Your reporter David Fisher (NZ Herald, September 18) is to be congratulated on his recent article and conversation with Tūhoe CEO Kirsti Luke.
Against the backdrop of many Pākehā struggling with the challenges of coming to grips with Te Reo, her incisive analysis of the far wider and deeper ongoing issues facing her people regarding education and culture was inspirational.
Amid the seemingly relentless focus on globalisation and profit, turbocharged by our impatience to emerge from a Covid-hit world and restore the economy, her view that a three-year time frame is mere fad is grounding. It begs the question who, if any politician, plays the long game?
Coupled with her conviction about the importance of not compromising on values, being smart about it and fighting, you do end up feeling that there is plenty any politician from any party could learn from the Tūhoe indeed.
Neil Marsh, Ponsonby.
Perhaps a 127km/h wind gust that has blocked the centre lanes of the Auckland Harbour Bridge will restore our (common) sense of proportion about getting around Auckland.
For most of us, getting ourselves and our goods exactly from Point A to Point B requires cars and trucks and open roads (and bridges). Usually too far to walk, and we can't carry much on bicycles.
Time to use our votes to crush the car-hating pipe-dreamers with their distant visions of "Skypaths", walking tracks, and trams cluttering Dominion Rd, and bring in a government that before the end of 2020 will make a start on a gust-free road and train tunnel under Waitematā Harbour.
Have those of us on North Shore and the CBD forgotten so quickly the added flexibility and dramatic reduction of travel time to Auckland Airport since the opening of the Waterview Tunnel?
Terry Dunleavy, chair, Takapuna Residents Assn Inc.
Recently, my wife and I holidayed in the South Island. One thing that struck me, apart from the stunning scenery (and Queenstown and Wanaka aside) was the closure, en masse, of cafes, pubs, businesses, tourist attractions etc in places like Milford Sound, Tekapo, Fox and Franz Joseph glaciers, Hokitika, et al.
These places are ghost towns, with local business and community spirit obliterated. No amount of taxing some at 39 per cent or rounds of wage subsidies will bring these areas back to life.
I am a simple country boy and cannot understand why we can't say to the (international travel) world, you're welcome to bring your tourist dollars, you will be quarantined at your cost and if you test positive, too bad, you're gone, otherwise enjoy our country and all it has to offer.
I am sure there would be thousands that would take up the offer. Let's make NZ tourism great again.
Tony Pope, New Plymouth.
The recent truck overturnings on the harbour bridge have reminded me of my continuing concerns regarding double-decker buses crossing the bridge.
I travel from Birkenhead, often on these buses, and they always keep to the left outside lane of the "clip-on" as they cross towards the city. The prevailing winds are from the west/southwest and my concern is that the sort of unexpected gust that overturned those trucks could possibly have a catastrophic result if such a gust hit one of these buses at the wrong time.
I have asked the bus drivers about this and their response is that they are required to not
change lanes once they are on the bridge, and thus, as they reach the bridge in the outside left lane, they stay there.
My view is that the modest disruption to other motorists of such a bus changing lanes to one of the more central lanes would be far less of an issue than a bus potentially tipping over the relatively low outer barrier with consequences that none of us would even dare contemplate.
Best, surely, to keep these high and vulnerable vehicles to the central lanes where, as we have just witnessed, the only damage, thankfully, was to the vehicle and maybe some parts of the bridge structure.
Rhys Morgan, Northcote Point.
Philip Temple (NZ Herald, September 18) gives reasons for remembering why we have MMP.
He could have added that one reason which influenced the change was that New Zealanders' sense of fairness was outraged by the results of one of the last elections to be held under the FPP system, when, roughly, Labour got 41 per cent of the popular vote, National 39 per cent and Social Credit 20 per cent.
National got a majority of seats in the House and was able to govern unchallenged for three years. Social Credit, despite getting half the number of votes of either National or Labour, got no seats and hence had no input at all.
Temple also noted that 60 per cent of senior school students did not know how MMP works. Is that the same 60 per cent agitating for the voting age to be lowered to 16?
H.E.H. Perkins, Botany Down.
On October 17, voters will go to the polls to elect a government, they probably won't elect. They will most likely elect a committee which will then proceed to a "Dutch auction" as to who is going to be in the government and what the policies are going to be.
