Letters to the Editor: foul language and the cost of governing

The Treaty of Waitangi. Photo: RNZ/Rebekah Parsons-King
The Treaty of Waitangi. Photo: RNZ/Rebekah Parsons-King
Today's Letters to the Editor from readers cover topics including politicians wasting money, a reasoned perspective on the Treaty, and dropping expletives at a family event.


Time local government lived within its means

I have maintained for many years that local bodies cannot keep borrowing against the value of assets which, in the main, can’t be sold to extract that value.

But the Local Government Act was altered way back in 2002 and basically allows local bodies carte blanche.

We have projects more or less attached to the Theatre Royal development that district ratepayers simply can’t afford to fund.

Many in local government are saying the means of getting funds needs to be changed. It is called living within our means in case many have forgotten, not let’s borrow up to the hilt.

District councils were dreamed up to create a larger ratepayer pools and the local government commission hasn’t finished yet.

Bigger is definitely not better as people have learned year after year when they view their latest rate demand.

Each time the rates are increased beyond the rate of inflation they push more and more people further into poverty.

A quick check on the internet says that about 40% of all pensioners in New Zealand are living off the basic pension therefore each percentage rate increase above the cost of living means they are further deprived of living in any sort of comfort.

Until ratepayers stand up and insist that we live within our means nothing is going to change, apart from the debt burden, of course.

Councils can say that they are not doing anything wrong by working within the regulations.

G R Woods


Wasting tax dollars

Will the real New Zealanders please stand up and tell those squabbling self-important politicians a few facts?

Stop wasting money arguing details.

We are all settlers at some point of our very mixed history.

Our treaty is about unity and equality.

Wasting our hard-earned taxes on fuzzy detail profits no-one.

Should we be shamed by our elected representatives?

Brenda M Taylor
Lake Hāwea


Consider Hamas

Kobi Bosshard (Letters, 10.2.24) castigates New Zealand, Israel, the United States and, at rather an historical stretch, apartheid-era South Africa, for lack of moral compass.

Sadly, nowhere does Bosshard condemn Hamas, the PLO and their sponsors Iran, for the same deficiency.

Until October 7, 2023, there was a morality-based ceasefire in place in Gaza.

Hundreds of Palestinians worked in Israel and received medical treatment there.

The latter group included the wife of PLO chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

If there was lack of morality in what took place on October 7, it was not in the actions of Israel.

Rob Harris


Nice work in Mosgiel

On a recent visit to our Mosgiel pool, I had the pleasure of watching Jill Clarke, the owner of J C Swim School, working with very young preschool children.

I found the qualities of her teaching skills to be outstanding. You lucky parents!

Margaret Young


Imagine the nice people

Very well said John Le Brun (Letters, 9.2.24), indeed. We need more people like you in the world. Imagine that.

Veronica Williams


Article gives viewpoint worth some consideration

May I encourage more people to read the article printed in the Opinion section, The Treaty: What was intended? by Philip Temple (ODT, 6.2.24).

In fact, Mr Temple’s observations should be widely published further north to encourage a bit more mature discussion about what is often termed New Zealand’s founding document.

Mr Temple provides a sensible and reasoned argument about the context for the need for the Treaty and what the main aims of the British were in seeking the co-operation of the Māori chiefs by getting them to agree to a treaty which was to define the future relationship between the Māori tribes and the British Crown.

There can be little doubt that what the Crown intended was there in plain enough English.

If there is any misunderstanding about that then I suggest that a careful reading of Mr Temple’s article will give those willing to consider his comments thoughtfully, a chance for reflection.

It is a pity that there are those in our fair land that want to promote a lopsided account of what it was all about.

Of course, that has not been helped by the use of some of the Māori terms in the Māori version that seem to imply something more than what the British Crown intended to convey.

Jeff Dillon


Exercise discipline

In what was advertised as a whānau-friendly event on the DCC website, it was unfortunate the lead singer of a band chose to end his introductory remarks with a "F*** the current Government" comment at last week’s Waitangi Day event in Dunedin.

Give a man a microphone, a platform and an audience he may well step up on his soapbox and let rip.

The tranquil atmosphere set by the previous performer on what ought to be a unifying platform of music was cracked by this musician’s political bias and offensive language.

Perhaps next time the council might ask those given a platform to exercise some discipline and respect the ears of those who have come to celebrate the coming together of peoples on our national day.

Not to mention the little ears present.

Clayton Murray


Address Letters to the Editor to: Otago Daily Times, PO Box 517, 52-56 Lower Stuart St, Dunedin. Email: editor@odt.co.nz