I respond to the recent article by Brian Rudman (Opinion, October 6) which in part contained criticisms of me when I was deputy leader of New Zealand First, some 10 years ago.

He accused me of ranting, but I am not one for ranting. I believe politics is about making people aware of concerns then reasonably and rationally debating the merits or otherwise. Ranting does not get one anywhere, least of all in politics.

To clarify, I emigrated to New Zealand because I found it to be a fantastic country when I visited as a Merchant Navy officer. I loved it then and still do. I can honestly say I have given my very best shot for this country.

I am a firm believer that immigrants should come here to a job, be in good health, be crime free, speak reasonable English and be prepared to integrate into our society. There could be some exceptions, but they would be few.

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Mr Rudman and I have never met and although at times I was interviewed on TV, I never ever ranted. Thus I assume he got his information from a media release I issued in April 2008.

My opening statement in that release referred to the folly of our then "open door" immigration policy. However, since then the Immigration Act has been rewritten in its entirety.

I was on the Select Committee which did much of the groundwork, but the act was finally passed in 2009 when I had left Parliament. Further, of recent years I understand there have been several changes to the rules and regulations around immigration.

All of this has tightened immigration and given New Zealand more ability to select who should come in on a permanent basis. So, perhaps it could be said that as a result of my concerns being made public thing did change.

My advice to Mr Rudman is to look at what is happening in Britain, Germany and several other European countries in regard to the failure of immigrants to integrate and then tell me I was wrong.

Peter A Brown
Tauranga
Former NZ First MP and Deputy Leader

Fuel prices

The survey on fuel prices (News, September 10) shows Gull to be among the cheapest petrol available. People seem unaware that while Gull maybe attractively priced, all fuels are not created equal.

Gull undercut the competition so forcing its competitors to match its price but with its Gull Force 10 sell a less efficient product. Gull Force 10 98 Octane petrol is blended with 10 per cent ethanol; its 91 octane is not blended with ethanol. Ethanol contains less energy than pure mineral petrol, and so you won't get the same mileage out of a tankful of Gull Force 10 as you would out of a tankful of say BP.

Research by the Automobile Association found that Gull's 10 per cent blend to be 8 per cent less efficient than pure mineral petrol. If you are paying say $2.30 a litre for pure petrol, then the Gull price should be $2.116. I have yet to see Gull selling at this sort of differential. Perhaps the Prime Minister should have Gull in for a "chat"!

Also, the AA recommends (as do manufacturers) that ethanol-blended fuel not be used for marine and aviation purposes, and that you contact manufacturers or retailers of small machinery prior to using ethanol-blended fuel in lawnmowers, chainsaws and generators etc.

The Government has a responsibility, as do the media, to make sure the public are informed that the fuel price is not necessarily an indicator of value for money. Perhaps service stations should be required to display an efficiency indicator.

Richard Prince
Tauranga

A message to Bella Vista homeowners
There's not been much news re the Bella Vista debacle lately. Just a word of encouragement to the Homeowners to stay together and stay strong.
There is strength in unity!

Sincerely
A. Palmer

New Zealand Gymnastics Championships

Last week I attended three sessions of the New Zealand Gymnastics Championships at the ASB arena.

What a privilege it was to watch hugely talented young people perform to such a high standard.

Mostly the competitors came from regions all over New Zealand, but some Australians were also here.

The venue was superb but what impressed me most was the polite well-disciplined participants. I didn't know anyone taking part but have the greatest admiration for the competitors who showed maturity and wonderful skills.

Thanks to the organisers, coaches and gymnasts for an outstanding display of talent in such a friendly atmosphere of high-level competitions.
Viv Monk
Matua