Talkback politics: Letters, 4 February

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

 Land settlements small fry

I am responding to the letter by B Guernier, titled Poverty (Opinion, February 1).

I too am happy about the Maori land settlements and the many thousands of Maori who have benefited from the monies received.

Since 1975, all Maori land claims have added to about the same amount paid to bail out Southland Finance. Now if you add in the bailouts of Air New Zealand and the BNZ bank by the taxpayers of Aotearoa, it makes the land settlements seem unjust.

How many taxpaying Kiwis benefited from those three deals?<inline type="recurring-inline" id="1003" align="outside" enforce-sites="no" />

George Te Huia, Greerton

University fund

There has been a lot of positive feedback to the development of a university precinct with land freely given by council and buildings funded by TECT. I understand that the university is asking for $55 million from TECT. Last year, TECT distributed $24.1 million to the consumers and $5.75 million to community organisations.

If TECT were to give that money to the university, it could only come from distributions and grants budget, or from investment capital. Why should the Tauranga community be prepared to forgo their money for years to pay for something other cities get for free from the government?

Frances Denz, Tauranga

Naturists not new

We have used this stretch of beach for many years without causing distress to others. Should people walk this far along the beach, it's up to them whether they look at us. The choice is theirs, or just turn back the way they came.

It is our choice to be naturists and enjoy being clothes-free, why should we be ashamed of our own bodies? The meeting is done on a stretch of beach that has been used by naturists for years and is well known for it.

As for the signs being put up along the roadside, it gives those who don't want to see the gathering a chance not to be walking that part of the beach on that day.

Dawn Audoire-Jones, Auckland

Outdoor Naturist Club

Baypark planI refer to the $5 million bailout to what is apparently an under- resourced business venture between Tauranga City Council and TCVL. Surely our councillors must realise the value of public-private partnerships and get into a position of clipping the ticket and retaining some control.

A private ownership of the Baypark would definitely have the ability and financial desire to promote and grow the business to a success. Yes, Baypark is certainly a fantastic complex and deserving of international status, however, the council has certainly chased away many opportunities over the decades. The old original bitumen Baypark Speedway in the '70s had more profile drivers than Bathurst back then. A few more metres on Baywave would have achieved Olympic standards for swimming. Need I go on.

Sell the debt-ridden money pit, clear the ratepayers' funded liability and retain some control, and reap the dividends and revenue for the city generated by a private ownership model that can attract the thousands of people to our city, like Baypark is capable of.

Only then will it allow our councillors the time to get on and facilitate and achieve the smart growth plan Tauranga so deserves.

(Abridged)

Peter Lowes, Tauranga

Talkback politics

The master of pinstripe politics and the master of patu politics seem to be singing the same waiata more as the year unfolds.

Hone Harawira and Winston Peters play talkback politics by polarising opinions and telling their punters what they want to hear. Some listen, some laugh and some just change channel.

Both have taken to scaremongering their own people to get publicity, with the hard-hitting Hone applying patu politics against the Maori Party for defending the stance they have taken in their relationship with National. Lest we forget, it was Mr Harawira who walked away from the Maori Party because of their relationship with National - yet it is the Maori Party who adopted the declaration on the rights of indigenous people and have significantly progressed a range of advances, such as Maori economic development, Te Reo Maori strategy and Whanau Ora. All toanga that Mr Harawira once stood staunch for.

As for Winston, the master of talkback politics, he walked away from Maori a long time ago and continues to play the race card every time a new game of political poker is on the table.

T Kapai, Te Puna

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