Letters to the Editor

Remember to keep your distance

OPINION: A new dilemma is entering Wellington roads, and later the courts. Did a car pass a cycle at 1.49 metres, or at 1.51 metres? How to tell?

Think hard before you judge people

OPINION: A few years ago when I was active in our local food bank , an overseas relative asked why people we were helping ''don't get a job''. She was surprised that many recipients did have jobs but their pay, even with government ''handouts'', wasn't enough to cover all the necessities of life. I told her strict vetting and education in financial management we installed ensured only the truly needy were helped - and, even then, only for limited periods. My relative was surprised, but understanding. Compare that reaction with the cynics and rednecks who write to your paper claiming that all ''so- called'' needy people are only in that situation because they are lazy parasites who waste their money on booze, smoking and gambling or who deliberately (or carelessly) have more children that they can support.

Context needed over Sydney siege

OPINION: Your editorial (December 17) saying the perpetrator of the Sydney siege was possibly mentally ill may be correct.

Police shouldn't have apologised

OPINION: What on earth possessed Waikato police to give an apology to Jonathan Waters over mistaking him for an Irishman (Police quick to backpedal over 'Irish tourist' report, December 18).

Airport costs hammer ratepayers

OPINION: It beggars belief that Wellington Airport, the sock puppet Infratil company, seeks to pick hard- pushed ratepayers' pockets for close to another $2 million ''funding'' for their fiefdom.

Argument to merge doesn't stack up

OPINION: I was totally underwhelmed by the status and arguments of those recommending in The Dominion Post (December 19) amalgamation of the Wellington regional local authorities.

Praise and support for former MP's actions

OPINION: I just want to express my support and admiration for Tau Henare in his action in support of sexual abuse victims, whose abuser's names have been suppressed by our criminal justice system.

Social housing a poor result

OPINION: Far from trumpeting the new 'rabbit hutch' apartments in Johnsonville (December 18), Paula Bennett and Accessible Properties should be hanging their heads in shame. They are warehousing the mentally and physically challenged in stacked boxes with minimal surrounding land, little parking, busy nearby roads and a fair walk down slopes from the centre of Johnsonville. They also know very well the existing infrastructure in Johnsonville is not up to looking after these people's needs adequately. Neighbours are not going to welcome the development given it crams umpteen units in, where only a couple of houses existed before and unfairly overrode all their objections. I say forget the pretty picture in the paper, come on out to Johnsonville main road and look up at the new eyesore plainly visible. The only thing that drove this ''development'' was the almighty dollar. The real losers are its residents, neighbours and Johnsonville.

Speed signs add to confusion

OPINION: I see that Wellington City Council has installed speed signs on the corners of Courtenay Place and Blair/Allen streets. On egressing these latter streets into Courtenay Place the sign says 30kmh. However on the reverse side (which you see as you enter Blair/ Allen streets), bearing in mind that these streets are basically a parking precinct where traffic crawls along at 10kmh trying to find a park, it has a speed limit of 50kmh. Heaven help WCC's beloved cyclists, not to forget the pedestrians.

Top-down model doomed to fail

OPINION: The Dominion Post (December 19) had a full-page advert promoting the idea of one large council for the region.

Impossible to stop all horrible crime

OPINION: Amid all the witch-hunting and breast-beating over the Martin Place incident in Sydney, one sad fact endures.

Paying the price for Iraq invasion

OPINION: The overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime was a success, but purely from a military point of view.

Arrogant attitude needs tackling

The Dominion Post

OPINION: Commentators and cartoonists have been observing the carelessness and arrogance the prime minister and others in the National Government have been showing since their triumphant election.

Give us more credit, please

OPINION: Does the government appointed alcohol advisory panel seriously believe alcohol brand sponsorship of sports teams, events and venues, influences consumption of booze merely with the link between the two?

Speech skewed for political gain

OPINION: Your readers should listen to John Kerry's speech to a Senate Committee in April 1971 on YouTube to understand the falsity of Bruce Farland's (Letters, December 16) accusation that Kerry was ''demonising'' American soldiers in Vietnam.

Bargains for buyers online

OPINION: These retailers bleating about those people who buy online and evade GST with goods they import should look at themselves.

Cyclists a bunch of rule-breakers

OPINION: While I agree that cycling, as a good healthy, environmentally friendly, congestion-saving pastime should be encouraged and a lot more spent on building cycleways I get fed up with the constant bleating and demands from cycle advocacy groups. They represent a road user group who break more road rules than any other, they do not pay their fair share of costs and yet are forever demanding that rules and restrictions should be placed on all other road users.

Appetite for super-city weak

OPINION: Don Borrie is right (Letters, December 8) when he says that Mayor Nick Leggett has no mandate from the people of Porirua to include it in a super- city. Despite the media propaganda, I have yet to meet anyone here who wants it.

Gangs in society also terrorists

OPINION: The spectre of terrorism looms ever more menacingly now and recent events in Sydney show that nowhere is safe from religious or political fanatics. What may be less apparent and certainly has not been debated is that in New Zealand, drug-manufacturing gangs represent a form of home- grown terrorism that is far more dangerous than a single violent event because of its insidiousness and long-term influence and widespread danger to our society.

Runway plan stacks up

OPINION: Is an airport runway extension worth the investment?

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