“And what makes you think a Trump sup­porter lives there?”

New Zealand Listener - - LETTERS -

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)


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)


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)


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)

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