Thank you for publicising the views of the six members of your Rotorua election panel (Tackling homelessness issue, August 28).

Their responses to reducing the problems of homelessness in Rotorua provide food for thought.

In my view, the two younger members of the panel are the most inspiring.

Twenty-three-year-old Ngaa Ruuira Puumanawawhiiti proposes "providing emergency housing through wholesale buying of apartment complexes and warehouses for renovation".

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Tauranga's Moana Nightshelter Trust has followed this path. It has worked collaboratively with the Western Bay of Plenty District Council, Ministry of Social Development, and iwi, to operate successful emergency accommodation for the homeless.

Those suffering from a mental illness are directed to appropriate treatment, as are people with drug and alcohol problems. Some are ordinary working people living in cars, unable to afford rising rents.

I see no such collaboration in Rotorua. In fact Deputy Mayor Dave Donaldson believes it is solely the Government's job to provide such emergency accommodation. The Lakes Council does not have the funding! (Yet funding is found to import mud from Korea for a Mud Festival!)

It is evident that the priorities of Lakes District Council do not lie with the well-being of its own people.

JACKIE EVANS
Rotorua

Re-writing the Treaty

Even if true, Jim Adams' generalisation about British treaties with native races elsewhere (Letters, August 28) with language "that would confound university professors" does not apply to the Treaty of Waitangi.

Hobson's instructions from the Colonial Office stated explicitly: "You will therefore frankly and unreservedly explain to the natives or their chiefs the reasons which should urge them to acquiesce to the proposals you will make to them. I have been guided by firm reliance on your uprightness and plain dealing".

Hobson, an experienced naval officer accustomed to giving plain orders to men with little education, carried out his instructions to the letter. This may be verified by reference to his final English draft of February 4 1840 (nicknamed the "Littlewood Treaty"), which too few people do. When it was shown to senior Ngapuhi chief Graham Rankin in 2000, he said its meaning and that of the actual Treaty, in his own Maori dialect, were exactly the same.

By it, the chiefs ceded sovereignty completely and forever - despite false Waitangi Tribunal claims to the contrary - all Maori, even slaves of other Maori, became fully entitled British subjects and the property rights of all the people of New Zealand were guaranteed. By November 1840, other constitutional developments were such that the Treaty had done its job and was history. Re-writing it today would be an absurdity.

BRUCE MOON
Nelson