Life in the farce lane
I am a 71-year-old retiree who seldom drives to the city and therefore am unfamiliar with the bus lanes trap when turning left to Parnell from Khyber Pass Rd.
AT put up cameras that have trapped millions in fines to support the 24 rich-lister employees of Auckland Transport. This is robbing the poor to support the rich.
The fine notice arrived in my letterbox via snail mail, too late to challenge in court and my letter of appeal that I was going to my doctor in Parnell on that day was rejected by the Auckland Transport rich-listers.
In first-world countries, bus lanes operate only during peak hours, not 7am to 7pm, seven days a week.
If this is not a revenue-gathering ploy to support their humongous salaries, what is?
The Justice Department is fully supporting AT by ordering WiNZ to deduct from my Super $40 fortnightly, to pay the $282 fine for driving in the bus lane for a couple of minutes to turn left at the Khyber Pass / Newmarket traffic lights, not giving me a chance to have my day in court to explain. My doctor's fees were much less.
"Be kind" - indeed.
Colin Tan, Manukau.
I have supported the idea for some time now that politicians should replace the current oath/ affirmation of allegiance in Parliament with references to the people of Aotearoa and Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
I strongly agree with the New Zealand Republic's statement that this change will help "reflect contemporary Aotearoa".
Hone Harawira was thrown out of Parliament in 2011 during a swearing-in ceremony after he tried pledging allegiance first to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, his duties to the people of Tai Tokerau, his commitment to addressing the nature of citizenship for Maori and reducing inequalities in our country.
It is time that our politicians started to show a little more appreciation for the nature of their responsibilities and to our nation's founding document.
What contemporary relevance, if any, does the Head of State really have throughout our
communities? Nothing significant that I can see.
Te Haua Taua, Pakuranga.
Kent Millar (NZ Herald, October 30) appears to have his Americans mixed up. It is Trump who actually said "I alone can fix it" and who installed his own family throughout the US government, overruling security checks. It is Trump who said "They happen to be very nice people" of the New York crime families (other than his own); it is Trump who withheld aid to Ukraine with the infamous line "I want you to do us a favour though" and it is Trump who insists on absolute loyalty to him personally, over and above duty to country, including threatening to withhold critical equipment during a pandemic unless the state governors said nice things about him.
The US is indeed burning and while Biden tries to calm the populace and motivate them towards positive change and peaceful action, Trump is throwing fuel on the fire, stirring up hate and pitching neighbour against neighbour.
Craig Stanton, Birkdale.
Heavy is the denigration of D. J. Trump, but nowhere has there been any explanation of who forms his political base.
It is the ordinary working person on wage, salary or in small business, a group named by H. Clinton as "deplorables" and by J. Biden as "chumps".
Trump is the only American politician who acts, not just yaps, for them and they appreciate it. For example, he reduced unemployment by removing a swag of pettifogging business rules, then setting up "opportunity zones". These are small areas of heavy unemployment where he offered tax breaks to anyone setting up there and employing locals. Black and Hispanic people grabbed the opportunity to set up their own small businesses and minority entrepreneurship went through the roof.
The Democrats, by the way, are livid at Trump for stealing their "dependents" and have promised to abolish said zones.
G. N. Kendall, Rothesay Bay.
Hylton Le Grice (NZ Herald, October 29) says that China producing 28.5 per cent of carbon emissions is "appalling" and New Zealand at "just 0.17 per cent" should not contribute to the UN Climate Accord Fund. Chester Rendell (NZ Herald, October 30) agrees.
I wonder why both writers omit to factor in that China's population of 1.44 billion is 288 times that of NZ's 5 million.
I agree that China should contribute a fair share to the fund earlier than year 2030, but it seems NZ produces carbon at nearly three times the world average per person and going on for twice as much as China.
Colin Bourke, Surfdale.
Reading Auckland Zoo's director Kevin Buley's plea (NZ Herald, October 30) to ban the sale of private fireworks to safeguard the well-being of our threatened endemic birds and the safety of zoo animals was distressing.
