You have published two commendable articles, one on the service in Holy Trinity and the other on the proposed memorial in the park in Parnell.
I have some knowledge consequent upon my role as leading counsel for the Attorney- General in the appeal proceedings in the Privy Council.
The Chief Investigator of Air Accidents wrote to me at the Privy Council, insisting that pilot error was the cause of the disaster. You have also published the views of two of his lieutenants to the same effect.
Well, first, pilot error was not in issue by the time the litigation reached London and secondly, the decision of the Privy Council was that Justice Mahon had " convincingly'' dismissed that contention.
More recently you have published the views of two of my friends Garry Harrison and Sir Edmund Thomas. Both have expressed the view that the Royal Commissioner expressed his views in language that went too far.
With respect and affection, I must point out that both the Court of Appeal and the Privy Counsel reached their conclusions on much weightier grounds.
There was no evidence upon which a deliberate cover up could be established.
The "litany of lies" statement was without foundation and therefore entirely unjustifiable. And of course those who were accused of the non- existent cover up, in breach of the rules of natural justice, were never made aware that such a damning finding could be made against them and were denied their right to defend themselves.
Robert Smellie, St Heliers.
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The latest findings of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) show the New Zealand 15-year-olds' test results in maths, reading and science are declining (NZ Herald, December 4) while China, Singapore and Macau rank at the top three out of 36 developed countries. Maybe it is about time the Ministry of Education sends a study team to these countries and learn how they are able to achieve such high academic achievements. As a small country, we need to maintain a highly educated work force to compete in this highly competitive world.
George Lim, Remuera.
The mooted move of the port in Auckland to Northland (NZ Herald, December 5) has all the hallmarks of a land-grab. These schemes to rob ratepayers and taxpayers of huge amounts of money, get prime real estate on the cheap and load the state with unserviceable debt are ten-a-penny these days. If it costs a lot and don't make economic sense, there must be a scam behind it.
In this case, however, it would not be amiss to renovate the Auckland waterfront.
The rational option would be to move part of the port to a new-built facility somewhere closer to the geographical centre of New Zealand. Auckland is sitting right in the middle of a choke-point as far as north-south connections is concerned. Northland is obviously not an option for the next major port development.
A floating facility in Palliser Bay ought to be considered for a new port. Wave action and nearby strong currents could provide clean green energy. It is technically feasible and though the initial investment would be considerable, it would be free from the constraints and drawbacks of land-based alternatives.
Jacob Jonker, Totara Park.
The answer to the Auckland port relocation lies just north of the Waitemata Harbour.
Whangaparaoa Peninsula has good shipping access and the Auckland Council and the Government own large portions.
Also, the peninsula needs a new access road, so just make it bigger.
Bulk containers and cars can be trucked or, better, barged to other locations like the upper Tamaki River or Thames.
The Port and Navy could relocate to land they already own and they aren't miles away from the city.
The idea of trucking shiploads from Whangārei is ridiculous.
J Saunders, Howick.
Tough on gangs
Those people who think Simon Bridges is big and brave taking on the gangs need to ask where was this resolve when he, and his party, were in government for the best part of a decade? Could it be that they were fixated on throwing people out of perfectly good homes because once upon a time someone may have smoked "p" there? or was it because his party was busy hunting down and threatening the property of those master criminals, the boy racers?
John Capener, Kawerau.
I'm reading The Fall of Abilene, a western novel by Johnny D Boggs relating to the times of Wild Bill Hickok. Marshall Williams states "the whole United States and her territories, the whole world even, would be a hell of a lot better place to live if nobody carried a gun". Isn't that the truth?
John Cooper, Devonport.
Going to Ihumātao for the first time recently, it seems fitting that this land sandwiched between the airport industrial sites and the Manukau Harbour has become a touchstone.
I have followed with interest the well-articulated range of views still unfolding on the history of this strip of land that was home to our first east Polynesian settlers in Auckland. This became their land; they became the people of this land for over five hundred years. Through Governor Grey's plan to undermine the Kingitanga movement and land grab in the Waikato, the local iwi were given no real choice but to vacate their homes. Their property was plundered, the land confiscated and until as recently as the early 1980, the maunga was excavated for drainage material. The hallowed mountains are now a hole in heart of local iwi.
The land has now been re-occupied for over one hundred days and rumours of a settlement have been reported but no engagement has been made with the iwi. It is a complex issue but to not engage in meaningful dialogue is shameful.
This as an opportunity for the nation to make a mature and courageous decision. Give it back, protect its historical geological value and do something special for the local people for whom the land is above all else their home – please not another heartless subdivision.
Rudy Vogels, Glendowie.
A recent One Roof article talks about average Auckland values potentially reaching $3 million in 20 years' time based on the change in values over the last 20 years. To suggest that values will perform as they have over the last 20 years is completely flawed for many reasons, two of which are; past returns don't equal future returns and average income would have to reach $500,000 to $600,000 in 20 years for average property values of $3 million to make any rational sense.
Jeremy King, Taupō.
The sensible reasons for legalising recreational cannabis have been well publicised: get the supply chain out of the hands of the criminal element, and create controls to make the product - and the public - safer. Nevertheless many supporters are left still with niggling fears about "normalisation", damage to young users' brains, or drugged-drivers on the roads.
I think the point must be emphasised that cannabis is far less dangerous than alcohol, which so exacerbates violent behaviour within families and towards women, and remains a leading contributor to road accidents.
But the worst substance abuse issue in NZ society is methamphetamines. Any disruption of the current illegal (cannabis) drug trade might help combat that evil scourge too.
B Darragh, Auckland Central.
Short & sweet
It would be great if the police did an advertising campaign to inform motorists when coming out of car parks that cross the footpath that the pedestrian has the right of way. Most motorists don't seem to be aware of this. Jock Mac Vicar, Hauraki.
I think, natives and exotics, living and growing together on Owairaka/Mt Albert, is a perfect model for New Zealand. Kathleen Faughey, Mt Albert.
Another Māori tribe, in Rotorua, are using exotics - redwoods planted by Pākehā - as a major tourist attraction and a money-making venture. John Robertson, Papamoa Beach.
My biggest worry is, how will the gangs replace their lost revenue? I mean, they are not exactly going to take their patches off and join the workforce, are they? S P McMonagle, Greenhithe.
Re: CK Stead's comments headlined 'Ugly memorial' (NZ Herald, December 4), please do not presume that myself and other family members of the Erebus tragedy do not want apologies or public memorials. Joy Bainbridge, Paihia.
The recently published Pisa scores show National party policy working as designed. I believe New Zealanders are better than National policy and think we want a fair go for all.
Mark Nixon, Remuera.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the port at Whangārei built on a sandbank? Doesn't the railway south run through tidal swamps? Dennis N Horne, Howick.
Fires and drought were happening in Australia long before there were people there. Perhaps Israel Folau could tell us who God was smiting back then - the sinful koalas? Andrew Tichbon, Greenbay.