The current and future problem is the "choke point" at the Tarawera roundabout where increased traffic to the new shopping centre, Long mile Rd, and lakes Okareka and Tarawera is unduly holding up main road traffic from Owhata, the airport, and ultimately the Bay of Plenty.
I attended the recent NZTA Expo in town regarding options for the Tarawera roundabout. The presenter I spoke to agreed that their "preferred option" was not the best one. The best one I discussed was an overpass as suggested by your correspondent, Mike Pinfold (Letters, May 13) but probably aligned with Te Ngae Rd where I believe the greatest volume of traffic passes.
The person I spoke to explained that an overpass/flyover was considered too costly despite the obvious benefits which I suspect would remove the necessity for traffic lights at the roundabout.
I'm no roading engineer but I would suggest that scrapping the previously proposed Eastern Arterial, which put families "in limbo" for nearly 50 years, saved the NZTA tens of millions of dollars. Using some of that money saved, why not give us a better option than the cost modified "preferred one"?
Individual feedback was invited by the NZTA and I wondered if this information will be shared with our council which will be fronting up to them. In the meantime I would like to hear what the RLC's preferred option is.
As the old Eastern Arterial is history now I would also be interested to know if the RDRR, as a political group in waiting, has an opinion on these discussions.
It would appear that with over 550 coastal claims from Maori under the Marine & Coastal Area Act 2011, the National Party has once again created a significant issue that will come back and bite them just a few months out from an election.
This all came about when the government put claims back on the table as, in my view, another sop to the Maori Party in 2011. Six years later and a massive number of claims have been lodged by Maori. These cover the entire foreshore and territorial waters of New Zealand, and include islands, reefs, tidal rivers etc and include the airspace above. There are also claims for all species of fish, mineral extraction, control of the launching of vessels etc.
I note that Ngati Whakaue have lodged a claim for the "territorial land described by the Maketu Toa Boundary of 1875". Whilst Maanu Paul and Sir Toby Curtis have given an assurance that the massive claim for the entire foreshore and territorial waters of New Zealand is "not so much an ownership claim, it's more custodial", the huge number of claims by Maori would give one reason to question what could be the biggest resource grab in the country's history.
Once again the National Party's unprincipled hypocrisy is revealed for what it is. After all it was Nick Smith who in 2004 stated "Anyone who wants to divide up the shoreline for one exclusive group of citizenship must be stopped".
I would agree in part to comments made by Tracey McLeod (Letters May 8) and have issues with Ryan Gray's response (Letters May 11).
I would assume that Ryan Gray is an adult ratepayer, and if so I am not sure if I applaud his use of the skatepark as a adrenalin pumping exercise to be commended or an ACC statistic courtesy of the New Zealand taxpayer.
This skatepark is a facility used less than the Aquatic Centre which should cater more fully for Rotorua ratepayers. It needs to have an Olympic size pool, diving facilities and fun water slide activities. Taupo and Tauranga have superb facilities.
I am not opposed to upgrading the skatepark, but keep it in perspective relative to the number and type of users.
The Rotorua District Council has indeed a true stalwart and supporter in Ryan Gray, long may it bask in his reflected glory as opposed to the many ratepayers or naysayers who are appalled at the current council's arrogance towards any issues that do not meet its "closed shop" governance.
In his letter (May 17), Wairangi Jones does not agree with what I said about the English language and that is his right in a democratic society. However, while a lot of what he says I agree with, they are in the main political problems to be resolved by political means.
The cause of much of what he mentions can be put down to one factor in my view and that is greed for the almighty dollar. That too I believe has a lot to do with whether his language can survive, as it should be allowed to. In the meantime, both our mokopuna will have to live in an increasingly commercialised world to earn a crust. For that they will need a good understanding of English just to keep their heads above water, because both science and technology are now the dominant cultures, if I may call them that. Neither belongs to any one people or culture but are universal. To swap information and the use commerce makes of it, they use the English language.
If Wairangi does not like some of what is happening as I don't, he must work with his fellow man regardless of race to try to counteract this greedy headlong rush to commercial destruction. To do it, English will be the language he and his kin will have to use in the courts, Parliament, trade, or whatever, to accomplish a better world.
Hotel car parks
We read that "Rotorua should celebrate the news of the first five star hotel".
Okay so far, however, they should make it clear to their five star visitors to leave their cars home as there is no five star car park and Arawa St is pretty full as it is. Fortunately the bus stop is just across the road.