Fit to be tied
I feel shocked and, frankly, angry that - in 2021, and at a time when we are facing so many issues - there was so little support for Rawiri Waititi and his wearing of a tiki instead of a tie in Parliament (NZ Herald, February 10).
He was respectfully and well dressed, and given that women MPs have utter flexibility in their dress code, the ruling was even more ludicrous and pathetic.
I felt embarrassed as a Pakeha that such an issue was even raised but the manner in which the Speaker handled it was insulting.
Today's "olive branch" in suggesting it be referred to another committee adds insult to injury.
As a country when there are so many issues facing us socially and economically, how appalling that time is being wasted on this in Parliament.
An apology should be issued to immediately to Rawiri Waititi by all of us, and certainly by the Speaker.
Dame Rosanne Meo, Remuera.
Presumably when someone stands for Parliament he or she understands that there is a dress code. It is not unlike when a young person enrols at school and must follow the school's uniform policy.
What I find difficult is the wearing of a hat inside - I was taught to remove my hat when I entered a building. That was part of my tikanga.
Greg Cave, Sunnyvale.
The Reserve Bank, the Treasury (who informed Finance Minister Grant Robertson) and all the banks knew QE (quantitative easing) would increase house prices and cannot act innocently - a clique of culpability.
Tightening the LVR to 40 per cent (NZ Herald, February 10) should have occurred six months ago. The message to investors is: continue on spending before QE is reduced and interest rates begin to rise in 2022.
The housing bubble is inflating faster through QE (printing money and giving it to the banks at 0.3 per cent) than LVRs can deflate it.
It's the political explosion from young fear-of-missing-out homeowners that politicians should be really scared of, because the poorer ones (without parental deposits) will miss out.
What happens when the RBNZ stops QE? The end of money for house investors at cheap rates. Rising interest rates will make housing even more unaffordable and equilibrium is finally reached.
Politicians don't seriously expect a disinherited generation to be that gullible or do they? Yep.
Steve Russell, Hillcrest.
New Zealand has the highest level of second home-ownership in the world. The reason people buy second homes is totally return-focused, i.e. to make a profit. It has outperformed other investments for a long time. This is not a social good and quite unreasonable as it pushes prices up and makes homes less accessible for first home buyers.
Not only does it push house prices up, it also drives up rents. Therefore we must support measures to reduce the unreasonably favourable climate for building property portfolios for profit.
Suggested loan-to-value ideas should be welcomed. Other ideas would be to disallow interest deductions on homes bought for profit rather than for residence. Mortgage lending only requires 50 per cent capital allocation by banks; this could be restricted to residential properties only, to disincentivise excessive bank lending, fuelling multiple home buying.
Higher capital coverage for investment properties would require higher pricing for financing these investments, making investing less attractive.
Frank Olsson, Freemans Bay.
So council-owned entities such as Watercare end up competing with other council entities, such as the Auckland CRL, for workers and. as a result, are offering huge pay rises to existing council staff. Similarly, Ports of Auckland is causing huge import delays due to an inability to get trained staff.
Clearly the Government's broken promise to free up 10 per cent of MIQ facilities for essential workers is causing huge extra costs for Auckland Council and all Auckland businesses and ratepayers.
Sadly, Ministers Hipkins and Faafoi continue to live in an alternative reality and Aucklanders pay the price. Come on Ministers - open up MIQ for essential workers now.
Lucas Bonne, Unsworth Heights.
History is people
Having taught history and written texts for over 50 years, I am delighted to see a compulsory New Zealand history coming into being at last. Two things concern me:
Firstly there needs to be a parallel international course to give our children a basic knowledge of the world at large – our kids must be acquainted with the Americas, Asia and Europe.
Secondly, a sure way to sell it is to work through biography. Kids like people. If you can't make Kiwis such Hone Heke, Sir George Grey, Julius Vogel, Kate Sheppard, Whina Cooper, Bill Massey, Charlie Upham, Rob Muldoon, Ed Hillary, David Lange and Jacinda Ardern interesting, just to name a few, then you need to look seriously at your lesson planning. I have yet to meet the Kiwi kid who does not smile at Muldoon's quip: "When a Kiwi goes to Australia, it raises the IQ on both sides of the Tasman".
Disraeli, a major 19th century political leader gave up on regular issues-based history in favour of biography because he wanted to know how and why people created and dealt with issues.
