Tax on tax
Well the report is out, we are being fleeced. Who could possibly have seen that coming? The real villains in this equation are the government - red or blue, it does not matter.
Hundreds of millions of dollars have been stolen/misappropriated in fuel tax collected off generations, yet we are continually told that there is no money to pay for infrastructure.
Tax increase on tax increase and when they think you have forgotten, more tax increases, plus Auckland special tax. Then, to rub salt into the wound, add GST onto all that tax. Tax on a tax.
If this Government had the slightest bit of credibility regarding concern for the long-suffering peasants then they would remove the GST for starters.
Douglas Anderson, Glendowie.
Double the price
So we're being extorted by petrol retailers? Get over it. Petrol and diesel should be double the price it is. Most of that should be taxes, so we can properly invest in electrifying all our modes of transport.
The day of the internal combustion engine is over or climate change from the greenhouse gases they pour out will devastate our fragile ecosystem. Stop worrying about gas prices, look at the big picture.
Jeff Hayward, Auckland Central.
According to online listings, the five lowest prices for a litre of unleaded fuel - in American dollars - are Algeria and Kuwait $0.35, Iran $0.29, Sudan $0.14, Cuba $0.09 and Venezuela $0.01. Maybe our fuel dealers should be looking for a new source of supply?
Jeanette Grant, Mt Eden.
I'd like to congratulate whoever selected the front page picture (NZ Herald, August 21). Not only did it illustrate the fact that people, including young women use petrol pumps, but it also made a vital and topical statement about climate change. Clearly if someone is wearing a short skirt and camisole-type top during the middle of winter then there are already major warming effects and the link to the use of petrol for transport will not have gone unnoticed. David Parry, Newton.
Income v rates
Larry Mitchell (NZ Herald, August 21) claims Auckland rates often absorb 25 per cent of a pensioner's total income.
I am a superannuant living on my own in a property assessed by the council with a rateable value of $820,000 with current year's rates of $2172. Last year's super was $21,112 after tax, current annual super will be higher. That means my rates equal 10 .3 per cent of my super - a great deal less than 25 per cent.
Undoubtedly, rates are a big problem but over-exaggerating that burden is no help.
John Simons, Orewa.
I must take issue with Roger McCall's assertion that the German people have not acknowledged their culpability for the terrible crimes committed in their name during the Second World War. Some years ago, a group I was part of went for a weekend trip to Napier, one of our group was a young man from the German embassy. We were relaxing in a local hotel, and soon began socialising with a group of young Māori men. We were discussing where we were from and our Māori friends said that we should all be proud of who we are. My German friend replied: "How can I when we murdered six million people?"
Donald Anderson, Papatoetoe.
Rachel Stewart's opinion column in Wednesday's edition (NZ Herald, August 21) tells us that we were all warned of Fonterra's possible near future collapse. This is being attributed to basically mismanagement and over-expectation of market prices, to put it simply.
Fonterra, as a co-operative, has the livelihood all of its contributing farmers in its hands and has failed to deliver promised returns. So, all these farmers now face a bleak unknown future, seeing all their hard work over many years, slogging it through all hours of the day in harsh weather, possibly amount to nothing.
This situation reminds me of a protest banner that I saw in the USA some years ago, which read: "America was built by men in denim and shall be destroyed by men in suits."
I hope New Zealand is not going down the same path.
John Walker, Mission Bay.
The comment by Niall Robertson (NZ Herald, August 19) regarding the benefit of the subsidy of KiwiRail lacks logic on number of issues.
Yes, the Glenbrook-Parata road may be in need of work but, as pointed out, the users such as road transport operators and others are paying for it. The same can't be said of Genesis Energy, who import cheap coal from Indonesia and enjoy subsidised transport into the Huntly power station on KiwiRail. One could suggest NZTA are saving money by not spending it on the road from Tauranga but they are not earning either as trucks are not used .
All taxpayers are paying for Genesis' customers to enjoy a cheaper power supply. If we have to burn coal, why not take out a great deal of the transport cost and source locally?
The subsidies made in this example have just allowed our carbon emissions to grow, none of the ships, trucks or trains used are carbon neutral and all, bar shipping, are supported to some extent by the taxpayer.
John Tizard, Howick.
Licensed to rent
There's been a lot of media articles relating to the licensing of landlords to ensure that the tenants can be assured of living in warm and comfortable properties. As a landlord I have no argument with this policy and believe that this will generally improve the standards of rental properties.
My main covenant, however, is whether it should be a requirement that tenants also be licensed to ensure that they possess the necessary levels of property care which most landlords would expect. I believe the car rental system provides a good example of how this works.
If I wish to rent a car to members of the public, it must be legally owned, it must comply with warrants of fitness checks and must be registered (licensed) to be used on New Zealand roads. Any potential driver wanting to rent this vehicle must be in possession of a legal driver's licence and must comply with the road and traffic regulations. If the vehicle is returned with any damage or excessively messy or dirty the renter is entitled to charge the driver an appropriate amount of money to cover the costs of bringing the vehicle back to the condition it was in prior to being rented to the driver. Could this approach also be applied to rental properties?
Dick Ayres, Auckland Central.
Fran O'Sullivan posed the interesting question of our country's readiness to take large numbers of climate refugees from Australia, should that situation arise (NZ Herald, August 17). However, perhaps the opposite scenario is more likely given the many other dire natural hazards we are at more risk of? I refer to our land masses twisting between two tectonic plates, major earthquakes, the Alpine Fault, the Hikurangi subduction zone, our volcanic risks, tsunami from Chile etc, etc.
I suggest we remain on very friendly terms with our Aussie cousins in case we need refuge there.
Nick Nicholas, Greenlane.
Letters: Aged care, Census, gun buy-back, port, prisoners, e-scooters and Rod Emmerson
Letters: Reading, prisoners, obesity, the Holocaust and Simon Wilson
Letters: Port location, John Maynard Keynes, Westgate, rugby and HL Mencken
Short & Sweet
So Serena Williams has deigned to return to Auckland. I hope for her sake we don't have any wind at the time.
Mike Jarman, One Tree Hill.
As long as children think that eating on and off all day is normal, we will continue to see overweight children - who turn into overweight adults. Eating habits start young.
Pamela Russell, Orakei.
Simon Bridges' incessant calling for our PM's return to the office to run the country rings hollow when National proved that being in the office does not mean they were working at, or, for anything.
Gordon Jackson, Papakura.
Australia and America seem to have an oversupply of loudmouthed and misogynistic, old, white men who are threatened by powerful women.
Mary Hearn, Glendowie.
Phil Kingsley-Jones thinks he "discovered" Jonah Lomu while Jonah played for Wesley College. Did Jonah's teammates and coaches at Wesley not know about him?
J Holton, Kohimarama.
Apple and Samsung process 10 cents worth of raw plastic, sand, and metal into $2000 phones. Fonterra processes 10 cents worth of raw milk into 8.6 cents of milk powder.
Tony Cooper, Mt Albert.
One way of solving the housing, hospital, education etc shortages, is to restrict immigration until these facilities are increased.
Alan Boniface, Snells Beach.