The Bay of Plenty Times welcomes letters and comments from readers. Below you can read the letters and texts we have published in the newspaper today.
Drug law change will reveal true damage
With the United States elections this week, residents of California were asked to vote on whether they want "the weed" to be legalised, ie. the recreational use of marijuana for adults to be decriminalised.
A similar move in Portugal some years ago (decriminalising possession) suggests that not much will change and the doom-and-gloom merchants who forecast the population all turning into druggies will not come to pass.
Time magazine said in its five-year review of the measure: "Following decriminalisation, Portugal had the lowest rate of lifetime marijuana use in people over 15 in the EU."
Of course, I have not been able to see what the road fatalities attributed to this change in drug laws have had. I suspect they have also dropped.
If California changes then we will quickly see the effect on driving statistics there.
ROY EDWARDS Tauranga
Naked and natural
Congratulations for publishing the feature in last Saturday's paper, "Naked Truth about Nudist Lifestyle", written adeptly by Carly Udy.
The article de-mystifies the myths and misconceptions that many people have about naturism. We are just normal people doing normal things, albeit without clothing, when conditions are suitable.
We are not out to offend anyone. We are just comfortable in our skin.
It is good for our health and well-being to shed our stresses without our clothes.
COLIN BASIRE Secretary, BOP Sun Club
This Government has recently given at least $10 million to a South Island Maori tribe as a settlement under the Treaty of Waitangi.
It is promising further major settlements with other tribes and is providing, I understand, $10million for development at Auckland for the upcoming World Rugby Cup, but can't allocate money or assistance for the provision of much-needed family housing for New Zealanders.
And it is also, as far as I can gather, not really supporting those suffering real trauma following the earthquakes in the central South Island, as would have been expected, to help them to cope with the damage and ongoing problems and stress arising.
I implore the Government to address the needs and concerns of all New Zealand families and citizens.
BARRY H WALKER Mount Maunganui
As a past member of the New Zealand Educational Institute, I would like to know on what authority they claim that New Zealand primary schoolchildren are the best educated in the OECD.
The PPTA would not be pushing for increased claims were primary school children fully competent by age 13.
If we are talking about skill in how to kill time then perhaps it is possible. If we are talking confidence in knowledge, abilities and positive life skills, I fail to see it. We need to turn babysitters into teachers.
M. E. YOUNG Greerton
To the children of Matakana Island School, I am writing in response to your letters in the Bay of Plenty Times regarding the vandalism of the Islanders' cars.
It really saddens me that you think the residents of Omokoroa would do such a despicable thing, purely because they don't like you using the car park.
It simply isn't true.
You are right. You have just as much right as anyone else to use the car park, and in nearly 20 years in the Omokoroa Store I have never heard one negative comment regarding this.
The residents also are very angry at these needless acts of vandalism.
It not only happens to the Island cars.
A few months ago, one of the shop vans was stolen and found burnt out at Pyes Pa, and cars have been broken into and/or stolen from around the village.
In fact, the same night the island cars were set alight, a person was disturbed trying to steal the wheels from a car in Walnut Grove.
The community patrol spend a lot of time in the wharf area when on duty and will often sit down there if there are groups of people drinking on the beach, but they do not operate all night.
Several years ago, Murray spoke to some of the Islanders and told them if they all contributed towards a camera he would operate it free of charge from the shop.
Unfortunately, nothing has ever been done about it.
COLLEEN TANE Omokoroa
Hot pool concerns
Thank you, Mr Warren Banks, for replying (Your Views, October 11) to my letter of October 5.
However, I would cordially suggest that many important aspects relevant to the purpose of my letter were not mentioned by you.
The proposed cost of redevelopment - about $7.5million (plus interest on money loaned), impacts directly on the Tauranga City Council's debt ratio. There will be a huge loss of green open space as a result of development in this site, plus a large building at the base of the Mount (special to many people who live at the Mount and Tauranga).
Many camp sites and therefore funding will be lost if the development goes ahead.
Submissions from the community to the council, and feedback, do not support redevelopment which is essentially for massage rooms.
The community just want pools maintained. The Mount hot pool is the only pool making money.
If the "business case" mentioned, but not explained by Mr Banks, does not come to fruition - if not enough people visit the pool for massages - then eventually the ratepayers will have to pick up the tab (debt, plus interest).
The "business case" shows that so much money will be earned via people coming for massages that it will keep swimming "affordable" for locals.
Who researched this?
As the saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
I ask, "Why kill the goose that annually lays the golden eggs?"
So many councillors pledged restraint in unnecessary spending by the council this year that we look forward to them listening to the community's voice and the cancellation of the proposed development.
F. J. WILLIAMS Arataki
Volleyball dress code
Please allow me to offer through your paper a couple of thank-yous.
The first one to Michael Watson for his knowledgeable and very informative response to my early letter about the dress code for beach volleyball players.
After reading his reply, and later having a most enlightening telephone conversation with a beach volleyball official by the name of Tim, to whom I offer my second thank you, I accept that I was too hasty with my criticism.
I am glad that so much thought and preparation goes into the providing of shade and skin protection for the players and also was most interested to learn that apart from at some high-profile games, the wearing of bikinis is mandatory.
If I were younger I may well have joined the "ogling" female spectators but I fear it is too late for that!
However, I can fully appreciate the skill, athleticism, passion and dedication displayed by the players and hope that they take advantage of the facilities provided to protect them from the fierce New Zealand sun.
JEAN DAVIS Tauranga
Sympathy for addict
Re: Tauranga cop's wife scams widow.
I feel such extreme sadness for both Vicki and her family.
We as a family had the privilege of being friends with both Vicki and Rob, and they are the most wonderfully kind, caring, family oriented people you could meet.
The secret shame and guilt of this horrible illness of addiction makes people do things that they would never dream of doing.
Instead of persecuting her, why are we not as a community doing something about destroying slot/pokie machines?
I know what Vicki did was wrong.
But I also know how self-destructive such an awful addiction can be on one's life, and how it can, and will, make people in desperate moments do desperate things.
LISA KENYON Tauranga
* The CBD certainly needs saving BUT sadly i doubt if we have sufficient councillors with the fortitude to make the hard decisions especially those PICK 6 members
* If people dont want Te Kura o Mauao at Bethlhem dn dm people shld move I bet Mr Kuka &hs stdnts parents wer dea lng b4 dm groaners movd dea gt ova it!
* Lady fined 4 faulty parking meter dealing with godly folk should be consoled her complaint would be favourably looked upon!
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