Hello and welcome to New Zealand's Herald: Let's Talk, the feature on the Herald site which offers you the chance to comment on today's news and views.
We want to hear your opinions - and help answer your questions - on anything from the big issues of the day.
The big talker of the day so far is the 'affordable house' hidden costs behind a so-called 'affordable house'. What are your thoughts on affordable housing?
What is your response to the government deciding to pull the pin on any capital gains tax?
What about other matters of politics? Business? Sport? We're happy to let you debate them all. All you have to do to offer a comment is to click into the live blog immediately below and follow the prompts. Alternatively, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
To get you warmed up, here's a selection of letters to the editor from today's Herald. Do you agree with our correspondents? Or are your hackles raised? Well, have your say! (Please note comments will be moderated before publication. Comments may be edited, abridged or discarded.)
Easter is not easy to explain. You might say it's like a gift voucher, paid for by the person who offers it to me. I can decline the gift, or accept it and throw it away or let it rot in my wallet, or I can present it at the store and acquire something I couldn't have purchased myself. I cannot "purchase" eternal life (I simply don't deserve it) but the price of my admission has been paid and I can front up with a voucher that's as good as cash.
Gavan O'Farrell, Lower Hutt.
AT stayed away
A large meeting of over 400 people attended a public meeting in St Heliers relating to Auckland Transport's plan for traffic management in the suburb. AT representatives did not attend as they were concerned about staff safety and welfare. St Heliers residents who attended were mainly seniors and to infer they would pose a safety risk is an insult and at the minimum deserves an apology. Dissenting views were expressed and no one was attacked or injured.
Craig Fraser, St Heliers.
Out of control
I believe Phil Goff's belated attempt to pull Auckland Transport into line is little more that pre-election posturing. Goff removed the only elected members of the AT board soon after he became mayor. They were councillors Christine Fletcher and Mike Lee. The board of this euphemistically called "council controlled organisation" is appointed, not elected by the people, so it can hardly been called a democratic body. Nor is it, in any way, directly responsible to the public.
It, like other CCOs (eg, Panuku), is supposed to be accountable to the elected council in some respects but AT's culture is arrogant and disdainful of the public. The semi-independence of the several CCOs all run by appointed boards is an affront to democracy and the public who pay these people. The corporate-style "local body" imposed on Auckland in 2010 needs a major inquiry and improvement.
A. P. Holman, Northcote Point.
The horrific sight of Notre Dame on fire highlights the dangers our historic buildings are in if fire takes control. Notre Dame was a beacon of light. Its loss cannot be put into words. This isn't just a loss to France, but to the world and it must be an international effort to let Notre Dame rise from the ashes.
S. T. Vaughan, Birmingham.
Further to recent criticisms directed at AT, I add one more. Four months ago I lodged a concern about a dangerous stretch of road in Coatesville where there are hidden exits on blind corners coming from both directions. Three weeks later, in early January, a representative rang to say their site assessor agreed there was a high accident risk and signage would be erected to advise traffic to slow. Despite numerous phone calls and lodging yet more reminders, there has been zero action. It's a death trap waiting. If anybody dies, you can be certain that all involved with the issue will duck for cover.
Sue White, Hobsonville.
Dome Valley tip
If consented by the Auckland Council, its new landfill south of Wellsford will add a massive 450 or more daily return trips to Auckland's new Northern Motorway and the deadly Dome Valley from 2026. Mostly by heavy trucks. From congestion, road-safety, environmental and the council's own planning perspectives this is unacceptable.
Meanwhile within 2km of the landfill site, the Auckland-Northland rail line languishes, barely-used. Waste Management is open to waste-by-rail transport. However, KiwiRail says it can't really help without a rail line upgrade.
Paradoxically, an imminent business case for a rail upgrade by the Ministry of Transport is likely to come up short unless Northport gets some of Ports of Auckland's freight. Watch Council favour dollars over its own planning principles and rail aspirations there.
Stuart Windross, Scotts Landing.
Some Anzac services are being called off, so many moan about "giving in to evil" and "this is about fallen soldiers, not religious issues" Can everyone get it that it's only because we have over-stretched, over-tired police? No "pandering" to any group. There simply isn't a big-enough blue line to protect so many gatherings.
Accepted security protocols are that big events may be targeted after something like the Christchurch carnage so they must be protected to a higher level. If the police didn't make this stand and something happened, they'd be blamed. Patience and understanding, folks. It's not disrespect to Anzacs, it's common sense. How about thinking of alternative ways to acknowledge those who served?
Anna McDonald, Remuera.