Be wary of false teachers

Your headlines slamming Folau's comments on homosexuality (News, April 20) together with your editorial as being "dangerous" (Opinion, April 21) is being as provocative as Folau is being condemned. His comments, which I understand were responding to a question, may well save the spiritual lives of many who reflect on that aspect. Quoting Kat Clark, who has rejected the teachings of her own church which are akin to Folau's, and which she is entirely free to do, but she could be wrong. As a mentor to troubled youth, I hope she is presenting a balanced view of what the world in a moral sense is really about and enables them to seek and make informed decisions. Her Christian teachings would have told her that belief in Jesus Christ and what He represents is one of the first criteria for everlasting spiritual life with Him and the rest follows through. That includes being kind, caring and loving. Most non-Christians also have those qualities. The Bible also tells us we will each face a judgement day and to be wary of false teachers. Such people are not necessarily horrible and evil. They may well be well intended but misguided. We all must make our own decisions in life.
Bill Capamagian

Ecological restoration

Your correspondent (Letters, May 2), complains about the weed and rat control going on beside the Matua estuary. This is ecological restoration. Clearing the weed-infested land is being carefully undertaken so it does not pollute the estuary. Next will come planting and in time the natural vegetation will complete the margin of wetland around the estuary, to the benefit of the wildlife and the pleasure of the community.
Gary Ware

Land payments

We are surprised the Anglican Bishop of Waiapu will revisit land sales at their General Synod (News, April 30). If they do, they will be able to correct the statement that: "The land was given in trust to the Church Missionary Society". The facts are as follows:
- Reverend Alfred Nesbit Brown, on behalf of the Church Missionary Society (CMS), on October 30, 1838, purchased the 30 acres (12ha) of land at the northern tip of the Te Papa peninsula.
- On March 30, 1939, an additional 1334 acres was purchased by the CMS with deeds of sale signed by local chiefs.
- Governor Hobson, after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, set up a commission to review all land purchases made pre-1840, which found the CMS purchases were conducted with willing parties, with goods exchanged on settlement.
- In 1867 CMS reluctantly relinquished about 1067 acres of Te Papa land to the Government to establish a settlement.
- In 1873 the Browns bought 17 acres of land from CMS, renaming it The Elms.
- In 1882 Tauranga was gazetted as a borough.
Today visitors to The Elms can see the full list of CMS' settlement items that were accepted as payment for the land. To suggest that the Anglican Church predecessors held the land "in trust" is not supported by facts.
Jim Sherlock
Friends of The Elms chairman

Vote divisive

Following on from my letter to the editor published earlier this year, the result of this referendum, led by those that should know better, is in my view already determined - 85 per cent against Maori wards and 15 per cent for, or thereabouts. This is the democratic system being abused, such a referendum being divisive when it is racially based. Until such time as New Zealand matures and becomes an even more integrated society, it is important that all views and information are around the decision-making table.
Doug Morris