Letter of the week: Larry Mitchell, Rothesay Bay
Our present Government is setting a new and radical direction for our economy.
Based on the socialist's belief in centralisation, a process closely associated with greater State control, our public water facilities, our health system and now greatly expanded state housing provision will in future be controlled "centrally" by bureaucrats and politicians.
This shift to centralised control not only eschews the benefits of private sector innovation and flexibility but the process lacks legitimacy.
The Labour Government was not elected with a mandate to make such dramatic alterations to our way of life.
A pause for reflection with greater public engagement - "a cup of tea and a lie down"- is called for... while there is still time.
We were warned
Peter Goodburn (Weekend Herald, July 24) is "disgusted with our government" but on June 22, I wrote to the Herald that the Bondi cluster was ballooning with 10 new cases.
The PM warned him. He can only blame himself - or at least New South Wales for its sloppy, slow and pathetically inadequate restrictions.
Steve Russell, Hillcrest.
I have been employed in the travel industry since 1985. It is exciting and challenging, and I love my work as much today as when I first started.
Our businesses have been reduced to rubble with nowhere to send people. We are either still open and operating at a huge loss, or operating from home and have taken supplementary employment elsewhere.
I was late home last night, repositioning customers quickly on flights home from Australia. We have the tools and skills to manage this easily. I read of Peter Goodburn's plight stuck in NSW (Weekend Herald, July 24). Did he utilise the technology and skills of a travel consultant? This is what we do.
Joanna Corbett, Rotorua.
I'm afraid so
A guy called Tom Hartmann was in the Business section (Weekend Herald, July 24) saying: "We don't make good financial decisions when we base them on fear. Fear-based decisions are to be avoided."
I think Tom has missed his vocation. He should be in stand-up comedy .
Every financial decision anybody makes should be based on fear. To base it on anything else would be deep folly.
Peter Moroney, Napier.
There's the rub
John Christiansen's promotion of trackless trams (Weekend Herald, July 24) ignores a number of problems.
Tyres create rubber dust which contains many toxins, some of which are carcinogenic. Some of this dust is blown into the air and is a big part of the poor air quality of our cities. Pretty well all of it eventually ends up in our waterways and contributes greatly to the poor quality of our city waterways. Rubber dust also contains a lot of microplastics, and is now considered to be the second biggest contributor to microplastics in our oceans.
As for energy consumption, it takes 20 times more starting tractive effort to get a vehicle moving by tyre on-road than it does with steel wheels on steel rails and it takes 24.6 times more rolling tractive effort to maintain speed on-road versus rail. I also believe we need to be careful to differentiate between "mass transit" rail, which is designed for shorter runs with closer stops (about 400 mm) and serves the densely populated intra-urban areas well, and "rapid rail" which is designed for longer inter-suburban routes with stops no less than 1km apart.
Niall Robertson, Balmoral.
How many more?
Correspondent Paul Beck (Weekend Herald, July 24) was correct, we have let, and to a degree still are letting too many migrants in too quickly. As he said, this really started with the John Key Government and the current Government carried it on.
The only person who made sense was the much-maligned Winston Peters, who said we should cut immigration down to 10,000 a year. If we had done that, we would not be in the mess we are in now.
It is not only housing. Our hospitals, schools and even our roads are carrying more traffic. Covid has slowed things quite a bit and we need to keep it well slowed-down. Perhaps, someone in government could tell us, what the ultimate population of this country is meant to be. We have only so much agricultural land and every new immigrant wants a house and land to put it on. How long can that go on?
J Longson, Kawerau.
It seems your correspondent Clyde Scott (Weekend Herald, July 24) has been living on a different planet from Bruce Cotterill and me with his rose-tinted view of government performance.
It has failed to deliver on so many promises. Child poverty, gang numbers and truancy have all got worse. Mike King returned his NZ Order of Merit medal because of the country's "broken mental health system' and its failure to spend its $1.9 billion budget on improvements for the mentally ill. NZ has the highest youth suicide rate in the world. Statistics show the number of homeless is increasing, and more is being spent on motel accommodation than new housing.
The Immigration Department's job is to process visa applications, yet it recently announced that some 50,000 visa applications will never be dealt with. Many applicants have been waiting for a year for visas for their families to join them. All such hopes now dashed. Until checked, Immigration admitted it was asking only 5 per cent of returning travellers to show their Covid tests. Michael Wood announced many major roads will not now be built. I don't see that all this offers a brighter future.
Janie Weir, Newmarket.
The letter from Emma Mackintosh (Weekend Herald, July 24) complaining of a journalist not being favourable to her government is concerning.
All governments must be held accountable to electorates, and journalists have an incredibly important job to facilitate this process, without fear or favour. They are a vital part of our checks and balances.
The day we tamper with this process is the day we weaken our precious democracy, and there are many examples to show this may ultimately lead to opportunity for despots and tyrants.
Please keep up your outstanding work Claire Trevett.
Steve Reindler, St Heliers.
A brief word
With all the high-rise apartments going up in Auckland CBD and environs, roof gardens would be beneficial to residents and the bee population. Leonie Lawson, Remuera.
Making electricity by burning coal makes more CO2 than using petrol as a fuel. Roger Russell, Campbells Bay.
When is the "Harvey Norman Times" going to become the NZ Herald again? Mary Cameron, Pāpāmoa.
Whatever your stance on the name of our country, l see our neighbours across the Ditch, New Holland, changed their name many years ago. Paul Blakeney, Waihi.
It's not easy to be positive any more. At least, the beer keeps on tasting great. Graham Steenson, Whakatane.
A couple of nights ago, I watched the Warriors. Last night, I watched the Olywhites.
Tonight I will bang my head against a brick wall for light relief. Keith Berman, Remuera.
If NZ employers matched the pay and conditions available in Australia there would be no job vacancies problem to fix. Mark Nixon, Remuera.
So when George Orwell wrote Animal Farm, perhaps he was predicting that UN workers would be more equal than the rest of us. Greg Farrant, Orewa.
Yet another high-profile rugby player escaping conviction for assault is not okay. Mike Wagg, Freemans Bay.
A small mercy for Fiji; a wonderful Sevens achievement at the Olympics. Heart-lifting during so much heart-wrenching. Bev Owen, Mission Bay.
If the Government was serious about reducing supermarket prices, it would emulate other countries and remove the GST on basic commodities. The higher the price, the greater the GST. Ray Gilbert, Pāpāmoa Beach.
Foodstuffs and Woolworths must be shaking in their boots. Especially after what happened to the petrol retailers' review. Pim Venecourt, Pāpāmoa.
Ardern's government must not be distracted by Greek choruses who claim there is an alternative. There isn't. Michael Ayers, London, UK.
I am sick of commentators calling this Government incompetent. The truth is these critics possibly owe their lives to the competence of this Government. Paul Judge, Hamilton.