Margaret Murray-Benge (Letters, January 9) suggests that elections for local councils are not biased against Maori candidates, because there are 30 Maori Members of Parliament.
However, in my view, she is making a bad comparison because election systems for parliament and local councils are different.
Members of parliament are elected using party lists for fair representation, which does not apply for local councils.
Only five per cent of local councillors throughout New Zealand are Maori, which is unfair.
A Maori ward system does not give more rights to Maori voters. It simply removes the anti-Maori bias in our present system.
Cr Lally has talked elsewhere in scathing terms of how Maori avoid responsibility for their own lives. Do we assume this is why he doesn't support Maori wards?
He talks (Letters, January 6) about their representation on the Rotorua District Council. Perhaps he might tell us how many Maori have been elected mayors or councillors in the Western Bay of Plenty?
He decries Maori wards on the regional council while failing to mention they were introduced to provide Maori representation for a large number of the population in the Eastern Bay of Plenty who were otherwise unrepresented.
The Bay of Plenty Regional Council area has the third highest proportion of Maori population of all New Zealand's regional councils.
Could Cr Lally advise how he consults with Maori as part of his representation of everyone, and in fulfilling his legislative responsibility to consult with Maori?
I agree with the letter from Brenda Gunn, (Letters, January 5) regarding the social problems we now have and the need for help and training.
I served as an Airwoman in the 1950s, a time when Compulsory Military Training was in force.
Most of those boys came in like lions and went out like lambs.
An example was a lad who came to RNZAF Station Hobsonville full of rebellion.
No-one was going to tell him what to do and for the first weeks he was constantly 'on charge'.
He was repeatedly told to get his long hair cut so, in defiance, he had it cut all over to a length of a half inch. Thus we named him 'pincushion'.
When his military training was finished he chose to join the regular air force and went on to become an officer.
During the time of his service he learnt discipline, respect and a trade, and received wages.
One of the biggest mistakes of a past government was to end CMT as I witnessed many a rebel leave as an upstanding young man.