Rail tunnel needed for harbour
We are apparently still trying to solve Auckland's traffic issues, by allowing/encouraging more cars to drive into the city.
Onewa Rd and Lake Rd upgrades/improvements will never improve the transport issues by planning for more vehicle intensity along these roads. Both of these roads end up feeding onto the motorway system leading to the harbour bridge. So this is just a no-win situation.
Even a "pontoon" connection across Ngataringa Bay to connect up with the bridge is just another addition of vehicles on to an already restricted and overcrowded route into the city.
It seems to me the most successful improvement which would ease the transport issue for the next 50 years at least, is a rail tunnel under the harbour to the North Shore.
I'm sure that most vehicles travelling across the harbour bridge ... possibly 60 per cent are only travelling to work and then returning home. The rail connection has the potential to spread across the North Shore and therefore ease traffic across the whole area, and not just extend the life of the Auckland Harbour Bridge. This will cost money, but the benefits will just go on and on into the future.
Interestingly, this suggestion is exactly what has allowed all large cities/metropolises to grow and give their citizens good transport choices. Sure, their rail metros have become crowded over time as populations have increased many-fold. But their answer has been to put in more metro lines ...
Unless Auckland seriously addresses this issue, Aucklanders are doomed to become even more aggressive drivers than they are already, with more accidents and holdups ... let alone less satisfaction with our beautiful environment.
Auckland, please act now.
John Pezaro, Birkenhead.
Cup viewing issues
The America's Cup regatta was sold to the people of Auckland to contribute funding on the basis that it would be viewable from many prime vantage points in and around the Waitemata and Auckland harbour.
Yet again some faceless grey men and or women in council, or whatever body have deemed fit to again be dogs in the manger and have closed off both sides of Tamaki Drive from Okahu Bay to Mission Bay the prime shore-based vantage position in Auckland for the public who may be interested to see the event from. This is a travesty.
The drivel exhorting to use bus and train services or bike to Wynyard Quarter, North Head or Orakei Marae, is obviously to bolster crowd numbers for television imagery and is a denial of freedom of choice for the very people who have been taxed.
With the boat races on free-to-air on television, what does it matter if those who want to chance it drive and park on a public road for the short times the made for television races have now shown take place?
Max Wagstaff, Auckland.
After supporting NZ Cricket as a player, supporter, coach and administrator for 40 years, I have managed to pass on this love to my 14-year-old son who has played and supported the game since 5. The change to Spark to view the Black Caps live means that we can no longer watch them due to no smart TV and no extra money for the viewing. We do have Sky Sport and have been watching Australia and India. Watching these players has changed my son's focus and they become front of mind. Short-sighted by NZC.
Stephen Holden, Weymouth.
Real estate finances
John Caldwell is mistaken to think that there is any capital gain in the mere selling of real estate (letters, December 18). Unless one is earning an income say, as a developer of, or trader in, real estate, in which case any income after costs may be liable for income tax, to sell an asset which was bought and held as a saving, even if rented or leased to cover or recoup costs or earn taxable income, brings no gain (or loss) in capital, regardless of the difference in nominal value in numbers of dollars, between the buying and selling thereof.
The gain, or loss, in capital occurs when holding any medium of exchange, i.e., a currency, or gold/silver, where applicable, which gains, or loses, nominal value according to deflation or inflation.
Any anomaly in the holding of real estate relates to the iniquity of lending policies and the means by which some are able to borrow much at low rates of interest whereas others are paying higher rates or are not allowed to borrow at all, but that's a matter for bankers to explain or the Government to remedy. Lend every citizen a million dollars at the reserve rate?
Jacob Jonke, Totara Park.
The Ministry of Health has announced an annual deficit of $874 million and a spokesperson stated, "The health system is overstretched, underfunded and inequitable". With an insatiable appetite for taxpayer dollars, funding now constitutes 21 per cent of Crown expenditure. To confront these issues, the expansion of private hospitals is essential to ease the demand for state beds.
The private health sector can flourish and assist if tax deductibility for health insurance costs is reintroduced, this concession terminated during the Muldoon era, consequently one third of policy holders cancelled out only to become a burden on the state. NZ is one of few Western countries exempt from this inducement.
P. J. Edmondson, Tauranga.
The move by the police to stop chasing speeding offenders to avoid fatalities, is probably a good idea, but what would have been a better idea, would to have kept quiet about the plan so that offending drivers would not have known they could get away with their crime.
Bob Wichman, Botany.
If Jonti Diamond (Herald, December 19) thinks the borders should be opened and that we have a "useless Government" then maybe he/she should move to a country that does not have a useless Government. The borders are not closed to those who want to leave and there are still thousands wanting to return. Finally, I seem to remember that this "useless Government" is the first to win an absolute majority in Parliament since MMP began.
Greg Cave, Sunnyvale.
Simon Wilson (NZ Herald, December 18) surely deserves a medal, a raise, and whatever else he might want for his thinking and focus. His opinion piece was a gem. I am a grey-haired Catholic nun who has always supported the Labour Party, and I admire Jacinda Ardern for her attitudes and especially for her responses to recent challenges. But Labour have to wake up and realise that action — especially regarding child poverty and climate change — is needed now! Their parliamentary majority means they could do pretty well anything… if they stopped worrying about winning the next election and acted responsibly right now.
Adrienne Dunlop, Ellerslie.
It was good to read about the spreading of Christmas cheer and goodwill as expressed by Craig Fraser, (Herald, December 19). I would like to suggest a few more.
It is easy to let that car go or to stand back for the person at the supermarket. A wave, a smile and a "thank you" are appreciated. Anyone is able to do these things and they cost nothing except, perhaps, a moment of our time. And — who knows — they could become habits.
Janet Boyle, Orewa.
NZ Post, you have excelled in lack of service. I posted a birthday card on December 6 for a birthday on December 10, and on December 18, the recipient finally received his card.
Posted in Auckland to be delivered in Hamilton. Yes, that's Hamilton, NZ, not Hamilton, Canada.
Linda Lang, Henderson.
Short & sweet
The sounds of summer — flies! Vicky Williamson, Bucklands Beach.
After the sailing of the Christmas Cup races this weekend, we have a new expression to use when things turn to custard in our lives: "I've fallen off my foils; I'm dead in the water." Christine Gratton, Narrow Neck.
The NZ taxpayers and the Auckland ratepayers are major sponsors of Team NZ but there is absolutely no mention of this on the boat. In fact international audiences can't even tell which country they represent. Jock MacVicar, Hauraki.
Peter Lester please go back to commentary school. We could hear the most wonderful live comments coming out of the boats and you talk over the top of them. A commentary should add to the sound and pictures, not smother. Andrew McAlpine, Herne Bay.
If sugary drinks are so harmful surely it is time the producers of these drinks are made to lower the sugar content or face a hefty fine. People that are keen on these drinks will still buy them with a sugar tax. B. A.Mudford, Matamata.
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