Hats off to our fashion doyens
Your photo of Debbie Ngarewa-Packer and Rawiri Waititi wearing hats to Parliament confirms my suspicions - we have entered the Age of Silly Hats. The fashion leader was, of course, Shane Jones, followed recently by Kelvin Davis.
I look forward to further innovations - perhaps a sombrero by the Greens as a nod to global warming?
I agree with your correspondent Kate Gore ( NZ Herald, February 11), the wearing of hats indoors is universally accepted as bad manners. Like the wearing of sunglasses in the absence of rain, wind and sun, it makes no sense.
John Billing, New Plymouth.
I see Mike Hosking is back on his anti-Labour path again. We only did so well in the Covid-19 battle through luck and circumstance, apparently.
Now quarantine is a shambles (NZ Herald, February 11) and we should compare ourselves to Australia which has seven times the death rate per million and 14 times the total of number of cases, when the population is only five times bigger.
This is not a "competition" against other countries, but trying to do the best for people. Hosking should, like many other grizzlers, get some perspective and look at what we have done well.
Quarantine is complex and there are bound to be some problems, but I don't think Australia and Scott Morrison should be our marker points.
Garry Bond, Hastings.
As just announced, New Zealand will be ending part of its renewable geothermal power generation because of minute greenhouse gases within the steam emitted.
There are, however, 474 new coal-fired power stations presently being built around the world - the majority by China, where the UN sends part of New Zealand's annual $1.2 billion Paris climate accord monies.
How can all this possibly make any sense, especially for a now-fragile New Zealand economy because of Covid-19?
Hylton Le Grice, Remuera.
All the talk and theories about how to solve our housing crisis and no one has answered the question about who will build all the new houses?
Try getting a tradesman at present.
The logical answer is that building costs will go up because of a lack of builders.
Jock Mac Vicar, Hauraki.
Truth to power
New Zealand could speak up louder about the composition and powers of the International Criminal Court (ICC) which has signed only 139 countries to the Rome Statute, of which just 118 ratifying its role prosecuting war criminals.
The ICC commits signatories to its jurisdiction but is missing many of the big powers such as the US, China, India and Russia who refuse international scrutiny of so many human rights' crimes.
Yet Australia, NZ, Afghanistan, Botswana, France, Georgia, Liberia, Nauru, Slovenia and Zambia are some of the participants.
So many brutal leaders and dictators hide behind their handpicked and well- paid Supreme Courts and Electoral Commissions who chose cronyism over fair justice.
Besides reentering the Paris Accord, NZ should request the US to restore its global position and join the ICC as a signatory.
Rob Buchanan, Kerikeri.
The property market lifted New Zealand out of the recession. Government thanks first home buyers and investors with a wrecking ball.
LTV percentages of 20 per cent deposits for first home buyers, and 40 per cent from May 1 for investors, will have a double whammy on the two categories.
First home buyers will not be able to save the required amount and will not get on to the property ladder. Even if they have good repayment ability. Meanwhile they must face raising rentals.
Investors supply the rental properties, with sharply rising prices due to huge shortfall rental properties.
The real problem is the supply of both properties for sale and rental. Guess who will pay the price for this. The LTV decision is the same as deflating your car tyres when it is out of petrol.
Cooling the red hot property market? No way. Demand is wrecked whilst supply is going nowhere soon. The economy may feel this.
All of this was brought about by economists, journalists and the "experts" raising their voices and applying pressure on Government to interfere. Very few understand free market mechanisms.
Riaan Terblanche, Hobsonville Pt.
All the best to Tony Astle (NZ Herald, February 10).
Notably banned from Antoine's were Kim Dotcom, for demanding to dine reclined on a chaise lounge, and an egocentric former prime minister, Helen Clark.
Peter Dodd, Chatswood.
