Climate protest lost opportunity
While the recent climate change protest day organised by the youth of this country promised so much, it would seem the intended impact has faded very quickly.
Was it just an excuse for an extra day's holiday? An opportunity to "pass the buck" and demand action from a sympathetic Government? Or did the participants plan to lead by example and take action themselves?
It is disappointing that having gained so much attention from the majority of the population (and apportioned blame on the rest), there was no immediate example or challenge issued on that day — or since!
There were so many possibilities which could have marked the occasion in an active and positive way, such as:
● Challenging every person or household, to plant or donate a tree to mark the occasion — in their own garden, school, work place or locality.
● A resolution to choose one carless day per week and to use public transport or a car pool instead.
● Follow the fine example of the student "volunteer army" that went to work straight after the Christchurch earthquake.
● Go and see the documentary film 2040 for some other useful ideas!
Instead of being influenced in a positive way, it seems we are left in a negative vacuum! What an enormous lost opportunity.
Susan Waddell, Devonport
Last Tuesday I sent off a courier pack through Courier Post to a residential address in Feilding. As at Sunday it had still not been delivered.
I did not pay extra for tracking on it because it was of limited monetary value.
This is the second case I am aware of where even a tracked package did not get delivered (Marton to Hamilton) after a week. Follow-up inquiries through tracking got a reply that "staff are off sick".
No wonder NZ Post is in such dire straits when it can't even do the basics right.
Terry Bonner, Nawton.
I have been watching with bemusement and disappointment the climate change debates and marches by our young people and others. The old expression "Be careful what you wish for" springs to mind.
I am not denying accelerated change is happening and that we are responsible for part of it. The thing that gets my old goat is the pathetic, defeatist "we're all doomed, I surrender" attitude. This is absolute nonsense. Our old soldiers would cringe. Let's show some gumption.
Change is constant in every facet of life. How do they think smartphones got here?
Yes — the wind will blow harder on occasion. Yes — the sea levels will slowly rise. Yes — food production will be stressed and things will get tough at times for man and beast.
But we can and will prevail. We can build stronger (possibly mobile) houses away from the beach, rivers and flood plains. Our clever scientists and engineers will rise to this. They always do in a crisis and this one is slow moving.
Our Governments know the people of our world will not give up any of their comforts willingly and nor should they.
What's coming will come. It won't be stopped by cutting back on plastic bags but we can handle it with ease if we keep our heads.
Stop frightening the children. They need to be carefree. Life is not certain but it is a great ride especially in a lucky place like New Zealand.
Roll up your sleeves and get to it. No more white-flag waving.
Life can be great. Enjoy it.
Phil Silver, Northcote.
I feel as though my gentle world is rocking on its axis, and wonder if I am being tipped over the edge at times.
Examples — latest mammoth concert where folk under the influence of drugs behaved extremely oddly.
Isn't that their problem? If these people are stupid enough to take illicit drugs into the venue then I don't understand why we, the sensible public, should assist them in any way.
The other thing is that if I am prudent and save for my electricity bill so that I can earn a discount, why is that unfair to others? I will miss that welcome discount.
Some modern thinking, in fact most of it, stumps me.
A.N. Christie, Rotorua.
The latest Government-initiated ports study quantifies an unacceptable cost to ratepayers of Ports of Auckland keeping its business on its present site. We have also seen its ongoing despoiling of the city's greatest natural asset, its harbour. For many years it has continued to develop its operations on a site that has become increasingly unsuitable, and no longer in the best interests of most of its Auckland ratepayer owners, or indeed as per the report, New Zealand as a whole.
The attention given this unwelcome situation by the Government is therefore timely. There is also an urgency to act in order that future financial losses to ratepayers, and environmental damage be minimised.
Neal McCarthy, Auckland Central.
So Shane Jones tries to hijack the so-called "transformative" label of the Government with their Northland port proposal just after the climate strike success has laid out the most important transformative requirement for the Government, in fact for our nation and our culture. Jones' desperation was first seen with Winston's shallow comment that the strike was contrary to educational priorities.
The Labour-led Government will need to rein in New Zealand First's grumpy old men if it wants to lead forward. Labour's worst mistake was to go into coalition with NZ First because NZ First is more in tune with the nasty backwardness of National.
That would create a more honest and enlivening environment for the New Zealand electorate in its existential choice of whether to change and survive or retain the centuries-long exploitative aspect of our colonial heritage.
Richard Keller, Wellington.
Attitudes on crime
I see the National Party MPs are now turning their attention to law-and-order, and claiming the coalition Government is "soft on crime". They very conveniently forget they did nothing when the Australian Government started to deport criminals to New Zealand on the spurious grounds they were New Zealand citizens.
And the country is now "reaping" the results of that inaction by the then National Government.
On the other hand, this Government has ramped up police training, and police numbers, and has set up a series of projects to protect New Zealanders and prevent much more serious crimes occurring.
What is interesting is how quickly the police are responding to these new threats, and how successful they are in rounding them up for future imprisonment.
Jenny Kirk, Whangarei.
Drug-fuelled rock concert insanity at Mt Smart Stadium. Congratulations to those who wish to legalise non-medical cannabis.
Hylton Le Grice, Remuera.
contributor John Gascoigne's glowing praise of former Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon warrants comment.
Before he was deposed in 1984, New Zealand resembled a heavily regulated dictatorship reminiscent of a failed economy from the Soviet era.
The incoming Lange administration had no compunction in implementing unpopular, immediate and long overdue changes which pulled the country back from the brink, the ensuing deregulation lauded by economists worldwide.
The reform process proved to be New Zealand's saving grace.
National pillaged Norman Kirk's state savings scheme, since resurrected but a price we still pay today as we witness a national scheme which is inadequate by comparison with Australia's massive superannuation pool.
The ill-fated "Think Big" projects were eventually sold off below cost, the losses met by the New Zealand taxpayer.
A political career which promised much, but did he simply lose his way?
P J Edmondson, Tauranga.
Tuaia 250 flotilla
In the interests of Mangonui locals I would like to welcome the Tuia 250 flotilla and Endeavour replica to New Zealand. We would have loved to have seen you moored in Mangonui Harbour where you would have been given a warm welcome.
Regrettably an acrimonious minority group persuaded a feeble Government to ignore the general public of the Mangonui area.
In an age of enlightenment some still prefer bitterness. Their tamariki will learn what it is to be sanctimonious. This slows the advancement of human endeavour and is an impediment to the Ngati Kahu objective. They have made a serious error of judgment.
However, all participants in the Tuia 250 celebrations are still welcome to Mangonui. Haere mai ki Mangonui.
Mark Lewis-Wilson, Mangonui.
Woman cyclists often say "good morning" when they pass me. Men hardly ever! Another reason why women should run the planet.
Phil Skipworth, St Johns.