Martine Rolls: Would it take away the fun?

By Martine Rolls

Is there really not much to do for young people in Tauranga, or are the young ones just easily bored? I guess it being winter doesn't help.
The Letter of the Week published in the Bay of Plenty Times on Monday was the most popular story online this week. It was a reaction from Rachael Hepburn to the cancellation of the Illuminate Paint Party. Rachael reckons that the council has taken away everything that was fun at the Mount.
This is the first time an opinion piece has reached the top position on our online list and I'm glad to see that. We welcome your ideas and opinions so please keep writing to the editor and continue to comment on Facebook.
"If the council got off their bums and looked to the future, they should be thinking about making Tauranga and the Mount the Gold Coast of NZ", says Sandra Bell on Facebook. Not everyone will agree with this, as a lot of our readers think there's enough high-rise at the Mount already, but it's an interesting view all the same.
Sandra also claims that the Bay should have their own netball team and university instead of teaming up with Waikato, and she suggests to get together to form a new political party with people that are young and young at heart to go for the next local body elections.
Steven Pohe agrees with her. He says: "So who are we going to get on the council to support our views and represent our needs? We can all complain but it's pointless without action. Need to define exactly what Tauranga needs and find a representative."
It's great to see that our Facebook page is becoming such an active discussion forum.

We love to hear your opinions and I can assure you that the Tauranga City Councillors follow our social media updates, too.
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Most Saturday mornings in winter, you'll find me bright and early at the sideline at Blake Park where my nearly 8-year-old boy Jamie plays rugby. I just love his determination to score as many tries as possible and it won't surprise me if he'd be selected for the Steamers in about 10 years from now.
As most parents, I can get very excited and rather loud while cheering on the team, and that's an understatement.
Did you see our Bay of Plenty Steamers Fan Page? We are very excited about being involved with our local rugby heroes and there's much more in store as the season unfolds. My boys and I will be following it all in Monday's Bay of Plenty Times.
If you have ideas on what we could do to support the Steamers online, let us know. Fans might appreciate a live chat with the players or the coach? We're keen to hear your thoughts.
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Last week, a teenager was seen at the Mount waving an air gun around. It sparked an armed police call out as people who had seen him believed it was an AK47.
Mount Maunganui Police Sergeant Craig Madden said the incident was a real concern because of the difficulty distinguishing between replica firearms and the real thing.
Even up close it can be hard to tell if a weapon is potentially lethal or not.
Just ask any bank teller or dairy owner who ever had one pointed at their face.
Remember the hold-up in Te Puke a few weeks ago where two toy guns from the $2 shop were used?
As for a ban on BB-guns, our online audience certainly doesn't support this. Last week's online poll showed that 89 per cent of respondents thought that air guns should not be banned and plenty of people had their say on Facebook.
Reuben Ellett, Tauranga Airsoft Club Organiser, said that Airsoft/BB guns should not be banned.
"As with everything in life is a perfectly safe and fun toy until someone without common sense and discipline uses it against its desired purpose.
This goes for anything; cars, bikes, boats, baseball bats, kitchen knives, handbags, everything."
In the Netherlands, carrying air guns in public and the possession of air guns and toy guns that resemble firearms is prohibited.
Go to online encyclopedia Wikepedia for an overview of the laws in other counties: www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airgunlaws.
I just can't help wondering, would it take away some of the fun for air rifle enthusiasts and gamers if the guns were bright orange or yellow instead of black?

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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