RE LETTER from F.R. Halpin (May 27): I have sent a very clear message to people I love and people close to me on my views on the End of Life Choice Bill. I support it.

Suicide is a totally different matter and, having seen plenty in my professional career, it's sad. Sad that people can only see suicide as the only way out of their dilemma. Sad they don't talk about their problems; most have their lives ahead of them.

Not the same conflict here with people who have a terminal illness, who don't have a choice; they know they are going to die. It's only a choice how they die and when they die. It's not a suicide, so stop playing with words and terminology, stop scaremongering. Join the real world.

Re letter from K.A. Benfell (May 27): I had no intention of confusing anyone, I was responding to a letter from a person who wrote about a family member having "Do not resuscitate" on their personal file.


With further information, I suspect that particular hospital (not ours) could have left themselves open to criminal charges if a staff member wrote that on personal file without the patient's/family's consent. Again that is a separate matter from the bill under discussion. Hope that clears up that matter.

Have no doubt the bill will go to a national referendum thanks again to Winston Peters. He, like me, feels you can't leave it to the political types and those who choose not to understand the choices of those with terminal illnesses.

It's a simple choice matter. Don't like it? Simple. make your own choices how you depart this planet.

St John's Hill

Methane reduction

Would Ian McKelvie please share his references re the level of effective methane reduction?

"The proposed 24-47 per cent reduction in methane is not reflective of scientific advice. A range of scientific reports have suggested agriculture would contribute no further warming with a 10-22 per cent reduction".

The point is no further warming. Methane does not disappear, it degrades. One of the things it degrades into is carbon.


They conveniently forget the warming of methane is short, 20 years, but that heat is absorbed by oceans so will be with us for long afterwards.

Farmers need help to transition, for all our children's sake, and they have children too. We need to act quickly. There is no time for prevarication.

We are locked into 2 degrees of warming; any more will be disastrous for the next generations.


Regal waders

Thank you for Maartje Morton's beautiful photo of spoonbills — nay, "royal spoonbills" — this Queen's Birthday weekend. The photographic pun was not lost.

But, and it's a big but, if the port upgrade at Wharf St goes ahead with ferries, boats in and out, or a churning or changing of the water flow, these beautiful birds will leave the Whanganui River area. They nest here by the island and, at low tide, feed on the mudflats.

When I was working for Niwa, at the Wharf St ramp, it was a respite to be enjoyed watching these beautiful birds filter-feeding on our awa.

A conservation of bird life would be in order. Any takers out there to take up the challenge?


Towards neo-paganism

Sonya Bateson, in Another view, May 22, wrote: "For almost two millennia Christianity was the cornerstone of morality and righteousness across the western world. In modern times though, Christianity's influence on the populus has been declining and society is forming its own morals. The religious beliefs which were once the foundation of society's laws and behaviour are now often being judged wanting."

Is this really true? By what standard has 2000 years of civilisation based on the influence of timeless biblical principles such as Christ's teaching on the Sermon on the Mount been found wanting?

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus teaches us to love our enemies. Elsewhere he taught that the whole law of God can be summarised by the word love.

Perhaps those who are critical of others because of their Christian beliefs ought to find out what the content of true love is before advocating a new morality that is beginning to look more and more like neo-paganism, ie a reversion to pre-Christian, Graeco-Roman culture.

Whanganui East

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