Jamie Gray's catalogue of the side effects of the coronavirus on our economy (NZ Herald, February 14) illustrates a wide range of consequences.
The Child Poverty Action Group would add the double whammy for families laid off by the downturn in demand exemplified by forestry companies.
Workers with children lose not only their jobs but also their Working For Families entitlement to the In Work Tax Credit, which is worth at least $72.50/week.
Now is the time for the Government to act with urgency and abolish fixed hours of paid work requirements for Working For Families.
It is the most cost-effective policy available for reducing income-based child poverty and would reduce the incidence and severity of hardship at least fiscal cost.
Let's do it.
Therese Luxton, Child Poverty Action Group.
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The sad reality is microchipping dogs has not saved children from attacks, banning semi-automatics is not going to stop the next mentally deranged person from causing an atrocity, and removing the right to silence, as floated by the children's commissioner, is not going to stop terrible people abusing their children and refusing to talk afterwards. Removing the right to silence doesn't magically force anyone to speak, it just allows prosecutors to cast aspersions on them for not speaking. Experience in the UK has shown that juries disregard that kind of argument, so what's the point?
The desire to reduce tragedies is understandable, but why make pointless changes just to feel better, especially when those changes infringe on everyone's rights? Under our law, the accused does not have to prove themselves innocent, it is up to the accuser to prove guilt. That concept is too important to dilute just to feel better about something that has a much deeper cause and needs to be addressed at that level.
Pete Tashkoff, Henderson.
Ban the gangs
Jock Mac Vicar's letter "Ignore Gangs Rights" (NZ Herald, February 17) is how the majority of New Zealanders feel.
Making the decision to ban the patch and remove their collective identity is the answer - it works.
To downplay the violence tells us all the Government and the Commissioner of Police are not doing their job and they are failing the people of New Zealand.
C Keeling, Waiheke Island.
A correspondent suggests tax relief on first homes mortgages (NZ Herald, February 17). This action would only aggravate the upward price spiral through increasing demand.
The contrary action of reducing tax deductions on investor interest costs would have a benefit in reducing the demand for borrowing and hence tend to stabilise prices.
Any action has a primary result and often secondary reactions that are not thought through.
David Reid, Cockle Bay.
Walk this way
Many will have noticed the new walkway direction signs. They are known as "pedestrian blades" in the "AT Transport Design Manual; Signage" which also says they are "used at minor decision points in pedestrian wayfinding areas". How nice.
It's just a shame that no longer does any branch of council seem to be taking responsibility for the maintenance of the walkways.
If AT are trying to encourage more local, safe walking, especially by the likes of school walking buses, surely these alleys and pathways should have clear lines of sight, be free of obstructing foliage and have working lights at night?
Matt Elliott, Birkdale.
Laugh a minute
Simon Bridges is a class act alright. Just as the laughter dies down about his discovery that there are gangs out there, he hits us with that longstanding gag about tax cuts.
Keep us laughing Simon!
John Capener, Kawerau.
I would like to refute what appears to be a distressingly common misuse of the word "elitist" by various commentators in relation to RNZ's (now-rescinded) decision to effectively close down RNZ Concert. "Elitist" has been used as a term to criticise RNZ Concert when in fact the term which should be used is "niche".
Elitist implies something which is restricted and off-limits, something which Concert is demonstrably not. Niche implies something which appeals to only a sector of society, but which is open to all.
RNZ Concert is indeed a niche station, as are many media platforms, but elitist it is most certainly not.
Mark Close, Glenfield.
When I wake and go about my morning I am exhilarated and joyous beyond belief on hearing the music of Debussy, Schubert, Gershwin, Stravinsky, Ravel. Sibelius and many, many other wonderful composers on RNZ Concert so I wonder if Gary Hollis (NZ Herald, February 17) has tuned into a different frequency to me or hasn't quite grasped the concept of what is "classical music".
I have to restrain myself from constantly wanting to applaud the programme organisers for their choice of some of the most beautiful music ever written which is played on RNZ Concert morning programmes.
When younger and working as publicist for the NZSO I regularly heard the music of these composers and I am lucky enough to still play some of this music with the ASO but, without RNZ Concert and the informative commentary that goes with the wide selection of music they play, our days would be without colour, dreams and inspiration.
I am so disappointed that anyone finds it necessary to criticise what has become obvious to the nation in the last few days - RNZ Concert is a National Treasure.
Judy Morley-Hall, St Johns.
