Facebook myth revealed

I'd like to thank Merepeka Raukawa-Tait (

Opinion

, December 13) for, I think, blowing the "Facebook myth" to smithereens.

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I too have wasted a lot of time "talking" to people on Facebook who I've never met and wondered why.

I still go there though, because there are one or two dear friends and a special niece who only seem to communicate through said channel, and Messenger has some merit too, but I can easily see how people can spend countless hours keeping up with "stuff". No thanks!

Grant Dengate
Greerton


Cartoon off the mark

This morning's Hubbard cartoon (December 15) could not be further from reality.

In my considerable experience of visiting friends at their end of life in such places as Hospice, I have never seen patients surrounded by such an array of medical equipment as depicted in such dark and doomed colours.

All the rooms I have seen appear as bright and cheerful with a very minimum of gadgetry. In my view, today's cartoon has got to be one of the most biased I have ever seen.

It's definitely the chief scare tactic being used by the pro-suicide camp.
(Abridged)
A G Stewart
Pyes Pa


Maori Wards ensure minority representation

Wards are a way of ensuring minority representation of whatever kind.

Let's remember what happened in New Plymouth in 2016. That council voted for a Maori ward, a Grey Power petition forced a referendum, the proposal was defeated and the ensuing fallout led to the mayor and another councillor who also supported it quitting.

New Plymouth already had country wards because people in Waitara and Inglewood didn't want city ratepayers outvoting them on issues that were mostly local. That's the same situation Maori were in but people didn't see it like that.

We need to be clear what this is all about. If something's okay for another group but it's not okay for Maori, how is that different from racism? If your grounds for voting against Maori wards aren't racist, logically you should also oppose country wards because the issues are exactly the same. Let's call it what it is.

And remember councils have a statutory requirement for some kind of Maori representation. If you rule out wards that would have to be some kind of board whose members are appointed and not elected.

I urge Western Bay ratepayers to think carefully before either supporting a referendum or voting against a Maori ward if a petition does force one. New Plymouth found the whole sorry business polarising and disruptive, and it's still festering there.
(Abridged)
Alan Armstrong
Rotorua

Well done, NZ Post
This time of the year NZ Post are pressured to cope with enormous demands for service, so I would like to thank them for rectifying a mistake with my mail. Their postie delivered my National Geographic magazine to the wrong address, where a dog chewed it up before they slipped what was left in our mailbox with an apology.

I complained and handed what was left of the magazine into the NZ Post's Tauranga Operation Centre in Chapel St. Not only did I receive an apology, but I also was provided with a replacement copy of the magazine. Well done NZ Post, much appreciated.

Jim Sherlock
Parkvale


Views need to be challenged
Regarding Bryan Gould's column on relaxing LVRs (Opinion, December 5), it needs to be challenged.
"Rents have risen because speculators buy up houses ... and they have then raised rents on those houses to make a fat return on their investment."

This assumes that landlords are able to dictate the price of their service. Really?
1. To extort from their customers a provider has to have a monopoly position or be part of a "price-fixing" cartel. Where is the evidence of this with rental housing? New Zealand is not alone with strong house price/rent inflation. Do these other countries have landlords in monopoly positions? No.

2. It seems odd that none of these countries, with varying types of regulation of their housing sector, have been able to restrain their greedy landlords. After all, most developed countries have no shortage of regulations to prevent monopoly behaviour (eg. their infrastructure sector).

The reasons for the current house price/rents situation are open to debate, there being many possible causal factors.
Mr Gould's supposition is erroneous. In his defence, he is not the first and won't be the last to hold this view on the subject.

Neil Parker
Oropi