George Bowen, Royal Oak.
About last knight
I have often wondered about the automatic knighthood for the Speaker of the House. No longer is the Speaker in danger of his life while holding office, nor now, I believe, has anyone been forced into giving up a Bencher role. Many capable people inside and outside Parliament would jump at the salary and the perks. Honorific incentives do not seem to be needed for this purpose.
Some of the knighthoods awarded to Speakers are no doubt merited, for other service. But perish the thought that an automatic knighthood might go to a Speaker who, from a position of authority against someone without such power, wrongly defamed that person as a rapist; that it would go to a Speaker who said in his defence that he did not know the definition of rape; and upon reflection after 24 hours, did not make immediate amends, thereby exacerbating the damage and increasing the costs.
John Collinge, St Mary's Bay.
More MPs needed?
At first glance at our Government's colossal number of MP's to run a country as small as New Zealand (NZ Herald, February 9) begs the question: Do we really need that many politicians?
So I checked it out by comparing countries with similar populations, with quite surprising results.
Finland has 200, Norway 169, Denmark 179 and Ireland 160 - which would indicate we actually need more, and by the law of averages 57 more.
Gary Hollis, Mellons Bay.
The views of your opinion writer Mathew Hooton, and your correspondent in Monday's Herald under the heading "Mad green policies", reminded me of the old song, Everyone Wants To Go To Heaven (But Nobody Wants To Die).
Well, it would appear from their rhetorical criticism of the sensible recommendations of Climate Change Commission, that everyone wants to fix climate change but no one wants to pay.
If we are going to fix what the majority of people understand is the root cause of climate change, then we are all going to have to pay a price for that.
I have my wallet open ready to make heaven a better place.
Neil Anderson, Algies Bay.
With the article headed, "A Long Long Hot Summer" (NZ Herald, February 9) there is a photo of One Tree Hill, brown as could be. Did anyone notice the green grass approximately 1m wide strip on the side of the road where it is mown?
I can tell you as a farmer that if you remove all stock from grazing the pasture it wouldn't matter what weather you had, by February it would be long and dry dead grass. That's what it does.
You are left with an unsightly, and a very much increased, fire risk.
Bruce Turner, Cambridge.
Just ad drugs
Dave Miller (NZ Herald, February 9) is incorrect when he states "there are no other drugs advertised on TV".
Apparently, being a chef is so stressful that one chap has to take Panadol just to make it through the day in order to keep up with the rest of the staff. Not so long ago, the same company was advertising " baby panadol " in an attempt I assume to catch customers for life.
Whoever allowed these adverts has obviously not been informed that the largest killer of humans outside of alcohol and tobacco are legal pharmaceutical drugs.
James G McCormick, Gisborne.
You are watched
Cameras on billboards (NZ Herald, February 9) is not only unnecessary but is a complete invasion of privacy and should be shut down immediately.
There is no grey area, it is just wrong.
If you cannot figure out what income-bracket drives what car, you should get another job. Ponsonby homes from $2m upwards = expensive cars.
Our freedom to drive wherever and whenever we want is no one's business and has no right being recorded.
Jarrad Barlow, Auckland Central.
Short & sweet
Considering there's a glut of non-mānuka honey, forcing many apiarists off their hives, why is the public still being stung with last year's high prices for a local product? Mary Tallon, Takapuna.
Rugby and cricket commentators must be advised to stop always referring to "a few cold ones after the game". This cliche subtly endorses a sports drinking culture. J Evans, Mt Eden.
David Wilson (NZ Herald, February 9) would like to have Scott Morrison any day. Many Australians would agree and be happy to gift wrap him. Rae McGregor, Mt Eden.
I would think that Parliament has more important things to deal with than ties and the wearing of. Hal Griffiths, Whitianga.
Perhaps Mallard could check how Keir Hardie - a famous Scottish Labour MP - flouted sartorial convention in a big way on his first day in the British Parliament in 1892? Norman Hawcroft, Glendowie.
To wear a hat indoors is culturally insensitive to everyone. Unless, of course, it happens to be raining. Kate Gore, Pyes Pa.
I couldn't agree more with Cheryl Miller (NZ Herald, February 9). Matakana and surrounding area is full, we don't need any more promotion. Michele Wade, Ōmaha.