Jamie Mackay’s column, criticising the Lange-Douglas Government’s rural reforms, and supporting the farming lobby of today (NZ Herald, November 1) displays his own backward thinking regarding the issues confronting New Zealand (and NZ farmers) now. This time, climate change and emissions-control issues replace those then related to the economic viability of many NZ farmers. Ironically, Mackay states Douglas was right in wiping farming subsidies overnight, but this was too “brutal” and “gutting”, Mackay asserts, thus arguing for delay and procrastination, as the farmers are now stridently demanding. Here Mackay goes right along with their, “We all agree we must do something! But not yet! And not this!” attitude. Well, if not now, when? And what? This year? Next year? Sometime? Never, I’d say, for a lot of them. For a much more constructive analysis, I suggest Mackay and Fed. Farmers read Finn Ross’ “Dialogue” article (NZ Herald, October 28). Here is much more mature reasoning, from a young farmer of the generation now most at risk from global warming.
Clyde Scott, Birkenhead.
The NZ economy is now larger than at any time in history with many businesses reporting huge increases in profits. With that, are wage increases higher than inflation and insolvencies at an all-time low. This is what happens when governments on the left are in charge and contrasts with, say, Brazil, which has just jettisoned its right-wing president who crashed the economy.
Mark Nixon, Remuera.
Meddlers of Parliament
A great letter by Maire Kaire (NZ Herald, November 1); my style of woman that we need in Parliament. But, you can’t blame the kids - have you noticed the appalling quality of our politicians, who’ve sunk NZ from the fourth-placed world economy down towards banana land inside 70 years? And they’re already in shovel mode for the next election. I’d much rather we had Bob Jones as President, then my knee replacement might arrive before I’m 85.
Gerry O’Meeghan, Papamoa.
The letter by John Caldwell (NZ Herald, November 1) hit the nail right on the head. He is quite correct in saying that a lot of people’s medical problems are self-inflicted. This situation is not likely to change as the world has found that large global companies producing alcohol, tobacco, and fast food are difficult to deal with, as they are helping government coffers with the tax they pay, which helps to fund our hospitals. Will things change in our lifetime? Not likely.
Mike Anderson, Thames.
My husband is a recent resident (patient) at Mercy Parklands hospital. The closure is unbelievable. As admitted by the board, the current financial crisis is temporary. It is caused by the inability to recruit nurses for the full number of 90 beds and thus insufficient revenue to cover costs. Parklands takes both WINZ and private patients. Parklands management has new registered nurses coming in from overseas and Parklands could be financially viable again next year. The excellent clinical and pastoral care for residents, especially those with high needs, is well known. Buildings are designed around a sunny open courtyard with box hedges, roses, and outdoor tables and chairs. The spacious dining room and lounges for residents open on to this courtyard Family have already raised over $100,000 and are willing to do more. We realise maintenance is a factor with older buildings but, when there is such pressure on our public health system, it is unbelievable that the Government, Ministry of Health, or Mercy Parklands board should allow such a valuable facility to be scrapped. Auckland needs those 90 beds but they will be gone forever.
Solita Lincoln, Meadowbank.
It would appear that those mayors opposing the Government’s Three Waters legislation want the Government to give them the money to do the work and the councils would control it. The problem with that scenario is they could spend the money elsewhere, as they have done in the past, and the work never gets done, which is where we are at the present.
Tony Barnett, Pukekohe.
Robert Bartholomew, (NZ Herald, November 1) reminded me of an episode during my teenage years. In 1961, our family owned a 10-acre, farm in Kumeu, and we needed small trays for planting out seedlings. These were then new, and made out of soft, papier-mache type material, which, when put in the soil, rotted down as the seedlings grew. They were in short supply, but dad was told a market gardener in Pukekohe had some for sale. We drove our 1941 Ford V8 to his farm where a young man came out. When we told him what we were after, he replied: “Well, if we can get the natives, to get off their fat ****s, and do a tap of work, we may be able to help you.” Dad asked him who these, “natives”, were, assuming he was talking about immigrants. “No not immigrants,” he said, “the bloody, Maoris”. We were stunned and Dad said we’d better go home, there is nothing for us here. That this sort of ignorant bigotry, was going on right here under our noses, while we were collectively pointing the finger at the southern states of America and apartheid South Africa.
John Watkins, Greenlane.
Auckland Transport has cancelled a large number of services due to a shortage of drivers, but it has maintained the first and last bus on its services. When out walking in the early morning, I have noticed that many of the early buses have very few or no passengers visible on board. It may be useful, at a time of extreme driver shortage, to have a trial on two or three selected routes, of paying for passengers the extra cost of using an uber ride from their residence to their destination bus stop in the morning and to their residence in the evening. It may be more expensive than running the first or last bus but the service would be better. The actual effect and the costs of shifting to a more flexible form of public transport at times of very low occupancy would be useful information for future planning.
John Strevens, Remuera.
