Alan Papert (NZ Herald, July 23) predicted a mass flight of capital to Australia if the Greens' wealth tax was implemented.
The proposal is a maximum of 2 per cent per annum.
In Australia, when property is sold, there is a 47 per cent capital gains tax and, when it is bought, a 3-4 per cent stamp duty.
Based on mortgage statistics, an average property is sold every seven years.
Whilst the two taxes are not directly comparable, I know that I that I would not take flight to Australia if the wealth tax arrived.
Tony Sullivan, St Heliers.
Debate about nurses working in the quarantine hotel Jetpark and then working a shift in a hospital ICU (NZ Herald, July 24), beggars belief.
Wearing PPE is no guarantee that Covid will not be transmitted. Worldwide hundreds of doctors and nurses have died, despite wearing PPE.
We only need to look at Victoria to witness what happens when quarantine is breached.
How much would it cost for New Zealand to shut down again?
Our health experts need to wake up and get real.
Mark van Praagh, Mt Eden.
Road to ruin/h2>
All the world's billions won't solve Auckland's traffic congestion. Seventy years of imbalanced transport investment for vested interests, continuing encouragement of car over-dependance will achieve a more congested result. There isn't the physical capacity, and the demand always remains higher than supply when imbalanced transport funding occurs.
Only a lunatic wants more traffic congestion and increased exposure to lung health problems from all those cancer-forming fumes and wasting their life, money and time stuck in traffic congestion. Money for roads could be productively used to assist businesses instead.
Time for decongestion tolls. More people have to give up their car one day a week and take a bus, carshare, ride a bike or motorbike, or, where available, a train, to match use to availability.
Tolls, based on the level of use versus capacity, could fund investment in the required alternate transport infrastructure, including more (and covered) main cycling routes. It can provide financial incentive to those choosing to be part of the solution, paid for by those who want to continue to exacerbate the problem.
There will be some situations where one can only use a car. Most though, have a choice.
Kevin Sharp, Hamilton.
Motuihe Island is the jewel in the Hauraki Gulf. It has five beautiful sandy beaches, restored bush with tracks to walk, endangered birds including kiwi and endangered animals including tuataras and a fascinating heritage. It has always been a popular picnic destination.
However, it is now inaccessible to the vast majority of Aucklanders. The DoC wharf has been closed for a year and there appears to be no repair or replacement work underway or apparently planned for at least another year.
There are no ferries, so only people with their own boats can get to Motuihe.
Thousands of Aucklanders have volunteered on Motuihe over the last 20 years and replanted the bush. They are now unable to benefit from their labour. The few hardy volunteers who do get out there on expensive water taxis, which unload on the beach, struggle to maintain the plants sitting in the nursery waiting to be planted, attempt to keep the out-of-control weeds down and monitor the endangered birds and animals.
With all the money that has been given out for projects all around New Zealand, surely there is something in the kitty for Motuihe to get even a temporary fix for the wharf.
Katherine Reiche, Ellerslie.
In this rash of MP resignations over sexual and honesty-based scandals. It is high time that political parties, especially those that appeal to the "family element" and socially conservative side of the spectrum should be instituting moral checks on all prospective candidates for going on their lists.
These checks should cover their marital status, their behaviour on social media, if so applicable and a comprehensive police check. If there is any question or concern in any of these, the candidate should not be accepted on to the political party list, no exceptions.
They should also apply these checks to every MP currently sitting and all the new candidates in the upcoming election. Especially as political parties are falling over themselves to get younger and more diverse candidates.
Sadly all this recent behaviour is symptomatic of this "gratuitous sex culture" that abounds now, with popular music and reality TV shows such as the Kardashians and Married At First Sight. It is enough we are subjected to this mostly American garbage on TV, we do not need it in our Parliament.
Tane McManus, Ellerslie
Excuses don't wash
Mayor Goff's apologia, in the sense of a defence, not an expression of regret (NZ Herald, July 23), is self-serving, to say the least.
He refers to the need to do more with less and to become a leaner and more adaptable organisation. His subsequent reference to expenditure of $2.5 billion as compared to a previous average of $1.6 billion is difficult to reconcile with this objective.
