I appreciated Elizabeth Soal's article "Water everywhere but not a drop of funding" (NZ Herald, December 13). Here are three examples where we devalue water that need changing:
Old fashioned ideas devalue our water and Watercare accepts pollution of our harbour due to an overloaded piping system. Builders devalue our water with the attitude that with modern building methods we can build anywhere including on natural ground-water storage areas called aquifers.
So, in 1999 a subdivision proposal for 45 houses was to be located on the newly rezoned area comprising a ground-water recharge aquifer. The developers won in the Environment Court, and the extensive aquifer, two springs and frog marshes were obliterated by piping run off and storage water from the aquifer into a stream and the area was compressed by a grader during a month of endless work to eliminate subsidence.
Last summer, I could hardly find an unpolluted beach. The Safe Swim website sent us to a West Auckland beach which posted a toxic algal bloom sign.
Yes, we need an independent national water commission to monitor and coordinate how other government agencies manage water.
Caroline Mabry, Glen Eden.
• Nine groups call on Govt to get tough on water pollution
• New threats to city waterways
• Water pollution - we can fix it
The UK election results do not signify any particular love of Boris, however, he was seen, rightly, as the only politician prepared to fulfil Brexit.
Nigel Farage, equally unlovable, has displayed a fine political ability and a loyalty to the British people. This too was his finest hour.
The results are an effective and definitive second referendum.
Neville Cameron, Coromandel.
A large building firm working on earthquake renovations or restoration find out there's asbestos hidden; or they come across an area of the building that has been found to be unstable and a potential high risk to its workers or the public. Is the building firm permitted to continue letting its employees work?
No, they have to stop work and enforce a closure on that building or area, and no one is permitted near that area because, after all, there's huge health and safety regulations and someone could go for a skate, or worse case scenario, get sued.
But apparently health and safety regulations don't apply to tourism at the same strict level as it does in the trades.
This could have been a natural event without a tragedy and someone needs to be held accountable.
Penney Ness, Hastings.
Buses for cars
I am bemused by many comments on the reason for shifting the main port operations from Auckland with one of the reasons being to enable a cruise ship operation to take place instead of the current commercial operations.
My experience on Queen Mary 2, with only 2500 passengers and 1600 crew, was that at each port we docked at, there were at least 50 large coaches for passengers and crew, and myriads of mini coaches parked up for our arrival. Obviously ships twice the size such as Ovation of the Seas need twice the number of buses.
I guess replacing yards of cars on our wharves with yards of buses or vast empty spaces awaiting the cruise season, makes sense to some people, but I fail to make sense of it.
Addressing Wayne Brown's comments on reducing trucks from Auckland roadways this also is farcical. The only difference is that trucks will travel further and from a different direction.
Interestingly, in Italy there were insufficient ports deep enough for large liners to berth with many having to bring passengers ashore by ships tender. Venice is stopping larger ships and limiting numbers because of the pressure they have.
The move to larger commercial vessels would see a reduction in numbers of ships, but even greater loading on infrastructure because of the concentration of loads.
Allan Bridge, Botany Downs.
Simon Wilson makes an excellent case (NZ Herald, December 13) to move the main freight activity of Ports of Auckland to Northport and Tauranga.
There are clear benefits for Auckland if it moves the port but what of the environmental impact on Tauranga Harbour and on the area surrounding Northport?
The main entrance to Tauranga Harbour was recently deepened by over 3m, to accommodate ever larger container vessels. Two weeks ago, as part of a regular bi-annual survey of shorebirds run by Birds NZ, I visited Panepane Point on Matakana Island, which forms the western side of the main entrance to Tauranga Harbour. I was shocked to note the erosion of maybe 20m of the coast, almost certainly due to the deepening of the channel.
Panepane Point used to be an important breeding site for the northern New Zealand dotterel, charadrius obscurus, an endemic shorebird which is only recovering thanks to the efforts of volunteers. I would expect to see four or five breeding pairs, but on this visit I spotted three, possibly four birds, none showing signs of breeding, though it is the height of the breeding season.
Before wishing yet more port development on Tauranga, have a look at some of the issues.
Yes, move Auckland port, but don't forget the environment, it's the only one we have.
Julian Fitter, chair, Bay Conservation Alliance.
I refer to the report (NZ Herald, December 13) that a High Court Judge reduced the sentence, by nine months, of a woman for a further episode of breaching a protection order against a man with who she had had a brief relationship.
The judge is reported as having done so upon the grounds that the sentence should have been consistent - the same as for a previous sentence for breaching the prohibition order.
While not being critical of the judge or the decision, it is important to remember and to take into account that, in stalking, a further breach of a protection order or event must be viewed in the context of all of the previous harassment. It is cumulative and intended to be so - not an equivalent. It is intended by the stalker to remind of the persistence and the previous events - and to build upon them.
John Collinge, St Mary's Bay.
It seems a Dunedin man, Jissen Porathur Johny , "a former corporate high-flyer" suffered a "significant blow to his self-esteem when he struggled to get employment ... and instead spent his time looking after the children".
That was a blow to his income, certainly, but it should not have affected his self-esteem. What more important work is there than nurturing the young, especially one's own?
I have no doubt that I am one of millions of men who would much rather stay at home and care for their children, especially in the early years, than have to go out to work to support them financially.
In an important sense, this father was very fortunate, and he is to be envied, not pitied. He should be grateful and stop snivelling. Society stands in far greater need of good fathers than it does of document protectors, even though the former may be unpaid, while the latter attract often inexplicably generous salaries.
Incidentally, what does this suggest about his attitude to mothers and teachers?
R Porteous, Balmoral.
Inevitably, when one phones a company, one is put on hold for an unbearably long time while music designed for people under the age of 30 causes additional discomfort.
As an elderly individual, I suggested to a company this morning, when I eventually got through, that some more peaceful music played by a string quartet might be more acceptable.
I am not holding my breath.
Mike Jarman, One Tree Hill.
Short & sweet
Donald Trump patronisingly suggests Greta Thunberg work on her, wait for it ... "anger management problem". Excuse me? John Watkins, Remuera.
Letters: Adventure tourism, Snell memories, Labour example and Christmas cheer
Letters: Politics, fisheries, ports move and Sir Dove-Myer Robinson
Letters: White Island eruption, Grand Coalition and maunga authority
Simon Bridges describes the coalition's numbers of 277,410 people on the benefit as shocking. I wonder how he would describe the 304,000 people on the benefit just five years ago under National? Gary Hollis, Mellons Bay.
"Role over, boat haven" as Chuck Berry put to music years ago. Dean Donoghue, Papamoa Beach.
J Nistelrooy believes (NZ Herald, December 13) Folau said those horrible things as an act of love. Is that not akin to an abusive partner beating their spouse "for their own good"? I disagree with Folau's beliefs, sentiment and method. Craig Stanton, Birkdale.
I am looking forward to the day when I shall never need to drive through Huntly ever again. John Ford, Napier.
The tribute by the NZ Team to Peter Snell (NZ Herald, December 16) is perfect. It says it all in a quiet but deeply impactful way. Bette Swan, Titirangi
The National Party is proposing to fine cyclists who do not use separated cycleways. Perhaps they will deploy Bike Force Raptor? Peter Nicholson, Ruatangata.