Rich list and gallery: Letters, 8 August

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.
TODAY'S LETTERS:
Tall-poppy syndrome chops down our best
Re: "Rich List members deserve respect" (Our View, August 1).
I completely agree with you: "Surely we should admire the Rich Listers as examples of those who have risen to the top, normally through sacrifice and hard work."
There are too many in our country who chop down, criticise and mock those who work really hard to make a good living. The successful folk who did well in school, university and in the workplace. Good on them.
If we're going to be a successful and competitive country on the world stage, we have to get rid of the tall-poppy syndrome.Julie WycliffPapamoaFirearm defenceHas anybody ever noticed that all the mass shootings occur in places where nobody has the right to carry a gun or where it is prohibited to have firearms on the premises? No - they pick places where the people have been forcibly disarmed.
Like many countries, Norway has strict gun laws. As is the case in many other jurisdictions, a Norwegian's desire to be capable of acting in self defence is not considered a valid reason for him to own an instrument by which he could defend himself.
To own a firearm over there, one must be a certified hunter or sports shooter.
But if one - just one - of the people who had the misfortune to encounter the killer had access to a firearm, how very different the outcome might have been.
Personally I don't like guns - but I am not fond of mass murderers either, and wonder if those whose lives were taken would have preferred to have been allowed the option to protect themselves than leave their most treasured possession - their life - in the hands of others who give no regard whether it ends or continues.
(Abridged.)
Graham Clark, Lower Kaimai
Kids' canteens
Attention, politicians: Need votes? Maybe I can help.

Care to be involved in the reduction of juvenile crime, bullying, truancy and alcohol abuse?
Show that you really care by getting right behind schools throughout New Zealand.
Encourage the development of on-premises "Kiwi Kids Canteens". Employ the services of nutritionists to produce healthy, nourishing, wholesome menus.
Encourage children to look forward to attending school, feed their brains, fill their pukus, make them feel good. Educate them.
Create supervised "on-the-job" training programmes within these kitchens for apprentice chefs and kitchen staff.
Yes, but think of the logistics, administration, equipment and other set-up costs involved - could we afford it?
How about using these millions paid out weekly in benefits. When a child reaches school age, use the child-support cash for the purpose it was originally intended.
There will, of course, be the inevitable gnashing of teeth from those who presently profit the most, those who use this benefit cash to feed the pokies, buy smokes and indulge in alcohol abuse before returning home to partake in what is becoming our national sport, family violence.
Come on, stop pussy-footing around and make it happen. It's not rocket science - put politics aside and work together for the good of the country.
(Abridged.)
George Cathcart, Katikati
Unequal society
Our View (August 1) stated that "poverty is a serious social issue and one which is getting worse ... Acknowledging the gravity of that situation does not mean we should damn those who are not a part of it." That is, Rich Listers.
New Zealand is a very unequal society, ranked recently by the OECD as about 20th out of 34 developed countries. Over the last quarter of a century, inequality in New Zealand has grown more than in most comparable countries.
In recent times we have seen lowered income tax for those on high incomes, raised GST, (which proportionately has greater impact on the poor) and a refusal to consider a capital gains tax. These measures all increase income disparity.
Epidemiologists Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson have documented in-depth studies in their publication, The Spirit Level. They demonstrate the marked correlation between societies with high income disparity and social malaise of every kind. Their thesis is contained in the sub-title: "Why equality is better for everyone."
Desiring a more equitable society is not "akin to envy", as raised in the editorial - it is an earnest desire to move our society to be more akin to "God's own country" for all of us.
Let's put tax and fairness as central issues in our forthcoming elections.
M. Ware, Otumoetai
Gallery a gift
In support of the Tauranga Art Gallery, it's doing exactly what all good publicly funded art galleries do - providing public art education by exhibiting a range of art in diverse mediums, representative of current and historical art practices for the community's education and enjoyment.
TAG is an incredible facility for our city and when compared with other galleries in cities of similar sizes it is truly underfunded. But that's another story.
What they need is a voice on the council which will go into bat for it, some vocal support from lovers of art throughout our region, schools which use the facility and benefactors who will add to the growing collection of donated works the gallery holds. Without an acquisition budget, TAG cannot secure important works of art which should be resident in this region. In my opinion the gallery is doing an amazing job of showing us art in all its forms, curated ably by Penny Jackson and her team.
The recent exhibition, Art from Te Papa, was a hard-fought exhibition to secure and it's an example of their dedication to get us works which we otherwise would be hard pressed to see. Come on people, celebrate what we have here.
Sara Laing, Tauranga
Text views
* We r disgustd with treatmnt G Harcort n camera man frm Fair Go receivd here n Tauranga-Mount! No likey customers 4 yr car biz n our area!!Glad police cald.
* Isn't it typical that mainly men r supportive of boobs on bikes. Perhaps if there is so much support have parade at baypark and charge an entry at gate
* if this was so ok with the general public then why weren't all women supporting Boobs on Bikes and encouraging our children that this is a good thing.
* Wasn't worried about the boobs yesterday but the unsavory element the parade brought to town was disturbing. Also must have been half of tga boys college there
* Winston cetainly got his finger on the pulse far better than the morepork in the national govt joan dugnore
* Having the council & councillors involved in the future of the proposed marine business park will ensure thats it will never go ahead as none hav business nous
* Singlehandedly Councillors Guy & Grainger have supported Crowe & his boobs on bikes parade by promoting it. are they on his payroll? as they may as well be.
* Al u adults owt thea hu smoke with kids inda car - shame on u
* Y do struggling families buy take aways when the secret recipes r on the internet?
* God help us the councillors are now undertaking the 10 year plan when most of them cant plan 1 year ahead. We need a more businesslike approach.
* Why does TCC send rates & water rates bills in separate envelopes. Must cost $K's in extra postage.
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