Other’s opinions count
To begin I would like to thank you for your wonderful newspaper where you practice true journalism enabling each contributor to have their opinion printed, a rare find in our present day.
I would then like to thank Gerry Sanders for calling out Thomas Everth for his abusive and misinformed letter (11th July). Over many years I have read the same vitriol from Mr Everth when a correspondent’s opinion differs from his own and yet no one has ever been brave enough to take him to task over it before. Mr Everth needs to concede that other people’s opinions matter too whether he agrees with them or not.
Trevor Amundsen is correct we should reevaluate the NZ tax system. His proposal is interesting, and a proper assessment of its impact should be looked at. Such research would be incredibly costly but given that Liz Truss’s tax cuts cost the UK taxpayer £30b (roughly NZ$60b) in seven weeks, probably money well spent.
I’m not advocating any of the following, but they should be in any discussion about taxes. We are one of the few countries without a tax-free allowance that would benefit all earners. We remain one of the few countries without a capital gains tax, without inheritance tax and have one of the lowest top rates of income tax in the OECD. Yet we believe we are overtaxed compared to the rest of the developed world.
I typed OECD tax rates into Google and the following came up.
The OECD average tax wedge in 2022 was 34.6% (2021, 34.6%). In 2022, New Zealand had the 36th lowest tax wedge among the 38 OECD member countries, occupying the same position in 2021. A link to the information is provided below.
Readers can draw their own conclusions but if we are to have a mature debate about tax regimes, we do need to stop labouring under the illusion that compared to other countries we are over taxed.
Cancel culture and the rapid erosion of democracy.
I would like to commend the editors of our valued ‘The Informer’ for publishing letters to the editor on a topic that main stream media deliberately avoid.
Mr. Amundsen’s guest editorial (27 June 2023 “A need for equality”) triggered two responses (4 July 2023) which were characterised by undue vitriol and personal attacks towards Mr. Amundsen. Both writers demonstrated that they had clearly missed the point Mr. Amundsen was making.
Fact is that the current government has introduced governance structures across a broad array of policy including water management, planning, health and education, without having campaigned for these changes and without offering a democratic choice to all New Zealanders.
The introduction of governance structures based on ethnicity is fundamentally undemocratic.
Granting privileges to anyone on the basis of ethnicity (e.g. ethnicity has been introduced as one criterion for surgery waiting lists and free treatment of minor ailments in pharmacies) is racist, irrespective of any particular race.
It is ironic that those who fall for the taxpayer funded Wellingtonian “Ministry of Truth’s” propaganda machine call anyone who dares discuss co-governance or ‘one person one vote’ "right-wing” and “racist" while uncritically supporting a racist, divisive, and undemocratic policy stance.
It was reassuring to read two responses on 11 July 2023 which show that there are people out there who understand that our mainstream media have been gagged and that New Zealand is unfortunately on a rapid downward spiral in all major areas like education, health, infrastructure, and productivity.
Thank you to ‘The Informer’ for supporting free speech. It is high time for open-minded and informed discussions if we want to achieve good outcomes for everyone.
Need for Equality
Re Gerry Sanders’ rather distorted attack on Thomas Everth’s “A Need for Equality” in the 4 July issue of the Informer, I simply remind you that Everth’s is not the first complaint in recent months about Mr Amundsen’s ‘guest editorials. Also, even before the new owners of our paper invited the latter to fill this new role, we in Mercury Bay had been subjected to his barely disguised political rantings in numerous Letters to the Ed for some time.
In a similar inverted and inflammatory writing-style to nearly all of Amundsen’s efforts, Sanders has totally twisted the concept of ‘equality’ (as put forward by Everth) to suit his own political agenda and viewpoint. He describes Everth’s fact-based ‘reading’ of the government’s Three Waters, as building “inequality into much of (NZ’s) legislation” and as the tip of “a massive He puapua iceberg”, complete with its own manipulated definition. To me, his letter displays a distasteful reverse-racism that is becoming more and more apparent in our modern-day NZ society.
To further suggest Everth was bad-mouthing others and calling “to cancel their opinions”, Sanders seems very much ‘a pot calling the kettle black’, given his own almost-amusing bureaucrat-bashing spiel that includes lawyers and consultants…and his writing-off, by implication in other paragraphs, of the Maori, transgender and ‘educated’ parts of our population.
If we genuinely wish to make progress as a Kiwi nation that everyone can be proud of, and prosper in, there’s a valid argument for dumping divisiveness, respecting each other’s boundaries, and daily living ‘The Golden Rule’ in understanding that although we may have diverse backgrounds and education, it’s the ‘bigger picture’ we need to grasp; to work together towards the common (and positive) good of our country as a whole. This would foster a ‘true equality’ and is the only “break” that’s needing to happen here.
