Letter of the week: Peter Jansen, Henderson
In shedding a tear at the White Island memorial Jacinda Ardern broke the shibboleth of a female leader being allowed to show emotion without penalty.
Past women leaders were required to don a suit of emotional armour in order to appear as strong as their male counterparts. Thus Margaret Thatcher appeared as tough as teak, Indira Gandhi was harshly firm, Theresa May remained permanently stoic dealing with the Grenfell Tower fire and neither Jenny Shipley nor Helen Clark could afford to publicly promote traits such as compassion and kindness lest it convey the perception of weakness.
The Rubicon that Ardern has crossed is partly personal but mainly societal. Ardern has established her bona fides in crisis management from the Christchurch shooting to White Island and now the Pandemic. This inoculates her from the charge of being "soft".
The more important underlying shift appears to be New Zealanders' maturing views on both gender and leadership. A critical mass of women are now in workplace leadership roles producing a greater familiarity of working alongside competent women in management positions. Similarly, modern definitions of leadership embrace empathy and emotional intelligence to bolster rather than hinder cohesion and decision-making.
Eshe Nelson writes (Weekend Herald, December 12) about overseas wharf problems but makes no mention of Auckland. We often travel to Waiheke Island and I have never seen more than one container ship at our much-vaunted container port.
How many containers have been processed by each of Auckland , Northport and Tauranga ports over, say, the last year? I will be very surprised if Auckland has unloaded anywhere near the number processed by our rival ports.
David Bentham, Browns Bay.
Correspondent Tony Malloy (Weekend Herald, December 12) claims Donald Trump's presidency has made the US great again. Anyone who believes in integrity and decency in government is dismayed by the effect of four years of the Trump presidency, both for the US and for the world.
America is in deep crisis on several fronts. Think of the environment, public health, justice reform, child welfare, national security, even the survival of democracy itself.
Trump gained 74 million votes (while losing to Joe Biden with 78 million, remember) and we ask, who are these people who support him? There will be the far-right conservatives who object to paying taxes, to gun regulation, to universal healthcare and any safety net welfare, etc. Most NZers have long seen such elements as necessary in a civil society.
The Trump camp was joined by far-right Christians because of his lip service to the pro-life movement. Another significant group is disenchanted people left behind by the economy, who see Trump as their saviour. They have been conned and are now a cult at the mercy of lies.
Overwhelmingly NZers use commonsense observations to decide the truth or otherwise of political narratives.
Wendy Fletcher, Flat Bush.
Best of Braunias
Auckland - The Lucky City! Thank you, Steve Braunias for your choice of the "20 best things of Auckland life" (Weekend Herald, December 12).
Of those I have known and seen, I nodded and said, "Oh, yes." I will check out and experience the rest, and suspect I'll agree with Steve's list.
We are so lucky to live in our stunning city of diversity, so let's keep looking as there are more things to find and share.
Auckland, we love you.
Rosemary Cobb, Takapuna.
Bless the mall
Unlike Steve Braunias, I dub Commercial Bay the worst mall - vast and chilly in winter. And I like Newmarket Mall, which seems customer-friendly - and always comfortably warm. Fortunately we don't all think alike.
Pamela Russell, Ōrākei.
Crack a smile
'Tis the season of joy. Spread the free gifts: hugs, smiles, a sense of humour.
Greet everyone with a smile and a sense of humour.
It does you the world of good to have a good laugh and dad will be overjoyed to hear someone laugh at one of his jokes.
Most of all relax, have fun this Christmas season. Merry Christmas.
Craig Fraser, Mission Bay.
A quick word
2020 - what a year, eh? Did not see that one coming. Glenn Forsyth, Taupō.
Never put yourself in harm's way to protect, save or help someone. Worksafe could prosecute you. Absolute madness. Arthur Amis, Red Beach.
Given the latest economic figures available I wonder if all the critics will be gracious enough to admit that the Government's actions , while not perfect , were the right ones and saved us from even worse damage. Garry Bond, Hastings.
Taxpayers have paid out $29.9 million to apparently settle the Ihumātao dispute but the terms seem to offer no settlement whatsoever, with just more talking and ultimately more cost to taxpayers. Mike Baker, Tauranga.
Watching cricket on free-to-air TV is not supporting cricket (Weekend Herald, December 12). I look forward to meeting up with Bruce Kay at a cricket ground near him soon. Neil Anderson, Algies Bay.
You would think that there would be at least one so-called TV channel that could come to the Black Caps' and cricket lovers' rescue. Gary Hollis, Mellons Bay.
Spark Sport cricket commentators waffle, waffle, waffle, on and on. Please let the picture do the talking and give our ears a break. J R W Hutchinson, Remuera.
Antivaxers, RIP. Ross Harvey, Remuera.
Humpty Trumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Trumpy had a big fall... I MacGregor, Forrest Hill.
The condescending parental finger-wagging goes on. If we're not good our summer holidays will be taken away from us. Colin Nicholls, Mt Eden.
Great win to start Emirates Team New Zealand but one thing I am very disappointed with there is nothing on the boat that says "New Zealand". Gary Stewart, Foxton Beach.
A big thank you for the short-sighted previous and recent councils in failing to water structure sufficiently, leaving residents to suffer the embarrassment of having water restrictions in a town divided by a river. Shame, shame, shame. Paul Evans-McLeod, Hamilton.
I was digging holes in the backyard when I struck a water main. Instead of getting upset, I took a deep breath and thought of all those poor people on the planet who are locked down. How lucky are we? S P McMonagle, Greenhithe.