Youth vote by proxy
It is the younger people who are going to face the worst of the consequences of the poor decisions taken by governments around the world over the last few decades.
Practically every natural ecological system in the world is in a state of decline and this is predicted to escalate Whatever we may think about the ability of young people to understand and vote appropriately, it is they who will suffer the most.
There are many young people who have the vision, the knowledge and the energy to put into turning around the direction the world is travelling in. We have a small window where we can reverse the causes and effects of climate change.
If the voting age were lowered these young people would have a say in their future.
For this election it's not possible, but it has been suggested that some of the older voters might like to donate a vote to someone aged 16 or 17, i.e. vote in accordance with the young person's wishes. This might suit an undecided voter.
David Tyler, Beach Haven.
Whatever the outcome on Saturday, I am very much hoping for a Winston-free Parliament. Despite New Zealand First polling within or close to the margin of error for months, they could yet benefit from the so-called "wasted" votes - those cast for minor parties that fail to achieve 5 per cent voter support. In fact, those votes are not wasted - they are in effect redistributed amongst the other parties on a pro-rata basis.
The share of "wasted" votes varies from election to election, probably about 6 per cent this year, equivalent to 7 seats to be re-allocated to the successful parties.
If Labour achieves say 45 per cent of votes cast, they would get 48 per cent of the seats and, if National gets 35 per cent of votes, they would get 37 per cent of seats.
In the unlikely event that New Zealand First can improve to 4.7 per cent of the election night vote, and assuming that there is a 6 per cent "wasted"' vote, their effective result would be exactly 5 per cent. Exactly the same logic applies for the Greens.
Graeme Easte, Mt Albert.
I was interested to read Dr Hood's wise words on education (NZ Herald, October 12). I used to drive the school bus that took him to a state school each day. This was when - despite class sizes of 40+ under the guidance of Dr Beeby, the most inspired director of education NZ has ever had - teachers were encouraged to consider their pupils as individuals. Each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
They were not to be seen as units on a production line to be assessed against formal standards. That system produces passes and failures and conformity with little encouragement to study further.
An individual soon realises their place in the system - the passes cruise - and many failures withdraw to join the large group that rejects its place in society today.
NZ education was once the example to the world, with teachers from Europe, America and Asia visiting to observe the revolutionary ideas being practiced here.
Those days are long past.
John E. Binsley, Parnell.
Tony Barker's letter (NZ Herald, October 12) tells only half the story. Tropical revolving storms, hurricanes, typhoons and tropical cyclones obtain their energy from seawater that must be 28 degrees Celsius or more; hence they are 95 per cent seasonal. They form approximately 300 miles from the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ); the weather equator between weather hemispheres.
French Polynesia spans 9 degrees of latitude, roughly the length of the North Island of NZ. The Marquesas in the north of the group are too close to the ITCZ and the waters around Tahiti are generally slightly below the required 28 degrees. However, these storms are more prevalent a short distance to the west, in the islands of Samoa, Tonga and Fiji. Ocean swells from these storms affect all of the islands of French Polynesia and, as Barker states, have hit Tahiti in the El Nino years when sea temperatures are warmer.
The point being made by yachties is there is increased risk of being in tropical waters in the summer months. Traditionally, and wisely, they come south and have been doing so for decades. Guy Body's brilliant cartoon sums up precisely the discrimination being meted out to seafarers of all persuasions. Ships' crew are not allowed shore leave on arrival in NZ but airline crews are. The millionaire owners and crew of superyachts are allowed in, but ordinary yachts crew are not.
Any yacht voyaging from Tahiti to Auckland would take about 14 days to get here, exactly the recognised incubation period for Covid-19 and thus low-risk.
Captain Chris Barradale, Parnell.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe is not Britain's richest man. He is a tax resident of Monaco. He does not want to pay tax in the United Kingdom, so call him Monegasque - with all its implications.
That is one of the reasons why Britain has recently had the utterly ridiculous spectacle of a 99-year-old war pensioner walking up and down his garden to fund for their National Health Service.
Chris Daisley, Mt Roskill.
It is pleasing to see the Herald keeping up a strong profile on the many encroaching dangers of climate change. Your editorials and articles put up a good fight on behalf of the planet, with New Zealand front and centre.
