Our Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr's attitude to the massive rise in house prices is unconscionable for basically saying it's not his problem. He is the one controlling the country's purse strings.
By reducing the interest rates to nearly zero he is giving away virtually free money to speculators to invest in houses and property, further fuelling an out-of-control house and asset bubble. This rewards borrowers and penalises savers.
Young families saving for a home deposit have seen house prices going up annually at more than their gross income, while at the same time the miserly 1 per cent bank interest paid on their savings is taxed at source, including the portion lost to inflation, thus destroying any possible chance of home ownership.
These flawed policies are exacerbating an already massively divided have/have not society which will require more than gated communities to protect the haves in future as society self-destructs.
David F. Little, Whangārei.
Parliament goes on holiday in two weeks after a tough year. Most of the time until then will be wasted on newbie speeches.
The housing market out of control, drug laws not working, paramedic protection still not passed but the prisoners got their vote in time.
The Reserve Bank is about to print $100 billion for property investors despite house prices already rising 15 per cent in one year. How Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern thinks savers can keep up getting 1 per cent interest is ... interesting? The answer is "blowing in the wind". Ardern will help couples earning under $135k. Surely not with printed money? In the meantime she is on holiday while the property investors have a head start.
She won't interfere with drug laws, the reserve bank or CGT. The ABs are losing their mental health and nobody has a solution. What is the world coming too?
At least Parliament will resume in February. By then house prices will have gone up another 10 per cent, meaning any help Ardern is planning is worthless.
No wonder the fear-of-missing-out is strong. Everyone is missing out bar the rich. The rich get richer, the children of the rich get richer.
Steve Russell, Hillcrest.
Price isn't right
One wonders just how effective this current investigation into supermarket pricing (NZ Herald, November 17) is going to be.
For well over 40 years, it has been well known that some Kiwi foods could be purchased cheaper overseas than in New Zealand, despite the cost of transport over thousands of kilometres. There have been flurries of protestation and vague explanations and promises, but the exploitation of the Kiwi shopper goes on unabated.
The reasons no doubt are many, but I would suggest that a good place to look is not necessarily at the supermarkets but at the "middle men" and their application of excessive mark-ups as goods pass through their hands.
I sincerely hope that something of benefit comes out of this investigation and it won't be just another sop to Cerebus.
Hugh Nettleton, Windsor Park.
I was disappointed to read Justice Courtney's summing up in sentencing Fisilau Tapaevalu to a minimum term of 17 years' imprisonment for the murder of Epalahame Tu'uheava and attempted murder of his partner, Yolanda (Mele) Tu'uheava.
Specifically, agreeing with the Crown that his offending did not "spring from his childhood deprivations but from poor choices as an adult".
This fails to recognise the very real connection between childhood deprivation (family violence, abuse and neglect, parental drug and alcohol issues to name a familiar triad) and adolescent offending.
While not every adolescent offender will continue to offend into adulthood, reversing this trend is difficult.
School disruption as a consequence of family dysfunction, the attraction of alcohol and illegal drugs to dull the hurt and the pull of youth gangs as an alternative family who seems to understand, all cause damage not easily reversed.
As a social worker in the Youth Courts, I see the sad trajectory of child protection status to youth justice status on a daily basis.
Fisilau Tapaevalu is likely to have once been a confused and scared 4-year-old, doing the best he could in a hostile world.
We forget this at our peril.
Fritha Parkes, Māngere.
The main impediment to the building of a cheaper and more efficient bridge over the Waitematā Harbour, a mere 1km wide, is the need to build an incredibly high and wide central arch to allow ships to carry raw sugar to the NZ Sugar refinery in Birkenhead every six weeks.
It seems crazy to spend billions of dollars to build a tunnel or a new high bridge across the harbour because of the constraint forced on us by the need to allow eight ships a year to go up the harbour.
NZ Sugar is now wholly owned by Singaporean and Australian conglomerates who own many large refineries in Queensland and Victoria, from which they could easily supply the NZ market.
Surely now is the time to close down the ageing Chelsea refinery and import our sugar to allow us to build cheaper harbour crossings for the greater good of Auckland and New Zealand?
NZ Sugar is entirely self-sufficient in water from their three dams, so there could be a bonus for Watercare with a massive supply of clean fresh water from Duck Creek.
