Concert demands a shout-out
Many years ago I concluded that offering gratuitous advice was a waste of time. Little did I think that one day I might come across an event so good I would just have to make the effort to share the news. Last Saturday the Handel Quire presented a short programme of seasonally related music that was absolutely outstanding. They are performing in Auckland and Pukekohe this weekend. If you have a taste for this kind of music you won’t want to miss it. If you are wondering if this is for you, here’s your chance to find out.
Russell Parrish, Epsom.
The publicity over St Kentigern College’s alleged poaching of players for its First XV rugby team highlights two issues. The first is that those who are in the system know such practices are not rare among the “elite” of rugby playing schools. The second, and more concerning, is that such schools see success on the rugby field as an indicator of the quality of education they provide. I fail to see the connection.
David Hood, Hamilton.
The angst expressed by many school principals about the recruitment of elite rugby players on “scholarships” by Saint Kentigern College exposes a significant problem. There are just over 40 independent schools in New Zealand and they receive over $57 million in Government funding each year. This is to ensure quality teaching with smaller class sizes. No doubt schools like St Kents have many affluent past pupils who contribute to the scholarships available to recruit talented young students to their school. How much of the state funding for private schools goes towards these scholarships? Perhaps our Education Minister, Chris Hipkins, could better use some of this $57m to go towards the current teachers’ salary claim rather than possibly be used to recruit rugby players.
Peter Jamieson, Titirangi.
Yes, the buses are great, and we did get out of our cars. But then Auckland Transport cancelled our good bus service and introduced infrequent once-an-hour feeder buses instead. Five months later the feeder still travels around all day with none, one, or at the most two passengers (in my experience). For those of us not travelling regularly, a feeder could work if it ran more frequently. In the meantime we are back in our cars.
Pamela Russell, Orakei.
When I applied to train to be a primary school teacher, a good few years ago now, I was rejected because apparently I had “too many” science qualifications (I have a masters degree in animal behaviour) for primary teaching. I remain to this day stunned by that decision and the apparent lack of value given to learning about science in many primary schools. Tatiana Kalnins PhD, RD Papakura.
Right to migrate
If our coalition Government signs up to the United Nations global migration pact, which allows automatic migration without the sovereign country’s agreement, Simon Bridges says if elected he will reverse the decision. The United States, Australia and several European countries have already pulled out. New Zealand should withdraw as well. There is provision in the pact for anyone who opposes free migration to be condemned for hate speech. New Zealand should make its own decisions and not be a United Nations lackey.
Pauline Alexander, Waiatarua.
Tuesday’s Business Herald reported on the hydrogen plant proposed by the Ports of Auckland. It focused on the emission benefits of using hydrogen fuel for future vehicles and indicated global hydrogen experts supported the project. The report mentions the fuel emission products comprising water and oxygen were highly beneficial in competing with current hydrocarbon fuels, but no mention is made of the highly explosive characteristics of hydrogen when ignited from any external ignition source, particularly during any collision event which may rupture the hydrogen container or fuel lines.
Brian Gunson, Castor Bay.
It is sad to see the lack of pride in Auckland’s appearance being shown by the council. Today I have driven on Peach Parade in Remuera, Campbell Rd in Onehunga and Merton Rd in Glenn Innes. Each of these suburbs has knee-high flowering weeds on the roadside berms beside gutters filled with leaves and other rubbish. Where are our street cleaners?
H. Robertson, St Heliers.
I am very surprised you chose to put on Wednesday’s front page the petty story, “From Brazil beach to Kiwi prison — young mum caught smuggling cocaine”, rather than news on the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference where wellrespected environmentalist Sir David Attenborough spoke on what could lead to the collapse of civilisations. Surely that should be front-page news.
Betty Hunt, New Windsor.
The memorial for Air New Zealand’s Erebus disaster at Parnell gardens is to cost $3 million. Surely we don’t need further reminding of that tragic occurrence. There is a memorial at Waikumete Cemetery with the names of all who were on board. There are similar memorial settings at the Tangiwai rail disaster of 1953 and the Wahine interisland shipping disaster in 1968. Surely one memorial at Waikumete is adequate for Air NZ’s very tragic crash.
David Rainey, East Tamaki.
Doctors’ right to choose
Mary Panko’s comparison of doctors with plumbers yesterday echoes one of the many disparaging remarks David Seymour has made about the medical profession. Panko claims that doctors should not be allowed to determine the laws but it appears she and Seymour do not even respect their right to give their views on a topic they know so much more about than the general public.
It is deeply ironic that euthanasia advocates have so little respect for the medical profession and yet they expect them to carry out these killings on behalf of the state. To add insult to injury, doctors who do not wish to kill their patients will be forced to refer them to colleagues who will. And to lie on the person’s death certificate as to the true cause of death.
Melissa Hardy, Army Bay.
The Dunedin lady who witnessed the sparrow dying in the supermarket aisle and assumed it had been poisoned may have misinterpreted what had occurred. It seems unlikely a bird sickened with a toxin would continue fluttering around before suddenly collapsing. From her description, it seems more probable the animal had knocked itself out after crashing into a glass wall. This is not uncommon. Immediately after the impact they may appear in great distress by exhibiting convulsive movements but after a time they revive and fly away with hopefully little more than a headache. It would be a pity if the sparrow had been mistakenly euthanised when it had only been concussed. Nigel Shaw, Clover Park.
Shane Te Pou calls David Cameron’s decision to hold the Brexit referendum “daft”. It was an election promise, without which Nigel Farage’s Ukip Party would certainly have picked up seats. The Brexit poll “shock”, had this referendum not been promised, might have been a Ukip shock in the general election. Ukip appears to have been buried meanwhile, but only by Cameron pulling their main cause out from under them. It now looks like this loss of this cause was temporary.
The latest pronouncement from Brussels is that any “criticism of immigration” is to be deemed “hate speech”. Will all Europeans, let alone British, regard it as acceptable that their countries be bound by that sort of edict? And in which direction is this kind of arrogance most likely driving Britons if there is a Referendum 2.0?
Phil Hayward, Naenae.
I see March 29th, the day Britain is due to leave the European Union, occurs on a Friday. This will give them the whole weekend to celebrate. There will be flag waving, fireworks perhaps and lots of corks popping. Then they will wake up on Monday morning to discover it’s April the first. I wonder who thought up that date. I bet it was someone in Brussels.
Bill Brading, Northcross.