Christian party idea has thorns
There may be some long-term unintended consequences if Alfred Ngaro follows the footsteps of John Banks and Don Brash and leaves National to set up a National-leaning Christian party. Firstly, Labour can do exactly the same thing, tacitly supporting a Labour-leaning Christian party that could be run by someone like the pastor and current Labour MP William Sio. If both of these cloned Christian parties got under way, there would be nothing to prevent, over time, those two parties clubbing together, selling themselves to the highest bidder in coalition negotiations in exchange for a more overtly religious government. Since New Zealand sees itself as overall more secular than religious, the risk of governments being formed that are more religiously influenced than the general population would be less than ideal.
Jeremy Hall, Opaheke
Scottish author Thomas Carlyle coined the phrase "the dismal science" in relating to the broad subject of economics. Your opinion writer Peter Lyons brings life to this science and always gives us practical experience and views as to how we should see it in today's world. I believe his insight into what is important and the sad reality of many economic aspects of life are thought-provoking. For instance the subjective measurement of GDP has many shortcomings.While looking at a country's wellbeing in a micro sense it does not allow for the many aspects both monetary and non monetary that are exposed in a macro sense. It will be interesting to see how the Government expresses the many factors not shown in GDP when presenting the next Budget. Meanwhile please continue to have Peter Lyons explain the many aspects of the "dismal science".
Peter Burn, Gulf Harbour
I have every confidence in Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage. We have a minister with a thorough grounding in environmental issues, so that more than just economic considerations now hold proper sway in decision making. She is a refreshing change from a succession of ministers clutching rubber stamps.
Keith Woodley, Miranda
An example has now been set on the Israel Folau case. Beliefs are beliefs, no arguing that, but on the other side of the coin contracts are also contracts.
Glenn Forsyth, Taupō
Christianity in politics
It would appear we are to have another attempt for a Christian Party in politics. Hopefully it might be led by someone with moral character of greater integrity and sustainability than in previous aspirants for that position. More importantly, we might ask if this is something that Jesus may have wished for; and the evidence of the New Testament is a decided "No". Following the feeding of the 5000, Jesus senses the spontaneous desire of the crowd to make him King; surely the first ever Christian Political Party. Jesus' reaction is immediate. Mark records Jesus forced his disciples into the boat and off to the other side of the lake. John states that Jesus then fled, in the opposite direction, into the hills. It is hard to imagine a more decisive rejection of a political movement led by Jesus. Why do we think we know better?
Bryan Drake, Northpark
Congratulations to NZ Herald and World Vision for their international journalism award in New York this week. Kerre McIvor and Mike Scott's shocking editorial campaign on trafficking, marriage and employment of vulnerable children from India and Myanmar captured the relentless cycle of poverty and pain but woke the reader (or viewer of their VR video) to the ongoing opportunities we have in New Zealand to make a world of difference to challenged individuals and desperate families.
Mary Tallon, Morningside
How could anyone accuse us of dangerous driving? I was followed by a woman driver in a 100km/h zone holding a cellphone to her ear and a cigarette in the other hand. Due to severe tailgating I was unable to read her number plate.
Jackie McCabe, Kaitāia
I have previously written to you complaining about your cartoonist's devotion to pumping out naked socialist propaganda, but I must congratulate him on Saturday's effort taking a dig at David Seymour. I understand that every time you publish such drivel by one of your columnists or cartoonists, membership of Act Party surges — keep up the good work!
M.A. Pollock, Mt Eden
It's Budget time and there will be lots of discussion of the Government's fiscal position. It should be remembered there is no correlation in countries with fiat currencies between the Government's fiscal position and any worthwhile economic outcome. That's hardly surprising seeing that normally a Government's debt is denominated in its own currency and it is free to print as much of that as it likes. What of the Government's debt level? Clearly the Government could pay off all its debt next week if it so chose. It wouldn't be a good idea because it would worsen the already obvious glut of money in the system. Over the past 10 years the value of this fiat currency has collapsed when measured in terms of assets like houses or shares. It would be better for the Government to borrow. It's stupid to measure the value of money in terms of consumer prices because they're determined by what goes on in China or Egypt or somewhere else, things over which we have no control.
Whenever someone talks about taxes in NZ funding spending, you know they haven't kept up with understanding of the way the economy works. Check with Professor Bill Mitchell of Australia.
Letters: Auckland Council, Teachers' pay and health system
Letters: Tourism, church houses, city projects and Bob Hawke
It's a different story for household debt. Households are not able to print their own money so it is a real debt. Household debt is growing, poorly understood, and already at a dangerous level.
Bill Macky, Bayswater
Missing Folau point
Like most people, I find Israel Folau's views repugnant. But in the rush to condemn Folau, most people have lost sight of the main point to have emerged out of this whole business: a precedent has been set whereby a boss can sack an employee for expressing an opinion.
Terry Coggan, Mt Wellington
"Ardern absolutely must deliver at home," says Fran O'Sullivan. Or what: We'll vote National back into power and that will make things better?
B. Darragh, Auckland Central
It seems very fitting news of Israel Folau's sacking coincided with Pink Shirt Day, especially when our gay youth are three times more likely to be bullied than their straight counterparts, and four times more likely to commit suicide, statistics show.
As for those who may claim Folau is being bullied because of his religious beliefs, let's not forget that sometimes religion can be misguided. During the time of segregation in America, the same people who condemned race-mixing as "immoral" and "sinful", and persecuted African-Americans, attended church every Sunday. Let's stop using religion as an excuse to persecute others who may be different from ourselves.
Monique Leary, Auckland
There's a simple solution to stemming the tide of online abuse (NZH 5/18). Keep off it.
John Clements, Orewa.
Simon Bridges really needs to think before he opens his mouth. Blaming the shortfall of the surgery waiting list on Labour really is drawing a long bow. They caused the shortfall when they were in power with their underfunding and lack of pay rises for doctors and nurses. The strike by the junior doctors also added to the shortfall, they did not use this pressure on National when they were in as they knew they would not get a pay rise.
Rubbishing Labour for slow progress due to them having to clean up National's nine-year mismanagement is the last thing he should be focusing on, as this only makes people think about who really got us in this mess and that was him and his cohorts in the last Government.
Tom O'Toole, Taumarunui.
It would seem to me that building a port next to where the consumers who are importing the goods are discharged from ships makes perfect sense.
Governor Hobson chose the Waitematā as the best site to build a port. For 174 years it has served us well. To build elsewhere will cost more than $5 billion and seriously increase our carbon footprint.
Talk about improving our view and access to the foreshore is smokescreen. The real reason certain people are pushing this is because some will make a lot of money out of it. Remember this port is ours; we have paid for it. We don't need any fat-cats to sell it all over again.
The crews who man the ships that call here have perfect access to the heart of our city. This is good for them and it is good for us to know that the seafarers can have a run ashore to relieve the tension and stress they are subjected to on board. Fair go please.
Captain Chris Barradale, Auckland Seafarer's Centre, Parnell