A student lies dead in his room undiscovered for eight weeks. A young woman is trampled to death by drunken party-goers. These incidents are a huge indictment of the society in which we live today, an uncaring, me-first society. When I was doing my degree at Victoria University in the 1970s, we also drank, smoked dope and danced topless at music festivals. But we always looked out for each other. We spoke face to face and we noticed what was happening around us.
We had been taught to care for our fellow human beings and to try and fix things that went wrong. I don't know what has happened today but many young people have not been taught these good values, instead just looking out for themselves.
Society is disintegrating faster than climate change.
Diane Anderson, Sunnynook.
• Dead for weeks: University, campus services provider promise thorough investigation of what went wrong
• Student association calls for more support staff at hostels following Christchurch death
• 'I disappeared from Sonoda and nobody noticed'
• Student's death 'inconceivable': University of Canterbury vice-chancellor shocked
Barney Irvine tells us that Aucklanders support "the idea of expanding Auckland's rapid transit network" (NZ Herald, October 11), but what does this mean?
The only thing to "expand" is the existing heavy electric rail.
There's no light rail to "expand". At this point we have only heavy rail and buses.
Is light rail "rapid"? Not likely, when it has to negotiate intersections and other traffic.
Part of the confusion that Barney talks about comes from the loose use of the words "rapid transit" without actually defining what these words mean.
It seems to me that we are being offered a "dog's breakfast" of light rail, heavy rail and several other things.
I suspect this is because the authorities simply don't want to spend the money on one proper integrated system, running along dedicated corridors, as does the existing heavy electric rail.
Euan Macduff, Titirangi.
For months people have been claiming that the Coalition Government was incurring massive debts, but now the figures have been released which show that the debt level is actually under 20 per cent, one of the lowest in the world.
The three countries with government debt levels in excess of 100 per cent are Greece and Italy as well as the USA where President Trump claims he has achieved an economic miracle.
David Mairs, Glendowie.
Please, Mr Goff, can your council and CCOs now concentrate on getting back to basics and cleaning this city up?
Streets swept, drains cleared of leaf debris and rubbish so we don't get "lakes" forming every time it rains, street gardens getting maintenance, and what has become most apparent, is the lack of weed spraying. Has anyone noticed that weeds and now grass are running amok along our roads, kerbs, because weed spraying, which used to be done on a regular basis, is no longer being done? Berms are out of control around most of the city.
The council states it has a maintenance programme, but sadly, I and many others see don't see that. There also needs to be a very thorough investigation into the contractors who supposedly do work
To the new council, yes, the big projects are important, but the basics of a city still need to be addressed in a regular and timely manner - not on the irregular basis that seems to be the normal now.
Elizabeth Luyk, Greenlane.
When I first saw the Auckland Harbour Bridge getting its removable barriers installed, about 30 years ago, I wondered how long this could fix the problem for.
In Brett O'Reilly's comments (NZ Herald, October 14), he stated that traffic gridlock is Auckland businesses' highest ranked disappointment.
So, subsequent Auckland Councils did not have enough time, within these 30 years, to fix or soften this gridlock? Thirty years would be a long time to fix any problem, I would argue. Were it a privately owned business and you can't fix it within that time frame, your business usually vanishes from the horizon.
Clearly, in my view, subsequent urban planners in Auckland have left many questions unanswered, when this basic diversion of traffic and/or closer work-to-business distances should be the only two considerations to have started with back then.
There is absolutely no excuse to not have fixed this debilitating dilemma, when suddenly billions of dollars can be found to shift one operation from the Auckland port to Whangārei, possibly putting more pressure on roading infrastructure as well as CO2 emissions than we already have.
René Blezer, Taupō.
It seems that whatever decision the Auckland Council makes about Auckland's development it gets it wrong (NZ Herald, October 8).
I have been familiar with Mission Bay since about 1950. There are no buildings of much merit in the block where the apartments were proposed. The sort of intensive housing that was planned is exactly what Auckland needs to help solve its suffocating traffic crisis.
The very stylish apartment block was just right for Mission Bay. It should have been approved.
Russell O Armitage, Hamilton.
