Blues win boost for city's life
Travelling south on SH1 late Saturday night, there was our glorious sparkling city bathed in blue. Yes, we won the rugby final, and what a game! Congratulations to the
It was a pivotal moment, thinking of that diverse team, an inspiring representation of the diversity we now celebrate in our city.
But do our policies reflect this diversity? Where does the spending of hundreds of millions on a cycle bridge fit for the benefit of our whole diverse population? Why aren't we listening to South Auckland leaders like Efeso Collins when he points out Pasifika needs for the city to address? Why do the tangata whenua still have to struggle to be heard? Where do recreational bridges fit into our serious failures in public health, public housing, and child poverty?
Can we make the Blues' win a turning and lasting point in the city's life?
Christine Keller Smith, Northcote Pt.
Dalton ignores opportunity
Nash, Goff and Dalton need their heads banged together. To claim that Team NZ will continue to benefit from Auckland's input to the waterfront facilities as being part of the Government/Auckland City financial offer is misleading. Those improvements are primarily to Auckland City's long-term benefit. The total Government/AC offer was miserable. Dalton says the "phone has not been ringing off the wall" with offers that would keep the Cup contest here. But potential local and overseas investors, interested in world-wide exposure from their own involvement in the forthcoming AC37 event, will be aware of the advantage that comes with local sailing knowledge, thereby significantly enhancing their own chances of being a supporting benefactor in a successful defence. The truth must be that Dalton is unwilling to encourage such potential local and overseas interest, for reasons of his own.
The unspoken elephant in the room is the damage to NZ Inc by admitting to the world we are so broke and disorganised as to have to take the event offshore. In effect, to have to sell the event to some country or billionaire with the cash and the guts to run it. If Dalton were to be asked to answer to the reputational damage he appears keen to inflict, I am sure his answer would glibly be that such consideration is just an irrelevant elephant. But, maybe, it is he.
Ian Grierson, Ōrākei.
Benefit rise won't fix problem
The Labour Government is aiming to raise benefits by $22-$53 a week. While this is commendable it will make little difference to those at the lower end of the economic ladder because by the time it is paid out inflation will have negated the rise.
The price of housing is way beyond reach, rents continue to rise to an astronomical level with little regulationary inspection of standards despite law changes or consequences for bad tenants. Prices at the supermarkets are creeping up. Items costing $8.50 a few months ago now cost $10. With beneficiaries and wage and salaried earners on a fixed budget, all the 50c, $1 and $2 price rises impact hugely on the total shop. To the wealthy, these piddling amounts will not even be considered as they continue to label the "dole bludgers" and "privileged superannuitants".
Throwing small increases to individuals will never enable people to rise out of poverty , reach a liveable target or even reduce the inequality. It will just take more from the tax take, put more money into moteliers', landlords' and supermarket pockets. An increase will lead to more smokers and alcohol use, with the poverty stricken able to gamble, buy more drugs and alcohol with which to try to alleviate their miserable lives.
Throwing money is no use. The only solution is to fix the problem and this requires more courage than any government has shown.
Marie Kaire, Whāngārei.
Calling on hidden estimators
When Covid-19 arrived, we were all amazed at the number of public-health experts that abruptly appeared. Suddenly, there were university professors galore who were experts on the spread of viruses, the efficacy of facemasks, and how to correlate the risk from other countries with traffic lights. Some became household names from regular radio and TV appearances. Some became newspaper correspondents. Some became instant Cabinet ministers.
If all these experts were hiding in plain sight, where are all the professional estimators we need now? Daily, we are beset with estimates that bridges for people on bikes, once costed at $50 million, will now cost a sniff under $800m. Phil Goff is shown to have not fessed up that we need another $6.7 billion for the CRL, taking the total to well over $10b. Even the smarty-pants in Grant Robertson's hood can't get the cost of a little road in Wellington close to correct. If we had so many virus experts working away feverishly (pun intended), surely there must be a secret army of estimators that can now speak up and give us the correct cost of our dreams before Mike Hosking dashes them to smithereens.
