So, the Electricity Price Review Group recommendations that prompt payment discounts must go but the companies still be allowed to charge "late payment fees as long as they reflect the actual costs of recovering debts" (NZ Herald, October 4)
The Consumer Credit Finance Act also stipulates that any money lender's fees must reflect the actual costs.
This raises the question of whether our local council is exempt from this rule. If we are a day or two late in paying the council rates, we are charged a flat 10 per cent penalty - on a rate bill of say $2500 that amounts to $250.
Does this charge reflect the cost of a few follow-up phone calls to chase the arrears?
Perhaps the council can clarify this for us.
Balvant Singh, Dannemora.
• Electricity reforms may cut power bills for struggling families by about $30 a month
• Electricity Price Review favours scrapping low-fixed charges
• New electricity price reform ideas give 'power to the people'
• Power consumers who don't switch will be pushed to shop around
Claire Trevett (NZ Herald, October 3) suggests Winston and Shane will be pleased the business community has lauded them for saving us from Labour and the Greens' more contentious and extreme policies and NZ First can benefit at the next election.
An analogy might be, a couple of larrikins set fire to your house and then you're meant to be grateful for them returning to put it out.
John Devereux, Wellington.
The second interim report on the future of the Ports of Auckland identifies a benefit-cost ratio of 2:1 for a full move to Northport.
Given recent experience of major infrastructure projects running over budget and time, eg the City Rail Link and the Southern Motorway, it is likely that the actual economic benefit would be much lower or even disappear altogether.
Jonathan Jepson, Torbay.
The report calling for the moving of Auckland port to Northland is complete nonsense as it would double or treble the costs of shipping goods to and from the Auckland region - the main internal market place for New Zealand.
The cheapest and most efficient way to move goods to and from Auckland and overseas is to re-locate its container port as close to the centre of the Auckland region as possible and allow the container ships to get as close to the main centre of economic activity. The most expensive part of the freight cost is the internal cost of moving goods within New Zealand so the idea of moving all of Auckland imports and exports to Northland and Tauranga is financial madness. Also, it would increase pollution and congestion on the provincial roadways and railways.
The only people who would benefit from moving the port would be the people of Northland who would be heavily subsidised by the people of Auckland paying much higher prices for goods, due to the increased transportation costs.
A similar scheme has already been tried in London and discarded due to the horrendous increase in transport costs.
David Mairs, Glendowie.
New Zealand is heading for an historic voting low in the local elections which end on Saturday. It might be into the 30 per cents, down from mid-40s?
The consequences of poor turnouts are decisions which affect our everyday lives that favour the voters, mostly well off, older folk.
Please vote, help democracy along by encouraging your friends and whanau to vote.
Peter Grant, Waipu.
The sooner next weekend arrives the better and we will see the end of the local body elections and the billboards and placards that appear at every major intersection.
Apart from the fact that the signs are a major distraction for drivers, does anyone vote for a candidate whose name they have glimpsed on a sign?
It is time that they were outlawed for the distraction and danger to drivers that they are, in 2019 there are plenty of ways that we can learn about the candidates.
This visual pollution is a hangover from the last century and there is no need to despoil the countryside with huge ugly billboards.
Would I be allowed to place a massive sign at a major roundabout? I doubt it.
Graham Fleetwood, Mellons Bay.
Matthew Hooton starts his comment (NZ Herald, October 4) by saying "Amid the wreckage of her Government's failed policy agenda ..." I wonder whether Matthew considered the following when writing his column regarding Government policies to date: Extended paid parental leave; standards for rental homes; resumed contributions to the government super fund; cheaper doctors' visits; banned overseas speculators from buying residential houses;
military-style weapons banned; improved cancer care; one billion trees programme;
rivers and lakes clean-up underway; families with children get a $75 a week boost; winter energy payment; large investment in mental health.
I would suggest to Matthew the above policies and others are hardly that of a failed Government agenda.
Kenneth Thomson, Glen Eden.
With the Irish/UK border issue coming under increasing scrutiny, the suggestions that Brexit should be solved by the re-unification of Ireland and Northern Ireland are odious, mischievous and irresponsible.
Such a solution would risk strife and likely followed by a renewal of the bombing, assassinations, riots, bloodshed and suffering thereby created. Such issues are better resolved by patience over as much time as it takes - working together, co-operation and sharing rather than by para-militaries, xenophobia, historic rancour and bigotry. The issue should not be collateral damage from Brexit.
