Letter of the week: Kushlan Sugathapala, Epsom
Following the science and advice of experts like the director general of Health enabled our outstanding results in tackling Covid, our response acknowledged as one of the best
in the world. As the Prime Minister stated many times, decisions made were on health, not political considerations.
In most other areas, politics takes priority even when it concerns the health of the citizens; for example, obesity which causes diabetes and heart diseases leading to suffering, amputations and deaths and incurs a high healthcare cost. We can significantly reduce obesity with a few measures like eliminating unhealthy food in school cafeterias, curtailing advertising of fast food, implementing mandatory guidelines for the food industry and a sugar tax. The cost to the state of implementing these changes is minimal if at all, there is a cost.
It is disturbing that we rank near the bottom of the OECD countries in so many areas, which affect health and well-being. Child poverty, youth suicides, obesity, etc.
Isn't it time for a change? To follow the experts?
One more year
It is perhaps worth remembering that the resounding rejection of the four-year term for Parliament in 1990 was in a different context.
At the time, the National Party had been grossly intervening in the economy and the Labour Party had overly hastily deregulated it. Given that they were wearing each other's clothes, there was widespread and deep distrust of politicians, with voters feeling that their votes were meaningless.
We have now been fortunate to have had in succession steady governments led by four very able and responsible Prime Ministers in Clark, Key, English and Ardern. A referendum now, in a different climate, could produce a very different result.
John Collinge, St Marys Bay.
After reading the article "Catholic Church echoes global playbook" (Weekend Herald, December 5), I'm not in the least surprised at the attitude of the Catholic Church's lawyer, Sally McKechnie, who said, "bishops and other leaders did not feel that this week's hearings were the place to challenge or question survivors about their experiences". Wonder why, maybe because postponing, delaying or removing from public scrutiny was in the best interests of this church?
Backed by the Anglican Church and the Salvation Army, the Catholic Church unsuccessfully sought to suppress the perpetrators' names in a court hearing last week.
A substantial advert placed in national newspapers just prior to the EOLC referendum opposed the EOLC Act with the words "We the undersigned religious leaders, wish to share our grave concerns about the final forms of this Act". Unsurprisingly these religious leaders include Catholic and Anglican bishops, pastors and a Salvation Army notable.
So, we have these representatives trying to obstruct justice while giving the population at large advice on an issue of some relevance outside of the supernatural. Any attempt by these organisations to assume they have some morality above the lowest common denominator should be treated with nothing less than utter contempt.
John Watson, Ōtaki.
You seem to delight in printing a surfeit of letters that sneer at President Trump and at his staff, a cheap expression of relief at the expense of the 50 per cent of Americans who voted for his policies. Over 38 per cent of your "Quick Word" column (Weekend Herald, December 5) fell into this category, some of which showed your thumbs-up to the vicious cancel culture.
You don't need to be an anti-life Democrat to find some of Trump's characteristics off-putting, but his policies on life issues have truly started to make America great again.
Trump has shown that it is possible to stand up to the sneaky fish-hooks of socialism and the pathetic lies of neo-Marxism.
His constituency of thoughtful but betrayed feminists, betrayed minority leaders, betrayed workers, etc, will not go away, unlike the charade of sophistry that has passed for Western culture over the last 50 years.
Tony Molloy, Morrinsville.
In your letter of week (Weekend Herald, December 5) Jon states that 35 years ago house prices were 3.5 times the average income while interest rates were 7-10 per cent with a peak of 21 per cent. He further states with house prices now at 10 times income and interest rates under 3 per cent that the cost of servicing a mortgage now is the same.
However, back then wage inflation kept pace with mortgage interest rises; plus one income could service all outgoings.
Boomer politicians then changed the rules making property, through negative tax gearing and no capital gains tax, a superior form of investing.
This allowed Boomers who had family benefit and state advances help into their first home to leverage their asset base, become investors and purchase extra homes to rent out.
Subsequently, the Reserve Bank Governor created artificially low interest rates and allowed investors, combined with supply/demand imbalance, to cause massive increases in house prices without the wage increases.
Any young first home buyers now buying with mortgages at 3 per cent, which usually require two incomes to service, will be living in s**t street when interest rates rise again. Baby Boomers are determined to keep their pampered lifestyle from the cradle to the grave. Being of 1940 vintage, I have seen it all.
David F Little, Whangārei.
Filling a gap
In the post-war years I was an in-service training teacher visiting all the schools in the new suburbs of East Tamaki, every one of which had its dental clinic visited regularly by nurses trained in the Schools Dental College in Mt Eden.
Every school in the country was covered by the service, even the sole charge at Te Hapua. Every child at the time would have experienced "the walk".
However, subsequent National governments closed the college and allowed the service to decay - and with it the teeth of thousands of children for whom private attention was too expensive. The situation we have today.
Our present Government could consider reviving the service.
John E. Binsley, Parnell.
Making an impression
Regarding the light rail and Dominion Rd projects, both of which appear to be overriding due process:
People get ready there's a train a-comin'. You don't need no baggage you just get on board. All you need is faith to hear the engines hummin'. Don't need no ticket, you just thank the Lord (with thanks to The Impressions).
Glennys Addams, Oneroa.
We in Victoria, Australia have had no active Covid cases for more than two weeks now, and no new cases for well over a month. The virus has effectively been eliminated.
New Zealanders are allowed to visit us but we still cannot visit New Zealand.
There are thousands of Australians desperate to come over and spend our tourist dollars (it will be a long time before we can go any further afield).
We both have effective contact tracing processes in place to handle the odd inevitable outbreak, so come on New Zealand, lift the restrictions and let us come and enjoy your beautiful country and hospitality.
David Parker, Geelong.
A quick word
Perhaps Auckland Council should sell Ports of Auckland. This would give council a cash windfall and Ports of Auckland would gain new owners more interested in the efficient and profitable operation of the port. John Kania, Long Bay.
Chump spends $3 million in Wisconsin recount to give Biden 132 more votes; and he calls himself a genius. Glenn Forsyth, Taupō.
I bet when Donald trump plays golf he is always the winner as he writes his own scores on his card. Murray Hunter, Titirangi.
Commonsense has now been officially outlawed by OSH, who say that there is a rule for every occasion and this must be followed. What world do these people live in? Neville Cameron, Coromandel.
Is there a dress code in Parliament, particularly the wearing of hats? Gloria Robinson, Mt Maunganui.
Unlawful killings: Australia, 39 - unproven. CCP, millions. Fact. Trevor Bennett, Rotorua.
Our mayor is wanting to cull core services to balance the books. Why does he not scrap the expensive and ineffective corporate structures that have been imposed on the city, such as Watercare? K S Agar, Onehunga.
We have two wonderful Governor Generals in this country but what we really need is a business leader. Les Jones, Half Moon Bay.
Extending our parliamentary term to four years is a great idea if they are a good government, but even three years is too long if they are not. Mike Baker, Tauranga.
Is it possible to withdraw my inclusion to these largely banal ever increasing number of apologies? A.D. Kirby, Pāpāmoa.
Kiwis are getting little chance to support their national cricket side and this will be to the Black Caps' detriment. Bruce Kay, Hillsborough.
I wonder if the Government has thought of offering the gangs a gun buyback or is that taking things a bit too far? R Cluley, Mt Roskill.
Why are we importing shiploads of palm kernel as cattle feed? If farmers cannot grow enough grass for feed, then it is time to reduce the numbers of their stock. Marie Kaire, Whangārei.