Reasonable tax only fair
It is worrying to see the attempt by some political parties to whip up resentment towards payment of reasonable taxes.
Taxes paid by past generations of Kiwis paid for the infrastructure we have today: our hospitals, schools, universities, our roads, bridges, railways and ports. They set up our defence and police forces, our legal and education systems and our environmental systems.
Not even the mega-rich among us could afford to build a hospital or a school for their own exclusive use. Few of us could pay to keep our own surgeon, policeman or teacher.
Most reasonable Kiwis agree that paying taxes is a fair way of contributing to a civilised society that we all benefit from and can pass on to our children.
Anne Smith, Warkworth.
Your headline (NZ Herald, October 14) stated the majority want house prices to fall. A gentle fall isn't easy to manage but the government could take a strong step towards limiting future rises.
At present, the government requires the Reserve Bank to aim for an inflation rate of 1-3 per cent. Assuming success, that provides an average long term gain of 2 per cent each year to owners of houses and, on the other side, an average 2 per cent capital loss per year on those who hold fixed interest investments or merely have some cash in the bank.
A change in policy to a 0-2 per cent target would immediately reduce by 1 per cent per year of capital gain that might be expected by investing in houses. Possible adverse effects on investment in productive assets has already been countered by the proposals for accelerated depreciation rates.
Someone struggling to save for a house would no longer have to suffer so much of a surreptitious capital levy. At least the Greens were honest with their 2 per cent capital levy and imposed it only on those with more than $2 million of assets. The current 2 per cent inflation target takes 2 per cent a year in value, even from children's savings accounts.
John Strevens, Remuera.
Graeme East (NZ Herald, October 14) is mistaken in his analysis of the effect of so-called "wasted" votes.
To reach the 5 per cent threshold, a party must obtain 5 per cent of the total party vote, including any votes for parties that do not reach the threshold. The Electoral Act 1993 makes this fairly clear.
Even if a party reaches 4.99 per cent of the party vote, they would be eliminated before any effective redistributing.
Bennett McElwee, Mt Eden.
The problem with Judith Collins' claim that obesity is due to personal choices is that not everyone has the same choices. For example: the time-poor workers on low wages working two jobs to pay the rent, the people whose genetic inheritance is incompatible with our industrialised food system, the people whose gut microbiome is obesogenic, the people on low wages who can't afford the wide daily variety of fruits and vegetables essential for gut health and that supplies adequate vitamins to reduce their appetite, et cetera.
Percy Pio Ese, Remuera.
Congratulations to Judith Collins on stating obesity is a personal problem.
I love all the apologists stating it is not as simple as eating and drinking too much of the wrong things. There is a very good saying and it says you can't get fat on what you don't eat.
New Zealand has a huge obesity problem, let us own it and stop making excuses for it.
Jock Mac Vicar, Hauraki.
Regarding the editorial (NZ Herald, October 14) "Is it time to revisit a 4-year term?" We could all look back to the six demands of the Chartists which, with one exception, have all been granted within our parliamentary (Westminster) system and formed with additions e.g. women's suffrage, a basis of our New Zealand democracy.
The exception is the failure of the sixth demand: annual parliaments.
The Chartists, a percipient and peaceful movement, foresaw the dangers of an entrenched elected party unwilling to give up power within the parliament which, to use Palmer's description, would become an elected dictatorship.
An annual parliament (election) would control this. Maybe the time has come to reconsider the Chartists' sixth demand since - as the Herald editorial mentioned - we have no check on present executive power, lacking an entrenched constitution, which divides the various powers of government.
Michael Coyne, Torbay.
Reading Leighton Smith's opinion piece (NZ Herald, October14), I'm curious as to what he fears about "progressivism" whatever that is?
Is he saying that mankind is not allowed to evolve and learn different ways of tackling problems or is "progressivism" really just another word for "change" something that causes all conservatives, apparently, to get sweaty palms and come over all faint whenever they hear the word?
John Capener, Kawerau.
Science is disagreeing
It seems that Leighton Smith, like Trump, doesn't understand science. He talks of "experts" disagreeing and "...alternative argument is excluded in times of crisis". This is not how science works.
Scientists will change their view on the head of a pin, if evidence points to an alternative outcome, and this is part of disagreeing.
Also this is a bit rich coming from a conservative point of view, where evidence is often wilfully overlooked and resisted to preserve outdated views. In times of crisis, the best science is what we must go for.
Smith also intimates that there is something wrong with Modern Monetary Theory and Critical Race Theory competing for a peace prize.
To me, conservative Trump seems to stand for white supremacy, religious bigotry, ongoing inequality, an unfair health system and the oppression of minorities, and I hope this will not be overlooked by American voters.
Niall Robertson, Balmoral.
At last, an opinion piece (NZ Herald, October 14) in a major publication not just blindly accepting J. Biden as the solution to all of the USA's current issues.
Whilst no fan of Trump, I feel that a pushback against political correctness and Critical Race Theory is necessary and crucial.
Hopefully others start to see this before we sleepwalk into a society that none of us will like.
Chris Chapman, Taupō.
Let us spray
I have a modest vegetable garden and a few young fruit trees which require watering every two or three days.
I certainly don't intend to use my hose for waterblasting the house, steps or car but surely it's not asking too much to be allowed to use the hose for a few minutes every couple of days, rather than walking back and forth to an outside tap with a watering can?
Mike Jarman, One Tree Hill.
Short & sweet
Should Labour win on Saturday they are going to have to deliver to New Zealand and its people like they have never delivered before. That's the major problem as they have failed so badly in the past. Mike Baker, Tauranga.
The Herald liftout Election 2020 is an excellent and useful guide to the election. Congratulations on a job very well done. Peter Arnott, Northpark.
Rather than the stream of ad hominem banter we have been subjected to, I was rather keen to hear about the policies of the major parties. A bit late now. John Clements, Ōrewa.
Bring Caleb Clarke on 10 minutes after half time as Sir John Kirwan suggested - not five minutes before the end of play. John Cooper, Devonport.
Lifted from the Wall Street Journal: There is no such thing as "The Science". There are different scientific views on how to suppress the virus. G. N. Kendall, Rothesay Bay.
Yeah, I'll buy the four-year term; providing the pollies are paid on outcomes. Gerry O'Meeghan, Pāpāmoa Beach.
A database that has been counting the lies and misleading statements made by Trump during his presidency reached 20,000 on 9 July 9, 2020. Apparently Leighton Smith would rather have a liar and an incompetent as president of the US, than a decent man like Joe Biden. Gerry Beckingsale, Torbay.
Australia extends its warmest greetings to Kiwis and Australians living in NZ on the first quarantine-free flights there. But still extends its other, scorched-earth, policy to Kiwis who committed crimes on Australian soil. Import the good. Export the ugly. Rob Buchanan, Kerikeri.