“And what makes you think a Trump supporter lives there?”
we all knew that. You could see that she had once been attractive, but she hardly ever smiled and woe betide anyone who annoyed her.
It was only at a school reunion years later that I learnt she had lost her fiancé, who, I believe, was a World War II airman, and never found anyone else to fill the emotional void. There must be many such stories.
War and conflict have had, and continue to have, a traumatic effect on the fabric of society. Will it ever end or will the pain keep reverberating down the generations? John Watkins (Remuera, Auckland) LETTER OF THE WEEK “Memory lane” brought a tear to my eye. I have known many “spinsters” in the small town I grew up in, and who can imagine what heartbreak they suffered having lost their beloved in the world wars? Rachel Wightman (Milton)
Before this Government launched its KiwiBuild scheme ( Politics, November 10), involving houses costing between $300,000 and $600,000 allocated by a ballot system, I wonder if any ministers or their advisers gave a thought to the principles by which Habitat for Humanity builds homes for genuinely needy people and at a fraction of the cost of KiwiBuild?
According to Habitat, the average cost for one of its homes is $90,000. The homes are sold to partner families for no profit and are financed with an affordable mortgage.
Of course, Habitat can’t build many homes because it doesn’t have the vast budget of KiwiBuild. Imagine what it could do with a fraction of that money, while allocating houses according to the greatest need and not by the KiwiBuild lottery.
Labour politicians of the distant past will be turning in their graves. David Tranter (Blackbutt, Queensland)
KiwiBuild, which offers a potential windfall for ballotwinners who can sell at a profit a few years after taking ownership of their new home, is not the answer to long-term housing problems. A publicly funded effort to provide housing must benefit more than just a few.
The Government must do more to develop stable rental communities where people can live for as long
as they please at affordable cost. Following successful US and European models, the Government – or large foreign corporations – would build high-density “villages” of rental homes in attractive settings with public amenities provided. On-site managers and maintenance staff keep everything in proper working order and rents can be subsidised where needed.
To provide any level of stability for tenants, there has to be an alternative to the current system where virtually all rental accommodation is provided by tens of thousands of private landlords. Regardless of economic status and whether they own or rent, New Zealanders should be able to expect to stay in their home for as long as they like. Barb Callaghan (Kohimarama, Auckland)
I suppose the popularity of Clementine Ford’s writing online shows that there is an audience for angry women (“Shticking it to the boys”, November 17).
She may say that her most hateful writings were “obviously a joke”. But the idea that Ford has a constructive place in the conversation that men are having about issues such as sexual assault, domestic violence, suicide, the biased family court structure, the presence of women in the workplace and old-fashioned expectations of gender is the real joke. Alan Harris (Wellington)
A HUIA, HUIA, HUIA-IA
Although the presenters of RNZ National’s Morning Report, or Morning Retort, as its detractors call it, continually inflict verbal coitus interruptus on their interviewees, it’s a bit of a putdown for Bill Ralston to assert that the bird call preceding the 7am news bulletin is the best part of the programme ( Life, November 10).
But each to his own. Fans of the bird call have something truly magnificent to look forward to on December 19. I have it on good authority that the song of the long-extinct huia will be heard on that Wednesday morning.
There is no actual recording of the huia but what will be played is a mimic of its song. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Brian Collins (Aro Valley, Welington)
RUGBY UNITES IRISH
Paul Thomas described the Ireland rugby team as representing an island rather than a nation ( Sport, November
24). This implies that a nation cannot exist across political boundaries. The Kurds would be just one example that negates this premise.
The Irish Rugby Football Union was founded in 1874, when the whole of Ireland was still part of the UK. It has managed to stay free from political entanglements and continue as a unified body when the island was divided politically in 1922.
It remains as a beacon of tolerance and unity in a politically and religiously divided land. So the Ireland rugby team represent both an island and a nation. JT Carbery (St Marys Bay, Auckland)
LUCK OF THE IRIS
Michele Hewitson deserves thanks for her spirited defence of the iris-free state ( Good Life, November 3). Let nature do what it does best, I say. As the photograph accompanying the column shows, Hewitson does not get her own bloomers in a knot, if you know what I mean.
If Prince Charles can talk to his plants, why can’t she trill while she tills without hints she should see a specialist? Dean Donoghue (Papamoa Beach)