, we salute you (NZ Herald, November 6). Thank you for speaking out when so many were forced to be silent.
It is glorious that you, who was so underestimated by the medical model, so underestimated by those who abused in the institutions, have spoken honestly for the benefit of all.
I am a couple of years older that you, I was closely associated with the Kimberly Centre and we must have passed if not exchanged words, sometime in our lives in that institution.
You said "I learnt that I was nobody and my life didn't really matter". You have shown the world the purpose of your life, that what matters is you telling this story that is you, to make sure we do not make the same mistake again.
Thank you Robert Martin.
Richard Ghent, Randwick Park.
• 'We were just a number': Disability rights activist Robert Martin tells of 'cruel' abuse in state care
• Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care will now include churches, PM Jacinda Ardern says
• Sir Anand Satyanand on why he's leaving the Royal Commission into Abuse in Care
• Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care largest ever undertaken in New Zealand, says Sir Anand Satyanand
Tickets for the walk through the CRL tunnels on Sunday week were made available at 12 noon.
I tried to get one shortly after 12 but was unsuccessful after six tries. Each time I received a message to say that something had gone wrong and I was asked to try again.
I thought I would give it a break and tried again about 45 minutes later but the message was that the tickets for all the sessions were either pending or sold out.
I wish CRL would organise another day for those who have missed out.
Philip N Rama, Auckland Central.
Leaders need teams
Ron Ainsbury, who has been a notable CEO himself, writes perceptively (NZ Herald, November 6) that, in any company and its commercial success, it is the team that counts and not "the demigod status" of the CEO.
Translating that to politics, political parties and journalists appear to overstate the role of the leader in comparison with the team. While the leader is an essential and important part, it is the team and scrutiny by the public of the team that is central and, of course, fundamental to the policies and performance overall.
In history too, there have been examples of leaders, in focusing a campaign on themselves, dragging the team and the party down. And "cult of the leader" or "presidential politics" campaigns can lead them into believing their own PR.
John Collinge, St Mary's Bay.
Ban the bang
It is high time this institutional silliness came to an end.
I wonder how many New Zealanders know what November 5 is all about. I very much doubt if more than 10 per cent even know who Guy Fawkes was and what he represented. I won't give a history lesson at this time other than to state Catholic Emancipation occurred 180 years ago, and even in UK, where a century ago it may have held some relevance, it has run its race long since.
It has absolutely no relevance whatever in New Zealand today and I doubt if it ever has. Why on Earth are we behaving like kids, terrifying animals everywhere and making unnecessary work for fire services, with many personal injuries and much loss of property? It is insanity. Most countries, including Australia and South Africa, have done something about it.
Tonight and also for the past two nights (and quite probably for the next week), we have been subjected in the southern portion of Cambridge to a far greater barrage than has been the case in recent years to a degree that it is no longer acceptable.
It is time for a local council and MPs to take up the baton and stop this now before it gets worse.
John Richardson, Cambridge.
Letters: Fireworks, euthanasia, Spark Sport, childcare teachers and Winston Peters
Letters: Chamberlain Park, name suppression, rugby, fireworks and Uighur
Letters: Guy Fawkes, traffic lights, vaccines, end-of-life and Joe Karam
Jacinda Ardern stated on Newstalk ZB she will raise concerns about fireworks with local councils "but changing fireworks rules is not on the Government's agenda".
So much for the Auckland Council petition signed by thousands, requesting the Government to ban private use. Has no one in Wellington even noticed it?
As I hold an old, shaking dog night after night, I wonder what parents determined to provide this backyard "fun" for their children are teaching them. How to be anti-social with no consideration for your neighbours, and their personal "fun" is paramount.
Oh, and 135 fires don't matter.
June Kearney, West Harbour.
Comparisons to Australia's fireworks policy are disingenuous. Australia is a giant tinder box where serious fines are handed out for throwing a cigarette butt out your car window. I own a pet and I do not use fireworks. However, I have nothing but great memories of lighting fireworks as a kid and despite becoming a bit of a curmudgeon in my old age, I refuse to deny children today of those great times.
