The investor who fears he won't be able to rent out all his properties (NZ Herald, January 11), is evidence that property investors should not be in the housing provision market.
If it's just too hard they need to move on to other things.
A home is not a cash cow, it is a social necessity, for instance a family's roots.
It's harder for people to move on to fresh digs than it is for an investor to turn a profit. Yes, the investor has rights, but in the housing provision game, they have more important obligations. If it doesn't suit, then shift your capital and let housing provision investors take it on.
Jason Conway, Te Atatū Peninsula.
Big names in the property investment sector would have us believe that they are doing New Zealand a favour by replacing home owner-occupiers with landlords.
A favour? How can this be true when so much rental stock is unaffordable or squalid or even empty - and there'll be more of that, threatens John Kenel (NZ Herald, January 11). And paying an exorbitant rent is better than paying down a mortgage?
Only those investors who are involved in new builds and developments deserve any kind of praise, and particularly for the social housing and Kiwibuild components of their projects.
B Darragh, Auckland Central.
The world's official experts are inexcusable after a whole year now. Circumstantial evidence is incontrovertible. Covid-19 spreads almost entirely via aerosol superspreading indoors. This explains everything.
Contact and precipitated droplets and surfaces, do not. It is like blundering official Inspector Clousseaus looking for a knife in a gun crime.
Look at which geographies get hardest hit, and when. Ditto with different living and working environments. It is about fresh air, ventilation, air per person, the volume of vocalising, and duration people are present.
"Viral load" is the main predictor of deadliness.
Rest homes are not just full of the most vulnerable people – their 24/7 presence, in hermetically-sealed buildings, guarantees endless viral replication.
The independently-living elderly still in the spacious family home are at nowhere near as high a risk.
All the fanatical distancing and sanitising and masks and PPE should have made all the difference if the orthodoxy about spread of infection was correct.
Instead, this "baffling" virus floats past the defences, from one person's respiratory tract to another's, sometimes with hours in between and neither person even sighting the other. This is how the virus escapes quarantine facilities. Spaced-out cabins outdoors should be used, not hotel blocks.
Phil Hayward, Naenae.
It has become obvious that the majority of those now wishing to return had made the choice to ride out the virus, gambling that the pandemic would somehow blow over and not affect them.
But now that an even more virulent strain of the virus has arisen, their belated desire to return to New Zealand should not be allowed to endanger our precarious virus-free status. Enough is enough.
Warwick Grey, Epsom.
Jeremy King's letter (NZ Herald, January 11) infers a capital gains tax on domestic house sales that should be used to finance Auckland's infrastructure deficit.
This infers a capital gains tax that, while equitable, is not politically possible. Even if it were, such tax would harvested by central government and not be available to Auckland City.
There is another avenue possible. That is an extra GST tax for Auckland residents. This would then capture income from residents who do not pay Auckland Council rates and water rates. A disadvantage is the ratepayers would also pay this extra GST. This could be compensated by a reduction in rates.
Tom Speed, Herne Bay.
Russell Armitage (NZ Herald, January 11), wants the Americans to rewrite their constitution to suit these corrupt times. Marxists, Islamists, One-World Governors, moral relativists and other diverse groups all have their own conflicting reasons to remove any sense of stability in Western culture, and especially respect for its religious origins and underpinnings.
There is a dominant strain of multiculturalism that believes that all cultures are equal except Western culture, which must be laden with a guilt that doesn't haunt others, such as the Chinese Communists, the Islamic Conquistadors of the 7th and other centuries, the billionaire high-tech censors of one side of today's politics, and our equally selective mainstream media, etc. Patronising in the extreme.
It is a moot point whether "countries such ours have a far more effective and democratic system", but one thing is for sure - our system would not even have survived the Second World War but for the strength of character supplied by the American Constitution as it is.
Tony Molloy, Morrinsville.
I disagree with the editorial claim (NZ Herald, January 8) that the US has lost its moral authority. I say, "compared to what or whom?"
The UN Human Rights Council currently includes China, India, Libya, Pakistan, and Cuba. Even considering the US detention centres for illegal migrants, the records of these countries are much worse.
Regarding religious tolerance, the UNHRC countries, ironically, all fall severely short – the US remains a supporter and proponent of religious tolerance.
Regarding the environment, despite leaving the Paris Accord, the US has made the greatest gains globally - with individual US states, rather than 'big government" (looking at you EU), managing the reduction of their carbon footprints. The UNHRC countries noted above have all increased their carbon footprints.
For the first time in many administrations, the US has not declared war on anyone and managed the signing of two historic Middle East peace accords.
The current cultural clash in the US is disturbing, however, we should not overlook the positive influences. Just because the captain is being tossed overboard does not mean the ship of state is on the wrong course.
Mike Schmidt, Sunny Hills.
House of cards
Americans have discovered that they don't need the assistance of Grand Ayatollahs, Caliphates or foreign terrorists to destroy their brand of democracy. They can do it themselves. And may yet succeed.
Those of us who enjoy a democratic form of parliamentary governance, the envy of millions, have become complacent about its robustness and reliability. It appears to be founded on principles, formalities and procedures that are flexible enough to absorb or prevent the most repugnant of human expression.
But, in fact, these attributes hold true only to a point. Whether it's an attempted manipulation of the political system, the misappropriation of the people's funds, a willful disregard of lawmakers for the truth when facts fail to support their ideology, or the reluctance of leaders when caught out to admit more than a "mistake"; the underpinnings of democracy are weakened.
A democratic society can thrive only when there is mutual faith on the part of the people in the integrity of its leaders and vice versa. Otherwise, all that exists is a house of cards.
David E. Richmond, Professor Emeritus, University of Auckland.
Sick of paying
Why do we have to pay for hospital parking?
You do not go to hospital by choice, which is stressful enough.
It is revenue-generation gone mad - and should be stopped.
Bruce Tubb, Belmont.
Short & sweet
If epidemiologist Dr Baker is concerned about importing the new virus strain, we should be listening, and stop letting infected people into the country. Pamela Russell, Ōrākei.
As America and the rest of the world react in disbelief at Donald Trump's latest outrageous behaviour, I have to wonder who they thought was sitting in the White House? Mother Theresa? Mary Hearn, Glendowie.
In 1932 Hitler lost an election. That's why impeachment and removal of Trump is a really good idea. It removes the possibility of his ever again gaining office. Gary Ferguson, Epsom.
It's not Trump's freedom of speech that has been taken away, only his social media megaphone (metaphorically speaking). The man is still free to speak his mind. E. J. Bax, Epsom.
I see Donald Trump is holding a rally in Texas on Wednesday - at a place called The Alamo. What could possibly go wrong? Ian Morrison, Blockhouse Bay.
It must be hugely humiliating and disappointing for musicians and artists at music festivals to know that their audiences need mood-enhancing drugs. Richard Kean, Ngongotahā.
How come there is enough money (probably half a billion dollars) to squander on a cycle path on the Harbour Bridge for an insignificant number of the population when much-needed police recruits are unaffordable? Robin Reid, Hauraki.
Having posted Christmas cards and an Advent calendar on November 13 from Newmarket to our two daughters and little grandson in London, we are hoping they will arrive before next Christmas. Rosie Simonsen, Epsom.