I joined the Royal NZ Armoured Corp in 1973 and served for 23 years - initially as a soldier and later as an officer. At the end of my service I considered myself very fortunate to be able to procure an E endorsement firearms licence so that I could legally purchase a FN SLR rifle and once or twice a year I would take it to the range and fire it in the same manner as I had trained with it in Waiouru. This particular type of firearm served NZ well and was used by our troops in Borneo, Malaya and Vietnam until it was replaced by the M16.
To own this rifle, I had to have numerous police interviews with myself and my family, referee checks undertaken and storage facilities inspected. Yesterday it was taken off me for destruction.
I broadly agree with the return of semi-automatic firearms as the situation has now got completely out of control and this lack of control led directly to the sad situation in Christchurch.
Progressive slackening of firearm legislation is the real cause of the Christchurch massacre. Surely, if cost was the issue, why was licence pricing not increased to reflect this and maintain the limited but heavily controlled access to some firearms that a few of us had great pleasure to own and fire?
Brett Hewson, Parnell.
Official cash rake
It has been said that insanity can be defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Central banks around the world have been cutting interest rates for years with no appreciable effect on economic activity. But they keep doing it. I make two confident predictions about the current OCR cut: First, it will do nothing to stimulate the economy or increase business/consumer confidence (but it will make housing even more unaffordable and reduce the income of those dependent on bank deposits even further). Second, in spite of this, the bank will cut the OCR again in November. At that point perhaps you could engage a psychiatrist to explain the bank's behaviour.
Warren Drake, Orakei.
Cutting interest rates to zero or even lower is lunacy. Not only is it ineffective, it's dangerous. The young will simply take on ever-higher housing debt to get on the ladder. The middle-aged will pump up the share market and our retirees, understandably worried about putting all their hard-earned savings into an over-inflated share market will accept their punishment and live on less interest. Why dangerous? When a real recession comes along there will be no bullets left to fire. The real battle lies ahead, yet the bankers have committed all their reserves at the first skirmish. In the history of the world sustainable economic growth has never been achieved by super-cheap debt (aka fake money). It can only be achieved by increasing production in something tangible. Population growth, automation, Government-backed infrastructure projects, these are proven to create a better economy and a better society. If we keep on doing things the same old way we will keep on getting the same old results.
Derek Wallwork, Takapuna.
Adrian Orr completely misses the point in calling for a tax on savings or cutting interest rates to encourage more borrowing, all to encourage a big spend up. Most households with both partners working still struggle to accumulate "disposable income". This is a fact born out by the extraordinarily high level of household debt in New Zealand, a sorry statistic which will be exacerbated by the fall in the cost of borrowing. The problem is simple, 80 per cent of households in New Zealand earn insufficient income. That's it, end of story. This story is not only New Zealand's and is the reason why the global economy is struggling (among other things). Orr is quite correct in that there needs to be a big sustainable spend up - but who's got the money? And what will it be spent on?
Paul Cheshire, Maraetai.
In New Zealand and around the western world the message from governments is"consume" more and more we must spend and buy ever more imported cheap rubbish, throw it away and buy more. And it is downright unpatriotic to think of saving, which must be discouraged. Indeed, if short of money just go and get a loan. And while we are at it we must bring in many more immigrants, the population must increase. Growth and consuming is essential, faster and faster, it is the only way to bring us all the happiness we need.
Vince West, Milford.
Lizette Chapman's article (NZ Herald, August 9) is deeply disturbing to me. If billionaire Peter Theil is indeed "stoking anti-China sentiment and goading the Trump administration to intensify the trade war" because it is largely irrelevant to Theil's business interests, as well as apparently using the conceit of patriotism to ensure his own three "most promising investments" - Space X, Palantir Technologies and Anduril Industries gained US government contracts to the tunes of US$350 million, US$944 million and US$13.5 million respectively this year alone - it seems to me warning bells should surely be ringing loudly. That this man was given New Zealand citizenship is most disturbing to me. What bothers me more, though, is that at the weekend it appears Facebook was immediately taking down my posts about him and the ramifications of his influence written by other, international commentators. Peter Theil is a director of Facebook.
