The number required for this industry this season, unfortunately, can't and won't include pensioners. It is seasonal work and here is an untapped source of workers, but if they earn too much their money is reduced. Maybe the Government should look at allowing retired folk to have seasonal work without affecting their hard earned pensions. Makes sense to me, what do others think.
Separate but united
In my view, Don Brash (Letters, May 4) badly misuses the word separatism. When we had to defend our civilisation in the war against Hitler, the deeds of the Maori battalion were unsurpassed. They fought as a separate battalion but united within the New Zealand Army. Listen to the hymn, Au e Ihu by the Maori battalion available online, and reflect on these young Maori men who fought alongside their Pakeha mates on the other side of the world to defend our nation.
Being separate is not separatism. Separatism is wanting to withdraw and be independent, which nobody is asking for. Maori simply want to be themselves, different from Pakeha, but respected and included in political decision making. They deserve that much, and racially-based election systems provide it for them, while taking nothing from anybody else.
Our totally liberal biased news, TV as well as print, have shown us their true colours again regarding Hilary Clinton's visit to New Zealand. Having proved, in my opinion, to be the most corrupt United States politician ever, she has been welcomed here with open arms by not only the media but by our Prime Minister as well. I wonder who paid for all this.
It's hard not to notice the similarities between Merepeka Raukawa-Tait's Bay of Plenty Times column and that of John Tamihere in the Herald this week. Probably it's just pre-Budget positioning. If not, their joint call for a wholesale assault on MSD staff - on the basis that money so spent is "wired the wrong way", "shaped over 200 years ago" (quoting Mr Tamihere) and makes it necessary to "tip out current employees and bring in a new crop" (paraphrasing Ms Raukawa-Tait) is dangerously close to confusing the baby with the bath water.
Since transparency and accountability are undeniably important, it would be great to see some similar gestures from the North Island Commissioning Agency of Whanau Ora that they both are part of. They too hold power. They too could model close touch with clients and with agencies such as Te Tuinga Whanau, which I am proud to belong to. We've put out several invitations to them, so we might understand their culture and so far, we are none the wiser. Except, of course, for the opinions they express in the newspapers. Nau mai, haere mai, Merepeka e Hoani: We'd love to see you at our place. And to work constructively with you, and MSD, to improve things for our whanau. Which, we believe, is the real point.
Trustee, Te Tuinga Whanau