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 Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's painful and public failure to forge ahead with plans for a capital gains tax.
As Newstalk ZB's political editor Barry Soper says today: "For her this was the painful part of politics - not being able to do what you told the electorate you were so determined to do, introduce a capital gains tax to inject more equity into the system. It'll now never happen under her leadership she insisted, before striding out and taking the elevator to the solitude of her ninth-floor office."
Also in the news today can the Prime Minister successfully lead a global push to shutdown terrorism and extremism on socia media sites.
Sports writer Patrick McKendry says: "Forget miracle returns from Dan Carter or Aaron Cruden, the big winner – if we can describe him as that after Damian McKenzie's knee injury which will rule him out of the World Cup – could be David Havili."
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.)
Crucial to hold people to account
The very sad and shocking death of Bruce Steedman from a neglected Newmarket footpath and an inefficient hospital emergency department (NZ Herald, April 22) is followed by the inevitable evasion that no comment can be made "for ethical and privacy reasons" except that "admission to the hospital wasn't clinically indicated" — whatever that means. Total rubbish!
Both these issues are of intense public interest, and ducking behind the privacy curtain is now too often the go-to avoidance technique. It is high time our public servants and their elected bosses became much more accountable for shoddy events like this. Both Steedman's family and the public deserve better.
Petrus van der Schaaf, Te Ārai Point.
Branding over informed debate
Sir Michael Cullen (NZ Herald, April 23) attributed the abandonment of a CGT to several factors. One of the most striking, however, was the "tribe of right-wing shock jocks who dominate the airways".
Last week one station in particular was basking in its high ratings, and using these to further promote its flagship presenters.
If these high ratings are founded on uniformed, politically biased rants, as Cullen suggests, their worth to an educated democracy is minimal.
Mike Hosking questioned Cullen's character when he asked in one of his online rants "Is Michael Cullen a hired gun who'll say anything for a price?" Such politicised comments do nothing to encourage educated debate. They are focused solely on branding, promotion and ratings.
An informed public is essential to a functioning democracy. An uninformed public appears essential to branding and ratings.
Ian Findlay, Napier
Unseen police patrols
Much is written regarding the appalling number of traffic accidents and bad driving. However, taking a recent road trip from north of Kaitāia to Auckland, approximately five-plus hours driving, I did not encounter one police nor traffic-patrol car, not even a speed-camera van, which only serve to generate a money-gathering exercise anyway.
A police presence acts as a deterrent and also incurs demerit points for law-breaking drivers as well as fines.
Our police force is woefully underfunded and understaffed, so government hand-wringing regarding these statistics is all window dressing.
Increase our traffic patrols.
Jackie McCabe, Kaitāia.