Letters to the Editor: ignorance, impoverishment and ideology

A school sign has been vandalised in Duntroon. Photo: supplied
A school sign that was vandalised in Duntroon. Photo: supplied/file
Today's Letters to the Editor from readers cover topics including bigotry in Macandrew Bay, the need for calm in the race-relations debate, and will NZ ever be "back on track"?


Is what we have really what we voted for?

Six months out from the election let us consider the outcome.

Christopher Luxon was so eager to become prime minister he entered into a coalition that must cause him to have many sleepless nights. Some of his most avid supporters are asking "will the real PM please step forward?"

Promises to ease the cost of living and improve the lives of people have proven empty. There is not one less family living in poverty or substandard living conditions. No-one is finding more money left over. There is to be a Budget with promised tax cuts. Many businesses are hopeful some of that money will come their way.

Rates rising will in turn cause rent rises, free prescriptions, free public transport and other subsidies gone will ensure they do not stand to benefit.

However, landlords and the wealthy will have more in their pockets. Much time has been spent repealing policies introduced by the previous government with fast-tracking the name given to a method used when you know there will be objections but you do not want to hear them.

The disabilities community demoralised and made to feel like second-class citizens through speculation and untruths. The school lunch programme, something that principals, teachers and pupils all stated helped attendance, behaviour and learning given a watered-down version. Why? So money could be diverted to charter schools.

The main slogan for the election was "Get NZ back on track": we have to ask to where?

Mary Laurenson


Stern condemnation

To the person or persons who defaced the word "kura" on the school sign in Macandrew Bay recently, your bigotry is noted. So too, is your ignorance, inadequacy and cowardice. The fact that you didn’t have the bottle to undertake your attack in daylight is a testimony to your inability to stand up publicly for your perverted convictions.

Skulking in the shadows is clearly what you do best, because a single word frightens you so much in your lonely world. I challenge you to come out of hiding and answer this letter and explain to the community who you really are. I doubt you will, because you have nothing worth saying.

Paul Pope
Otago Peninsula Community Board chairman


The youth of today, like

I often use the excellent city bus services to travel to and from Mosgiel, sometimes with a herd of teens returning home from school. I am puzzled by their frequent use of the word "like" in their conversations. For example: "Me and Lucy were like going to shop, like we met this boy, like he was new to our class, like he is from up north somewhere, like he was so very funny like." You get the gist.

I did my schooling in South India. We had sessions in spoken languages (three different languages and, despite our accents, we did speak somewhat grammatically correct English).

Don’t they have any sessions in our schools on how to speak English language with reasonable grammatical accuracy?

Mathew Zacharias


Cartoon praised

Thank you, Yeo, for your brilliant cartoon about the record number of Kiwis fleeing the country (ODT 17.5.24). The loss of institutional knowledge, experience and skills will adversely impact New Zealand for many years.

To put it in the purely economic terms, they also take with them their taxability and their disposable incomes. And yet the taxpayer as well as they themselves have invested millions in their education, health and general welfare.

It follows that their flight represents an alarming waste of taxpayer money.

Jocelyn Harris


So much for the international rules-based order

Anyone who is willing to observe the inexorably unfolding Gazan genocide will be aghast at the total inability of the so-called "rules-based international order" to stop it.

After bombing 80% of the housing units, all of the universities, most of the hospitals and schools, the Israeli military has now ordered hundreds of thousands of impoverished Palestinians to relocate to a designated "safe" area where there is no infrastructure, sanitation, fresh water or food, while blocking the only entry points for humanitarian aid.

What happens next is anyone’s guess but it’s probably safe to predict that the calculated degradation of the long-suffering Palestinian people and their culture will continue.

N. Yates


Not cruising

Congratulations to Tom McKinlay for "No More Cruising"(The Weekend Mix 18.5.24) and the thorough analysis of the climate emissions contribution from cruise ships. This article was not outsourced or syndicated but reliant on local emissions data.

We are fortunate to have our academics as a source for this high standard of journalism. Further credit goes to the protesters whose activities were acknowledged in the article. The arresting photos of their protest banners in front of and around cruise ships entering our port ultimately stimulated further discussion on these confronting issues. We are facing curtailment of luxury travel. The disabling future confronting us could well deplete our natural, healthy, safe havens on which tourism depends.

David Kay


Race relations and need for calm debate

Metiria Stanton Turei’s defence counsel sophistry of Kapa-Kingi’s hyperbolic and hysterical rhetoric concerning the repeal of 7AA reveals a lack of a cogent argument (ODT Opinion 17.5.24).

The biggest detriment to our Māori tamariki lies within their own whanau and the breakdown of the family structure in the last number of decades.

Racial colour coding as an "identity" guideline forgoes placing vulnerable children with the best caregivers. Aspirations of democracy, impartiality, meritocracy and colour blindness are worthy ideals. The so-called "cultural wellbeing" of children is ideologically driven by divisive Treaty stakeholders. It doesn’t ensure the welfare of any child, nor does it maintain any whakapapa if children are killed.

Irian Scott.
Port Chalmers


Was it necessary for Metiria Stanton-Turei to write about New Zealand’s controversial race relations topic in such a them vs us, confrontational, oppositional manner?

Why defend Mariameno Kapa-Kingi’s non-factual, aggressive, inflammatory talk concerning the government’s attitude to race relations? Cannot your own ancestry be recognised as "them and us"? You could approach race relations from a neutral standpoint, with no need to be confrontational.

I agree that there is an unsavoury history to race relations, and in political rhetoric today. An ancestor of mine settled in the Hokianga in April 1840. She married a chap who had arrived five years earlier. His name is on a plinth at Māngungu.

I have no other home than this land, nor can I take on personal responsibility for how my ancestors may have once interacted with Māori. All of us have arrived here in our different canoes at different times, so it is now imperative that we all approach the race relations table in at least an evidence-based way to listen to each other, recognising our equal worth.

Ron Adams


[Abridged — length. Editor]


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