Recovery of nation needs law reviews
With the predictable surge in unemployment in the post Covid-19 era, job creation will prove critical. It's time to review one impediment, the Resource Management Act, an enactment which can stifle initiative and mass job creation.
And just as the residential rental market has been compromised leading to the diminishing availability of rental stock, so, too, has employment law been amended, creating complexity in the employee trial period and frustrating employers when assessing the calibre of labour prospects. Consequently employment laws also require appraisal.
And further, the Regional Development Fund intended for job creation in the provinces. However, let's not forget the dismal track record of past governments in "picking winners".
The state must not adopt the role of principal employer during these testing times. Instead if cost effective, sustainable new jobs are to be created, the private sector must be encouraged and afforded every opportunity if we are to extricate ourselves from what appears to be a looming "black hole".
PJ Edmondson, Tauranga
Due to Covid-19, the Government will increase the country's debt from approximately $20 billion to $200 billion by 2023. Can we as taxpayers ask what taxes the Prime Minister, Finance Minister and Reserve Bank Governor intend to introduce to repay this debt, the highest level in New Zealand's history?
Chris Davis, Milford
Phillip Smith fiasco
Is there not something majorly askew with a justice system that permits a prisoner convicted of murder and sex offences to cost the taxpayer $890,000 in fighting cases such as being allowed to wear a wig to hide baldness, being allowed to give a media interview, accommodation issues in prison, and most incredibly of all, somehow escaping and then managing to jump on a plane to South America.
One would have to think that Phillip Smith is much smarter than are those responsible for his conduct and control.
How is he allowed to run all of his campaigns at the country's expense when for a law-abiding citizen even getting police assistance can be a trial, not to mention insurance claims and the like.
It amazes me that politicians can stand by and watch this occurring without so much as lifting a finger to do something.
Paul Beck, West Harbour
It is unconscionable that Playcentre will receive so little of the increased funding in the Budget announcement for early childhood. Playcentre's philosophy of parents as first educators enables them to be actively involved in the early learning of their children and its roots were planted in the educational ideas of the 1930s.
National leadership should take its cue from Bill English
From then on, educationalists came to increasingly recognise the value of learning through play and now this philosophy is mainstream.
In 1963, Lex Grey of Victoria University College travelled throughout the North Island, helping Māori families establish centres in many rural and urban communities. These centres were the forerunner of the kohanga reo movement.
Parent education includes upholding commitment to Tiriti relationships, and leadership skills gained through Playcentre enables many women to move on to other endeavours, including Parliament.
Glennys Adams, Ōneroa
Plan water for growth
There are massive housing estates currently under construction in Auckland, and with the relaxation of RMA rules and the housing shortages, there is potential to see even greater builds.
Given the current chronic water shortage and lack of adequate storage, where is the water supply for these houses going to come from?
The obvious solution is for every house to have at least one tank for garden and toilet supply. Two would be even better.
Why is council so against this solution to their water problem? Whangarei Council have at last relaxed their policy against water tanks and the current new housing estate requires each house to have two tanks.
Auckland Council has failed to protect its ratepayers from water shortages, failed to provide an adequate water supply and failed those businesses who rely on water for their livelihood when climate change has been obvious for many years and they did nothing to counteract it.
Foreign bottling companies take and bottle our water virtually for free. Ratepayers pay for every litre and then are subjected to water restrictions as well.
Time to step up, Auckland Council, and prepare for the next drought.
Marie Kaire, Whangārei
Buckley's chance of return
The loud and clear message coming from the economic shutdown to all but those with blinkered vision or vested interests (greed) was how quickly nature and particularly the environment recovered.
Greed or excessive consumerism now needs to be reassessed and all economies going forward must be balanced with a healthy respect for nature and the environment.
If Todd Muller thinks New Zealanders want to go back to the nine years of rampant consumerism that did so much social damage, created a vast gap between the rich and poor, ruined the next generation's hopes of home ownership and the collateral damage done to the environment, our oceans and the climate, he has two chances: Buckley's — and none.
Gary Hollis, Mellons Bay
Nats' bob each way
The phrase having a bob each way means seeking profit from all contingencies, as defined in that wonderful colloquialisms dictionary Stunned Mullets and Two-pot Screamers.
Is it applicable to Todd Muller's choice of running mate Nikki Kaye from the liberal wing of the National Party?
Or to his leaving open the possibility of future co-operation with NZ First leader and Racing Minister Winston Peters? — appropriately if so, in that a bob each way derives from win and place gambling on horse races.
Should, come September, there be a bob-of-the-head election victory for National with Winston in the saddle, will our coveted age-old horse-racing colloquialism morph irrevocably into a todd each way? That's something for voters to ... er ... mull over meanwhile.
Lyndsay Main, Island Bay
Mum and Dad investors
I refer to the article in the NZ Herald (May 23) regarding the proposed bill change being promoted by Shane Jones. In the article, Jones refers to "foreign investors" nine times. Not once was mention made of the majority shareholders being New Zealand Mum and Dad investors, like ourselves (unless of course he considers south of Kaikohe being "foreign" territory).
In the early 1990s, we used hard-earned after-tax savings to invest in forestry shareholdings. Our intention was twofold — provide a future income for our descendants and benefit the New Zealand environment.
Now, after 30 years, when the plantations are becoming ready for harvest, this bill change would preclude us from obtaining the market price.
John B Cooper, Havelock North
Covid-19 alternative panel
With regard to your appeal for a formal inquiry into the origin of the Covid-19 pandemic and the suggestion that the International Panel on Climate Change could be suitable for this task (Editorial, Weekend Herald , May 23), I would like to propose a preferable but perhaps equally naïve alternative. This would involve an inquiry by teams of leading epidemiologists and virologists, transparent processes of data collection, analysis and peer review, and freedom from political or partisan manipulations.
A Coverdale, Remuera
I wonder who gets paid more, Watercare CEO Raveen Jaduram or reporter Simon Wilson, whose article "The Big Dry" (Weekend Herald) ought to be studied in universities as a model of analytical thinking and incisive communication.
Arch Thomson, Mt Wellington
Water a better focus
We are told that the proposed SkyPath across the Harbour Bridge would cost well over $300 million, but as such projects always do, that figure would no doubt rise. Being for the benefit or some walkers and cyclists, that is a huge expense. This plan has been scrapped and another proposal is being developed. I am sure those people in danger of losing their family homes under the original plan are relieved.
The head of Watercare stated that if Auckland ratepayers want a reliable water supply to avoid the shortage being experienced now, they will have to stump up more millions for an improved treatment plant so more water can be taken from the Waikato River.
Any chance that the Mayor, Council ,and Watercare could get together to apply some logic, and use the millions to be spent on a SkyPath for the benefit of few and reallocate it to upgrade the water treatment plant for the benefit of ALL Auckland?
Carol Johnson, Orewa