The letter in last week's Herald on Sunday on class distinction shone a light on the blinkered views some people live with. As an 80-year-old, I can remember clearly, talk of those who lived on the other side of the tracks, or, conversely, those who lived in the "Dress Circle" of town.

We may not call it "upper class" or "lower class" but we certainly have the "haves" and the "have nots" and if that is not class distinction then I have been under a misconception most of my life. The job one held, the car one drove, the school one attended along with where one lived indicated what class you were, how you were seen in the community and how you were treated by society.
Peter Burrell, Morrinsville
Euthanasia truths

It is ironic that David Seymour warns the public to be wary of misleading information because this is exactly what his own campaign relies on.

He is attempting to silence the many voices of truth and reason in this debate.


One such voice is that of retired New Zealand geriatrician Emeritus Professor David Richmond. His submissions to the Justice Select Committee makes compelling reading. Richmond believes that the End of Life Choice Act is based on alarmist claims about the effectiveness of palliative care, which are not supported by a proper reading of data, adding that they do not ring true to his own experience of helping the dying over more than 40 years. Another area of concern is the message of hypocrisy it sends by "professing to help certain distressed individuals along a pathway of compassion" towards an early death — at the same time as other responsible groups are working hard to try to reduce our very high suicide rate. Richmond warns of the adverse effect on the doctor-patient relationship as many vulnerable groups will tragically have grounds for fearing the intentions of staff committed to euthanasia and assisted suicide.
Michelle Pereira, Glendene
Key memories

Jeremy Kay (Letters, January 12) has obviously forgotten a few facts about the Key Government. Key may have managed the Christchurch earthquake aftermath well, up to a point, but some of us can also remember him standing up at the Pike River memorial service declaring his total support for the families. As for his handling of the economy that was helped in no small measure by raiding the $7 billion Cullen fund. Add in the fact that, as it was noted at the last election, any household budget would look great if you didn't pay the bills.
John Capener, Kawerau
Bad landlords

Regarding Kirsty Johnston's story ("MBIE cracking down", January 12), we encountered a bad landlord in Remuera.
The property is damp and has mould, with temperature the same inside and out. My husband lost his job and I was pregnant and got sick with pneumonia from the damp house.
Despite all medical documents, being admitted to the hospital and doctor's advice to move out before the baby was due, our landlord insisted we pay over $5000 and called a debt collection agency. I requested to pay in instalments as my husband was out of job and we just had a baby but he insisted we sell our car or apply for a personal loan. We hope that MBIE can review our case.
Rudy Parocha, Mt Albert
AT waste

With Auckland Transport yet again raising fares to cover "rising costs", attention should be made to the wasteful spending by AT, such as the hundreds of thousands of dollars it spends on taxis for its staff, when they could be using public transport — which they expect everyone else to use.

AT pay a premium for contracting out many parts of their operation, which they could do in-house themselves.

AT could also make a far greater effort to ensure that all people using their public transport services actually pay. A high number of people do not pay on the Pukekohe train where there are no transport officers.
R Anderson, Pukekohe