To recognise the diversity and unity of the population of modern-day New Zealand and our relationship to the rest of the world, is the following worthy of consideration, in the hope that it will reinforce the fact that we are all in the same waka, in our corner of the Pacific Ocean, at the end of the world?
Would it not be possible to move the recognition and establishment of the eight-hour working day in New Zealand from the existing Labour Day (fourth Monday in October), to the first Monday in May (International Workers Day)?
This would then allow the Day after New Year's Day (January 2) public holiday, which does not appear to have any cultural, religious or political significance, to be moved to the old Labour Day, where it could be renamed as New Zealand, Aotearoa or Independence Day.
This would also commemorate the fact that The United Tribes of New Zealand signed the Declaration of Independence on October 28, 1835, which in turn led to the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi (The Treaty of Waitangi).
F Fordham, Glenfield.
The Government has decided to make Matariki a national holiday, starting in 2022, and I applaud this decision. It is important that we as a whole nation can come together to celebrate, and to appreciate, the significance of this important event on the Māori calendar.
There is a great opportunity now to reassess Waitangi Day, which appears to have evolved into, Māori Day. A day where Māori decide who may, and who may not speak at the Waitangi celebrations. A day where Māori culture and protocol dominate the whole proceedings, and where Māori grievances are aired and highlighted - this is not, and never was, what Waitangi day was meant to be.
Australia has Australia Day, and we should have New Zealand Day. A day where all New Zealanders can come together, as equals, to celebrate our origins, and the birth of our nation; and also to recognise the many wonderful accomplishments of this great country. Achievements that have made the name - New Zealand - respected and admired throughout the world.
A day where we can all, as New Zealanders, meaningfully pursue our desire - to be "One People".
Philip Lenton, Somerville.
As a disillusioned one-time Muldoon supporter, I grudgingly conceded that the quip quoted by George Bowen (NZ Herald, February 11), about the Australia-bound Kiwis lifting the IQs of both countries, was top drawer.
Over the holidays, I read Tom Scott's very good and very funny autobiography, Drawn Out.
I discovered that "Muldy" borrowed - perhaps, I should say, pinched - the quip from Tom. This was at least ironic, as Muldoon so disliked political journalist Scott, that he barred him from his press conferences.
David Lyon, Remuera.
Your correspondent Barry Hunter (NZ Herald, February 10) may have missed the failed New Zealand solar rollout incentive.
A number of years ago, the government offered a $3000 rebate to people who installed solar in their homes. It was an abject failure.
The cost was still prohibitive, due to our climate outside of summer, the efficiency was never realised and insufficient power was generated to return to our grid. The support network doesn't exist and what support there is, is incredibly expensive.
The writer may have been thinking of that fireball we call Australia that has vast tracts of land to install the kind of solar farms required for power generation as well as a sun that never sets.
Kent Millar, Blockhouse Bay.
Short & sweet
Many sports events would not survive without sponsorship from the alcohol sector. How about letting us adults decide what we eat or drink? V. Hall, Whangaparāoa.
A man wearing a tie always looks smart and shows he has respect for the situation. A man wearing a hat inside a building, be it a home or Parliament, is discourteous. Linley Jones, Half Moon Bay.
It appears... the ties have it. Nigel Bufton, Pāuanui Beach.
If it is wrong for Air NZ engineers to repair and service Saudi Arabia's turbine engines because they are being used on military ships, then surely we must ensure money we pay for oil is earmarked to not be used to pay for military equipment? Jim Radich, Red Beach.
Green MP Elizabeth Kerekere asks; "Why do we get up in the morning if not to change the world?" Personally, I'm happy just to get up in the morning. Larry Mitchell, Rothesay Bay.
Correspondent George Bowen suggests improving the new history curriculum by studying Jacinda Ardern. I have already fallen asleep in class. Stewart Hawkins, St Heliers.
Australia has a major climatic advantage and vastly superior health infrastructure. Its only current disadvantage is the Victorian Premier, who is an idiot. Andrew Montgomery, Remuera.