I would like to thank Rotorua Lakes Council, Great Lakes Taupo, NZ Police and Rotary for giving myself, and a number of others, the opportunity to attend the Driving On course for over-65s held on Wednesday at Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park Taupo. What a great day.

There were nine stations for us to go to throughout the day. Each one covered an important aspect of motoring. The knowledge and skills of the people manning these stations was amazing. All done with a nice greeting and cheery smile. Even on a very hot day. My only regret was, I couldn't get to them all before it was time to finish.

The day was free. Lunch was provided. It gave us all the opportunity to brush up our driving knowledge/skills in a safe, controlled environment.

Their goal: "A positive learning experience that achieves an ongoing outcome."


Congratulations. I am sure this was achieved. I think so anyway.


I am writing out of sheer exasperation at hearing the comments from the council regarding the redundancies occurring at the Aquatic Centre. However, you want to spin numbers and play it all down, these are real people with children, mortgages and bills. Just before Christmas to boot, adding to financial stress.

Two staff members have lost two incomes into their household. Syd has worked almost 30 years.

These staff are committed, loyal and an integral part of the pool's safe running, sacrificing family time to cover when short staffed, returning to work late at night to fix pool issues. They can re-apply for similar positions, at a substantial pay cut, losing current terms and conditions. So essentially starting over from scratch. Would you take that deal?

Syd's life has been the pools, he loves his customers, workmates, job.

To be treated like this, from people he trusted, has literally broken his heart, he has lost that well known smile and is deflated. As his family this is the hardest thing to see. How do you fix this? Syd has not received any thanks for all his years of service, nor appreciation of his commitment. Nothing!

So my observation is obviously loyalty, commitment, experience and longevity in a job means nothing to the employer. Don't ever feel you are safe in your job it could be ripped away from you any time the employers want to save money!



I am writing to express my extreme disappointment in the council's decision to outsource the management of the Rotorua Aquatic Centre.

As a regular user of the facility over the last 30 years I cannot begin to understand why they would do this. Compared with other cities our facility provides a wonderful selection of options for people of all ages and abilities. Where else can you swim in an outdoor pool all year in water of 28 degrees? Or if you prefer to swim or keep fit by waterjogging in the indoor pool or relax in the many spas.

The staff are always friendly, professional and helpful. They cater for the able bodied, the disabled, learners of all ages, school groups of swimmers and even family groups celebrating a birthday.

The pools are kept clean and safe and everyone is made to feel welcome. I hope it is not too late to change this ridiculous decision.


I can only agree with all the arguments made by Stephen Wainwright (Letters, December 7) in support of Rotorua's city art and the Hemo Gorge sculpture in particular.

However, in addition to its value as an artwork, it is wonderful that this sculpture is to be produced by an innovative Rotorua company using cutting edge technology. This is another huge bonus that will give it much more significance and potential benefit than if it had been manufactured elsewhere.