It was heartening to read of Maori-led initiatives that have proven to be effective in meeting the social needs of homeless Maori in Tauranga. (News, February 19). The Te Tuinga Whanau Support Services Trust credited their success to being able to work in a culturally appropriate way with their own Maori people.
Would those (mainly non-Maori) citizens who oppose the introduction of Maori wards like Mike Lally (Letters, March 1) have known the importance of culturally reconnecting the disconnected when working with Maori or know how to do that as the Te Tuinga Whanau workers do?
Social services are costly. Maori wards are not only a move to rectify unjust practice but also have the potential to provide an opportunity for Maori to work more effectively with their own people in such a way as to heal and to restore independence.
If, as Te Tuinga Whanau's track record suggests, Maori work more effectively with their own people than non-Maori, Maori wards must ultimately be far more cost-effective than the current system. No Maori wards, no change.
Personally, I prefer a hand-up to comparatively ineffective, never-ending hand-outs.
Further to Bryan Johnson's letter (Letters, March 5) re the Census and Maori ancestry:
My husband filled in the question about Maori ancestry (which hasn't been in previous Censuses) entering his iwi. He completed the whole form and submitted.
The next day a member of his family informed us they had just found out the iwi they thought the family had ancestry with was incorrect.
My husband tried to go back into his form to edit and correct his ancestry but found he couldn't.
After emailing [a query on] how to edit a form we had a reply informing that once a form had been submitted it couldn't be edited.
I find this ridiculous – surely there will many people for different reasons who have needed to correct their forms once completed. This would have been possible with a paper Census until collected from the household.
I now have no faith in the validity of the information gained from this 2018 online Census.
Easy option needed
In the Bay Times' feature on glass recycling stations (News, March 2) the listed areas were Papamoa, Bethlehem, Mount Maunganui, Bowentown and Te Puke, but no mention of any facility in central Tauranga. Why not? Isn't there going to be one?
It's totally unrealistic to expect people to drive all the way from, say, Matua or Otumoetai to the transfer station at Greerton. Many folks won't be bothered, and others will find it costs too much in petrol, not to mention time spent in traffic queues. And what about those who don't drive? Inevitably, more glass is going to end up in the landfill.
I understand that much of the glass ends up in landfills anyway because the only glass recycling plant in the country is in Auckland, so it ends up – guess where - in the landfill.
To encourage recycling the systems have to be made as easy as possible. A practical step would be to put collection bins in all supermarket carparks where it's easy to take the glass. This increase in bins would no doubt require more regular emptying, but anything that saves the glass reaching the landfills should be high priority, even if it costs more. (Abridged)
When it comes to saving lives in our district, the ongoing tussle and funding to establish a museum needs to be shelved until we solve some very serious roading problems.
I can't be certain that Tauranga City Council even reads this section, but maybe someone could point out to them that ratepayers, families, children and workers, all deserve a high degree of safety on our roads.
A great number of accidents are caused by idiots but there are many ways of reducing carnage between Tauranga and Waihi.
The obvious course is a reduction to 80km/h - no exceptions, no tolerance, an instant fine of $500 for any misdemeanour. Add many regularly-spaced cameras for enforcement and bring back "three strikes and you'll enjoy the walk".
Just one of the problems is the lack of high-quality road seal, many poorly patched areas, broken road edges - apart from a few newly sealed sections, none of it qualifies as a 100km/h road.
The funds proposed towards a museum would help to pay for much-needed roundabouts in critical areas like Omokoroa and save lives, reduce police, fire and ambulance costs, and we could all drive with greater safety and enjoyment. In this light, the museum must take second place to life itself.