Disturbingly, the Nazi symbols and Trumpian slogans revealed some of the forces behind the recent protest at Parliament. Undoubtedly, there were many differences in ideas and emphasis amongst the protesters.
However, it seemed clear that the violent and misogynistic tendencies of some are being exploited by overseas organisations with their own agendas.
It was surprising and worrying to see Māori faces there, seemingly aligned with groups whose racist ideas and actions are well known.
Shane Te Pou (NZ Herald, November 11) expressed it well when he called the co-opting of Māori a "galling local variant ... an appropriation of tino rangatiratanga".
Recently I have had some videos sent to me for my "education". I note an increasing tendency to aim vitriol towards Jacinda Ardern. This undercurrent of pointed misogynistic viciousness should be of concern to all of us whatever our political leanings.
Misinformation and disinformation are creating a scary virus which may be potentially more damaging to New Zealand than the one which has stirred up all this craziness. It has also unleashed a few unpleasant characteristics of some New Zealanders — racism, misogyny and a strong impulse to mistrust and blame. We need more critical thinkers, and bucket-loads more compassion for all in our society and the wider world.
Ruth Palmer, Glen Eden.
Cool down under
Listening to the young in fear for their lives while pleading for their future during the COP26 gathering, is distressing. What is so hard to take is their future sits in the hands of older, self-centred men, who refuse to budge as much as they should. These politicians are digging their toes in, especially when it comes to stopping top polluters, these money-making fossil-fuel ventures, which maintain their political profiles and wealth.
The control these ageing men are reneging on is to what degree the heating of our planet reaches, liveable or not for our next generation. What we can do right now though, while our planet warms, is develop a political force in NZ with a forward-thinking approach to future needs, beginning with transport decisions.
Living underground, for instance, may become the "coolest" place to be, so maybe our transport systems being planned now should take this into account and continue underground systems. At least we'll have begun the process of leaving something decent for future generations.
Emma Mackintosh, Birkenhead.
Saving the planet does not require sacrifice in terms of the trips we take in vehicles. The likely saviour will be innovation in transport technology.
Hundreds of thousands of people across Auckland waiting at bus stops would be backward step in our standard of living. The limitation of buses will always be their point to point inefficiency, rather than the destination to destination utility of discrete vehicles.
The mantra of "getting people out of their cars" is distracting as it smacks of an irrelevant agenda. Instead, if we were urged to cut pollution and traffic congestion our focus would be toward the potential solution. This will likely come in the form of small electric vehicles for city use, carrying one or two people, with extra space for belongings and infants.
Buses have their place, an essential place, though quite small.
Peter Webster, Beachlands.
Typical motorway dawdle
There was an unintentional message The Freedoms and Rights Coalition protest group gave to Aucklanders as they did a loop, driving at 50km/h, around Auckland city roads on Saturday.
The convoy of protesters and the hangers-on, no doubt hoping to see themselves on TV news, reminded us what a normal day on the motorway looks like. Torment.
Lorraine Kidd, Warkworth.
Freedoms are a right and a privilege to which every citizen in this country is entitled but with these freedoms comes responsibilities. How do the organisers of the stunts on Saturday justify the delay of the St John ambulance staff getting a fellow citizen to hospital with the aid of a police escort?
How do they justify stopping their fellow citizens going about their lawful business?
Patricia Guptill, Wattle Downs.
My thanks to Simon Wilson for his thoughtful and sensitive article (Weekend Herald, November 13) around his discussions with two unvaccinated nurses. I would have liked for him to pose the question that if they contracted Covid, and were so ill they needed to be hospitalised, would they still hold the courage of their convictions knowing they would be placing at risk colleagues who had been sensible enough to be vaccinated?
Or — if your hot-water cylinder failed and the only plumber that could come straight away insisted that you showed your vaccination record what would you do?
Gavin Baker, Glendowie.
Poor can't catch up
While the better-off upgrade the house, build that extension, plan the next holiday or upgrade to the latest Tesla, a growing number of hard-working New Zealanders struggle to put food on the table, pay their exorbitant rent or afford petrol to get to their many minimum-wage jobs or even vaccination or testing centres.
Sadly, our Covid response has lowered interest rates by so much it is adding to the inequity of our laughable "don't tax my assets" tax system. It has got to the point where those with assets are now so advantaged from those without that this divide might never be bridged.
