Again, the house wins
Anyone who doesn't accept that investment in residential property has been the major driver of house prices probably doesn't know how to get dressed.
Now Interim Retirement Commissioner Peter Cordtz proposes relaxing the rules around KiwiSaver first-home withdrawals (NZ Herald, October 15) to enable those who can't afford to buy a home where they live to buy one elsewhere. This (see first sentence above) will drive up property prices in that area.
Thus, the financially stressed will profit at the expense of the more impoverished and the banks will be delighted.
If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, what word might one apply to doing the thing that has failed but at a greater rate?
Peter Calder, Westmere.
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We are stuck with Goff for the next three years and it would appear he's out to save money by cutting out the bonuses handed to executive staff members by the unelected boardmembers of CCOs - pity he didn't do that three years ago.
Executive staff are employed to do a job and do it well and bonuses should not be part of that employment package.
Should it be the board members don't agree then maybe their services can be terminated as well, another saving.
Having read Twyford has put any government funding for Auckland's light rail on hold (the only sensible thing he's ever done) then Goff should immediately terminate the employment of any employees or contractors engaged in this ultimate waste of ratepayers' money immediately thereby saving millions of dollars.
Ray Hoy, Riverhead.
The ratepayers are ultimately the employers of the executives currently receiving this largesse from Auckland City and, as a ratepayer, I do not recall being consulted as to whether a bonus should be paid in this instance.
I would have no problem with an agreed bonus being paid, based on the annual property rates I currently pay going down. But this is not the case.
This tells me the council and its unelected CCOs are unable to live within their means. Therefore there is no money for bonuses above the already inflated wages I pay to these so-called experts.
I still only get one rubbish collection a week, one recycle bin pick-up every two weeks and no relief from the growing transport log-jam throughout greater Auckland.
Therefore, on behalf of all ratepayers, I decline to pay any bonuses this year.
Larry Tompkins, Gulf Harbour.
CCO executive bonuses rightly need urgent addressing (NZ Herald, October 15). These are paid from public money to what should be public servants. But the establishment of the CCOs leave open the door to largesse.
In addition to the extreme bonus payments, the council needs to look at the payments to board members. For example, the Auckland Transport Board paid its members $477,000 last year, RFA $416,000, Ateed $352,000, Watercare $460,000, ACI $787,000, Panuku $489,000 and so on. Each CCO board soaks up nearly half a million each year in directors' fees.
This cost to the ratepayer is totally unnecessary and the CCOs should be brought under the departments of the council. This act alone would save the city a few million dollars a year plus savings on cancelling the bonuses. Imagine how many children's playgrounds that would buy.
Grant Gillon, Devonport.
The American President categorically believes in his decision to withdraw US troops from northern Syria, thereby abandoning loyal ally, the Kurds, to death and displacement. According to Trump, he's a self-proclaimed "stable genius" so of course he's right, as he merrily tweets his foreign policy to the world and waves his magic sanction wand.
This ill-conceived diplomatic strategy is akin to me thinking I am young and gorgeous. I have a mirror to dispel my delusion. Does the Donald have a modicum of brain to dispel his?
Mary Hearn, Glendowie.
I disagree with the Prime Minister (NZ Herald, October 15). Under the Westminster system, every minister is responsible for their department, even to the extent of resigning when they get things seriously wrong. Likewise, whether she agrees or not, it is axiomatic a prime minister is responsible for their ministers at all times even when they're such an irresponsible gaggle as they are now.
There is no doubt if Shane Jones were in the Labour or National parties, he would have been sacked long before this. The only reason he has not is because he is a member of the tail which is wagging the Government's dog.
As things stand, he is giving the strong impression military firearms are acceptable and in spite of her protestations to the contrary, the Prime Minister's inaction suggests she agrees or at least does not disagree to the extent necessary to show otherwise.
Rod Lyons, Muriwai.
Mayor Goff says he is looking forward to rolling out the "access for everyone" programme to reduce cars in the central city, and improve the experience for pedestrians.
Typical of the able bodied, he totally dismisses any thought of the official 10 per cent of people with mobility difficulties and the elderly, who he is permanently denying the basic right to many places they need to access in the city. Just not good enough, Mr Mayor. You need to think again.
Hylton Le Grice, Remuera.
