Sad to see crumbling of society
It's hard to walk along Queen St these days. The bodies asleep and so trusting in their belief we will not hurt them, along with those awake and begging for money. It's also hard to fathom how we have got to this stage where children are going hungry. What has happened to our society?
If we go back to the 1980s we find the beginning of an economic change that set the path our country was to follow. It took away the safety nets put in place to mainly look after the most vulnerable and allowed the National Party to follow with a more thrusting and bitter attack on those less able to fend for themselves. The domestic purposes benefit to mainly women was cut drastically by $20 a week. It was a huge loss in those days. The sick feeling among some at the time was overwhelming.
Then came Bill Birch and his taking away workers' rights with the Employment Contract Act. We who protested knew exactly what was going to happen and it followed.
We, the people, lost our union protection and the rights of the employer became the word of law. It was thought business men were honourable and they would see to their workers. Some definitely have, most have not.
And so the crumbling of our society took place. We look around, we read and we see the harm these changes have made. We see those who have had successes within this framework tell others who haven't what's wrong with them.
It is so sad to see and so hard to know we saw it coming.
Emma Mackintosh, Birkenhead.
Nigel Murray questions
The Serious Fraud Office may have lost interest in Dr Nigel Murray, but the public certainly have not. Those involved in the appointment of Murray should be shown the door or tender their resignations as with Murray.
The public are entitled to ask who were the persons involved in Murray's appointment, what background checks were undertaken re his background and who approved his appointment.
The fact the SFO has decided on a cost-benefit basis that it is not in the public interest to pursue Murray for fraudulent expense claims is beside the point.
Garry Larsen, St Heliers.
Sonny Bill Williams
A number of sports journalists have been salivating over the weekend about Sonny Bill Williams' amazing achievement in surviving 80 minutes of provincial rugby.
Letters: Ihumātao, Man of (two) letters, healthcare and Oranga Tamariki
Letters: Diabetes, royal tours, the Blind Foundation and Lizzie Marvelly
Letters: Port car park, diabetes, twin-key apartments and Jacinda Ardern
Opposition World Cup contenders will be hoping SBW survives the cut in that an All Black side containing an injury-prone, highly predictable and pedestrian inside back gives them an immediate advantage that may not be obvious to those blinded or at least influenced by past memories, sponsorships and contractual obligations.
It will take some individual player brilliance and magic to host the Webb Ellis trophy on November 2. Surviving a game of Mitre 10 Cup rugby might not be the answer.
Bruce Eliott, St Heliers.
Haumaru Housing deaths
I was appalled at the front-page story in yesterday's Herald on Sunday about the two very sad deaths at the Haumaru Housing-run villages in Birkdale and Manurewa.
It would have been bad enough with this happening at one of their villages, but to have another similar situation at another smacks of very poor management and policies that just don't reflect today's supposed caring society.
As we head into the impact of the Grey Wave this situation can only get worse while we have so-called carers with such bad empathy and buck shoving.
I say, "If you don't care, don't care for anybody" and get out of the business.
The Auckland Council should in the first instance commence a full inquiry — but don't wait to get the results. Put in a manager to oversee the operations and to maintain, at the very least, proper care for our elderly. For goodness' sake have a heart and get rid of the rot.
Act now, Auckland Council, as you could be in that very same situation very soon and would you like to be treated in the same way? I bet not!
Robin Warner, Tauranga.
Salute to pie-maker
Bay of Plenty's Patrick Lam, supreme pie-maker, has succeeded again, winning NZ's Supreme Pie Award for the seventh time.
Lam's heritage emanates from the Cambodian "killing fields" as a refugee, yet he has overcome trauma and deprivation and accomplished much despite his claim, "I knew nothing about pies, but I'm a hard worker, not that clever".
He attributes his achievement to the strong support and sacrifice his parents made for him, but above all else he was willing to adapt to his new environment to compliment his work ethic.
Patrick is inspiring.
P.J. Edmondson, Tauranga.
Preferred PM stakes
I presume your correspondent who noted the "significant majority" (59 per cent) who did not prefer Jacinda Ardern as Prime Minister also noted that an even more significant majority (94 per cent) did not prefer Simon Bridges as PM?
A.J. Forster, Mt Eden.
Analysis of America
Many of Simon Wilson's comments about his brief visit to America are painfully accurate. However, I suggest that his analysis is somewhat simplistic after visiting only two cities.
It would be comparable to me arriving in Aotearoa, going to a rugby game, having a feed of "fish and chups" and declaring I now know everything that defines New Zealand.
Two Broadway shows does not a democracy make, and ours, to quote Simon, isn't rubbish in any formal or informal sense of the word.
In Trump's America, our cherished democracy is wounded, but not dead.
Yes, the USA's vulnerabilities are cruelly exposed, partially because of the unrelenting rubbish spewing out of the White House and we are feeling the embarrassment of international derision.
But America will recover because our people are resilient and courageous, and above all, we passionately love our country too much to see it sink into division and disfunction.
More than ever, it is vitally important that we stop rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic and unite in a cohesive plan to "Make America Great Again" using our collective power at the ballot box. If we fail in this, there will be no life raft in 2020.
Mary Hearn, Glendowie.
The most sensible plan of action is to do nothing at Ihumātao.
Withdraw the police presence and leave the campers to their own devices; and certainly suggest that the media ignore it entirely.
A.J. Petersen, Kawerau.League trainingI sat at home last night watching the Warriors being given a lesson on how to play rugby league by 13 players who could run, tackle, pass the ball with ease and gave the local team a lesson on speed and superior fitness.
May I be so bold as to go back to the days of football where there was no gymnasium or weight lifting? Supreme fitness was only made by character building on distance running to maintain stamina.
Attitude has nothing to do with it.
Keith May, Mellons Bay.
Australian climate stance
As a lapsed Australian I wish to express my disgust and revulsion at the Australian Government's climate change denialism that reflects too closely the moronic, redneck views of a President better not mentioned by name.
Australia must cease and desist peddling its toxic coal to other countries for the sole purpose of enriching itself of cash or goods.
Ironically few countries sit as precariously and vulnerably as Australia in drought and extreme-temperature fragility.
Australian coal, sold and shipped and burned overseas with toxic gases released simply return to haunt those ignorant people through global climate change.
No one escapes and money will have little value once Mother Nature takes revenge on each and all — the greedy and the needy.
Rob Buchanan, Kerikeri
Simon may have a strong accent but if he ever becomes Prime Minister at least he won't say "somethink" during public speaking to New Zealand and the world.
Colin Nicholls, Mt Eden.Whale Oil demiseYour article "Whale Oil shuts down" reminds us that, while misfortune or illness is not to be wished for, it should not explain, hide or ameliorate vindictive deliberate bile (as found by the courts and apparent in Whale Oil's own rhyme "beefhooked").
Blogging should not be conducted under the guise of journalism and free speech without the corresponding responsibilities of research, truth, objectivity and balance, which journalism entails. The Fourth Estate is too important a part of New Zealand's Constitution for that.
John Collinge, St Marys Bay.