James Archibald, Birkenhead.
Ardern gripes just beat-up
All the kerfuffle about Jacinda Ardern not visiting Auckland was a subversive beat-up.
Wellington is the seat of Government and where she needed to be as Prime Minister. Imagine all the fuss if she had stayed in Auckland. Would the same mischief makers or a different set peddle their little disruptive games?
Being in Wellington made sense, just as a US President would be expected to be in Washington during a crisis or a UK PM at No 10.
Barbara Matthews, Onehunga.
Homes for all
I was touched by the response to your story about homeless mum Danielle Gartner.
I went on to read about the man who helped Danielle; a man who grew up in a boarding house and how his life changed when his family got a state house. So he paid it forward.
It's not only single mums who struggle. My father grew up in a family that got one of the very first state houses. My grandfather was always fully employed, but all his money went on booze and other women. My grandmother was left to raise five children on a pittance.
Getting a state house gave my grandma and her children back their dignity.
How I long for all those who need it to be provided with a home. It is the very best investment we can make in our country's future.
With reference to the efficient use of arterial roads — these roads have cost the taxpayer huge amounts to build and are now becoming ever more congested. And then to use one lane of these roads as free public parking is surely a ridiculous situation.
The demand for more of this free parking will increase with the new urban intensification decree. Three houses on one section could easily equal 10 or more cars.
Seems we will need a vastly improved public transport system and electric bikes for this brave new future.
Vince West, Milford.
Foster was mistake
NZ Rugby must be regretting extending Ian Foster's tenure to the next World Cup, choosing a coach who has never been head coach of a successful first-class team and the results are starting to show. In 2020, the first ever loss to Argentina and two losses to Ireland. South Africa now with the belief they can beat the All Blacks and Foster's inability to settle on combinations are having an effect on the players' performance.
Under Foster, the All Blacks have lost that invincibility and will be ripe for picking at the next World Cup.
Neil Hatfull, Warkworth.
Short & sweet
I am sad to say that some of my fellow New Zealanders are idiots. Bruce Tubb, Belmont.
If a nation does not have law and order, it has nothing. Chris Parker, Campbells Bay.
Surely such conferences should be held in a poverty-stricken country, preferably one disappearing under rising tides. The venue should be a gauge for rising sea levels to give impetus to future talkfests. Rob Buchanan, Kerikeri
On vax mandates
Once we agree to divide society into two parts, then deprive one of those parts of many human rights, are the rights of anyone in that society safe? Claire Chambers, Parnell.
On the ABs
Our Black Caps have a reputation for sportsmanship across the cricket world. Here's hoping the ABs can do the same. Glen Stanton, Mairangi Bay.
I know little about rugby, except that possession is key. So why do we blindly kick away possession? Hylton Le Grice, Remuera.
I hope all the right-wingers bashing the Government to "open up" are happy. Covid is now spreading inexorably across the North Island. Peter Wharton, Pt Chevalier.
The Premium Debate
What on earth is wrong with someone buying a product with the hope of selling it at a higher price? This happens millions of times every day on world share markets. What about the antiques dealer? Isn't he simply using skill and capital with the aim of buying off one person and selling to another at a higher price? Seph G.
This is the reason why my kids can't buy a house in the city they were born and raised in. Clever street-smart people, often new to our country coming from more competitive cut-throat countries. The law needs changing. Peter S.
Just pure greed and taking advantage of a housing crisis. Gone are the days of helping each other. Theoretically there'll be some tax to pay but like everything there'll be tax loopholes to write it off. Only the rich get richer. Andrew N.
In theory the "flipper" has to pay tax on the profit but I wonder how many actually do. John H.
Two weeks, two years or two decades — all investors buy with the aim of selling. Good on them if they can make a profit. Anthony C.
Maybe if KiwiBuild had worked we wouldn't be having this problem? Labour promised 100,000 homes. Where are these ghost homes? Ram H.
Understand how gutted you would be but if the flipper can sell for an extra $100k straight away then you sold it too cheap. Complain to the agent who sold it for you. Joe O.
Some of us care about our younger Kiwis. Give them a secure and stable home and life is easier. Friendships get formed and school work can be focused on. Pets can be owned. Actually thriving and not having to worry about a landlord deciding to cash in, and desperately having to look for a new rental, hopefully in the same school zone, as is the case for some of my children's friends. Jenny H.
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