Having seen the the aims of the National Cat Management Strategy Group, I would like to put some objective sense into the argument about cats.
Firstly, they have been our loyal friends since they set foot in this country about the same time as the Europeans.
The NCMSG has behind it Gareth Morgan, a man who -- like many Forest and Bird people -- thinks it desirable, and even possible, to return to an age where birds ruled supreme in this land.
They say 4 million native birds are eaten by cats each year. That, at best, is an inaccurate guess. What do they think would govern the bird population if there were no predators?
Food, I suggest and observe that only hungry birds fall prey to ground predators.
Most of New Zealand's native birds have lived with the cat for some 200 years. Cats in the wild probably eat more insects than any other food, then mice, rats and rabbits.
So Gareth and his friends are trying to set up a totalitarian regime, where the cat will be turned into an unwanted animal to be eradicated unless chipped.
This will encourage the cruel psychopaths who are already taking it upon themselves to destroy neighbours' pets.
The wasp is a far greater problem to birds; it eats the energy and protein source for much of the bird life -- honeydew and insects.
Almost all prey animal populations are governed by the food available, not the number of predators.
Imagine the country in a few years' time.The Gareth Morgan NCMSG eradication police arrive at the door.
"We have come to scan your cats and check that your house is cat-proof. They must not get out."
An unchipped kitten is grabbed from an old lady and taken away for destruction.
No, don't laugh. If Gareth has his way that is where we will head. Just one more little step towards the totalitarian fascist new world order.
Having a love of our back country, rivers, forests and mountains and having spent a large part of my 65 years farming, possum hunting, fishing, hunting and tramping, I have grave concerns over the big aerial drop of 1080 to supposedly control pests in Tongariro National Park.
This campaign will effectively wipe out most of the native species DOC say they are trying to protect.
It will kill mice, rats, possums, deer, pigs and most of the bird life but very few stoats and ferrets.
As well as polluting all the rivers and streams with 1080 pellets as well as the carcasses of the multitude of birds and animals poisoned.
Remember how we were assured that DDT and 245T were safe products to use.
In the past, poison drops have targeted specific areas within the park, protecting adjacent areas not being targeted, but this drop is covering the south-west, west and north-west of Tongariro National Park to the bushline or above, and there will be no safe areas for small pockets of the native birds and animals to be safe from 1080.
If this blanket broadcasting of 1080 is the tool planned to make New Zealand predator-free, it will also make our bushland and forests bird-free.
About "Fluoride approval for South Taranaki" (Chronicle, October 4):
The article reports after prolonged legal battles, the Ministry of Health (MOH) passed a regulation declaring fluoride was not a medicine, invalidating the argument that fluoridating a water supply was forced medication.
The article also revealed a proposal, supported by Water New Zealand (WNZ), that fluoridation of district water supplies should be the responsibility of district health boards, not councils.
The article also revealed WNZ holds that fluoridation is a public health issue.
I can understand how something can be legally declared a non-medicine yet still be considered a public health issue, but I still smell the underhanded machinations of political interference in this.
To explain: I was recently surveyed by a lobby organisation (who have my moral support) about my opinions of fluoride in public water supplies.
Included in my reply to them was that some New Zealand citizens felt fluoride in the water was tantamount to forced medication, therefore I was definitely against fluoridation on democratic grounds.
The other part of my reasoning was that citizens who held no objection to fluoride in the water supply ought nevertheless to be content about the safety of drinking water which continued to use the time-proven method of chlorination.
And those who really did want fluoridation, which is, after all, of benefit to teeth and nothing else, and who also felt strongly about it, could buy fluoride tablets from the chemist, or have their dentist apply fluoride to their teeth.
And of course continue to buy -- and make sure the kids use -- ubiquitous fluoride toothpaste. Perhaps the real problem is parents not insisting their kids brush their teeth regularly.
So count me on the side of democracy and let's have no forced fluoridation.
If citizens' referenda don't want it, that should be the end of it.
If your readers travel north along the bank of your river, they will see signs "Atene", "Koriniti", "Ranana" and "Hiruharama". This is outrageous.
Since two of them are Greek and one Hebrew, they are not even in the right alphabet -- while the other one should be "London".
It is all much more serious than leaving a dubious "H" out of the name of your fair city and gross default on the part of the NZ Geographic Board for failing to rule that the correct names must be adopted.
�Editor's note: To be fair, the Maori names Atene, Koriniti and Hiruharama are adapted phonetically from the English language versions -- Athens, Corinth and Jerusalem -- rather than the original language versions (which sound more like Athina, Korinthos and Yerushalayim). Perhaps we should start by correcting the English versions to avoid offending speakers of the Greek and Hebrew reo.