Your leading letter (NZ Herald, October 13) suggests that the Swiss version of democracy is worth consideration.
A quick check does reveal some favourable aspects.
For example, no MP is permitted to have that role as a career in itself; they must be established already as solid working citizens (feet on the ground, in other words), and then are allowed to be an elected representative for a limited time.
Direct democracy means that referendums that meet established criteria are binding ... 50,000 signatures in 100 days being one such rule.
Obviously there's more, but let's finish on their Parliamentary motto: "Let the welfare of the people be the supreme law".
B. Watkin, Devonport.
In our hands
Bravo to Roger Hall (NZ Herald, October 12) for suggesting the liquor industry, profiting five-fold from the lockdown, should be helping the restaurants and others in hospitality.
Now that Delta is amongst us, it's time to turn from regarding government as a fix-all, toward more generous and nuanced, socially-driven solutions to hardship.
Geoff Chapple, Devonport.
The recently announced mandates for staff vaccinations in the health and education sectors are an excellent start (if belated and not comprehensive enough). Let's now go to the next step.
Allow all businesses (and institutions) to reopen as from next Monday, as long as they ensure all staff and customers onsite are doubly vaccinated. For government departments, a similar mandate should also apply.
We know that 99 per cent of Covid hospitalisations are amongst the unvaccinated. Clearly, we need to protect them.
However, the vaccinated should be able to return to the new normal. Now.
Lucas Bonné, Unsworth Heights.
I would not wish my grandchild to be exposed to Covid because of an ill-informed, unvaccinated teacher putting a school at risk. The education system is better off without the minority who refuse vaccination. Teaching is meant to be a profession and professionals are meant to be intelligent and informed people. It only takes one individual to spread this virus.
The Government needs to go a step further and mandate vaccines for Police, Corrections, supermarket and cleaning staff. Give the power to businesses to refuse entry to those unvaccinated.
Vaccination is the only way we have of getting on top of this virus.
Marie Kaire, Whangarei.
Twenty-five years after the introduction of MMP, the erstwhile clamour for the reinstatement of the First Past the Post (FPP) method of voting seems to have almost evaporated - especially since the Labour Government has had an outright majority under MMP.
Looking back, governments (especially under Prime Ministers Shipley and Clark) have handled minority government expertly and parties have not (with the possible exception of the "Bushmills era" of 1996-7) abused their positions.
In practice, MMP has meant wider representation and has contributed to more inclusion.
While no method of voting is perfect and refinements may be made, it is difficult now to see MMP being voted out.
John Collinge, St Mary's Bay.
The criticism of Cornwall Park being closed to vehicles needs discussion. Parks have been a saviour and freedom for many during this pandemic. Park managers face many pressures to control increased crowds as well as maintain a healthy, safe and pleasurable environment.
Controlling vehicles in parks is difficult, as seen at Muriwai and the way the Maunga Authority has controlled vehicles on the volcanic cones.
Cornwall Park is one of our best-loved parks, in danger of being "over-loved" because there are few other similar alternatives. It is basically private land gifted to the people of Auckland and keeps a high standard of operation not using public funds.
We also have a divided, unco-ordinated park system with different agencies caring for parks and public spaces. There is inequity in providing parks like Cornwall and regional parks as Auckland grows. Other large blocks of land need to be gifted or put aside as Auckland grows.
With the draft Auckland Regional Park Management Plan coming out in the coming months, it is hoped wider discussion will take place on large Cornwall-type parks across all of Auckland.
Kit Howden, Mt Eden.
I would like to reply to one of the three letters on the subject of China/Taiwan(NZ Herald, October 13).
One letter states the US has been at war constantly throughout the last 242 years, implying they are warmongers. However, it is well known by most of the older generation that the US were heavily criticised for coming into both World War I and WWII late.
My uncle flew Lancaster bombers in WWII and told me the allies would have lost against Germany and Japan if it weren't for the Americans.
We all know the US has lots of faults but the love of freedom throughout our lives we and the Americans share are poles apart from what the Chinese people have.
Just look at how they treat the Muslims in their own country, how the people in Hong Kong are treated if they speak up against them. And the pressure applied to many of their Asian neighbours, which is becoming frightening. Let's hope sanity prevails and there is not a war.
Bruce Turner, Cambridge.
Holding the Cup
This patriotic Kiwi boatie would rather see the America's Cup defence held in New Zealand, using the paltry $100 million apparently available, and lose graciously, than defend it somewhere overseas using the reportedly $200 million available and win.
