Shine on you crazy (man-made) diamond
Re: Your article "Diamonds a girl's (man-made) best friend" (NZ Herald, September 9).
Man-made diamonds have been around a long time, the first was produced in the 1950s. However manufacturing costs for gem-grade diamond was prohibitively expensive, until recently. Being a man-made product, their source is infinite and, as production increases, prices can only come down.
There is misconception of De Beers controlling the price of natural diamonds. For the past two or three decades, they have had serious competition with other large mining companies; Rio Tinto, BHP Biliton and Alrosa to name but a few.
Contrary to the statement that man-made diamonds will finish De Beers, they have in fact started their own production of man-made diamonds and currently retail them overseas at US$800 per carat, regardless of size or grade, a lot cheaper than other companies currently selling them. They continue to market natural diamonds at premium prices.
While production of man-made diamonds will increase and prices fall, natural diamonds are rare and will continue to command high prices. Rio Tinto expects to close its Australian Argyle mine next year, which was once the largest producing diamond mine in the world. Other mines in Africa are also expected to be worked out over the next few decades. Far from being evil, mining diamonds from the Earth provides huge employment and wealth to many countries, not to mention the millions employed in India and elsewhere cutting them.
Donald Francey, Jewellery Valuers Company.
(NZ Herald, September 9) may have missed the memo. For example, Auckland City Council's report in March on its sea level rise exposure profile; opportunities for averting climatological crises without increasingly massive intervention in people's "way of life" are rapidly vanishing; too many powerful people for too long saying "it's not a real problem because it would be terrible for us if we had to do anything about it".
So for cities, "planning for climate change" now means not just addressing the causes, but also trying to figure out how to survive the coming decades of disrupted weather, coasts, primary industries and economies.
Morgan L Owens, Manurewa.
' claim (NZ Herald, September 9) that the child labour and human rights issues related to the mining of metals for EV batteries are "a red herring" is offensive, indefensible and repugnant.
Having worked in East Africa, and spent time with colleagues directly exposed to the realities of life in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, let's be very clear: These are militia-driven mines, using forced slave labour – often children – to dig rare earth metals.
For any person – let alone a child – to experience such working conditions is a gross offence against humanity. Yet, perversely, these conditions are seen as acceptable because batteries are treated as the neo-saviour for reducing climate change emissions. The cost to people's lives and the wider environment are being ignored.
If Mr Mathews – or anyone – truly thinks the mining of metals for EV batteries is a red herring, he is most welcome to experience the reality for himself.
Murray Boardman, Browns Bay
The headline in today's Australian newspaper reads "Water Barons spike prices". It's a salutary warning to maintain our water supply network as part of a council operation.
Auckland has, in my view, a public water supply that is as good as anywhere in the world. With high-quality treated water available for residential, commercial and industrial usage.
And the water left over is generally removed and treated as efficiently as possible. There is further work being done here, we want to see this expedited.
A company having a sole purpose of producing a return for the shareholders is unlikely to be spending large on identifying new water sources, or continuing the considerable investment in progressing the separation of the century old storm water and waste water pipes.
Sell off Watercare? Just don't go there.
Leo Neal, Ellerslie.
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The intersection revamp of New North and Mt Albert roads has been completed for some 12 months plus. The improvements to this intersection are "nil". Ask any user.
The negatives are: No traffic flow, serious traffic congestion, red light running, pedestrians at risk and flooding.
Motorists travelling Mt Albert Rd to Carrington Rd and vice versa only get 6-7 cars through on one green light; that's prompting red light running.
The traffic queues feeding this intersection are getting longer. Due to all these problems vehicles are using side streets to avoid this intersection.
How about AT having some dialogue with residents and users in an attempt at remedying the problems? Roll on the local body elections, maybe someone will stand up to AT.
Trevor Bindon, Mt Albert.
Does anyone else sense that we have a traffic flow issue rather than a traffic congestion one?
One cannot turn right even if it's safe and have to wait for the four-second green arrow that will only allow 2-3 cars to turn right. Surely a flashing green arrow will clarify that one can proceed with caution and allow more flow?
