Letter of the week: R McIntyre, St Heliers
The silence over the decades-long fall in our school education results from near the top of the OECD to near the bottom is deafening. This is despite the publication of clear statistics on students’ poor results, as in the recent ex-president of the NZ Principals’ Federation, Perry Rush’s opinion (NZ Herald, October 27). I’d have thought good schooling is all the more important in this more sophisticated and technically advanced world, but it seems that the opposite is acceptable. Silly me, maths and statistics are “old school”, for decades now we’ve had the “new maths” that Rush exposed the weaknesses of. And in sciences and languages they’ve switched to self-directed learning (Google).
Your correspondent, Denis Edwards (Weekend Herald, 29 October 22) rightly points out that it’s “early, far too early, for the drumbeats of an upcoming general election to be disturbing the peace” because what is said now will be forgotten in 12 months’ time. Might I add that if the drummers keep pounding away as they are, there might be a record-low voter turnout because we will all be heartily sick of politicking well before the hoardings go up. Norm Murray, Browns Bay.
It seems rather unfair to take university students to task for cheating (Weekend Herald, October 29). The purpose of the “Natural and Built Environment Act”, currently before Parliament, is classic plagiarism, lifted without acknowledgment out of a 30-year-old book to support the discredited idea that development is sustainable. If it is good enough for the Government then surely it is good enough for university students. We must presume that the students are being prepared for the real world. Tony Watkins, Karaka Bay.
Yet again we hear that some students are cheating when it comes to assignments and exams. Why then is this accepted when surely the simple answer for anyone caught doing so is to immediately cancel their course and send them on their way. If this was enforced then I am sure the practice would stop overnight. But, unfortunately, enforcement is not something we do well in this country. Paul Beck, West Harbour,
Your correspondent J McCormick writes (Weekend Herald, October 29) we have a choice between taxes or rates for funding improvements to our water supplies - and suggesting charges will go up by a “hefty” amount only if funded from rates. Whilst some councils make a charge through the rates bill, many have “user pays” charges. I don’t know where the idea of funding from taxes comes from. Significant expenditure may well be needed to improve some local water supplies and that will have to be paid for by user charges or rates - not from government taxes. Irrespective of the way water is delivered, residents and ratepayers may have to meet the “hefty” costs of improvements. B. Anderson, St Heliers.
What a brilliant, quality background article by Gregor Paul (Weekend Herald, October 29) on the machinations behind the scenes on the decision to retain Ian Foster as All Blacks coach, the key role of Joe Schmidt, senior players, and how Scott Robertson was treated by NZR. I expect that Scott Robertson will take full advantage of the “international shop window” he will be afforded in the next few weeks coaching the Barbarians in the UK to choose which Northern Hemisphere country he will coach for in the future. Ian Foster and Joe Schmidt need to achieve a winning performance at the 2023 Rugby World Cup to validate NZR’s decisions. Gary Carter, Gulf Harbour.
Watching the All Blacks play on Saturday made me feel ashamed for my country. I’m not referring to the All Black’s woeful fall from world dominance, but the behaviour of the Japanese spectators compared to our home crowds. Before each kicking attempt the large screens displayed “Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!”, and the crowd politely complied. Is it too much to ask NZ Rugby to make some attempt to stamp out the boorish booing that has infected our test match crowds, and makes us appear to the world as uncouth louts? Doug Hannan, Mt Maunganui.
A quick word
“Blood on their hands” is the only description to give our Government for not having Mike King run mental health. He is unquestionably an angel for our youth. Glenn Forsyth, Taupō.
Matariki should be our fireworks night, and the only occasion for which fireworks are on sale. It is our own Aotearoa festival, darkness falls early, accidental fires are less likely in midwinter, and if one does happen, it will be more quickly spotted and dealt with. Rose Lovell-Smith, Mt Roskill.
Fireworks: Colonial traditions being celebrated by the oppressed in South Auckland. John Davison, Manurewa.
From the number of fireworks being set off several days before Guy Fawkes, it would appear plenty of people have “money to burn”. Greg Cave, Sunnyvale.
Let’s stick to official displays only and save us from the distressed animals, needless fires, and their ensuing destruction. James Archibald, Birkenhead.
In “normal” times when prices go up we know where to point the finger. Now retailers can charge what they like and we just assume it is this amorphous monster we call inflation. Alan Jenkinson, One Tree Hill.
No mining on public conservation land. End of story. Bruce Tubb, Devonport.
With the Government decreeing that to be classified as a “local” one only has to be in a city or town for 30 days (as in the Rotorua homeless situation) I must be a “local” in numerous towns and cities in New Zealand. Ian Doube, Rotorua.
Perhaps the CEO of Air New Zealand should stop talking the big game with non-stop flights to New York and resuming Bali flights and instead get people to their destinations in New Zealand. Tim Vince, Herne Bay.
Shackleton; a wonderful man but failed in his endeavours. No wonder Ardern is such a fan. Glenn J Pacey, Glendowie.
Jacinda Ardern’s claim for the benefits of the proposed farm emissions scheme is “gaining a price premium for climate friendly agricultural products”. The Meat Demand Monitor report from the USA for September shows taste, freshness, and price are the buyers’ only real concerns. “Origin and traceability” and “environmental impact” are in joint last place. John Denton, Eskdale.
If Simon Wilson’s name was ever on Wayne Brown’s Christmas card list, it surely won’t be now. Graham Fleetwood, Botany Downs.
To Ian Uhlmann (WH, Oct. 29) concerning your editorial on Shakespeare funding, I say: What the Dickens has “Bah, humbug!” got to do with it? Ron Hoares, Wellsford.
Rather than reducing the 39 per cent top levels for incomes above $180,000 by 6 per cent, it would seem more logical to introduce a new level of 45 per cent for incomes above $250,000, which would put us on par with Australia. Frank Olsson, Freemans Bay.
One thing about not having any money is you don’t have to worry about what to do with it. Gary Hollis, Mellons Bay.