Minor roles in next coalition
It is becoming more likely that neither centrist party, Labour or National, will be able to govern alone. This puts a lot of power in the hands of the minor
"extremist" parties through their requests or demands for supporting their chosen centrist party.
A Labour-Green coalition would be more left-leaning, Act-National would be more right-leaning, but what do left and right-wing mean politically?
Both are based on rights of the individual compared with rights of the community. Extreme right is anarchy - might is right, Government does not exist. Extreme left is communism – God does not exist, nor does personal freedom. All rights are held by the governing party. Neither of these will exist here, so any talk of extreme left or extreme right eventualities after the election is nonsense.
In New Zealand, political leanings are based upon interpretation of the Bible. Right-wing concentrate on the Old Testament and God's gift of free will and dominion over Earth and all things upon it. Left-wing concentrate on the New Testament and God's gift by sacrificing his son in the hope that mankind will similarly practise individual self-sacrifice in the long-term interests of mankind.
What will be of most help to uncommitted voters therefore is a debate between the leaders of the two "minor" parties. The requests or demands for supporting their chosen centrist party will show how far that party moves to the left or right
Jack Linklater, Hamilton.
Watercare now processes your leak report as if you are a patient in the snail-pace medical system: you need to provide evidence to gain prioritisation on their repair waiting list.
After more than three days of messaging our leak description in detail to Watercare, we received, at 9.40pm at night: "Hi, we need details re fault at your street, could you please send photos/video to email@example.com."
How can they have become so self-important? The following morning I phoned to verbalise the torrent of water down the footpath from the meter. I asked why the response was so slow in spite of water restrictions, unemployed available, and was told, "There's no need to be rude".
How do we bring down this megalomaniac empire? The $750,000 CEO is reported to have resigned, but we still see his face on TV. Mayor Phil Goff is impotent.
After waiting several days, it took two guys exactly 10 minutes to replace a washer.
It reminds me of the four-month medical wait-time to be seen by a specialist for a few minutes. What has gone wrong in this country?
Jim Carlyle, Te Atatū Peninsula.
Watercare has a social contract to provide citizens with their daily needs for water usage. Their gross incompetence and failures of planning have led to the current water restrictions. They have attempted to shift their responsibilities of normal supply levels to "us".
My reaction? Well, I will continue to hand-water my vulnerable modest plantings when they require it until the "real" (not forecast) drought shows up.
I am confident I am not alone in taking this step.
Larry Mitchell, Rothesay Bay.
Hugh Hughes' letter (NZ Herald, September 30), regarding a more collective co-operation, has a very true core to it. We all have the potential to combat division between us. On a political level, we have created division, where in essence it is not.
Innately, we all want the best for everyone else, including family and friends.
As Hughes pointed out, the real culprits - greed and selfishness - have come to flourish mainly due to the industrially revolutionised world and an unexplainable desire for more and newer consumables and luxury services.
Personally, I believe that many ordinary workers have contributed more to the well-being of societies and our planet than many politicians ever will.
If there would be one "political and logistical entity", doubling as a social referee to judge what is truly right and what is wrong, what would we have to lose?
When will we wake up to the fact that politics is just another word for collecting a pay and perks package? To top it all off, current political parties often have preferential agendas to feed their egos, and pet projects, meanwhile ridiculing opposing parties for discrepancies they themselves were previously unable to fix over multiple terms in government.
René Blezer, Taupō.
'Meet his maker'
Judith Collins apparently has issues with the views expressed by Nicky Hager, whom many regard as one of the most scrupulously careful journalists around.
I would never seek to deny Collins' right to disagree with Hager, or me, or anyone else, but it is another thing altogether when a person who leads Her Majesty's Opposition and seeks to lead Her Majesty's Government in New Zealand openly questions the right of Hager to go on living. If that is how Collins deals with dissent, everyone had better be very wary of letting her get her hands on the controls.
Bruce Rogan, Mangawhai.
It seems, so far, that New Zealanders are quicker to flick a switch on a dying person than let an adult legally smoke a joint. I find that almost bizarre.