Another example is the previous traffic circle at the intersection of Wairau and Glenfield roads that allowed a constant flow of traffic until AT decided to replace it with a traffic light. The queues grow and grow and the poor businesses on that corner are struggling to survive because it's impossible to get in there. Also, the traffic lights allowing cars onto the motorway seem to be set to deliberately make motorists find alternate routes and wherever a cone appears on the side of the road for any reason, everyone has to slow down to 30km/h, even on weekends when no workers are around. One gets the sense AT has been instructed to frustrate motorists and make sure driving is an awful experience, rather than doing what they can to catch up with leading cities accommodating millions of people on their roads. On top of that, Auckland Council is constantly removing parking or making sure they can clip the ticket no matter where you'd like to park.
Paul Vermaak, Beach Haven.
Phobias are an irrational fear. People with a phobia often visit a psychologist to help them overcome their fears. So, it would seem that Paula Bennett is an admitted cannaphobic – she fears the effects of cannabis on New Zealand, as it appears so does the National Party.
Why is cannaphobia an irrational fear? Because there is sufficient evidence out there that cannabis may be highly beneficial for many health issues. Unlike with allopathic medications, there have been no recorded deaths from cannabis alone as opposed to the deaths from prescription drugs, of which she could be excused for being fearful as that may not be an irrational fear.
With re-legalisation in various jurisdictions, such as Uruguay, Canada and Spain, their opioid, heroin, P and gang problems have almost disappeared. NZ has a developing gang problem, with many coming from Australia, and we have an opportunity, nay, an obligation to keeping New Zealanders and our many tourists safe.
We must overcome this fearmongering by cannaphobics, and re-legalise cannabis immediately to stop the harm caused by cannabis prohibition.
Beverley Aldridge/Kathleen Pattinson, Seniors' Voice, Otamatea.
The constant flow of negativity from the National opposition masquerading as "robust opposition" is becoming tedious, indicates a paucity of ideas and vision and a total inability to reflect on its own failure in government.
Nine years in charge, so little to show for it and much to be ashamed of: The three strikes legislation; the plan to build more prisons; the handling of Pike River; selling state houses; the Saudi sheep deal; welcoming Peter Thiel; the failure to address environmental issues; the degradation of water quality; the wasteful flag fiasco; over dependence on dairy farming; and much more. A remarkable achievement was never to utter the words "housing crisis" as property prices rose and rose and the homeless numbers swelled.
Of course, John Key was the star turn in this debacle. His ability to keep on smiling, to do nothing much, to reassure the business community and keep much of the population in a soporific state, then to leave the wreckage just in time. Now the Labour-led government is expected to turn around this juggernaut of failure in one term.
Barbara Grace, Grey Lynn.
Short & Sweet
As consumers, the second airport option is necessary. At present, people flying and retailers are held to the considerable greed of Auckland Airport. This is a great opportunity to allow this option to happen.
Richard Priest, Karekare Beach.
Until an engine is designed to convert water to hydrogen as the car is running to avoid carrying a bomb-sized quantity of it, and electric batteries can be recycled in New Zealand, I'll stick with an energy-efficient petrol-driven car and skip range anxiety on long trips.
Coralie van Camp, Remuera.
Is some university research solely to keep researchers employed and largely a waste of time and money or patently obvious?
Bruce Tubb, Belmont.
It is a bit rich for Paula Bennett to criticise the Government's pledge of a first step of $6 million by saying that while in opposition they should have been planning to deal with our crisis in mental health and $6m is not enough.
Neil Anderson, Algies Bay.
Of the 146 building blocks contained in the amino acids of human and gorilla haemoglobin scientists have found only one point of difference. One could easily be led to believe the scientists view that man being an abnormal gorilla may be closer to the truth.
Gary Hollis, Mellons Bay.
I suppose Shane Jones' vulgar use of fireworks to celebrate his birthday means NZ will have to put up with November 5 yet again, when the majority of the populace have proven they are sick to death of it.
Tony Ward, Mission Bay.
Call me a softie but the only wedding on MAFS so far to make me cry with happiness was when Raymond and Jonathan married; their simultaneous eyebrow lifting at one another, and smiles to match, was just gold. Hope that one has a happy ending.
Glenn Forsyth, Taupō .