Saving on rates

Western Bay of Plenty District ratepayers can slice $1000 off their rates bill by moving to Paeroa in Hauraki District (News, September 15). They can slice even more off their rates by moving to Thames-Coromandel District.

We compared rates for a house in Waihi Beach and one in Whangamata which have similar capital values. The Whangamata house on 724 square metres with a capital valuation of $740,000 had district rates of $2564 including all water charges.

The Waihi Beach house on 850 square metres with a capital valuation of $705,000 had a district rates bill of $3734. If the Waihi Beach ratepayer was an average water user (240 cubic metres per year) he would have to pay an extra $312, making total rates $4046. That is almost $1500 more than the Whangamata house.

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Thames-Coromandel District Council have been able to keep their rates at a reasonable level by not just retaining their community boards, but by giving them more power. Western Bay of Plenty District Council should do the same.

Keith Hay
Secretary Western Ward Residents and Ratepayers Association

Proud New Zealander

I am proud to be a New Zealander. I am proud of our standing in the world. I am surprised that Peter Williams in all his media career has not aspired to that pride and would extinguish our presentation to the world in its recognition.

Having led the world in enfranchising women, New Zealanders are at the forefront of world political recognition, business and export world, the sporting world, and our country participates in and has led the world in science. Our soldiers fought and died in wars as New Zealanders as did our Māori Battalion.

Our international status and recognition will always be as New Zealand and not Aotearoa, and we should never disappear to Pacific island obscurity which would be his next step. New Zealand comprises over 180 different ethnic groups.

They did not come to Aotearoa and do not ask for individual naming rights. Māori has always been acknowledged in this country's heritage and place name recognition.

We are an English speaking nation and our anthem, dirge though it is, should continue to reflect this and be recognised as the NZ anthem. Accepting te reo does not mean extinguishing the right to be New Zealanders in our own language.

If Māori are not learning/speaking te reo now it is presumably by choice. Despite our Westminster background and recognition of the Queen as head of State, te reo influence has succeeded in the constitutional and religious traditional parliamentary prayer being abandoned in favour of a karakia. There was no consultation. Where would this influence end?

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R.E. Stephens
Papamoa

State Highway 2

Regarding State Highway 2, I question why the obvious solution is so obstinately overlooked.

We all sympathise and agree with the SH2 protesters regarding this road but surely is it naive to think even a new road is going to negate future fatalities.

For 'immediate action' the speed limit should be lowered to 90km/h - at least to acknowledged danger spots, prior to future reconstruction.

I'm hardly original when I reiterate; it is not the road that is "dangerous", but the speed, impatience and inattention of the driver that is the actual, and dare I say, the only real danger.

Grant Nelson
Matua