After doing some planting I checked the bottom of the plant pots to see if they could be recycled. All the pots with the recycling triangle were placed in the recycle bin.
However, we received a note saying we had put plant pots in the bin - the wrong type of plastic. I called Auckland Council to question this and was told that it was correct, I had indeed put the wrong kind of plastic in the recycle bin even though the pots all had the recycle triangle. Funnily enough all the pots were collected. I'm confused.
Janet Boyle, Orewa.
Steve Horne doesn't understand (NZ Herald, October 10). The protesters he rails about do. They know all the measures they could take personally is minute in comparison to the measures huge polluting corporations urgently need to take but refuse to.
Only pressure on governments to take the polluting corporations to task has any chance of any real reduction of global warming.
Juliet Leigh, Pt Chevalier.
With so many processed foods loaded with sugar these days, there is no definite category in which to impose a sugar tax on.
With the rise in diabetes and cost to the DHBs, food manufacturers must take some responsibility in selling best products. Sugar is an addictive substance and our children are suffering as a result.
Labelling in readable print using one standard measure such as a teaspoon would enable consumers to have greater choice. I know that I would not buy a bottle of drink or a package of food that was labelled as containing multiple teaspoons of sugar. I am also reluctant to buy poorly labelled packaged foods, the contents of which are rather a mystery.
Too often, food labels contain coded numbers and/or letters, minute print, chemical symbols which are confusing. Who has time to read all these labels?
A product plainly labelled with a picture as containing 2, 7, 10 etc teaspoons of sugar would make shopping simply informative.
If the government refuses to impose a sugar tax, then they must urgently consider standardised labelling. They legislated for this on cigarette packets, so why not on food?
Marie Kaire, Whangārei.
In the Cook Islands Library and Museum, an assortment of objects and information about Rarotonga and its neighbouring islands that happened over time.
A section tells the people of Tonga and Samoa sometimes did not always see eye to eye. On one such occasion, about a thousand years ago (+/- a few hundred), a fleet of war canoes from both communities were having a go at each other and a storm blew up. After the storm, the two fleets are said to have found themselves close to Rarotonga. In the interest of survival, the two fleets joined together and sailed to Rarotonga. The information infers Tongans and Samoans enforced themselves on the people of Rarotonga. It is noted some groups of Rarotongans managed to escape the invasion by sailing away. No ceremonial departure was noted.
Could this not have been the Rarotongans' first venture to the land of the long white cloud - about 3000km to the south? The Rarotongans navigational ability in following the patterns of the stars, and understanding the migratory habits of birds, whales and other sea creatures would have known something must be down in the oceans below them.
At the concerts to entertain holidaymakers, it is often asked "are there any New Zealand Māori here?" With those acknowledging it, comes the comment "welcome home".
Peter Johnson, Northcote.
Short & sweet
Gary Hollis, Mellons Bay.
Poor Auckland - another three years of a council about as useful as a snowflake on a summers day, and a mayor who was past his "use by date" before he even left Parliament. Derek Paterson, Sunnyhills.
Phil Goff deserves another term and Auckland voters have wisely chosen to stick with his well-thought-out plans for the future. V M Fergusson, Mt Eden.
Thank you Gary Hollis for sharing Mark Twain's quip "If voting made a difference, they wouldn't let us do it." And let's not forget Rodney Hide who gave Auckland the Super City, just to make sure. Susan Wann, Milford.
If you were too tired to vote in the latest local body elections then that disqualifies you from making any comment or criticism of the result of the said elections for the next three years. Graham Fleetwood, Mellons Bay.
Sir Tim Shadbolt proudly proclaims that he is the knight mayor of Invercargill. Carrick Bernard, Mt Albert.
I will ignore Spark and stay with Sky and I will go back to listening to cricket on the radio for the home games, where commentators are often superior. Mark Beale, Wattle Downs.
Lime promises its new e-scooters will be bigger, safer, stronger. But surely this renders we defenceless pedestrians more vulnerable, more injury prone, far less safe? Brian John Evans, Mt Eden.
Our political horizon is clouded by dust. Be it bull or fairy, it is still dust. Peter Culpan, Te Atatu Peninsula