It seems Chloe Swarbrick's tongue-in-cheek swipe at baby boomers has put a few noses out of joint.
As one of these boomers, I'm delighted to see that the millennials aren't all the couch potato, gaming-addicted snowflakes we thought they were and show the same care for the world they are being subjected to just as we did in our day. It matters little about your generation, it's what you do with the time you are gifted to our world. The cause celebre in my day was the Vietnam War, which we managed to stop with the power of our voices and actions. I for one am proud to have played my small part. The cause today is different but equally important to those who inherit the damage caused by decades of neglect by those others whose pursuit of the almighty dollar gives us the precarious global situation we face today with our diminishing resources and increasing climate change. All power to those like Chloe and Greta who have the guts to stand up for what they believe in and will shout it to the world. I say to them "Keep up the great work".
Jeremy Coleman, Hillpark.
Booming times of disdain
Chloe Swarbrick's use of the phrase "okay, boomer" merits disdain.
Not because of the offensiveness of the words themselves, which is trivial; rather because in using them she implies that the issue is with the person rather than offering a coherent argument. And offering coherent arguments is precisely what politicians are paid to do.
Gerard Willemsen, Eden Tce.
Armageddon for homeowners?
Westpac Bank forecast a resurgent housing market coinciding with the Reserve Bank's dubious decision to reduce the OCR to historic lows. Did they learn nothing from the cause and effect of the GFC and the ensuing rout in house prices in the Northern Hemisphere? House price inflation is NZ's Achilles heel and will further compound serious social disparity that pervades our society.
Will the future ensure the inevitable cyclical shift in finance markets, tighter liquidity, rate rises or catalystic global events, the constant threat to asset values? Savour this feel-good moment but will the highly leveraged homeowner confront his Armageddon moment? NZ's debt to income ratios are unprecedented. A debt-ridden housing market is no panacea for a more prosperous economy.
We need better transport
We are told by the Weekend Herald (Saturday, November 9) that Auckland Transport will lead a high level review of the city's rail network. Gee, shucks. That's real vision. I suggest this review could have happened 50 years ago.
It is obvious to almost everyone, except the Government, that Auckland needs a proper integrated heavy rail network that covers north, south, east and west and Auckland Airport too.
We don't need a series of bits added on. It will cost money, but I suspect that Auckland is going to get very large, very soon.
I hope the review will produce some suggestions that show real vision for a change.
Euan Macduff, Titirangi.
Shaw deserves credit
I was surprised to see the Herald publishing a full-page opinion piece that praised Simon Bridges fulsomely for having brought the National Party to the point of a responsible parliamentary acceptance of the necessity of action to reduce the threat of climate change at last. No doubt bringing National Party supporters into line on a Zero Carbon Bill was not easy.
But the credit for this bill belongs to the Labour-Greens alliance in government and particularly to James Shaw who, I believe, was responsible for piloting the bill through Parliament and who insisted that the National Party must be brought into to a position of sufficient understanding that they would not dump the bill at their first opportunity after the next change of government. His astuteness and patience in insisting on giving the bill time enough to ensure that it will last — in the face of considerable impatience for action on climate change from government supporters such as myself — was the essential pre-condition for a great result, for which the Herald apparently thinks that the leader of the National Party deserves all the credit.
I thought that was a strange conclusion, and that this piece was biased and unfair.
Rose Lovell-Smith, Mt Roskill.
Swarbrick, Tame raise my ire
Chloe Swarbrick and Jack Tame have disappointed me in recent days. They are both intelligent people. But prejudicial judgment in all its forms, and a culture of blame prevalent in New Zealand simply denote and multiply ignorance. I do not dismiss youthful ideas and opinions. But nor do I identify with Jack's picture of older generations — money, gas-guzzling vehicles, multiple properties; nor with Chloe's seeming linkage of "conservative in mind" with age. I have known many young people whose outlook is unfailingly rigid. Similarly the person I most admire for his "open, critical and creative ability" is in his 80s.
The factors contributing to climate change have accelerated alarmingly over the past hundred or so years but as scientific insight has increased, many of us have tried to do our part not to add to the problem and continue to do so.
The natural world is complicated; the political world right now is on a shaky foundation, probably more so than at any other period in my lifetime. We are all in this together.
Respecting that fact and each other is required by all of us.
Marilyn Elliston, Orewa.
Immigration policy not racist
An immigration policy that aims to restrict eligibility of, say, elderly parents or Indian brides or low earners, cannot be argued, it seems, without inciting sneers of "dog-whistling", "appealing to Winston's crowd", "racism", "cultural disrespect" etc from commentators.
It is well understood that we need immigrants and particularly their work skills; population increase is good for the economy and cultural diversity is enriching.
But when the skilled workers get to bring in their spouses, children and parents (a normal desire) we have a genuine problem of not only stretched public services but worse, not enough affordable housing. Many of NZ's serious social problems are exacerbated by insecure, too-expensive accommodation, and many vulnerable end up displaced and in overcrowded or very unsuitable living spaces.
Why can't we challenge an immigration policy — or keep it as restrictive as possible — on these valid grounds, without having to wear the racist label?
B Darragh, Auckland Central.
Bye, bye Guy Fawkes
Once again, Lizzie Marvelly has hit the nail on its head in her column (November 9).
Guy Fawkes has definitely had his day and is as irrelevant in New Zealand as Bastille Day in France in 1789.
And I also agree that it is time to end the public sale of fireworks and have a public display to celebrate Matariki instead.
If Wellington can do it, why not the whole of New Zealand?
Robert Scoliege, Hamilton.
Boomer accepts compliment
Beneficiaries can breathe a sigh of relief and sit smirking on the sidelines. There is a new hit in town. Boomer bashing. Bring it on. We can take it. You can call me boomer. I like it. It is a compliment.
Helen Acraman, Te Atatu Peninsula.
Time to be kind
Reading any current newspaper, or listening to any daily news, I am struck by so many acts of kindness, but mixed with so many, very mean acts.
Like "Vandals hit baby's grave" and "baby torn from 19-year-old mother, and pensioner, 90, attacked after opening her door to help.
I hope the new normal in NZ is not the path to meanness, by a small population who really have every opportunity to succeed and with a generous social welfare system.
Maybe leaders like Trump, whose modus operandi is division and rule through hate spew, and who dominates the news, makes the undesirable, normal?
Our PM made "kindness" into a key point at her UN address, which must have stunned so many countries expecting a run down on NZs achievements or "beefs" with the world.
But she nailed a growing problem around the world as populations grow, resources reduce, and paranoia increases that you will lose your assets.
Rob Buchanan, Kerikeri.
Give Luxon a chance
Simon Wilson presumes his repetitive bias towards the National Party can go hand-in-hand with objectivity. Surely, Christopher Luxon deserves the chance to prove himself before such sweeping judgments are made against him.
Kieran Smyth, St Marys Bay.
I rarely agree with Mike Hosking on anything, but his piece on the Government's handling (or non-handling) of the planning and effects of the CRL project in central Auckland was spot on. Why do we continue to tolerate such mismanagment by certain ministers?
Sylvia Diprose, Warkworth.