No more taxes
Auckland changed from a city council to a mega city by eliminating all city councils and regional councils. It created only a much bigger rates income for the council by raising the rates, paid by property owners. Then other cities tried the same to have a large rate income. Now Auckland created its regional fuel tax. Suddenly Hamilton and Christchurch want to follow. Suddenly Tauranga Mayor Greg Brownless is looking the same way to cash in more tax. We already pay fuel tax. Now they try to top it up. In my opinion, it's modern robbery. I agree with Simon Bridges' comment: "The fuel tax won't make a blind bit of difference". In my view, it is not justified.
Reality is: From our income, we pay 30 per cent-plus income taxes, plus fuel tax, road user cost including tax, food including tax, house building material and labour tax, property rates including tax, power including tax. It's a never-ending story. At the end we may pay already 50 per cent tax from our gross income, leaving us with less and less net money in our pocket. Solution: The council needs to lessen its amount of staff and outgoing costs, instead of endless spending. Any business operating like the council does would be already bankrupt, in my opinion.
We read about the shortage of labour at the orchards and packhouses, and also about the number of unemployed and the reasons they are not helping the kiwifruit industry. May I suggest that the school buses not in use between 8.30am and 2.30pm be used to ferry the labour to the packhouses and orchards? The bus then returns to town and after completing its school duties, returns to the orchard or packhouse to return labour to town - or is it too difficult to organise? Maybe packhouses could pay for the service?
Bryan Johnson (Letters, May 17) joins Murray Reid (Letters, May 12) and Don Brash (Letters, May 4) in misleading us by using the number of Māori elected in parliamentary elections as evidence that local council elections are fair. Parliamentary and local elections use different voting systems. Parliamentary elections are fair because we have a Māori roll and Māori electorates. Local elections are not fair when the Māori roll and Māori wards are not used, with the result that only 5 per cent of local councillors over New Zealand are Māori.
Excellent play area
Congratulations to Tauranga City Council for the upkeep and development of the playground at the base of Mt Drury. This play area has become the hub and meeting place for a large number of parents with their young children. A new slide has been the latest addition. May I suggest for future consideration, some basketball hoops at various heights, and perhaps a mini soccer net. The slightly older children would then be able to practise their ball skills.