Kent Millar, Blockhouse Bay.
Robin McGrath's contribution about cannabis (NZ Herald, November 4) is proof positive of the narrow-minded, self-obsessed rubbish that is the root of our short-sighted laws.
We should legalise all recreational pharmaceuticals, sell them at pharmacies at prices well below gang prices and destroy the gangs and the social problems that they bring, sell only to registered users with cards akin to transport or library cards and whose usage is monitored and who receive mandatory rehab treatments to break the habit.
That removes the social stigma of being a "criminal" and allows addicts to seek help, and in the long term reduces the demand.
Desperate times call for desperate measures.
It takes a bold step to lead the world. The challenge lies in finding the one sufficiently bold to take that step.
Brian Cox, Pakuranga.
As one of the superannuitants caught in the trap, and having just read the article by Dara McNaught (NZ Herald, November 7), I just had to reply before I left for work. The time is 5.45am (I'm up at 4.30am).
Having lost my husband suddenly, being left with more than a mortgage and no extra funds, I find myself unable to enjoy my "retirement" years as I had expected.
What with work, house and garden to suddenly be totally responsible for, I try and plan in advance for bills that I now know will be coming.
Heaven forbid that you need to go to the dentist, have car repairs done or have a water cylinder that suddenly decides to leak.
As for going out? I have no money left to even buy a coffee, let alone go to the movies as a treat.
Be careful that you don't earn too much at work either as, come the end of the year, the IRD will send you another bill saying you earnt too much despite the fact that you are on secondary tax.
At 74, and having worked since I was 19, this not living, it is not even existing. And I am one of the lucky ones; I am at this point in time, reasonably healthy.
Heather Johnstone, Pukekohe.
In response to Susan Lawrence's assumption that New Zealanders who don't wish to be returned after a crime in Australia should have obtained citizenship (NZ Herald, November 7).
The pathway to gaining Australian citizenship has been made difficult and impossible for people who don't "fit" the special category visa (SCV) introduced in February 2001 and who were living in Australia before February 19, 2016.
New Zealanders entering Australia are no longer given the rights of permanent residency but must apply for a permanent residency visa ($285) after a 12-month residency.
To gain citizenship you must have been a permanent resident for 12 months immediately prior to your application and have lived in Australia on a valid visa for four years.
The residency requires a five-year minimum income of $53,900 per year.
These requirements are fairly difficult to maintain as a lot of NZ migrants are working contract work.
Such conditions are not currently applied to Australians wishing to become New Zealand citizens.
The returned New Zealanders from criminal activity are often adults who were taken to Australia as infants, educated and lived as Australians. The crimes conducted are from the Australian environment and experience so returning them back to New Zealand to a live devoid of relationships of family causes both hardship here and across in Australia to resident family.
Mary Thompson, Te Aroha.
Short & sweet
If fate is such that winning Rugby World Cup every four years brings unity and prosperity to South Africa, then so be it. Mohammed Yakub, Māngere East.
Brian Rudman is absolutely correct (NZ Herald, November 6). With multiple severe injuries, and $4.5 million paid in costly ACC claims already, it's time our politicians radically altered the rules. Banned from footpaths, compulsory helmets, and a sensible speed limit would be a start. Hylton Le Grice, Remuera.
In announcing her decision not to seek re-election in 2020, Maggie Barry reportedly said she knew she was in Parliament "for a good time, not a long time". She gets points for frankness, but what happened to the usual line of "serving the people"? H E H Perkins Perkins, Botany Downs.
If we have a cashless society how will we pay the tooth fairy? Rae McGregor, Mt Eden.
Boomers had no choice in the timing of their births, but Chloe Swarbrick and contemporaries are free to choose whether they indulge in ageism, or decide to relegate it along with other prejudicial isms. Jane-Margaret Livingstone, Remuera.
If the imposition of an Erebus monument proceeds in Parnell's pristine parkland it will memorialise the era when a previously verdant Auckland was destroyed with concrete and steel. Jane Sadler, Remuera.