Go the godwit
It is indeed a controversial idea to replace the kiwi with the Buller’s shearwater, however, if we are going to consider a change, may I nominate the godwit? Like many New Zealanders it resides in a coastal environment, loves to wade in water and like the Vodafone Warriors, turns up once a year.
Andrew Hawkey, Christchurch That the kiwi has never been officially defined as a national emblem is old news in heraldic circles. The silver fern is in the same boat, with no more formal status than the Buzzy Bee or jandals as a national symbol. Even the so-called arms of New Zealand are of doubtful legal validity. Now that the choice of flag has been laid to rest, how about properly defining a suite of national emblems and badges?
While we are at it, we could at last join Australia and Canada (and their states and provinces) in having a national flower (possibly the kowhai) and a national mineral (pounamu) – and perhaps even a national animal (anyone for the tuatara?).
Roger Barnes, Information Officer, Heraldry Society of New Zealand, Auckland
I would like to congratulate you on ‘‘A killer’s contrition’’ (Focus, September 10). A follow-up on a hero’s death and what has become of the person who killed Sir Peter Blake, who is still missed by New Zealanders.
It seems the killer, even though he says sorry, has little regard for doing the right thing, hence his previous and prior lawlessness and so he should be in prison for his crime. If he has an untold story as he claims, this interview/article was his chance to tell it. Intead he danced around the questions.
It seems he’s out for glory and cash with his book when he does get out of prison. He’s obviously being protected in jail and looked after (by his gang/drug mates or his family), compared to how some other prisoners are being treated.
This is a good story of how someone with their life and a future ahead of them can choose the wrong path when meeting the wrong people, and the consequences of doing so. It would be nice to believe he is turning his life around, as he sort of leads you to believe, but I’m not so convinced of that.
Anne Fabish, Tauranga
The election is turning into the usual circus that I have come to expect over the years I have been voting.
I have watched with concern as one organisation after another is slowly starved of government largesse, leading to the inevitable rotting of the social fabric that binds us together as a country. Then, suddenly, in the space of a few weeks there is enough dosh for practically anything you can think of. Well pull my other one.
Targets that the Government has no hope of meeting are set or insisted on by bullying interviewers. Lifting 100,000 children out of poverty is now set in stone as both parties appear to have accepted the target. Well, good luck with that one. Presumably a large number of trained people will be needed to make anything happen. They must be hiding because everybody I see currently working in this area seems to be overworked already.
Maybe we need a new Ministry of Silly Promises to sort out the dopey ones from the ones that we actually need and can afford.
Geoff Orchard, Ohaupo
What an extraordinary letter from Neil D McCabe (September 10) roasting Roger Waters and other ‘‘tight’’ rock stars for not giving millions to hurricane-ravaged Texas.
This is unfair. Bob Geldof made his contribution to famine relief a major focus of his life. In the case of Waters, it takes little effort to Google his many charities.
So Donald Trump has pledged a million dollars of his own money to Texas. And who believes it? That million dollars, if it does go south at all, will go to Trump’s private interests there. Trump is for Trump. There is no one else.
Andrew Luddington, Christchurch
I would like to point out to Nadine Higgins that ‘‘get some Vitamin D’’ is not a hackneyed platitude; in fact it is very good advice.
Vitamin D is known to regulate more than 2000 gene functions including conversion of essential amino acids into dopamine, serotonin and thyroid hormone – all essential to prevent depression, etc. An adequate intake of magnesium is also required. Most people are deficient in both, hence the present increase in mental health conditions, so people should ask for a Vitamin D test.
Perhaps we should revert to what we had in primary school, cod liver oil and orange juice on a weekly basis for starters.
Frank Rowson, Matamata
With regard to HOP card ‘‘cash swipes’’ (Business, September 10), they also steal your money if you don’t use your card after two years (but will give it back if you call them).
This is not the case with transport cards in other countries. I travel a lot and have public transport cards for Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Vancouver and London. None of them expire, and the money I put on them stays on them. That’s why I have cards for all those cities but not for Auckland.
A lot more people would buy HOP cards and possibly use public transport more often if they weren’t faced with these sort of hassles. I know I would.
Tania Teamoke, Auckland