Letter of the week: Clyde Scott, Birkenhead
Bruce Cotterill (Weekend Herald, July 17) says this Government is making too many changes that we weren't told about before the last election.
He wants us to go back to the NZ we once had, "just a few short years ago". And he wants more compromised lawmaking, as he says was intended under MMP.
Well I don't want that, and neither do the voters.
The Labour-led Coalition Government was elected in 2017 with the promise it would be "transformational". For three years, it was criticised for not being "transformational" enough - hampered by the "handbrake" of Winston Peters. So the voters got rid of the "handbrake" in 2020 with a mandate for one party to govern alone.
They wanted leadership, not compromise. And they're getting it. With "transformational" reforms to health, education, infrastructure, and climate change mitigation – and much-needed social well-being measures, to establish a better and more equitable society, where all can enjoy more healthy, comfortable, and productive lifestyles.
Let's enjoy some genuine leadership of our country for a change, that's aimed at benefiting all New Zealanders, not just the top tier.
We'll see if the voters agree with this new direction for our country at the next election.
Sex, lies and betrayal" by Jane Phare (Weekend Herald, July 17) third in a series of exposés of the Family Court as an extravagant operational failure.
Given the double trauma my relative is currently experiencing, I would certainly concur with the comment about PTSD and say that is in no way an exaggeration.
That "the law is a ass – a idiot" is a relevant portrayal. But maybe, just maybe, Phare's research will culminate in the "law's eye" being opened.
Nothing short of complete disbandment, complete dissolution of the Family Court will suffice to rid New Zealand of a gargantuan fiscal parasite that serves no other purpose than to provide an income for those too inadequate to earn money elsewhere and to cause abject distress for all those who are unceremoniously trampled by their hideously indiscriminate hobnailed boots.
Whereas all government entities appear to be overstaffed conglomerates bleeding the country's coffers, at least those useless appendages don't appear to cause as much long term harm to families; most especially the harm caused to children. Not least of which is the appointment of a lawyer for the child to complete the suite of harm and idiocy.
Heather Mackay, Kerikeri.
Doing what's right
Claire Trevett (Weekend Herald, July 17) sets up the argument that this Government has paid little attention to farmers' needs and concerns. What it brings into question though is where Trevett has been over the past 30 years.
The damage already affecting us from climate change has been an ongoing discussion for so long, at least 30 years, we are almost immune to it. Past governments have paid little heed to warnings and suddenly, with nine years left to change our behaviour, our way of living, our Government wants to work swiftly to set things in place.
Many farmers have already heeded these warnings and have made moves on behalf of us all. So why do others believe they are being picked on? Why haven't they made some changes, as intelligent people of the planet? Did the disinterest of previous leaders give them permission, or are they deniers of climate change?
Trevett doesn't help by slighting a Government trying to do what is right for humankind as quickly as they can. We should all be on board.
It's a fight for our lives and those yet to be born. Do we have time for niceties?
Emma Mackintosh, Birkenhead
Kevin Menzies (Weekend Herald, July 17) sums up the housing crisis pretty well. However, it is surely exacerbated by the almost uncontrolled and thoughtless level of immigration allowed over recent years which reached its peak under John Key's National Government.
To allow people to gain citizenship here without being able to speak English, without having a decent job, all while the country suffers under a housing and infrastructure crisis is simply pure madness.
To gain citizenship in the US for example, you must have lived there for a minimum time of five years with a green card before you are eligible to sit a residency test where you are examined on things that America deems important such as the constitution, laws, social aspects and so on. Not like New Zealand, which is open to all and sundry and all largely at the cost of the resident taxpayer. How stupid are our politicians?
Paul Beck, West Harbour.
It is sad that correspondent James Archibald (Weekend Herald, July 17) sees house owners as "the chosen ones". The only real choice is (and was) to work hard and make sacrifices to reach the goal of home ownership, or to have other priorities.
For those of us a bit older, consulting old diaries, it seems that working a 13-day fortnight and a 90-hour week made home ownership possible. Later on, two jobs.
But most important of all, every dollar spent on the house, was from tax-paid income. Every interest payment was from tax-paid income (and let us not forget that interest rates were never as low as they are right now). Any improvement or maintenance bill meant another contribution to the government coffers through GST.
As has been said, most of the increase in values is no more than inflation, so any proposed tax on a house sale, especially the family home is grossly unfair.
Ray Green, Birkenhead.