A wonderful article by Dr Brian Gill concerning Captain James Cook's contribution to putting New Zealand wildlife on the world map (NZ Herald, Oct 15). The naturalists on his voyages were Joseph Banks, Daniel Solander and Hermann Sporing (first voyage), Johann and Georg Forster with Anders Sparrman (second voyage). The surgeon on the third voyage, William Anderson, served as "de facto" naturalist. He died during the voyage.
Glyn Williams' "Naturalists at sea" deals with the topic in detail.
Tim Koelmeyer, Papatoetoe.
The average Kiwi produces 734kg of household waste per year and the ocean will contain more plastic than fish by 2050. New Zealand alone uses 1.6 billion plastic bags a year, yet still we are more focused on the money we earn.
We may only be children, our voice may not be as strong, but we would like to share with you our idea on how to put a stop to all this waste:
A law, something everyone needs to listen to. If someone throws rubbish on the streets that should result in a high fine. In Singapore, the streets are clean because they have a $1000 litter fine.
If we make this a law in New Zealand, that would make a massive improvement in the amount of waste being created. This is an idea to stop the littering since educating people about waste isn't doing enough.
No more second thoughts, time is flying. We need to act now.
Ella, Irene and Taylor, Takapuna Normal Intermediate.
Yet again, Auckland has experienced flash flooding in the wake of a storm. The blame for this lies firmly with Auckland Council and their poor maintenance of the stormwater drains.
I have to contact the council to ask them to come and clear the stormwater drain in the street outside my house. There are other stormwater drains in the area that are clogged with autumn leaves , gravel and general debris all year round. They are not cleared.
The report card for Auckland Council's street maintenance (including street sweeping and mowing berms) is out, and sadly it is an epic: "Fail – must do better".
Stephen Alpe, Royal Oak.
Letters: Kurds, bonuses, voting, vegetables, God and Jacinda Ardern
Letters: Values, rapid transit, debt, traffic, recycling and sugar tax
Letters: Northland DHB, America, fate of Kurds and Rod Emmerson
Simon Bridges says he hopes the future Māori Party revival will join him in government next year if elected.
If this option becomes reality, the new Māori Party members should negotiate ruthlessly for every policy advantage. Māori received virtually nought in their previous partnership with National.
Rex Head, Papatoetoe.
With regret, we read Bernard Orsman's hopefully titled, "Local body elections resolve controversial projects in Auckland" (NZ Herald, October 13).
Councillor Darby is quoted as characterising our society as being party to deceit. For your readers' reference, our society submitted an appeal to the High Court on the 25th of last month, seeking a judicial review of an Auckland Council committee decision concerning matters associated with a proposed Takapuna town square.
We congratulate Cr Darby on his election success. We would remind him there is no deceit in good, honest people questioning, by due process, the proper functioning of decision-making bodies. We seek to have our faith in the good governance of our city affirmed.
Iain Rea, spokesperson, Takapuna Residents' Association.
Short & sweet
Given all the transport changes and problems, the fastest way to travel across the city might be to run, as shown by Kipchogne's sub-two-hour marathon run. Dennis Fitzgerald, Melbourne, Aus.
In my working life, bonuses were paid to people who contributed to a company's performance, profitability and market share. These organisations have no competition. They operate in a protected market. Dennis Ross, St Heliers.
Gill is absolutely right when he says that by downplaying Western and scientific achievement, the Government's pathetic 250-year commemoration committee risks stoking new anger and resentment. Sylvia Phillips, Rotorua.
Why has it become so like, acceptable to like, use the word like, to explain everything like, with the word ... like. I don't like, like it. John Ford, Taradale.
Perhaps the little general Ron Mark could use his exemplary powers and remove the noise controls from Eden Park and Western Springs and make a lot of people happy? Robert Reece, Opito Bay.
Section 10 of the Resource Management Act on existing use rights is very clear. Open your eyes - or more to the case, ears - before you decide to move or build near by. Barry Wood, Cockle Bay.
Was I the only reader to cause consternation over the breakfast table by blurting out the answer to your WordWheel puzzle this morning? Michael Dawson, Takapuna.
With the continuation of urban sprawl Auckland Council needs to step up and check if properties are fenced and dogs can be restrained before issuing a dog license. Rodger Matheson, Kumeu.