Housing lessons from history
‘‘After World War II, 10,000 state houses a year were being built by the Government. Whole suburbs were laid out, shops and amenities erected and open space landscaped.’’ This extract is out of Housing NZ’s web page. How did we do it, all those years ago? Again, ‘‘Materials shortages led the Government to import 500 pre-cut houses from Austria.’’
These quick, short-term measures actually worked, it seems, but wait, there’s more: ‘‘In the early 1950s, the National Government let state tenants buy their homes, offered state loans, and subsidised the building industry to bring house prices down.’’
Could it be that the answer for KiwiBuild lies, waiting, in our past? If the formula worked back then, would it work again? Why not?
Michael Dally, Levin
No right of veto
Politics hasn’t a prayer (June 28) suggests that the Christian lobby hasn’t had its chance to influence our polity.
The Rev Samuel Marsden preached in New Zealand on Christmas Day in 1814. Since then the Christian lobby has controlled our lives: racial relations, voting laws, women’s bodies, sexual relations, marital relations, drug laws, trading laws, etc.
I am happy for the Christian lobby to have an influence on our polity. I object to their 205-year veto on the rights of others to live their own lives.
After all, no recent law has required any Christian to change their own choices or decisions. Why should their choices force me to change mine?
Steve Farrow, Wilton
I see the New Zealand Transport Authority is predicting delays in completing Transmission Gully in June 2020 because ‘‘poor weather is one of a number of factors’’ (Transmission Gully delays tipped, June 29).
However, I’m afraid it’s doubtful they’ll be able to use the weather as an excuse for any delay as recent records for the Ka¯ piti Coast show the weather tends to be very settled at this time of year with dry, relatively mild conditions.
Over the past four years Ka¯ piti has averaged a very moderate 47mm of rain during June, and over the past six years only 70mm. For June 2019 we had 56mm, Email: email@example.com
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there were 27 fine days, with 16 of them being brilliantly sunny, and an average temperature of 14.5 degrees. So, there’s not much potential here for possibly blaming the weather for any delay. Murray Eggers, Paraparaumu
We’ve been out-trumped
As soon as the United States decided to crack down on Huawei, it initially moved through the Five Eyes network, zeroing in on little New Zealand. Our NZ First foreign policy elite, which has had its knife into China for some time now, instantly climbed onto the anti-Huawei bandwagon of the US and its Australian deputy sheriff. The New Zealand Government was no longer to buy Huawei technology.
In the meantime, Huawei is now at the heart of the US-China trade war, and other Five Eyes members and all of Asia are refusing to succumb to US blackmail. Before the Japan G20 summit New Zealand was already somewhat isolated in this regard.
Jacinda must by now be regretting her decision to back Winston without first checking his facts. The Donald has now unpredictably out-trumped the Winston by proclaiming that ‘‘US companies can sell their equipment to Huawei’’, accepting that such transactions won’t present a ‘‘great, national emergency problem’’.
Will Jacinda now change her mind to disregard the Trump of yesterday by following the Trump of today? What if he changes his mind again tomorrow?
Bob Rigg, Roseneath
Who’s the puppetmaster?
President Trump rolls back his ban on trading with Huawei. President Trump visits the Korean DMZ and gets a surprise photo-op with Kim Jong-Un and more empty promises.
Join the dots and see the puppetmaster behind this who really won something. Leith Wallace, Karori
Concentrate on driving
I have been disturbed by the continued showing of TV ads in which cars are driven far beyond the safety possibilities of the model portrayed. Four-wheel drifts, insane antics at speed on sub-standard roads only encourage younger, more susceptible people to ‘‘try it out’’.
In addition, there has been the spectacle of people, including the driver, singing and rocking back and forth or eating and drinking while driving along. And now Rosemary McLeod writes that she had a compulsion to sing as she drives (Martyr to an uncool cause, June 28).
You need to concentrate on your driving so you don’t become part of the problem! Don’t sing! Don’t jiggle! Don’t phone! Don’t make rude gestures! Don’t eat or drink! Just concentrate.
Philip Viskovic, Waikanae
Silence is deafening
It was really good today to read that a Jewish group in Pittsburgh, US, has donated almost $1 million to the victims of the Christchurch mosque attacks (Jewish group donates $1m, July 1).
This was after the local Muslim communities in Pittsburgh were so helpful and supportive after attacks on their own religious institutions last year.
In contrast, here in New Zealand we have Brian Tamaki’s thugs demonstrating outside one of the Christchurch mosques, wanting to reclaim Christchurch for ‘‘Christianity’’. Next, the Tamakis say they are starting a new political party because they ‘‘don’t like the way our country is heading’’.
Presumably what they mean is that they didn’t like to see the love and compassion shown by our prime minister and others to the Muslim victims after the murder of 51 of them.
Then, in Australia, a Christian group donates $1m to Israel Folau to support his ‘‘fight’’ against Rugby Australia for sacking him for ranting against homosexuals, atheists and many others.
Are these people representative of Christianity? I certainly hope not. If not, why are not other ‘‘Christians’’ speaking out against them? Your silence so far has been deafening.
Andrew Parker, Palmerston North
We just don’t get it
Matariki fireworks delight and Delay ‘a slap in the face’ (July 1) report on two activities that show that many people fail to grasp the fact that planet Earth faces human-induced climate catastrophe.
The use of fireworks, and the destruction of the existing Melling Bridge and road infrastructure, and their replacements, would all generate enormous volumes of greenhouse gases.
Humanity’s adverse impacts on our planet must be drastically reduced if mass extinctions, including that of humanity, are to be prevented.
J Chris Horne, Northland
Barmy non-balmy army
I was intrigued by a recent Stuff article about cold houses. There’s a good reason traditional New Zealand homes are cold: traditional British homes are cold. Most of the people who came to this relatively balmy land were well accustomed to freezing in winter, so would have seen no need to insulate their new homes here.
Not only were houses not insulated in Blighty, we were supposed to sleep with the windows open in deepest winter because it was ‘‘unhealthy’’ not to do so.
One of my childhood homes even had ventilating airbricks in all the external bedroom walls in case the occupants were too decadent to open the windows while asleep.
None of this excuses New Zealand homes being unhealthily cold, but it does explain why they were built that way until recent decades.
Now let’s warm up!
Michael Poole, Paraparaumu Beach