I'm sure Niall Robertson (Weekend Herald, July 17) was 100 per cent correct on the question of which is the most efficient and environmentally-friendly mode of mass transport for intra-city and inter-city transport.
That, however, is not the question I think we ought to be trying to answer when we look at the current light rail proposal. I think we should be asking: what is the greatest impact we can have on improving mass public transport and reducing emissions with the resources we have available?
The city of Perth is soon to go live with a trackless tram solution for their Stirling to Perth route. This represents a very close at hand case study opportunity.
For the cost of the one light rail track from the city to the airport we can probably deliver trackless trams to the airport, the North Shore and Westgate.
Resourcing three really great but not quite optimal routes might be better value overall than a single optimal solution.
Either way, I think that any "steel on the ground, wires in the air" solution will be outmoded before it is completed.
John Christiansen, Mt Albert.
Insight hard learned
In an article on Afghanistan (Weekend Herald, July 17) the suggestion is that China is the real enemy of the West in Afghanistan due to "its unrelenting quest for global domination". The Soviet Union, Great Britain and the USA having all failed to sort things out with force and heavy military intervention, causing mayhem and untold suffering in support of unstable regimes with questionable legitimacy and suffering from rampant corruption. The US-led military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq look like a total waste of life, money and time. Arguably they should never have been there in the first place and it took 20 years of death, destruction and misery to get to that insight. How is it that when China comes in with loans and infrastructural upgrades of a country they are seeking global domination, and when the West seeks correction by sending in their war machines in faraway countries, it is an act of friendship and brotherhood? Wars are very rarely the solution to any problem. It seems more positive thinking is needed where peace and prosperity are the leading stars.
Frank Olsson, Freemans Bay.
I had occasion to drop my daughter at a cafe in K'Rd recently.
Pulling up right outside, I told her to be careful while crossing the cycle lane to get to the footpath. No problem, she already had "The Cyclist" app on her phone, designed and supplied at great taxpayer expense.
I needn't have worried, the app showed that the cyclist was still 8km away, which meant they were both safe. I'm sure he appreciates it too.
Andy Lewis, Northcote.
A quick word
David Seymour and his Act party are standing up to this madness, but a strong and united political Opposition is now imperative. The National Party must regain its mojo before it is too late. Bruce Anderson, Christchurch.
Thank you for publishing Bruce Cotterill's thoughtful articles each Saturday. I'm surprised the Government allows you to. Dr M. B. Spencer, Remuera.
Controlling house prices by means of tax simply does not work. All taxes force increased costs on all New Zealanders. Michael Walker, Blockhouse Bay.
If there was a will, the Government could safely and timely reunite migrants' families in NZ. In years to come this will fall under the umbrella of racist immigration policies akin to the ones Chinese miners faced in the 1900s. Claudia Barthlen, Kerikeri.
At what cost the quest for space amongst the world's richest men? If they wish to pursue this dream at the expense of our fragile earth, the minimum charge should be US$1m per ton of CO2. Steve Lincoln, Botany Downs.
As somebody who grew up in the Ponsonby of the 1950s and 1960s, I am delighted to see (Weekend Herald, July 17) the suburb portrayed as an epitome of respectability and social conscience. Kia Kaha, Emmerson. Chris Kiwi, Mt Albert.
Aotearoa is my freedom, its beauty and nature; Roughan (Weekend Herald, July 17) describes it as his "sanatorium". Escaping at any cost to others is not his right. Steve Russell, Hillcrest.
In both Canvas articles (Weekend Herald, July 17), the onus for educating teenage boys in responsible behaviour is dumped firmly on the school systems. Where are the parents in this? Phil Parker, Pt Chevalier.
It is well past time that store-keepers are allowed to be armed and to protect themselves and their property against the cowardly thugs that seem to strike with impunity on a daily basis. Graham Steenson, Whakatane.
Meth usage is probably the major cause of all crime in NZ. If one thinks that the so-called "War on Drugs" was lost, just wait and see what the future brings. Neville Cameron, Coromandel.
It is not time to arm the police force, it is time to disarm the public. Make guns illegal in New Zealand. John Deyell, Ellerslie.
The back page crossword (NZ Herald, July 21) clue for 10 Across: Exploiter, 9 letters. Answer: Developer. Anyone still have trouble understanding the housing shortage? Phil Chitty, Albany
Can someone please tell me what Oly Whites are? Is it a new detergent, or toothpaste maybe? Diane Jones, Ōmokoroa.