Housing development

The high-density housing development at Emerald Shores is not really a low-cost housing development, in my view. It feels like land-banking a section of prime real estate for 30 years.

Residents of this proposed development pay a minimum of $200k for a tiny home, $6000 ($115 per week) per year to Bluehaven for the lease or ground rent, and in 30 years need to move the house and are left with nowhere to live. This is not building a sustainable community or providing genuine low-cost housing to people who need it.

If this development goes ahead, it will prove TCC is sustaining developers and not the local community it has been elected to serve.

Leigh Park, Papamoa

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Vote hardly overwhelming

In my opinion, B Johnson engages in the now common distortions we all have to deal with In his latest unwarranted attack on Western Bay of Plenty Mayor Garry Webber (Letters, September 14).

It is true that the recent referendum on Māori wards returned a no result.

However, the result was not "overwhelming".

When only 40 per cent of voters were motivated enough, then 78 per cent represents only about a 32 per cent no vote, hardly overwhelming.

It could, of course, be argued that those who failed to be motivated were content to accept the democratic decision of the nine councillors out of 12 who voted to introduce a Māori ward.

Mayor Webber and his council are charged with carrying out the will of Parliament, in this case via the Local Government Act 2002.

This act clearly states that all local bodies have to engage with Māori in a meaningful way. The council has no choice in that matter.

A Māori ward would be the most effective way of achieving the desired compliance.

It gives no power, it simply allows local Māori a seat, out of 12 at the table.

Those who so vehemently oppose the establishment of a ward seat should put their prejudice aside and embrace the empathy such a development would bring. (Abridged)

Robin Bell, Ōmanawa

New Zealand history

Was it a mere oversight that Michael King, in his extensive history of New Zealand, made no mention of Queen Victoria's Royal Charter in 1840 or the 1860 Kohimarama Conference of Chiefs, or did he and the subsequent semi-official historians, like Orange and O'Malley, not consider that they were part of the early history of our country and so worthy of record?

Those events were very important at the time. The Charter had made New Zealand a fully self-governing colony and our Founding Document and the Conference, the largest gathering of chiefs ever, had confirmed the Queen's sovereignty and concluded that the Tainui Kingites were in rebellion and deserved their lands being taken under National Law and according to Māori custom.

Perhaps these facts conflicted too uncomfortably with the politically motivated alterations to the Treaty and the subsequent Waitangi Tribunal's approved settlement claims.

Bryan Johnson, Omokoroa

Cycleway

Regarding the cycleway (Letters October 1), my observation is: Why can't the cycleway be redirected up the hill, through the traffic lights and down the Hairini bus lane road? That seems to be a simple and safe solution.

Bill Capamagian, Tauranga