Covid-19 has put a spotlight on the folly of our economic system, which is dependent on people buying things that they don't need, and spending money that they may not have. We have far too many cafes and restaurants and far too many retail shops. But somehow we have to keep this merry-go-round running in order to keep the economy going.
For many people Covid-19 has been great for their personal bank balances, but we are constantly exhorted to go out and spend for the sake of the economy.
It is time for a re-think and re-balance of business and economic priorities.
Jennifer Jones, Devonport.
Is anyone else getting tired of the endless spending promises? The fact that politicians believe this will sway voters shows how out of touch they are.
Please give us strategy, not empty promises. How are we going to stimulate the economy without burdening our children and grandchildren with debt?
How are we going to create a fair tax system that rewards effort while creating opportunities for those that are struggling?
How are we going to encourage private sector rental housing to relieve the current pressure on the State?
Don't give us numbers - give us proof that you can deliver.
Eric Wolters, Tauranga.
I was shocked and dismayed to hear SummerFruit NZ is finding it so difficult to get people to come and pick fruit for both the export and domestic market.
Now more than ever we need to pull together as a country and help our economic recovery in whatever way we can.
In my view we have not seen the beginning of the real Covid economic fallout yet and it is high time that people contributed to our economy rather than just having their hands out.
Yes, it may require a relocation for a short to medium time but work is work and a dollar is a dollar – when did we become so soft as a nation that we would rather be on the dole than work to help our way out of this economic chasm?
If anyone wants evidence of how hard a Depression can be look no further than the book The Boys in the Boat – a true story of unbelievable grit, determination and resilience to put food on the table and pay the rent during the Depression of the 1920s and 1930s.
Overall, we have been very fortunate in New Zealand but the time has come to "ask not what our country can do for us, but what we can do for our country".
Robyn Brown, Mt Albert.
Dover Samuels calls for a Crown apology "to all those beaten by the state for speaking their reo and to later generations also impacted".
There was no legislation that required children who spoke Maori to be beaten. The 1867 Native Schools Act stated that instruction in schools would be in English "where practical".
In their book A Civilising Mission , Judith Simon and Linda Tuhiwai Smith point out that in the 1870s prominent Māori wanted to place a greater emphasis on the teaching of English in schools. Māori MP Takamoana sought legislation to ensure Māori children were taught only in English and a number of petitions along the same lines were also taken to Parliament by Māori.
It was not the school system but mass urbanisation after 1945 that brought the Māori language to its knees in the 1970s.
While it is acknowledged that many Maori children were punished at school for speaking Maori, in those days all children could be severely punished for minor misdemeanours. I remember being strapped for talking in class. Boys were regularly caned.
As L. P. Hartley said in The Go-Between , "the past is a foreign country: they do things differently there".
Annette Perjanik, Mt Roskill.
The other day my hydrometer measured 35 per cent humidity in the open air, which is very low for this time of the year.
There has been very little rain lately and this is probably because of the influence of climate change and made worse by the extensive bush fires in Australia.
The Auckland district is now very dry and, in a few weeks' time, we are going to have Guy Fawkes celebrations.
Bonfires and fireworks could cause major problems, and this could further jeopardise the adequate supply of drinking water in the months to come.
Gerrit Stolte, Ōrewa.
Some are suggesting that New Zealand be called Aotearoa and that all of towns and cities should be given Māori names. I believe there is a better answer.
Canada has two major nationalities, especially in the eastern provinces, French and English. Although originally enemies, they eventually agreed to have two official languages as do we.
As we already have English and Māori as our official written languages, could we not move to having all cities and towns named in both languages?
Isn't this a sensible and fair way to acknowledge two cultures, two languages, two histories and the contribution both make?
A. P. Holman, Northcote Pt.
Thank you Ōtāhuhu locals for stopping to check on my 95-year-old mother as she slowly walked with her walking stick to the shops last week.
Special thanks to the kind gentleman who returned with the bread she needed and who would not accept repayment.
I am so thankful she lives in a suburb where people look after each other.
Helen Gillespie, Hauraki.
There are those that will say the Government is far too cautious when deciding alert levels.
In normal circumstances, government decisions are sometimes complex and worrying but are not of a life and death nature.
Covid has taken responsibility to another level where getting it wrong could be calamitous with death or job losses out of hand.
There is no treasury or medical textbook that covers this situation and, coupled with other countries' failed attempts to control the virus, make decisions even more difficult.
In fact, success has been our biggest failure as it has promoted a laissez-faire attitude by many who believe the Government is just playing politics.
Nothing or no one is ever perfect but comparing us to the rest of the world results show we are being well managed.
Criticism is easy - doing the job is much more difficult.
Reg Dempster, Albany.
Until now, I trusted the experts knew what they were doing and hoped the Government was following the best advice.
The former may possibly still be true but the failure of the Ministry of Health to prosecute those responsible for the latest outbreaks is disturbing, even if it did nothing more than to show the regulations are important.
The decision to open up air travel throughout the country casts doubt on the ability to continue to manage the Covid-19 pandemic from this point on.
If the situation is serious enough to maintain the lockdown at level 2.5 for Auckland, and I believe it is, then surely it is serious enough to take every move to prevent spread to the rest of the country?
Yes, the south is hurting from lack of tourism but it will hurt a great deal more if there is another outbreak in the area and the airlines will be out of business for a whole lot longer.
This decision strikes me as based on political consideration rather than sound expert advice and it appears the Government is following the failed and fatal practices of the US.
Rod Lyons, Muriwai.
Ken Orr (NZ Herald, September 15) appears to believe that the End of Life Choice Act poses a threat to the "vulnerable". On the contrary, it aims to assist the most vulnerable of all - those in great pain and unresponsive to palliation.
The director of St Marks, Britain's largest hospice, admits they are unable to assist 6 per cent of their patients who experience severe suffering at the end of their lives. Australian Hospice reports similar figures - it's unlikely the situation is any better here.
The number of our population currently doomed to agonising deaths is admittedly tiny, but should we therefore abandon them to their fate?
What solution does Ken Orr have to offer?
Patricia Butler, Nelson.
I live in the United States and I wish we could have a leader like Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. You are extremely fortunate
I am 73 years old and I truly believe she is the greatest leader in the world today. As a former history teacher, I'd put her in the same category as Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
John J. Backiel, Elkridge, Maryland.
Short & Sweet
I was born and bred a Kiwi. I do not want to be known as, or referred to as, being an "Aotearoian" which seems to be the typical insidious creep we are heading down by government and organisations unilaterally making name changes. Murray Brown, Hamilton East.
Have readers noticed that many broadcasters on radio and TV, when saying "known" or "grown" pronounce the words as "knowan" and "growan". However, it is well knowan the Herald circulation is growan. Alan Boniface, Snells Beach.
If it wasn't too dangerous, and probably illegal, I would take the ringleaders of these demonstrations and make them spend some time in an intensive care ward to see the state of people with Covid-19 and watch them trying to breathe. Anne Martin, Helensville.
What's wrong with turning fire hoses (possibly using soapy water) on to the protesters to disperse them? Fiona Downes, Hobsonville.
I suggest that not only should sugar be taxed - but also that a small toothbrush and tube of toothpaste be glued on to bottles of softdrink. Andrew Montgomery, Remuera.
On te reo
If I had wanted a TV or radio which spoke to me in Māori I would have bought one. Peter Clapshaw, Remuera.
Don't you think the Government has bigger fish to fry at the moment than a damned game? Get over it. Rodger Hedley, Napier.