Letter of the week: Chris Marnewick, Bucklands Beach
John Roughan calls Judith Collins nasty and Jacinda Ardern lacking in strength (Weekend Herald, July 25) but I venture to suggest he's wrong.
When Collins was asked if she had received similar complaints about other politicians, she had three choices: She could lie; say that she had no comment; or tell the truth. Lying would be tantamount to a cover-up. Saying she had no comment would be construed as a yes, but she was covering it up. Telling the truth was the only viable option.
From the perspective of the person addressing the "complaint" email to Collins, that person obviously expected Collins would pursue the matter. What Collins did, which was to provide the email address of Ardern's staff, was the wise option. The person complaining could it with Ardern if he/she wanted, or drop it. Either way, Collins had done her legal and moral duty.
When Ardern sacked Ian Lees-Galloway, she did not do so out of weakness. While many New Zealanders turn a blind eye towards extra-marital affairs, most find that conduct unacceptable in a minister, especially if the other party is an underling in the minister's office or department.
Like Collins, Ardern had no choice. Both women were faced with tough decisions, and both did the right thing.
When Judith Collins was asked if she had received any similar tips about Labour ministers or MP's - probably by a journalist who knew the answer - John Roughan slams her for telling the truth. (Weekend Herald, July 25). If she had answered "No" I'm sure he would be the first to criticise her for lying, if it later came out she did know. Thinking voters are not turned away by someone telling the truth.
Paul Grimmer, Tauranga.
End of Life Choice
Congratulations to Isaac Davison (Weekend Herald, July 25), for asking the questions and looking for the facts in his answers. Just one wee point: The subheading refers to the legislation as the End of Life Choice Bill. it's not a bill any more, it's an Act. We will be voting in the referendum on whether it should come into force.
People may not fully realise that the referendum is binding on the new government, whoever it may be. So get the facts - there's a leaflet in that envelope we all receive from the Electoral Commission. The one with the orange guy on the outside. Open it.
There's a summary of the main points of the End of Life Choice Act. No bias, no scaremongering.
Read it carefully, and you will realise that very few will be eligible, but if you were, you might be glad to have the choice.
D. Cooper, Kapiti.
Isaac Davidson (Weekend Herald, July 25) says there is no evidence the End of Life Choice Act would inevitably lead to ever wider grounds for euthanasia. No, but the dangers are obvious.
A widespread impression is that the Act simply enables fatally ill people in unmanageable physical pain to end their lives sooner. But it already allows much more. Any kind of suffering, not just physical, can be grounds for euthanasia. A person profoundly distressed at losing their quality of life due to terminal illness could say that suffering in itself is unbearable, and any recommended counselling is unacceptable to them. Their doctor must then start the euthanasia process.
There are no cooling-off periods. No family members need be told. The euthanasia application could be made on the day of the person's terminal diagnosis. The Ministry of Justice confirms the whole process from application to death could happen quickly, perhaps even within four days.
Euthanasia advocates, disappointed with the Act, are also pressuring for wider grounds. ,
Bert Jackson, Hamilton.
I am devastated by the recent, awful death of a good friend and a lovely person who gave in his lifetime a great deal to his community. He was killed near his home on the battlefields that represent our roads while cycling.
He was a most careful and experienced rider who never acted irrationally. It's not good enough.
In Portugal, where we cycled hundreds of kilometres in the uttermost safety, the law is that any motorist who strikes and harms or kills a pedestrian or cyclist will be locked up there and then and stay that way until it is proven that the victim was at fault.
I would back any political party that wrote that into its policies.
Jeremy Dunningham, Napier.
Your correspondent David Tyler (Weekend Herald, July 25) asks why over half of New Zealanders are happy with our Government's relative lack of action in reducing our emissions. Perhaps the answer is that our Kiwi common sense knows that we are not causing catastrophic climate change and that the astronomical cost required in our meeting the Paris agreement on emissions would cripple our already struggling post-Covid economy.