Juliet Leigh, Point Chevalier.
In the run up to the world cup Scott Barrett's red card comes as a salient and timely reminder to the international rugby fraternity that the fate of rugby's "holy grail" will likely be decided by the quality of refereeing and the associated confusion around rule interpretations.
On current form there must be six to seven teams all with the potential to win. It will be a sad reflection on the game if poor officiating once again dominates the headlines. The hopes and dreams of millions can be wiped out in a nano-second by inconsistent and substandard decision making and sadly we could have a repeat of the recent world cup cricket final.
Spare a thought for Steve Kearney, coach of the Warriors, who has had to deal with a litany of refereeing blunders which have beleaguered his NRL team throughout the 2019 season.
Barrett's dismal day at Optus Stadium is now confined to the history books but the potential for red card madness at this year's rugby world cup lives on.
Bruce Eliott, St Heliers.
John Tamihere's proposal for "fixing homelessness" is patently absurd.
More worryingly, he favours authoritarian measures at odds with his claim that he values empathy.
If Tamihere had his way, rough sleepers who declined to do as directed by a social worker would detained by police, then sectioned under mental health legislation.
Tamihere's ill-conceived strategy for making social workers available to undertake this risky and ethically dubious task entails compulsory shift work, a measure likely to further alienate a professional group already under enormous stress. The obvious way to increase the numbers of any workforce is to improve pay and conditions.
Fortunately, his idea is impracticable and could never be realised.
Andrea Dawe, Sandringham.
Much has been written and said about Russian meddling in the 2016 United States Election by respected figures such as former FBI directors Robert Mueller and James Comey.
We shouldn't be apathetic and complacent such meddling isn't taking place here. The role of so-called foreign businesspeople donating significant amounts of money to political parties is concerning. What benefits do they want for their "generosity"?
Similarly, the statement by Derek McCormack, AUT's Vice-Chancellor, that ''at AUT we are not unfamiliar with China's requests for events to be stopped" (NZ Herald, August 6) is troubling, indicating China sees herself as being able to meddle in the life of our academic institutions and freedom of speech. Such attitudes are not welcome in a democracy.
Craig Clark, Remuera.
Short & Sweet
Letters: Interest rates, child health, call centres and the All Blacks
Letters: NZ First, unholy smoke, harvesting rainwater and All Blacks
Letters: Taking risks, long-haul flights, Jacinda Ardern and Ihumātao
In modern rugby, if you continually kick away possession, and frequently get penalised for basic errors, you can't be a great team. All Black coaches please note.
Hylton Le Grice, Remuera.
When choosing a sport for my son, I asked my rugby-loving father about rugby. He replied "authorised thuggery". After seeing Ardie Savea smack Michael Hooper's head into the ground, I felt he was spot on. Samantha Cunningham, Henderson.
I only hope Steve Hansen come to his senses and plays Ben Smith at full back and Beauden Barrett at first-five and we will win. Gary Stewart, Foxton Beach.
It's a game. No one died. Janet Boyle, Orewa.
Virtually all the countries around the world are taking action to mitigate climate change. Once it is stabilised in years to come, the climate change deniers will say "see we have been saying all along there is nothing wrong and that nature will rectify itself". Mohammed Yakub, Māngere East.
The rise of forestry in place of farming is exceptional news for the planet and all who breathe within her atmosphere. I Donaldson, Northcote Point.
At least, so far, the mayor has not cancelled the upcoming local body elections so he, and his team, can concentrate all their efforts on dealing with climate change.
John Robertson, Papamoa Beach.
The situation at Ihumātao is unique and will never arise again. To suggest it will set a precedent is abject nonsense. Bruce Tubb, Belmont.