Lakes at capacity as lines charges hit 36c/kWh
From this week's industry data, our nationwide hydro-electric storage is above average for this time of year and both lakes Pukaki and Manapouri are at or very close to their maximum allowable lake level. Also, over the last week the Manapouri system has been spilling excess water at the Mararoa Weir.
Why then was the wholesale spot price of electricity, which excludes Transpower and local lines company charges, retailers mark-ups, et al, tipping 36c/kWh at 8am this Monday morning?
No wonder so many people are querying the market-making power of the vertically integrated Gentailers and are losing faith with the partial privatisation of the system.
Russell Baillie, Mt Eden
Phil Goff has
to review the Council Controlled Organisations (NZ Herald, May 6).
Let's hope the shake up starts with some basic English language lessons. For example, Auckland Transport and Panuku seem to have a major difficulty differentiating between the words "efficient" and "officious". They sound very similar but are polar opposites in meaning and unfortunately these two CCOs seem to spend far too much time being the latter.
Gavin Sheehan, Totaravale
Bruce Logan skilfully
the dangers of creating more legislation on hate speech. (NZ Herald, May 6). There is a danger of introducing freedom choking mechanisms in the style of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. Lenin defined the original rules of political correctness in 1921.
The purpose of Lenin's dictates was to destroy all political debate that might undermine the Bolshevik revolution. Some people here would like to stifle debate also. Lenin used the phrase "politically incorrect." All the current PC "isms" were defined at that time (eg racism, sexism).
There are two words for truth in the Russian language. There is "istina" which denotes facts which might be derived by scientific techniques; and "pravda" which is about justice, fairness, and righteousness. Pravda closely matched the dictates of communism and was (significantly) the name of the Bolshevik newspaper. One of the common techniques of suppression was to commit dissidents to incarceration in mental institutions; and on the other end of the scale: the assassination of Trotsky in Mexico.
We have seen the power of the "PC Brigade" worldwide. The descent of the BBC from a medium that all the world trusted into an espouser of political correctness represents a sad decline.
Hugh Webb, Hamilton
We used to have one of the best health systems in the world. Then during the 80s and the Rogernomics fiasco it was changed to "user-pays". The Americans said they couldn't understand why we would tamper with our system as it was so good.
But Roger Douglas and his political peers blundered on, demolishing it. In the early 90s, Jenny Shipley's Government deregulated the medical insurance industry and policy costs soared. Ordinary New Zealanders couldn't afford it so they opted out.
This became a further burden on the public health system. Since then successive governments have failed to address the problem.
So I say, look after your own health, guys, because the system is stuffed and it will cost billions to fix it.
Mikki Buckland, Papamoa Beach
Neal McCarthy of Auckland Central
that to move Auckland's container port to Whangārei ticks all of the boxes (NZ Herald, May 6).
Has he not read what happened in the UK when they tried to move London's container port to other ports? The increase in the cost of internal freight, which proved to be the most expensive part of the journey, meant that the cost of imported goods rose dramatically. To solve the problem London's container terminal was relocated back closer to London, but further down the Thames.
The same thing would happen here and the cost of shipping goods through Northport would be prohibitive. The solution is to relocate the container port, somewhere in the Auckland region, thus ensuring the cost of transporting goods to and from Auckland, New Zealand's main population centre, remains at a reasonable level.
David Mairs, Glendowie
Your correspondent Emma Mackintosh
the statue "Boy Walking" for not being "Girl Walking" (NZ Herald, May 6).
Perhaps Mackintosh should speak to the male artist who made it? Better still, maybe she could make her own art piece and call it any name she chooses? That's the freedom we give to people who make their own creation. Why does every little thing have to be so divisive to some people? Why can't we just accept a work of art for what it is rather than take offence because it doesn't fit ones particular agenda?
I would also like to correct an assertion by Mackintosh. Females are not more likely to be assaulted and abused in New Zealand than males. Not even close. A male is in fact, four times as likely to be assaulted and abused as a female. A visit to any A&E ward on most days will fully clarify that statistic.
Kent Millar, Blockhouse Bay
Following the devastating crash that claimed eight lives in that inexplicable crash, there have been many suggestions to try to prevent a repetition, obviously. But if you consider a vehicle with five children in, it is a "mobile distraction" waiting to happen.
This scenario could well have been a squabble, a punch-up, or spilling food, or anything similar to cause the driver to turn to the rear, while still in motion, thereby causing this terrible tragedy. Many years ago in our district, a young mother had just delivered one of her children to school. The return journey included travelling off the local road on to a farm access that ran parallel to a drainage canal, and inexplicably, she drove off and into the canal, and sadly drowned, along with her two other young children.
