Action on child poverty
As Brian Fallow says in "Time to help the kids, hit the landlords" (NZ Herald, November 20), indignation and resolve – and I would add action - are the only ways
to respond to child poverty.
Susan St John has outlined an easy and helpful mechanism, the flipping of the IRD switch to include all low-income families, with or without jobs. Whatever income the Government provides will immediately flow into the wider economy in these needy times.
Childhood does not wait. It lasts 18 years and every single year is different, unique, formative and unrepeatable. Patience, as requested by Jacinda Ardern recently, is not an option when it comes to child development.
Who would object to immediate action to keep children safe and thriving?
Even outside Fallow's suggestions, remedies proven by years of robust research lie awaiting implementation in the bowels of government ministries.
What if, you may say, additional money is squandered? Even if 10 per cent of needy parents do squander the money, why should the 90 per cent who will be relieved of some of their poverty suffer for the 10 per cent?
We New Zealanders are better than that.
Penelope Hansen, Remuera.
Simon Wilson's customarily well-researched and balanced analysis (NZ Herald, November 20) of the recent eructations of minister Stuart Nash tells a sorry tale about depth in the Labour caucus.
Nash exhibits all the characteristics of someone who would be perfectly at home alongside Judith Collins, John Banks, and their ilk. Tragically, Shane Reti comports himself exactly the way we would like our ministers to do.
Perhaps Jacinda could do a deal?
Bruce Rogan, Mangawhai Heads.
Rather than banning some vehicles, a better approach is to ban camping on roadsides, particularly in areas of environmental significance. Expect campers to use campgrounds, build more if necessary.
It's not an accepted custom in many countries for people to camp just anywhere they like, and most don't tend to do it. "No overnight parking" is pretty clear.
Not only has New Zealand actively encouraged tourists to park-n-poo at will, but we have offered to pay for the cleanup after them. They are only doing what we have invited them to do.
Stuart Nash didn't state his case well, but his over-arching point is the best: tourists should pay the full cost of their visits to New Zealand.
Barbara Callaghan, Kohimarama.
Spare a thought this Christmas for the banks, who've suffered 25 per cent drops in revenue.
Their profits are only three quarters of a billion each, instead of the usual billion.
And the poor CEOs, without their desperately needed bonus, are having to get by on only five or six million each.
So when you're feeling sorry for yourself, remember that there's always someone worse off.
R Harrison, Kohimarama.
Clearly the rampant property market is the hottest topic around.
Both the Government and the Reserve Bank are choosing to sit on their hands and watch from the sidelines. Even Sir Michael Cullen agrees that there us no advantage by having interest rates at these ridiculously low levels.
There needs to be a balance so that pensioners get a fair and reasonable return on their nest egg without it evaporating. Also, mortgage money needs to be attractive enough to deter overzealous property investors.
Perhaps first home buyers should be offered a slightly more attractive rate to encourage them.
Dave Miller, Matua.
A prominent feature of NZ culture and economy for at least 60 years is if a Kiwi gets few extra dollars it is placed in property.
Due to Covid-19, the RBNZ has been printing money at rate of some $160 million a day since about April. It is standard conventional economic wisdom that if money is printed and released into an economy, unless that money can be absorbed then it will fuel inflation.
People are being shielded from the economic impact of Covid-19 management due the printing of money. Daily living trundling along as if the economy were not hurt by Covid-19 restriction. The inflationary impact of the social monetary policy is strongly showing up in house prices.
Why are house prices inflating? Because of the Government monetary policy being applied to protect people from the adverse economic impact of Covid-19 management policies.
How can house price inflation be stopped? Very easily, the Government simply stops printing money. But then the real economic impact of Covid-19 restrictions will hit hard, and those at the "bottom" of our economy will feel it ruthlessly.
In the real world there is no having your cake and eating it.
Graham Little, Birkenhead.
Maybe the impending closure of 38 BNZ branches (NZ Herald, November 20) could provide an opportunity for Kiwibank to fill the void?
I have always felt dismayed that our iconic New Zealand banks have been hijacked by Big Brother across the Ditch. Who would ever have thought that the bank bearing the name of our country, Bank of New Zealand, would be owned by another country?
The fact that we have our four major trading banks owned by Australia is shameful. Also economically crazy, given that ultimately the profits end up offshore.
The incoming Government should reclaim sovereignty over these four banks, or at the very least the bank bearing the country's name.
In the meantime, we should take the Government banking off Westpac and give it to Kiwibank.
Kiwibank should immediately open branches in all 38 towns and suburbs where BNZ is closing, if it doesn't already have a presence there - Manurewa, Mosgiel, Mt Maunganui, Pakuranga, Papatoetoe, Petone, Geraldine and Waiheke to name just a few. BNZ is even intending to close the branch in Cromwell, which is reputedly one of the fastest growing towns in NZ.
Glen Stanton, Mairangi Bay.
I am all for car stereos, but while out walking a few days ago I received a blast of loudspeaker noise unexpectedly from a car behind me. The two goons inside obviously enjoyed the effect it had on me and the explosion of volume left me unco-ordinated and off balance. I did manage to get the number plate.
I rang the police as soon as I got home and was told it was of no interest to them and to ring the council. The council said it would not investigate offensive noise from moving vehicles.
There are a growing number of cars producing offensive, excessive stereo and loudspeaker noise at all hours of the day and night. One regularly rattles the windows of our house as it goes down our street.
I have now found that the LTSA states offensive and excessive noise is against the law, so it is clearly a police matter.
A number of people I've spoken to are frustrated at the noise these thugs, and yes, most look decidedly thug-like, are making. I believe it won't be long before someone throws whatever is at hand through their windows.
Mike Howell, Mt Roskill.
In tune with other correspondents opposing the proposed huge Erebus Memorial being plonked on treasured Parnell Rose Garden green space, the old saying "if in doubt, don't" should be applied.
A four to three Waitematā Local Board vote to allow construction without proper public consultation, is a breach of democracy as we understand it in New Zealand.
Now the weather has warmed, occupation of the site (seems to work elsewhere) by locals may be the only way to drive the point home to those members of the board who voted in favour, that they misrepresented the wishes of the majority of people canvassed for their views - which indicated a clear opposition to the size and design of the proposal.
It's an issue sure to be raging still when those members stand for election again in two years' time.
Coralie van Camp, Remuera.
Short & sweet
The ubiquitous mantra "[whatever your concern] is our top priority" appears to be the default response of corporate spokespeople to almost all queries. Through excessive use, it now sounds as insincere as other meaningless drivel such as "I hear what you're saying". E. J. Bax, Epsom.
When Donald J Trump was asked what the J stands for, he said "genius". Paul Cheshire, Maraetai.
Sixty years younger, I would love to learn how to drive a combine harvester. Tony Goodwin, Pt Chevalier.
We have a so-called council-controlled organisation called Watercare. It has its own managerial system, answerable to the council. Right. So why does it need a separate board of directors? Aren't the elected councillors the directors? Clark James, New Lynn.
I totally agree with Warren Cossey on the All Blacks that "it would be pretty boring if one team were to dominate all the time". (NZ Herald, November 23). I felt exactly the same when Auckland dominated for almost a decade and my only interest was how many points Grant Fox would get. Murray Hunter, Titirangi.
Stuart Nash; Remember SPQR. Mike Wells, Kawerau.
Calling Jacinda Ardern a "tyrant" for keeping our Covid level down to one of the globe's lowest should deserve a good mouth wash. Rob Buchanan, Kerikeri.