Broken promise

Just another broken promise. Get used to it folks, once you break some election promises it becomes so much easier to break more election promises. Just six months into their term and many broken promises, with the latest being the delaying/cancelling of stated doctor visit costs that were promised to take effect from July 1, 2018. I am amazed that one of the reasons given for breaking this promise was that they had not been aware of the actual cost. One would have to ask the question: What did they actually do in nine years in opposition? I think that this minority government could well break the record for the greatest amount of broken election promises by any three-year term but time will tell - assuming of course that they actually survive three years.
Mike Baker

Wedge of hate

"Pale, stale male" is, in my view, as racist as you can get. I believe Tommy Wilson (Opinion, April 30) and Peter Dey (Letters, April 28) are the ones playing the race card. In my opinion, people like them are persistently driving a wedge of hate between us all. I challenge both to try changing the attitude here, it is cruel to all Kiwis. We are all intermarried, have part Maori children and grandchildren. Why should we have to choose a side, dividing families? This is dividing our country. "United we stand, divided we fall", you better believe it. The wording of the signs around the district promoting a vote for Maori wards is a joke, how can we be "Moving forward together", but have separate Maori wards? Sounds like separatism to me. The Treaty says we are one people and that is democracy, anything else is demeaning. As has been said, there are 29 people with Maori heritage in government, and they got there on their own merits. Why do we need separate wards? There are already 13 or more people with Maori heritage in council now being paid fees for advising council, how many do you need? Western Bay ratepayers, see this for what it is (selfish, in my opinion) and vote against Maori wards. (Abridged)
C Humphreys

Ecological value

Dr Meg Butler (Letters, April 28), is not right, in my view - again. Before they were destroyed in Welcome Bay, Dr Butler only observed pukeko and white-faced herons near mangroves. However, Owens (Protection and Restoration of Marshbird habitat in Tauranga Harbour - 1993) and Wildlands (Significant Natural Areas in the Coastal Environment of Bay of Plenty Region - 2013) recorded banded rail and fern birds there. Both are native species classified as at risk of extinction. Banded rails are still present in Welcome Bay where mangroves survive, as they now depend on the protective shelter that mangroves provide. Just how desperately they depend on mangroves is illustrated by the recent observation of Dr Beauchamp of banded rail roosting in mangroves. I too observed dense flocks of wading birds feeding in recently destroyed mangrove areas. They were feeding on dead and dying invertebrates – mainly crabs- that had previously thrived under the mangroves. The point of Ann Graeme's earlier letter was that mangroves are productive. Their leaf litter feeds not just the invertebrates and the banded rail beneath them, but also the wider estuary. They are also feeding fish and shellfish. As the Environment Court recently recognised: "Mangroves have ecological value and their removal has no ecological benefit." Scientific evidence showed that wading birds in Tauranga Harbour are not limited by a shortage of food or feeding areas.
Basil Graeme