The Bay of Plenty Times welcomes letters and comments from readers. Here you can read the letters we have published in your newspaper today.
Letter of the Week: Balance called for in workplace drug testing
We need some perspective when considering the potential harms relating to drugs in the workplace.
The No 1 drug causing damage in our workplace is, in fact, alcohol, with cannabis a close second.
Peter Dunne has just banned a party pill called DMAA. The National Addiction Centre regards this drug as dangerous as strong coffee. Peter Dunne remains unavailable to discuss alcohol as a drug that is a high risk to public health and has the same safety ratio as the currently maligned methamphetamine.
Brian Easton in 2002 estimated the cost of alcohol in lost productivity to industry to be $1.17 billion annually. We know 700,000 people drink very heavily in this country, and 70 per cent of those who abuse alcohol are in active employment.
Abusers of alcohol are five times more likely to have workplace accidents and heavy drinkers are 40 per cent less productive than their more temperate colleagues.
Workplaces often have plenty of alcohol available, so those that are dependent or suffer from abuse have even more access to their normalised drug of choice.
All drug use at work is a scourge, so it is time to set a balanced policy on workplace alcohol and other drug testing, rather than the hysterical tactics of the likes of Peter Dunne.
Dr Tony Farrell, Mount Medical Centre
Child abuse needs to be recognised for what it is
I would be interested in someone being able to tell me how child pornography became the new name for child abuse.
The recent case of the child abuser who is requesting name suppression and received home detention for his crime against children is a disgrace.
For goodness' sake call it what it is. Not child pornography but child abuse in the most degrading way.
Ken Branch, Papamoa
Price is wrong
Re: Water rates
As no explanation for doubling the cost of this essential service has been provided, may we assume one of two possibilities?
Are staff making preparations for flogging it off to private buyers or has the council failed to have the property developers pay the full cost of getting water to remote parts of the city?
If the latter, then it would seem the mayor's mantra that growth pays for itself is a load of waste water.
John Wightman, Tauranga
It could be worse
To Tauranga City Council water users: Just be thankful you do not live in Omokoroa. Up until last year we paid for water, a fixed charge of $361.10 including GST.
We now pay a fixed charge of $295.55 plus per cubic metre of water $1.00 including GST. For an average 2 person household using 90 cu metres a year that is about $386.
If we lived in Tauranga we would be paying under the new rates $304.10, so stop moaning, of course our rates are going up as well despite valuations going down.
Wendy Galloway, Omokoroa
Time for cyclists
I cycle to work from Welcome Bay to Mount Maunganui and back: At the Baypark roundabouts, the shoulder lane disappears - there is adequate room on the grass verge to construct a cycle path.
Continuing along Maunganui Rd towards the Mount, the shoulder lane is barely the width of my wheel rim, sharing the road with 70-80km/h traffic, including large trucks.
The wide grass verge between the railway and the road could easily carry a two-way cycle path.
This should continue to Golf Rd, from there it is much more cycle friendly.
For the return trip, the scary but adequate shoulder lane is available until just before the Maungatapu bridge - and then? I must wait for a gap in the 100kph traffic to run my bike across the road to the footpath side.
A cycle underpass which goes under the bridge will make this a risk-free crossing. From the Maungatapu end of the bridge, a short path to feed against the flow of traffic would enable cyclists to detour through Maungatapu to the safe crossings at the roundabout.
Piet Kil, Welcome Bay
Greed not healthy
It would seem that "Sir" John Key, and the Minister of Epson "Sir" John Banks, have a problem, pakeha are pushovers, but Maori people are a real pain in the butt - they stick together.
The very first act that "Sir" John Key did when he took office was to reintroduce the British Honours List at a time when the country was in big trouble.
All holders bar one, I believe, discarded their New Zealand Honours For the British system - a contradiction, not very loyal.
When Maori have a problem they stand up for their rights - some in National do not.
It is difficult for John and John to understand that greed is not healthy.
People strive for fair play and a chance to earn a decent living.
No MP can show me how a person can have a life, buy a house and raise a family on $13 an hour.
Someone has to empty the trash - if we do not think that is important, wait until it starts to stink.
The result: Poverty, more prisons and they are not cheap.
In the end the wealthy will pay dearly.
Still, all is not lost when John and John consummated their marriage. Along came Winston, such joy to behold.
The clergy and their flock are very strangely silent on the above, did they all vote National?
Ron Chamberlain, Otumoetai
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