Latest statistics on the fastest-growing group of cannabis users in the United States are the over-65s. A 10-year research project (John Hopkins/Cambridge Universities) has recently revealed that low levels of THC in teenage mice (roughly equivalent to an 80-year-old human) helps to stimulate the brain to rediscover mental pathways. This research for those who suffer from Alzheimer's disease could be life-empowering.
Currently, in New Zealand, over-65s are showing a significant pull away from cannabis law reform. "Older" life is not just about Keith Quinn, Life Insurance and bucket lists.
Before we starting letting our older people sign their lives off, maybe we could all smoke a big, peaceful, life-affirming joint and take care of one another.
Clarice Stewart, Palmerston North.
My eyes are spinning like a cartoon character who has just been hit on the head by a falling safe. I have been trying to digest the latest promises by competing parties in the election, who quote billions of dollars in the same way that until this year they used to promise millions.
These are not just Labour and National promises of course; but we learn to dismiss others since they find it easy to promise what they know they will never be held accountable to deliver.
Why do we not intimidate parties with a promise of our own: that they will formally be held accountable after each year in office with an annual report card compiled by statisticians who have tracked every promise we have been asked to vote for them on? Not just occasional passing references by commentators from time to time, but an official, comprehensive reckoning, a formal election-promise audit.
Would that force parties to promise only what they know they can deliver? Possibly not in the first year but it sure would in subsequent ones, when they know they must face a publicised audit that we voters all look forward to.
Trouble is, the time for the excuses might be longer than the presentation of the achievements.
Dave Norris, Mangawhai Head.
The increase in NZ's population over the last decade has resulted in a dramatic reduction in quality of life for the vast majority.
Coupled with allowing overseas investors to buy houses and land it has meant that house prices have increased beyond the reach of the average NZ wage-earner.
The additional population has stretched the existing infrastructure, roads are inadequate and health services stretched to the limit
This has not been helped by the National Government running down services, selling citizenship to rich immigrants, selling large tracts of land and selling off SOEs.
Despite these measures, the Government debt increased to $57 billion from $26 billion.
The virtual open-door policy for immigrants has meant we are still seeking skilled immigrants, as the vast majority do not have the skills we require. A reduced flow of immigrants would immediately allow supply to start meeting demand with housing and also allow infrastructure to catch up with our needs.
Your editorial (NZ Herald, September 28) advocating increasing our population mentioned this would offer a deeper economy, provide an economic engine, boost our tech expertise. Has this been the case over the last 10 years? Yeah right.
Heath Smart, Tauranga.
Short & sweet
The value of your letter page was, l feel, coherently underlined by the heartfelt and refreshing response from so many readers (NZ Herald, September 29) reacting to Ali Shakir's views, in your equally important opinion column. John Norris, Whangamatā.
Carol Wiltshire (NZ Herald, Sept. 30) is right. Capital Gains tax is too difficult to implement. Stamp duty or a transaction tax is fair and easy as she says. But not just property; shares and investments should be included as well. Jennifer Pitches, Howick.
Our government should lower or remove GST on healthy natural unprocessed foods, especially raw meats and vegetables. This will result in improving our health and lowering living costs to our team of 5 million. Bob Lenihan, Ōrewa.
I managed to watch this "debate", which was a total shambles, completely out of control and very unprofessionally moderated, for just over half an hour and switched over to Hogan's Heroes. Tony Berg, Taupō.
Judith Collins had the cheek to tell Jacinda Ardern to mind her manners yet she continued to yell over the top of Ardern's comments. Trish Heikoop, Pakuranga.
"Blessed are the meek," Jesus said but the Christian Judith Collins interrupted and said, "I'll tell you what..." Reg Dempster, Albany.
I wonder if Judith Collins is aware that when you point one finger there are three fingers pointing back to you? Ann Kidd, Tasman.
The fashion industry is responsible for 10 per cent of global carbon emissions, more than international flights and maritime shipping combined, and is expected to surge more than 50 per cent by 2030. Gary Hollis, Mellons Bay.