AFTER reading the recent article "Eviction process: Your obligations" (Chronicle, Law Talk, May 23), we at the Manawatu Tenants' Union are concerned by the potential to confuse both landlords and tenants.

It is especially important for all parties to know their rights when facing a potential eviction.

There are many reasons why a tenant may not be able to leave a property by the intended end date in the current housing crisis. In most cases, good communication alongside a clear understanding of one's tenancy rights and responsibilities can resolve the situation without the need for an eviction.

In regular fixed-term and periodic tenancies, tenants can generally not be evicted without a Tenancy Tribunal or court order, as outlined in Section 63 of the Residential Tenancies Act. Not all cases are the same, and it is essential to seek good advice if you are facing tenancy issues.

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Tenants staying in a regular periodic or fixed term tenancy past the intended end of tenancy date could be issued with a trespass order, but this is not enforceable in most cases without a Tenancy Tribunal or court order. We feel that to issue a trespass order against tenants in cases where it is clearly unenforceable is using bullying tactics instead of proper process and taking advantage of tenants that may not be aware of their rights.

If tenants or landlords require advice on their tenancy rights and responsibilities, we would encourage them to use the many free services available. Those services include Tenancy Services with an 0800 number (0800 TENANCY), and also organisations such as the Citizens' Advice Bureau, your local Community Law Centre or a tenant advocacy organisation.

BEN SCHMIDT
Co-ordinator, Manawatu Tenants' Union


Dirty diesel

Re letter by Alan Davidson (June 15):

Diesel cannot be the answer to our train fleet. Mr Davidson's inference that running our railways on electricity will lead to massive increase in the use of coal is incorrect and totally misleading.

If NZ is importing low-grade coal because our coal industry is being run down it is a total disgrace.

We cannot afford to burn any more coal or oil or any other fossil fuels. Electricity is not only produced by hydro power. NZ is 80 per cent sustainable in electricity generation and improving.

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There is a train in Australia totally powered by solar. It doesn't go very far or fast but the early combustion engines didn't either. An electric rail system won't be built in a day. With more application of NZ No8 wire mentality we can be sustainable.

Yes, diesel — like coal — is cheap, but it is nasty, and its particulates are contributing to cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurological impairment and miscarriage rates.

If one electric train took 50 diesel trucks off the road, that would be a tremendous gain for our climate and the health of our mokopuna.

With dirty diesel being outlawed from major European cities, take a look at Wikipedia: The list of carcinogenic substances in diesel is alarming.

ELAINE HAMPTON
Durie Hill


Crusader revival

The man now on trial for the mass murder in Christchurch allegedly had slogans on his weapons that labelled conflicts in Europe and Asia Minor centuries ago as "religious crusades".

In practice, the really religious people of different faiths get on very well together, but militaristic states needed an excuse for conquering other territories, just as the US does today.

In the 1100s and 1200s, there were several states pushing into and falling back from each other's empires: The Franks (northern Italy, France, Germany); the Byzantines (southern Italy, Greece, W. Turkey); the Rums (east Turkey); the Ottomans (central Turkey); the Arabs (Iraq, Syria) and the Mameluks (Egypt, Palestine). They all tended to fight each other or form alliances, regardless of religion.

By the 1600s, the Ottomans had control of all Turkey and Arabia. They also controlled some Frankish and Byzantine territory until the great 1683 Battle of Vienna, which saw an army of Muslim Ottomans, Orthodox Christian Cossacks and Protestant Hungarians routed by Catholic Austrians, Catholic Poles and Muslim Tartars.

In the 1950s, Western intellectuals began to depict the 12th century crusades as shameful colonialism.

This in turn influenced Arab thinking, and social problems in the Middle East were blamed on "lingering effects of the medieval crusades". This fuelled Islamist propaganda that depicted westerners as hostile invaders, and consequently gave rise to Muslim terrorist attacks on all westerners.

The revival of this simplistic "crusader" narrative is connected with a search for a new "good v evil" world view after the end of the capitalist/communist Cold War, in order to maintain profits from the sale of armaments to both sides.

JOHN ARCHER
Ohakune


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