Dental decay in the Bay

I have just read your story in this week's (News, October 5) regarding dental care or lack of it surrounding children.

I'm sure a lot of families are doing a great job educating their children to look after their teeth; a lot of responsibility falls on the parents to provide a better diet to help avoid tooth decay and generally lift their children's health quality overall.

I stand in line at the supermarket and am shocked at a weekly shop that some parents are taking home for their children to eat during the week, about half of their trolleys are filled with items that have very little or no nutritional value at all.

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So it is going to take education for parents as well to make the situation any better. Too much processed packaged food gets consumed by young children. It looks inviting for the eye when shopping, and that's about it.

We would be better off to encourage back to basic staple foods that are quick to prepare in the home and teach your children to make it. This is not a new problem. It's been ramping up for decades, and we seem to be no further ahead in solving it. Your child is a blank slate when born. Do your best to make sure they eat better food so they can do well in life - it's your job.

Andrea Todd
Papamoa

Vetting of immigrants proposal

The proposal that new immigrants should be vetted before being admitted to our New Zealand society has been met with derision by many in the visual and auditory media.

Both New Zealand First and other commentators have failed to agree on, or fail to specify, what "values" are to be respected and treasured.

If we not aware of what values are fundamental to our society – we could be in danger of losing them. History has many examples of societies such as that of the Nazi regime in Germany – where whole populations have been persuaded to depart from principles that are fundamental to a just society.

Open-mindedness and truth-seeking must surely top our list of treasured values followed by compassion and fairness. New Zealand's British linkage has given us a rich and widely spoken language and a well-tried Westminster system of government and legal system. A neutral monarch as head of government serves as a brake upon the powers of political leaders.

Caution is needed if religious freedom is added to our list. Throughout history, fundamental and controlling religious beliefs have led to conflicts, warfare and acts of cruelty and some are still with us in today's world.

New Zealand First's proposal deserves serious consideration rather than scorn.

Eddie Orsulich
Otumoetai