Putting up a parking lot
Your correspondent J Binsley of Parnell (NZ Herald, July 31) is correct to be concerned about the "prospect" of a Ports of Auckland multi-storey car-parking building blocking the view from the city to the Waitemata Harbour – the port company is currently building it.
This seems to be a deeply cynical act, in view of the concurrent Upper North Island Supply Chain Study; and in view of the pending Auckland Council elections, where candidates have policies that materially affect Ports of Auckland strategies.
Lindsay Mackie, Auckland Central.
Re: Your important article on the obesity/diabetes epidemic (NZ Herald, July 31) and a thoughtful letter to the editor from Glen Stanton on cancer prevention in the same edition. These two topics are linked by important diet contributions. The personal consequences and financial costs of cancer are well publicised. The serious consequences of diabetes (amputations, kidney failure/dialysis, impaired vision, accelerated cardiovascular disease, damage to nerves in the limbs and loss of potency) are less well publicised. But these diabetes outcomes are increasing and are likely to swamp our public hospitals, at great cost to both those with and without diabetes.
At present, food safety regulations focus on short-term outcomes such as avoidance of food poisoning and toxins of many kinds. It is perhaps time for food safety regulation to also consider the longer-term outcomes of cancer and obesity/diabetes. The manufactured food and beverage industry lobbies need to be countered by some regulation of high energy content due to added sugars and fat – and soon.
The public deserves no less, as Professor Boyd Swinburn and other experts have emphasised in this newspaper and elsewhere.
Patrick Frengley, Remuera.
Air NZ changes
Air New Zealand has engaged high-profile New York-based consultants to advise on current cost-saving measures within the airline. Consultants do not come cheap and, likely, their fees will match any possible savings from within Air New Zealand. Thus any savings made equals zero. Possibly this was not appreciated or understood by the CEO, who some think should be prime minister.
Leslie Rockel, Kerikeri.
The editorial on twin-key apartments (NZ Herald, July 31) provides a helpful summary of previous and present management of apartment sizing. However it completely sidesteps the quality of life of those habitating such a small space. Those that offer positive spin on living in a space of 21 square meters have generally never had to live in such a small space themselves, nor even seen the reality of it. Deflecting such miniscule living spaces to "choice" or justifying it by market forces is also a cop-out as is the justifying of airless, depressing "shoebox apartments" by another well attested trope, that of "othering". People overseas also live in tents, is that also a model that we can use in New Zealand? Why should the quality of life of students or those who have lived overseas be different from what New Zealanders expect? It has the whiff of racism about it.
The tiny apartment will be rented out as a stand-alone apartment yet it has never been vetted for that purpose through the consenting process.
Auckland Council has long lost control of how many people are living where and how many garages have been converted (illegally) into substandard and potentially dangerous dwellings. It's a rort that is being milked by unscrupulous developers and property owners with vulnerable tenants paying the price.
Russell Hoban, Ponsonby.
Regarding the accountability at Vocus, Slingshot, Flip and Orcon: This latest example of corporate greed and blatant dishonesty will be repeated in the foreseeable future until the Government changes the law to sheet home to the individuals who enabled the dishonesty and/or turned a blind eye to the illegality and worse still, ignored the ethical issues involved. Criminal charges are a possibility in some cases but in the meantime giving the Courts the power to go behind the company protective structure and fine individuals is the only way to put an end to the problem. The law must also state that the company cannot reimburse the individuals.
This will quickly focus the minds of those making decisions. You will personally pay for your decisions.
Dennis Pahl, Tauranga.
There have been some questions about Fish & Game's position on Sleepyhead's plans to build a new "town" in North Waikato.
We have a statutorily defined role of advocating for the interests of anglers and hunters and in the management of habitats of species.
That's why the local Fish & Game region placed a holding submission as part of the proposed Waikato District plan review.
This is because of the proximity to Lake Rotokawau and Lake Ohinewai. These lakes and wetlands have high fish and game values and are important to the thousands of Fish & Game license holders in the area and across New Zealand.
Fish & Game will work with the applicant to ensure that this development can take place while protecting what makes the district so unique.
It is also worthwhile pointing out we do not receive any taxpayer funds to run our organisation. All funding comes from the 140,000 Kiwis who fish in freshwater or hunt game birds.
