The Bay of Plenty Times welcomes letters and comments from readers. Here you can read the letters we have published in your newspaper today.
Emotions don't alter reality
Thank you for your article on euthanasia and assisted suicide ("Charges fuel euthanasia debate", April 11).
We should have every sympathy for Mr Mott and his late wife. Objectively, Mr Mott appears to have broken the law.
Subjectively, one would hope that the legal system recognises the tragic circumstances and is therefore lenient when sentencing.
The law has to deal with facts. Circumstances are relevant, but emotions, even compassion for Mr Mott, cannot change the reality of what has taken place.<inline type="recurring-inline" id="1003" align="outside" enforce-sites="no" />
The reason that assisting in suicide remains illegal is precisely because of the risk of coercion of vulnerable people by a third party.
The growing recognition of crimes of abuses against the elderly in Western countries should move us to protect such people and not abandon them to such risks.
We would change the law at our peril. As your article pointed out, there are inherent and inexorable risks involved in legalising euthanasia and assisted suicide that cannot be dealt with by any amount of safeguards.
Paul Russell, Director, HOPE: Preventing Euthanasia & Assisted Suicide
Power of stories
Ten years ago when I took on the task of being an inaugural board member of Tourism BOP, I tried banging the drum to support the concept that telling our own stories meant visitors would come and listen - if the stories were told on site in an inspiring and edu-taining manner.
One of the cornerstones of this storytelling tourism was the Historic Village, as it had the potential to becoming an iconic attraction, if managed with the correct balance of vision and fiscal responsibility.
Then I met the person who I believe then and still do today, had bucket loads of both to breathe life back into the village.
That person is Des Ferrow.
However, the council and the tourism board - in their infinite wisdom - decided they knew better.
It was a sad day when Des Ferrow walked and took his talk and talent with him. Today, 10 years and $10 million later, Tourism BOP has done four-fifths to breathe life into any new attractions here in Tauranga.
They should all be replaced by a new team who have the same balance of vision and fiscal responsibility as Des Ferrow - that's if we want Tauranga to start telling its own stories that I know overseas visitors want to hear and experience.
Tommy Kapai, Te Puna
I would like to publicly thank a young man called Tony, who found my purse and wallet when I lost it last week, on my way from Katikati to Auckland.
It restores my faith in human nature to have him bring it back complete with credit cards and money.
M Knight, Katikati
The Government, not the Waitangi Tribunal, will pay $31 million to Ngati Ranginui for stolen land.
The Waitangi Tribunal is purely a research and advisory body. It is appointed by the Government and includes Maori and Pakeha members.
It is not some Maori secret society making handouts of taxpayer money to its mates.
For Ngati Ranginui, a major injustice occurred, the Government stole their land, the Government was at fault, so the Government should sort the injustice out.
The reason the sorting out has taken so long is that it is only since 1985 that the Government has allowed proper research of historical Maori claims to be made.
In most cases, the evidence the Waitangi Tribunal has produced in support of Maori claims is overwhelming. Most of us want New Zealand to have good race relations.
We value the enormous contribution that Maori people and their culture make.
It gives us a unique identity as a country that we enjoy being proud of. Ongoing Treaty settlements are a part of those good race relations.
Maori tribes have registered membership and elected trustees to handle finance.
The suggestion that settlement money goes to a few fat cats is ignorant nonsense.
Peter Dey, Tauranga
I think it would be a wonderful idea to run the historic village along the same lines as Sovereign Hill in Ballarat.
I have been to Sovereign Hill three times and each time I have been fascinated.
It is a wonderful place full of history.
Also, I feel it would be of great benefit if a offramp were provided off the expressway at 17th Avenue.
This would give much easier access to the village from Mt Maunganui especially for buses coming from cruise ships.
It would also be of great use for traffic to the hospital.
R Stewart, Katikati
When writing to us, please note the following:
•Letters should not exceed 200 words
•Please include your address and phone number (for our records only)
•Letters may be abridged, edited or refused at the editor's discretion
•The editor's decision to publish is final. Rejected letters are usually not acknowledged
•Local letters are given preference
•Text: 021 241 4568 - Please start your message with BOP