It would also waste the money, time and effort spent by New Zealand, happily neutral and sharing both cultures, which assisted in leading to the Good Friday Agreement and hopefully to future mutual accord.
Further, while wishing no ill on the negotiations with EU, in the resolution of Brexit, any degree of separation of NI from the UK for Unionists and also any type of hard border for the Republicans (given their sentiment that the North belongs to Ireland), or both, need careful consideration, the utmost caution and reciprocity by both factions.
John Collinge, St Mary's Bay.
I have followed the discussion on the new Erebus memorial in Parnell with interest. I personally think that the views of those whose friends and relatives who died in the accident needs to be taken more seriously.
A few years ago, my wife and I visited Nagasaki Peace Park and were deeply moved by New Zealand's contribution - a most stunning Korowai that left all other offerings in the shade. The weeping greenstone wall in the Waiouru Army museum also comes to mind.
We have the ability to design and build the most beautiful and sensitive monuments that, as a nation, we can be justifiably proud of. Why not in the current discussion for the Erebus one?
I trust that the proposed design is rethought out and a concrete monstrosity packed off into history.
Allen Jones, Kerikeri.
I would like to point out that, besides the memorial in Waikumete cemetery, there is also a Memorial Window in Saint Mathews in the City, under the window is a lectern with the memorial book naming all who died in this tragic accident.
There are two different places to go so the one in the Parnell Rose Garden is not required.
John Laing, Drury.
Letters: Climate protest, modern thinking, crime and Muldoon's legacy
Letters: Mission Bay, white supremacy, rail, Jacinda Ardern and Steve Braunias
Mental health imperatives must embrace minimum living space and access to sunlight. Constricted living spaces artificially lit are a formula for enduring depression. This is especially so for students needing to spend long hours indoors.
The Building Act or a new statute must uphold universal minimum standards. Cowboys must not be free to lead a race to the bottom - a dark, inhumane netherworld.
When central government is to override locally agreed planning rules, it is the precise time to put mental health and also outdoor recreation spaces front of stage.
The proposed National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD) calls out for close scrutiny.
New Zealanders, particularly those living in inner-city neighbourhoods, need to be mindful of the Thursday 10 October deadline to have their views on the NPS-UD recorded and assessed.
Craig Palmer, Wellington.
I agree with the bulk of the letter by Johann Nordberg (NZ Herald, October 4) but I cannot leave it unchallenged as to who was responsible for the short-lived Superannuation Scheme introduced by the Kirk Government. Bill Rowling was the Minister of Finance.
For my part, I am ashamed that I let the "Dancing Cossacks" TV advertisement influence me in my choice of vote that brought Muldoon in as PM.
If that scheme had continued, we wouldn't be continually debating the pros and cons of the scheme we have now and, most importantly, we would have had infrastructure funded and not be in the situation we have now where we know its needed but no-one wants to pay for it. Mike Crosby, Papakura.
Short & sweet
If Chamberlain Park is to be used for other activities, it should be done without losing any trees.
M Thomson, Devonport
It is amazing that President Trump who most news outlets criticise, has managed to do better trade deals with Mexico, Canada, Japan and it looks like one with India and China, with no TPP.
Lewis Shadbolt, Mangere Bridge.
While students in Dunedin were behaving like idiots, 42 secondary students from the entire country Auckland to Invercargill, spent a week in New Plymouth, enjoying themselves as members of the 2019 NZ Secondary Schools' Brass Band.
Brian Clark, New Plymouth.
I am bemused that Sharon Marks views Jacinda Ardern getting a "thumbs up" from Donald Trump as a positive. Doesn't he have the same regard for Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin.
John Harmsworth, Warkworth.
We have them here protesting at the milk section. I tried to tell them no cows are killed in the making of milk but they didn't believe me.
Dave King, Avondale.
It is remarkable how so many people seem to get their "we" mixed up with their "us", whereas they should have learned the difference in their first year at high school.
Jack Waters, Taupo.
I hope the Nats will be flexible with their penalty for parents of under 18 year-olds. Many students are not yet 18 when they finish secondary school after Year 13.
Judy Lawry, Golflands.
The current hospitalisation of young party-goers due to consuming untested drugs proves the need for safe practise of drug testing, even if they are illegal, in order to save lives.
Marie Kaire, Whangarei.