I was disappointed with the opinion piece by Richard Prebble (NZ Herald, May 12). Mr Prebble, in this article, ignores centuries of disadvantage experienced by Māori since the signing of the Treaty.
He compares "a 181-year-old Treaty rather than the democratic will of the electorate". This conveniently overlooks the "democratic will of the electorate" is largely dominated by those who have benefited from the denigration of the Treaty, and the need to reorganise systems to address and rectify this denigration.
In 1877, in Wi Parata vs Bishop of Wellington, the Treaty was declared "a simple nullity" signed by "primitive barbarians" when Wi Parata sought to have the Anglican church fulfil its promise to build a school for Ngāti Toa Toa on land gifted expressly for that purpose. The land was wrongly seized from the tribe, backed by the Crown. There are many other such cases where the Crown denied Māori rights to the benefit of Pakeha settlers.
Mr Prebble is an intelligent man, so he is either being mischievous in the way he presents this opinion piece, or he has not read widely.
P. Ferguson, Tauranga.
Richard Prebble's column (NZ Herald, May 12) quotes Judith Collins as saying "Article 2...confirms the property rights of all people and Article 3...all people have the same rights." The implication is that the "all people" referred to in Article 2 and Article 3 is the same group. The quote appears to support an argument that Māori have no special property rights over and above those of non-Māori.
However, in the original English text, Article 2 specifically confirms and guarantees property rights to "the Chiefs and Tribes of New Zealand and to the respective families and individuals thereof". A translation of the Māori text (according to nzhistory.govt.nz) refers to "the chiefs, the subtribes and all the people of New Zealand".
Article 2 was intended to qualify the sovereignty provision in Article 1, by making clear that, despite giving sovereignty to the Queen, Māori would retain "the full exclusive and undisturbed possession of their Lands and Estates Forests Fisheries and other properties..." (the original English version).
Perhaps Collins really thinks the Treaty confirmed the property rights of "all people", and perhaps it didn't occur to Prebble it might not be a clear expression of Article 2.
It seems to me someone has been a bit careless somewhere.
Rowan Hill, Mt Eden.
Why are managers of State-owned operations getting bonuses? Under the old public service system, that would never happen.
These current guys get a much better wage on average than any head of a government department ever got and then they get a bonus for doing nothing. They have no fear of their operation failing as the government will bail it out.
This is part of what is wrong with New Zealand. This is why rents are so high and the cost of living is spiralling out of control.
We now have a generation of people whose sole objective is making as much money as possible with very little input and no reward to their workers. New Zealand needs a good clean out, I hope the bubble bursts on housing - some pain for some, big gain for most.
Tom O'Toole, Taumarunui.
I phoned an 0800 number this morning to make appointments for both my husband and myself for the Covid vaccination. I only had to wait about five minutes for an operator to come through.
During our quite long conversation, while trying to find appointments for us both and where, the young lady remarked to me, "Thank you for being so nice".
This prompted me to ask, "Are people being nasty to you?" Her reply was, " Yes, that some people were" and she'd had an awful time the previous day.
She remarked that she was "just the messenger". Please remember to be nice to the Covid vaccine operators… this mish-mash vaccination process was not of their making.
Julia Vanstone, Pukekohe.
When will AT finally admit the Pukekohe's "ghost buses" are a failure? The service was launched with great fanfare in 2016. These full-sized, diesel belching buses patrol the streets day and night. Almost always, the only person on board is the driver.
Just like the unused cycleways which were foisted on the community at the same time, the "build it and they will come" mentality is clearly wrong.
Could AT possibly publish audited annual patronage and costs specifically for Pukekohe? I'm sure it would show that it would be better for the environment and cheaper to provide the handful of regular patrons with taxi vouchers.
Alex Findlay, Pukekohe.
With a reported 11,000 deaths from Covid-19 in Japan and new cases still increasing in Tokyo and Osaka, it is morally wrong and selfish for our Olympic team to attend the event.
There is a raging pandemic in Japan and the rest of the world and they should be staying home. They should put their energies towards being role models for the rest of our population to get vaccinated.
John Watt, Tauranga.
Light the flame
I am 100 per cent in favour of the Olympic games proceeding as planned and disagree with those calling for its cancellation.
Athletes in New Zealand and the world over have been training for years for this. For many this will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and to deny them would be devastating. Maybe the Olympic Committee could make it a non-negotiable prerequisite that all competitors are vaccinated before leaving their country of origin. If each and every athlete has been vaccinated, given their comparative young age, the likelihood of infection should be extremely unlikely.
Yes, it is a shame that they will be competing without fans in the stands. However billions around the world can still watch and enjoy events on television just as they would Covid or not. The pandemic has demoralised and depressed people in most countries. Giving people something to cheer about when their athletes win medals could be hugely uplifting.
Glen Stanton, Mairangi Bay.
Less is better
Rotorua is just like Auckland but with a little less traffic congestion. The similarity is the buses: long and not very manoeuvrable on city streets and generally circulating with no passengers - or two or three at most - wasting fuel of whatever kind.
Hong Kong has big buses, trams and a mass rapid transport train system. Hong Kong also has minibuses, hugely popular and extremely flexible. More passengers, more buses circulating; fewer passengers, fewer buses but always the service is there.
Why do we insist on using these dinosaurs?
Richard Kean, Ngongotahā.
The most compelling reason to go further into the Pike River Mine is to facilitate the collection of evidence at a crime scene.
It was bungled the first time around, possibly as a cover-up of SOE legal liabilities. It is not a matter for budget debate any more than would apply to a cold case murder.
The recovery of bodies (if possible) would be a bonus but should not detract from the will to establish lines of evidence.
Hugh Webb, Hamilton.
Dr John Clark's poignant letter (NZ Herald, May 11) is instructive.
His dismay and frustration at the unwillingness of Māori to engage with the medical services his practice offers, despite extensive follow-up, is understandable.
All of us exercise free will. Access is there.
Sadly, equitable delivery and subsequent outcomes are often determined by the personal responsibility and choices made by potential consumers.
Dr Cam Calder, Devonport.
Short & sweet
I went for my vaccination at Highbrook and can't speak highly enough of staff at the facility. I felt It was extremely well organised and I had no trouble at all. Geoff Leckie, Flatbush.
How come when they have a booking system with groups organised, some educated idiot decides "Oh, we will take in walk-ins as well". Surprise, surprise, we have chaos. John Davison, Manurewa.
Perhaps users should be let off prosecution for possession/personal use only when they disclose details of where they obtained the drugs? Gary Andrews, Mt Maunganui.
David Mairs (NZ Herald, May 12) writes that China is still a developing country and that is certainly true, as the CCP develop the largest fighting force in our region. J White, Epsom.
Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi worries that "targeting gangs is targeting Māori". Is he also worried, perhaps, that targeting perpetrators of domestic violence is targeting men?Chris Elias, Mission Bay.
This current Government is soft and slow on crime, drugs and vaccinations. Chris Parker, Campbells Bay.
The Māori Party — of two MPs — is trying to shut down an important nationwide conversation about how the long-fought prize of democracy should function. Let's hear the debate. Chris Lonsdale, New Plymouth.