Look who's back
Boris Johnson seems confident of getting good deals from the Commonwealth countries that fought in the frontlines of two world wars.
Thousands of widows and single-parent children have suffered most of their lives; most from World War I struggled through the worldwide slump in the 1930s.
In World War II, once again the Commonwealth troops were put in the frontlines.
The British government was supplied with cheap food by all Commonwealth countries and, fortunately, shared it with the troops. A lot of Commonwealth widows helped to produce the food sent. The Americans lent to the British to pay for their contributions.
Some years after, as Britain recovered and their economic status had improved, they decided to join the European Economic Community. Out of the blue, tariffs and quotas were imposed on all imports from the Commonwealth and other non-ECC countries.
The result was devastating. All the producers were in desperate straits and had to find new markets. Our government had to devalue our currency and there were many mortgagee sales, many were returned service soldiers. It took many years to establish new markets and our economy recovered.
Now the British prime minister expects to cut deals with countries, common no more but wealthy perhaps.
After hundreds of years of pillaging and bludging, I hope no more.
Peter Newson, Maungaturoto.
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It was a risky gambit by the board of Radio New Zealand. A bureaucracy can usually get a bigger budget or an expanded role from local or central government by proposing a politically unacceptable cut in services.
But, when the proposal is so obviously contrary to the political commitments of their masters, they may need to fight for their own survival.
So far, so good, the board and chief executive are still in place and they have been given another FM channel to play with. The only jobs currently at risk seem to be the Concert programme staff.
This is not a problem for the board. These unfortunates are at the bottom of the RNZ food chain and are just too dedicated to the promotion of effete branches of diversity.
John Strevens, Remuera.
We have a ridiculous situation in this country. One half of the country is flooded and even in normal times usually has plenty of water. At the same time the other half of the country is in the middle of a drought, yet we are bottling millions of litres and giving it away overseas.
Surely we could have some kind of water grid the same way we have for electricity, there are always parts of the North Island where they do not get enough rain, a water to grid could help there. I am not a water engineer but I would have thought we could do something.
J Longson, Kawerau.
Once again, we are having extreme dry weather and water is critically low up North. Yet we have a natural resource right at our door step.
Having a "desalination plant" up North, would create an endless supply of water to the upper North Island first, then to the rest of the country.
Perhaps our scientists could create new technology that can produce water without a major cost to the country?
Barry Sharpe, Mt Albert.
Listening to the Ministry of Health update today gave me grave concerns.
With regard to "self isolation", passengers having been or travelled through China are not necessarily on a list of registration.
The MoH says we ask them to register, we have a high trust arrangement with them.
Come on New Zealand, after watching Border Patrol on TV, we know we cannot necessarily trust people to do the right thing.
Linda Beck, West Harbour.
City of fails
Mike Hosking is right, civil bureaucrats have destroyed what was once a very nice city (NZ Herald, February 13). It is full of garbage and everything seems broken.
We all know the transport system is a total disaster, even the runway at the airport is crumbling, but the powers-that-be do not seem overly concerned.
Our beaches are polluted and last year we had a serious civil defence emergency which should have seen the inner city closed down. What we got was people breathing toxic fumes for days with the only response being from a website that told us to close all windows and go to the doctor if you were feeling sick.
No other city in the modern world is in such disarray. All the other cities seem to have system that works. They have had to change the entrance of Britomart Station and the train to Wellington cannot leave from it. Also, it has taken three years to build a subway line from Customs St to Wellesley St.
The city is scattered with Stalingrad-type cheap apartments that are total eyesores. Throw in the cones and it is very nasty. The icing on the cake is that costs keep increasing, public transport, rates, electricity. Mike is right, he should get on his bike.
Brent Innes, Hillcrest.
Shane Jones is drawing an impossibly long bow comparing Peters to Tane Mahuta the giant Kauri in Waipoua Forest, Northland.
Tane Mahuta is admired and respected by 100 per cent of those who visit the forest and know of the tree's existence and history.
Peters can barely scrape up 5 per cent.
Jim Radich, Red Beach.