Peter Michel, Takapuna.
Many lawyers and judges are fond of the term "first-time offender". For the sake of argument if, on Thursday, I decide to steal a bottle of plonk from a wine shop, I am a first-time offender. If I decide on Friday to repeat the trick, then I have become a multiple offender.
To treat a person who has indulged in more than 1400 fraudulent transactions (NZ Herald November 18) as a first-time offender is surely somewhat stretching the meaning of the term?
Tony Potter, Remuera.
Justice for all
No wonder people have no trust in a fair justice system.
A white middle-class woman is found guilty of $140,000 theft as a servant, carried out deliberately over four years and all she gets is 10 months, not even 12 months, of home detention.
What message does that send to the lower classes who commit far smaller crimes and get thrown in jail ?
Jock MacVicar, Hauraki.
The article about "Green Fairies get their wings clipped" (NZ Herald, November 18) blurs the issues between recreational cannabis use and medicinal cannabis, seemingly seeing them in the one basket.
The referendum was on the question of whether to legalise the sale, use, possession, and production of cannabis. Nothing whatever to do with the role or prescribing of medicinal cannabis. There are very few satisfactory random double blind, controlled, scientific studies demonstrating the benefit over risk of medicinal cannabis. There has been shown some benefit of using medicinal cannabis in conditions of childhood epilepsy and people who suffer painful spasms with multiple sclerosis.
Hence, anyone suggesting rubbing cannabis oil on an arthritic knee or smoking a bong for anxiety or poor sleep is certainly throwing fairy dust around.
Dr Greg Dunn, Matamata.
Wealthy tourists - the class Tourist Minister Stuart Nash seeks to lure to our shores - don't mingle with the average New Zealand peasant who runs a small town, proletarian business.
They might fly in by private jet; take a "helicopter" to a gated resort; buy online and maybe the profit made from them is gobbled up by a foreign-owned company.
Being a peasant myself, a responsible camper and traveller around New Zealand for half a century, I also don't like his demeaning of poorer backpackers and young people by claiming they do poo-poo everywhere.
Get over it, Mr Nash. Even you have a dash of a slash behind a tree occasionally?
Rob Buchanan, Kerikeri
The path for Donald Trump to be re-elected is quite simple and on track. He needs to first go through all of the lower level courts before taking his case to the Supreme Court of the United States. As such, losing his case in each court isn't a concern. When his appeals reach the SCOTUS they can rule the practices in Pennsylvania and Michigan were not lawful and cancel the results for those states. This will mean no candidate wins 270 electoral votes and the result will go to the House of Representatives, as per the constitution.
The constitution states that in this instance, the election will be decided in the House by one vote per state. The Republicans have by far the most states in the House and will therefore vote for Donald J. Trump.
Kent Millar, Blockhouse Bay.
Short & sweet
Unsurprisingly, the regretful vote 4-3 in favour for the Parnell site was determined by chairman Richard Northey. Let's wait now for the knighthood. Hylton Le Grice, Remuera.
John Morgan asks (NZ Herald, Novmber 17) why we have a Minister of Racing. Maybe it has something to do with the billion dollars the racing industry has paid in taxes in my life time and the tens of thousands of people the industry employs. Paul Ringrose, Paekakariki.
The sun rises and sets, the moon waxes and wanes, the tide comes in and goes out. And Colin Craig goes back to court. John Capener, Kawerau.
It will be a relief to those outside the tourist industry to read that the Minister of Tourism argues that, as with other export earners food and wine, the growth of our prosperity from tourism lies in quality, not quantity. John Strevens, Remuera.
Stuart Nash needs to make self-containment a WoF compliance and cost. A blue sticker on a minivan doesn't cut it. Stuart Mackenzie, Ōhura
Who says crime doesn't pay? Kimberly Gupwell defrauded Unitec of more than $100,000 but is only required to pay reparation of $40,000. Maxine Samson, Whakatāne.
In the first year, there would have been many missing receipts and made up transactions.
The Unitec audit systems were very poor or not followed. David Patterson, Raumati Beach.
Well done, A. Schuyt Best (NZ Herald, November 17). Is the Edjakayshun Department at fault? Should we have a Royal Cumishun investergate? David Lyon, Remuera.