Many parents and caregivers will be happy with the announcement of free lunches for schoolchildren. However, as a schoolteacher, I know there is a great number of students who bring sufficient and mostly healthy lunches to carry them through the day and who don't need a free meal.
Why do some children come to school without lunches?
I suggest the "lunch money" could be better spent on finding out why this issue exists.
Is it because of poverty? In that case, the benefits may not be high enough. Is it poor budgeting? In that case, advisers could be appointed to work with the needy families. Is the reason large families? If so, parents could be taught about contraception.
I hope the Government will find the root of the problem before handing out these lunches. To me, the free meals are like the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. People need help before they fall down.
Doetie Keizer, Riverton.
Peter Lyons' erudite column should help slow down the oxymoronic "growth at all costs" mantra that has accelerated global warming since economist Keynes created it. Now Brazilians are burning the Amazon to farm it.
Peter ends with "We need a serious reboot". He dares not describe the reboot because it includes measures such as taxing monster SUVs off the roads, quadrupling petrol price, $13,000 to register a new car (as in China), and other horrors that would shrink our greedy, consumptive, selfish, show-off, me-first lifestyles back to 19th-century-type quiet, modest, village living.
No chance because politicians' friends are enjoying their wealth so much.
Jim Carlyle, Te Atatu Peninsula.
Peter Lyons' insightful article on "zombie" economies stagnating under the weight of private debt should be a wake up call for mainstream economists who were blindsided by the GFC of 2008.
Traditional macroeconomic theory ignores private debt, which is now above where it was prior to 2008, including New Zealand.
Economics professor Steve Keen argues that our ever-rising levels of private debt make another financial crisis almost inevitable. Those interested should read his books "Can We Avoid Another Financial Crisis?" and "Developing an Economics for the Post-crisis world".
David Gibbs, Beach Haven.
All New Zealanders should commemorate the arrival of Captain Cook in 1769. At the very least he turned us from a squiggle on the map into two clearly defined large islands.
Those Māori who whinge about Cook being a harbinger of colonisation should imagine what these islands would be like if they had not been colonised by the British.
New Zealand is one of only two First World nations in the Southern Hemisphere because it was colonised by the British.
There is plenty of indigenous sovereignty in our neighbours to the north, and what a bunch of corrupt, impoverished economic wastelands they are.
C C McDowall, Rotorua.
Your correspondent Richard Humphries (NZ Herald, September 18) missed out one very important factor in terms of New Zealand's contribution to climate change.
Air travel is naturally an issue for those who are anti fossil fuel usage. Would they therefore ban the All Blacks playing any overseas teams, either here or overseas? How much extra jet fuel will be used by people going to Japan for the World Cup – including the All Black squad and a posse of journalists and, no doubt, a fair number of politicians?
If there is even one Green Party member, or supporter, travelling to Japan for the rugby, it merely shows rampant selective hypocrisy.
Ray Green, Birkenhead.
Over recent times there has been an ongoing criticism by a small number of correspondents regarding the future of electric vehicles replacing the current internal combustion engine powered motor vehicles.
As the owner driver of an EV my views will be considered one-sided by many, however, I wish to point out that there are billions of dollars being invested by auto manufacturers worldwide into the research, development and manufacturing and marketing of a wide range of electric vehicles. Are we to believe that these multinational corporations have not done their research, before making these large investments, or are they just hoping to manipulate the worldwide market through their campaigns to change the world supply of motor vehicles? Personally, I cannot answer that.
Perhaps serious consideration needs to be given to other alternative means of powering our transport needs, but at this stage the EV seems to be leading the pack.
Dick Ayres, Auckland Central.
I have been informed by the general manager, retail distribution of Kiwibank that the Birkenhead branch will be closed later on this year.
The branch serves not just Birkenhead but also Northcote, Beach Haven and Birkdale, all areas of rapid growth with hundreds of new houses and apartments being built and hundreds more planned.
The closure will mean that all customers who wish to support a New Zealand-owned bank will have to travel to Glenfield, costing more in time and travel.
We visited two Aussie-owned banks in Birkenhead who assured us they did not plan to close their Birkenhead branches and had no intention to do away with cheques.
It seems to me that Kiwibank is putting profit before people and not meeting the profile of the"People's Bank".
