The Bay of Plenty Times welcomes letters and comments from readers. These are the letters to the editor published this weekend.
Empathy for quake-struck
Re: the audacity of Gerry Brownlee saying that "he is sick and tired of quake-hit homeowners complaining".
These people are still contributing through their taxed income to his exorbitant salary that keeps him well fed and housed. All they want is a home that is liveable, yet they can't seem to get satisfaction.
Is it difficult for him, in his ivory tower, to comprehend? Without taxpayers' money supporting him, he too might be sharing their plight. Such a lack of empathy is sickening.
Yet Maori are getting millions upon millions of taxpayers' money, the latest being $175 million, which could have been used to erect temporary housing in the interim, creating work and goodwill. It's a no-brainer, but do these decision-makers actually have any brains?
It appears Maori "claims" are taking priority over people who contribute toward these ridiculous claims and are living in horrific conditions, genuinely traumatised and facing an uncertain future.
What sort of Government do we have that cannot put people first and perceived claims on hold until everyone is rehoused satisfactorily in Christchurch?
Brownlee, your apology is empty, you spoke what was in your heart and you showed what you are.
A. Taylor, Avenues
iSITE for Mount
On September 6, Bay of Plenty Tourism held a meeting to discuss the new port iSITE.
It looks exciting and apparently nowhere else in New Zealand will be offering what Tauranga is.
Now that the Mount iSITE has closed, who will be offering non-biased information for all the other tourists who come to the Mount, plus locals and their families?
We were told the closure of the Mount iSITE was due to council's financial constraints.
New Zealand's fifth-largest city, which prides itself on bringing tourists to our beautiful region, will be without an iSITE.
While BOP Tourism has been helping the holiday park at the base of the Mount run as an information centre, parking is a major problem.
Unhappy about the closure of the Mount iSITE, we were encouraged to write to the council and complain.
Prime Minister and Tourism Minister John Key sees the value of the tourism dollar for our economy. So if you too see the value, and believe Mount Maunganui needs a properly-run council i-Site, please write to the council and let them know they must make it a priority in their budget.
Sarah Meadows, Tauranga
What a hilarious joke.
It is absolutely abhorrent to me to read that a New Zealand company, Kiwi Pollen, has fraudulently passed off Chilean pollen as being from our proud and honorable bee industry.
To be given just a warning is a travesty of justice.
The Commerce Commission should have used all its might to rid our proud country of this company.
Who knows what contaminants are in the product they portrayed as being Kiwi. The company should not be allowed to operate in this land but the Commerce Commission sees otherwise.
Shame on the Commerce Commission and more so on Kiwi Pollen.
(Abridged)Barry JonesPapamoaLicence to fineI wonder whether [council transport operations manager] Martin Parkes is combining with the New Zealand Police to enhance possible new Government funding?
The fine is $150 for not stopping completely.
Whilst on revenue I wish Tauranga City Council members would rescind parking-meter personnel licence to issue costly infringements for lapsed motor registration and warrant of fitness.
Mr Parkes' recent gloating of Tauranga City Council revenue from fines made me scowl.
PR at its best - not.
John MacClure, Tauranga
Pilot Bay boardwalk: thumbs down.
It is taking away the natural beauty, dividing the grass picnic area in half and removing the joy of walking on grassy bank.
Keep it by the road. Don't split the grass area in half.
I didn't realise a stroll along the grass bank was an issue.Adam HughesMatuaTidy upgradeI would much prefer to see Pilot Bay with a boardwalk than a rough walking track through the grass.
Look at the boardwalk on Marine Pde and see how the place is neat and tidy without a worn-out track through the grass.
A boardwalk only upgrades a popular walking area.
Graeme Mortlock, Te Puke
I remain unconvinced there is any genuine child poverty in New Zealand, and for the leader of the Opposition to offer free breakfasts to such children when they are in power would be laughable if the implications weren't so serious.
I challenge him to show me a parent who is not a secondary school "dropout", who is not a smoker or drinker, and has a child who at home is not eating potato crisps and drinking a fizzy drink while watching a flat-screen television, or playing some electronic game.
The local supermarket has a wide range of cheap breakfast options such as rolled oats, which would make a delicious porridge.
My point is that any child who is hungry will be so because of the parents' bad decisions which need to be identified and corrected.
Giving the child a meal is just going to perpetuate the problem.
Alastair Jones, Bellevue
Pilot Bay progress
One gets tired of reading and hearing the "negative knockers" who try to impede progress, even on enhancement plans.
Just get on with it, this Pilot Bay boardwalk proposal is something that is needed and the project has my total support in the belief that it will be a huge improvement to the whole Pilot Bay area.Peter GlausiussTaurangaHospital staffTauranga Hospital - I cannot speak highly enough of the professional, loving care I received in my recent stay.
The complete staff, from the doctors and nurses, the professionals on the machines, cleaners etc - thank you so much.
God bless you all.
Murray Coppard, Tauranga