There must be many, many other cases of near-misses through similar circumstances of driver distraction I'm absolutely sure and readers may like to relate their stories here. I consider our "driver training" fails to impress on new drivers the paramount importance of the total concentration required in controlling the vehicle and to keep one's eyes on the road ahead at all times. It is a big worry there are so many incompetent drivers with a licence on our roads. The ongoing crashes bear witness to this.
Norman Izett, Whakatane
I refer to the
by Bernard Orsman (NZ Herald, May 6). It seems that Lester Levy and Shane Ellison are still in denial.
The arrogance shown by AT is clearly coming from the top. They both have had ample opportunity to acknowledge that they have got it wrong when it comes to the proposed changes in St Heliers. They both should resign and allow a fresh executive the opportunity to change the culture. It is obvious that AT have a clear policy to create traffic mayhem so as to force the public to use buses and trains. More evidence is the change to Quay St. Dumped on the public in the middle of the cruise ship season without due consideration for anyone. How could that have been approved by Auckland Council as a non-notified consent beggars belief. It is time for Phil Goff to follow through on his comments and make AT more accountable.
Keith Savory, St Heliers
Your correspondent Rose Lovell-Smith
capitalism is "a great way of getting goods and services onto markets" but it also produces "colossal wastage and environmental damage" (NZ Herald, May 4).
The historical reality is that economies that were run by central planning rather than market price signals, not only failed to get goods and services to their people, but produced orders of magnitude greater wastage and environmental damage. There are several good books on this subject; Marshall Goldman: The Spoils of Progress: Environmental Pollution in the Soviet Union; Ivan Volgyes: Environmental Deterioration in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe; Philip Pryde: Environmental Resources and Constraints in the Former Soviet Republics; Paul Josephson: Environmental Justice and Sustainability in the Former Soviet Union; Murray Feshbach and Alfred Friendly: Ecocide in the USSR: Health and Nature under Siege.
There is increasing evidence of tragic ignorance among younger generations, about explicitly non-capitalist economic systems.
Phil Hayward, Naenae
I and I am sure many other people would happily give up some of renewing of what look like perfectly good kerb stones and even a couple of events to have the berms looked after. It used to be a pleasure to take visitors around Auckland and receive comments about how nice and clean Auckland looked and what a clean and tidy city but now the place is an embarrassment.
Come on Auckland, making the place a liveable city does require the place looking cared for. Queen St is a joke I dread to think what cruise line visitors say - nobody would want to spend time there.
Geoffrey Slack, One Tree Hill
Your correspondent David F Little
that "investors write off all mortgage payments against tax" (NZ Herald, May 7). This is incorrect.
Tax law is quite clear - while mortgage interest on a rental property is a tax deductible expense, any repayments of the capital sum borrowed are not. Such payments must come out of after-tax income, and are not eligible as a qualifying deduction.
A successful economy is made up of many parts, and the provision of homes for people to live in who cannot afford to buy is absolutely essential.
Driving people out of providing rental property is the worst thing that could happen for tenants and first home buyers.
Peter Lewis, Vice-President, Auckland Property Investors Association
Short & Sweet
The absurdity of the Potter's Park Statue "Boy Walking" reminds me of a line from a Joni Mitchell song... "they took all the trees and put 'em in a tree museum."
Colleen Wright, Botany Downs
Instead of pledging to review CCOs if re-elected, Phil Goff should have addressed this during his current reign - he would have been assured of another term.
John Kothe, Torbay
With few runs so far on the board, such as no Pharmac inquiry or CGT, it's beginning to look that the coalition's year of delivery is becoming the year of the miscarriage.
Mike Baker, Tauranga
Whether we agree or disagree with Israel, isn't it time we extended the same consideration and tolerance to him, that is extended to others groups in the community?
J Hansen, Hastings
Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter wants wider shoulders on roads, but I though the main problem was that skinny centre line that NZers love to hug or cross over.
Randel Case, Bucklands beach
When he announces particulars of the marijuana referendum Andrew Little is going to explain the meaning of "binding". Has he been reading Alice in Wonderland?
Peter Newfield, Takapuna
What's the point of picking on sugar while legalising a drug which ruins mental and physical health?
N Lever, Royal Oak
Autumn colours! This week a visit to the Waikato region showed incredible colour variety, that I thought couldn't be matched in Auckland. But, Albany, you are the winner.
Rosemary Cobb, Milford