Armed response to inequality
Escalating repression in the poorest and neediest areas of our country is no solution to crime and the many social problems that give rise to crime (NZ Herald, October 18).
The increased violent crime and all the other social problems are due to the spread of income, the widening gap between rich and poor. In countries such as New Zealand and the US (which have high income inequality) problems of violence, rates of imprisonment, abuse of alcohol and the use of illegal drugs, high health needs and educational disparity are growing as this disparity grows. In Japan, Sweden, Finland, Norway (low income inequality) the rates are considerably lower. To attack the consequences instead of the causes of such problems is ineffective. There are some short-term solutions, but armed response vehicles must be barred. They are no solution to the problems that are caused by high income inequality.
Anna Lee, New Lynn.
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While my wife and I were visiting family in the UK, we viewed a documentary about Australia's powers to deport foreigners (about 1500 New Zealanders so far, mostly Māori and Pasifika). Our English family watched in horror the story of a New Zealand citizen who was arrested in Perth, deemed to be of "bad character" for being a member of a motorbike gang. He was held for six months in prison without charge while his extended family in WA took his case to the Supreme Court. The court decided in his favour and he was released. Peter Dutton, Minister for Home Affairs, then had him arrested the same day and deported to NZ.
Of course, not all the deportees are innocent. For example, deported members of Australia's Comancheros gang have now set up shop here (NZ Herald, October 16).
Australia has enjoyed the "high moral ground" of being wronged as a penal colony from 1788 until 1868. Australia's hypocrisy in now using the policies of deportation they have decried for 200 years, is obvious to the international community, particularly the English, who put up with the historical guilt aimed at them by Australia.
Although I've named the Right Honourable Minister, his extraordinary powers were enacted by a majority of members of the Australian Federal Parliament. A majority of Australian citizens voted for those MPs.
Dear brothers and sisters of Australia, please vote for candidates who promise to repeal these extraordinary powers.
John Matthews, Mangonui.
I disagree with the views of Mark Thomas regarding low voter turnout (NZ Herald, October 18). The most insidious cause, I think, is the meme in circulation that it's a waste of time voting because it doesn't make "any difference".
The kind of time and work local body candidates put into pitches exposes the dangerous fallacy of this sort of cynicism. Clearly a single vote can't make much difference, but collectively? Lack of civic participation and apathy probably just works in favour of those who stay in positions of power. A non-vote can't be construed as endorsement of the current bearers of civic office.
Ellie Carruthers, Eden Terrace.
Like for like
In his letter "On disliking" (NZ Herald, October 17) John Ford asks: "Why has it become so acceptable to like use the word like?" I agree with John, totally.
Pat Pattison, professor of songwriting, during his lecture tours to New Zealand, shared his lyric "Leave My Like Alone." Amidst poetic lines such as "Like clouds that lace the open sky," he bemoans the current habitual misuse of like: "I don't like, like, when it's like used like it's, like, nothing."
Wayne Senior, Auckland Central.
All the hungry children in New Zealand must be well pleased that the Lotto jackpot was struck last Wednesday. It is well known that when Lotto gets to around $15 million and beyond, supermarket takings plummet.
It is time for the management of Lotto to review the payouts on major prizes, either to cap the amount as suggested by Glenn Forsyth (NZ Herald, October 18), or provide individual millions from a major prize pool.
John Danvers, St Helier.
Thank you for publishing Hamish Rutherford's article headed "Navigating the Coalition" (NZ Herald, October 18).
This exceptional article highlighted not only the vagaries of our Coalition Government but, in particular, the most unusual and rushed circumstances leading up to PM Ardern's announcement that there would be no further licences granted for oil and gas exploration.
We should all be quite clear, when possibly questioning why business confidence is so low, that the ONE starting point in the decline in confidence was the oil and gas announcement and the way that it was handled, thereby creating more than jitters across the business community.
Steve Clerk, Meadowbank.
