Public Library demolition suggestion over the top

The Editor,  The Dom Post,  Wellington
17 June, 2019

Dear Editor:

Angela Foster (3 June Opinion) gives a wonderful defence of the importance of public buildings, especially the Public Library which startlingly is being considered for demolition in the face of its merits and popularity. Then she responsibly goes on to describe a perhaps ‘inconvenient’ fact that building construction is a very high contributor to CO2 emissions.
What I’m not hearing from anyone, however, is what kind of damage the Library had sustained from the Christchurch and Kaikoura earthquakes. Two recently constructed public buildings, Statistics House and Defence House were damaged so severely they had to be abandoned (are they still standing, even?). Argosy Property is making a $39M insurance claim for its Waterloo Quay property. Was there no damage to the Library? Surely with no or little damage public safety can be enhanced by upgrade. What the demolition suggestion looks like is more an attack on the very concept of public service buildings. Not new, but more boldly visible than ever before.

Richard Keller

published 19/06/19


No Second Traffic Tunnel at Mt. Victoria!!

The Editor,  The Dom Post,  Wellington

18 May, 2019

Dear Editor:

Let’s Get Wellington Honest About Climate Change.   Read the rest of this entry »

Preoccupation with GDP growth a sign of the existential challenge of our time.

The Editor,  The Dom Post,  Wellington

04 May, 2019

Dear Editor:

Some anthropologists (e.g. Australian Jared Diamond) have noted that past cultures have had to deal with existential challenges where it was necessary to change in fundamental ways in order to survive, even thrive. Read the rest of this entry »

‘brother in humanity’ deserves a name

The Editor,  The Sunday Star Times,  Auckland

31 March, 2019

Dear SST Editor:

Muslim blogger Nureddin Abdurahman (Victoria Masters student and taxi driver) says he has long felt categorized in Wellington as the ‘exclusion combo’ of black, refugee, and Muslim. Read the rest of this entry »

Three Peace Moments – our history and our future

Three Peace Moments – our history and our future

This week is often referred to as “Peace Week” and this year on 11th November it is the 100th anniversary of the armistice of WW1 which ended most of the fighting in Europe making it especially notable.  Disgracefully, the various peace treaties which followed the armistice did little to settle the continent into a period of reconstruction. Read the rest of this entry »

Letter to PM Arden on the P-8A warplane

17 October, 2018

Jacinda Ardern,  Prime Minister

Parliament Buildings,  Wellington

Hello Ms Ardern:

Spending an extra $1B+ on a warplane (Boeing P-8A) while claiming there is not enough money for necessary pay increases for nurses and teachers, to name but two, is not a good look for a Labour government.  Read the rest of this entry »

Preposterous for insurance companies to claim they can determine typical dollar assessments for earthquake risk.

The Editor,  The Dom Post,  Wellington

21 August, 2018

Dear Editor:

Recently I’ve been reading self professed rebels among economics academics Steven Keen (Debunking Economics, Zed Books) and Mervyn King (The End of Alchemy, Little Brown) who both note that the 2007/9 subprime mortgage crisis was brought about by confusing short term investments (with known risks) and long term investments (which confront the ‘unknowable’). Read the rest of this entry »