All the discussion and efforts going on at present about the reduction or elimination of the plastic that is polluting our planet are useless. Plastic shopping bags are but a drop in the ocean - and we will never solve the problem while manufacturers are still producing plastic. And that won't happen because there are too many individuals making a lot of money producing plastic.

Perchance that it did happen, we would still have the problem of somehow ridding the multitudes of plastic already made and waiting to be used.

At present, I am studying the 16th century Tudor times, an era when money, power and greed dominated. Apart from hygiene the only other apparent difference in our present day rulers is that it is now illegal to behead those that one doesn't agree with.
Gwyneth Jones,
Greerton

Māori wards not patronising

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The letters published on May 25 decrying the need for Māori representation in local governance contain some disturbing generalisations. R. Stephens claims it is not democracy to "force" Māori on the Māori electoral roll to vote in a Māori ward locally. My understanding is that Māori who elect to go on the Māori roll, do so because they prefer to be represented by someone who they can relate to in a cultural as well as political way.

R. Stephens seems to ignore the democratic acts of Parliament giving Māori those rights.
Maureen J. Anderson believes the discriminatory requirement to consult with the "wider community" in some way justifies her position that "every elected local government person swears allegiance to the district as a whole. Not a ward, and not a specific culture". That is exactly the purpose of a Māori ward, contained in legislation. Her assumption that such a representative would not consider the "wider community" is not borne out by any evidence. How could it be? We have never had one.

Don Brash claims Māori wards are patronising. If it were not for the fact that such minority wards are supported by most iwi and Māori who identify as Māori then perhaps he would be correct. Dr Brash continues to quote Māori in general seats as proof of political assimilation, and it is, but it has zero bearing on the need for Māori representation by Māori for Māori. It is convenient for his argument to homogenise Māori in this way, but in truth, there is no comparison. Perhaps for those who fail to accept this fact, it is patronising to make decisions that directly impact Māori.
Robin Bell,
Omanawa

Majority against Māori wards
It should be obvious to even the least mentally astute politician, public official or local councillor that, as indicated by the results of the recent regional polls on establishing Māori Wards, the majority of the population is against racially based and biased legislation. It is also time for the media to become objective in its reportage of ethnic issues and see that all points of view are fairly presented.
Bryan Johnson,
Omokoroa