Why shop anywhere in Tauranga?

I have been in and around Tauranga city quite a bit recently and can't help notice how things are changing.

For a start there are twice as many cars on the roads as there were five years ago, hence the commute is twice as long.

Secondly, there's a lot of building activity going on as it seems every second street has a structural hurdle to your next destination, which is only just round the corner, except that it's blocked off today for building reasons of one sort or another.

This is proving rather tiresome and time-consuming and I think someone's going to get hurt shortly.

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Yes, I know, Tauranga should have started this rebuild a long time ago and spread things out a bit so it wasn't an all or nothing thing. But all it is.

And it seems the only good thing about there being a lack of car parks to park in is that there is a corresponding lack of shops to shop in. Thank goodness for that.

So now you don't have to go to town as it's too hard to drive around, impossible to park in and hopeless for shopping.

Not only that, but over at Bayfair they're still digging up everything they can find, whilst The Lakes is still completing its cathedral to consumerism, majoring in roundabouts no one is quite sure where and when to get on to or off again.

And whilst we're here, the other centres don't exactly fill themselves with glory either.

Papamoa is so far away (with a goat track entrance), Greerton is roadworks central and as for Bethlehem, well I still can't find a decent cup of coffee there after there years of trying.

I'll think I'll just save up my time and efforts and do all my shopping in Melbourne again this year.

Graeme Martin
Tauranga

Numbers behind crash rate

I read in the Herald on Sunday that our road toll is heading towards being the deadliest in nine years.

Let's not beat ourselves up too much about this.

Sure we should do all we can to steady the upwards curve of deadly accidents but the cause is not all about the road conditions per se.

If we were to match the increase of road fatalities as a percentage of the vehicles on the road or even the total distance travelled, we may well find that, based on those statistics, the toll has not increased.

People in this country are driveaholics, often of necessity.

Certainly, our increasing number of main highways could do with straightening and widening, but the sheer weight of numbers will still be the major cause of our rising toll.

Just a thought.

AD (Tony) Kirby
Papamoa

Older Kiwis don't like fuss

Congratulations to Merepeka Raukawa-Tait on her column (September 7).

She has it absolutely right that older New Zealanders are reluctant to make a fuss.

Most of the elderly who are alive now were born during a world-wide depression and then grew up during, or went overseas to fight, in the greatest war that has ever been fought on planet Earth.

Merepeka observes: "They take what they get whether appropriate to their needs or not. In general they do not speak up."

Well we did just take what we got back then as that was all that was available.

Younger folks today have no idea about the horror of that war, essential industry workers, food and general rationing and all the other restrictions on everyday life in those years.

Living was more disciplined and on the whole, that was what conditioned us to not "make a fuss".

Gwyneth Jones
Greerton