Due to the many types of state welfare and charitable assistance, NZ today has no real poverty. No doubt however, there are elements of severe hardship. Although some is due to undeserved misfortune, most occurs due to mismanagement of funds, not using or heeding budgetary help, wasting reusable items, impulse spending on non-essentials and so-on.
Then of course those others — tobacco & booze, plus maybe some weed and pokies thrown in.
I'm not insinuating all of above occur with those with hardship problems, but some could be contributing factors. And family planning help is readily available today. So please don't bring children into the world where you cannot look after them properly. Sending a child to school without lunch is irresponsible and lazy. While others continue feeding such children at school, this is further feeding the problem! Instead, the authorities should approach the caregivers on the matter with power of enforcement.
I now come to the real point, where people of my age group should be entitled to make above comments without criticism. We were at school during the 1930s. In those days of the Great Depression there was real poverty, no social welfare assistance, no family benefit such as child allowance. Yet during those years at my schools, no one arrived without lunch. Folks made do with best they had, albeit meagre with many. The current situation is inexcusable.
Doug Honnor, Hastings.
Our tiny population and relatively small greenhouse gas output mean NZ is doing very little damage to the planet compared with the big players, warranting little mitigation (though refusal to take action would surely hurt our reputation and our sales in the global marketplace).
And the issue of "leakage": We curb production (dairy, for example) to reduce our footprint, only to find that less efficient, less regulated producers pick up the slack and create more emissions for the same amount of product; thus we could make the problem worse, it seems.
But far more important, in the bigger picture, is our being another country willing to make significant sacrifices to fight an existential threat the whole planet is facing. We in NZ want to help drive the momentum that forces all nations to adopt carbon taxes, all banks to stop investing in unsustainable projects, and all people to modify their behaviour: to put out the fire. Or is this an impossible ask?
Sincere thanks to our young who are pushing the climate cause so urgently.
B. Darragh, Auckland.
Letters: Christchurch shootings, Captain Cook and ISAF file
Letters: Erebus memorial, house flipping, history, Ihumātao and Lizzie Marvelly
Letters: Free lunches, monetarism, heroes, Kiwibank and Tuia 250
I am an avid watcher of sport on television and have been very happy with the service from Sky sport. It was disappointing to learn the Rugby World Cup rights had been lost to Spark. But I duly signed up for the Spark package and at some expense purchased a gadget to enable my almost brand new set to receive it. I needed help from a more technologically inclined relative to set it up. However each time I wish to watch Spark Sport there is a rigmarole to go through which is irritating and not always foolproof. To cap it all off the quality of the viewing experience is not a patch on what I am accustomed to enjoy on Sky.
Peter Clapshaw, Remuera.
"All roads out of Ihumātao blocked for Government" said the headline on Heather du Plessis-Allan's opinion piece in the Herald on Sunday yesterday .
Not true, I thought to myself. She went on: "Buying the land and giving it back is obviously not an option." Really?
She continued: "Doing that, the Government keeps saying, would undermine past treaty settlements."
I think it's true government ministers have been implying — and Winston Peters has said outright — that buying the land back would unravel other treaty and compensation deals between "the Crown" (the Government of the day) and Māori.
In the first place, this is not true, as the protest leader at Ihumātao, Pania Newton, has said. Ihumātao has never been the subject of any Treaty settlement.
In the second place — so what if this situation caused past inadequate / unjust settlements to be reopened. Pākehā have been short-changing Māori for centuries. Past time to treat them with justice and generosity of spirit, I say!
Ihumātao offers a great opportunity for the Government to change the template and start treating Māori with respect — particularly as the Labour Party relied on the Māori vote to get them into power this last election and the Prime Minister is prominent at Waitangi each year telling them how much she values them.
Forget about the Pākehā bigots and do the right thing, Aotearoa Government and Prime Minister Ardern. That's the only honourable road out of Ihumātao. Honour the decision made by the mana whenua, buy the land back from Fletchers, and return the land to them. It belongs to them after all.
Genevieve Forde, Manly.
If you do not want to be run over by Lime scooters, skateboarders, or people on their phones texting, walk in the bus lanes. It is safer.
Jenny Petersen, Kawerau.
It is always disappointing for me to read all the derogatory remarks people make about our public health system. What do these people want?
My own experiences, particularly with North Shore Hospital, have been nothing short of amazing. If you are ever short of entertainment on a Saturday night go down to the A&E department and see what the poor staff have to put up with.
A big shout out to all our hard-working medical staff.
Jock Mac Vicar, Hauraki.
Surely the best, and only practical, solution to the stand-off over Ihumātao is that proposed by Brian Rudman ( NZ Herald, July 31 ). The land to be acquired by the state and/or city then to be zoned as public open space and developed as a historic reserve. Such a win-win solution should satisfy all parties and save our unique landscape in perpetuity without opening any potential cans of worms. Sure, it could cost the tax and ratepayers some cash (again) but that's okay. We're used to paying for other people's greed and stuff-ups. The result would be a larger historic reserve and protected green space. Auckland needs both.
Gordon Sanders, Cockle Bay.
Professor Quentin Atkinson is quoted in the Weekend Herald as saying: "The problem with all this air travel is that flying is about the most carbon-intensive way you can spend your money."
This would appear to directly counter the Prime Minister's efforts to increase the flights and volume of passengers between Japan/NZ while her Minister of Transport claimed great pride in his efforts to significantly increase the number of flights and and passengers to/from a group of Asean nations. I'm perplexed and would be interested to learn whether there is any Government policy in this regard.
Rex Edmonds, Tauranga.
Sometimes I have to sit down with a double-strength coffee. Recently I've been involved in a polite exchange of emails with Auckland Council. After reporting a case of tagging on a building, I was told large commercial buildings are not eligible for council removal of graffiti. I then suggested the council might draw the attention of the building's owners to the graffiti, and even suggest they paint over it. The council said: "We are unable to contact the property owners as obtaining their contact details without their permission would be a breach of privacy."
I have offered to supply the council with the address but I can sense a Catch 22 situation developing here. In the meantime, I'm going for a good lie down.
David Howard, Pakuranga.
Politics as usual
First I read Simon Wilson's piece on transformative possibilities for confronting climate change: Illuminating and inspiring.
Then I read Audrey Young 's weekly political analysis and it was back to business as usual: Timidity and compromise, obstructionism, and manoeuvrings to enhance the short-term interests of Party. Sigh.
Keith Woodley, Miranda.
Once upon a time Auckland's Queen St had a white line painted down the middle of the pavement to encourage pedestrians to walk on the left. Maybe now that foot traffic shares this space with scooters and people with their eyes glued to their phones it is time to reinstate them.
And while I have pen to paper, as it were, I feel that, for the safety of the scooter riders and other footpath users, there should be strictly enforced speed limits on the scooters.
Margaret Bongard, Grey Lynn.
Congratulations to Heritage NZ for the sensible purchase of Kate Sheppard House. With all the publicity surrounding this event there has been no mention of the Women's Christian Temperance Union who, with Sheppard as franchise leader and members travelling far and wide, were the instigators and drivers of the national petition that gained all New Zealand women the vote. This omission does not bode well for teaching accurate history in New Zealand schools.
Judy McAnulty, Papakura.