Maori wards concern

Sometimes in life, we have to stand up and make our views heard, and one important way to do this is to petition one's council to poll the whole community so the whole community can vote on an issue and not just nine councillors.

If one believes that in a democracy we all have the right and are free to stand for election to local government, to represent our communities. We take the risk that of winning or losing, and that is the challenge we all face. Many good people have won and many good people have lost. Usually, people who work hard for their communities have a greater chance of being elected. At Western Bay, I am the only female councillor, yet we women are 51 per cent of the population, but we women have to stand and take the risk, with no special treatment. So, to set up a separate Maori ward(s) is such a retrograde step, as we are all equal, and I cannot vote for any system that takes us down the road of apartheid or patronise my neighbours by pretending they are not good enough.

Margaret Murray-Benge

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Bethlehem

'Grandiose' amenities

It is with interest that I see the council has passed the first stage of considering a museum. While I do not have any problem with the establishment of a museum or other amenities, what I do have a problem with is "who pays". It's always put on the ratepayer to finance these amenities with the excuse that they are beneficial and necessary for a city. The expenditure is supported by the local business community on the grounds that it brings tourists and business to the city. If both are true then why does the council not go into partnership with the businesses to provide these amenities. The days are gone when the ratepayers alone can fund these schemes and a partnership between private and public makes more sense. It is hard enough for families to afford the mortgages without the rates being raised to provide some of the grandiose amenities that the councils and a vociferous minority believe are necessary to be classed as a city.
Stuart Greenshields
Tauranga

Interaction best
I have travelled four times to Europe and the UK in eight years. I have been to the V&A Museum and a science museum, while my husband went to couple of war museums in London. We also went to a few palaces and castles, as we love classic cars we went to [the National Motor Museum in] Beaulieu, Hampshire. We went to Italy, saw cathedrals, churches, Pompeii, La Scala Opera House in Milan but no museums. On a river cruise down the Rhone in France, there were a couple of stops for people to see the sights in the beautiful villages alongside the river. On one stop I recall we were told there was a museum and about 40 of us went. Within half hour that number was down to about six - we were one of those that left after about 20 minutes.
One of the best museums I have seen is the Science Museum in Melbourne - so many interactive displays that were popular with all ages. The static displays no one looked at, I know that because I sat near these. In the past 10 years I have been to the Auckland Museum and Te Papa in Wellington to see exhibitions. I went to the Thames Museum with a group of friends and we all said: "We could remember that." My two boys loved going to the Historical Village, they felt this more interesting to see exhibits in the places they were supposed to be ie blacksmiths, shops, houses etc.
I am in my late 60s and there are so many other places to see than museums.
Wendy Galloway
Omokoroa