The ultimate irony is in the statement that the low water storage levels have made it necessary to spend a quarter of a billion dollars on water treatment infrastructure. This work should have been carried out years ago, had the council and Watercare given any thought to Auckland's growth and planned ahead, instead of being forced into embarrassing knee-jerk reactions.
Peter Clapshaw, Remuera.
Carrot and stick
Here's a suggestion that you can bet your rate assessment will not make it past the gatekeepers of bureaucracy.
For every percentage point of increase in council rates, the salaries of council employees would be reduced by the same amount. For every percentage point of decrease in council rates, the salaries of council employees would be increased by the same amount.
David Turnbull, Tauranga.
Deluge of criticism
For several months the Herald has dealt with a regular avalanche of letters criticising the poor performance of Auckland Council's "Watercare" organisation in dealing with drought. Watercare's continuing message to ratepayers of the need to still save water as the recent rain poured down day after day was probably the last straw for sodden critics who have not held back in their letters about Watercare's senior staff's failure to manage what they are paid to do. Many angry ratepayers focused on the disparity between poor performance and the massive $780,000 salary of Watercare CEO, Raveen Jaduram. Surely the intensity of these ratepayers' criticism signals that Jaduram's employers (the ratepayers) believe he should no longer hold this important position. Surely there must be someone somewhere who can do the job better for less?
M. Carol Scott, Birkenhead.
I feel sorry for the businesses at City Works Depot in Wellesley St. The parking is controlled by a private company in a manner that can only be described as cynical and voracious.
I joined a friend at one of the businesses and, as I walked in, the proprietor warned me about the constant and very regular patrolling of the meters. So I was careful to go out and top up the meter three times.
I was a few minutes late on the fourth time and received a $36 ticket. These guys make Auckland Council wardens look like social workers.
So there are two people who swore never to go to City Works Depot again. I wonder how broad spread that reaction is.
Colin Nicholls, Mt Eden.
I cannot agree with Don Robertson's observation (NZ Herald, July 24) that the best people to run the country are not available as they are busy driving taxis and cutting hair.
I think that the people best qualified to run the country are very busy working in the print and broadcast (radio and television) media. Every day we hear and see their grasp of the problems facing the country and what needs to be done.
I hope and expect that, instead of just telling us about the failings of the government of the day, they feel for the people and their suffering and decide to run for Parliament and lead a government to remove the inefficiencies and deliver peace and prosperity.
Philip N Rama, Auckland Central.
Short & sweet
It's a shame that so many Auckland motorists don't know how to count to one. When merging in traffic they don't know that "merge like a zip" means one by one by one. Gloria Manson, Bayswater.
So Parliament is rife with bed-hopping? What a gruesome thought. Let's face it - our Parliamentarians aren't exactly New Zealand's most beautiful people. P. Holden, Kohimarama.
In business, prospective employees are often required to complete a psychometric test. Is this the case for prospective Members of Parliament? Mike Donovan, Remuera.
Mayor Goff: why we had to put up your rates (NZ Herald, July 23). Answer: to pay for our salary increases. Helen Acraman, Te Atatu Peninsula.
It shouldn't take a global pandemic and recession to trigger Phil Goff's eureka moment that Auckland Council "must become a leaner and more adaptable organisation". Ratepayers have been telling him that for years. Mike Wagg, Freemans Bay.
Phil Goff states the council's first obligation is to manage Auckland's finances sensibly. One has to ask what is sensible about POAL paying no dividend this year and so having free use of prime waterfront real estate. Neal McCarthy, Auckland Central.
The issue is not "funding the libraries", Mr Mayor. It is that Auckland Council pays 80+ staff more than $250,000 and 2831 more than $100,000. Stop wasting money on meaningless "consultation" such as "do you want a rates increase or a larger rates increase?" Mark McCluskey, Red Beach.
I originally thought we in Aotearoa had become prisoners of our success in controlling the Covid-19 virus; but in reality we are now prisoners of other countries who have failed to effectively deal with its spread. Peter Kelly, Glendene.