It is time for fireworks to be banned.
Last night we were subjected to some irresponsible behaviour from our neighbours.
They were letting off the type of rockets that soar in the air and then explode. The problem was, they were aiming them sideways and they were exploding directly into our place and some of the other neighbours. I thought it was World War III.
One of our neighbours has some large totara trees which are home to tui and bellbirds, who nest there each year. The fireworks was also being exploded directly into the trees.
There should be a law to prevent this type of vandalism. My concern is for the wildlife. No responsible person believes we should still be selling these things so why are they still available?
Sandra Hansen, Hastings.
• Fireworks shot from cars and aimed at buildings, vegetation
• Blazes on Mt Eden and Mt Wellington in Auckland
• Firefighters called to 55 fireworks-related blazes across upper North Island
• Fresh calls for fireworks ban as pet owners, firefighters brace for Guy Fawkes
On the clear, crisp evening of November 5, our local suburbs of Millwater and Orewa were alive with families out and about, with fireworks of all colours and sizes lighting up the sky. People were out of their living rooms and bedrooms, off their TV, social media and computers - and enjoying being part of the community.
Don't let the vocal few letter writers and grouches, who have nothing better to do than sit writing council submissions, stop the rest of us going outside and enjoy our lives, and making lasting memories for our children besides.
Rebecca Kemp, Millwater.
Ban the blasts
I write to support efforts to have the private use of fireworks banned. I would agree that the regulations passed so far to curtail such use are totally inadequate and would seem to be ineffective.
What is either not realised or not accepted is that people hoard fireworks and will use them from now until New Year and beyond. This means that pet owners and parents have no warning and cannot therefore take the necessary precautions. Moreover, even for households that do not have to cope with these considerations, the noise can become very tiresome week after week.
I challenge the government to state publicly its reasons for refusing to take the logical step of confining the use of fireworks to public displays only.
Geraldine Taylor, Remuera
Smoke them out
There was a time when smokers were in fury over the prospect of not being allowed to smoke in public places.
Do we hear any of those howls of protest now? No, because common sense and the wellbeing of others have prevailed over the selfishness of the few.
Let us hope the sale of fireworks to use in close proximity to your neighbours' backyards whenever you please, night or day, weekday or weekend, any time of the year, will go the same way as smoking in public – banned.
Jane Carmichael, Glendowie.
Ann David's optimism about the End of Life Choice bill (NZ Herald, November 5) is sadly misplaced. The description of the euthanasia bill as "fit for purpose" couldn't be further from the truth.
Select Committee members could not agree on the passing of the bill, describing it as "not workable".
Over 90 per cent of submissions were staunchly against the bill, including 93.5 per cent of all health professionals - and 100 per cent of all aged-care providers.
The current bill contains many glaring gaps. To start with, "terminal illness" is not defined, and could include any life-limiting condition. Chronic conditions such as diabetes and asthma can become "terminal" without treatment, which the person is free to refuse. Oregon's annual reports bear this out.
Other issues with the bill include that no witnesses are required at any point of the process; that the two doctors assessing eligibility don't need any specialist expertise in the person's illness; that a proxy can sign the person's name with no written record that they were ever asked to do so; and the lack of full protection for both doctors and hospices if they object.
This unsound bill should be rejected by Parliament at third reading.
Moira Floresta, Kaukapakapa.
Much has been made of the widespread disappointment after the All Blacks' World Cup failure. But, for some, this was minor compared with Spark Sport.
There was the cost. A smart TV or, in our case, system to smarten up an older model, a technician to get the system going, and buying more data.
As well as annoying, the Spark system disrupted the sense of nationwide camaraderie as we all hunkered down to watch rugby.
When our picture vanished five minutes into the bronze final, it was infuriating and insulting to be told to turn everything off and on again. This failed and because we didn't continue to converse with Spark, they probably counted us as a "resolved case". We weren't. We couldn't be stuffed fighting the tech battle and, with our patient guests, watched later on good old reliable TV1 and Sky.
You'd hope the highest bidder would only get the job if they could actually do it. And if they couldn't, that they would face financial penalties. But no, apparently the IRB didn't care that Spark wasn't up to the task.