Over 30 per cent of MPs will be appointed by the political party hierarchies.
Someone out there wanted MMP, it is just hard to find them at times.
R S Stratton, Te Atatū.
A Covid-positive health worker visiting a Les Mills Gym on two occasions has not resulted in any further Covid-positive cases of staff or members being reported to date.
Credit is due to businesses working in the most challenging environments, who are adopting protocols that appear to be succeeding in keeping their members and the public safe. Surely some good lessons to be learned from the practices of businesses like Les Mills.
Ben Sheeran, Rothesay Bay.
Te reo Māori
I want to thank everyone who worked so hard to raise our consciousness about this beautiful language. I love to hear it spoken, and wish I had learned it at school in the 50s and 60s. I know it is not too late for me to learn properly, but current circumstances prevent this.
I am encouraged to realise just how many words I have acquired, but when speaking of matters of the heart these do need grammar and context for real communication.
I have enjoyed the introductions and farewells from our TV and radio presenters; the texts along the bottom of my TV screen; the encouragement, the banter and so much good will - and then hearing some of the results and ideas that have arisen from this special week.
Current electronic tools have made this all much easier, so the books written by the Morrisons are inviting and relevant, and the many other titles translated into te reo are beautifully done too.
I do hope that, with constant encouragement and education, one day we will all be able to speak and understand more.
How about we extend this one week into six months?
Eirene Voon, New Lynn.
Rocketing bidding on collectibles is further confirmation that a small minority have more money than is good for society. Around 1960 it was predicted that computers and machines should slowly reduce the 40-hour-week then needed to earn a living. Sixty years on we find the pre-eminent change is a proliferation of billionaires trading their $100 million dollar mega-yachts.
Such disgusting wealth needs to be taxed out of existence by whatever panoply of taxes it takes. Perhaps then all citizens can receive a liveable income funded by the ingenious technology advances that so far have mainly benefited the world's clever-dick exploiters of the downtrodden.
Jim Carlyle, Te Atatū Peninsula.
I endorse the views put forward by Robert McCulloch (NZ Herald, September 16). I too am looking forward to learning what vision the respective parties have for the future, and a plan for getting there. The centre of the political spectrum appears to be getting increasingly crowded.
As an example of developing new business for the economy, surely the current quarantine requirement can be turned to advantage whereby high quality (not necessarily high-volume) isolation facilities can be provided for those prepared to pay, alongside a capped allocation of free (taxpayer-funded) spaces for returning NZ citizens. Such facilities could be seen as a desirable destination rather than a penance, but the cost of proper security would need to be factored in. It would also have the advantage of limiting the quarantine cost to the taxpayer while still ensuring that NZ citizens have the right to return home, and students or businesspeople prepared to pay would have a way of joining our society, our economy.
Mark Vincent, Paparoa.
Short & sweet
All overseas arrivals should be tested and cleared before they arrive in NZ. Why pay for their accommodation costs if they fail testing upon arrival? We are too kind (or stupid).
Patrick Deane, Ōrākei.
A truck was blown over on the bridge, and disaster has struck, causing absolute chaos. When will we start on the long overdue second bridge/tunnel? Lois Newby, Ōrewa.
Why is there not a high wind speed warning system for trucks on the Auckland Harbour
Bridge? If there is, why was it not working? As usual we will pay the price of poor planning.Bob Wichman, Botany.
Is the harbour bridge damage so severe that even motorbikes must be kept off its central lanes? Chris Kiwi, Mt Albert.
Make the bridge one way 6am to 10am into the city, 3pm to 7pm from the city to the North Shore. Karola Wheeler, West Harbour.
The huge amount of money Auckland Council is about to splash out on the America's Cup would be a good start for a second bridge fund, and much more useful. Pamela Russell, Ōrākei.
This damage to the bridge may prove more costly than the last Covid shutdown. I suppose thats the price of living in a democracy where everyone is afraid to make a decision they may be held responsible for. Geoff Minchin, Kawakawa.
Auckland commuters now have ample time to consider the "Let's keep moving" billboards that line their route. Jane Livingstone, Remuera.
On tax cuts
Will we vote for deja-vu? Will we take the bribe? Are we better than that? We'll see on election night. Clyde Scott, Birkenhead.