Letter of the week: Marie Kaire, Whangārei
It appears that New Zealand will sell (and, effectively, give away the rights to) absolutely anything to the rest of the world in pursuit of greed and ignorance.
We research kiwifruit varieties and then "give the stock away" to numerous countries so that they can then compete with our export prices.
We send our best cattle and sheep breeding stock overseas so that those countries can build up their supply and reduce our export market.
We allow foreign private ownership of vast areas of land some of the most spectacular in New Zealand and then locals are banned from their own countryside.
We allow foreign water bottlers to filch our pristine water, making millions of dollars and adding to plastic pollution in the World. We buy the water back at the supermarkets or our expensive water rates.
We are a nation of generosity, providing "freebies" for the rest of the world.
We need to exploit our innovations and DIY discoveries for the good of our own economy and stop gifting them to others.
I wholeheartedly agree with every word in your correspondent Jennifer Orman's letter about Glenn v Watson (NZ Herald, October 22). The hundreds of Hanover Finance investors, who lost thousands each, may take some comfort in her well-put words too.
If it had it not been for Sir Owen Glenn's deep pockets and his desire to restore justice (Weekend Herald, October 24), to some extent, Eric Watson would not be sentenced to the (few) months in jail - which in itself, may well be an insult to some of the lesser well-off, who have taken a massive blow of losing the majority of their investments.
He would otherwise have come off scot-free, continuing as if nothing had been willfully misconstrued.
I salute your original Herald columnist, the letter writer Jennifer Orman and Sir Owen for focussing on the topics of justice and honesty, without which the self-centred "values" of greed would gradually creep more and more in today's Kiwi life-style.
And yes, let's hope Jacinda Ardern puts this topic high on her list, if only to preserve the values that previous generations have built up with the best intentions.
René Blezer, Taupō.
Back to sleep
Applause to Jamie Morton for the article (Weekend Herald, October 24) which collates a series of health care advances that have been generated in New Zealand.
The text of the article discusses sudden unexpected death in infancy known as SUDI and correctly identifies that the recommended position for infants to be placed for sleeping is on the back (supine position).
However, the accompanying photograph shows an infant in a side (lateral) position in a Pepi-Pod basket.
The benefit of the Pepi-Pod is to allow the infant to have a protected sleeping space and to avoid bed-sharing (co-sleeping) where there can be risk for suffocation and crushing by deeply somnolent adults.
There can be rare recommendations for infants to sleep in a side (lateral) position if there is a floppy larynx (laryngomalacia) or a condition of a small lower jaw (micrognathia) but this position should only be used with specialist advice.
The text of the article correctly recommends the "Sleep on Side when Baby Inside" (lateral) position for pregnant mothers and the "Back to Sleep" (supine) position for babies.
Dr Lesley J Salkeld, specialist paediatric otolaryngologist, ADHB and CMDHB.
Claims in your columns from John Roughan (Weekend Herald, October 24) and Mike Hosking do not stand up to a fact check. Hosking stated that pre-Covid Labour "was in a mess trailing badly in the polls". Roughan's column says that "the polls which National usually led through 2018 and 2019" turned around after Covid.
A record of party vote polls since 2017 show that in eight polls conducted by Colmar Brunton or Reid Research in 2018, National was behind Labour in two and never more than 3 per cent ahead, as against their 7.5 per cent margin in the 2017 election. In the 10 polls by these companies in 2019, Labour led in five and National in five. Over the 18 polls, Labour was above 40 per cent in 17.
In not one of the 2018 and 2019 polls did a government led by National command as much support as the Labour-led coalition. It is therefore misleading to suggest that Covid alone led to the result on October 17.
David Holm, Mt Roskill.
Ode to Winston II
I was so moved by Rod Emmerson's heartfelt "Ode To Winston Peters" (Weekend Herald, October 24) that I felt I owed him - and Steve Braunias too - my sincere gratitude for having provided so much entertainment.
New Zealand's politics - and senior statesman - is indeed a world away for the US of A. Thank you for all the viewpoints which provide balance.
I enclose the following poem "Ode To Winston Peters II" for your consideration:
Emmerson and Braunias
They wicked twain
Found gold in Winston
Just the same.