I think I know the answer, though. Jacinda will announce there will be an announcement of the date on which an announcement will be made that a working party will be set up to design the terms of reference for a taskforce to be established to conduct an inquiry into how more estimator experts can be urged to speak up to confirm the estimates produced by Waka Kotahi and Treasury. The Government will then consider their report. I can't wait.
Fred Wilson, Devonport.
Govt sagging in middle
Is the Labour Government losing "middle New Zealand" due to recent bad decisions? The baffling cycle bridge of $760 million which fails the Government's own benefit-to-cost ratio may benefit fewer than 1 per cent of its normal users but impact adversely on the rest.
The tax on petrol vehicles to offset the high price of electric cars is mind-boggling theory over practicality. Not only are they far more expensive, but the driving range is limited and charging options lacking. No system is in place for dealing with the life-expired batteries, and tradies and farmers need utes for their livelihood.
The clampdown on gas exploration has resulted in the importation of huge amounts of coal for electricity generation and a corresponding escalation in emissions. There is also the failure to provide a programme for Covid vaccination and its patchy roll-out, where targets are not being met and front-line staff and elderly are still await jab dates. House and rental prices keep rising and Government has failed again.
David Hallett, Mt Maunganui.
Dig deep for Team NZ
When Chris Dixon was mounting his challenge for the Cup in the 80s, the call went out for public donations.
I gave $50 and felt it was well spent. Chris did not win but put up a great show. His dad rang me to say thanks for the help.
I am a pensioner now but could still find a little cash to help this team.
It is unlikely that public donations could raise all the money they need. However, if a proper campaign was set up whereby all donors would get an acknowledgement, who knows what might be raised.
John Michael, Mt Albert.
PM opens can of jargon worms
When studying the Herald on that rainy Thursday morn,
I read a quote from our PM that generated scorn.
Yes, scorn I say; for scorn I felt, that horrid, murky day,
And even though today shines bright, my scorn: it still holds sway.
"It's hard to operationalise," is what Jacinda said;
Why could she not, for clarity, say "hard to work" instead?
A can of worms she's opened here, new jargon lies in wait,
For, by example, we've been led to a polysyllabic fate.
To follow in her footsteps, clear, I offer postulations:
Or postulationalise I might have said to avoid abbreviations.
Tribulationalise may well become a side-effect for thee;
Satisfactionalise, on the other hand's a main intent for me.
Inspirationalise, then graduationalise is what the uni's do.
Prevaricationalise the policy goals is the aim of politicians, who
Temptationalise the voters at election time, and then
Subreptionalise to questioners and critics to deceive them all again.
Appellationalise: it's not my wont; I try hard to be kind.
Condensationalise! Oh, please, PM. De-scorn my fuddled mind.
Brian Pittams, Whangamatā.
Short & sweet
Blues win! How good was that! Auckland supporters turning out. How great was that! Do you think Grant Dalton noticed? Rosemary Cobb, Takapuna.
On vaccine staff
I feel that a very big thank you is due to all those working in the vaccination centres including those working the phones. I have had to phone several times and have always had helpful and friendly service. The vaccination centre process itself was very efficient with kind and friendly staff. Elizabeth Probert, Remuera.
On America's Cup
I have been a yachtie since the late 1950s and a member of the Yacht Squadron for more than 50 years. I watched the America's Cup event on television, along with 99 per cent of the interested population. I am well aware of the benefits to the marine and tourism industries but the fact remains that the 99 per cent won't give a hoot if the next Cup event is held in Auckland, England or Timbuktu. Dennis Ross, Glendowie.
On EV feebates
Isn't it a contradiction that given the climate goal of giving up using fossil fuels, feebates are now available for some hybrid and petrol cars which lifelong, cannot run without fossil fuel engines? Nick Nicholas, Greenlane.
On sports heroes
Nationalism is sucked out of the sails in all of our sports by professionalism. How about more support for the grassroots where our sporting heroes originated? Stuart Mackenzie, Ohura.
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