The latest article for us all to be concerned about is Tim Jones' column (NZ Herald, October 12) regarding a meeting planned in Hamilton this week, led by Straterra, the collective voice for NZ mining companies.
This article takes to task the thoughtless and dangerous will of mining companies to take to our land, trawling it for gold, iron sand, coal and rare earth metals.
We are all aware now of the costs to us in this country if we allow this degradation of our earth and of the international call to bring down quickly greenhouse gases to help stabilise the heat we keep producing. It is why Jones pleads "we don't have any more time left" to burn coal, nor create devastating impacts of mining on freshwater and ecosystems.
It is backstreet behaviour by big companies trying very hard to woo and convince governments and businesses to allow them to maintain their right to mine. But worse than that, it's a complete denial of climate change and an arrogant attitude of its effects on all living things and the soil, water and air we all rely on. Shame on them.
Emma Mackintosh, Birkenhead.
The last item in Sideswipe (NZ Herald, October 12) was great - how it is easy to misread a collection of syllables and get the wrong result. Ho-meow-ner was the perfect and hilarious example.
Then by coincidence, Bev Woods, in her letter, reflected on how the old-fashioned technique of teaching each unit of sound, rather than the whole word, was, in her experience, the better technique.
But the irony of it all was that each unit of sound is called a "phoneme". Perfect for this young generation. And for Sideswipe.
Peter Lange, Mt Eden.
How right Tony Barnett was (NZ Herald, October 12), Paul Goldsmith has quickly forgotten who kept NZ going during lockdown, as have many others.
While he was sitting around with his feet up making fiscal mistakes the low-paid were facing Covid head-on. Supermarket workers are low-paid, as are a lot of front-line medical people.
My daughter works in medical and worked most days during lockdown in the face of the virus, then had to go home each evening to her three young children, wondering if she was taking the virus home with her .
Goldsmith should be giving all those who worked during lockdown a $3000 tax-free bonus, not the rich and famous.
Gordon Walker, Piopio.
On Sunday 11 October 2020 I was travelling on a bus heading from the city to Remuera. I was seated near the area with small lift-up seats; the area used by passengers with a wheelchair.
A Muslim family of three boarded. They had a small boy in a baby buggy. As they manoeuvred the buggy to the special area, two nearby passengers, without being asked, gave up their seats. A woman left her seat allowing the father to be seated in front of his child. The young man in front of me got up and took a seat at the rear. His seat was taken by the mother, now seated opposite her child. The father said thank you to these considerate passengers.
In an earlier letter (NZ Herald, September 9) I wrote about nine MPs who did not reply to my letter. It was clear to me that basic courtesy and consideration as demonstrated by passengers and the father's "thank you" is with us on the buses.
Warren Johns, Remuera.
Short & sweet
Do we need immigrants who ignore the rules, then avoid and hide from the authorities? Their behaviour is not exactly a ringing endorsement for citizenship. Pim Venecourt, Papamoa.
Mike Hosking is to be commended for his prediction (NZ Herald, October 7) that the election will be much closer than people think. This is just what is needed to ensure Labour supporters get out and vote, and indeed vote early as they appear to be doing. Laurie Wesley, Birkenhead.
Like him or not, Mike Hosking has given master classes interviewing Jacinda Ardern, Judith Collins and Winston Peters. All three interviews were relaxed and covered a wide range of topics. A true professional. Katherine Swift, Kohimarama.
In an attempt to execute his signature dive, an All Black botched a certain try. Anyone who went to that match expecting to see a symposium of Einsteins was bound to be disappointed. Kerry Craig, Mt Eden.
One has to wonder if the All Blacks spend more time on their hairstyles than practicing rugby. Jock Mac Vicar, Hauraki.
I'm really looking forward to the weekend and all those uninformative billboards gone. Those politicians must have a really low opinion of our intelligence. Chris Marshall, Hillcrest.
Finland has the best education, health and transport systems. Citizens earning over $90,000 are taxed the maximum of 58 cents in the dollar - the reason they are the happiest nation on planet earth and we will never be. Gary Hollis, Mellons Bay.
Did I hear correctly that Jacinda Ardern has not ruled out working with the Greens, even if Labour wins enough seats to govern alone? So how will all the voters who only voted Labour to keep the Greens out of government feel about that? G van Prehn, Waipū.