Why has the Anti-Money Laundering Act/Financial Transactions Reporting Act not reached its second phase? What is disturbing about the Government over the past three years is how it cut costs and did not generate sustainable sources of revenue and growth.
Instead, it actively promoted investment from China and turned a blind eye to some suspicious transactions. Examples include Bill Liu or Oravida. The economy is fundamentally unbalanced, with houses and banks on one side, and everything else on the other. Low rates have been great for the housing market. Chinese nationals have driven up home prices by paying 20-30 per cent premiums at the top end of the property market, according to buyer agents. If you're on the Asian-investment gravy train, why bother asking pesky questions? Rob Henderson, Central Auckland
What cost climate mitigation?
Climate policies are doing enormous harm. Wind turbines, biofuels and substituting wood for coal in power stations to fight climate change have negligible effects on carbon dioxide emissions, but have driven people into fuel-poverty, made industries uncompetitive, driven up food prices, accelerated the destruction of forests and divided communities. Globally, nearly 200,000 people are dying every year, because we are turning 5 per cent of the grain crop into fuel instead of food. Lord Ridley, former Economist science editor, argues although climate change has done us more good than harm, climate-change policy has been very damaging. The EU is expected to spend more than $300 billion every year for the next 87 years, and in Britain the cost is expected to be $3.5 trillion over this century. We also pay an incredibly high price here, to lower air temperature an undetectable amount.
Denis Shuker, Cambridge
Improve service and calls will drop
I have experienced the same lack of attention and service (Left hanging on phone-co calls, August 31). We know why callers wait up to 30 minutes; the Telcos do not have sufficient staff. More importantly, if call centres receive up to 600,000 calls a month, what is wrong that this number of people need to phone? If the Telco provides what the client needs and pays for, they should be able to reduce call numbers and waiting times. Ron Davis, Albany
Incomes don't match cost of living
Bernard Hickey is right, New Zealand inflation is driven mainly by two monopolistic suppliers (Rates and power bills to blame, August 17). This is too tough for those on fixed incomes, - such as pensioners and beneficiaries, and those on wages, thankful for a 1-1.5 per cent annual pay rise, while power and rates increase close to 10 per cent. Many Aucklanders want out of the SuperCity - to have a separate Northern residents' council for Rodney and North Shore. Westies want their Waitakere Council back. It can be done. Recently, four areas of Queensland voted to pull out of the Sunshine Coast Super City. We need one political party to promise to let us vote to de-amalgamate to our old councils. We deserve it too.
Murray Hunter, Titirangi
Power not to the people
I have been with the same electricity supplier without considering changing because I thought they deserved my loyalty. I have just learned they have made a $200 million-plus profit, and I think: who is going to benefit from this? The answer is, people who probably get their electricity from some other supplier. And I think, who's the fool here, then? I am looking for a new supplier and I'll not waste my loyalty on any of them again. Jim Haynes, Feilding