Letters to the Editor: Gaza, Airbnbs and the coalition

The three coalition leaders arrive for the announcement. Photo: NZ Herald
Has the coalition government begun to embrace the way in which politics and society has now descended to in America? Photo: NZ Herald
Today's Letters to the Editor from readers cover topics including our government's assault on democracy, imposing GST on Airbnbs, and a risible view of the war in Gaza.


Government policies disregard democracy

I am concerned that in just 100 days the current coalition government has demonstrated a total disregard for New Zealand’s traditional approach to legislation and government, that is, the betterment of society as a whole. I suggest that their actions amount to an assault on democracy.

This government’s unprecedented use of urgency to pass legislation, together with powers that allow some ministers to bypass parliamentary and public scrutiny, will grant tax cuts to the rich at the expense of the disadvantaged, the vulnerable, and the poor.

By reversing previous policies and legislation, this government is replacing evidence, research and facts with ideology.

This government is ignoring the impact of their proposed changes to the environment and the climate in order to grow business and the economy.

However, a healthy economy depends on a healthy environment. The end result will be a more fragmented society and a degraded, unlivable planet.

Equally sinister is this government’s attack on the media for questioning its policies and actions. So too is the increasing access to military-style guns used in the Christchurch mosque attack and American mass school shootings.

My concerns indicate to me that this coalition government has started to embrace the way in which politics and society has now descended to in America.

Brian Ellis
Pine Hill


Flog it off

Premier House may be a historical treasure but our Prime Ministers of late have preferred to live in modern apartments. Who can blame them? My suggestion is to sell Premier House to someone/organisation with money burning a hole in their pocket and a love of heritage buildings.

Then build or buy a new place that is smaller and more suited to modern living. This could save our taxpayers many millions and leave a better impression on our foreign visitors/guests.

The saved millions could be used to fast track new builds for the many homeless or poorly housed workers, immigrants and beneficiaries for starters.

P Kerr


Holiday stay GST unfair

Imposing GST on Air BnBs is grossly unfair. How does that affect someone who has worked hard to turn a little basement into a cosy homestay, with no proper cooking facility/kitchen, for local travellers/commuters to give then a "home from home" stay?

That small income is what helps cover the ludicrously unstoppable increases in extortionate insurance and rates.

It gives a retired person the ability to make ends meet.

This government is sucking funding out of health and education, and forcing the small business person to pay ransom taxes.

They campaigned on no new taxes, no increases in taxes and better funding for education and health. As usual, they have done the opposite.

They should focus on building up small businesses, reducing costs of living and capping rates, insurances.

Then landlords will be able to afford to rent to tenants and charge a reasonable rate.

A Spears


Rascally rabbit

With respect to C D Campbell, (ODT 4.4.24), although the "Easter Bunny" didn’t die for anyone , the fictional character hasn’t been used to divide nations, control the illiterate poor, massacre innocents or inflict foreign beliefs on indigenous natives either.

Susan Johnston


Gaza defence based upon risible premise

Your correspondent Amir Levy’s remarks (ODT 1.4.24) on the Gaza conflict appear to be premised on the belief that Israel’s control of both Gaza and its Palestinian inhabitants is actually legal.

Mr Levy’s desperation to discredit the International Court of Justice(ICJ) genocide case against Israel for its war on Gaza is risible.

Significant aspects of genocide are present in this case, namely Israel’s denial of food, water, shelter and medicine; displacement and deliberate targeting of citizens; destruction of Palestinian infrastructure, namely hospitals and schools; and ascribing animal status to the Palestinian.

Also, the genocide in progress can be observed in real time by anyone via television and social media.

Mr Levy states the ICJ has asked Hamas to release all Israeli hostages.

But he fails to state that the ICJ has also asked Israel to allow food and other aid into famine-stricken Gaza.

Neither request has been obeyed.

Further, like Israel, Mr Levy wants Hamas removed.

As Palestine is legally a state, it has the right to elect its own leaders, and to do so without outside interference.

Palestine was first announced as a state by the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) in 1988 and has now officially-ascribed statehood.

Otherwise, war crimes committed against it could not be heard in the ICJ.

I suggest Mr Levy study the history of the aborted partition of Palestine along with the rise of Zionism.

This study would certainly confirm doubt on the legality of Zionist Israel’s control of Palestine.

Jenny McNamara


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