TV news anchor will be missed
Wendy Petrie, I would like to say thank you for all your smiles, kind words read so professionally depending on the topic and everything you have done for those of us who watch news at 6pm on TV1.
Wendy you will be missed and I hope if you want to get another job that you do, but now take family time and take time for yourself which is very important. In your case I say "when all is said and done look after number one".
Thank you again for all your good and kind ways you spoke to us, you are a true professional.
Theresa Prinsen, Royal Oak.
As a follower of history, it has been with interest that I have been reading of the 1 in 500 years flooding in Northland.
Since this previous flooding occurred a century prior to Abel Tasman and two to the arrival of James Cook I would be grateful to be enlightened as to where I can access these records so as I can improve my knowledge of New Zealand history.
Norm Greenall, Orewa.
Cullen super fund
Why does National want to stop contributions to the Cullen super fund again — repeating a costly mistake of its previous time in power? They deem it a "nice to have" but non-essential expenditure in a post-pandemic economy. But isn't it really because its focus is far in the future and serves that sector of retirees who will be especially reliant on state-funded superannuation as they have earned less, don't own their homes, and have no shares/property investments or private pensions — ie they lie outside the National voter constituency? This policy move could also become a reason for eventually pushing up the retirement age, more punishment for those who don't deserve it.
B Darragh, Auckland Central.
History on replay
Todd Muller resigns 35 years to the day Robert Muldoon and the Nats lose the hurriedly announced snap election. Judith Collins is visited that very night by the ghost of party leaders past with a clanking of electorates and a distinctive chortle ... ha..ha..ha, "Judy, Judy, Judy ... now is the time to make New Zealand Big Again". And the rest is history on replay.
Mike Passmore, Thames.
Tax for equality
Prior to Covid-19 there was increasing concern about developing inequality. This will be greatly increased as we progress through the recovery — many having reduced income or only part time work.
National have declared a no tax increase policy, but how else are we to pay for the huge debt burden the country faces? People on higher incomes can afford to pay more than 33 cents top marginal rate.
Perhaps another look at capital gains tax and inheritance tax is also required, at the same time addressing the inequality by having the first $10,000 income, tax free.
Vince West, Milford.
One billion trees
Does anyone remember, back to those halcyon days when we embarked on the road to plant one billion trees in 10 years and the Minister in charge from the Ministry of Funny Hats proclaimed that the "naughty nephews" would be awakened to bend to the task?
Have I missed the awakening or do I still wait.
Or was it not a target and promise but rather an aspiration like the house building numbers and the immigration numbers? The nation awaits the realisation of these words.
A.D. Kirby, Papamoa.
Grey Power president Mac Welch wants people with private medical insurance to get a $2000-a-year subsidy from the Government. He says the public health system would collapse without private health insurance. The opposite is true. It is the existence of private medical insurance that has undermined and white-anted the state healthcare system for decades.
Free, comprehensive, timely, and effective health care with equal access for all is a human right. That's what we pay our taxes for. For decades we have allowed ourselves to be lured by the siren calls of ever smaller taxes, and the consequence has been the disintegration of the state health system. Taxpayer subsidies for private health insurance would further rob state health care of the funding it desperately needs.
If we fund state health care properly, there is no need for any private medical insurance, except for overseas travel insurance, vanity surgery, and pet insurance: the nice-to-haves.
That is what we must demand of our governments: an entirely free and timely state health service for everyone. We must be willing to pay the taxes to fund it, instead of voting for governments that lower taxes then wreck the state health care system, restricting medical care to those who can afford it.
National, the champion of inequality, seems warmly disposed to the Grey Power tax-grab, and NZ First, historically Grey Power's political representative, is on board. Act, with rational clarity, has joined Labour and the Greens in scorning Grey Power's plea for alms.
John Trezise, Birkenhead.
Council rates rise
Auckland Council raising residential rates by over 4 per cent is a disgrace. Their consultation process, which they completely ignored, was a farce. The councillors may be comfortable on their large salaries but have shown no concern for those who have to pay.
I believe that there will still be a significant number of feelgood, nice to have proposals in the budget and ratepayers should monitor council spending over the next year just to see how many there are, which are wasteful and should have been deleted.
I do hope that ratepayers take more interest in the next council elections and in particular the candidates
Ken Graham, Greenlane.
Winston Peters and Labour Politicians have lambasted National over not costing its four lane highway idea/suggestion. As Peters and the others well know, what is the point, many of Labour's or any other party's grandiose ideas have not come in on time, close to budget or have even been started after wasting millions of taxpayer dollars on professional parasites such as lobbyists/lawyers/consultants et al. You could include Auckland Council in that statement as well.
Let us be honest, most bureaucrats could not organise a coffee in a coffee shop let alone organise something of national significance and any contract signed will have holes in it so big the winning bidder could drive a bus through it when and if necessary costing the tax/rate payer even more. Witness the Transmission Gully project or the Auckland light rail project.
Graham Hansen, Howick.
No shortage of water
Just a few days prior to lockdown my wife and I cancelled our trip to the States — Whew! Very soon after, I was, as a retired but retained engineer, called upon to assist in the drought and help figure out provision for the future water supply security of a major city experiencing water shortage woes.
There is no shortage of water in New Zealand, folk, just a shameful political disregard for provision of necessary infrastructural growth during the John Key years of floodgate immigration.
What price tourism now?
Terry Harris, Mangawhai.
Article spot on
Thank you, Audrey Young and the Weekend Herald for your recent article showing how well the present Coalition Government has performed in attempting to carry out the commitments outlined In the Coalition Agreement.
This was achieved while simultaneously protecting the health and wellbeing of the country's residents better than almost all other countries during the worldwide pandemic. Rabid supporters of all political parties will probably feel disappointed or betrayed that their pet visions for the future have not been implemented but that is what happens in a true democracy with free and trusted media.
We are fortunate also in New Zealand that no political parties have chosen the "Power by any means" tactics of the United States Republican party with its emphasis upon attacking the messenger rather than the idea and branding any differing facts as fake news, rather than constructively debating the viewpoints.
Jack Linklater, Hamilton.
Your correspondent Hans Grueber seems happy to penalise those who through sound decisions, drive and hard work are "sitting on their bum and twiddling their thumbs" but reward those who are doing the same due to lack of education, ambition and enterprise.
The Greens (and to some extent Labour) actively discourage taking responsibility for one's outcome in life with their tax, tax, tax mantra. Perhaps they should be renamed the Robin Hood party.
Maxine Samson, Whakatane.