Letter of the week: Rob Buchanan, Kerikeri
Along with investigative journalists, who bravely ferret out incriminating stories, the world needs to praise the young freedom fighters who tackle incumbent dictators and bullies leading countries where the military and police are armed, loaded and ready to shoot.
Currently, courageous opposition parties in Russia and Uganda are battling intimidation and detention for wanting free speech, fair elections and the right to investigate corruption and no doubt the murky finances of governments whose expiry date is long overdue.
Yoweri Museveni and Vladimir Putin are two of these leaders that have no qualms about illegally detaining, or poisoning or maiming or silencing opposition led by popular people, Bobi Wine and Alexei Navalny.
Little countries like New Zealand can and should make bigger noises and be respected for that global concern at the same time.
Vehicle for change
Simon Wilson concluded his excellent four-part series (Weekend Herald, January 30) on our future prosperity as a nation and how inextricably it is tied to the welfare of our planet.
In the same edition, we have four broadsheet pages advertising an expensive off-road vehicle utterly unsuitable for day-to-day use on New Zealand roads, using visuals from a time and place appropriate to another continent last century.
How do we as a nation come to terms with sustainability and climate change in the 2020s and permit this extravagant indulgence? We can only hope that a future-focused Government will further promote electric/PHEV vehicles and phase out fantasy, macho dream machines that belong to another age.
Peter Smith, Devonport.
Oranga iho nui
In these challenging times, it was so encouraging to read the excellent articles by Simon Wilson (Weekend Herald, January 30) and Liam Dann.
The two journalists complemented each other splendidly in referencing the new Productivity Commission head Ganesh Nana and the Kate Raworth concept of "Doughnut Economics".
Oxford economist Raworth is championing this new economic model but I prefer the circular Māori version with its focus on the longer-term towards providing the same opportunity for all of humanity to thrive and for ecology to regenerate. I was also heartened by Wilson's apparent endorsement, when writing about Judith Collins, of a potential New Zealand cross-party accord to address much-needed reforms in general.
Brian Griffiths, Warkworth.
I see (Weekend Herald, January 30) Auckland Transport is going to turn parts of Queen St into a pedestrian mall with public seating and shade trees.
If what happened in a similar situation in Henderson a few years back is anything to go by this decision will turn out to be a real disaster, as in time, the birds in very large numbers discovered these trees. Birds being birds they defecate to such an extent that the seating and ground beneath were covered in bird poo.
The council persevered for a couple of years before coming to the conclusion that the birds would never leave and the only thing to do was to cut down the offending trees leaving a desolate barren plaza which no one enjoys.
AT, you have been warned.
Ross Harvey, Remuera.
Thank you for your great article "making waves" (Weekend Herald, January 30).
I was in Fremantle, Western Australia during the America's Cup racing and, with other Kiwis, managed to enjoy everything every day.
However, your article has shown another side to Sir Michael, and his many challenges for such a long time.
Thanks to him we now have another opportunity to show our prowess on the water - this time in our own backyard. Good luck all you guys and girls who are part of the racing which is so enjoyable to watch.
Margaret Ellis, Northland.
Like many others, I read John Roughan's opinions each Saturday with interest.
To presume (Weekend Herald, January 30) January 30 as the date of arrival of (a diverted) HMS Herald with "British Consul" Captain William Hobson may be understandable. Correctly, the actual arrival was earlier on the morning of January 29. James Busby visited Hobson that same morning while Felton Mathew identified that three of the missionaries were "parleying" for the whole morning; then in the afternoon of January 29, Reverend Henry Williams came on board.
It was on the next afternoon of January 30 that Hobson made his two proclamations to a gathering of settlers and others.
Ron Trubuhovich, Royal Oak.
Colin Bell has made more concrete suggestions in one brief letter (Weekend Herald, January 30) on how to reduce housing inflation than successive governments over several years.
Meanwhile, the real estate industry endorses housing inflation with headlines such as "the market is hot", and quotes with approval year on year increases of 12.7 per cent, 11.1 per cent, 17.1per cent and 9.5 per cent.
How can the Government sit idly by while bloated figures like these occur year after year? The inflation targeted by the Reserve Bank is meaningless while housing inflation is ignored. Is it too much to describe the real estate industry as parasitic when the negative impact of this kind of inflation is felt largely by the lower socio-economic half of the population?
Lester Simpson, Army Bay.
It is 8pm on April 1, 2032. The team of four million Kiwi owners of electric vehicles, bought with government subsidies, flick the switches in their garages to charge their car batteries.
At the same moment, two million turn on their heat pumps and the same two million turn on either their washing machines or microwaves.
Others turn on their TV or computers.
All over the country, small fires break out and minor explosions are heard.
Nasa's Earth-watch satellite sends a red alert that the normal flickering evening view of New Zealand has disappeared.
The country's entire electrical system has failed, but happily, the lights are still on in Paris.
Rob Elliott, Kohimarama.
A quick word
Fresh from their success in teaching reading and mathematics, teachers are about to tackle history. Chris Lonsdale, New Plymouth.
These new Covid-19 strains worldwide are a right bother and more transmissible it seems, as time goes by. Especially that Pullman strain. Glenn Forsyth, Taupō.
We really don't care about Eric Watson, we commiserate for the people left high and dry because of his actions. Maggie Wilkinson, Waihī.
"I didn't have a toothbrush." He knows where to stick that. "I really do feel bad for people that have lost money." Then pay it back. Carol Munckhof, Takanini.
China has just executed a former top banker for malfeasance and Eric is complaining about four months in Pentonville Prison. The Chinese man won't re-offend, that's for sure.
Garry Wycherley, Awakino.
Hanover Finance did to thousands of NZ investors the same as the MIQ staff member did to the quarantined guest recently. Chris Tompkins, New Plymouth.
In 1965, we had a vine in our garden with what was known as Chinese gooseberries - why were they called that? John Cooper, Devonport.
If a person joins the police, army, airforce, etc. of any country, there is a set uniform to wear and should be adhered to - not changed to suit any other ethnic person wishing to join. P. Salvador, Hobsonville.
Why is toilet paper so hard to unwrap? Rex Head, Papatoetoe.
New Zealand would be a much happier and more productive country if the Government listened and acted on the views of the educated majority and not the dissident minority. Linda Lang, Henderson.
News that Jeff Bezos is resigning as Amazon CEO came as a surprise to the Amazon Board who learned about this from the media. The Amazon delivery driver had thrown the resignation letter over the fence where it was eaten by a dog. Jonathan Jepson, Torbay.
It is time New Zealand emulated Australia's policy of deporting undesirables to their country of origin. A prime candidate is Wenqing (Wendy) Li, convicted of deliberately attempting to smuggle large quantities of succulents and cacti from China. Ray Gilbert, Papamoa Beach.
Apparently, Jane Louise Kellahan told a judge she wasn't a person but a "vessel". If she's found guilty of assault, will she be impounded? Randel Case, Buckland Beach.