We have taken our custom to the Aussie-owned banks who are providing a more competitive and better service.
Solly Southwood, Birkenhead.
We need to save our precious Māui (now one of the rarest dolphin species globally, according to Wikipedia) and Hector's dolphins, before it's too late.
The fishing industry doesn't seem to care enough about these lovely creatures but New Zealanders need to ensure they survive and thrive. We can't have more extinct species on our consciences when we could have stopped it.
I signed the petition and can't believe it's so hard to get big industry to listen and act. Please fish elsewhere and leave them alone.
Ruth Avery, Paekakariki.
The evidence for toxoplasmosis being a significant factor in the decline of Māui dolphins is, to say the least, highly uncertain. What is indisputable is that trawling and set nets kill dolphins. The population is now so low that the loss of any individual through accidental by-catch is inexcusable. It is somewhat disappointing that some in the fishing industry seem not to recognise this.
Alan Thatcher, Palmerston North.
The announcement of teaching of New Zealand history in schools is long overdue - hopefully to be told with empathy and balance, the good and the bad, from the viewpoint of Māori and Pākehā alike.
If there is a major factor which contributes to the identity of New Zealand and its underpinning, it is the mutual tolerance (often uneasy) between Māori and Pākehā which ensued and developed over the years after the New Zealand Wars of the 1860s - an accord still being worked out today.
The mutual tolerance which developed from the end of the wars has had many achievements and strains, with more to come. It now includes many new migrants of distinct and different cultures. The continuance of this mutual tolerance, now in a wider context, is central to the future of this country - arguably second to none as one in which to live, work and play. That tolerance may be seen, in overview, as the key part of the NZ identity and history.
John Collinge, St Mary's Bay.
Letters: Education, fuel prices, bank service, power charges, Alan Bollard and Jacinda Ardern
Letters: Climate change, petrol supply, Labour scandal and Jacinda Ardern
Letters: Student debt, civic pride, cannabis, acorns, history and the All Blacks
Although my children went to school in New Zealand and I taught mainly at new entrants level, I was only vaguely aware that history wasn't taught in New Zealand schools.
I went to school in Australia where we were absolutely steeped in the history of our country. Now I come to think of it, the focus was on the explorers who traversed the Blue Mountains and the vast deserts from South to North and East to West etc. I knew nothing about the treatment of Aborigines until I came to this country.
Perhaps the reputation of our homeland is at stake here?
Ailsa Martin-Buss, Glen Innes.
I am so proud of the All Blacks, the Black Caps, the Black Sox, the Silver Ferns, the rowers, et al. But most of all, I am proud of the police force and the Serious Fraud office.
The number of drug dealers and money launderers they have put away is amazing. Also, the mountains of drugs they have stopped from getting on to our streets is brilliant.
They have done their country a great service. They are my heroes.
M C Ironside, Orewa.
Short & Sweet
In response to Jane Macky (NZ Herald, September 13) on closure of the summit to cars, perhaps she (and the council) might like to consider the disabled? I used to enjoy going to the top of Mt Victoria but have been told that too is "disabled free".
S Secker, Beach Haven.
All the photos and reports coming out of Japan so far for the 2019 World cup, it seems we have only sent one player. Is SBW the only one there?
Ross Donaldson, Mt Albert.
How convenient for the petrol companies to put the prices up immediately when they are still pumping fuel purchased at the old price.
Allan Gyde, Tauranga.
I doubt Simon Bridges understands that the supplier of any product retains the right to set the price. This not only applies to his current under-fire product (oil/petrol), but products such as groceries and other household items. Ian Williamson, Bucklands Beach
Donald Anderson (NZ Herald, September 18) offers a financial reward to anyone who demonstrates we have an opposition in parliament. I will double his reward if he can demonstrate we have an honest, up-front transparent government in NZ to oppose. Paul Gillespie, Windsor Park.
It is long overdue for the Dairy Flat Airfield to be upgraded to take domestic flights. It is strategically located and is surrounded by farmland and lacks noisy NIMBYs. Bruce Tubb, Belmont.
Every day at 4pm in 2012 my husband, then aged 80, would settle down with earphones on and watch U Live, a TVNZ programme presented by, among others, a young Rose Matafeo. "These kids are brilliant," he would say, "best thing on TV." He obviously had an eye for talent. Anne Martin, Helensville.