Action needed

I applaud your paper's recent coverage of the appalling accident rate on SH2 between Bethlehem and Waihi.

On December 19 my daughter was involved in a serious accident near Apata.

Fortunately, my daughter was not seriously injured although the police said she was lucky and that it could have been a lot worse. Sadly, the passenger in the other vehicle died a few days later. This "accident" could have been avoided had a median barrier been present.

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On the same day, a log truck trailer overturned at the roundabout between SH2 and Te Paeroa Road in Bethlehem. Miraculously, no one was injured. This incident was repeated on February 22. On this basis, we can expect a trailer unit to flip at that location approximately every two months. Had the Tauranga Northern Link been completed these incidents are unlikely to have happened.

Following my daughter's accident, I wrote to the Minister of Transport. I received a reply from Mr Twyford on January 15 but only to say that he had passed it on to the Associate Minister of Transport, the Hon Julie Anne Genter. Unsurprisingly, I have received no reply to date.

The purpose of my letter is to suggest that those of your readers who are anxious to see real progress with regard to safety improvements on our section of SH2, write to the Prime Minister requesting that funds for this work be released as a matter of urgency.

Michael Rice
Bethlehem, Tauranga

Drivers to blame
Like most people who regularly travel from Katikati to Tauranga at various times of the day, I agree that the road could be greatly improved but the main cause of accidents is due to the drivers for many reasons like inattention, speed, overtaking slow drivers, etc.

The bottleneck from Te Puna to Tauranga heading south is solely caused by "smart" people dodging down side roads and coming out at the junction of Te Puna Station Rd and SH2.

At busy times there is a constant stream of cars, utes, trucks joining in from past the Waipuna Hospice.

The give-way sign at the junction might as well not be there as "do-gooders" let these cheats on to the highway in a continuous flow which brings the main highway traffic to a standstill

This is the sole cause of bumper to bumper traffic from Te Puna and beyond until Bethlehem is reached.

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Surely the police are aware of this and could take steps to stop it so traffic can flow freely.

Garrick Rawson
Katikati

Maori wards about fairness

Mike Lally (Letters, March 20) and Margaret Murray-Benge (Letters, March 24) do not, in my view, give enough importance to our Kiwi belief in fairness.

Most Kiwis regard fairness, giving everybody a fair go, as very important. In elections where Pakeha voters heavily outnumber Maori voters, like the Western Bay of Plenty, Pakeha candidates like Mike and Margaret have an unfair advantage over Maori candidates, which explains why we have no Maori councillors.

Maori electorates and Maori wards are examples of fairness, not privilege, that remove this unfair advantage that Pakeha election candidates have.

Peter Dey
Welcome Bay