Letters to editor: responsibility, council, Trump

Today's Letters to the Editor from readers cover topics including the responsibility of government, Brent Weatherall's role on the council, and Trump

Is the govt acting for those in dire need?

I worked every working day of my life, am now long retired and like many am living off a pension.

In the last year my power bill has all but doubled and now I read Contact Energy has made a 70% more profit in the last six months this year than they did last year.

Am I the only one who is frustrated and angry over the exorbitant, disgusting and shameful profits made by power companies, supermarket chains, banks and the like? Shareholders in such institutions expect a healthy dividend, and I acknowledge that, but at what point do their profits outweigh the needs of those who can't afford to be shareholders?

Rates, food, energy, transport et al are all starting to spiral out of control. The duty of any government is to look after the citizens who put them in their privileged positions. Can we expect them to act on our behalf?

Yes, if you own a diesel guzzling vehicle or own a large business or corporation. Yes if you aren't interested in mitigating your degradation of the environment, and the most galling yes if you run any business that everyone needs to use but is increasingly becoming unaffordable.

Graham Bulman



Brent Weatherall
Brent Weatherall
What I suspected

I must admit that in the run up to the last council election I suspected that Brent Weatherall was an opportunist. His reply to Andrew Glennie (ODT 15.2.24) confirms that view for me. The campaign that he ran against Aaron Hawkins was inane and frankly disgusting. It did of course work and delivered the results he wanted.

Now that the dust has settled on his end of George St, it would be interesting to know how he and others there are faring. One thing I would agree with him on is that the length of time to do the job has been ridiculous. This factor, which must be hurting many, has not improved one iota under the current council.

I am sure Brent is a man who knows best even when he's wearing blinkers. He may also be right about the one-way design being a "huge mistake". Good on you Brent, they should have pedestrianised the whole thing. Not expecting a Christmas card but if I get one I'll know why.

Richard O'Mahony

North East Valley


It’s up to you

I find it fascinating that critics are declaiming the horrendous thoughtless implications arising from Donald Trump’s comment "If countries don’t pay the bills they have contracted to then they won’t receive the protective support service" when exactly the same consequences are demanded and enforced by others.

Bankers say if you don’t pay your mortgage then ultimately we will foreclose and get the sheriff or court to expel you from the property to be sold for the debt recovery. How you then manage to cope is simply your problem.

If welfare beneficiaries refuse to try and get a job then their benefit is halved, and if they still refuse to try their benefit is cut off. How they feed or house themselves is their problem .

Singapore said if you get caught spitting chewing gum on the pavement you would be fined $1000, and the problem was resolved immediately.

Surely enforcement consequences from such organisations are no different from Donald Trump’s ultimatum? After all the whole point is to encourage a rethink on commitments entered into.

I would foreshadow that those countries will become proactive to honour their contractual obligations and any individual constraining issues would be mutually renegotiated.

Stan Randle



Is a fair say needed for the Flat Earthers?

Councillor Michael Laws is quite right in expecting council officers to provide factual, impartial advice free of political bias. (ODT 20.2.24) On this basis he questions whether two officers who are active members of the Green Party are able to give impartial advice to the Otago Regional Council on climate change and biodiversity.

Laws displays his own lack of impartiality in describing the officers as "Green activists". Would he describe active members of the National party as "National activists"? When an active member of Winston’s party would he have described himself as a "New Zealand First activist"?

The addition of -ist to a word nowadays defines a person as an extremist. But there is nothing extremist about the Green Party members’ recognition of the crisis of climate change and its impact on biodiversity, and the need to act urgently in response. That is mainstream in the worldwide scientific community and is recognised by 196 countries, including our own.

The evidence for it cannot be dismissed. Indeed, it can be argued that the ORC will benefit hugely if the information and advice it receives from staff is based on a thorough knowledge of the scientific facts and the implications for our future.

For Cr Laws to suggest that such knowledge creates partiality is like suggesting that the knowledge we have that we live on a globe creates advice that is partial because it is prejudiced against Flat Earthers.

John Drummond.



Unsound appointment

Putting a gun enthusiast in charge of firearm control is a compromising situation, a bit like putting the great white hunter in charge of wildlife conservation, and that’s not the right way to sound regulation.

R Hogan