So John Tamihere, our would-be mayor, would like to sell off 49 per cent (sounds better than 50 per cent) of Auckland's Watercare to the highest bidder (NZ Herald, July 3). What will that man not do to get noticed? Is it that the business community will side with him and give him the weight needed to become our mayor?
Sadly, it shows a complete lack of understanding toward our city's health. With climate change approaching and the necessary cleaning of our lakes, rivers and coastal waters we need to be in complete control of this organisation so pressure can apply to clean it up and keep us safe. Tamihere believes this will happen through payment from the private sale. We who have watched and learned over the years of other such good ideas are sceptical.
Overlooked also is the most important factor of all and that is the most necessary element to life on this planet is water. Why on earth would we sell it off?
Emma Mackintosh, Birkenhead.
In 2013, six years ago, the Auckland Council-owned water supply company Watercare asked Waikato Regional Council for permission to increase the amount of water taken from the Waikato River from 150,000 cubic metres to 200,000 a day and, guess what folks? Waikato Regional Council is still making a decision (NZ Herald, July 3). Yep, six years to make a decision.
Phil Goff made the enlightening comment that "they have taken some time to process it so we will probably need to hurry that up". You don't say?
Is this normal behaviour of councils around New Zealand taking so long to make decisions? I understand the need to process a request like this but, really, six years is ludicrous.
Brenda Barnes, St Heliers.
Reader Ron Bredenbeck notes people are "finding it hard" to pronounce "women" - the plural of "woman" (NZ Herald, July 4).
This idiosyncrasy was established and led by a former prime minister who couldn't pronounce it either.
Sir John Key led the nation he consistently described as "the men and woman of New Zealand". It was never clear which individual "woman" he meant.
Max Cryer, Three Kings.
It is great news that the Defence Force is being used to help clean up the rubbish-strewn West Coast (NZ Herald, July 3). After all that is what it was created for – to defend our country against threats to our security and our way of life. For decades members of the force have been sent to the far corners of the earth where the are conflicts, but these conflicts have nothing to do with our security, rather they are sent for political reasons involving our so-called allies.
The greatest threats our beloved country is now facing are related to climate change and the results of our polluted environment. So there is no better way our Defence Force can be used that to help in our attempts to clean up the environment and work on building defences against the forces of nature being unleashed as a result of this climate change.
Brian Alderson, Glen Eden.
Thank you Jane Dent (NZ Herald, July 3) for voicing what many of us already know .
Having to watch someone die without dignity, unable to eat or control bodily functions, suffering increasing pain levels and being so drugged up on morphine there is no quality of life. How is this not burdensome?
Fiona Helleur, Silverdale.
Referring to Stephen Howie's support for John Roughan, (NZ Herald, July 3), we have here yet another attempt by opponents of the EOLC bill to take it on themselves to speak for people who might seek physician-assisted death - the patronising assumption that they will have no wishes of their own. I suggest that by the time patients have negotiated the checks and balances of this bill's stringent parameters, and been through the counselling and consultation processes, they will be in no doubt as to what they want and why.
No one, surely, would argue against resources being put into the improvement of palliative care - hospice authorities admit that 6 per cent of their patients experience severe pain at the end of their lives. I have a nightmare vision of these gentlemen at the bedside of one of these patients - "not to worry, hang in there - the research is looking promising". How about a bit of compassion, instead of this intransigent acceptance of unnecessary suffering?
Patricia Butler, Nelson.
I support David Speary (NZ Herald, July 3) who set out the difficulties in filing a tax return despite the fact that he is perfectly competent to do so. The system has for a long time been aimed at minimising refunds and seeking tax due.
The IRD now trumpets an automatic refund system but it turns out to be a double-edged sword - they will also pursue tax due on KiwiSaver accounts and no doubt in other areas. I suspect too that the refunds calculated will be less than they should be and may not include imputation credits. Most people will simply accept the "refund" without question when often it should be more.
I make a donations claim every year, but never receive a form for the next year, even though my donations are substantial and constant. My wife always receives one although her donations are much less.The reverse occurs with tax packs - I pay residual tax and I always receive a tax pack; my wife receives a refund and never gets one. Issue of these forms is surely an automatic computerised process so these are not random oversights, the programming has been deliberate.
