Oranga Tamariki beats the alternative
As a proud New Zealander with a little Maori ancestry my heart bursts with pride when I see a great haka or hear a beautiful waiata.
However, I am ashamed to see (NZ Herald, June 19) some of our people preventing
at-risk Maori babies being taken into state care. Where were these people when the young mother was born into a house of poverty and neglect?
Where were they when she needed a bedtime story? Where were they when she went to school without lunch? Where were they at parent-teacher interviews? Where were they on those cold Saturday mornings at netball? And where were they when she gets pregnant to a boy from the same background?
Our ancestors would cry in shame at how some of our tamariki are treated. Being brought up in state care is far from perfect but it sure beats the alternative.
D Adams, Mt Albert.
Cycle of knocks
As a keen cyclist I was pleased to see the
feature (NZ Herald, June 19). However, even in countries such as The Netherlands where a very high percentage of people cycle, it is still necessary to cycle on the road with other traffic. Today, I was struck by a car at the junction of Gladstone Rd and Brighton Rd whilst cycling. I was wearing white with front and rear lights working. It was the nineteenth time over the last 60 years that I have been hit. As usual, the driver's response was "sorry, I didn't see you". After having suffer a fractured pelvis twice, broken ribs, broken collar bone and arms, it all gets a bit tiresome. I have cycled in 18 countries and, in my view, New Zealand motorists are the worst as far as cyclists are concerned. Yes, I know there are some bad cyclists too.
Richard Oddy, St Heliers.
Letters: Teaching conditions, Brexit, Oranga Tamariki and the Civic Building
Letters: End of life choice, an ice age, the Act Party and James Cameron
Letters: Mike Pompeo, Brexit, civic building, road crashes and the Act Party
and yet another National party board member (NZ Herald, June 19). It must be difficult for a bank to make a buck these days despite having been gifted the vast pool of interest-free money called bonus bonds (I bet they were over the moon with that one). It's great that the free market and competition from the other Australian banks is restricting the outflow of capital to Australia to 40 per cent of the gross national deficit. Keep Australia banking healthy Kiwis, they own everything else anyway.
Paul Cheshire, Maraetai.
John Roughan claims (NZ Herald, June 17) drivers are
pedestrians and cyclists through fuel taxes. I would argue that in fact communities are forced to subside cars through the provision of cheap space. Ratepayers will foot the $26 million bill of the new carpark in Takapuna. The park-and-rides, that take up huge amounts of council land are free at the point of use.
Highways and five lane urban roads take up more space that could be put to other community uses like shops, offices, housing, cafes, manufacturing in walking distance from each other. Do drivers pay money to the local ratepayers for the use of this space, like rent? Or for the inconvenience to pedestrians? No, they don't. Do drivers pay for clean up of run-off into the roads and waterways, climate change mitigation or public health costs for asthma? Only as taxpayers, along with everyone else.
Decisions were made in the '50s and '60s, contrary to the advice of British and American traffic engineers, to displace people from the centre and reduce public transport forcing people into cars. It has been for the community good that driving is subsidised but it is more beneficial to provide decent pavements and cycleways.
Alexandra Bonham, Grey Lynn.
Your correspondent Gary Hollis (NZ Herald, June 19) considers
because he claims it consists of government- appointed scientists, but then he states that the most reliable authority is NASA - a USA government organisation whose data and research is an important contribution to the IPCC reports.
He claims that the NIPCC has no vested interests but one of its major funders is The Heartland Institute which, although no longer disclosing its funding sources, has received money from coal, gas and oil companies. (In a previous campaign, the Institute worked with the tobacco industry to attempt to discredit the health risks of second-hand smoke and to lobby against smoking bans.)
It's true that NASA's mission showed that Earth's thermosphere (the layer above 100 km) responds to the 11-year sun spot cycle; but global warming of the troposphere (the lowest part of the atmosphere) will cause cooling in the upper layers. The troposphere acts like an insulating blanket, keeping heat energy close to the Earth's surface. Increasing the amount of heat energy, due to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases, makes the blanket more efficient; so the amount of heat energy allowed to escape to the thermosphere is decreasing, resulting in it cooling.
