Changing the narrative
Thank you for the article (NZ Herald, November 22) "Time for the Pākehā majority to stand up" and the promise of an updated version of "beyond white guilt".
For far too long we have had an apoliticised, uncritical, sanitised school curriculum where "control" of the knowledge within official "grand narratives" has been paramount.
New Zealand governments seem to studiously avoid listening to and acting upon the advice of critical knowledgeable groups such as Child Poverty Action which offer economic strategies to remedy complex structural social inequalities.
The balance of power must be shifted from one-sided Pākehā control of knowledge to Māori and multicultural knowledge and understandings which throw light upon other and multiple truths and wisdoms. Thank goodness this new "pedagogy of discomfort" is finally coming to the fore in education.
Janet E. Mansfield, Mt Eden.
Your correspondent, Christine Hart (NZ Herald, November 22), is to be congratulated on her timely and erudite letter.
She encompasses the facts of the Covid battle, and the largely successful hard work being done by our Government. She also gives voice to the very real concerns that the silent majority have about attacks on our hard-working prime minister and to the lies and bile that a minority continue to vomit forth, both publicly and on the internet.
We are not fooled, nor are we fooled by the badly written and irrelevant placards being brandished about.
Thank you Christine Hart, you have spoken for us all.
Roger J Douglas, Cambridge.
I refer to the letter by Christine Hart (NZ Herald, November 22).
While the majority would agree the Government's early pandemic response was excellent, its preparation for Delta and its long term Covid strategy is sadly inadequate.
The arrival of Delta led to the belated vaccine supply and vaccination drive that should have happened six months prior. Other developed countries have long reached the high vaccination rates and also have rapid antigen testing widely available.
New Zealand is one of the few countries in the world where thousands of citizens are still locked out of their country due to an outdated MIQ strategy.
The Government, its ministers and its dwindling number of supporters need to have a long hard look at their recent performance before telling people to be kind. Calling all dissenting voices are misinformed haters and whingers is the poorest way to deflect deserved criticisms and an age-old way to lose an election.
Gary Chan, Hauraki.
Remember the bubbles?
Have I missed something? Last year, I seem to remember the first easing of the lockdown was to allow some family reconnection. After watching countless "briefings", I don't seem to have heard any mention of when this can now take place.
Surely the functioning of the family unit is fundamental to our society and our mental health, which would also be improved if we were able to meet for worship.
E. Barclay, Takapuna.
Our cup runneth
In today's Herora (NZ Herald, November 22), Bruce Cotterill reported that our money comes from agriculture and tourism and that one of those sectors is currently smashed and will take years to recover…
How will taking the America's Cup regatta somewhere other than Aotearoa New Zealand help our tourism sector?
Could the America's Cup team please think about a picture bigger than just themselves and potentially be heroes before they start?
Heather McGuire, Tūākau.
Cohesion is the ability to anticipate where and when your teammate will be during the fluid evolution of an intense game. This creates a reliability that ensures less error. The All Blacks do not have this vital cohesion due to changes and the fabric of the side altering frequently.
Although the French waned a bit in the second half, like the Irish they maintained physical intensity. The All Blacks do not have that enduring physical intensity, due to the frequent changes.
There are a couple of returning incumbents who may have experience, but the game nous has deserted them. There was one All Black forward on Sunday who was relentless, forward, physical intensity, difficult to put down and gave 100 per cent plus more. He should be the norm, not the exception.
Feigning passes and sidestepping just gives more time for the opposition to make the heavy tackle; this was evident with the number of players looking up and not catching the ball. You need cohesion to avoid that psychology.
Richard Ghent, Freemans Bay.
Farmers just showed that they don't give a hoot.
Protest all they want about unworkable regulations, but do it on their farms.
Why waste fossil fuel that is heating up our country and planet?
This "Mother of all Protests" seems to forget the "mother" that is the earth... and that climate change and wasting fossil fuels on long, slow, gas-guzzling tractors at tortoise speeds to the CBD is not helping.
Rob Buchanan, Kerikeri.
Farmers' beef would appear to be about being over-regulated, I suspect for health and safety regulations, and making dairy farming untenable. They have a point.
What's more, as a result of the Paris agreement on climate change and more recently the Glascow summit, those regulations - such as reducing the size of their herd - are about to get tougher.
The greenies who wouldn't know what a carbon cycle was if it bit them on the bum should be advocating for more trees (which are noticeably absent in the paddocks on country life programmes).
With the right number of trees per cow, there would be absolutely no need to reduce the size of the herd.
Gary Hollis, Mellons Bay.
When Simon Wilson (NZ Herald, November 23) and I agree, we are always correct. Unfortunately, National and Labour's plan to bring high-density slums to the suburbs already seems to be under way in Glen Innes.