Correspondents Morgan Kemp and Steve Clerk (NZ Herald, February 13) speak of misgivings over weakening governance and economic progress. Both seem to come from a conservative view, one that has been the norm for many decades.
What we need in government are people who have been involved in a wide and extensive association with people and places. We need well-rounded, thoughtful, sensible and intelligent thinkers, not breast beaters, greedy individuals whose only reason for being their is to better their own place in the world. We have a lot of those and the economy that Steve Clerk talks about does not, under such people, allow for social issues to be addressed.
Opening up a thought on Jacinda Ardern's government and how some might think her inexperienced, as Morgan Kemp does, leaves one wondering if the days not so long ago of "there are those born to rule and those who aren't" thinking still exists.
Let's not forget, the longtime politically experienced support staff for any politician are always on hand. These people give the background and it is up to the Prime Minister to then make the call. It's why we need more of the Jacindas of this world. More of those who can make a quick judgement for the betterment of all people and the land they stand on.
Emma Mackintosh, Birkenhead.
Neal Barclay claims that our electricity market is a success (NZ Herald, February 12).
He fails to mention that, pre-October 2018, the wholesale price was in the region of seven cents. Then it suddenly jumped to something like $0.14 and has stayed there. Why? A market that suddenly doubles the cost of electricity cannot be called successful.
Barclay claims that prices are low by OECD standards but conveniently forgets that our prices were once among the lowest in the world. If New Zealand had adopted the recommended market model, they still of would be.
Unless dramatic changes are made, the market will continue to provide steadily increasing prices, windfall profits to the generators and increasing risks of shortages and blackouts in a dry year.
Bryan Leyland, Pt Chevalier.
Your opinion piece (NZ Herald, February 13) informs me that our wholesale electricity
market is "globally looked to as a model of competitiveness". I was just wondering who might be of that opinion when I looked at the author: The chief executive of Meridian Energy.
K H Peter Kammler, Warkworth.
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Letters: Driving habits, beach party, road workers, Radio NZ, Auckland Airport and Israel
Neal Barclay's article discussing the "real carbon market" reveals New Zealand agreements to reach net zero-carbon and that our CO2 emissions are not reducing fast enough.
I also believe paying to reduce the burden of generating more CO2 is not going to work. As I was exploring environmental damage through chemical warfare, I was shocked to read that the military could be one of the largest CO2 generators.
For example, the US Department of Defense is the country's largest consumer of fossil fuels. Research from 2007 reveals the military used 20.9 billion litres of fuel each year. The USA war on terror was signed into action in August 2007. The military CO2 generator matches the carbon output of Denmark, or Japan, or other smaller countries. Even a standing army is a big carbon emitter.
Imagine how much it would benefit the planet if we could avoid war?
Caroline Mabry, Glen Eden
Short & sweet
I wonder if RNZ management is aware of the actual statistics regarding older people in this country? Not that this should be a numbers game, but we are a huge group and we have the same rights as those who are a bit younger. Althea Hill, Thames.
If the Prime Minister can "find" FM space for RNZ Concert within 24 hours, how hard was Paul Thompson of RNZ actually looking? Sylvia Burch, Kerikeri.
There is a gross inequity not making scooter companies pay ACC Levies to cover claims. Other businesses and road users are required to, so is there a plan to do so or will the rest of us pick up the tab again? Trevor Burgess, Snells Beach.
If he is serious about leaving Auckland, I will help him pack and, if he wants to leave the country, I'll even contribute to his fare. Rubin Levin, Devonport.
Mike Hosking brilliantly lambasted the ineptitude of our city planners. But he saved the most damning of his criticism for his last sentence. It speaks volumes that anyone would prefer to live and commute in the gridlocked city of Los Angeles. Kent Millar, Blockhouse Bay.
Auckland is like it is because there are so many people like Mike Hosking there. Bruce Rogan, Mangawhai.
Whilst being accepted into a new community elsewhere, make it a priority to find a hairdresser within walking distance. Sandra Farrell, Pakuranga.
To describe those who run our city as idiots is to credit them with too much intelligence.
Mike Wagg, Freemans Bay