Time to pull finger
Now we are worried about temporary migrant workers not arriving because of Covid, which could be devastating to the economy and some industries. What about all the young and not-so-young Kiwis
who have been on the dole since leaving school?
It is absolutely disgusting that these people can just put their hands out and they receive. What is wrong with the Government? All governments who happen to be in power allow this to happen. What is wrong with the parents of these people that they don't shame their kids to grow up and be a man or a woman?
Our hospitals and hospitality businesses seem to run on people from the Philippines or India. They all seem to be brilliant and hardworking, perhaps that is why they keep getting employed.
We seem to have the best but most abused and overused welfare system in the world. Its about time many people of New Zealand got a grip on on the realities of life and start being proud of themselves and their country and grow up to be real people, not nobodies.
Susan Lawrence, Meadowbank.
In his commentary on the harbour bridge crash, Simon Wilson (NZ Herald, September 21) correctly identifies a harbour tunnel and more mass transit, rather than more roads, as the right solution. But the choice between light and heavy rail is less relevant in the strategy than the overall shape of Auckland.
For decades, successive city councils have championed the idea of a "compact city". Unfortunately, this has been a colossal mistake. Metropolitan Auckland has been growing for a long time into a "linear city-region".
The concepts are radically different, and they entail radically different long-term transport strategies. The regional scale of Auckland's problems is intimidating but the linearity is our friend. Auckland now needs a single, 70km long, rail-based spine of mass transit from Silverdale to Pōkeno. In a decade or two, it will need a 170km long one, from Wellsford to Hamilton.
The crippling accident on the bridge should be a trigger, right after the election, to start implementing the former and planning for the latter.
Dushko Bogunovich, adjunct professor, Auckland University.
Walk and cycle
For the month or more before the Auckland Harbour Bridge is permanently repaired cross-harbour travel capacity can be inexpensively and helpfully increased by using
one or two of the four central bridge lanes, as they will not all be used for vehicle traffic, to accommodate cyclists and pedestrians.
Serendipitously the existing fixed and moveable barriers and access points allow cyclists and pedestrians to safely use these lanes while maintaining at least four lanes of traffic in the peak travel direction and two in the counter-peak direction.
It is about 1600m from the end of Fanshawe St to the south bridgehead via the right-hand north-bound motorway shoulder, which is protected by a movable barrier along that section.
From the north bridgehead, it is around 800m, protected on both sides by fixed or moveable barriers or a wide flush median that accommodates temporary barriers, to the Sulphur Point motorway underpass that is reached from the middle of the motorway by the old toll booth accessways. The 1.2 km over the bridge itself is as protected as the approaches.
Will McKenzie, Sandringham.
Here is a simple idea: Take the reserved fund from the Dominion Rd project, putting that on the "back-burner".
Add this money to the new harbour crossing fund. Crack on with the job (tunnel or bridge).
Then let the tolls from the user-pay system make up the difference.
Waiting too long for crossing the t's and dotting the i's is a waste of time. Take the "need it now" approach.
Margaret Dyer, Taupō.
The harbour bridge is a choke point for all, maybe we should consider a sub-CBD in North Shore.
The Government could consider subsidising relocating certain group of businesses to North Shore.
This would reduce the traffic at the harbour and save millions building alternative projects/roads and man-hours lost.
Chris Tog, Greenhithe.
The amazing response by Paul Goldsmith over the weekend was to agree that the individual tax relief might be directed into further investment property in the residential housing market but this would be a good thing: more rental properties.
Fair enough, if these would be new builds but we all know that these will be purchased from the existing housing market, which, in turn, will exert further pressure on the genuine home buyer and continue to drive rents higher and higher.
Until the consciousness of the nation is raised to realise that property investors are the curse of the time and need to be eliminated rather than fostered then sadly housing will continue to be the root cause of all social and economic distress in this country.
Stephen Bryson, Whanganui.
The most frequent response to the "housing shortage" is "build more houses".
