Letter of the Week: John Collinge, St Mary's Bay
Congratulations on your editorial (Weekend Herald, July 6) about the perceptions among fair-minded observers concerning a judge on holiday with counsel while both were involved in the same case.
The perception by the public of confidence in the impartiality of the judicial arm of government (that justice must also be seen to be done) is fundamental to our constitution. Without it, an essential part of the basis upon which New Zealand is founded and operates is undermined.
This principle seems, in importance, to far outweigh the opposing view that there was no miscarriage of justice or that, because NZ is small, there needs to be flexibility and hence allowances made.
The pedestrian access and shelter at Auckland Airport's Domestic Terminal is non-existent (Weekend Herald, July 6).
I recently dropped my ailing sister there. She was determined to fly home.
Although mobile she could barely cross the two roads and four gutters from the legal passenger drop-off point.
She died three days later.
Our domestic airport would be an embarrassment in a Third World City.
Jan O'Connor, Hauraki.
Assistance to die
Columnist Leighton Smith writes his own views chime with those of Lord Sumption, who advocates continuing to criminalise assistance to commit suicide, including assistance to die to escape unbearable suffering (Weekend Herald, July 6).
Then, says the Lord, the courts should look past those individuals who break that law by helping a terminally ill person to die for altruistic reasons. So: grieving relatives dragged through the courts for the judge to proclaim them innocent under the circumstances, court time and costs incurred, botched attempts leaving the suffering person worse off than before. It would be farcical if not so tragic.
Alternatively, we could do the sane and sensible thing and create an exception for a person who assists another to die provided certain circumstances are met and provided it is openly reported. That's precisely what David Seymour's End of Life Choice bill aims to do. When it is amended and passed, it will be a welcome alternative to the asinine proposal of turning a blind eye to a law that must, of necessity, be flouted in the name of compassion.
Laws don't need the unanimous agreement of the public and, in fact, few have it.
Ann David, Waikanae.
Difference of sexes
I normally look forward to Simon Wilson's articles and enjoy reading them.
On Saturday (Weekend Herald, July 6) he had a double-page spread on the differences between the sexes. His point was that there is no reason to believe that there should be any difference between the upbringing, actions, and achievements of boys and girls, and women and men. This is nonsense in my opinion. He did not mention once in this article that the essential difference, even in this day and age, is a significant number of women aspire to having babies, which men cannot do. Those women who do have babies, and who subsequently rear them, have to look out for their environment for some years. Thus women have to recognise constraints and rules. One point he made, which I enjoyed and can relate to, is that "boys are barely conscious there are rules at all".
Roger Brown, Epsom.
THC v TLC
I have Motor Neuron Disease and I am a paraplegic. I have become well versed in medications. Thankfully I have not had the deep pain that others suffer. Sadly I know people who cannot tolerate opiates. This has left them with little choice but to commit suicide to end the constant pain. This has caused great distress for their families and friends. I also have friends who are using/have used illegal cannabis in edible or cream form to dull their pain to allow them to function with some small joy and dignity to the end of their lives.
There is a debate about THC and cannabinoids. Sativax, the prescription THC-free cannabinoid available in New Zealand is simply too expensive and the process to obtain it too convoluted for most people. It costs around $1200 a month here and the same size bottle in Oregon, US, is US$100. I bought some THC-free cannabinoid and, while effective for some people, without the THC component it was of no value to me nor to a friend of mine who was suffering from cancer.
If people are dying, why worry about them having a little cannabis with THC? It can be a much more pleasant alternative to opiates. Dying people should have some choice and the state should not interfere.
Gerry Hill, Ponsonby.
I'd like to thank two wonderful Aucklanders; a restaurant manager and a cyclist who were so very kind to me when the motor of the car I was driving "blew up" after it had overheated in a traffic jam on June 25.
I became aware of the problem while I was crossing the Harbour Bridge. As a visitor from Dunedin, I didn't know what to do. I couldn't stop to let it cool and put water in the radiator.
I got off the motorway at the first opportunity only to find myself in another crawling jam, and still nowhere I could pull off the road. It was now dark and I was lost.
I made it to the lights at the corner of Great South and Market roads and saw a parking space directly across, just as the radiator blew with a loud bang.
A passing cyclist immediately stopped to help me, along with the manager of the Sri Mahkota Restaurant. They helped me push the car around the corner and off the road.
The manager treated to me to a delicious meal while I waited for the tow truck.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Sarah Jones, Dunedin.
A Brief Word
I've heard a lot of justification for the sale of the dairy co-operative to Chinese buyers, but not much in the way of arguments for better prospects for farmers. Nor have I heard any debate about taking future profits off-shore. Ellie Carruthers, Eden Terrace.
US President Theodore Roosevelt's foreign policy was "speak softly and carry a big stick". Alarmingly, the big stick is now in the wrong hands. Peter Culpan, Te Atatu Peninsula.
NZers have long been known for their tolerance and good nature. All this encouragement to dob everybody in is encouraging us to be a moaning, complaining, self-serving bunch of tittle-tattles. Linda Lang, Henderson.
The only reason Donald Trump is going mental over what the British ambassador to the US, Sir Kim Darroch, said is because it's the truth and he finds that totally unpalatable. Rajend Naidu, Glenfield.
Advance congratulations to all New Zealand with the Cricket World Cup 2019. New Zealand played so well against India. Cricket world champions for the next four years. M Imran Arif Gill, Lahore, Pakistan
Will we see a lot of apologies from the so-called experts and reporters who wrote the NZ cricket team off ? Jock MacVicar, Hauraki.
Congratulations to Martin Guptill. Not only has he performed a miracle in the field, his recent international single at the crease equates that of the illustrious Indian opening batsmen, some of the world's best. David Jorgensen, Auckland Central.
Watching the cricket suggests there is an excellent marketing opportunity for Mr Gillette.
Peter Clapshaw, Remuera.
People always complain police do not respond quickly when needed. They might take longer once their vehicles go all electric, as their batteries are being charged.
Mohammed Yakub, Māngere East.
Reading about the animal Hamuera Tierney who attacked the tourists confirms what I tell overseas friends - be very very careful if you come here. We are a nation of mongrels. B Robson, Kohimarama.
Some teachers were properly dismissed for sexual misdemeanours. Good. How many were dismissed because they were incompetent?
Nick Hamilton, Auckland.
"Thrown", "flown" and "known" are now two syllable words in New Zealand. Heaven knows why. Brian Clark, New Plymouth.