The leadership of Todd Muller was over when he tried to explain away his MAGA hat instead of standing up for the freedom to own a hat.
Had Muller responded with "it's a hat, if you have a problem with it, then it sounds like a you problem". He would have galvanised support among his base.
Instead, Muller decided to try and appeal to people who will never vote for him at the expense of support from those who do.
He continued with that theme on the diversity question as well. A simple "we in the National party still select on merit, not skin colour" would have laid his position clear. Instead, he tried to be Labour-lite and fell into the "diversity" trap that judges people on their skin colour, not their character or worthiness. He looked like a fool trying to apply what wasn't there instead of arguing for the diversity of the individual.
I hope Judith Collins has learned from the Muller report and will stand by her convictions, not by what they think people want to hear.
Kent Millar, Blockhouse Bay.
A deep well that new National leader and Auckland MP Judith Collins should tap into as a vote-winning policy, is breaking the deadlock preventing more water from the Waikato River flowing to Auckland instead of the sea.
Surely, as Auckland is being held to ransom for water using RMA law by Waikato authorities with their hands out for money to pay for the "cultural health" of the river, Collins' legal background could be her best asset going into the election.
By September 19, water restrictions, with no relief in sight and worse to look forward to, will be at the front of everyone's mind in Auckland.
If we're left high and dry and dirty, whoever offers water will win.
Coralie van Camp, Remuera.
Judith Collins and Gerry Brownlee are certainly a blast from the past. The test will be whether they can fit into the new age of politics.
Voters over the years have become disenchanted with continual destructive criticism without being offered reasonable alternatives.
Collins versus Ardern will certainly be an interesting contest, with Collins' abrasive style versus Ardern's intelligence and ability to think on her feet.
The current Government is based on humanitarian principles, while the Opposition has always had an outlook that social equality should be avoided at all costs. This is about whether National is prepared to change its ideology sufficiently and whether it can offer constructive alternatives to the current situation.
Reg Dempster, Albany.
So National has chosen its new leader and immediately established in the words of Judith Collins its intention to "collectively crush the other lot" and "have the most fun as we take back the country".
Sadly their belligerent language not only reveals their desperation but also their mis-reading of a country that is in recovery, not battle mode.
John Wilkinson, Stonefields.
Judith Collins was absolutely the right choice to lead the National Party on every level.
She is tough, resilient, seriously experienced and most of all has had a real job prior to politics.
She has risen like a phoenix from the ashes after Key unjustifiably demoted her.
Her tenacity is unprecedented and now we have a contest and a showdown.
Dave Miller, Rotorua.
For the past few weeks I've been choking on my oats as I have read Steve Braunias' hilarious satire.
Now it seems that he is not only a great satirist but also an Oracle of Delphi, given the latest changes in the National Party.
Whatever next? I'm keeping my oats warm in anticipation.
Jeremy Dunningham, Napier.
Without a trace
The message on the front page (NZ Herald, July 14) was loud and clear - we should download the Covid-19 tracer app and scan the QR codes to track our movements.
Well, I dutifully downloaded the app when it became available, only to find that there were hardly any QR codes to scan. Anywhere.
Today, I popped into a PostShop to send off a parcel and asked the person behind the counter where the QR code was. They didn't have it.
Another customer standing behind me told me kindly that we didn't need it. This was reinforced by the woman behind the counter - an employee of a government agency.
The somewhat smug complacency is incomprehensible in the face of a virus that continues to rage all around us; our intermittently porous borders, the high infectivity of SarsCov2, asymptomatic transmission, and the devastation to human life.
What does the NZ public need to be educated about Covid-19 - a wave of infections taking us by stealth?
Mee Ling Yeong, Remuera.
Time to skite
Packed skifields across New Zealand over the holiday period pay tribute to the all-conquering Covid-19 team led by Jacinda Ardern and should send a message to world leaders.
Barring any further incidents I can think of very few events in our history that are more deserving of a ticker-tape parade in our major cities.
Gary Hollis, Mellons Bay.
Your correspondent Brooke Hibberdine (NZ Herald, July 14) has penned the most sensible letter yet on the movement of Auckland's port.
Auckland is a nightmare and an eyesore and the Manukau would be a deathbed after just one decent blow.
Anyone who has stood on the Manukau's southern headland in a 30-knot southwester would testify to that. Let's move North.
Dennis Ross, Glendowie.
To the "501" deportees in Auckland: haere mai, welcome to Aotearoa.
Having crossed the Tasman you now have a golden opportunity to start a new life and to put to rest the fears of you held by some sad segments of our society.
You have had a very tough time but that was in another country much different from this.
After being unfairly detained long after you have served your adjudged sentences and held in isolation here for a while longer, only a very confused person would want to do something that would land you back in prison on this side of the Ditch.
In quarantine you have time to address confusion, time to think and to count up the skills you have - you will all have some - and consider what you have to give rather than take in your new life.
When you can have the courage to resist falling back into the kinds of associations which got you into trouble in the first place and when - as I hope - you are offered full support including work and/or training to allow you to show those skills you can stand tall with us here.
If you can put up with an older man presuming to give advice, please know that I only wish that you be well and happy in the new world that awaits you.
Kia kaha and all the best.
Peter Beyer, Sandringham.
Short & sweet
Brooke Hibberdine's letter (NZ Herald, July 14) makes History 101 reading for any consultant, and Marie Kaire's challenge for Mr Goff to "cross the bar on an ordinary day", the last word. Mary Tallon, Morningside
It beggars belief that the council would spend millions on a report that would even consider the Manukau when advice from a professional user was probably only a phone call away. Derek Paterson, Sunnyhills.
Are we the only country in the world where the top two political parties by percentage votes both have a woman leader? Murray Hunter, Titirangi.\
With many in the business community praising the Labour Government for their economic management to date, and our international credit rating upgrade in 2019 confirmed in May this year, National has a daunting task ahead to convince the country it is better fit to govern. Andrew DuFresne, Port Waikato.
Well bugger me, National might just win with Crusher at the helm. John Ford, Taradale.
Every new house built on its own section should have a water tank. It seems the Auckland Council is not pushing this. Is it because it loves charging us for water? S P McMonagle, Greenhithe.
Watercare should perhaps be given credit for performing at least one important business function consistently well: each month their bill arrives on time, every time. Duncan Simpson, Albany.
The Covid tracer proponents need to understand that many of us, particularly the elderly (I'm 94) are not digitally connected to the app-mad world, nor do we have any inclination to go there. Jack Waters, Taupo.