Martin Taylor, chief executive, Fish & Game NZ.
Panuku and Auckland Council have been trying to claim that the principles of fairness and consensus have been realised as their Takapuna Anzac St plans are adopted.
This is spin. Panuku and the council's processes have been dubious and biased.
Most residents living in the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board area would not have realised that as no physical addresses were required for the online form, the council therefore cannot tell us what percentage of North Shore residents participated and what percentage were from other areas. Being able to identify which residents live locally should be the most basic requirement of a legitimate process.
It is immensely important that the outcome of this issue reflects the wishes of those who identify with this site at 40 Anzac St and ensure a local voice is heard. This has not been achieved.
The council's commissioning of a Colmar Brunton poll seems to indicate it did not fully trust its own judgement. There were really only two options to choose from, and they were a Hobson's choice. It has been a shoddy and undemocratic process. No matter how the spin keeps being delivered, the council should know as residents we can recognise duplicity.
Trish Deans, Devonport.
A Fijian citizen who has lived and worked in New Zealand for 12 years, who has family here, is denied continuing residence because she suffered a stroke two years ago (NZ Herald, July 31). Furthermore, she is classed as an "overstayer" because Immigration NZ mislaid her application for visa renewal, and she is subject to a deportation order.
Meanwhile, New Zealand claims rightly that its citizens - long-resident in Australia - are being harshly treated by their immigration service. Surely we should set our own house in order, and show more appropriate compassion for our long-term residents?
Ross Boswell, Auckland Central.
I would like to applaud your recent articles on drugs.
I would also turn your attention to the case of Steven Le Ray Ozanne, who was prosecuted and convicted for possession of magic mushrooms. He stated that he grew them for self-treatment of depression. That obviously did not constitute a defence. This contrasts with the fact that the FDA have approved Compass Pathways to trial psilocybin (from magic mushrooms) for use with treatment-resistant depression.
As the father of a daughter that has twice attempted suicide I deeply resent that this treatment option has not been available – even when she was sectioned under the mental health act. We still fear for her life.
Apparently, Prince Harry has stated he and Meghan Markle intend to limit their family to two children and stated their decision is based on saving the world by reducing population growth. I applaud their decision and the prince's leadership. Global warming is directly related to population. The math is simple, multiply the number of people times emissions per person and you get total worldwide emissions. If the royal couple have a baby next year, the current projection is world population will have increased by two billion people before that child turns 30 years old. With another two billion persons to feed, house and transport, there is no way emissions targets will be kept below critical levels.
To my dismay, I heard Kate Hawkesby mocking the prince on the radio for his stance describing him as "out to lunch" on this issue. I suggest Harry and Meghan have thought about the world their grandchildren will inherit and are using their influence to try and save it.
Michael Scott, Ohope.
Letters: Ihumātao, wealth, guns, rail and Lance O'Sullivan
Letters: Cancer funding, Ihumātao, league referees and Simon Bridges
Letters: Speed humps, Ihumātao, gun buy-back and Phil Goff
Short & Sweet
With his 6 per cent preferred PM rating, Simon Bridges should not criticise Jacinda Ardern for being, in his words, a "part timer".
Tony Sullivan, St Heliers.
Have we now reached the ridiculous situation that we can not criticise the PM because of her gender? Perhaps "sleeping at the wheel" is more gender neutral. Pim Venecourt, Torbay.
This Govt is a "doing Govt" whereas the previous National govt actually achieved little. Paul Carpenter, Rotorua.
Surely, it's better to be a part-time prime minister than a full-time whinger. Allan Gyde, Tauranga.
Otaki awaits you Mr Mark Richardson. Gary Stewart, Foxton Beach.
Hands up all those people who are happy a man used a roller to damage the boy racers' cars? S McIlroy, Kohimarama.
Idlib. A name of eternal shame for the vile and loathsome regimes bombing civilians there and the so-called civilised regimes who failed to prevent it. M Howard, Mt Eden.
Sir Keith Park should also be remembered for his unflinching role in the defence of the island of Malta, whose residents were also recognised by receiving the George Cross during WWII. Mark Holms, Piha.