Stewart Hawkins, St Heliers.
Sunlight is important for mental and physical health. Being stuck in a dark house means more mould, less happiness.
The height-to-boundary loss is of major concern in a country where damp-related illness and depression are so prevalent.
Build high near train stations and transport hubs by all means, but don't block out the sun in suburbia.
Sam Cunningham, Henderson.
Professor Linda Mitchell (NZ Herald, November 23) does a great service highlighting concerns about an international corporation buying up early childhood education centres.
I recall an earlier article in the business section that the ECE sector will be at the "top of the list" for smart investors, as the sector "allows investors to gain exposure to an industry backed by government funding". It's shocking to think that the early years' care and education of our tamariki are dominated by for-profit enterprises that have little understanding of indigenous models like kohanga reo and the Playcentre movement etc.
There is overwhelming evidence that access to quality ECE is a crucial determinant of children's wellbeing and provides significant opportunities for whānau support. The gains are greatest for children from low-income households. This sector is too important to be "left to the market".
Our government should adopt Mitchell's recommendations and back a public education system for all students, including our pre-schoolers.
Janfrie Wakim, Epsom.
MIQ and variants
Remember where Delta came from?
Is our Government's requirement that overseas returnees and visitors spend time in MIQ facilities anything to do with the possibility (probability?) that the next Covid-19 variant into our country could be much worse than Delta?
Phil Barker, Whakatane
Short & sweet
What a weekend of irony. Firstly, protesters free to protest, protesting a lack of freedom; secondly, a Government often criticised for not delivering enough is targeted by protesters for acting with too much haste. Robert Campton, Grafton.
Hospitals worldwide are full of unvaccinated people, wishing that they had listened to scientific advice, rather than the nonsense on social media. Rachel Lewis, Takapuna.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer... Ian Forster. Richard Telford, Lucas Heights.
Perhaps the All Blacks would have better results if Ian Foster recruited more thinkers rather than more athletes. Rod McMahon, Birkenhead.
So the management says that the move from refining to import only will avert the emission of one million tons of CO2 annually. Could it be that someone else takes up the slack? David Livingstone, Kerikeri.
On Queen St
Oh for the days of a busy Queen St - especially on a Friday when families all came in for an evening of shopping, eating and meeting friends. It's a ghost town now. Pamela Russell, Ōrākei.
Auckland hospitality was planning to open on December 1, regardless of instruction from the PM. Has she tried to save face by announcing open day is December 2? Wendy Tighe-Umbers, Parnell.
The Premium Debate
It's too late, mate. Take a drive around some of the new developments in downtrodden areas of Auckland. To my mind, it is an abuse of the Unitary Plan and a sad reflection of what crap looks like since the Urban Design Team was disbanded. The sickening part of it is that the poorer parts of town copped it, while the nicer parts of town didn't care - as long as it didn't happen to them. Fairly or unfairly, it seems an attitude of, "I'm okay, Jack, I couldn't give a toss about you". Timothy T.
Yes this policy will create slum-like conditions around Auckland. It is already happening in large parts of Te Atatū, Glendene, New Lynn and Pt Chevalier. The main issues to me are: No consideration for existing neighbours and they can block sun and cast shadows at will, plus noise; too many dwellings on one block; pressure on already challenged infrastructure; little or no car parking which means cars are then parked on the road, causing more congestion. The main one is the total change multiple sets of these can have on a neighbourhood without any consultation or consideration. Ian U.
New Zealand has an appalling record for building quality accommodation in large volumes at pace and for a reasonable price. This proposition encourages low-quality developers to pump out the next wave of leaky buildings with the added hurt of disrupting existing communities. The current system can not guarantee quality builds which adhere to accepted build standards - this proposed acceleration is not thought-out and will cause financial and mental stress for decades to come. Philla A.
The government should have done this years ago, then the housing shortage and extreme prices would not have happened. The problem is councils. Alan M.
Clearly, Simon Wilson has no idea about what kind of house has been developed in New Zealand at the moment. Any new $750k house (to be cheap) does not have any privacy, sunlight, backyard, or garage. There is an unbalance towards demand and developers can put any design out there without any of the considerations above and it will sell at least 20 per cent more than a year ago. I'd rather see small developments in small sections than developers controlling the market. At least with the new regulation, as an architect I am able to plan, by myself, a potential solution for my housing issue. Fabricio C.
You can't be a left-wing commentator and also want to live in a stand-alone house in a leafy suburb, protected from the ills that the vast majority have to face, homelessness being up there. Mind you, I was somewhat shocked to see National supporting this. The housing problem is quite simple: the people who really need them will not be able to afford them at any realistic price. State housing, close to employment centres, is the solution. There are many blocks of older brick and tile units suitable for turning into multi-rise units. Pietro E.