Your Letters: Answers needed on asset sale shares

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Answers needed

I have a few questions I would like cleared up regarding the shares in asset sales by the Government.

First, how many shares will there be in each sale? Second, for my minimum of $1000 how many will I receive?

Third, what amount of tax will I be expected to pay on the dividend? Fourth, what will be my liability should the company go into debt and has to be sold up on the open market or needs to increase its shareholding?

- Keith Hatcher, Katikati

Trips unsuitable

As an ex-teacher I am concerned at the number of college student groups going overseas, eg to the US or Europe, as part of their study.

When many parents are under financial pressure, it seems inappropriate to offer these trips costing several thousands of dollars.

It creates divisions within a class - those that can afford it and those that can't.

Is the real reason for the trip to keep students motivated to study, or to attract new students to elect to take the subjects offering the best "perks"?

No parent likes to be 'the ogre' and deny a child these opportunities, but I know of someone considering selling their car to finance their child's school trip.

What do others think?

- Margaret Carter, Tauranga

It's indoctrination

Brookfield School principal Robert Hyndman's comment (August 1) that if a school were not offering religious education then "it would be offering an atheistic point of view, which was still a religious perspective", is nonsense. Obviously his own education has not included a study of ethics. Had it, he would have been aware that the concept of moral behaviour transcends both theist and atheist philosophies. Likewise, Otumoetai Primary School principal Geoff Opie claims that a Christian-based programme "isn't pushing religion on to the kids. It's pushing a set of values. This is educating, it's not indoctrinating".

If Mr Opie did some study on the concept of indoctrination he would find that "pushing" a set of values without rational argument is indoctrination.

Values need to stand the test of reasoned argument, not by the presentation of packaged presuppositions. Mr Vise is right in calling religious education indoctrination. I would go further and say that religious "education" is an oxymoron, because indoctrination is the antithesis of education. Perhaps the concept of education is what is lacking in teacher education. How many principals could give a definition of education that clearly demarcates it from other forms of teaching, such as training, indoctrination, coercion and brainwashing?

- Graham Mundy, Bellevue

Poll suspicion

A while back your newspaper published a poll result showing that 85 per cent of people wanted secondary tax removed, 5 per cent said no and 10 per cent were not sure.

This result astounded me.

Don't our people know that New Zealand has always had a progressive tax system which currently ranges between 10.5 per cent and 33 per cent? Secondary tax is a mechanism which assumes that the benefits of the lower rates have been used up when one's primary employment is taxed. It ensures that people don't face large tax bills at the end of each financial year.

Maybe these 85 per cent are advocating a flat tax? As per Roger Douglas 25 years ago. Or did many of the 85 per cent simply have a kneejerk negative reaction?

All this leads me to be highly suspicious of most poll results and how, like our sheep, easily led people are!

My interest stems from sometimes agreeing to participate in polls and surveys etc, simply for the experience. Frequently I am intrigued to note how loaded many of the questions are, obviously crafted towards a desired outcome.

- Bill Capamagian, Tauranga

Editor's note: the polls on are unscientific and are used as a tool to gauge readers' opinions on topical subjects.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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