Putin lifts right wing in West
Hayden Munro's opinion piece (Herald on Sunday, April 24) covers how the pandemic has resulted in many world leaders facing worsening poll outcomes. This is reported as the effects of Covid-19 which has filtered into people's lives, destroying what they knew and enjoyed. Along with this, though, is the war on Ukraine by Russia, organised and led by Vladimir Putin, a man desperate to rule the world and accumulate more wealth and power. While he attacks, he duplicitously moves the people, ridding himself of their dilemma. Refugees leave for the West in their millions and are received with open arms.
This fuels already disgruntled populations, adding to their anger at democratic leaders, and boosting far-right political groups. The most dangerous of these are in the US, where polls show Republicans favoured in senate elections. Donald Trump may be back and demanding to hold power for life, which a heavily balanced senate of Republicans may very well grant him. This would see major countries become autocratic, setting the world down a path we thought we had steered away from.
All this destruction without mentioning climate change.
Emma Mackintosh, Birkenhead.
Aussie deportee fix
With 2572 people deported to New Zealand between January 2015 and February 2022 and becoming a huge problem "lost in a land to which they had no connection", there is a solution.
Parents or caregivers of every baby born or taken to Australia and every long-term Kiwi resident must apply for Australian dual citizenship with a dual passport. Then they would be raised as the responsibility of the Australian government and not able to be deported.
Why are Kiwis not doing this? A small monetary price surely to pay for security of family. I cannot imagine how it must feel to be sent to an almost "foreign" country.
Marie Kaire, Whangārei.
Boost in wages essential
Grant Robertson doesn't control the cost of living or food prices, but does control what he spends the millions of (borrowed) dollars on. Food and health come before sports grounds, cinemas and overcostly transport that doesn't work. All the money borrowed by the Government has to be paid back so the party who is voted in next year will face an uphill battle.
To live we have to eat; to eat we have to work — so wages need to be increased for the average household to afford to live. Winz is not a supermarket for the poor, the Government should take over this responsibility and do it right for once.
Marilyn Cure, Pāpāmoa.
Govt ignored advice
It's no surprise consumer inflation is rampant, dormant since the 80s and alien to many today. International events are deemed the cause yet Australia's inflation is half our current rate which belies that.
Expansive credit creation, vital during Covid but excessive and prolonged thereafter. The government was warned extensive state expenditure and money printing would ignite asset prices and consumer inflation.
Non-tradeable inflation has been endemic for years and the Government and the RBNZ have presided over the sharpest increase in house prices, rents and inequality in recent history, while the affluent prosper and the vulnerable become impoverished.
PJ Edmondson, Tauranga.
Monopolies rolling in it
High inflation is somewhat understandable because of high oil prices and the shortage of goods and materials, especially in the building trade. What is not acceptable is that because of the monopoly of supermarkets and fuel companies the user has no control over the prices they charge and neither does the Government, it would seem.
Auckland prices for fuel are generally, allowing for the regional tax, at least 10 cents more than elsewhere. Meat prices can vary as much as $6/kg and one needs a second job to buy fish. As these giant companies push up prices, workers push for wage rises to compensate, which ends up in the cat chasing its tail.
Reg Dempster, Albany.
Now for the good news
I am pleased to report some good news. On Saturday at lunchtime, I saw a cafe full of happy people at the Auckland Domain, happy throngs around the museum, high patronage on the Northern Express lane buses.
By late afternoon a continuation of this spirit was confirmed when I saw many seemingly happy people along Queen St and around Britomart, then a train of contented passengers on the Western Line. It's not all bad.
Sam Cunningham, Henderson.
As the Government moves into its environmental reform phase it would help recycling initiatives enormously if there was a regulation minimum size for plastic codes on products.
Some are so small you need a magnifying glass to find them and I'm wondering why many deli products are still being sold in unrecyclable plastic containers when meat, fish, cakes etc are being safely packaged in either 1,2 or R-Pet recyclable containers.
Fiona Downes, Hobsonville.
Public holidays move
Regarding the debate over public holidays — if Queen's Birthday was added on to Matariki, this would give a welcome midwinter four-day break; allow families to get together; and provide the tourist industry a boost. (Fireworks night should be during this time, too. Stupid having it in November when it's not dark until late.)
Roger Hall, Takapuna.
Hit Russia where it hurts
The Russian invasion is slowly squeezing the life out of Ukraine and it is extremely painful to watch. A non-military instrument to turn the ascendancy on Russia would be to implement a global embargo on its oil and gas exports.
That would squeeze the life out of Russia financially with no collateral damage. Within two months Putin would be grovelling to the world to purchase oil and gas.
I would prefer to pay more for oil and gas products than witnessing the atrocities of this megalomaniac dictator.
Dave Miller, Tauranga.
Motorcyclists the problem
Why does NZ road safety continue to target motorists in an effort to reduce motorcycle accidents with their long-running expensive "look again, look again" ads? Motorists are not the problem.
If motorcyclists stuck to the speed limits and didn't zoom in and out of traffic there would be no need to "look again" and motorcycle accidents would drop dramatically.
As long as motorcyclists think they are above the law and can exceed the speed limits at will and zoom in and out of traffic they will sustain unnecessary deaths and injuries.
Jock Mac Vicar, Hauraki.