With the US mid-terms less than a week away, a Republican victory is predicted in both houses of Congress. Voting patterns since the early1900s show first-term governments historically lose a large proportion of Congressional seats in the mid-terms. Either way, it will be a very narrow margin, so imagine my dismay when on October 29 I received a second set of mid-term ballot papers which were weather-damaged and had to be ripped in order to open. I had cast my vote and mailed it seven weeks earlier. I queried it with my New York electoral office and was told by a very harried worker, “Maam, I don’t know why you received a second set of voting papers but, for God’s sake, don’t vote a second time, we have enough problems here”. Yes, you certainly do. With Trump positioning his acolytes in the battleground states, any further uncertainty in the probity of our voting could spell disaster for the millions of Americans who vote by mail. A Republican-led Congress could set the political agenda for years to come, and with voting suppression laws already being passed by state legislatures, the stage will be set for a 2024 Trump victory.
Mary Hearn, Glendowie.
Witnessing the latest attack on the husband of Democratic leader Pelosi as part of the extreme polarisation in the US of its two parties, and therefore its 155 million voters, we can only hope our New Zealand version of democracy keeps the country’s heart beating at its focus. Derived from the French “parle”, to speak, “parliament” is for just that as the path we want solutions to problems to be settled. Trumpism and its whopping big lies have sown so much drivel and doubt in the US electorate, that it’s likely more January 6s will occur. We don’t need that sort of “demockery” in NZ. Having diverse parties that must unite to form the government must create more cohesion for the national good than the divisive two-party system in the US.
Rob Buchanan, Kerikeri.
I came to this lovely country in 1966 and worked for a while at Auckland Hospital Board as a technician. I looked after ventilators, anaesthetic machines, and the like. I saw the dedication of the medical staff in Ward 14 (ICU) and never thought I would need that sort of help. Eight days ago that time came. In the middle of the night rushed to Middemore. A big thank you to the ambulance crew for getting me there, ED, the surgical team, radiology, the nurses, testing labs, physio, and the orderlies. George, if you read this, a special thank you. The dedication of the staff was brilliant and what I saw in 66 is still going on now. I have recovered and my strength is increasing. However bad you feel, there is someone worse off. And as for medical insurance, from the age of 27 years I paid insurance for my family and I never used it. At 60 years old, the premiums doubled. If this had been the US it would have been $600,000 and they would have come and taken my home after.
John Davison, Manurewa.
At midnight Monday, the flood of advertising to children switched from Halloween to Guy Fawkes; and on November 6, no doubt Christmas will become the emotional blackmail target. A complete con and a joke. Pure and simple, corporate greed and manipulation.
David Patterson, Levin.
Short and sweet
To hear nurses aren’t a top priority for immigration is being proactively negligent. What is the job of government? Promote wineries, breweries, tourism, sport and entertainment it seems. Steve Russell, Hillcrest.
A solo mother of 12 children (NZH, Oct. 2) surely should take responsibility and not expect the Government to look after the choices she made. Lynley Cullinane, Christchurch.
Thanks for publishing the story on Starship’s refusal of the huge donation offered by Waikato Stud. Parents of youngsters there must feel betrayed. Errol J Edlin, Whangārei.
I’m surprised that the banks are not embarrassed to broadcast their profits when you consider the removal of most of their services. Janet Boyle, Ōrewa.
Congratulations to Auckland Theatre Company for North by Northwest but why didn’t Simon Philips, director, and Carolyn Burns, writer, get a well-deserved bow along with the cast on opening night? Roger Hall, Takapuna.
If the clever people at Auckland Transport eliminate all of their bus services they can totally prevent any cancellations. Petrus van der Schaaf, Te Arai Pt.
The Premium Debate
You are not wrong with your comments on the incompetency of this Government Shane, but let’s not forget who put them into power in the first place. Dean R.
But Shane, you are part of the problem. Your party went with Labour/Greens who had a much smaller vote; your party disqualified itself from joining National because Winston had filed (in secret) a court case against Bill English (case thrown out); despite this, NZ First had talks with National, a diversion; talks with Labour took two weeks. Finally you got the “gold nugget”, the Provincial Growth Fund. People remember and as much as I enjoy your commentary, you no longer hold the creditability factor. Warren B.
Extending culpability and accountability to politicians for reckless spending and waste should also be considered. Imagine the smirk on Robertson’s face being wiped if he was hit by a 10% “fine” for the $51 million spent on the bridge that was canned? Mike I.
Don’t dismiss this article lightly. Things are what they are, and the tsunami of youth crime needs an urgent solution. A very large percentage of all people deal with trauma in their childhood and later, and manage not to commit criminal acts. Make parents responsible for their children. Ban gang patches. Make being a gang member a living hell, not the other way around as it is at present for so many ordinary folk in places like Rotorua, Christchurch, Hastings and parts of South Auckland. Pietro E.
There is a new Four Square shop in my district. It has only just opened. It has a row of bollards in front of it, installed while it was being built. David P.
Well said. I have not seen a government so bad with law and order as this one, and by a long way. I know that emptying jails was a major part of their policy but sadly for everyone else there definitely appears to have been no plan B. The extra police policy will like not reach the target because of attrition and the new numbers that are there are unnoticeable. Perhaps they’ve diverted those staff into management instead? They cannot blame Covid simply because it’s clear as day there are few consequences, especially for those under 18, so the fact crime is so bad and faith lost in authorities to deal with crime means under-reporting, it’s never been a better time to be a criminal. Peter L.