We live in a rural area and will never have ultra-fast broadband via fibre.
This is yet another example of the widening the gap and standard of living between rural and urban Kiwis. We are among the many who won't be bothering to watch the cricket.
Rae Roadley, Maungaturoto.
A letter from Murray Hunter (NZ Herald, November 5) mentions Australia sending many New Zealanders back home who had made Australia their home because of the many crimes some of them are committing. The biggest problem is that many Kiwis go there, decide to stay but don't apply for citizenship.
Australia has every right to send anyone home for crimes committed if they are not a citizen of Australia. If you go to another country and like it so much and decide to stay, get your act together and become a citizen. That means whether you're good or bad, Australia has to look after you. If you're bad, New Zealand doesn't really want you either. It costs hundreds of million dollars a year to look after the baddies, what country wants that if you're not a citizen?
Susan Lawrence, Kohimarama.
It's time to take heed of early childhood education (ECE) teachers as they call out for better conditions and remuneration.
Some 30 years ago, the government of the day shifted responsibility for full-day ECE and care to a taxpayer-funded, free-market model. A prime investment opportunity was immediately created.
Now we have an untenable situation within which teachers (with the same degree qualifications as their primary and secondary counterparts) are left to negotiate salaries and conditions with private employers who, in many cases, are involved for what is ostensibly, taxpayer-supported profit. Many such employers are crying financial difficulties when it comes to paying teachers yet are continuing to build large new ECE centres. Such centres are licensed in many cases for large numbers of children and teachers and children are stressed alike.
I acknowledge there are owner-operators totally committed to doing their best by teachers and children but there are companies privileging financial yield over the best intentions of government and teachers. Personally, I'm not interested in the argument that such companies are providing a service. The teachers working with our youngest citizens are worth so very much more.
Perhaps it is time to track the taxpayer dollar and see how it is being used in the sector?
Lesley Lyons McAdam, Otumoetai.
I was interested to hear that the new candidate who is widely viewed as the new National Party leader believes the Labour-led government should be replaced because we are "drifting".
If "drifting" means lowest unemployment for a decade, biggest wage increases for the same time, record number of housing consents granted, mental health being taken seriously along with income support for poor and middle families, action at last on water quality and carbon emissions, improvement in trade agreements and much more, I want to stay "drifting", thanks.
If it really means no tax cuts for the rich, the end of foreigners creating a housing crisis and investment in the Super Fund, I still like it.
Anne Collins, Ohope.
Short & sweet
Letters: Chamberlain Park, name suppression, rugby, fireworks and Uighur
Letters: Guy Fawkes, traffic lights, vaccines, end-of-life and Joe Karam
Letters: Springboks, e-scooters, cannabis and Chamberlain Park
It's very encouraging to hear and read all the talk about how unifying South Africa's winning of the Rugby World Cup is, for a troubled and divided country. But isn't this what we heard when South Africa won in 1995? Colin Nicholls, Mt Eden.
We knew Eddie Jones and England had been targeting the All Blacks showdown. Yet the All Blacks failed to fire a shot. The capitulation against England was as bad as any previous capitulation and the coaching staff must take responsibility. Kent Millar, Blockhouse Bay.
We should really question new candidate MP Christopher Luxon's thinking. He described Simon Bridges as an "awesome leader". Stewart Hawkins, St Heliers.
When Christopher Luxon jets into Parliament next year, will he select Seat Only, Seat & Bag or The Works? Or will he use his hairpoints and upgrade to Premier? Aisle be surprised if he doesn't. David Harlock, Red Beach.
Should companies be required to pay ACC levies on a per-scooter basis in a similar manner that vehicle rental companies are? Jon Eriksen, Newmarket.
There is often debate as to who is the smartest - Australians or NZers. Well, Australians banned fireworks many years ago. Jock Mac Vicar, Hauraki.
What's with all these grinches wanting to kill off Halloween and Guy Fawkes? Next, they'll be telling me that Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy aren't real. Glenn Forsyth, Taupo.
It was Helen Clark who first signed New Zealand up to a free trade agreement with China. National may have raised the idea of an upgrade but it was down to the talent of yet another Labour female prime minister to get the upgrade over the line. John Capener, Kawerau.