Kia kaha and arohanui!
I have asked for my words to be dictated as I have difficulty writing for health reasons at this time. I have come into the Informer office to urge Trevor Amundsen to please don’t stop writing your editorials. You are making us aware and giving us confidence to speak our own thoughts. The timing is never right to talk or even express in writing the matters at stake with difficult issues that effect all of us. I want to live in harmony in this land. There is no future for anyone if we don’t think and practice equality as a basis for everyday life for all cultures.
We have all inherited democracy or come by it as new residents or citizens. The spirit of what democracy means is lacking in an attempt to make up for the wrongs of history. On every side I can see many wrongs in the past done to one another within our own race and to others. Can’t go back and undo those but I can live to improve the present and future for my neighbours.
Whitianga (this man had gone to great physical effort to come in).
Deception and Misinformation
You are to be congratulated on your editorial policy. Your open pages in which every voice can express an opinion or provide new knowledge are inspirational. It is great to read each week the differing opinions and alliances each writer subscribes to. I read Julia Bierman’s letter of July 4 opening my eyes to the alarming effects of "electromagnetic radiation” from cell towers: 3G, 4G and now 5G. The harmful effects of this radiation are only just becoming apparent. The phenomenon of 5G radiating through densely populated areas is so recent that there is, as yet no long-term research result but early results indicate heightened cancer levels after living close to one of these cell towers for more than five years. Electromagnetic radiation (EMR) is “attracted" to metal or semi-metals and now I learn we have been injected with one of these semi-metals in the oxide form of graphene (GO) which is an ingredient in the recent “modern" vaccines. The government drive to vaccinate us all and, at the same time, install 5G capable cell towers everywhere is reason enough to feel the same "considerable disquiet” as Kevin Pringle talks about in the July 11 Informer. As instructed by Kevin Pringle, I looked it up in Wikipedia and found ‘'graphene” possesses a string of potentially harmful properties if injected into the human body. I read that graphene "can lead to severe effects like thrombogenicity and immune cell activation”, "the ability to cross the blood brain barrier", “a risk factor for cardiorespiratory disease” and interference “with DNA replication and induced mutagenesis at molecular level.” What has been injected into our bodies that we weren’t told about?
After reading Wikipedia I felt that “considerable disquiet” was putting it mildly. In his letter Mr Pringle tries to quieten the disquiet by telling us that graphene comes out of pencil lead but Wikipedia tells me that graphene was not invented until 2004.
Pringle then reassures himself by quoting the success of earlier vaccination programmes which, unlike the modern vaccines, contained no MRNA and no graphene oxide. This is deception. He talks about the positive effects of vaccines against smallpox in the late 1800’s. These smallpox vaccines were forced on the populace in much the same way as the covid 19 vaccines of today. A closer look at the statistics from that time reveal the positive effects of that smallpox vaccination operation were only in the propaganda put out by the government of the time. Maybe the benefits of the covid vaccines are also just a figment of our government’s and Mr Pringle's imagination. Mr Pringle seems to be more worried about “misinformation” than he is about the very real and alarming information in Julia’s letter. In the space of one week we see “disinformation” coming from one “scientist” and “hate speech" from another “scientist”, Everth. These letters give us a glimpse of why “science” in NZ has lost so much credibility.
The Magic of Matariki
What a privilege and pleasure it was to watch and share together the powerful presentation of Matariki unfolding on TV Channel One. The people of Rotorua were gracious, beautiful, and articulated with warmth and passion, the story behind the stars, and how important Matariki is to Māori. The stars reach out to all nations and, if you think about it, the same stars are the guiding stars that brought us all here to Aotearoa/New Zealand. Captain Cook also followed the stars – the same stars but with a different name. Let Matariki be a foundation, a beginning, of all Kiwi’s coming together with love and respect for all our different cultures and heritage. I hope and trust that Matariki will become the most powerful holiday event on all of our calendars from this year on.
Led by Maori, presented by Maori, and with an ever-increasing understanding, respect and combining of all cultures until we stand completely as one people - that’s my vision.
English and Maori language presentation flowed throughout so all could understand. Not a divisive word was spoken.
Rotorua, you did this country proud in this introduction as to how strong and powerful this country’s future could be as a truly united nation.
Thank you for sharing with everyone. We all have a lot to learn, and you have reached out and shown us all, unconditionally, the power, soul, beauty and importance of Maori culture to this country. I most sincerely hope that this is a new beginning for us all.