The Bay of Plenty Times welcomes letters and comments from readers. Below you can read the letters we have published in your newspaper today.
Calling on councillors to defend gravy train
Re: Frivolous spending must be slashed (Our View, June 16).
Eleven regional council representatives were last week required to attend a welcoming in Christchurch because of protocol - yeah right.
Bill Bayfield was an outstanding CEO of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council who was farewelled fittingly for someone of his mana. It was inappropriate for the chairman of the regional council, John Cronin, along with an entourage of 10 others, to travel to a ceremony in Christchurch to welcome Mr Bayfield to his next job - at our expense.
I would like to challenge Mr Cronin to come out from behind his protocol and defend the indefensible. This action by Mr Cronin was poor judgment and insensitive extravagance when so many struggle to pay their increasing rates.
I, along with many, say "no more" to Cronin's gravy train.
Tim Short, Tauranga
With reference to the article about 11 regional council representatives attending a powhiri in Christchurch to hand over former Bay of Plenty chief executive Bill Bayfield to local iwi Ngai Tahu - can someone please explain where this Maori protocol comes from?
Since when was it necessary for 11 people to go at ratepayers' expense?
It's a sheer waste of our money. I'm sure Mr Bayfield would have been quite capable of going by himself. Council has to realise it just can't carry on throwing ratepayers' money away on insignificant whims.
Ann Butler, Tauranga
I respond to Hamish Rochester (Your View, June 17) from Wellington, who has seen fit to make negative comments about the removal of mangroves from the Tauranga Harbour.
I, for one, and all the people who I have spoken to, are delighted with what has been achieved. Congratulations to the council and to the wonderful work of the contractor.
Without this intervention our inner harbour would have eventually disappeared.
Mr Rochester might be better qualified to comment on issues that are relevant to Wellington.
Steve Horton, Welcome Bay
Forestry in context
In reading Winston Peters' opinion piece (Bay of Plenty Times Weekend, June 18), which takes aim at the export activities of the forestry industry, it is apparent that he has cherry-picked the issues to fit the bill while ignoring any statement that puts the issue in context.
In fact, the article in question discusses in detail the growth of the domestic processing industry.
The fact is that domestic processing in New Zealand has enjoyed increases at a compound rate of 2.6 per cent per annum over the last 45 years.
Currently 64 per cent of all Rayonier Matariki wood grown in New Zealand is also processed here in New Zealand and the logs we do export are of a considerably lower quality than those processed locally, and are often unsuitable for domestic mills.
The growth of timber processing locally has been because of significant off-shore investment since government privatisation in the early 1990s. While some of the older sawmills have closed in recent years, foreign capital is helping others to expand with considerable success.
What Mr Peters must appreciate is that not all opportunities to add value locally actually add value. By processing locally we run the risk of no longer providing the most attractive or economical alternative for countries such as Japan and China. By selling a mere 36 per cent of unprocessed wood off-shore, we ensure our industry continues to stay strong and that jobs remain for the 17,000-plus people employed in the industry - more than 1000 of whom Rayonier Matariki hires across the country.
Paul Nicholls, Rayonier Matariki Forests, managing director
Re: Public nudity unfair on others (Our View, June 20).
To go nude where nudity is not the norm is, in my opinion, pure exhibitionism and nothing to do the aspects of naturism.
The police did the right thing.
Wayne Jessop, Mount Maunganui
* Big hands up to all involved in repairing base track on mauao. Awsome.
* Shame on crn Curack. Hes been a councillor and mt resident 4 many years and didnt know mt pools were hot salt water. Does it really surprise us?
* Get rid of kronic. Y r we encouraging or allowing substances2 smoke? Thort the move was 2 get rid of the smoking habit?
* Home kills an outrage. Get a life! Its people like this that have turned our country into the pc debacle we've become. Rob beilby
* Have lived in many places last 4 yrs & all the locals always say WE have the worst drivers! Bruce Y
* Re driv, n , or shud i say steer, n - round tga - ppl hu indicate left then go strat thru roundabout realy pmo
* Punch ups dont only happen in rugby league - u c it in every sport ... even da round ball game
* John Cronin jst anothr beaurcrat wth his snout in th public trough.
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