Speedway and Vietnam: Letters, 14 May

By Readers write

The Bay of Plenty Times welcomes letters and comments from readers. Below you can read the letters we have published in your newspaper today.

CBD not right for shops
Re: Facilities show we must try harder (Our View, May 10).
The CBD doesn't seem to be friendly to anyone these days, not retailers, pedestrians, or breastfeeding mums. A casual glance suggests the CBD is the exclusive preserve of a few hairy bums and a horde of parking wardens hellbent on ticketing those who dare come to town.
What is to be done? You can blame council for some things but you can't blame them for everything. Having worked retail in an equally inept CBD just over the Kaimais, I can say that most retail concepts just don't fit the physical constraints of the average CBD and that is why the malls work so well. Cohesive branding, concise marketing, big loading docks and excellent parking leave the paltry efforts of Mainstreet Tauranga gasping in the dust.
The bottom-line being: Would you take your chances with parking wardens and smelly toilets or take your business to a mall and park free for as long as you wish?
My advice to CBD retailers? Own the problem, develop a retailer-operated toilet block in an empty shopping space. And for goodness' sake, don't wait on council for a solution to a problem they really don't understand.
Steve Callagher, Greerton
Speedway safety
A few weeks ago, Baypark had a nasty race-related incident in which a woman spectator suffered severe arm injuries as a result of flying debris.

We were told at the time there was only one-in-a-million chance of this happening although the track condition is again deteriorating.
Yet at the next meeting, we had a horrific crash on the same track bend and at least one jagged large panel flew over the safety fence on to the public concourse where people were walking - luckily no one was hit.
Clearly Baypark have serious safety issues and there has been no mention of the latest incident in the media, which can be viewed on You Tube (Murray Guy video).
Why are Speedway NZ, OSH and TCVL doing nothing about this worrying state of affairs?
S Paterson, Matapihi
Be reasonable
In reply to Graham Clark's letter "Hero, not Villain" (Your View, May 10). I ask you what planet is he from? Does he advocate that we all stop paying our taxes like the man who evaded paying taxes to the tune of $500,000?
To be a hero, you would think that that person would be responsible and a responsible employer would make sure that all his employees would be registered with the IRD and pay their PAYE like everyone else.
And since this employee was registered for GST, he should have made the appropriate payments there, too. The only ones we should be questioning is the IRD as to how they let this and many other registered employees continue with their business without paying monthly contributions?
And the other question that should be asked is: If this person goes to jail for not paying his taxes, will he be required to reimburse the IRD for the amounts outstanding?
Terry Gradon, Lower Kaimai
Sleeping babies
Re Coroner slams practice after four infant deaths (Bay of Plenty Times Weekend, may 7).
If this particular doctor claims it is child abuse to do what is natural, ie: lovingly care for your baby during the night as well as during the day, by keeping baby safe and secure in your family bed, I wonder how this doctor would describe putting your baby in his/her own room away from all human contact for several hours at a time each evening. Even worse, how would he describe the "recommended" practice of abandoning a baby to cry for long periods of time in an effort to make the baby sleep through the night in his/her own bed with no human contact.
If we wanted to look at statistics about co-sleeping, we should be looking at the statistics regarding the mental health of older children who have been abandoned during the scary night hours on a regular basis during infancy. A closer look at the statistics regarding infant deaths would reveal that babies can die in their sleep whether in a cot or in their parents' bed.
Obviously co-sleeping is not advised if either parent smokes or is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Jeannie McNaughton, Papamoa Beach
Vietnam lessons
Recently I was privileged to be in Vietnam during a four-day weekend public holiday.
The traffic is amazing in that in Ho Chi Min city (also know as Saigon), sometimes a pedestrian is faced with six lanes of traffic, of which the majority is motorbikes/motor-scooters. However the Government there treats motorists as adults. Yes, they wear motorcycle helmets and seatbelts in the cars. But with a scattering of traffic lights, the motorists are left to their own devices. Which often includes two adults and two children on one motorbike.
It is easy to cross the road in the face of this horrendous traffic as motorists weave their way around you with narey a honk or a shout.
Checking the local newspaper I expected all sorts of carnage. But, over the four-day weekend with a population of some 6 million motorists: Fatalities: three, from one accident - scooter meets truck and 289 casualties requiring hospital treatment.
Maybe we should send our traffic safety gurus there to see if they can import driving Vietnamese style ... Think how many Kiwi lives would be saved and how many traffic lights could be eradicated.
Roy Edwards, Tauranga
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Email: editor@bayofplentytimes.co.nz
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- Bay of Plenty Times

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