Art, beauty, and en­ter­tain­ment

The Press - - Opinion -

A cou­ple in our seven­ties, we visit the city cen­tre fre­quently to en­joy Tu¯ ranga, the art gallery and the mu­seum, to shop at Scor­pio Books and Bal­lan­tynes. We walk the new path by the river, ex­plore the laneways, bor­row films from Al­ice in Vide­oland, drink cof­fee at the Arts Cen­tre or in New Re­gent St.

We de­light in the ease and many op­tions for park­ing, the new fa­cil­i­ties for cy­clists, the won­der­ful grid sys­tem for traf­fic and the many fa­cil­i­ties for pedes­tri­ans, though there could be more.

I sug­gest that the lack of peo­ple vis­it­ing the city cen­tre is not the fault of the trans­port plan­ners but of those who pub­licly com­plain about changes, most of which have made the city cen­tre bet­ter, eas­ier to ac­cess, and will hope­fully con­tinue to do so in the fu­ture.

We need pos­i­tive com­ments in­stead of mislead­ing re­marks that keep peo­ple away, as we watch our lovely city come to life again, a meet­ing place for its res­i­dents, a place of art, beauty and en­ter­tain­ment. Su­san Cam­bridge, Cash­mere

Pop­u­la­tion growth

Dr Pat McIn­tosh has touched the mat­ter with the point of a nee­dle, and ex­poses the truth that hu­man­ity re­fuses to see. Far too many peo­ple.

We are cut­ting down our rain­forests, fish­ing out the sea, pol­lut­ing the bio­sphere, land, sea, and air, caus­ing cli­mate change, and pre­sid­ing over, and are re­spon­si­ble for, the sixth great ex­tinc­tion of life on Earth. We have be­come de facto cu­ra­tors of life on this planet, and so far we could not have done a worse job.

We are trash­ing the planet and caus­ing cli­mate change. But no politi­cian or busi­ness leader any­where will point to the root cause of all the prob­lems: the world is over­pop­u­lated by hu­mans by a fac­tor of at least 10.

It’s not the econ­omy, stupid, it’s the en­vi­ron­ment. Mankind must live within the bound­aries of what the planet can sus­tain­ably pro­vide in or­der to sur­vive. If we don’t change our life­style very soon, our days are num­bered. I pre­dict our civil­i­sa­tions will crash be­fore the end of this cen­tury. What a ter­ri­ble tragedy.

Alan Walsh, Ran­giora

House ques­tions

An ob­vi­ous ploy, used in­creas­ingly by Na­tional, is to keep ask­ing ques­tions in the House they know the per­son has no di­rect re­spon­si­bil­ity for.

For ex­am­ple, Si­mon Bridges (Dec 5), re Karel Sroubek, main­tained Jacinda Ardern wouldn’t an­swer ques­tions for which she had no di­rect re­spon­si­bil­ity and couldn’t pos­si­bly know.

This is in­tel­lec­tual dis­hon­esty in the ex­treme. The Speaker was forced to used Stand­ing Or­ders to stop Bridges bla­tantly grand­stand­ing.

Ur­sula J Rose, Christchurch Cen­tral

Walk-out

I was ap­palled to learn about the Na­tional Party walk-out of Par­lia­ment af­ter Si­mon Bridges and Gerry Brown­lee were kicked out for in­ap­pro­pri­ate con­duct. It is es­sen­tial that MPs con­duct them­selves ap­pro­pri­ately dur­ing par­lia­men­tary pro­ceed­ings. That in­cludes sub­mit­ting to the rules ad­min­is­tered by the Speaker.

New Zealan­ders must re­ject po­lar­is­ing ac­tions like this walk-out, a stunt in­tended to foster con­flict rather than con­struc­tively ad­dress an is­sue. What Mr Bridges is do­ing is to stir up divi­sion for its own sake.

Do New Zealan­ders want to be­come like the United States, where Re­pub­li­cans and Democrats can­not en­gage in civil dis­course, and where the real goal is to dis­rupt ‘‘the other side’’, rather than to pass good laws and de­velop good poli­cies? Na­tional’s strat­egy is a leaf straight out of the US Re­pub­li­can party play­book. Mr Bridges is act­ing far too much like Newt Gin­grich did in the US Congress in the 1990s. The di­vi­sive­ness that he preached has taken over Amer­i­can pol­i­tics. And he is now known as the man who de­stroyed Amer­i­can pol­i­tics.

New Zealan­ders, re­gard­less of party pref­er­ence, want a Gov­ern­ment that is func­tional, where party dif­fer­ences do not turn into pub brawls and taunt­ing. All MPs need to be held to that stan­dard.

Lee Heller, Takaka

A reader, who en­joys vis­it­ing venues like the the Arts Cen­tre, says most of the post-quake changes to the Christchurch city cen­tre have made it bet­ter.

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