Refugee interference

Our new Prime Minister should have stayed well away from the delicate matter of the Manus Island economic refugees (who seem to be disobedient young men).

New Zealand has been sheltered for many years through Australia's strong stance in combating the hordes of boat people who have been trafficked down from Indonesia.

Over this year Australia has been in delicate negotiations to have the US take a large number of them which takes them away from our part of the world. Jacinda Ardern fails to recognise that if we take 150 of these people they will eventually get New Zealand citizenship and be eligible to go and live in Australia.

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Some 15 years ago New Zealanders taking up residency in Australia became ineligible for many benefits because our liberal immigration laws had allowed a backdoor entry into Australia.

Ardern has been fortunate at this early stage to have met with many world leaders and to start making her mark in the world. However, she is a long way from becoming a stateswoman and her unwarranted interference with Australia's immigration issues will have been well noted in diplomatic circles.

If Australia wanted us to take some they would ask. Finally, there are plenty of more deserving refugees available.

Bill Capamagian
Tauranga

Column spot on
Rosemary McLeod, your article titled "Cruelty wins no prizes" (Opinion, November 16) was in my opinion spot on and I suggest you send a copy to Wellington East Girls' College principal Sally Haughton.

Julia Kleve
Tauranga

Power of the pen
I wish to object to the wording of your front page on November 7. I was dismayed to read it on the front page.

A woman driver who incidentally, is not old by today's standards, had the misfortune to run into an elderly gentleman who was crossing on a pedestrian crossing thereby causing his untimely death.

She was, according to the reporter's article, distracted at the time by a bus and also a car following closely behind. This was a tragic accident for his family and she feels shattered by the event, so surely the best outcome is for her to now recover from this trauma and forgive herself, even as the above family has done.

Your newspaper labelling her as a killer is unnecessarily harsh, as according to my Thesaurus a killer is somebody equal to a slayer, murderer, destroyer etc. etc. even someone intent on finishing off another's life.

I believe newspapers have a duty to give us "news" in an interesting and thought-provoking manner, but you also have the moral obligation to refrain from harming somebody with the wording used, especially somebody who is already suffering great remorse.

The power of the pen is mightier than the sword and should, therefore, be used with wisdom and carefulness. Your newspaper has the power to encourage or disgrace people and it is not a power to be used lightly.

An accident such as this can happen to any of us with a moment's distraction and it is only by the Grace of God that we are not in the same shoes as the lady mentioned above.
J Robertshaw
Tauranga


Level playing field
So the new Government may impose GST on imported goods of low value
(even though they said there would be no changes to GST). They point out that it is to level the playing field for local retailers.

Some of the products I buy overseas cost five times as much here (if you can get them) for an identical item. This level playing field sounds like one on which the All Blacks would be beaten 50-nil by Bangladesh. In my view, the new legislation should include a monitoring system where local retailers charging even twice the price of overseas for a product should be named and shamed.

Maurice Mckeown
Welcome Bay

Tidal concerns
Regarding the plan for a water park (News, November 15) don't want to be a negative nancy, but It's a great idea for Pilot Bay, not the Tauranga waterfront as I don't know if anyone's noticed but most of the day there is tidal flow through there at about 3 knots during the change between high and low tide.

Good luck controlling that as it flows pretty quick past there.

Matthew Pack
Mount Maunganui