Your correspondent Heather Smith is right on the button with her recent endorsements of having loans for public works funded by the Reserve Bank at management-only costs instead of through the commercial banking sector at interest rates that can see the taxpayer coughing up, in the worst cases, interest exceeding the amount of the original loan.
As a long-term campaigner in New Zealand, I frequently wrote to governments asking why, for example, they force DHBs into crippling debt when, if Parliament so chose, DHB loans could be arranged through the Reserve Bank.
When Bill English was finance minister and Tony Ryall was health minister, they evaded the question with nonsensical replies, but when I persisted they finally answered the question, "Why won't you fund DHB loans through the Reserve Bank?" by stating "It's not our policy".
When I asked, "Why isn't it your policy?" their response was, and I quote, "This correspondence is closed".
The responses to my recent inquiries to the current government on this matter could have been written by their predecessors. My follow-up to the present finance minister was not even acknowledged.
The mystery remains: Why do successive NZ governments unnecessarily hand over vast sums of public money to the commercial banking sector?
Free to enjoy 'God's country'
Let's excommunicate all Christians, starting with any reference to God in the parliamentary prayer.
Next the national anthem and the Crusaders rugby team. How did the All Blacks escape a racist tag?
We started with abortion under the guise of women's rights. Fathers were ignored and, of course, a foetus has no voice.
Next we develop euthanasia for the elderly, especially as they have just qualified for a superannuation entitlement increase of $10 per week. That gives them some $400 per week. Now how does that compare with the minimum wage of $17, soon to be $20 per hour times 40 hours per week? Way too generous?
Capital gains tax can follow.
I know, let's put our jobs "offshore" in communication centres and on robots with "multinationals", as long as they are not in a certain country with the largest population in the world.
A nuclear haze will certainly soon follow, which will solve all our pollution problems. That just leaves us with human rights and democracy. "Human rights" will soon be able to deny our freedom of speech and to think under various excuses, and MMP and STV will take away our right to vote.
There, you are now free! Enjoy "God's own country"? Happy Easter!
Your correspondent, F R Halpin (April 1) seems a little confused about the prospect of using the STV voting system to elect our local council and mayor. Halpin suggests that STV supports a system that allows political parties to manipulate our democracy.
However, political parties are pretty much irrelevant when it comes to electing our council and mayor here in Whanganui. And, if STV is a good enough system to be used to elect our district health board, it is good enough to elect our council and mayor. After all, who wants a mayor who is elected with just 30 per cent of the vote, or possibly even less?
Thirty per cent is hardly democratic or "honourable" as Halpin suggests the old system of First-Past-the-Post is. There is a big difference between council elections and central government elections, and I would suggest that Halpin is a little confused between the two.
While I would never support STV for central government, I would certainly do so for council, as they are two different beasts. First-Past-the-Post may be simple but you don't have to be a political scientist to realise that STV is fairer and elects the most preferred candidate. It is simple mathematics at play here, to find the best and fairest voting system — not politics, political party allegiances or nationwide political issues.
More information about STV is available at www.votestv.co.nz
One race on this planet
Nowadays you can't open a newspaper, wherever you are, or you have to read about racism and racists.
A 95-year-old man had to use four buses to reach a place where he could tell the world he was an anti-racist. And nobody told him that he could have stayed home.
Why? Because if you want to be a racist, you need to have more than one race. And it is proven that there is only one race on this planet. That we are, all of us, 99.9 per cent the same. The difference is on the outside. We are coloured from ebony to ivory and back.
Fifty thousand years ago, all people were dark. That is why, when the ivories go on holiday, they go to one or another sunshine coast to get dark again. Deep inside they don't like ivory as well.
So enjoy the sun, don't get burned and please stop using the mentioned words.
St John's Hill
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