The Bay of Plenty Times welcomes letters and comments from readers. Here you can read the letters we have published in your newspaper today.
Settlement money not going where it's needed
I read today that 45 Waitangi settlements since 1994 are complete or nearly completed. The total of these settlements is around $1,220,307,507.
Question: Where has all this money gone? It certainly has not benefited most of the people who really need it.
The Maori Party leaders on the one hand continually pontificate that "we are one nation, one people". On the other hand they harass government with "we need more money for 'our people' for health services, education and job creation".
Second question: Why hasn't at least a good percentage of the above figure been put towards these needs ?
Third question: Are we in reality two nations and two peoples whether we like it or not ?
Fourth question: Why is Chris Finlayson insisting that treaty negotiations are held in secret ?
These should be open to allow all citizens to contribute. There is increasing anger around the country, not over the settlements themselves as many are justified, but the stark fact that the money is not getting to where it is really needed.
The taxpayers and government only have a finite amount of money so if these double demands continue for much longer New Zealand will in a very short time end up bankrupt like Greece. I will be interested in any responses to these questions.
Roger Bailey, Papamoa
Through your newspaper I would like to say thank you to the people of New Zealand for their friendliness and kindness during our four-week holiday in your country.
A special thanks has to go to the lady from Tauranga who was so kind and helpful following the death of my aunt. We enjoyed the beautiful countryside, dramatic fiords, interesting heritage and fascinating wildlife.
The positive attitude of the people in Christchurch is a lesson to us all.
We look forward to our next visit and exploring more interesting areas in both North and South Islands.
Kathleen Swann Ripon, UK
Last month after having been picked for jury service I slipped on wet grass.
This resulted in a hospital admission via ambulance.
I would just like to thank everybody who helped me as it happened, particularly Dianne and Olaf. Thank you to the amazing ward 3B nurses who looked after me for the majority of my time there. Thank you also to Mr Ardern and his team of doctors for the professionalism and being thorough regarding my care.
Despite the stresses that the hospital is under I cannot fault the service or professionalism that I received. I am an employee of Tauranga Hospital and on this occasion I was able to view things from a patient perspective and as such have only praise for everyone involved.( ED staff, Dianne and Olaf, Ward 3B, Katrina (trauma nurse), Tony and Sue (ambulance drivers) and the police officer who alerted my husband and 'acting' team leader.
Julie Gregory, Welcome Bay
Dangers of drink
Yes, I am a dirty smoker. Yes, I know the health risks, the statistics on having my children smoke and the damage on the savings account. Yes, I am fully aware.
But, for the same price as a packet of 20s, I could choose to buy a bottle of vodka. I could choose to neglect my kids, burn our house down while intoxicated. I could choose to drive our car, and not only kill my family but every other driver on the road. I could choose that outcome but I don't. I'm just a lowly, dirty smoker. And I think it's time for the government to realise that maybe smoking isn't as destructive as its 'rival', alcohol.
Raising the cost of cigarettes is only going to create a bigger issue. We are already addicted, we will still buy them. And we still suffer financially. Call me disgusting but I am just being honest. My family will suffer at the increase.
Yet, its seems acceptable to be a drunk? To still be able to purchase low-cost alcohol and, basically, have the power to cause countless scenarios of tragedy.
So while I am outside, fagging away, maybe the leaders of NZ should be kicking our 'butts' but also be addressing our country's alcoholism problem too.
Cristin Sim, Gate Pa
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