To know that the terror of nightly fireworks results in injuries, abandoned nests and hurt young as a result of some of us wanting a "bit of fun" is a position most people would surely find untenable
The SPCA, Fire and Emergency NZ and the police have all asked the Government to ban private sales of fireworks. Apparently the money made by the few who import large amounts of fireworks into NZ is more important than the well-being of all animals and all the services that have to deal with the fall-out.
It is time for NZ to move forward and have organised fireworks displays on Matariki, which would be a shared community experience and not one at the expense of either animals or our fellow humans.
Jane Carmichael, Glendowie.
The article: "Pak'nSave fined – display prices differed" (NZ Herald, October 29) should also serve to remind us to be cautious of psychological techniques to get us to buy.
One example being a 180g jar of instant coffee. A nearby Warehouse sells this coffee at a price of $5. At New World, the identical jar of coffee has a non-promotional price of $7.79. Following their banner phrase "Save every day" we see on the shelf the current promotion price: Saver $6.99.
Remember manipulation and persuading are part of advertising techniques.
Warren Johns, Remuera.
In my opinion Halloween should no longer be celebrated in New Zealand. I think it sends out all the wrong signals to children.
The idea of knocking on people's doors and expecting sweets for doing nothing is ridiculous.
By contrast, the Boy Scouts had "bob a job" week where a shilling was given, but only as reward for the boy completing a job for their neighbour. This could be mowing lawns or maybe pulling weeds out of the garden.
Once the boys had filled their cards, the money raised was given to charity.
The subliminal messages were that reward came from work, and that it was charitable to give to those less fortunate.
Personally I can't think of any good lessons to be learnt from Halloween. I say leave it to the Americans and others. We just don't need this nonsense in Aoetearoa.
Glen Stanton, Mairangi Bay.
Today, when ringing my bank, the now all too familiar voice message came on telling me that they were experiencing a "higher than usual volumes of calls" and that a lengthy wait was therefore likely.
Isn't it funny that all of the banks, utility companies and telcos seem to have exactly the same message and that it appears to be a permanent fixture rather than something only used during peak periods? In reality, it is just a lame excuse for not employing enough staff to adequately resource their call centres.
Roger South, Epsom.
It was so much fun back in the Sixties to "go to town", meaning one would dress up smartly on a Friday night and go shopping in Queen St, Auckland.
The place was full of people sporting their best gear, the shops doing full-on business transactions, and mostly good behaviour everywhere.
How different now. What became "downtown" is gone and been redeveloped, and predominantly now caters to skincare, or feeds the tum – now in the name of Commercial Bay.
Orange cones, slowed-down traffic, shops gone out of business, and the "anything goes" for attire is sadly the norm.
All this in the name of progress, I guess?
Margaret Dyer, Taupō.
Short & sweet
I think the wrong choice was offered. We should have been asked about decriminalising rather than legalising cannabis. Richard Stirling, New Windsor.
I applaud Damien Venuto's insightful view of the advertising industry, (NZ Herald, October 31) "Playing the game of spot the difference". Analogies such as "fluffy spiel" and "buzzword bingo" were indeed spot on. John Norris, Whangamatā.
I cringe when I watch Meridian's advertisement on TV, stipulating they "only generate electricity from wind, water and sun". This means they don't generate anything else from wind, water and sun. I think they mean to say "we generate electricity only from wind water and sun". Trevor Smith, Takapuna.
The anti-euthanasia voters can have no complaint about the result of the vote. If they want to die in agony, they can still do so. Now the law needs to be expanded to allow those who face more than six months of misery to opt out of their suffering. W Hughes, Kohimarama.
It is now clear that most of the submissions were as a result of some churches prompting their members to letter-bomb the select committee to create an impression of majority opposition that did not actually exist. Andrew Tichbon, Green Bay.
I wish Pak'nSave would stop dissing Countdown. Many of us don't mind spending a few dollars more to have a more pleasant shopping experience. V. Hall, Whangaparāoa.
Jacinda Ardern has chosen the talent she wants from another political party and is going to use them. It looks like MMP is actually working. Gillian Dance, Mt Albert.
Lap frogs. Mike Wagg, Freemans Bay.
I turn 82 tomorrow. I have seen the rise and fall of America. It makes me very sad. Neville Dickson, Forrest Hill.