The Bay of Plenty Times welcomes letters and comments from readers. Here you can read the letters we have published in your newspaper today.
Give Rena crew a break
Geoff Garrett (Letters, May 8) speaks a great deal of sense in his letter.
Neither the master, nor his second officer, should be considered criminals in the true or accepted definition of the word.
It seems they made grave errors of judgment by "corner cutting" but in mitigation, when one is tired, possibly stressed, and being subjected to commercial pressure, it is not difficult to err.
Geoff's analogy of the truck-driver hits the nail on the head, we can all do inexplicable things at times.
What I found particularly irksome was the action of the NZ Immigration Service who refused "Rena" wives visas to visit their husbands over Christmas.
The shipowner offered to fund their trip and this would have given comfort I'm sure, not only to those two poor individuals, but to their extended families at home when the wives returned after their short visit, when they would have been able to extol the virtues of New Zealand and tell how fairly their husbands were being treated, despite the mess which had resulted from their actions.
Preservation of world opinion on just how "fair" we are needs to be fostered, not destroyed.
Instead, they would have been left in doubt, wondering if NZ really was a country noted and respected for its many humanitarian responses.
They could quite realistically think that there was something to hide, perhaps their husbands were being held in poor conditions or were being badly treated?
What in fact was to be gained from this refusal? A sense of "serves them right"? "That will teach them"? - it seems like a petty vindictive action by whom?
Some minor official who thought he was reflecting the wishes of the "rest of us"?
Criminalisation of seafarers is becoming of increasing concern in today's shipping industry with the IMO and the ILO getting involved.
That in itself is bad enough but to "penalise" totally innocent family members out of "spite" is deplorable and certainly not what one would expect in New Zealand.
Perhaps after sentencing, when a home detention for a few more months is possibly handed down, NZ Immigration might come to its senses and revisit this case.
One can but hope.
Jim McMaster, Matua
Not only is New Zealand for sale and, after Colman's folly, God defend New Zealand because we cannot.
Maybe like Australia we could find a home for some of the 19,000 American Marines leaving Japan.
The disease of power; almost all governments in the world have been taken over by gifted psychopaths.
I quote words of Oliver Cromwell spoken to the then prime minister and government ministers: "You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing, depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God go."
Mr Key, for a few squalid years you have achieved nothing other than to feed your ego.
I say take your knighthood which you reintroduced and along with your ministers be gone.
JOHN NUTTALL, Greerton
I was interested to read the letter by the lady from the UK re Kiwi kindness (April 27).
My visitors from overseas and New Zealand always rave about Tauranga, our friendly, beautiful city, and I must agree it is.
We first arrived from the King Country and settled in Otumoetai in 1969 and everyone we met made us feel so very welcome.
The owners and staff at the local Cherrywood Shops have become real friends over the years so it was my surprise to read in the March Western Link the glowing report about Yvette who has been employed at the Cherrywood Pharmacy for 30 years since the age of 15 years, surely this is a record?
Always smiling and happy - what a wonderful asset to any business, her employer must feel so proud of her.
How refreshing it is to go into shops and be greeted with a smile and a cheery "hello", this is often rare in the other shopping centres.
"A happy satisfied customer makes for a real successful business" so my dad always said and how right he was.
Congratulations Yvette ...
MERVONI & JONES FAMILY, Otumoetai
Anzac Day has passed, we have been to the parades and have now put away our medals, and look forward to next year, whatever it may bring.
All however is not as well as you may think.
To calculate war pensions, we use the American system whereby each disability is given a percentage, depending on its seriousness.
You add up all your percentages according to your disabilities and receive a proportionate percentage of the war pension.
If, as with a friend of mine, you have 160 per cent, they will not give you anything extra - 100 cent is all you are ever going to get.
This seems a bit harsh, but it complies with the law, passed sometime in the 1940s.
Sir Geoffrey Palmer has been working on the new act for some years now, but nothing ever eventuates.
The Government on its part is happy with the extraordinary delays, as the old chaps are fading away in by their thousands.
When our PM was at his "tea party", it is said that he passed some remark to the effect that the old people were dying anyway.
This could not be said about our superannuitants as their number is clearly expanding exponentially.
Personally, I think that he was referring to war veterans.
Lack of any activity seems to support this view.
Instead of the parliamentarians tripping off the Gallipoli every Anzac Day and mouthing off platitudes, do you think that they could spare a thought for those they have left behind?
Presenting the new legislation for public scrutiny and debate would be a giant step in the right direction.
It is not something that should be left in limbo until, by the effluction of time, the problem disappears.
They deserve better than that.
CHARLES PURCELL, Tauranga
Tagging is best
Re shark surfing, unless you are catching these animals to eat them, I don't see the point in killing them.
What's wrong with taking a picture of these amazing animals and tagging and releasing them.
WADE MARTIN, Papamoa
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