Liz MacPherson has done the correct and honourable thing in resigning (NZ Herald, August 14). While she may not have been directly responsible for the debacle which was the recent census, it was during her watch it occurred.
However, James Shaw, the minister responsible, has apparently never heard of ministerial responsibility and retains his position. The main failure was apparently the complete lack of a disaster backup/recovery system and I would have thought the first question he should have asked when assuming this portfolio would have been: "What are the plans in the event of a disaster and has the system been tested?"
This is the first question any competent consultant would ask when implementing a commercial system. It matters not one whit whether the recovery system is state of the art or quill pen and paper - to neglect this essential feature of one's department is neglectful, particularly when your systems are located in an earthquake-prone area such as Wellington.
We have spent millions of dollars and seriously compromised this and any future government's ability for proper planning. This minister should go and the Prime Minister must take some of the blame for appointing someone who is clearly not competent to perform the task with which he has been entrusted.
Rod Lyons, Muriwai.
Your editorial "Child arrests are a blight on our society" (NZ Herald, August 13) highlights what occurs when a society fails to recognise or foster the essential foundation, upon which its long-term wellbeing depends. Failure to do this causes deprivation progressively over generations, with it's negative effects spreading throughout every aspect of society, disguising the causes and what's needed for overcoming the causes.
It's long been recognised that our species are human, social beings, but the ever increasing blights you describe, and the failure of us all to overcome these, indicates that we no longer deserve to be considered as human, social beings.
Every one of us, when born, have latent human, social potentials which from conception require fostering to establish this essential foundation. From our birth we also are potential parents, and the fostering of this foundation helps provide the values and attitudes that will equip them to establish these in their offspring, and so strengthening their future society.
The key to overcoming this blight is public understanding of the results of this missing foundation, to empower individuals to personally make changes, and as the basis for societal changes.
Hugh Hughes, Mt Maunganui.
It's unbelievable that the Herald reports 23,000 children under the age of 15 were arrested by police between 2014 and 2018 (NZ Herald, August 12).
Might this social problem possibly imply that having an economy which requires both parents to be out working to pay for housing, food, etc is not conducive to raising a well balanced, healthy, socially adjusted generation of future adults?
Instead, we are leaving our vulnerable children to run loose on the street. Neglected and hungry and leaving them open to becoming the next prison population and anti-social, unproductive citizens.
Perhaps it is time that the work of mothering and parenting was valued in our society.
It would be far better for our country to recognise this instead of spending millions of dollars building prisons and the police running around collecting up wandering children. It would be far better actually paying parents to do the job of raising our future citizens.
Gillian Dance, Mount Albert.
Please do not allow correspondent Gordon Jackson to attribute the line "Quardel oodle ardle doodle" to Australian poet Banjo Patterson (NZ Herald, August 13). Denis Glover wrote this quintessential New Zealand poem, published in 1964 within his anthology Enter Without Knocking.
The magpie might be Australian but the poem certainly isn't.
Helen Villers, Auckland.
Simon Bridges claims that his party's belief that prisoners should be deprived of their right to vote (NZ Herald, August 13) is based on "values". I wonder what sort of values these are? The only ones I can think of are retribution and punishment, with no regard to the wider issues of basic human rights and the Treaty of Waitangi. Not to mention modern understanding of the importance of rehabilitation.
For many prisoners, time in prison is an opportunity to recalibrate their lives and being able to participate in the democratic process is one practical way to do this. Unfortunately, Bridges and his party prefer the permanent disenfranchisement that they imposed on prisoners in 2010. Research has shown that once they are removed from the electoral roll in prison, most ex-prisoners don't re-enrol. They are permanently alienated from the democratic process.
I think it's probably votes that Bridges is concerned about, not values.
V M Fergusson, Mt Eden.
Malcolm Bell was 100 per cent correct in saying would-be savers have been hit three times. (NZ Herald, August 13).
When I lost a large (for me) chunk of money when Hanover collapsed I was told I was a speculator and should have known that company was going under. (I wouldn't know how to speculate if I tried.)
Now we are being told to take more risk (speculate?) if we want a fair return on savings, yet this goes against my principles. And what risk are the banks taking, since they are always backed by the government, despite their incredible annual profits?