If indeed there was evidence that the earth's weather and temperature were dangerously out of control, then he would have a point, but the evidence from scientific bodies like Nasa show that extreme weather events are not on the rise and that the average global temperature despite annual fluctuations has not increased since 1998. This data is available at Nasa and other websites.
David Gibbs, Beach Haven.
The concept of NZ being an ultimate survival bunker as outlined by Steve Braunias (Weekend Herald, July 25) is flawed. If an apocalypse hit, we would not be long behind the rest of the world.
As a small dot on the world's landscape, we are utterly dependent on a safe world for communication, technology, trade and transportation access. We hold no great store of supplies.
Controversial Peter Thiel would be just like the rest of us once his food ran out, tending spuds and silverbeet in the garden.
Nick Nicholas, Greenlane.
In Zanna Gillespie's review of the movie Shirley (Canvas, July 25) I was disappointed she does not understand the role of a school "secretary". Not only does she use this archaic title but she says we direct parents where to sign in and hand out Band-Aids.
Our roles include nursing, PA, finance, web design, communications, PR, marketing, counselling and conflict resolution. We deal with government departments, Oranga Tamariki, principals, teachers, lawyers, psychologists, education professionals, auditors, board members, speech therapists and builders. We do hand out plasters but we also deal with compound fractures and seizures. We do direct parents but we also respond to their every request.
Many of us have worked in the corporate world but have chosen to be school administrators to work with children and to be with our own children when they are at home.
Leonie Sykes, Birkdale.
A quick word
John Roughan, in his assessment of Judith Collin and Jacinda Ardern in the Ian Lees-Galloway affair hit the nail on the head. Affairs, in general, are nobody's business but the people involved. John Rush, Mamaku.
My proposal for the Manukau Habour: Contract out the bar dredging for sand harvesting, urgently needed for Auckland's construction and infrastructure at no cost to rate- and taxpayers. Barrie Paterson, Mt Roskill.
Close to all of us have no patience with those who show a complete lack of gratitude by trying to escape. Such people do not deserve to be called New Zealanders. Greg Cave, Sunnyvale.
Your letter of the week (Weekend Herald, July 25) is full of formal fallacies. The main one being that roads cause climate change. John Clements, Ōrewa.
It is hard to believe that Auckland Council is trying to improve Queen St. The addition of poles to fall over, concrete dividers to trip over, and the need to watch one's feet all the time seems to be a big step backwards. Pamela Russell, Ōrākei.
In the last two days we have received mail postmarked at least 14 days earlier, sent by local people/organisations. It would be interesting to know what route the mail takes once it has been postmarked, or where in fact it had been postmarked. Frank & Elizabeth Beare, Paeroa.
It has taken Phil Goff too long to be unimpressed with Watercare boss Raveen Jaduram's salary. I remain unimpressed with Phil Goff's lack of action. Caran Barratt-Boyes, Kohimarama.
Concerning public sector salaries, shouldn't the prime minister have the largest salary since that job involves looking after the whole nation, not just a segment of it? Dominic Guzzo, Hauraki.
President Trump has invited the Chinese Government to point out that nothing has happened in Hong Kong that has not also happened on the streets of Portland, Oregon. Arch Thomson, Mt Wellington.
Sad to hear of Peter Green's death, one of the founding members of Fleetwood Mac, and a talented guitarist/ songwriter. Albatross has something special about it, even after so many years. R.I.P. Peter. B Watkin, Devonport.
The NZ Government is fast running out of excuses as to why they will not allow their people to come up to Rarotonga for a holiday. Don Carlaw, Rarotonga.
We are each and every one of us, in this Covid-free boat and by pulling together we are, at the moment, out in the front. Kia kaha. Marie Kaire, Whangarei.
What happened at all those conservative voices who a few short months ago were saying NZ should emulate Australia's business-first Covid-19 strategy? Jeff Hayward, Auckland Central.
National's latest poor polling may be a reflection of the new leader clearly demonstrating that a leopard cannot change its spots. Paul Cheshire, Maraetai.