Letters: Wealth tax, using a phone while driving, Lange’s warning

Why all this fear over a wealth tax?

People are terrified of the Greens’ wealth tax, but If I had wealth of $2 million surely a 1 per cent tax is not excessive. This wealth, in most cases, is not hard-earned but untaxed capital gain.
Tax pays for so many benefits we all enjoy and it has to come from somewhere. A major tax change is required but neither National nor Labour are courageous enough to offer any dramatic alternatives to our present outdated and unfair system, which perpetuates inequality.
Vince West, Milford

Enough is not enough

Murray Hunter (Letters, October 25) is absolutely correct in seeking an increase in the 12-year-old minuscule deterrent of $80 for non-hands-free mobile phone use while driving. It was pathetic 12 years ago, when Rodney Hide used the excuse; “it was enough” when I wrote to him incensed at the driver who nearly took me out. Enough is not enough.
Steve Russell, Hillcrest

Threat to democracy

In November 2000, Prime Minister David Lange warned that if governments attempted to accommodate increasingly audacious demands by Māori tribal elite for independent sovereignty, they would end up threatening democracy itself.
He said: “Democratic government can accommodate Māori political aspiration in many ways. It can allocate resources in ways which reflect the particular interests of Māori. It can delegate authority and allow the exercise of degrees of Māori autonomy. What it cannot do is acknowledge the existence of a separate sovereignty. As soon as it does that, it isn’t a democracy. We can have a democratic form of government or we can have indigenous sovereignty. They can’t coexist.”
Lange explained the Treaty was a contract between the Crown and Māori bestowing equal status. He said treating it as a partnership would result in the introduction of profoundly “undemocratic” rights and entitlements. I suggest the same applies to local governments and that mayors and councillors should acknowledge what Lange asserted.
Tony Fellingham, Tauranga

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