Letter of the week: Tony Olissoff, Mt Eden
The day I left home at 18, I caught the bus to self-determination. All my friends did the same, wherever they were from.
When we screwed up, and we all did somewhere along the line, pride stopped us going home and whining to Mum and Dad. We raised and looked after our families, paid our way and now are retired or retiring. Yep, those Boomers.
We salute every person born or raised or who settled in this fine land who stand tall, determine what they want and go about getting it (501 mobster plans aside).
That so many are apparently now deprived, awaiting their redemption by someone else doing it for them is just pathetic.
Self-determination is what you do for yourself. What the government does for you is welfare.
In suggesting that residential real estate (private housing) should be sold in accordance with the requirements of the Fair Trading Act and be marketed with a fixed selling price (Weekend Herald, July 3), contributor Frank Davis appears to disregard the subtle difference between (figuratively) supermarket items and speculative investments. The original Mona Lisa for a fixed price? Unlikely.
Still, if (perhaps) the intentions of the Fair Trading Act were intended to encompass speculative investments, maybe we could look forward to the majority of "average" residential houses being marketed with a fixed price of, say, $5m today, maybe more tomorrow, and a minimum of small print noting "or nearest written offer".
If we really want to reduce the price of housing we need to reduce the demand per unit available, by way of increased production or decreased population. Both of the "problems" are international and unsolved. We can look forward to a worsening situation, and certainly no local "eureka'" breakthroughs, for the long term foreseeable future.
D B Smith, Napier.
In response to Conor English's article (Weekend Herald, June 26), Peter Calder asserted that the PSA test "is a very blunt instrument" of "extraordinary unreliability" which is regarded by "many authorities … as worse than useless as a diagnostic tool" for prostate cancer "unless done repeatedly over a period of time and show a sudden elevation".
Dr Cloherty also stated that "… the history of screening is littered with controversy and emotive decision-making. … It is often better not to perform a test unless there are clinical indications to do so."
Both appear to be unaware of the Ministry of Health's 2015 Prostate Cancer Management and Referral Guidance which clearly stated that "The best recommendation is for primary care practitioners to discuss the benefits and risks of prostate cancer testing with men aged between 50 and 70 years and men aged over 40 years who have a family history of prostate cancer, as they are the most likely to benefit …."
Most sensible GPs and men will rely on the Ministry of Health's Guidance.
Mark von Dadelszen, president, Prostate Cancer Foundation.
It is good to see (Weekend Herald, July 3) Auckland Council finally noticing that there is a bit of a housing crisis and belatedly taking long-overdue steps to allow denser housing along public transport routes.
There is no shortage of leafy streets with single villas occupying generous sections, so clearing some areas near to train and bus stations could provide desperately needed, semi-affordable housing. The large areas between the sparse tendrils of the public transport networks can retain all that beautiful character for the fortunate few to enjoy for generations. Our housing crisis will not be solved without some significant changes to the actual structure of our city and this is finally a small start in the right direction.
Alex Davidson, Forrest Hill.
Today we drove past numerous cleared sections poised for big development in those suburbs randomly chosen for housing intensification.
Spare a thought for little north-facing bungalows with laden citrus trees, destined to languish in the shadow of five-storey apartment blocks, cold and dark on these gloriously sunny days.
Will their increased electricity bills be paid by Auckland Council? And are they voting for these developments in their own backyards?
Mary Tallon, Takapuna.
Bulldozers and bulldust
Mayor Goff's words of assurance, "we are not going to send in the bulldozers" (Weekend Herald, July 3), show that he does not know his city. This is already happening in pockets all over Auckland.
The ugliness of most new development demonstrates the impotence of the council to enforce the "quality" in its flagship "quality compact city" policy.
But now, under pressure from Wellington, this threatens to be a design and planning disaster on a massive scale. The risk is more than tarnishing the Character Coalition's cherished cultural values - identity, beauty, history - and replacing them with traffic congestion, overburdened infrastructure and decimated urban forest. The radical intensification encouraged by the National Policy Strategy on Urban Development will concentrate even more people and assets on a narrow volcanic isthmus exposed to the vagaries of nature - which are certain to get worse on a rapidly heating planet.
The only way intensification can proceed with a degree of efficiency, security and visual logic is to place most of it in Auckland's central corridor where the motorways, railways and busways can provide rapid mass transport. It is high time for the council to abandon its "compact city" delusion and recognise that 21st century Auckland is a linear city-region, which demands its own logic of intensification.
