Guildford drama needs perspective
As a three-time manager of New Zealand junior teams to world championships, as two-time Sport Hawke's Bay Sports Administrator of the year, as Softball New Zealand Sports Administrator of the year and as a Dad I write this in support of Hawke's Bay All Black Zac Guildford.
I do not drink [but at 22 I did]. I do not fight [it doesn't make sense to me anymore] but at 22 I talked tough as.
When I, at 22, got drunk and lippy I never got to be front page news or to dominate talk back radio [but then I'm not an All Black and certainly wasn't at 22].
If at 22 I made a dick of myself in a bar I would have been removed by the owner, my mates, the bouncer or perhaps the police and more than likely that would be the end of that.
Zac Guildford is guilty of one thing really, and that is being 22 and talented. Talented to the extent that at 22 he is good enough to be an All Black. At 22 he is under the spotlight more than I can imagine [and probably most people reading this]. Guilty by the sound of things of drinking too much and not handling his drink very well, suggesting to me that Zac probably the best thing for you is to give the grog a miss.
I am sick and tired of sport being blamed for the culture of drinking to excess.
Pop on down to the bars at between 1am and 3am most busy nights and single out the dick heads and idiot young drunk women [around the age of say 22] and see how many of them are national sporting reps or how many are just drunk young people who have had one too many.
Who's problem is it folks? Sports, your's and mine, maybe even the media's, You report it you highlight it.
Guess what. I figure we all have a part to play, but, it's probably easier to pick on the talented one who has worked his/her backside off to succeed in his/her sporting endeavour than it is to sit a kid down and say 'sort yourself out before it's too late and you lose that which right now is most important to you. How can I Help?'
I would imagine that Zac has lots of friends and family to help and support him but Zac if you want a catch up and a coffee or two please count me as one of those friends [and no my friend we have never met] and it is not OK to play up the way you did but once upon a time I was 22 as well. [Sorry no excuse].
Mark Carter, once upon a time 22 year old who was lucky enough to stay under the radar and had great mates to support me on the naughty days.
Or is that Mark Carter lucky not to be good enough to be an All Black?
Mark Carter, Napier
Facts of the flag
Giles Thorman writes (Hawke's Bay Today, Monday 7) that the "The NZ flag (all of it) belongs to NZ and is unique". Oh how disappointed he's going to be when he finds out that there is nothing - I mean nothing - unique about our flag.
1. It is the common Blue Ensign of which some 25 other countries and or territories use.
2. The Union in the Canton represents the Union of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.
3. The red stars represent the Southern Cross.
So please tell me what is uniquely New Zealand in all of that? One should always remember that there is a New Zealand flag, it is the Flag of the United Chiefs of New Zealand and was flown on all New Zealand ships and flag poles in new Zealand from 1833 until they were ordered not to by the colonial Governor of the times in 1867.
The Blue Ensign was first flown in NZ in 1867 on NZ ships, instead of the red stars it had the words NZ, it was not until 1869 that the present flag was designed but did not become New Zealand's official flag until 1902.
One should always remember that NZ did not become a Dominium until 1940 and unshackled its self from British rule, so from 1840 till 1940 the British told us what our official flag was.
Oh how uniquely New Zealand. As previously stated we do have a New Zealand flag, it is still officially flown every February 6 on the Treaty Mast at Waitangi. Oh, and by the way Giles, it is not the Union Jack it is the Union Flag.
It is only referred to as the Union Jack when it is being flown on a ship's Jack Arm.
One last thing: only one flag has ever been given Royal ascent to be struck in New Zealand and that flag is the Flag of the United Chiefs of New Zealand.
L G Paku, Hastings
Your "left hooker" Bruce Bisset displays an ignorance of basic economics (Hawke's Bay Today, Monday 7) when he decries Labour's plan to increase the retirement age to 67, claiming that "adding a couple of years employment at one end takes it away at the other" and will therefore "add to the youth unemployment rates".
This is the discredited "lump of Labour" theory, which postulates that there are only a fixed number of jobs, or work hours, available and thus the number of people employed will only increase if those currently in work actually work fewer hours.
In reality the number of jobs increases as the economy grows (otherwise there would, for example, be no more jobs in NZ today than there were a hundred years ago, which is clearly not the case).
By extending the employed years of one generation, we create more wealth, leading to a larger economy and, eventually, more jobs not less.
Since Bisset's "freelance writing" leaves so much to be desired, perhaps he should stick to his other claimed area of expertise as a "poet". (Abridged)
John Denton, Eskdale