What you see is what you'll get
While acknowledging that journalist Damien Venuto is a media specialist, I think the public-education assignment given by the Government to Saatchi & Saatchi will be easier to fulfil
than he does. They want S&S to tell the public what's in two pieces of legislation they will vote on at the referendum: the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill and the End of Life Choice Act 2019.
The Government has put out its own information at www.referendum.govt.nz. All that S&S has to do is to carry this factual information to the wider public in multiple languages and in multiple "access options" as promised. For "access option", understand: online, print, radio, TV, social media. Such an organisation is best placed to know how to reach these audiences.
S&S doesn't need to re-invent the wheel or to use lots of creativity; just the facts will do. By "facts" we mean: what the legislation contains; not the moralistic arguments for or against.
What voters read is exactly what they will be voting for or against.
Ann David, Waikanae.
Worship for all
My world view is that everyone worships something. The only question is whether what you worship is true, and is it worthy of worship?
Greg Smith, Waitoa.
Yes to Auckland's new name "City of Cones". (Weekend Herald, February1). Is there any possibility that it is suffering from "Mad Cone Disease"?
J. White, Epsom.
Spot the elephant
In today's world, overpopulation is surely the elephant in the room. It is multi-tasking by also being the bull in the future china shop but unseen by economists seemingly wearing rose-tinted glasses. Somebody advise why population control seems taboo within polite political drawing-room discourse. Already euthanasia and birth-control issues seem too hot to handle by weak-kneed politicians desperate to hold their seats. Religious sensitivities must not become paramount . That is a cop-out. We live in a challenging world. Bring on the futurist thinkers to question all those economists and one-eyed naysayers.
David M. Stevenson, Howick.
Dusko Bogunovich is right, why another museum? How about we spend the money cleaning up the Manukau harbour or some other degraded piece of our environment to help create a living museum? The "cockroach" or equivalent is just another Easter Island statue.
Andrew Kincaid, Greenlane.
Hoorah! I thought as I picked up my folded Saturday Herald and saw the headline "GLOBAL EMERGENCY". But instead of declaring the dangers of climate change and its ongoing effects on life, this was about another human-induced disaster: the likely spread of a new virus.
History shows us how many times viruses have been with us, mutating as they will throughout the ages. We've always found an antidote. We have not been wiped out.
World section, a very minor headline states "Most dangerous glacier in Antarctica is melting", with the most recent scientific study showing 40 billion tonnes per year of melted ice pouring into our seas with the potential for three-metre sea levels.
There's no immediate antidote for what we are doing to the planet and, therefore, our changing climate. The survival of all living things is on the brink of disaster — all life disappearing as we know it. That's a global emergency!
Emma Mackintosh, Birkenhead.
I fully support the use of the Māori first verse of our national anthem. It remains a prayer to "Ihoā" (derived from Jehovah or Yahweh of the Old Testament) and asks him to guide, bless and defend, the three parts of Bracken's triple star.
Bracken was a fervent Irish nationalist and sided with Māori in their cause for justice. His "Triple Star" has been interpreted as kete-aronui: Scientific and physical knowledge, kete-tuauri: Spiritual knowledge, humanity and prayer and kete-tuatea: Arts of survival and warfare. Bracken left listeners to draw their own conclusions.
As such there is nothing outmoded in the English lyric of verse 1. And what is wrong with the use of "Men" as a generic and poetic term for all people when the official translations use the feminine "she" as the synonym for Aotearoa? Attempts to cleanse lyrics on ideological grounds can result in some very clumsy poetry.
Robert Densem, New Lynn.
PC gone mad
John Key spent $27 million trying to change the national flag and now Jacinda Ardern wants to change the words of the anthem, one of the reasons being that migrants with limited English may not understand the words. It's PC gone mad and the taxpayer picks up the bill.
Neil Hatfull, Warkworth.
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I enjoyed Simon Wilson's waterfront article and endorse the Hamish Keith 2011 model with its sensational glasshouse image and the Nikau grove with its slender bridge drawing the public into an enchanting space.
There is much culturally-rich art and object locked out of the public gaze just waiting to be admired. A windy park with adjacent apartments, or a stadium which immediately reduces the users by approximately half and remains empty for most of the year, won't have the pulling power of this ambitious, internationally-exciting proposal.
Tourists enjoy a sheltered bush walk at Te Papa, which is another possibility. Let's celebrate the Beatrice Tinsleys and Wairakas and showcase our enviable maritime heritage. Let's get talking.
Mary Tallon, Morningside.
Puppies and pit bulls
Simon Bridges is so right when Audrey Young quotes him on how soft the MSM is towards Jacinda Ardern. The media are like puppies rolling over for a tummy scratch when Ardern is being interviewed and rabid pit bulls towards anyone in National.
Katherine Swift, Kohimarama.Parking buildingsAll development plans within the CBD are claimed to discourage the use of private cars. Why, then, are new high-rise buildings being built today within a few metres of public transport termini allowed to include five floors of parking to be occupied by the commuting inhabitants?
It does not enhance the streetscape. For years cities overseas have at the planning stage restricted the provision of internal parking within a new building to the number of places required by vehicles essential to the function of the building.
It is time our council was able to effect a similar rule here and cease to use buildings that it owns for parking.
J. Billingsley, Parnell.
Jacinda Ardern and her correspondent Fiona Downes feel that the English words of our national anthem are "arcane and meaningless to many new migrants with limited English".
Do they not see the irony of this? How many people with limited English even understand the word arcane let alone the Māori words of the anthem? This is unwittingly an argument to drop the Māori verse in full and would be roundly rejected by all New Zealand. Come on, we can all cope with a bit of stretch. And the sentiments of the anthem should be the envy of all nations.
Jeff Tallon, Western Springs.
When is the next T20 World Cup? I need to plan a trip to Outer Mongolia.
Renton Brown, Pukekohe.
To implement the earthquake-prone building provisions of the Building Act, councils are identifying buildings that are "potentially earthquake-prone", and requiring their owners to provide engineers' reports enabling final decisions on whether or not buildings are earthquake-prone.
Some quake-prone' buildings are apartment blocks whose multiple owners are required to strengthen or demolish their homes. In Wellington, where compliance deadlines are closer than in low seismic risk areas like Auckland, many owners simply cannot comply.
The 2012 government estimate of around $300 per m2 looks ridiculous with owners facing full costs of over $28,000 per m2 and implementation realities more complex and risky than any commercial developer would accept.
Non-compliance penalties are a $200,000 fine per owner and compulsory demolition.
Mandatory retro-strengthening or demolition of residential buildings will compromise the financial security and health of many more lives than the total of 168 lives over 75 years estimated in 2012 as the benefit of strengthening or demolishing all EPBs, not just residential.
Inner-City Wellington is lobbying Government to address the unfair financial burden being forced on a targeted group of home owners and review the legislation.
Apartment owners must wake up to what is happening and raise concerns with MPs.
Geraldine Murphy, Wellington.