Hats off to Ella, Irene and Taylor from Takapuna for making their voices heard (NZ Herald, October 17). As they said, they may be young and their voices may not be strong, but I agree we need to have a high litter fine for those who discard their rubbish on our streets and roads.
I am appalled at the amount of rubbish that I see on the side of the road every day during my commute to work. It saddens me to see the way some people treat this lovely country of ours. We certainly need to act now to keep NZ beautiful.
Marion Gubb, Papakura.
Rule and divide
Rugby referees are a pack of pedantic puppets dangling on a string of archaic, ill-conceived, downright silly laws.
But we can't blame the referees, the law-makers must be amongst the thickest people on the planet. Have you ever tried rolling away with 300-400kg lying on top of you? Or perhaps releasing the ball when three other players (including the opposition) have their hands on it?
Players, these days, with the ball head into a tackle with their heads down, yes it might make it harder for the opposition to tackle but what is it doing for the chances you might end up with concussion, which seems to be on the increase.
Ben Arthur, Massey.
The New Zealand Government is strangling farming by ever-increasing regulation disguised as environmental, climate change, veganism, etc.
The Dutch Government has taken a slightly more direct line in ordering their farmers to cull their cattle so that Holland can meet the EU-imposed emissions quota. The farmers were a bit cross, so drove their tractors in their thousands to the capital in order to protest at the loss of their livelihood. Utter chaos ensued.
The police set up roadblocks to prevent the tractors entering the city but forgot that farm tractors are useful off-road vehicles. The famers just drove around the roadblocks. How long before we see farmer rage strangling Wellington, and what are the police going to do about it?
G N Kendall, Rothesay Bay.
The racing industry recently announced it would no longer be running race meetings at a number of small rural racecourses throughout the country. Then we heard the Government is planning to introduce into Parliament, before Christmas, a bill which would force the liquidation of the assets belonging to those small race committees, and the proceeds go to the coffers of the Racing Industry Board.
What were they thinking? Those racecourses are community assets. They were built by the sweat of generations of volunteers, with money raised by, or donated by, their local communities. Even now, with race-day licences no longer being issued, they are still used for other community functions, as you would expect.
The racing industry may have problems, but so far all they have done to address them is to get rid of the volunteers. They still have all their salaried staff and have made no moves to rationalise. There does not appear to be a plan, beyond what we have already seen, which can be summed up as, "abandon rural races and confiscate their assets".
Government should not be aiding and abetting this institutionalised theft. It should withdraw its intended bill.
Richard Alspach, Dargaville.
Letters: Council woes, food waste, MediaWorks in trouble and parenting
Letters: Chamberlain Park, migrants, election, Whenuapai, phones and Greg Foran
Letters: Parliament, sex offenders, rubbish, voting, Lotto and glitter ceilings
Short & sweet
The world has learned nothing from the horrific rise of fascism in Germany in the 1930s-1940s. This is evidenced by the rise of racist-fascism in Europe, Middle East, China, Africa and even the US and UK and other parts of the world. There is still hope for humanity's future, but don't expect this from politics. Gerald McCully, Forrest Hill.
Anyone think it's a bit odd that the Auckland Council CEO, Panuku CEO and Watercare CEO each get paid more than the President of the United States of America, taking into account the present exchange rate? Norm Bartlett, Kohimarama.
The only immigrants we should accept are snails; they would all bring their own houses with them. Lindsey Roke, Pakuranga Heights.
So: The most overworked word in the language today. When will they give it a rest? Dawn Butchart, Whangaparaoa.
It is now obvious that England's Australian coach is superior to Australia's Australian coach. Tony Kirby, Papamoa.
How arrogant is Winston Peters? He doesn't like journalists, well tough bikkies, that's part of their job to keep people like you honest and making sure that you do your job. Peter Dixson, Henderson.
An uncommon but virulent disease afflicting those media commentators who constantly refer to those of us who admire the woman and what she is trying to achieve under difficult circumstances as Jacindamaniacs. John O'Neill, Dargaville.