Letter of the week: Rose Lovell-Smith, Mt Roskill
Two letters in
(April 27) oppose NZ taxation and the redistribution of wealth, one equating it with Stalin's Russia (?) and the other disowning the whole concept of the "level playing field" - which is still pretty central to Kiwi ideas of a fair society. Both letters resembled in tone the mighty wave of frantic squeals of pain and anguish from "Herald" correspondents which greeted the possible introduction of a capital gains tax.
No doubt capitalism is a great way of getting goods and services onto markets. It also produces colossal wastage, unsustainable levels of environmental damage and, as its name implies, rewards with capital gains those who already have capital. In my view, it is well worth paying taxes in a low-wage economy like New Zealand's to rectify the gross social inequality and widespread abject poverty which would (and did) result from unbridled capitalism. Above all things, we should value living in our well-governed, well-resourced and managed, stable, non-corrupt and socially cohesive nation. Taxes are the price we pay for this great benefit, and capital gains are income like other forms of income and should be taxed accordingly.
Your columnist Lizzie Marvelly (Weekend Herald, April 27)
that "...we can no longer have reasonable, measured conversations...we'd rather shout at each other" and then attacks Katie Hopkins as pushing her "own bigoted agenda". Very measured, very non-shouty, Lizzie.
What Ms Hopkins was pointing out was the lack of balance in the world's responses to the Christchurch killings and the Sri Lankan bombings. NZ and the non-Muslim world embraced Muslims and denounced white supremacist beliefs over the former. But where is the equivalent embracing and supporting of Christians over the latter? Now is the time for Muslims to condemn this barbarism done in the name of their religion. Is that asking too much?
David Gibbs, Beach Haven
It was shocking
of the treatment handed out by AT to PoAL chief Tony Gibson (Weekend Herald, April 27).
The havoc, the apparent deceit and subterfuge, and only finding out on Facebook about work that could affect the port is not good enough. Gibson has every right to complain to our democratically-elected council where one hopes he will receive an appropriate response.
On the other hand, he may want to take note of the pressure an ever-increasing population in the CBD is putting on limited available land and consider transitioning his dinky toy set and toy cranes to a more welcoming locale such as Northport.
Neal McCarthy, Auckland Central
Surely it is not too late to reverse
council planner Ludo Campbell-Reid ever inflicted upon Auckland and return Quay St to four traffic lanes (Weekend Herald, April 27)?
It was so predictable that seawall repairs combined with plans to pedestrianise this main east/west arterial road would cause havoc and mayhem for traffic, especially westbound, trying to access the ports, wharf areas, Westhaven or the harbour bridge.
Not surprising that Auckland Transport is unable to perform a miracle and ease traffic delays when the plan was unworkable right from the start.
Someone should be held accountable for incompetent and unrealistic planning in this critical area of our waterfront and moved from his position of power at Auckland Council, pronto.
Coralie van Camp, Remuera
about the global war on Christianity (Weekend Herald, April 27), apparently hoping New Zealand will wake up to it (27/4). I doubt it. New Zealand modestly contributes to Christophobia every day. The government is systematically de-Christianising our institutions and a day doesn't go by without Christianity being scorned or abused (often with false or skewed facts) by one or another journalist, correspondent or cartoonist.
In the same issue, correspondents' defence of Rod Emmerson's cartoon about the crucified CGT: the "Life of Brian" lifeline is threadbare, Emmerson knew exactly what he was doing.
In the past, abrasive banter was the norm, we all had thick skins and we Christians were fair game like everyone else. Now, this banter is forbidden for some, but still warmly encouraged for others (including Christians).
Gavan O'Farrell, Lower Hutt
War or clash?
Firstly, with regards to Leighton Smith's
"NZ finally waking up to war on Christianity" (Weekend Herald, April 27), I would like to point out that a war, traditionally understood, is between two opponents. Does Leighton Smith subscribe to the idea that we have a "Clash of Civilisations" rather than a "Clash of
Fundamentalisms", as Tariq Ali argues?
