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Letters to the Editor

Wild Animal Poison

The latest count of Kiwi birds in our Northern Coromandel reveals areas where there are now more kiwis than morepork. Up on Moehau (The northernmost range on the Coromandel Peninsula, extending from the settlement of Colville, New Zealand northwards to the tip of the peninsula) where truckloads of robins were released there are now more kiwis than robins! The reason for this imbalance is poison. John Veysey

Coromandel Peninsula

Target tax evaders Trevor

Trevor Ammundsen repeats the usual refrain from the right, that of beneficiary bashing.

Having been forced onto the dole years ago when my commercial fishing vessel sank, I was very thankful for the taxpayer support I received for a few months.

Of course, there is a minority who rip the system off. In fact, the IRD estimates the cost to the country to be around $30 million per year. But compare that to the estimated losses to the government coffers of $1.2 billion due to tax evasion.T hese criminals don’t seem to receive the same bashing from Trevor despite the far greater cost to us taxpayers. Of course, neither should be condoned, but I would add another group who may be operating legally, (some only marginally) but who are equally lacking in integrity, namely those wealthy enough to hire professionals to take advantage of legal instruments like trusts and offshore companies to minimise taxes they could well afford to pay more of, and who threaten to leave the country if forced to pay the same tax rate as the rest of us. This too is bludging.

If the desire for riches is so great that they are happy to pay less than half the average tax rate and for their lifestyle to be subsidised by the rest of us, I feel sad for their lack of humanity.

On the other hand, there are wealthy individuals who engage in extraordinary philanthropy, many of whom would no doubt be happy to contribute more to the country’s coffers. If we had more of these generous souls, who put integrity and compassion above material desire, we wouldn’t need a wealth related tax, despite the fact that a large majority of voters from most of the smaller parties, and 50% of National and Act voters, think it’s a good idea. It is not wealth that I object to. It is the unequal distribution of it, and the poverty-related problems created through an unfair tax system that needs changing. Wouldn’t it be great if on 31 March, the end of the tax year, we all came together to celebrate Equal Tax Paying Day! Yeah! Let’s party!

So Trevor, how about demonstrating a little more balance in your writings. Give us a bit of high-earner bludger bashing of those who deserve it.

Ross Liggins


'A chat over the fence',

'A chat over the fence', what a great idea for a column to communicate with neighbours and community, but it's getting boring reading the same old rhetoric.

It’s like being in the smoko room and listening to the same old jokes, trying to teach an old dog new tricks. Maybe if the editor published this column inviting different views and opinions written by knowledgeable community members from different backgrounds, age, sex and race this may help remove some barriers instead of building higher fences.

kind regards

Paul Kington

Otama Beach

Seal level rise hysteria

Unfortunately I missed TCDC’s recent public presentations on their Shoreline Management Pathways. However, thanks to The Informer we have very useful and detailed coverage of the Whitianga meeting (Informer, 19 September). While I applaud their system of ranking 'at risk' areas I am however very alarmed by TCDC using rates of projected sea level rise in 24 years that are actually 6-10 times the measured rate. We are being told that we will have to pay for adaptation to a predicted sea level in 24 years that may in fact not occur for up to 240 years, if ever.

Sea level is not rising at their predicted 8.3mm/year anywhere in NZ (nor possibly anywhere else) but rather at a much more sedate 0.8mm/year (absolute) or 1.3mm/year (relative) in Auckland. Furthermore there is no sign of significant acceleration of these rates anywhere in the world, despite all the endless green hysteria and panic in the media.

As TCDC rightly points out, we have to work with a limited budget from a small population. Surely this topic needs a dose of common sense such as that provided by Peter Grant in the same article. We do not need unnecessary alarmism which will impose significant unwanted costs on us both financially and emotionally.

Alastair Brickell


Differing opinion

I am disappointed, though not surprised, that the Candidates Meeting last Sunday week and coverage of it (26/9), display a similar imbalance and double-standard to that of the Opposition parties' current election campaign, which is every day pervading our national press, radio waves, and TV/phone screens. It is an ungracious, discrediting and blaming attack-mode, whose negative tone can even descend into conspiracy theory rhetoric at times, and it amounts to a gross mis-representation of our current government’s record during the last 6 years. This period included three major crises, other than that of Covid and the global economic downturn it has spawned. But oh - some folk have such short memories!

Who else could have brought us through all that as well and furthermore, who makes the most sense on Climate Change? Certainly no-one in the Opposition has the necessary experience, nor do their mish-mash of party policies find any agreement.

I don’t believe we need a change of government, despite what John Freer says, but we do need to consolidate and build on what Labour/Greens have started and move forward for the best interests of NZ. A beginning would be to mind the ever-widening gap between ‘have gots’ and ‘have nots’… i.e. “End Division by WEALTH.” Then we could ALL be beneficiaries!

Maggie Johnson



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