Wainui, a horticulture block at Tūākau and bare land at Te Rapa.
These are examples of the inexorable advance of urban sprawl and the loss of productive pastoral and horticultural land. The existing cover of vegetation will be replaced by concrete, asphalt and steel.
This is an often disregarded factor in the global warming debate. Actively growing green vegetation has a cooling effect, while the unforgiving reflective surfaces of urban areas radiate heat back into the atmosphere, adding to the warming of the planet.
George Williams, Whangamatā.
New Zealand has endured much pain and depression from the various lockdowns imposed upon us because of Covid. Adding to our pain and distress we have been daily indoctrinated by crass ads on TV from the major convenience food providers with horrible ads which attack our common sense.
I refuse to name the guilty culprits but I will state that their pathetic ads have put me off forever from buying their product.
Sick and stupid ads on TV are not welcomed by the vast majority of consumers who do not want to be treated as if we are two planks short of the full quid.
Johann Nordberg, Paeroa
Spending a few days away with family in Whangamatā was a chance to observe holidaymakers in action.
Caution was there, wherever we went. Only one shop owner was unmasked and she quickly lost our trade.
But a few drivers on our roads were the ones endangering our lives.
No matter which direction you go to a seaside resort on the Coromandel, you face steep hills and sharp bends.
Most drivers were courteous, but there were too many who came quickly up behind, pressuring us to go faster or pull over. One young driver with us was quite bewildered by some road behaviour on those never-ending corners, wondering why they would want to provoke and intimidate, thereby interrupting the concentration required.
They must know those pull-over bays are scarce on the road and the many gravel sites don't look safe.
These drivers looked competent and were probably familiar with the road, but they seemed self-absorbed, showing an urgency to be somewhere else as fast as they could with only us in their way. They leave us though, with a tenseness that requires a healthy discussion on the perils of driving and a good night's sleep.
Emma Mackintosh, Birkenhead.
Your interview with Warehouse Group CEO Nick Grayston (Weekend Herald, January 8) featured a high concentration of buzzwords and corporate gobbledegook, culminating in the baffling phrase, "a frictionless and rewarding ecosystem".
If Mr Grayston wishes to reverse the lacklustre performance of his group, he could start by throwing away the company phrasebook, and try talking to his staff, customers and shareholders in plain English.
Duncan Simpson, Hobsonville Pt.
My number is up
Reading Steve Braunias' column (Canvas, January 15) I was intrigued by his neighbour's numerical formula to reach the magical 666.
I ran it past my name and came up short. I added my middle name and went way over, so I guess I'm in the clear.
Mind you, I did have a couple of uncles who were Freemasons...
John Capener, Kawerau
A quick word
With the recent emphasis on the correct use of Maori language, the headline (Weekend Herald, January 15) "Vaccinating the Kids" needs to be questioned. Since when did baby goats become eligible for a Covid inoculation? Margaret Hunter, Te Aroha.
Who's that at the window – banging on? Omigosh, it's Omicron. Will we let him in or not? I think I'll get my booster shot. Ian Austrin, Whakatāne.
Please pass on my thanks to Steve Braunias for his "Diary". He had me in fits with the horoscope for 2022. Ross Wilkinson, Hillsborough.
There has been a witty suggestion that we should mourn the "mowing down" of trees by calling our country Nude Zealand. Current cultural imperatives would have us calling it Aoteamoa. Hugh Webb, Huntington.
Susan Lawrence's description of Novak Djokovic; exciting, bluest eyes, and great legs, I suggest she goes to Specsavers. P. Salvador, Hobsonville.
Don't Djoke with the Aussies. It is a Hawkish country. S Mohanakrishnan, Mt Roskill.
Anyone else fed up with the Government and agencies spending our money on expensive TV and radio campaigns to get us on board with decisions they have already made? Colin Nicholls, Mt Eden.
This isn't the year then New Zealand is addressing our obesity and dental problems, when our local supermarkets are selling 1.5l bottles of fizzy drink for $1 each. Glenn Forsyth, Taupō.
Ronald Reagan, in one of his lucid moments, said that "you can't drink yourself sober and you can't spend yourself rich". This is what profligate mayor, Phil Goff, needs to remember. Neville Cameron, Coromandel.
Christopher Luxon says he doesn't understand the traffic light system. This is worrying to hear from someone who is now leader of the National Party. Barbara Grace, Grey Lynn.
Disappointingly, Chris, the innovative, fresh new whizz kid on the block, manages only to dully critisise the Government's handling of our current national crisis in a mould of very dated politics. Peter Dodd, Chatswood.
Luxon and Seymour believe the Government has no plan for Omicron. Perhaps their parties could buy them a subscription to the Herald so they would know what is going on. Gale Gibson, Sunnyhills.
When will the reporters on TV and radio know how to pronounce Omicron? Does it start with om or oh? Does it end with n or m? Does it end with on or ohn? Confusion reigns. June Krebs, Sunnyhills.