I am appalled Trevor Mallard, apparently unilaterally, but no doubt with Labour's backing, decided to remove reference to Jesus Christ from our Parliament's opening prayer.

Will he have the courage to follow through and deem that Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday will no longer be statutory holidays for his same reasoning?

Then why not delete Waitangi Day also – that celebrates an old historical document?

While it is true that Christianity per church attendance is declining, this country has been founded on Christian principles since the early 1800s. Back then Christianity was embraced by Maori who still have a greater sense of spiritualism than the average Pakeha.

Advertisement

In recent decades there has been a major decline in our people living by Christian principles and that has been borne out by such things as family break-ups, highly charged sexual immorality, more mental health issues and greater suicides. Far more people are "lost" in the sense of knowing what life is about, probably coupled with a vague awareness that an "anything goes" life leads nowhere.

Eternal life through belief and faith in Jesus Christ is still the best offer in town, yet so many people in our modern society take an intellectual approach which doesn't work.

(Abridged)

Bill Capamagian
Tauranga

Maori ward view challenged
Maureen Anderson (Letters, February 15) is in my opinion being somewhat disingenuous in her scaremongering.

The "whole of district representation" review is required to be undertaken every six years, not because of the proposed referendum.

After any poll is resolved, the review is finalised. If the poll supports Maori wards, the council will decide how many.

She argues that people will be disenfranchised. How? Maori can change to the Maori or general roll at any time before an election and vote accordingly. If any "at large" councillors are established, Maori get to vote for them the same as anyone else, as well as in their ward.

Geoff Wane
Bellevue


Questions over TECT proposal

Chairman Bill Holland gives three reasons to support TECT's proposal.

One being the consequences if an aluminium smelter in Bluff closed and how Trustpower would lose a large user.

Either TECT or I need updating. I understood the Bluff smelter is exclusively powered by State-owned generator/retailer Meridian, not Trustpower.

His second scenario raises the question – if TECT's 26.8 per cent shareholding in Trustpower is supposedly in danger if held by the Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust, due to the fear of upcoming events, how will the same shareholding be in less danger if held by the TECT charitable trust?

Similarly, if investment company Infratil sells its 51 per cent Trustpower shareholding and a buyer suspends dividends, as TECT suggests, would that not have the same negative impact, regardless of whether TECT's shareholding in Trustpower is held by the Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust, or the TECT Charitable Trust?

If the TECT proposal is meant to reflect the trustees' lawful obligation to make decisions in the best interests of beneficiaries, then I suggest TECT needs to withdraw the ill-conceived $2500 inducement to swing the result, and then rerun a reputable poll.

D L Gibbs
Tauranga

National maturity not yet reached

Maori have come a long way since their first encounters with Westernisation more than 350 years ago.

It is hard to believe in such a short time, the transition Maori have made from tree fern trunk and raupo whare housing; from cannibalism; from the disproportionate justice of killing for a minor offence; from wearing grass skirts and adjusting as a race to Western civilisation.

The suggestion of a public vote for or against the establishment of Maori wards in the Western BOP District Council amounts to democratic bullying (thuggery) when we know the outcome of such a racially based vote will be 85 per cent against wards and 15 per cent for wards, or thereabouts.

People with Maori blood remain our biggest challenge when it comes to our prison population, home violence and housing. Our welfare system is, rightly, striving to help and remedy the inequities of putting two cultures together and I estimate it will be another 100 years before we have matured as a nation and the issue of appointed Maori ward councillors could fairly be put to the vote.

In the meantime I suggest a vote for an investigation and more transparency and information with Treaty claims because it is at the cost of every person paying tax.

(Abridged)
Doug Morris
Tauranga


Common sense needed

It seems to me that this child poverty issue could be greatly improved if would-be parents used a bit of common sense and family planning.

Before you bring a child into this world decide if you can afford to house, feed, clothe and educate one or more children.

D Lawrence
Otumoetai

Voting for the best man

Several years ago I was living in a different area when local body elections came up.

There was a Maori candidate I would have loved to have voted for because when I read his resume I thought he would be the best man for the job more so than any of the other candidates standing.

Unfortunately I then saw couldn't vote for him as I was just outside his area. Should he choose in future to stand in my area I will be voting for him.

I am European and base my vote on who is best for the job, not race.

R Day
Tauranga