New Year at Mount was just wonderful
What a wonderful celebration for New Year's Eve we had at the Mount.
Being a 70-years-plus it was so lovely to see the younger ones really enjoy themselves and be so well behaved. I was really proud of you all.
It was the first time I had been to the Mount to celebrate New Year's Eve and I will certainly go next year.
I have to congratulate the wonderful job the security people did, also the police. They worked so hard but still had a wonderful sense of humour.
- RITA KING, Pyes Pa
Maori were first
The claim by Ian Brougham (December 31), David Rankin, and author Ian Wishart, that Maori were not the first settlers in New Zealand, is thoroughly contradicted by modern scientific evidence.
There is now radiocarbon evidence, published in 2011 providing dates for historic settlements throughout the whole of east Polynesia, including New Zealand. This radiocarbon evidence, collected by Janet Wilmshurst and other scientists (www.pnas.org), shows clearly that Maori were the first settlers in New Zealand about 1250AD and that there is no evidence of other people living here before then.
Ian Wishart, in his book The Great Divide published in 2012, ignored Janet Wilmshurst's radiocarbon evidence from February 2011.
He had no answer to her evidence, which completely contradicted the much weaker evidence in his book.
The claim, that there were people living in New Zealand before Maori arrived, is based on weak, debatable evidence and ignores the much stronger evidence of modern science.
Maori are also correctly labelled indigenous to New Zealand.
Both New Zealand Maori and Australian Aboriginals arrived by sea.
They are both indigenous because they were the first settlers.
All indigenous people were first settlers from somewhere else.
- PETER DEY, Welcome Bay
Your article re freedom camping and the Silver Birch Holiday Park, I believe, is a very one-sided and parochial statement.
It tars all motorhome owners with the one brush, when I think that the problem is actually caused by mini camping vans.
Most members of the NZMCA are responsible campers who own their own campers and have spent a lot of time, money and effort to be certified as responsible campers and are identified by the green diamond sticker on the rear of their vans.
Is Mr Richie Robin pointing the finger at these people? I am a member of the NZMCA and have a very large investment in my motorhome and, yes, I freedom camp, as do most others that I know of. If Mr Richie Robin is referring to the multitude of mini campers that are rented to overseas tourists, I would like him to have stated that. They have no certification, no toilet or water containment, and do not seem to care where they urinate, defecate, or leave their rubbish. Talk to the firms that rent them. Re the TCC attitude: perhaps they could talk to the mayor of Taupo, who has created areas for certified motorhomes and whose officers move on uncertified vans. Deal with the minority, not the majority.
- GRAHAM DALLAS, NZMCA