Polls taken during political scandal or alleged dirty politics can often be distorted due to a sudden distaste by the beholder. Opinions can change rapidly when the situation reverts to normal.
The current Newshub poll results would seem to be out-of-kilter but National needs to accept there is some truth in them.
People's opinions can be be a reflection of current events both locally and overseas. For example, we are continually bombarded with what is happening in America and people are turned off by that sort of leadership.
It is obvious that the style of the last three Opposition leaders, which includes Judith Collins, does not appeal to the majority.
Society as a whole over the last decade or more has changed and we no more smack our children or make them be seen but not heard.
The leaders' respective styles will decide the outcome of this election, not their policies.
Reg Dempster, Albany.
Molly Codyre (NZ Herald, July 27) thinks the state should pay her quarantine because she went overseas without much money and lost the ability to earn. C'est la vie.
My young son earned the money first; went overseas, had his Himalayan trek cancelled and lost $9000. He flew to Dublin, went into quarantine in a hotel, which he paid for out of "his" earnings. He was planning to tour Europe.
When Peters told everyone to get home, I advised him: come home even if I had to pay. The only flight home cost $5000. He went into lockdown quarantine again in a caravan. He had no Covid job payment so paid for his own food and lodgings on $200 when he finally applied for the dole. His OE had been wrecked too.
The only difference is, he earned the money first so didn't whine to the taxpayer, "I'm poor."
We have families struggling in New Zealand to get enough food to eat. Your family should be the first port of call, not the taxpayer.
Your choice to travel on a dime and stay was probably wrong but, irrespective of that, your choices are your responsibility, not the taxpayers'.
Steve Russell, Hillcrest.
Pay their way
New Zealanders working overseas are fortunate they have the privilege of being able to return to NZ with no questions asked but that should be a privilege paid for like any other taxpaying Kiwi.
They make the decision to leave NZ in the first place and, if they can't afford to come home, so be it. Or they should alternately get their parents or family to do it, if they can't.
Bill Gibson, Kawerau.
It is a no-brainer that on arrival back, repatriating New Zealanders will need to pay the equivalent of a rental and the equivalent of a food bill, whether or not they are in quarantine.
By my calculation, a mid-range rental is probably around $600 per week and around $200 per week for housekeeping and food. In that there is no wear and tear, etc, their transport has been provided, as are their medical tests and requirements, it seems absolutely reasonable to levy $1000 per head per week.
Any levy does not impinge on an individual's right to return and is really no more than a cost of return; the flight, airport fees, 14 days' isolation.
It could be argued that charges should apply to all repatriating who have been away for more than two years, against those who have been stranded by the advent of Covid-19. Reality is, no matter who it is, they will have to pay for food and lodgings whether they are doing the 14 days or not.
The sad bit, really, is that when the Covid-19 is under control, these individuals are the most likely to head back where they came from, with a "thanks for the visit, people".
Allan Bridge, Howick.
I can't help but compare the attitude and behaviour of the family who, despite knowing their loved one had been ill for some time, had not been to see him, but arrived in our Covid-free haven and thought their grief was more important than the sacrifices our team of 5 million had made.
Then we have the family of the slain police officer, Matthew Hunt who, despite being in the most incredible pain and disbelief and grief at what had happened to their family member out of the blue while he was protecting us, delayed his funeral for two weeks so that family members from overseas could attend his funeral after they had completed their quarantine.
It speaks volumes about both families.
Melanie Corbett, Westmere.
Overpaid and over it
It seems that every project Auckland Council undertakes goes over budget and over time.
Its spending has been profligate to say the least, approved by people on grossly bloated salaries.
And it wants the ratepayer to continue funding its incompetence. Enough.
It's time every ratepayer in Auckland refused to pay any rates increase. Then the council would have no choice but to make some serious changes and display accountability.
L Mallon, Te Atatu.
Labour is spending (or promising to spend) many billions of taxpayer dollars on a variance of NZ projects. So is National, if it attains power.
No doubt some of these promises are necessary and desirable but nowhere have either party made any mention of funding two of New Zealand's most essential services.
Why should St John Ambulance and our volunteer fire brigades have to regularly appeal to the public to stay afloat? Both organisations should and must be government-funded. This is where some of these easily promised billions should be directed and the party that takes up this policy will, no doubt, secure many thousands of votes in this coming election.
Ian Thomas, Cambridge.
Spending $30 million investigating pumped electricity storage as a way of solving the dry year problem is ridiculous. The work has already been done.
The excellent report by the Interim Committee on Climate Change explained that the Onslow pumped storage scheme is an impossibly expensive way of avoiding power cuts in dry years. It would take years to build and it would cost something in excess of $4 billion.
Maintaining a 1 million tonne coal stockpile at Huntly, costing $200 million, will do the same job for much less money, even if it has to pay carbon tax.
If the Government had not banned gas exploration, we could have used gas storage at Ahuroa that was identified by the ICCC as the best option.
If the electricity market worked as it should, it would have provided dry year reserves without Government interference.
Bryan Leyland, Pt Chevalier.
Thank you, Jason Ludbrook (NZ Herald, July 24), for articulating thoughts that have also been a topic of discussion among my family and friends for some weeks.
Like you, and perhaps the majority of New Zealanders, we would like to see a more mature form of government, based on working together.
Our Government already has cross-party committees and other ways of working co-operatively, and members have crossed the floor on occasion.
I would like to see people, both within and outside of government, progressing a movement away from the binary system Jason describes it as, towards a better way of serving the people of our country.
More independent members could be a start, along with a peace journalism style of reporting on political matters.
Audrey van Ryn, Auckland Central.
"What if these are the good old days?" (NZ Herald, July 27) is a great article, although those who are still rich and privileged, and likely to remain so post Covid-19 will hate it.
The pre-Covid financially poor and the even larger ranks of post-Covid "newly poor" will sadly nod their heads in mute agreement.
It is possible that we will end up, even in the near future, looking back on these days as if they were a "cake walk" compared to what tomorrow might bring.
By a combination of good governance and not a little luck, not to mention our geographical position in the world, as a country we have done pretty good - no thanks to those who will hold on to their "rights" not to co-operate; and the Law Society which seems to be waving the big "legality stick" at the very measures that prevented us becoming another California or Victoria. For shame.
Dennis Pennefather, Te Awamutu.
Short & sweet
Unless the Government includes the $3000 quarantine fee in the cost of the airline ticket and it is collected before the returnees arrive at the border, no one will pay it. Jock MacVicar, Hauraki.
Yes, we should pay for returning Kiwis - that is, NZ citizens who hold NZ passports. All others should pay. J. Leighton, Devonport.
Ashley Bloomfield is being taken to court because the level 4 lockdown was unlawful? All I can say is, thank goodness for people in Government with the courage to take whatever measures, lawful or otherwise, to keep me and everyone else safe - and alive. Anne Martin, Helensville.
The Green Party says taxes are love because their supporters don't pay any. That someone else has to support their lifestyles doesn't register with them. Neil Hatfull, Warkworth.
The genie is out of the bottle and encouraging another mind-altering substance for "recreational use" doesn't make it safer or right. Max Wagstaff, Auckland.
The Green Party slogan, "Think Ahead, Act Now " would look at home on David Seymour's billboard. Graham Steenson, Whakatāne.
If the latest polls are to be believed, kindness kills. Jacinda is loving the Nats to death with her messages of kindness and compassion versus theirs of same old, same old. Coralie van Camp, Remuera.