Fairness and sanity
Your correspondents again tell us that the loss of tax deductibility for interest paid on property investment will lead to landlords raising rents.
This spurious bit of nonsense is trotted out over and over by those with a political axe to grind or financial interest to pursue. It is simply not true. It assumes that landlords are not getting all that the current market can and will pay - a highly doubtful proposition.
Then we come to the fairness of the taxation change. Borrow to invest in company shares, bonds, gold, Bitcoin or absolutely anything other than domestic property and you have never been entitled to tax deductibility on interest payments.
But it's worse than that because if you borrow to buy a house for yourself and your family you too get no such tax deductibility. The taxation exemption granted to property investors has played a large part in screwing the scrum in their favour.
The Government has demonstrated some gumption and made overdue changes to help restore sanity and fairness to the housing market. I say, well done - now, what next?
Geoff Prickett, Waikanae.
Scrap the CCOs
The need for an external review of the Health and Safety issues relating to the Port of Auckland is disturbing. It appears there are systemic difficulties in governance and management.
The Auckland Council CCO structures were put in place by Mark Ford's team in 2010 and there are several instances of deficiency, e.g. the Watercare board blaming the CEO for the water shortage.
The port board includes individuals with impressive resumes, which should have allowed objective decisions on shortcomings. This is within the scope of their appointment.
It is time to review the board structures at the CCOs. I believe the Government should take a hard look at the Supervisory Board structure that is in place in German organisations, where senior managers can be appointed to a board who effectively run the organisation and report to the ultimate owners. In the Auckland situation, this would be Auckland Council, thus eliminating the present boards, which have proved to be largely ineffective and a costly bureaucracy.
After 10 years there is not enough evidence to justify the continuation of this failed governance experiment.
Peter Burn, Gulf Harbour.
Fonterra says it may not be able to switch away from coal use as early as the Climate Change Commission's timeline proposes "due to current and forecast gas scarcity" (NZ Herald, April 1). This suggests it is thinking of switching to gas on a large scale to replace the massive quantities of coal burned to dry milk to powder.
Fonterra needs to understand: gas is still a fossil fuel, harming our environment. Moreover, its use is almost as damaging to the world's climate as coal, because significant quantities of methane usually leak into the atmosphere during gas drilling. Methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2, despite persisting in the atmosphere for "only" a decade or so, rather than for centuries or millennia, like CO2.
If Fonterra, or any of the many NZ manufacturers using coal-fired boilers for process heat, really want to clean up their act, they should look to electricity, rather than gas. They should be telling their electricity provider/s that they will need large supplies of renewably generated electric power very soon.
Jill Whitmore, Panmure.
I wish to add my criticism of the Onehunga low traffic project. It creates a half-hour delay in traffic congestion on Church St. This will not make people less car-dependent as there is no viable public transport alternative for time-efficient, east-west travel.
It's hard to see how sitting in traffic an extra half hour will lower carbon emissions. The object should be to get people to their destination as quickly as possible.
If there are safety issues in some streets then surely putting up speed cameras would be a solution. There are no streets safe from reckless drivers. This project simply punishes good drivers who need cars to get to and from work in the shortest possible time.
Heavy traffic in suburban streets usually occurs during peak hours when residents are also travelling home from work. Making transport across the city more difficult does not reinforce the "liveable city" mantra.
Peter Cowley, Mt Roskill.
For a ride
The delay of an ambulance service for a 91-year-old who had fallen has cost her life, which is tragic and totally unacceptable. Here we have a significantly underfunded service that does an incredible job but is forced to raise money by way of donation for work that can only be described as essential.
In addition, the people who work there are unquestionably without peer.
Contrast that with the handling of an Australian woman who refused to be Covid-tested. The correct response would have been to place her on the first available flight back to Australia. But no, not here in New Zealand where she was given a fully funded sojourn at the Grand Mercure hotel for 28 days.
Similarly, where people come to visit for exactly 31 days, their MIQ stay is fully paid for.
Shelling out public money for these type of events is not an issue yet we will not fund an operation as essential as our own ambulance service. Something obviously is very wrong here.
Let's hope a politician doesn't require the ambulance service any time soon.
Paul Beck, West Harbour.
Herald correspondent K Graham (NZ Herald, April 5), is just so correct. Our central city is an utter disgrace. Gridlocked due to removal of traffic lanes, hundreds of businesses destroyed because of hardly used cycleways, and always unkempt.
All due to a hopeless council that has no control over the arrogant omnipotent Auckland Transport, where not one elected councillor sits on its board.
Our city has sadly changed forever due to this gross incompetence.
Hylton Le Grice, Remuera.
Correspondent Ken Graham (NZ Herald, April 5) writes in support of the people who have formed the "Save the Queen Street Committee" to challenge the council's treatment of Queen St.
Presumably, they are referring to the reduction of space allocated to motor vehicles.
On several occasions recently I have had to walk up and down Queen St and found the current layout is a huge improvement for pedestrians who previously had to walk through a vehicle fume-filled canyon when it was dominated by motor vehicles.
Of course, retail shopping has changed and the business that used to be carried out by the big department stores that used to be located in the CBD has moved to the suburbs, with only one real department store left in Queen St. That movement into the suburbs is a worldwide trend.
The type of business activities being carried out in the CBD has changed over the years, but it is certainly a much more pleasant and much more healthy environment for pedestrians.
David Mairs, Glendowie.
Enjoy the view
Light rail is available in Auckland.
Board this super quiet system at Britomart; glide to the recently opened new harbour crossing where light rail has northern destinations over the North Shore.
We continue left around to the new Pt Chevalier station where light rail also goes west to join the northern line and circle back via Albany into Auckland; again we continue on across the motorway complex heading for the Waterview tunnels and our airport destination.
Someone had the foresight back in 2021 to get Auckland what it needed.
Peter Barrow, Remuera.
Short & sweet
I trust that Government accepts that elimination of Covid by isolation requires that the vulnerable should be vaccinated before breaking out the champagne. J. M. Elsby, Takapuna.
Imagine if Chelsea, the Navy and Auckland Port all moved out of Auckland - more waterfront areas for Aucklanders and a much cheaper harbour crossing to meet the needs of this growing city. Claire Teirney, Whangaparāoa.
Let my voice be an appeal to the hearts of the community on behalf of these animals destined for export from Cornwall Park (and every other animal being considered for this unethical practice) that are unable to speak. They are completely vulnerable and "at our mercy". Sue Heath, Hamilton.
Congratulations are due to the Cornwall Park Trust Board for reversing the decision to send cows to Mongolia. It listened to the massive public outcry and swiftly made a bold and considered reversal statement. Heather Moodie, Grey Lynn.
I'm amazed we were allowed to celebrate Easter. Didn't it offend someone? R Harries, Kohimarama.
If you are opposed to vaccination, that's your choice but the country doesn't have to pay for that. Madness! Rob Smith, Ōtāhuhu
The Manukau would be the only port in the world that has no water in it for half the time. At least that was what it looked like last time I had a glance over from where I live. Perhaps our mayor and Cabinet do not know this and should be advised. Michael Walker, Blockhouse Bay.