Billions of dollars are needed to solve our transport issues in Western Bay.
I have a much simpler solution one in which we all get a prize. National road pricing.
First of all, we get rid of fuel tax say 80 cents a litre? Every vehicle would be fitted with a special GPS that would tell you what road you were on and what price you are paying per kilometre on every road in the country. Let's say your current fuel tax costs you 10 cents a kilometre? The basic charge could be say 5 cents a kilometre and the price would go up depending on the road you were driving on the type of vehicle and the time. The busy roads during peak-hour traffic would cost you the most, travel off-peak or on the quieter roads and you are saving money.
You have a card that goes with your GPS which you insert at the fuel pump it will tell you the kilometres you have done and the amount you owe insert your EFTPOS card fuel up and job done.
We all win. You are able to manage your transport costs. Less traffic on peak-hour roads if you have to use them. Government wins, it supports their GPS, it reduces the need for spending on infrastructure. It encourages the use of our multi-modal transport systems and the above concept would have the potential to reduce congestion overnight.
You are not going to drive your children to school during peak-hour when you can put them on a bus for free. You won't drive to work during peak-hour when you can save money and get on a bus that won't be battling congestion.
You will drive to work earlier or later to avoid peak-hour, and if you have to drive through peak-hour, you will get to work twice as, so you save. Electric vehicles will have to pay their fair share.
The Western Bay subregion could do it as a trial. Technology has to be the answer.
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Tauranga City councillor
Archaic use of religious terminology
The Hot Topics daily column in the Bay of Plenty Times has a quiz feature that frequently asks for the "Christian" name of a famous person. The repeated use of this archaic form of English terminology ranges from the absurd to amusing to downright offensive. On May 28 the quiz asked for "the Christian name of the Ugandan dictator Amin?" Idi Amin was a Muslim who slaughtered more than 100,000 of his citizens, earning him the title "The Butcher of Uganda". It's an example of the continued use of terminology for a person's forename, or first name, which is an offence to Christians, non-Christians, and non-believers alike.
Now, add to this the Bible quote that also appears daily in the Hot Topics column. On May 28, it read: "If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ let him be accursed". Do the editors at the Bay of Plenty Times not read their own coverage of the offence created by Israel Folau? Would they print a similar quote from the Quran? Does this not-so-subtle expression of religious prejudice belong in a responsible newspaper? (Abridged)