Letter of the week: No place for climate inaction by NZ
The war against climate change requires ALL countries to engage in its defeat. Marcus A, (Herald, July 28), wants New Zealand to freeload on the rest of the world. He posits that we shouldn’t invest in mitigation measures because our “0.17 per cent contribution to global warming” is so small. If every country our size (or smaller) were to freeload in the same way, using the same excuse — (111 countries in all) — that would constitute a considerable total of emissions going unchecked. Is freeloading really a part of our DNA? I don’t think so. We weren’t too small to engage fully in another world war — World War II — so why now? This is a war the world must win. There are no borders in this war — it affects every country to the same degree. So Marcus A, we’ve all got to pull our weight — and mitigate.
Clyde Scott, Birkenhead
Dobbing them in might cut crime
A correspondent notes that women commit less than 20 per cent of all crime (Herald on Sunday, July 23). If the mothers, wives, sisters and girlfriends were willing to call the police and inform on the other 80 per cent then perhaps we might see overall crime reduce.
Stewart Hawkins, St Heliers
Can the police explain why it was necessary to lockdown downtown Auckland because two clowns had climbed the Ferry building? It is not as if they were armed and firing at the public. They were absolutely no danger to the public. The police should have just ignored them knowing that the cold and the rain weren’t far away. They would have soon come down once they were cold, wet and hungry. No need to bribe them with takeaways. These two clowns will now be celebrities on social media. I would love the police to inform us what danger these two clowns represented? The whole thing was a bit of an overkill.
Jock MacVicar, Hauraki
Comprehension is key
In the interests of safety and efficiency, the prime requirement of any road sign is instant comprehension. A stranger faced with TE ARA PUAKI EXPRESSWAY is immediately thrown into doubt as to just where they are headed. Te reo as for road signs is not the language now regarded by many as protected by the Treaty, but a mostly contrived new one. And, unlike continental Europe, the prime language of probably no persons likely still to be driving. Te reo is placed first on the signs, is often more lengthy, and in a less readable colour. Momentary confusion of some sort is the cause of many accidents. It may not always be a defence, but vast sums are otherwise spent to avoid accidents from recognised causes. Fortunately National has announced it will not introduce the signs, so those opposed to insidious te reo promotion through road signs have a remedy.
Bob Culver, Avondale
Storms in teacups
Shaneel Lal is right about bilingual road signs and the underlying current of racism that lurks within. It just goes to show what a tolerant, easygoing and cosmopolitan society we’re not. Talk about storms in teacups. What else can we get worked up about? There is decimal currency, of course, which along with the metrics in general (foreigners again) was maddening. And what about bilingual menus in Chinese restaurants. The nerve of them. I’m merely pointing out the double standards. And another thing: at the end of my street there is a sign with the figure 50 inside a red circle. Many drivers just ignore it. It’s what’s called the “speed limit”, I believe. I have, in good faith, pointed this out at times to assist fellow drivers, only to be told, with unmistakable hand signals, to do something rude.
Dean Donoghue, Pāpāmoa Beach
Of course, we all giggle about Winston’s seemingly predictable re-emergence closer to election times, his confidence and his manicured charm. The lawyer in him conveys a well-articulated and well-researched message in such a way, that it is near impossible to argue with him. Being reasonably critical or cynical of his own heritage also makes him a believable orator, primarily because he tells it as it is. For example, recently he has been challenging Māori elite and confronting this “top echelon” for its abandonment of ordinary hard-working Māori, who never seem to get ahead, due to the massive remuneration gaps and assistance privileges between the “top” and the “bottom” layer in their hierarchical structures. Isn’t it a sad story when a minority party has to fight for the majority of a disadvantaged ethnic group!
Rene Blezer, Taupō
Speed bumps hinder
Your pages have reminded us in recent times that the cost of a speed bump ($300,000) could pay for at least three nurses, or three teachers, or three policemen/women. Imagine a reduction of 1000 speed bumps? Readers have also pointed out the irony of a Green/Left initiative increasing air pollution as vehicles slow down and then accelerate off at speed in a low gear, venting their frustration. Speed bumps hinder not only the average motorist but also the ambulance on its way to a heart attack victim, the fire engine on its way to a burning hostel, or the police vehicle speeding (yes, speeding!) to a mass shooting.
Chris Parker, Campbells Bay
Fairer tax system
The recent leak regarding the removal of tax from “fresh food” has created the usual arguments about what’s in and what’s out. However, the answer to that is to ‘keep it simple stupid’. Remove GST from all food bought in supermarkets, grocery stores and dairies. Make milk a food and leave the GST on all other drinks as most are bad for us. Leave the GST on restaurants, cafes and takeaway bars. Exempt bakeries for plain bread products. Revenue lost would be balanced by a capital gains tax on all investment domestic and commercial properties. All businesses and farms could claim reductions in their liability by quantifying their efforts to make their property more climate and environmentally friendly. These two initiatives will roughly balance the tax take, create a fairer tax system, encourage greater savings and very significant health benefits through more food availability.
Niall Robertson, Balmoral
A rodent’s field day
We had delivered to our home this week — unannounced — Auckland Council’s green food scrap bins. Already on our street, people have placed them out, presumably full of vegetable waste, in the wrong week. Already some have been knocked over by animals and wind. Rodents and ants are having a field day. What a disaster of a policy by the cash-strapped Auckland Council. Goodness knows what this new collection policy will cost ratepayers who cannot even opt out of the $77.20 cost of collection. Bets on this will follow the same fate as this system did in the UK. It failed. Our bin has already been relegated to the garden shed!
John Roberts, Remuera