As Speary points out, attempts to contact the department are rebuffed at every turn. It is frankly infuriating to see advertising extolling great service to the taxpayers when the reverse is clearly the case. This is public service at its worst.
John Billing, New Plymouth.
I have just read the letter "Vexation department" (NZ Herald, July 3) and I am amazed. My recent experiences are the absolute antithesis of this.
I am 23 years retired and have been using "myir" to claim back overpaid tax for both my wife and myself for many years. It was simply a case of logging in, asking for your "personal tax summary", adding the income details and the refund was paid to the nominated bank account. This year it is a little different, on both occasions, for my wife and my own tax, the IRD has emailed me to advise me that my tax is available to be completed and to log in to myir. I logged in to myir, read the information, ticked the appropriate boxes, added in the additional income information, confirmed my bank account number and then the form. On both occasions, the refund was in the bank account within 24 hours. I logged in to myir and used the "message" section to congratulate IRD on the superb service, again within 24 hours IRD had emailed me to thank me for my comments. The only degree I have is that of common sense and a little bit of wisdom accumulated over the years. When you have a problem start to solve it by looking in the mirror first.
Bob Jensen, Hillpark.
How depressing to see the wonderful old St James theatre being allowed to decay away. We demolished the grand old His Majesty's theatre for a car park and the bland and dysfunctional Aotea Centre. An equally bland plastic new theatre has been built in the Wynard Quarter. And we're going to lose the historic St James. What does this say about us? How crass and indifferent are we to let this happen?
Jeff Hayward, Auckland.
One can only wonder at the hold Sonny Bill Williams has over New Zealand rugby and their selectors. Having watched a fair amount of Super 15 rugby, it is obvious that we have a plethora of high-quality midfield backs in the country. Unlike Williams, these guys have played week and week out for their team as dedicated rugby players. You could virtually count on one hand the number of games Williams has played in the past two years. As for his appearance for Ponsonby, I am surprised that one of my favourite clubs would agree to this occurring at the expense of a dedicated club player who has been part of Ponsonby's success this year.
You would need more than two hands to count the number of different teams that Williams has played for since he decided that there was more publicity and financial value in playing rugby. He seems to please himself what he does and where he does it ensuring first that there is a camera nearby.
John Lee, Papatoetoe.
Letters: Civic building, water supply, trucks, tattoos and Hilary Barry
Letters: EVs, IRD, blankets, pine trees, trains and John Roughan
Letters: Eastcliffe Retirement Village, fuel tax, end of life choice and trucks
Short & Sweet
Rod Emmerson's cartoons are most excellent, a picture speaks a thousand words.
Derek Cunningham, Gulf Harbour.
Well said Jane Dent (NZ Herald, July 3), I have kept out of this debate as I get so angry at the so-called do-gooders who would like us to linger in pain and humiliation when we know when we've had enough.
V Hall, Whangaparaoa.
I would like to let Mayor Phil Goff know that I do not want a Costco. I do want a clean, green city where I can access locally produced, quality food, that has minimal packaging.
Wendy Pettersen, Devonport.
Compostable coffee cups end up in landfill. There is a simple answer to this. Every cafe client should front with a keep cup and cafe owners should ditch any single-use items in their cafes.
Christine Hood, Tauranga.
Israel Folau's post warned eight groups that "Hell Awaits You ... Repent". As a lying, thieving, atheist, drunkard and wannabe fornicator, I am outraged that no one has come rushing to my defence.
C C McDowall, Rotorua.
I am only too happy to help my old city with their looming water shortage by putting more water into the Waikato river. I will ring up my Hamilton friends and ask them to flush their toilets twice. A normal flush and then a courtesy flush.
Steve Horne, Raglan.
The Don must be feeling very pleased with his efforts at the latest G20 forum. He will be able to rest easy now, knowing that he finally has the leaders of Russia, China and North Korea right where they want him. Well done Don!
Jeremy Coleman, Hillpark.