Secondly, the West has for far too long been uncritical in its Islamophobia for me to be comfortable with any claim of a "war on Christianity" waged by Muslims. The only Muslims waging such a "war" are the very last people I'd wish to give any credence to: Muslim
equivalents of the "white supremacists" of the West.
Wesley Parish, Tauranga
I enjoy fishing but why is live bait fishing still allowed for recreational fishing in NZ seas? It must be a cruel experience for the smaller fish to firstly be caught, then to have a line hook run through its back, only then to be released back into the ocean as bait for a larger fish which senses the panic and damage to that smaller fish and attacks it. Very similar types of live bait animal cruelty have become unacceptable and outlawed in NZ, notably in greyhound racing. However, several high-profile TV fishing shows, often funded by large NZ corporate entities, still regularly feature this live baiting technique and by doing so imply it is acceptable. Often the bigger fish once caught using the live bait (now dead), is then released alive back into the ocean which seems to make the pain and suffering experienced by the bait fish even more unacceptable.
M Treloar, Hamilton
Recently I called a car sales company to inquire about a used vehicle advertised for sale. Unfortunately, they had no maintenance information but suggested I contact the local BMW agent who sold the car new, which I did.
When I requested maintenance history for the car, I was told that the privacy law prevents them from divulging this information to the public.
This is not the first time I've been confronted with this type of response since returning to New Zealand after 40 years overseas.
My question: Is this really the case now in NZ or an easy response from lazy people?
Wayne Michael Christie, Whitianga
A quick word
TV and radio advertisements are annoying most of the time. Listening to someone preaching about a service or product is bad enough, but finishing by babbling, "T's and C's apply" is particularly irksome. These riders are apparently added for legal reasons, but since when did abbreviations afford protection under law? T's and C's could be tricks and cons.
David Andrews, Tauranga
Where would we be without Lizzie Marvelly's weekly words of wokedom?
Mike Wagg, Freemans Bay
I never thought any thing could top my feelings of being such an idiot as the day before I was to present my patent burglar alarm at the school science fair it was stolen. So thank you Palmerston North police station, you have just relieved me of 50 years of feelings of total inadequacy.
Gary Hollis, Mellons Bay
What an extreme divergence of human behaviour. Sri Lanka, following the murder of 250 Christians over Easter, banning the face-covering Muslim veil, the burkha. While in Iran a female has been jailed for 38 years for not wearing the simple face-revealing head scarf,
Hylton Le Grice, Remuera
Thank you for the article on Neven MacEwan (Weekend Herald, April 27), it's good to hear the Rugby Union is now providing support to players who have similar problems. But the union could be doing more by avoiding promotion of alcohol at its games venues as well as finding ways to reduce drinking by players, so often encouraged by the ready availability of alcohol at clubs.
Graeme Woodfield, Tamahere
When we have secured the return of the guns at the cost of hundreds of millions of dollars through the buy-back, we should arrange an American auction and sell them all off to licensed enthusiasts. That's probably where most of them came from. Help make America great again!
Bill Mathews, St Mary's Bay
Given that the previous government underfunded the statistics department, it is fair to blame them for the less than satisfactory result of the last Census? In other words, if you don't pay much, don't expect much.
John Capener, Kawerau
It is heartening to learn the Government is grappling with plans to build a spur rail line to Northport to handle more freight. A cost of $200m seems modest compared to the billions spent on other dubious results. Removing the imported car parks from our waterfront would be a spectacular result for the public as well as freeing up the trucking jam now plaguing the AT's pet Quayside project.
Anne Wilks, Devonport
The solution to our integration problems lie in education and regulation. In my view, the biggest threat to our democracy is our complacency towards our hard-won New Zealand values, demonstrated constantly by the number of citizens who do not bother to vote or stand-up and be counted.
Brian Main, Hamilton
Having driven four hours today up the east coast to Waikato, I saw at least three cases of dangerous overtaking by drivers whilst traffic was travelling at the legal speed limit. Unnecessary risk-taking in my opinion would be the most common cause of road tragedy.
Vicky Mettner, Gisborne
I stayed recently at one of the international chain hotels in Auckland and by the bedside was the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Missing in action seemed to be the Koran, Talmud, Tripitaka and the Vedas.
Bernard Jennings, Island Bay