Graham Alcock, Northcross.
I take issue with Anne Wilks (NZ Herald, June 19) regarding
by CARE Alliance. To my knowledge, not one of the major disability organisations take a stance on the "End of Life Choice" bill, believing their members will have varying views; a pleasant change from the tendency of all and sundry to take on advocacy for groups not seeking it. The "vulnerable elderly" are a target now, for opponents of the bill. Extremely elderly, but unlikely to be "coerced" into end of life decisions, I feel insulted by the presumption of these self-appointed "protectors".
Victoria celebrates their voluntary euthanasia bill, which comes into law today. (It's worth noting that they have also announced an increase in funding for palliative care - a frequent follow-up to VE legislation seldom mentioned by opponents). Western Australia and Hobart have similar bills in the pipeline. Over 21 countries and states now give their citizens choice as to how they wish to end their lives.
We already have a succession of polls, by reputable and professional market researchers, indicating that the majority of New Zealanders support the EOLC bill. MPs know this and are unlikely to go against their wishes.
Patricia Butler, Nelson.
It is becoming clear that legalising smokable and edible cannabis inexorably increases the potency (THC or psychoactive element). This seems to be a function of free-market economics; specifically non-price marketing competition that promises more bang for the buck. If cannabis is legalised here in New Zealand the Government should regulate THC content to sensible levels.
Robert Myers, Auckland Central.
Improving the "
" (NZ Herald, June 19) will do nothing to assist with people's ability to drive. Overtaking vehicles when unable to see a clear run ahead has no reflection on the lines painted on the tarseal.
Reducing carnage on the roads will only occur when drivers take responsibility for their own actions. This is difficult to ensure when they are dead. I believe continued practical driving training every decade, no matter the age or experience of the "student" will elevate driver complacency and assist with realisation that you are not as good as you thought.
Drivers, take responsibility for your actions.
Hannah Peddie, Sandringham.
Impression of China
In 1989 I visited Wuhan in China, not long after the Tiananmen demonstrations in Beijing. I arrived in the evening and, first thing the following morning, set out from my hotel to find the Yangtze River as a starting point. I became aware of a confluence of people and followed the crowd to a windowless building with numerous newspaper-sized head and shoulders photographs of young people. Some had red crosses across them. Then I heard quite a loud crack from within the walls. A group of people wailed and a policeman with straight face, a can of red paint and a brush emerged and crossed out another young face.
I became aware of a young man in a dark suit standing behind me. I turned, smiled and he said he was a student and asked if he could practise his already good English on me. Gullibly, I agreed and first asked him what was going on. He told me the faces were of students rounded up after Tiananmen. The glibness with which the "student" explained it will remain with me the rest of my life.
I moved on and he followed me. Back in the hotel I looked down from my window and there he was, looking up. There he stayed for the duration of my week's visit.
This left an indelible impression of the ruthlessness which lies behind the chairman's smile, whichever chairman is in power.
Richard Kean, Ngongotaha.
Short & Sweet
Inability to absorb the inordinate amount of education around the subject of sensible eating and drinking is the true link to obesity.
Harriette Brickell, Whitianga.
Christopher Luxon rates very highly in the self-promotion department.
Bruce Tubb, Belmont.
Christopher Luxon would be the perfect candidate to stand as Mayor for Auckland City.
David de Lacey, Remuera.
A man much wiser than thee or thou said: "Free speech is only for those who can afford it." David Seymour and Donald Trump are fine examples of just that.
Gary Hollis, Mellons Bay.
It would have been so easy for Sir John Key to sweep the matter under the carpet and accept a resignation from David Hisco on health grounds. It is to his credit that he did not.
H E H Perkins, Botany Downs.
While NZ workers struggle on minimum wages to afford food and housing, banking bosses juggle semantics to justify their probably unjustifiable million dollar expenses. Something not right here, eh?
Anne Martin, Helensville.
A great scheme for the "not so smart" to be unable to ever save enough for a home deposit.
Linda Lang, Henderson.
A peeping tom was sentenced to two and a half years in prison while a driver who killed three road workers got community service work. Justice?
V Hall, Whangaparaoa.