As a stingray researcher and conservationist based in Tauranga, I was very disappointed to read the headline of your article "Tourist attacked by stingray on Mount Maunganui beach" (News, February 6).

While I understand "attack" is a common word to use for encounters with animals where a human is hurt, it's pretty damaging conservationally on the use of "attack" with sharks. In future, it would be preferable to use "painful stingray encounter".

"Stingrays defending themselves" or just "stingray stings" or in extreme circumstances "fatal stingray sting" or "fatal stingray encounter". The article itself wasn't bad, with the word attack not being used, and an explanation of why the sting occurred. So why the sensationalism needed in the title?

A large number of rays were hunted and killed after Steve Irwin died when it was his fault, not the fault of the ray, and perpetuating the myth that they attack unprovoked is not a good thing. We don't want that happening here.

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Helen Cadwallader MSc
PhD Researcher, Stingray Biology and Ecology

Fallacies about the cross-town bus service


In an attempt to bus rather than drive to work at Toi Ohomai Windermere Campus recently, I planned, arose early, and was at the Maungatapu shops before the 6.58am departure time from Bayfair. The bus never arrived.

Fallacy 1 – just because the bus is meant to take the Maungatapu off-ramp and travel along Maungatapu Rd to pick passengers up does not mean to say that this happens.

After work, I waited at the Windermere Drive bus stop for the crosstown bus service to Bayfair leaving Tauriko 3.32pm and arriving Windermere 3.56pm

Fallacy 2 – just because the bus is scheduled it does not mean that it will come – on time, or at all.

Bus labelled crosstown bus service to Bayfair arrived at 4.23pm. The driver turned right at the SH29 roundabout and headed to Greerton. When challenged on the route, he stated he had already been to Bayfair and changed the sign to show he was going to Tauriko.

Fallacy 3 – just because the sign says the bus is going to Greerton, that does not mean that is where the bus was going.

I did eventually get home from Greerton to Maungatapu – a very pleasant experienced driver, new to Tauranga but she knew the route and the times.

Yes, I lodged complaints – two instances in the phone and the overall by email. Action - who knows?

This is not an acceptable bus service.


Jan Hausman
Maungatapu

National's failure

I agree with John Watt (Letters, February 7) regarding State Highway 2 being a big fail for National and Todd Muller. The problem is, in my view, National considers the Western Bay and Tauranga as safe seats, so they give only lip service and know they will get the votes anyway, it was better to spend the money in their marginal seats. If voters want a Northern Link and Katikati bypass it will be better to vote Labour next election and create marginal Labour seats then there will be some progress as Labour will want to hold on to them.

Russell Wenn
Oropi
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