On graduating, a student can owe thousands of dollars in student loans and many loans are in arrears. Many years ago, a popular source of funds was a teaching studentship. A student received an allowance during their studies and, on graduating, had to teach for an equivalent number of years.
Why not a similar scheme where a graduate can work in an approved organisation (e.g. schools, hospitals, law firm) and each work year completed contributes to repayment of their loan? For example, if $6000 is an agreed annual credit, three years teaching would repay most of a $20,000 debt.
The graduate acquires experience, the loan is repaid through service and the government receives tax. Personal objectives are met, the government's objectives are met, and the community's objectives are met.
It also allows for selective incentives, e.g. a medical graduate working in a rural area could receive, say, 25 per cent additional reduction of the debt.
Some argue graduates receive higher incomes and therefore should pay for this premium. However, graduates earn higher incomes because employers believe they contribute benefits exceeding their wages or salaries. Education is an investment, not an expense.
Graeme Camp and Paul Rouse, University of Auckland.
Aucklanders, please take a deep breath. New Zealand has a fantastic political "system" of government - much better than the narrative keeps repeating - especially in Auckland.
I have played a small part in civil matters and seen nothing but hard working, dedicated representatives across the board on all political leanings.
We have a fantastic clean and free liberal country with passionate people giving their all to keep this place fun, free and growing economically.
I have been involved in transport discussions and it's better than it was in the 90s, considering a massive increase in population. The roads and public transport work okay but we still have this carryover feeling that it has not improved.
Even though I am conservative philosophically and vote right, Phil Goff has done the impossible job of keeping this large city of diverse people together. If it was not for this council, I would have never considered working on a startup here.
The Lime scooters are a fantastic pivot in our culture; well done to the councillors in being brave against all the safety doomsters.
Anthony Blomfield, Murrays Bay.
With the relentless and somewhat insidious marketing creeping across all NZ media outlets promoting the so-called need to legalise the narcotic cannabis, let us not forget that almost all of those unfortunates who have fallen into that largely one way downward spiral that is methamphetamine, heroine and other such so-called "recreational" substances, would in most cases, have began their sad demise through the gateway drug marijuana.
I was in total disbelief, to say the least, when reading the opinion piece by one Ross Bell, executive director of the NZ Drug Foundation (NZ Herald, September 13), which in the strongest possible terms promotes the legalisation and controlled sale of this harmful, noxious weed, with, and I quote Bell: "Next year, we can vote for a better world for our young people. That's a world I can't wait to see."
Any right-minded Kiwi will, I hope, be mortified at these underhanded social experiments to render our land a veritable druggie's paradise, and our future generation of kids zonked out stoners. I know which way I'll be voting.
Peter Cook, Lynfield.
I have never known an acorn to prevent children from playing outside (NZ Herald, September 16). If that is now a new Health and Safety benchmark we are in deep trouble indeed.
The problem, as I see it, is a tree having precedence over an owner's rights to occupy their property.
If the council wants to be proactive, it should actually prevent an oak tree from being planted on a residential property, knowing that it will grow to such an enormous size, and a replacement instead should be planted in the Waitakere Ranges where it will be of far more use.
John Ford, Taradale.
The law is an ass. No, that's a little unfair. It is just that some of those who administer the law are asses. The latest case in point is the sentence imposed by Judge Michael Turner of four months' home detention on Richard Mason McQuarrie who seriously assaulted his partner including kicking her while she was down.
The judge's justification for the lenient sentence was that McQuarrie had been behind bars for three months while awaiting resolution.
The reason he was behind bars is that while on bail for the original assault, bail which no reasonable person would have allowed, he went back and seriously assaulted her again. The judge seems to think four months' home detention is appropriate for not one but two violent assaults. Oh, the judge also prohibited the offender from contacting the victim while on home detention, as if that will have any impact.
I sincerely hope the police appeal this trivial sentence.
Rod Lyons, Muriwai.
I am not surprised at the enthusiastic welcome given to the All Blacks in Japan. The haka was made popular there when it was used in a well-known beer company's ad. The words "ka mate, ka mate" sound almost like - and possibly heard as - the Japanese "gambate" which means "do your best", a Japanese ethic and used frequently to spur on endeavours.