Everybody, including the Prime Minister, is praising Elton John for his strength in putting on his concert (NZ Herald, February 18). But surely if he knew he was ill, which he actually announced at the beginning of the show, he should have postponed it until he could deliver it.
His voice by his own admission was not as good as it can be. The tickets were not cheap.
If I bought a meal in a restaurant and only got part of it, I would want some of my money back for the part of the meal I didn't receive it should be the same for a concert.
If he was really concerned about his fans he would put another concert and let all the fans come back and watch the whole show, we all wish Elton well but I do feel a little cheated.
Geoffrey Slack, One Tree Hill.
Monday is my favourite paper. The best humour is when the writer is outrageously real, at the same time taking the piss out of himself. Thank you Matt (NZ Herald, February 17) for reminding me of a younger self.
Now, here is a challenge, bro - play some Pentatonix on Hauraki.
Steve Sheath, Great Barrier Island.
Letters: Water shortage, housing crisis, online scams, RNZ and rugby
Letters: Riders, Auckland Transport, first homes and student loans
Letters: Measles, Donald Trump, national anthem and the harbour bridge
Trump is a new phenomenon in politics. Much of the world is dumbfounded by his popularity. Trump's skill is to present himself as a new age televangelist.
His rhetoric is boldly emotive. He bypasses the logical brain and goes straight for the fears, the self interest, the historical baggage and the prejudices.
There is no need to imagine the Messiah he offers. Behold, The Don stands before us. To reach the promised land, just give him your vote. As you would expect from a pseudo deity he has perfect meetings, perfect judgement and he is perfectly innocent.
Deciding to support him transcends mere rational judgement. It is an act of faith and patriotic duty.
The interesting problem for the Democrats is how will their vanilla-flavoured presidential candidate counter an unorthodox Trump?
Andrew Tichbon, Green Bay.
Out of control
In the recent verbal clash (NZ Herald, February 17) between Mike Hosking and Auckland Transport - I am firmly on Mike's side.
Phil Goff's re-election promise was to get AT under control and sought to make changes at board level and other control measures to achieve this. AT is more out of control now than it ever was.
As a long-suffering ratepayer and motorist – my question is a simple one: Where does AT get its mandate from to make these huge changes to our motoring landscape?
I am not aware of any forums or meaningful engagement with the people of Auckland to determine what Aucklanders actually want down at the waterfront and elsewhere. As an unelected body, they act akin to the Chinese Communist Party, telling us what we need and ignoring any feedback that doesn't suit their purpose.
There is a risk Mike might quietly disappear one night and no one would know until an AT appointment arrived at the station at 3.30am to host the ZB Breakfast show.
Brett Hewson, Parnell.
Phil "The Joker" Goff and his cronies titter maniacally (NZ Herald, February 17) as they plunge yet another arterial route into road cone chaos.
Can "The Caped Hosk-ader" stop them before Auckland City grinds to a complete standstill? Or will his prized Maserati get stuck in traffic?
Stay tuned for the next acrimonious episode.
Mike Wagg, Freemans Bay.
Short & sweet
Bon Voyage, Mike, and would you please take Simon Bridges with you? Lois McGough, Orewa
Surely it isn't just "left-leaning" critics who have noticed that Mike Hosking's petulant outburst about road cones blocking his route to the hairdresser is petty and absurd? V M Fergusson, Mt Eden.
I hope Mike doesn't move as I enjoy his articles, agree or not, he says it as he sees it and because some people don't see it his way they write, comment or complain. Well, tough. I look forward to reading his next article. Stella Dixon, Patumahoe.
A suggestion for a slogan for the PM (with apologies to Stealers Wheel and the Greens): "Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right. Here I am, stuck in the middle with you."
Glennys Adams, Oneroa.
It appears that almost everything recommended in the cause of climate change - not pollution, which is a separate entity - turns into socialism, masquerading as environmentalism. Hylton Le Grice, Remuera.
I am chucking at Rod Emerson's cartoon. He makes a good point. However, I consider David Seymour is Pocket Man. He holds the electorate of Epsom by the grace and favour of the National Party. Carrick Bernard, Mt Albert.
Now that Emmerson has done a cartoon on Bridges, I can wait to see what he will draw regarding Prime Minister Ardern and Peters over his current credibility issue? R Cluley, Mt Roskill.
Is being vegetarian a new religion? People just can't wait to preach about it. Janet Bailey, Henderson.