Why does this very logical transport solution for the Golden Triangle (Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga) languish? If government funding is the answer, then how about this strategy?
Firstly, despite well-intended commentary from others about passenger rail from Tauranga and through the Waikato, that simply can't happen with the freight trains using the existing rail at near-full capacity.
Secondly, the Western Bay of Plenty has two of the country's three toll roads, but I would happily pay around a $12 car toll to use a Kaimai tunnel in the Apata area. Trucking companies wouldn't baulk at say a $25 truck toll. These tolls would cost less than alternative travel costs now.
The New Zealand Superannuation Fund (NZSF) has large, uncommitted sums which beg for a sound investment with good returns. With the higher-than-normal tolls revenue from this tunnel, a public/private partnership, between NZSF and the road-user funded NZ Transport Agency, would provide a win-win for all parties.
So, NZTA, please stop procrastinating and stop building un-tolled infrastructure in the Waikato that closes the door to this direct-route tunnel possibility. Can you please just start talking with the "man-with-the money-purse" and start addressing the western Bay of Plenty's choked transport network?
Anzac Day 'paranoia'
New Zealand, Aotearoa has become the world capital of paranoia.
Certainly, we have, as a nation experienced, and some more than others, the terrible events of March 15.
But for heaven's sake, how much longer and to what extent do we cancel and change the country's heritage and way of life?
Tampering with the sanctity of Anzac Day and therefore the very memory of those who fought and fell for the very idealism of freedom is hardly "The Kiwi Way", I would have thought.
We should not let the horrendous actions of one person deter us as a nation from exercising the expensively paid-for idealism embodied by Anzac Day.
Currently, the greatest honour and act of support for those who fought for our freedoms is to "Keep Calm and Carry On" not give way to the false idealism of a few.
Time to defy the timorous few and stand up for what we know to be right.
Columnist Bryan Gould (Opinion, April 8) is a huge admirer of our Prime Minister. But he forgets she is only there because Winston Peters said she could be. He also conveniently doesn't tell us she is an avowed socialist. And socialism does not work, never has, and never will.
I felt Bryan Simmonds letter (April 10) on the Crusaders name change was off the mark.
His "apparently considered to be offensive to the Muslim population in New Zealand" is the type of sweeping statement that, in my view, builds prejudice that we can do without.
Further, having been an avid reader of news around this subject, I believe it was not even a member of "our" Muslim community who promoted the name change idea. (Abridged)
Freshwater Fish Bill concerns
Once again the Green Party is taking over where Chris Finlayson left off, along with MP Tamati Coffey.
The Indigenous Freshwater Fish Amendment Bill (News, April 6) includes in definitions "Treaty settlement legislation".
Amongst other references to Māori it also gives priority in Section 48A (5) wherein any inconsistency in provisions in freshwater fish regulations or provisions relating to Māori fishing rights then Treaty legislation will prevail.
The Bill seems, in my view, to be less of a fish protection proposal than an effort to entrench Māori/Treaty control issues in the Conservation Act which has operated successfully for all New Zealanders through the auspices of the Fish and Game Council and the Conservation Department.
There is also the reference in the proposed amendment that "these regulations or notices do not affect Māori fishing rights" and they can continue to harvest their whitebait etc. while controlling access under the guise of kaitiaki.
I am wondering if, before taking this Bill into committee stages, any consideration was given to the report by Geoffrey Palmer which included concerns about the negative effect on Fish and Game. This is particularly relevant in the amendment (6) to Clause 7J.
"However, if there is any conflict between a provision in a freshwater fisheries management plan and a provision in a sports fish and game management plan, the provision in the freshwater fisheries management plan prevails." (Abridged)
R E Stephens
The Bay of Plenty Times welcomes letters from readers. Please note the following:
• Letters should not exceed 200 words.
• They should be opinion based on facts or current events.
• If possible, please email.
• No noms-de-plume.
• Letters will be published with names and suburb/city.
• Please include full name, address and contact details for our records only.
• Local letter writers given preference.
• Rejected letters are not normally acknowledged.
• Letters may be edited, abridged, or rejected at the Editor's discretion.
• The Editor's decision on publication is final.