We're taxed enough already
New Zealand does have a form of wealth tax – GST.
Apart from finance charges, bank fees and residential rentals GST is paid on all purchases. Anyone earning over $70,000 pays $14,020 in tax and 33 cents per dollar on every dollar over this amount. On top of that, they pay out another 15 per cent of their tax-paid income on purchases.
GST is a very fair tax because consumers have a choice to spend or to save. This year without the ability to travel overseas I imagine that high earners have been spending more in New Zealand and contributing to the tax take.
Estelle Martin, Pt Wells.
Glenn v Watson
Glenn versus Watson is a rare window into the lives and lies of the super-wealthy – and it's certainly compelling viewing.
However, it also speaks to something becoming increasingly obvious even to those of us who strongly believe genuine effort, appropriate risk-taking and society-serving success in business needs to be well-incentivised and rewarded. Namely, increasing inequality and concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a very few undermines the basic requirement for a functioning democracy that all people be equal under the law.
If Watson hadn't crossed the wrong man, it's hard to see how else he would have been held to account for his behaviour. Very few people or organisations have the resources to fight such lengthy court battles. Even New Zealand's Serious Fraud Office appears reticent to commit the resources required to fight complex cases through the law courts in some situations.
As a result, and as many Hanover Finance investors have probably suspected for some time, the current rules and the system protect the interests of the rich and powerful at the expense of the vast majority of citizens.
What is to be done about it? Maybe that's on Jacinda Ardern's (long) to-do list.
Jennifer Orman, Campbells Bay.
Four the better
With the election out of the way, I suggest that there is some consensus in the government now to look, once again, at some electoral law reform based on a 4+4+4 formula. That is, a four-year term, a 4 per cent threshold for the party vote and four years of civics being taught in secondary schools.
The advantages are obvious. It would produce a more educated voting public, more democracy and more time for a government to implement policy without having to start worrying again about the next election.
It is time for New Zealand to have a more sensible electoral system.
Niall Robertson, Balmoral.
Pre-election commentators often implied that, whilst Jacinda Ardern, Grant Robertson and Chris Hipkins were doing sterling jobs, there wasn't much substance in the rest of Labour's caucus.
I must say the 22 new Labour MP's all have impressive résumés and things look bright for the future. Two standouts for me are Gaurav Sharma and Vanushi Walters.
Sharma was a Fulbright scholar at George Washington University. He has consulted on public health in the USA, Spain and Switzerland. With a Masters in Business administration he is obviously a very clever man. Walters, a human rights lawyer, is also extremely talented having served six years as a board member of Amnesty International.
By the way, in case anyone hasn't thought of it, I think Gerry Brownlee would make a good Speaker of the House.
Glen Stanton, Mairangi Bay.
I got what I wished for, a Labour majority that can govern alone.
However, reading about the tricky Cabinet decisions Jacinda will soon have to make made me wistfully imagine how, in an ideal world, her problems could be solved if she were allowed to include some of the outstanding MPs that made it from the other parties.
I would happily have Shane Reti as Minister of Health and I would fit Chloe Swarbrick in
somewhere. Rawiri Waititi looks like he would add value and, for that matter, I'd even hang on to Winston as our Minister of Foreign Affairs - credit where it's due.
John Blair, Half Moon Bay.
I see correspondence in general, including letters to the Herald, are a little firm with Judith.
I mean as one letter mentioned she did go to the highest authority and was declined "this time".
Thoughe not being a follower, there could come a time when we need her strong, forceful, keep-out-of-my-way attitude.
Keep her on the bench.
Don Anderson, Rothesay Bay.
National has taken no message from the result. Yesterday's men such as Brownlee and Smith stay on.
Like Hosking and Soper, the party can't get their head around the fact that people are sick of confrontational and divisive politics. Covid, obviously, was a factor but many people must have agreed with Labour's approach, given the way the electorate votes went.
Garry Bond, Hastings.
Correspondent H Robertson (NZ Herald, October 20) wonders at the logic of National voters voting Labour to keep the Greens out and states that there is only one place for one's party vote, and that is for the party that you want in power.
Has he considered the possibility that, after comparing the two parties' candidates for the positions of prime minister and finance minister, many National voters had more confidence in the Labour candidates' ability to run the country and decided to split their votes and voted for the local National member, but gave their party vote to Labour?
David Mairs, Glendowie.
The sentencing of Henry Kea and Liam Hourigan (NZ Herald, October 21) highlights the pathetic justice system we have in New Zealand.
For torturing another human being for hours on end, these two cowards have the chance of being out on the streets again in six years - a pathetic sentence almost as outrageous as the crime itself.
Anyone so depraved as to torture another human being like these two did, has no place in our society. It's time to put the crime of torture into our criminal code and with it a mandatory sentence of preventative detention.
Kent Millar, Blockhouse Bay.
Your letter on Chloe Swarbrick (NZ Herald, October 20) is wrong on two counts. Jeanette Fitzsimons was able to win in Coromandel in 1999 in part because Labour stood aside for her. Meanwhile, Swarbrick has had two attempts to win an electorate seat, the first being in Maungakiekie in 2017.
Paul Tudor, Mt Albert.
Saturday's rugby test provided many answers to questions bothering NZ fans. One, is Ian Foster the right person to coach the ABs? Two, did he choose the right man to captain the team? Three, are AB teams still awesome units? The answer to all questions is, absolutely.
The changes made to the second test team sealed it for New Zealand. The three Auckland Blues players selected made a huge difference. A little known prop, a highly promising number eight and a sensational winger. Full marks to Foster for these and
all his other selections.
I wish Foster, his assistants and the team all the best and look forward to seeing the Bledisloe back on the shelf for another 12 moths.
John Rush, Mamaku.
Short & sweet
The blues voted for the reds to keep out the pinks, not the greens. Mike Wagg, Freemans Bay.
If there are sufficient silver trays for each retiring National MP, the stockpile must be maintained by pessimists. Peter Clapshaw, Remuera.
If the caucus room is too small for Labour's 64-member caucus, how did the National Party manage in 1990 with 67 MPs? Judy Lawry, Golflands.
Can Kelvin Davis seriously be considered as Deputy PM after his Trumpesque behaviour on election night? To boot, it showed a huge lack of kindness. Colin Nicholls, Mt Eden.
We have fishermen from Russia and Ukraine to pillage our waters and no one to pick strawberries. Stuart Mackenzie, Ōhura.
We have followed the American form of capitalism instead of the more inclusive and fairer Scandinavian model. We only have to look at the present self-destructing America to see our future if we don't change. David F Little, Whangārei.
I'm baffled as to why the Labour Party is considering forming a Government with the Green Party. Is there a fear of going it alone, do they feel they do not have the experience to govern alone, or do they want someone to hide behind? Janet Boyle, Ōrewa.