W R Grave, Gisborne.
We must honour the past, live in the present and look after the future.
The Erebus families deserve a memorial if that will bring them peace, but not on the site Sir John Logan Campbell died. Not on the site 52 people died in the 1918 Flu pandemic. Not on the lawn dedicated to Sir Dove Myer Robinson. Not if it destroys Māori and early European history.
Especially not when there is no link to Erebus or no meaningful connection.
Not if the community oppose it. Not when 77 per cent said no. Not when the people of Waitemata have been shut out of the conversation. Not when Sir Dove Myer Robinson's family are ignored and outraged.
But most importantly, not if it steals green open space in an ever-encroaching city from our future generations.
No progressive, forward-thinking, environmentally conscious local board could condone that, no matter how much we all empathise with the families' grief.
There are alternative sites that deliver for the families without taking so much from so many others, especially our grandchildren.
It's time to engage in the possibilities and find a positive way forward for all.
Jo Malcolm, Parnell.
Get the gist
We have seen persistent calls to help families reduce their cost of living by eliminating GST on food.
Many people seem to think that supermarkets and other food retailers buy their supplies from producers, add a margin for their own profit and then add 15 per cent GST and send that amount to the government. So eliminating GST would instantly slash food prices by 15 per cent.
In the real world, businesses such as supermarkets look at what the market can bear. They then charge this market price to consumers. It goes up and down all the time, depending on seasonal changes, promotional campaigns and what the competition down the road is charging. At the end of the day they add up all their sales and calculate 15 per cent, which is designated as the government's share of the economic activity they have generated.
Here's what would happen if GST was removed from food. There would be short-term price cuts - hooray. Then after a year or so, prices would creep back up close to the level the market could bear. The only difference is that the government would no longer be getting its cut.
Philip Tetley-Jones, Point Chevalier.
A quick word
When will the public recognise how contagious this virus happens to be? How easily it is spread? Why is the use of the QR code waning? Des Trigg, Rothesay Bay.
Regarding your article about the demise of Eric Watson, I can't believe your subeditor missed the headline "From Penthouse to Pentonville". Can I have the job? R Harris, Kohimarama.
It must be difficult for Trump haters to read his administration has now pulled off four significant normalisation of relations/peace accords. The first between Kosovo and Bosnia and three between Israel and the UAE, Bahrain and now Sudan. David Gibbs, Beach Haven.
A suggested site for the Erebus memorial: Outside Air New Zealand head office with a statue of the brave judge holding a placard "Litany of Lies". Hing Yu, Pakuranga Heights.
If losing electorate candidates were barred from getting into Parliament you would have no one of any relevance standing in the electorate for fear of losing. Parties would probably nominate the pet dog as a candidate, and quite possibly win. Ross Dimery, Ranui.
If a government wishes to reduce child poverty, throwing more money at it doesn't work. Checking how the money is spent and advice on budgeting and housekeeping skills is more likely to be effective. H Robertson, St Heliers.
In its quest to get Russian deep-sea fishermen to NZ, the fishing industry paid for return flights, tests before flying, quarantine hotel fees here and probably all onboard food while at sea. Perhaps the fruit growers should get more creative? Tony Barnett, Pukekohe.
Are the America's Cup AC75s an accident waiting to happen? Maybe a step too far? Bruce Tubb, Belmont.
Judith Collins is reported to regret saying what she believes about personal choice ruling obesity. Professional politicians learn to ignore their consciences as the many new MPs will learn during indoctrination and many departing members will live to regret. John O'Neill, Whangārei.
Now the election is over, Jacinda Ardern doesn't front the daily updates on Covid-19. Using Covid-19 as a tool to capture votes was immoral and had a huge effect on the election result. Neil Hatfull, Warkworth.
New Zealand has to import fishermen, fruitpickers, construction workers and teachers, because there is a lack of Kiwis who can do these jobs. Then we also hear immigrants are taking up jobs and houses. Nothing seems to add up. Nishi Fahmy, Avondale.
Robust debate, robust opinion, Robusta coffee. Aah, Leighton, those were the days. Chris Kiwi, Mt Albert.