Dushko Bogunovich, adjunct professor, Auckland University.
While we all appreciate Sir Michael Cullen's close ties to the current Government, his article (Weekend Herald, July 3) critiquing the National Party makes me query what that has got to do with the Labour Government that now has the largest majority for many years.
Whether National decides who will or will not represent it in two years time at a general election is frankly none of his business and, as a Labour supporter makes him look silly, not the Opposition.
Bruce Woodley, Birkenhead
The contrast between the articles opposite each other on pages C3 and C4 (Weekend Herald, July 3), could not be greater. Michael Cullen (I assume not ironically) lauds the "hard work" of the Labour Government, while the founder of Rocket Lab extols the virtues of vision, hard work and commitment, eschewing the "8 to 5" mentality that is not for him or his company.
Cullen seems not to have noticed the systemic and ongoing failure of the Ardern Government to deliver on any of its promises (including the "we are at the front of the queue for vaccines" one from last year), who are instead relying on armies of consultants to defer those responsibilities while they pursue an agenda of social engineering.
In stark contrast, Peter Beck and Rocket Lab are building world-class technology that apart from attracting the interest of overseas investors (given the paucity of capital here, a good chunk of which seems destined for 'that' bridge), has every chance of making 400 employees rather well off.
So well done for the editorial juxtaposition, which one hopes may stir a few more hearts and minds to the realities of living in a competitive and free world.
John Dennehy, Coatesville.
You'd have to be living under a rock not to know that online hate speech has motivated gutless massacres of the innocent around the world and here in Christchurch,
While accepting that any potential erosion of freedom of speech needs to be examined carefully, recent columnists have indulged in petty political point-scoring. Prebble's "right to hate" was the worst of the lot.
Step out of your narrow little worlds. NZ rallied behind our traumatised Muslim citizens and the proposed hate speech laws are clearly designed to reduce the chance of a repetition of the heinous event. Their trauma will last for life. Could you walk a day in their shoes?
R. Laybourn, Hamilton.
A quick word
A time to grieve and a time to dance. England and Denmark's joyful European Championship match before a packed Wembley Stadium is a victory of the human spirit over the pandemic. So it will be at the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. Juliet Golightly, Whangārei.
The funniest thing I ever saw was four men performing, in costume, Tchaikovsky's Dance of the Little Swans. For goodness sake: we are getting far too precious. Pamela Russell, Ōrākei.
Looking at the house Grant Dalton used to own (Weekend Herald, July 3), it's clear to see his attempts to raise money were successful. R Hardaker, Kohimarama.
So, will our Olympic team march into the stadium at the opening ceremony under the letter A or N? Gavin Baker, Glendowie.
Why is it that such informative newsworthy articles such as Fran Sullivan's "Labour takes revolutionary road towards state control" (Weekend Herald, July 3) are not published in the main section where they would be far widely read than tucked away in the business section? Don Pickering, Milford.
We need to look forwards, and examine which of our most important national infrastructures are likely to be targeted in the next wave of ransomware attacks. This is the face of the new war. Aeryn Dunmore, Feilding.
Rather than constantly berating the Government for vaccination delay, how about celebrating that, unlike the UK and the US, we did not kill thousands of our population through delay and denial? Barbara Matthews, Onehunga.
Where are we at as a free and open society when individuals can't use insulting speech on occasion without fear of harsh retribution? Ellie Carruthers, Eden Terrace.
I'm not sure why we are spending all this money on this supermarket investigation when we all know the problem here in New Zealand is a lack of competition. Jazmin Pudney, Pyes Pa.
The only sucker - when it comes to pipes, vapours, or cigarettes - is the person on the end of it. Glenn Forsyth, Taupō.
How much more work goes into selling a $400k house compared to a $800k house? None, and new proposed commissions will tend to push house prices higher. Tom Hayes, Rotorua.
What a shambles of a Government. Pity though ... about the shambles of an Opposition. Our democracy is at peril. Larry Mitchell, Rothesay Bay.
If the Mongrel Mob truly wants us to believe they are worthy members of society, they not only have to clearly demonstrate a change in behaviour but also change their name…the Goodie Goodie Gang perhaps? Gary Andrews, Mt Maunganui.
A strip club that shut its doors in response to Covid-19 had a sign posted outside announcing: "Sorry, we're clothed." Gary Hollis, Mellons Bay.