If you think this is the solution when did you last visit areas north-west of Auckland - Hobsonville, Whenuapai, Riverhead - or take a drive up Highway16 through Huapai, Kumeū, Helensville and on to Ōrewa?
Housing developments are multiplying like onion weed although the infrastructure is already overloaded. Quite a few of these homes are unoccupied for most of the year as their owners live overseas.
Ordinary New Zealand families are unable to afford to buy their own home thanks to the policies of the previous (National) Government, which led to skyrocketing prices - families are forced to pay such huge rents for somewhere to live it is impossible for them to save any money.
Anne Martin, Helensville.
Political parties could consider including a simple economic plan in their policies. A plan with big returns for a tiny part of the Budget. Bring back night classes.
Dismantled under Rogernomics, the community college system has become minimal. Rutherford College is great but try getting there and back by bus at night from other parts of Auckland.
Night classes contributed to a flexible workforce by teaching new skills. They offered the unemployed a sense of direction and identity. They encouraged creativity and adaptability, providing a platform for developing new business and artistic outlets.
Night classes enabled the growing senior population to become familiar with computers and other technology.
They were where Pākehā, previously denied access to te reo, learned to better understand our relationship with our land.
They individual sense of well-being and competence, improving both physical and mental health, which also benefited families. They were places where we made friends and developed ideas.
Our "can do" attitude was embodied in night classes, attended by millions of New Zealanders over three decades. I urge all parties to reconsider this sound investment in our futures.
Jo Bowler, Torbay.
Calls for increases to benefits and minimum wage are failing to recognise that the problem is not that people haven't got enough money, it's that they have to hand too much of it over to landlords. A recent survey of almost 2000 people found that 83 per cent were paying more than one-third of their income on rent.
If benefits go up rent goes up. Other countries have legislation that tie permissible rent increases to the Consumer Price Index. In Quebec, Canada, for example, rent can only be increased once a year as of 2019, only by 1.3 per cent.
Rent control is desperately needed in New Zealand if we genuinely want to begin reducing our growing inequality. Landlords already get $2 billion a year from the taxpayer in the form of the Accommodation Supplement which slides through the tenant's hands straight into the landlord's pocket.
The National party is all for wanting people to "keep their own money". I hope they are therefore all for controlling rents so tenants can keep more of their money.
Susan Grimsdell, Auckland Central.
Last week, some graffiti penises sprang up in the Onehunga end of the Māngere Bridge walk/cycleway.
They lasted about 24 hours before they were discreetly painted over by Auckland Council.
A swastika replaced the penises 24 hours after that and I was curious to see how long it might last.
It is still there.
Maybe Auckland Council thinks penises are more offensive than swastikas.
Fritha Parkes, Māngere.
Short & sweet
The indignation at so-called bribes the parties are offering is sad. But not nearly as sad as those of us who base votes on the personal benefit of the bribes, rather than the principles the parties stand for. Rob Wightman, Rothesay Bay.
At a time when small businesses are really struggling to survive, surely it couldn't be a worse time for the Government's promise to double sick leave entitlement if re-elected. H. Robertson, St Heliers.
John Tamihere's paternalistic idea of spending $5 billion on Māori health neglects a basic fact. In the field of health, there are both patients and providers, if patients don't bother to come, then it is all a waste. Neville Cameron, Coromandel.
I congratulate the Labour Party on their fantastic worker's package. If poverty is finally tackled in a fair way, it will be an election landslide. Rex Head, Papatoetoe.
Are these our voting choices – Jacinda, dope and death? And years of debt. Jane Dear, Hamilton East.
The primary provider responsible for your good health is yourself. Gary Andrews, Mt Maunganui.
A business that can only succeed by paying its employees less than it is possible to live on is simply not viable. Michael Smythe, Northcote Pt.
Maybe we should make Wellington and Christchurch the points of entry. Next time the officials fail us, those people can be the lepers. Auckland needs a break. Colin Nicholls, Mt Eden.