Eth­i­cal be­hav­iour makes busi­ness sense and dol­lars

Sunday Star-Times - - Focus -

I read with in­ter­est the ar­ti­cle on in­vest­ing for so­cial im­pact (Busi­ness, De­cem­ber 2). My view is that all busi­nesses should en­sure they op­er­ate in align­ment with good com­mu­nity val­ues.

This is a nec­es­sary and prof­itable ap­proach sup­port­ing sus­tain­abil­ity of the busi­ness as well as the en­vi­ron­ment and the com­mu­nity. Rep­u­ta­tional risk is very real as many banks and oth­ers around the world have learned. It is not a trade-off to op­er­ate eth­i­cally and try to do the right thing. It is an en­hancer of longer-term suc­cess.

Frank Ols­son, Auck­land

Cli­mate ur­gency

Ev­ery day we read ar­ti­cles de­scrib­ing how ur­gent it is to re­duce green­house gases.

The prob­lem is too ur­gent to rely on ac­tion by in­di­vid­u­als. It is nec­es­sary for each coun­try to de­velop a plan and sus­pend democ­racy if nec­es­sary while it is car­ried out. Such a plan ex­ists for the 14 coun­tries with the great­est emis­sions. This is the Deep De­car­bon­i­sa­tion Path­ways Project de­vel­oped for the UN.

Dur­ing World War II many coun­tries did sus­pend democ­racy for the du­ra­tion and now the prob­lem is just as ur­gent for the whole world.

Ian Hat­ton, Nel­son

Se­lec­tive suf­fer­ing

Dr Sean Davison should not re­gret his ac­tions.

We do not sanc­tion de­lib­er­ate suf­fer­ing caused to other non­hu­man crea­tures, but do so se­lec­tively when it comes to hu­man con­ve­nience.

All this con­fu­sion is partly caused by ad­her­ence to an­cient re­li­gious be­liefs, some fad­ing into myth as we fur­ther un­der­stand the science of our com­plex cre­ation.

To my way of think­ing Davison is a man of great com­pas­sion and kind­ness. The claims of some in pal­lia­tive care about the ef­fi­cacy of their treat­ments fail the ter­mi­nally ill who ex­pe­ri­ence suf­fer­ing be­yond en­durance and who would wel­come the release from pain by a cho­sen death were it a le­gal op­tion.

P D Leth­bridge, Hamil­ton

Es­ther Richards (Letters, De­cem­ber 2) ex­cuses Davison’s in­volve­ment in four deaths ‘‘be­cause South Africa does not have an as­sisted dy­ing law’’, im­ply­ing this is some­what un­usual.

In fact the op­po­site is true. The ma­jor­ity of such bills are voted down, mean­ing that as­sisted dy­ing is le­gal in only 6 per cent of ju­ris­dic­tions world­wide.

Out of the to­tal of 15 ju­ris­dic­tions with le­gal­i­sa­tion, only a third per­mit both eu­thana­sia and as­sisted sui­cide. So the Sey­mour bill, were it to pass, would be a mem­ber of an ex­cep­tion­ally small club – just 2 per cent of world ju­ris­dic­tions.

Richards is wrong to claim that those who are suf­fer­ing ‘‘have no op­tion but to com­mit sui­cide or ask for some­one to help them’’, as­sum­ing that ‘‘help them’’ means ‘‘ask them to kill them’’.

The only safe an­swer for vul­ner­a­ble New Zealan­ders is to con­tinue to press for the con­tin­ued im­prove­ment of our al­ready world-class sys­tem of pal­lia­tive care.

Stephen Fran­cis, Auck­land

Poverty ac­tion

The Child Poverty Re­duc­tion Bill is an im­por­tant step for­ward and needs to be un­der­pinned by ef­fec­tive pro­grammes and poli­cies if we are to make a se­ri­ous im­pact on the scourge of child poverty.

No, Damien Grant (‘‘Poverty bill will cre­ate a merry-go-round of rules and re­ports’’, Fo­cus, De­cem­ber 2) it hasn’t gone away. We won’t get ef­fec­tive progress while com­men­ta­tors present the non­sense about poverty mea­sure­ment re­flected in Grant’s ar­ti­cle.

Mea­sur­ing poverty on a rel­a­tive ba­sis does not mean that we will al­ways have 20 per cent of chil­dren liv­ing in poverty. A ba­sic un­der­stand­ing of poverty mea­sure­ment would have avoided this non­sense.

New Zealand can get be­low 20 per cent if the com­mit­ment to re­duc­ing poverty, which all ma­jor par­ties have signed up to, is sup­ported by pol­icy ini­tia­tives which put chil­dren at the cen­tre.

Good mea­sure­ment en­ables us to see progress (or not). Non­sen­si­cal flawed as­ser­tions about mea­sure­ment do not help. Mike O’Brien, School of Coun­selling, Hu­man Ser­vices and So­cial Work, Univer­sity of Auck­land

As Grant points out, cer­tain prin­ci­ples in­clud­ing chil­dren’s in­trin­sic value and dig­nity are cov­ered in the Child Poverty Re­duc­tion Bill. But this ac­knowl­edge­ment only oc­curs after they are born.

The three op­tions put for­ward by the Law Com­mis­sion, to re­move abor­tion from the Crimes Act and make it a health is­sue only, will give us vir­tual abor­tion on de­mand up till full term.

It is disin­gen­u­ous of Prime Min­is­ter Jacinda Ardern and Jus­tice Min­is­ter An­drew Lit­tle to claim women could be pros­e­cuted un­der cur­rent leg­is­la­tion. Sec­tion 183 of the

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