The examples that Jarrod Gilbert highlights (NZ Herald, June 27) are crimes against innocent people, made even more heinous because those perpetrating them are in positions of power, upholding a system that should exemplify honourable characteristics of integrity, trust, justice and truth.
Sadly, those with power officially accorded to them by institutionalised hierarchical structures are some of the worst perpetrators of indescribable acts of cruelty and abuse, as we have seen with inquiries into abuse in state care, Dilworth School and the Catholic Church, to name a few.
Structures are made up of people who benefit from being in the upper echelons of power and control, and who seem inevitably to abuse it.
To change this inequitable, often iniquitous, situation we need to change these structures that accommodate and often turn a blind eye to these people.
As the visionary engineer, architect and futurist Buckminster Fuller said: "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."
Linda Blincko, Devonport.
Free for all
America calls itself the land of the free, a beacon for democracy. Even so far as to encourage regime change in countries far away that pose no threat in any foreseeable future. Meanwhile back in the homeland, citizens kill each other to the number of some 30,000-plus annually and more than 100,000 injured. There are countless homeless, living below the poverty line, suffering daily racism, unable to afford basic healthcare, dental treatment an unobtainable financial luxury, deep divisions along political party lines, labour laws heavily weighted in favour of employers, gun laws that defy any reasonable debate, presidents that quickly become laughing stocks, and now a law threatening to disenfranchise millions of women. And this country has the effrontery to tell others how to behave. American democracy needs a reset. Women could now lead the way on a reset by saying no to the top table of judges who have taken it upon themselves to play God. Then take a look at its foreign policy. And don't forget the greatest military machine in the world, bigger than several large countries lumped together. Redirect some of that military spending into health care.
James Gregory, Parnell.
Seeing the Taliban return to power in Afghanistan was depressing enough.
Now, the Supreme Court of the United States ...
Step by step, little by little, the US, and the Free World are being dragged back to the Dark Ages.
John Watkins, Remuera.
Women are born to bear both the disadvantage and privilege (along with the pain) of reproduction. As a woman who has fortunately never had to face having to decide on the most difficult and grievous decision, I feel strangely and horribly violated by the overturning of the Roe v Wade Ruling by the US Supreme Court.
I am aware that the US Constitutional Law has no effect here. But how is this denial of the most basic fundamental rights for women any different from what has been the case faced by women in China and Tibet who have had abortions forced on them? Both kinds of dictatorial legislation deny their right to decide when and how they express their sexuality and reproductive capabilities.
Right now, the prevailing attitude forced on many is an anti-abortion one. With the overturning of the Roe v Wade ruling, there is now no overriding legislation that protects pregnant women from an opposite prevailing attitude that could become the norm in the future. Think China.
No, Simon O'Connor, it was not a good day.
Rosemary Simmons, Papatoetoe.
It's official. Although Members of Parliament are still permitted a conscience vote, they can expect to be harassed and denigrated for exercising it by supporters of and members of the opposing political party.
Public exposure of a member's conscience vote is to be deplored, but the pretence of not having voted according to conscience as demonstrated by Nanaia Mahuta is just fine. Grant Robertson's attack on Christopher Luxon was beneath contempt.
June Kearney, West Harbour.
I feel such despair that a few Auckland councillors are able to vote and potentially destroy what other cities worldwide would never do.
Our special character areas should be protected, allowing intensified housing to take over these areas will not provide affordable homes for people.
Can these people voted in not see the damage they are endlessly doing with their thoughtless voting?
It's time we had more people who truly cared about Auckland City, and made it once again the City of Sails.
As I see it now we are fast becoming a City of Slum.
Linda Beck, West Harbour.
Driving around nowadays, all the new "housing" seems to cover all the sections and is depressingly dark coloured.
What happened to the permeable percentages? I know that holding water tanks have to be installed but these will discharge into the stormwater system and not maintain the water table.
The Gold Coast has high-rise buildings but they are attractive and all seem to be surrounded by some form of green space which we all need for our mental health.
What happens to the sunlight, privacy and well-being of the unfortunate neighbours who in good faith invested their savings in a carefully chosen home when something is built so close to the boundary, you can almost lean out of your window and shake hands with the person next door!?