I thought the country needed investment, but it certainly doesn't appear so. I agree with Mr Bell; if it is deemed necessary to reduce interest rates to current levels, at least make earnings tax free.
Graham Edwards, Sandringham.
Your correspondent Malcolm Bell is correct in his assertion that those who invest in property pay no tax on their capital gains. This is exactly the same tax treatment as applied to those who invest in and eventually sell farms, commercial property or businesses.
However, when those who invest in property gain earnings from the rents while owning that property, they are liable for normal income tax on those earnings at just the same levels as those who receive interest on their bank deposits.
There is no preferential treatment.
Peter Lewis, vice-president, Auckland Property Investors Association.
What gob-smacking hypocrisy. To smooth his appearance at the Tuvalu Pacific leaders conference, Scott Morrison announced a renewable energy and climate package - for the Pacific Islands.
What about getting honest and announcing one for Australia? Your large-scale coal mining and smoking is drowning the Pacific. I hope the Pacific leaders call out your gross hypocrisy.
The Aotearoa Government's climate plan is pathetic as well so I hope PM Jacinda Ardern doesn't get off lightly either, with all her climate-plan window-dressing, hiding behind an even worse Australian effort.
Useless, climate-destroying, wimpy politicians.
Genevieve Forde, Manly.
In case anyone missed it, the All Blacks lost last weekend. While it was hideous for them it wasn't the worst loss in the last few days, and hardly the most significant. Fonterra getting a $675 million creaming should push it into the dark.
It won't. In the run up to the All Blacks next outing we can expect enough newsprint to manage a dysentery outbreak in a medium-sized provincial town.
There will be much flowing down from the heights about "humbling", "evaluation", "self assessment", "eliminating mistakes", "visualisation" and any other voguish pop psychology/managementspeak.
While this ought to come from Fonterra it will be from the All Blacks. Lose at Eden Park and grief and tears will flow, a blessed distraction for the Fonterra mandarins trying to salvage something from their Chinese investments.
It will reinforce the resigned disappointment of other sports, including shotputter Tom Walsh's bucketing around Europe tossing his shot into neighbouring postcodes, or our rowers attracting sideways glances at Customs for the gold and silver bullion they keep bringing across the border.
However, we must remember where we live, tog up in black, rise up as one, and chant our support for the lads. "Go Fonterra!"
Denis Edwards, Papamoa Beach.
Shane Jones is rightly critical of the board of directors and top-level management of Fonterra. He accuses them of many failings, but the obvious one he didn't mention is that there are only two women on the board of 11 directors. When you think of the huge contribution women have made, and are still making, to the success of dairy farming in New Zealand, this is pathetic.
M Rennie, Whakatane.
Letters: Gun buy-back, OCR, consumerism, rugby, the homeless and Peter Thiel
Letters: Interest rates, child health, call centres and the All Blacks
Letters: NZ First, unholy smoke, harvesting rainwater and All Blacks
Short & Sweet
They believe most inmates would vote Labour or the Māori Party which is the real reason the National Party banned prisoners from voting in 2010.
Murray Hunter, Titirangi
Mike Hosking believes that Simon Bridges is beginning to look like a prime minister. I can't for the life of me begin to imagine which one.
Jeremy Coleman, Hillpark.
Mike Hosking thinks Simon Bridges is sounding prime ministerial. I think he is sounding more like Mike Hosking. David Patterson, Porirua.
Coalition government 2020 election slogans: Labour – Let's review this; Greens – Let's ban this; NZ First – Let's screw this. Mike Wagg, Freemans Bay.
Would drivers with youngsters in their cars please slow down, have more patience, courtesy and calmness when driving? Children are very impressionable and need good role models. Margaret Dyer, Taupō.
Seriously, how can the milk industry sustain the expense of the corporate world? There is not enough fat in the system. K S Agar, Onehunga.
Surely there is a more satisfactory way to deal with an offending player than dishing out a red card - thus ruining the game for players and spectators alike? L Barker, Blenheim.
With the recent damage from weather to The Cloud, is it now time to get rid of this monstrosity on Queen's Wharf? Elizabeth Luyk, Greenlane.