All that combined with being twice Rugby World Cup holders and arguably the best known team, what more do you want? Then as a Japanese friend once said to me " I like their uniform - they look so smart".
All they need do now is win.
P Belsham, Mt Albert.
Friend or whau
Tracy Mulholland's comments (NZ Herald, September 14) have unfortunately done her reputation no good. She was selected by Labour as one member of a team of candidates to stand together for election to the Whau Local Board in 2016.
Those candidates signed a pledge. This standard pledge provides that Labour members will make collective decisions on matters coming before the board. By this means, the voters can be assured of a consistent approach based upon published Labour policies. Her self-described "shock" upon taking office, and subsequent failure to live up to her pledge, was not only a breach of faith with Labour but also a breach of faith with all of those residents of the Whau who voted for the Labour team and its advertised policies.
Stephen William Bradley, Labour campaign manager.
If Matt Heath is regretting the demise of real playgrounds with fun equipment (NZ Herald, September 16), he should visit Perth, in Western Australia.
They have some of the most fantastic adventure playgrounds I've seen. Tall climbing structures with nets and slides, tunnels, bridges and flying foxes. Absolutely fabulous!
I wish Auckland Council could do the same. Watching my 3-year-old granddaughter climb up inside a 3m net to a platform, walk the plank and shimmy down a pole was terrifying and terrific. She is fearless and confident, a great start for any child.
Our pathetic excuse for playgrounds here are almost an embarrassment to take her to.
Jenni Mathews, Clark's Beach.
If the so-called social networks wanted to start a common advertising campaign, their slogan could be: "Join us! Immediately we turn four of your deadly sins into virtues!" or, alternatively, "Crackpots of the World, unite on our sites!"
In the late '60s, authorities made the unforgivable mistake of not declaring these networks to be publishers. This is why they can spread falsehoods with impunity. Reverse that decision and make them responsible for their content, just as newspapers, radio, and television are. We would see less bullying, hate posts, mindless outrage, and weird conspiracy theories. It would avoid a lot of suffering, and it would save us the cost of all the ambulances at the bottom of the cliff.
If it wrecks the network's business model, tough luck.
K H Peter Kammler, Warkworth.
History has been described as an extensive interview with the winners. In New Zealand's case, the "winners" have managed to keep compulsory New Zealand history out of the school curriculum for many decades. At last this is being rectified and only good can come from this.
With some provisos – that no one truth is taught, that questions are asked about whose interests are served by the various versions of truth offered, and that taught history includes all people (especially women and children who often are marginalised).
A critical understanding of our history is what all New Zealanders should expect and deserve from our schooling system. The policy change is long overdue. Kia ora.
Vicki Carpenter, Grey Lynn.
Short & Sweet
On te reo
All languages use metaphor and wise sayings as a cultural teaching shorthand. Whakatauki in te reo serves this function beautifully. Barbara Matthews, Onehunga.
It is heartwarming to see all those people walking joyously up Maungakiekie to celebrate te reo Māori. I would not walk across the road to celebrate te reo or English or Mandarin or any other language. However, each to their own. Brian Cuthbert, Army Bay.
How much dirt can one dig up on one's shovel? It looks like being a dirty election campaign beginning now. Marie Kaire, Whangarei.
Helen Clark, Michael Cullen and Heather Simpson, the old guard of the Labour Party, were convincingly voted out 11 years ago. How come they are still very involved in the governing of our country? H Robertson, St Heliers.
Perhaps we'll meet conjecture equilibrium when Goff talks it up and Tamihere talks it down. Constituents need truths told. Yvonne Sutton, Northcote.
What has happened to the art of dropkicking goals? I recently saw a film of the 1995 match between the All Blacks and the Springboks. Both teams succeeded with a number of dropkicks. Peter Clapshaw, Remuera.
Voices for sustainability are half the measure. Epictetus Ad 50-130 knew differently: "All philosophy lies in two words, sustain and abstain." Mankind has a lot of re-thinking to do.
Kenneth Lees, Whangarei.
The realities of ceasing oil and gas exploration struck on Sunday. Stuart Mackenzie, Ohura.