E. Barclay, Takapuna.
Bernard Orsman's excellent feature (NZ Herald, June 10 ) on the over-engineered and under-utilised cycleways in Grey Lynn, and his splendid article (NZ Herald, June 23) on the dangerous and unwanted cycleway on Upper Harbour Drive in Greenhithe have prompted a number of letters.
On the North Shore, the Northcote Rd bridge over State Highway 1 carries two lanes of traffic each way with a 1.8m wide sidewalk on either side for pedestrians and cyclists.
Auckland Transport recently finished building two additional 3.5m wide (and over 100m long) cycle/pedestrian bridges adjacent to the existing bridge at a cost of $11 million.
The automatic cycle counts from 26 sites throughout Auckland to the year ended May 2022 are down -13.6 per cent. There don't appear to be any counts for cycles across this new $11 million cycle bridge either before or after the construction.
Chris Parker, Campbells Bay.
With regard to Simon Wilson's article (NZ Herald, June 28) regarding the Upper Harbour Drive cycleway, he has missed a point which is obvious to any regular user of that road.
The cycleway never appears to have any cyclists in it, much like every other cycleway in suburban Auckland.
Where are the cyclists, Simon? One can't help but think it is a gross waste of public money.
Geoff Aldwinckle, West Harbour.
Most All Black captains down the years have been the best in their position. Think McCaw, Read in recent times.
Sam Cane, unfortunately, is not one of them. Nice bloke but he is being challenged, and will increasingly be so, by Dalton Pappalii.
Ian Foster was premature in appointing his skipper and now has to find a way to fix his problem.
On another tack, NZ Rugby should immediately move Foster to a manager/coach position and bring Scott Robertson in to take over as head coach.
To delay will scupper our chances at the 2023 World Cup.
Dennis Ross, Glendowie.
Clarity of language, every spoken word heard. "Scenes from A Yellow Peril", currently performing in Auckland, gets an amazing message across in this way.
This is theatre at its best, and hopefully reminds us to speak clearly in our everyday life.
Then, by listening and understanding, so many positive things can happen.
Rosemary Cobb, Takapuna.
Short & sweet
Now we're being told that we're eating the food in our meals in the wrong order. Come on, can't we do anything right? Renton Brown, Pukekohe.
Ronald Reagan once said: "I have noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born." Karl van de Water, Maungaturoto.
The influenza vaccine should always be free, to whoever might want one; a precedent has been well, and truly set. John Ford, Taradale.
For all those All Black rugby followers who wanted a replacement coach - someone was listening. Gary Carter, Gulf Harbour.
What would Ardern say to Putin (NZH, June 27)? "We need to talk but first there needs to be a ceasefire", would be a good start. Kaylene McPike, Massey.
Like Nascar drivers, politicians should wear the logos of their sponsors, so the public knows who is donating. C C McDowall, Rotorua.
The Premium Debate
Nine Labour Party members voted against the 2020 bill making abortion legal in NZ, no commentators making any noise about that, are they? Kim C.
Allow a man an opinion. We are a country of people who are afraid to speak. Nicola P.
Allowing the man to tell us that women shouldn't control their own bodies just lost him a whole lot of female votes. He's allowed his opinion. We are still allowed to vote. Fleur N.
I am a woman and I support Simon O'Connor's right to have his point of view. I hold the same view. Why hold abortion up as a "god'"? Why let men off the hook? Why aren't men taking more responsibility? Let them get a contraceptive that works? Let them get a medical intervention? Why is the onus always on the woman to "fix" things? Sara M.
I see nothing wrong with Christopher Luxon's actions and I believe he has cut off any possibility of misunderstanding his, and National's, position. Such was his clarity that I do not see any hornet's nest evolving unless it is generated by Labour/Greens supporters. I wonder why you didn't highlight some of the stances on the issue taken by members of the current Government. Storm R.
The Supreme Court Justices all said they would not overturn Roe v Wade before being appointed. I don't trust Luxon for one second. On the issue of Roe v Wade, it shows how 50 per cent of the population doesn't matter in this world. We should refuse to have children for a few years, see how men like that. Vicki C.