"Anderton towering figure" read the headline in the Chronicle (January 8), announcing Jim Anderton's death.

I had a lot of time for Jim Anderton's integrity, how he firmly advocated for government that put the welfare of people above the welfare of the "fat-cat" corporate "bottom line".
He was my member of Parliament during part of the long time I lived in Christchurch.

This was his popularity: in 2010, campaigning for the Christchurch mayoralty against sitting Bob Parker (a popular mayor himself), the polls put Anderton hugely in front with up to 75 per cent of the proposed votes.

This was his integrity, still in 2010, putting the needs of people first: When the September 2010 force 7.1 earthquake destroyed parts of Christchurch, putting thousands of homeless into makeshift shelters, I remember Jim Anderton announced in the Christchurch Press that he was ending his mayoralty campaigning then and there,
because he wanted the focus of Christchurch local body politics to be on repairing a fairly majorly ruined city, rather than sidetracked by the unimportant point-scoring and squabbling of a typical political campaign.

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As one of many traumatised residents of Christchurch at the time, I hold that to be one of Jim Anderton's most noble moments, sacrificing his all-but-certain mayoralty in favour of the greater need for focus on the (then) $5 billion estimated cost to repair a seriously broken city (nobody suspected the hell yet to come).

The Chronicle news item saying that Jim Anderton had a "failed" bid at the Christchurch mayoralty is therefore technically correct, but that simple statement is misleading and does not represent the great love and respect many had for him.

Rest in peace, Jim Anderton.

STAN HOOD
Aramoho


Spray and pray

Is it any wonder, that we have to take ever more supplements and see ever more mystery diseases if the soil that our food grows on (be it vegetables, fruit or animals) gets bombarded with chemicals and poison? (see Whanganui Chronicle, January 11. "Horizons has strict rules around hillside spraying").

Soil is a living organism, and if you throw her off balance she can't do what she is supposed to do, eg, grow healthy and nutritious food. We are what we eat and we eat what is in the soil (or not).

ANNE MOHRDIECK
Whanganui


Bible answers

I write in reply to Mandy Donne-Lee (letters December 29).

The Bible is indeed a very important book. It is, in fact, the basis of both Judaism and Christianity.

In Genesis there are two stories about creation.

1:1-2:4a is about the creation of the world in seven days. And 2:4b-25 tells of the creation of man and woman.

Genesis 3 is about the first sin and the curses put on the serpent and on humankind.
Verses 14-15 is an old explanation of why the serpent crawls rather than walks and why people are instinctively hostile to it.

Verses 16-19 explain why women are ruled by their husbands and why men have to work hard to provide for their families.

In Luke 24 there is an account of how Jesus appeared to two of his followers. Jesus is said to have seen himself in many Old Testament passages.

Genesis 3:15 is thought by some to be such a passage. But this is doubtful. All people are offspring of women. And the "striking the heel" is a normal serpent attack. What would it mean to the crucified Jesus?

As for Isaiah 7:14, the correct text refers to a young woman, in Hebrew "halmah". The Greek translation has it mistakenly translated as "virgin". And in fact an Immanuel 700 years in the future would not be much comfort to the people of Isaiah's time, who were threatened by Assyria.

While there are predictions of a Messiah in the Old Testament, most of the statements asserted to be predictions are simply quotations by the New Testament writer. For example, a painful experience of David recorded in Psalm 22 is said to be "fulfilled" by the later writer.

TOM PITTAMS
Whanganui


Claptrap

I have just read, for the third time, Chester Borrows' contribution in the Chronicle (December 29) and I am none the wiser.

As per usual with this now-departed poly, plenty of PC (political claptrap, that is), plenty of pontification but no solutions.

With all the wrist-wringing that he and his party did for nine years, no solutions, no change, eg, a housing minister who would not acknowledge that Auckland had a housing crisis, for starters.

The Maori population of this country that do not make it in our society are more than likely the product of past generations who scorned a basic education and considered it Pakeha stuff.

That won't cut it any more. You need to be able to read to get a driver's licence, so you can be employed — which will, as likely as not, require you to be able to read, write, and count. So some of the solutions lie with modern Maori parents and students.

Also, large families in this day and age are a massive cost and responsibility, and an absent father who is not identified should be made responsible for his action.

Politicians who retire and still pull an income from the taxpayer, having achieved sweet FA apart from overseeing the removal of at least three Government offices, should quietly bugger off and leave us in peace.

A. BARRON
Aramoho