Yacht dad thinks only of himself

"We were always safe, we just couldn't let anyone know," said Alan Langdon who sailed with his 6-year-old daughter to Ulladulla.

Mr Langdon seemingly forgot to say: "I, as an adult, chose to leave New Zealand with a 6-year-old without letting anyone, including her mother, know, as this is all about me and what I want".

Fiona Allen, Papatoetoe.

Shooting to wound

In attacking my credentials, or assumed lack of them, your correspondent Barry Cooke hopes to denigrate my view of armed offender squads' marksmanship training.


I was a college champion rifle shot at 16, my three years' compulsory military training was followed by 32 years as a Forest Service ranger. I can claim to have head-shot three deer at 45m in 15 seconds and, Barry might note, I have disarmed an angry inebriated young man in my camp, at night.

I do know that the military and perhaps the police are trained to fire at body mass and this is part of my point. With their body armour, supposedly superior weaponry and hopefully approaching from cover, the madly "rushing offender" is not too common. I did not intend to belittle the OAS in their job, I just wish they could hone their skills and learn to shoot accurately.

Barrie Atkins, Katikati.

Blank models

I am continually stunned at the way fashion models are photographed, in the Herald, Viva and other publications. In almost every instance they look vacant and charisma free.

I can only assume that the photographers are instructed to take the picture that way, perhaps so that there is a focus on the clothes.

If that were the case it would make more sense to use mannequins.

In the days as a press photographer on the Herald and the NZ Weekly News, I shot most of the fashion. Part of the job required me to select the models. Without exception, I chose those with personality.

I would encourage them to look like they were enjoying themselves. Not sure what happens these days, but I am certain that no one is having fun. The models, the photographer or the reader.

Wal Warehi Britton, Birkenhead.

How to open driver's door

The item in your January 5 issue titled, "New tech prevents car door dents", is indeed good news for Jaguar owners.

A useful tip for the rest of us, according to overseas experts, is to use your left arm to open the driver's door, unlike the driver in the photograph. This forces the driver to turn the head, and so sight any approaching cyclist.

Had this technique been applied in Christchurch where a cyclist was knocked over and into the pathway of a truck in the opposite lane, a tragedy with fatal outcome would have been avoided.

Michael Dally, Levin.

Vigilante threat

Crime victim Tania Parker's husband has shown us all how to get assistance from our police. You call 111, tell them you're getting your gun and visiting the perpetrators yourself.

I never thought our police would encourage vigilante justice, but that is the clear message they have sent to the long-suffering victims of crime.

Unless our police want the public to go down this path, I strongly suggest they take a far more aggressive approach to addressing crime.

The safety and security of the public is supposed to be the number one priority for our Government and police. However, the crime resolution rates have become so disgraceful; it is painfully obvious that this is not the case.

Kent Millar, Blockhouse Bay.

Better climate

Almost every day we read in the Herald of climate records being broken and of dire predictions for mankind's survival, mostly based on alarmist half truths.

Tuesday's article, "Feeling warmer than usual", refers to a statement by Copernicus Climate Change Services that global temperature in 2016 had exceeded 14.8C and was about 1.3C higher than typical for the middle years of the 18th Century.

Many readers would think this is an alarming temperature rise but not so, the middle of the 18th Century was a very cold period. In fact it was called historically, "the little ice age". It lasted from 1408 to 1814. The river Thames regularly froze over and ice fairs were held on the river ice. There were regular crop failures and famine, glaciers all over the world grew and have only recently started to recede.

Given a choice to live in the climate of the mid-18th Century or today I know that I and most of your readers would choose today. So it's getting warmer thank God, because in recent history it was very cold.

Spencer Scott, Browns Bay.

McCully's case

Murray McCully is correct that New Zealand has a long standing and respected record for fairness.

Perhaps Mr McCully might elaborate on what is fair about dealing with a party who openly teaches children to hate another race, continually celebrates and encourages attacks on civilians, continues to deny that the State of Israel is a home for the Jewish people or refuses to act in any way to stop the almost daily missile bombardment of civilians.

Regardless of people's views of how the Palestinian people are treated by the only true, open and democratic country in the Middle East there can never be justification for terrorist activity.

A fact that is continually overlooked is that the "Occupied Territories" of the Golan Heights, Gaza Strip, the West Bank and the Sinai Peninsula were won during the 1967 war and were retained as means of defence.

Subsequently the Sinai has been given back to Egypt with mixed results and the Gaza Strip back to the Palestinians, which can only be described as an unmitigated disaster.

What incentive is there for Israel to make concessions when the parties they are expected to negotiate with have never fully rescinded the call for the destruction of the State of Israel?

Would the United States negotiate with al-Qaeda or Isis on these terms? Mr McCully's position is at best naive and anti-Israel at worst.

Ian Gautier, London, UK.

Ban petrol

New Zealand should follow Norway's lead and ban liquid-fuelled cars, both petrol and diesel, by 2025 in favour of electric cars.

We should also ban diesel railway locomotives and switch to all-electric trains. When the Bluff smelter closes, New Zealand will have 100 per cent renewable electricity with a surplus. It's time to start looking forward to a low-carbon future.

John Caldwell, Howick.

Regulatory itch

Grant Bradley's article on Wednesday was one of a number you have run about tourism and its benefits and drawbacks. What surprises me is that our Government does not have a "tourism policy".

What is even more surprising is that while we have a Minister for Tourism, we do not have a Ministry for Tourism. The minister has no policy and no support operation. Why is the development of tourism in New Zealand left entirely to the markets? Every other major industry has a ministry which has policies for that industry and oversees and regulates it.

Surely it is time for even this Government to wake up to the need to provide some direction to the industry and to finance the necessary infrastructure, for which some form of tourist levy is a no-brainer.

Julian Fitter, Maketu.

Diet drink

Congratulations to Georgia Nesbit for putting a stake in the ground and achieving a better health outcome.

For further health improvements, simply twice a year take the diet of the juice of half a lemon, a pinch of cayenne pepper and two tablespoons of maple syrup (high grade) in a glass of water. Drink this appetiser as often as you feel hungry. No other food is ingested any time from a week to several months.

Not only does this diet clean out the toxins from your body but also the side effect is that always there is a loss of excess carbohydrates.

Don Frommherz, Hamilton.

Power cuts for safety

Vector's new lines safety approach is absolutely the right thing to do. It is increasingly recognised internationally that carrying out work on live electrical lines is a safety risk - new safety policies in the UK and Australia speak volumes. We have a responsibility to reduce the risks to our crew. That means in most cases making sure power is switched off in areas where they are doing work.

It may cause some inconvenience but most would agree that safety is more important.

Michael Stiassny, Vector chairman.