No dignity: Letters, 16 April

By Readers write

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

We can't afford more paid parental leave

For once, I am in complete agreement with the National Party and they should veto the parental leave bill. We can't afford more paid parental leave.

I don't see why my taxes should pay for a parent to stay home when they have had nine months to plan and save for when baby arrives, and it is up to them to do so. Okay, so it might mean living on a reduced income for a while but, with a few adjustments, it can be done if the "wanna have it" is left out and the "need it" rule applies.

Otherwise, the parents might have to do what parents have done in the past and use daycare centres for their 3-month-old. If mum or dad want to stay home with baby for six months, it would be a good time to realise that a simple life without the hassles of money can be great.

As for saying that the child suffers from lack of quality of life, that is just scaremongering.<inline type="recurring-inline" id="1003" align="outside" enforce-sites="no" />

For various reasons, "quality of life" sometimes lessens and I don't see the Government picking up the tab for everyone who has had to suffer less than their usual quality of life.

Money does not give quality of life to children. Parents do.

Perhaps Labour should come up with better bills than this to fill in their time.

R. SMITH, Tauranga

Stop growing these GE trees in the Bay

Recent publicity surrounding the cutting down of genetically engineered trees in Scion's experiments should serve to highlight some important issues. There is sustained concern in the Bay of Plenty (and other parts of NZ) about the proposal by Scion to experiment with 4000 GE pine trees outdoors. Bay of Plenty Regional Council, various conservation groups and hundreds of other submitters opposed this risky Scion application.

Part of the threat from GE pine trees comes from the dangers of transgenic pollution from GE pine pollen, or horizontal gene transfer, which could have unintended adverse impacts on the environment, including harm to NZ soils.

Another risk is lowered productivity from toppling and snapping of pines that already are prone to that problem.

GE pines could also cost a neighbouring forester or property owner a hard-won Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certification.

The FSC has identified other legitimate scientific concerns about the safety and appropriateness of planting genetically engineered trees, including asexual transfer of genes from GMOs with antibiotic resistance to pathogenic micro-organisms, increased resistance of target insect pests, reduced adaptability to environmental stresses, increased weediness or invasiveness in GMO trees with new features, and the spread of herbicide resistance genes.

These hazards, and the uncertainties about them, are the reason for the prohibition of the use of GMOs in certified forests, stated in the FSC Principles and Criteria.

Scion, stop growing GE trees in Bay of Plenty, a prime forestry area.

Dr RON LOPERT, Welcome Bay

Jazz legend

It was great to be in Tauranga at the weekend of the jazz festival.

We came all the way from the Bay of Islands to get a slice of Kiwi culture, fun, sun and good jazz.

Thumbs up to the organisers of the event, Tauranga's 50th anniversary of the jazz festival, it was fantastic.

I think many visitors did not quite grasp that one of the true jazz gems of our time was part of the line-up. Klaus Doldinger, 76-year-old jazz legend, performed on the Saturday night at Baycourt.


There were still a number of empty seats but those who had taken the opportunity to witness some of the finest jazz of our times were enthusiastic in their applause for a very special concert.

It is sad that the Bay of Plenty Times did not cover this special event, nor did they take the opportunity to interview Klaus Doldinger (Radio NZ did not miss that opportunity).

As the hosting city, Tauranga would have deserved some information about this special guest artist and your local newspaper missed a unique chance to pay respect to such a great internationally recognised musician and his band.


Euthanasia bill

We should oppose Maryan Street's euthanasia bill.

There is no dignity in being killed by your doctor.

Euthanasia is all about doctors killing their patients or assisting in their suicide.

In the Crimes Act, homicide and assisted suicide are serious crimes against the person.

These laws are there to protect us all, especially the vulnerable. Euthanasia comes from a culture of death, palliative care from a culture of life, they are totally incompatible. The concept of so-called "dignity havens", where killing and caring would be offered, is to accept a wolf in the guise of a lamb.

The Dutch Government has recently announced that it will provide six mobile euthanasia units to cover all of Holland, as there are many persons with dementia and Alzheimer's disease who are being missed by the euthanasia laws. The mobile units would allow these patients to be "treated" in their own homes. In Holland in 2009, there were 2636 patients killed by their doctor, including 400 where the doctor assisted in the patient's suicide.

There were also 500 patients who were killed by their doctor without the knowledge of the patient or family.

These figures are conservative, as many cases are not reported.

KEN ORR, Spokesperson Right to Life

Treaty apartheid

In response to Peter Day's assertion that the Waitangi Tribunal is not some "secret society", why does Chris Finlayson, Treaty negotiator, hold his sessions with iwi behind closed doors with no public input?

The original 1840 Treaty gave protection and equal rights to all New Zealanders.

Maori chiefs had given up sovereignty of their lands to Queen Victoria in exchange for protection. Most alleged claims were settled in 1940, but in 1975 the Waitangi Tribunal was created to investigate more claims.

The real problems began when the fourth Labour Government enacted laws that gave Maori advantages over non-Maori. The Treaty of 1840 was signed with a handshake and the words: "He iwi tahi tahou - we are now one people". But that Government made the Treaty into a partnership between Maori and the Crown, writing all New Zealand citizens out of the Treaty that could not claim a minute trace of Maori ancestry.

In 1990, Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer and Attorney General David Lange realised the terrible mistake the fourth Labour Government had made and tried to make amends but it was too late. Geoffrey Palmer stated: "While it is true the 1975 act and all the other statutes which give explicit recognition to the Treaty are not entrenched, they can be swept away by a simple majority in Parliament".

We must now elect a Parliament that will sweep away these apartheid statutes.

A TAYLOR, Tauranga

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- Bay of Plenty Times

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