Should the latter occur, we must presume we'll never see a defence here again.
Bill Allen, St Mary's Bay.
Re: Alan Jermaine's suggestion on sub-titles for "Vigil" (NZ Herald, October 13).
This is exactly what I said to my husband as I annoyed the hell out of him yet again, by stopping, and re-winding to listen to a conversation that sounded like scrambled eggs.
Margaret Payne, Hobsonville.
TVNZ has an excellent service for providing text or subtitles. Being hard of hearing, I have my television set for text. TVNZ provides text for most programmes.
With live TV, the text can be delayed but, for nearly all of the other entertainment, the spoken word is displayed underneath which is magic for the hard of hearing.
Marilyn Newland, Blockhouse Bay.
Out, damned spite
Congratulations to Jill Hadfield (It's a Date) and John Gibbs (Hardly an abject failure) for their two excellent letters (NZ Herald, October 12).
Their succinct, to the point and oh, so sensible views said it all.
All complainers, moaners and criticisers of the Governments' Covid Pandemic strategy take note and get thee gone.
Russell O Armitage, Hamilton.
Short & sweet
No government would be re-elected if it laid out effective plans to reduce emissions. As Greta Thunberg says, it will be more "blah blah blah". Susan Grimsdell, Auckland Central.
Will those people who choose not to be fully vaccinated, who become unemployed, still be eligible for government assistance? Jeannette Shaw, St. Heliers.
I congratulate the NZ Super Fund on its $12 billion return in the last year, it's a great shame the return is not the $30 billion it would have been had the Key administration not made the catastrophic decision to stop the funding. Mark Nixon, Remuera.
The rights of the unvaccinated are taking precedence over the rights of the vaccinated. Auckland is the lifeblood of New Zealand, give New Zealand a target, a date and now. Bonita Watt, Torbay.
Given they will be in contact with hundreds of students every day, of course they would need vaccinations. Surely our teachers aren't that slow? Paul Carpenter, Rotorua.
Regarding the people who would rather resign from their jobs than accept vaccination, I offer this old quote: "There's nowt so queer as folk." V. Hall, Whangaparāoa.
The Premium Debate
If you are kind and smile to those around you - or those serving you - you get kindness and smiles back. And they may even go the extra mile for you. Works a treat. Makes everyone's day a little bit better. None of us is any "better" than anyone else, and if we behave as though we are, it will inevitably come back to bite us. We reap what we sow. Joanne W.
I completely agree with your article...I have witnessed someone treating a supermarket worker terribly who was going out of their way to help the person. As the lockdown continues I understand people are getting frustrated but I believe people who are doing their best to provide a service to us should be treated with the utmost respect and thanks. Karen M.
Years ago I read the statement: "someone who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, probably isn't that nice a person". This appalling, entitled behaviour isn't new but seems to become more prevalent in times of stress. A smile is free, but contagious. And if it's hard to show one with a face mask on, a thumbs-up works too. Emile B.
I asked MSD for help and the lovely, kind and gentle lady at MSD Grey Lynn who called me back could not have been more understanding, empathetic or helpful ... In these times of trouble and stress, the real heart of the individual becomes exposed, and in this case, she has been angelic in her performance and delivery. Thank you. Roger H.
We own a small retail business, 99 per cent of people are a pleasure to deal with. Must admit the 1 per cent can really throw you off your game. You certainly get more affected by the odd entitled customer. Christopher H.
I have seen some ugliness with people refusing to wear masks including a guy that demanded a security guard at a supermarket read his phone information that they don't work. In that instance, the security guard simply said you need to wear a mask sorry and handed him a mask. Luckily he went through, angry. But it could have turned ugly and my friend who manages a supermarket says it often does. Trying times for them. And I for one am very grateful to these people at this time, they keep the world turning. Ross W.
Ordered a coffee from a stressed-out barista in a hotel lobby (pre-lockdown) at rush hour, told her, "take your time, I can wait". She liked that and said, "here's your cappuccino, no charge". Timothy W.
Great article. I try and make sure to smile under the mask at anyone working in retail for I remember the days I was in their shoes and I'm not sure how I would've financially possibly coped through all of this on minimum wage. David V.
The same applies to our leaders and scientists and medical people. No matter our politics, we need to spare a thought for the full-on work they're doing day after day, week after week, month after month. Margaret W.