It is hard to believe that the reported comments of Tamati Coffey (News, February 14) regarding the proposal for 16 separate polytechnics to be replaced by a New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology came from anyone who knew something about the Government proposals.

He suggests that the merger to create Toi Ohomai was a disaster while appearing to believe that a further merger with 15 other polytechnics will somehow overcome the problems which followed when it will obviously make them worse.

Minister Hipkins accepts that there will be job losses and since the proposal includes a brand new bureaucracy in Wellington, it will be people in regions like Rotorua who will be 'right-sized' as Coffey puts it.

Coffey also said, "This is the opportunity for the Waiariki to fight back and become a powerhouse of expertise around our region's strengths."

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In fact, there will be no such opportunity as the proposal strips Toi Ohomai of its current legal autonomy and all decisions on its future will be made in Wellington - not locally. While there will be a "regional leadership committee", the proposal does not include any provision for it to have funding or the ability to employ staff, meaning that it will be unable to provide any worthwhile advice to the Tertiary Education Commission on local skills needs.

It is time that Coffey stopped being just a cheerleader for his party and started advocating for the interests of his own constituents, especially in light of his inference that such mergers are bad for his people.

David McPherson
Rotorua

Capital gains tax needed

Leighton Smith doesn't like the idea of new taxes. Oh dear.

Leighton, who I'm sure is a wonderful chap, in my view probably thinks it's okay to buy up all the houses in NZ and then extort outrageous levels of rent from the unfortunate millennials silly enough to still live here.

But I'm here to tell Leighton it's not okay.

The point of government is to govern. A governor fitted to a truck prevents it from going too fast and crashing. The much-needed capital gains tax on residential property is a governing instrument needed to stop the property market going too fast and crashing. (Abridged)

GJ Philip
Taupo

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Great article

Leah Tebbutt's article on Ivan Douglas (News, January 21) was a truly great story. So nice for Ivan Douglas to finally learn of his brother's resting place and that people who were once our enemy will create a lasting memorial to him is very special.

Adrian's selfless act of going back to let the rear gunner know to bale out makes it pretty certain that the intercom system had been knocked out by the German night fighter attack.

The ability for crew members to successfully bale out of any RAF World War II bombers were extremely limited due to the design plus the inevitability of the crew sustaining crippling injury.

I wish Ivan a very inspiring journey to Germany for the dedication of the memorial to his brother Adrian. (Abridged)

Richard Lyon
Rotorua

Abbreviation inappropriate

While fully appreciating the Australian and New Zealand predilection for abbreviating words (uni, doco, etc) I found myself appalled by the one used in Saturday's 48 Hours.

In an article about the Holocaust the abbreviation 'Holo' had been used in the banner headline. Totally inappropriate. Shame on you Daily Post.

William Wright
Rotorua

Air out aquatic centre

About time they did something with the aquatic centre. but why can't we have pools like Taupo or Tauranga.

If they are going to add a new roof make it an opening one so on hot days it can open and let out the stench, never mind a $500,000 statue at the roundabout, spend the money on making the aquatic centre as good as our neighbours'.

Brenda Green
Rotorua

Look after Kiwis

The Rotorua Daily reported (News, January 30) that 1537 new citizens were welcomed to the Bay of Plenty.

This is all very well but our own people are struggling to house themselves plus we have all the other problems our country now faces with infrastructure, sewerage, landfills, hospitals trying to cope with the influx and my god driving in Tauranga has become a nightmare.

In my opinion, the problems now facing Aotearoa won't be solved unless we close the floodgates. I'm all for progress but when do we draw the line. Is it progress or is it now greed?

Joanne Kilmore
Pukehangi

Take note WInston

I have just finished reading the article about the Rotorua horse racing track in this morning's newspaper (February 4).

It appears that someone with some gumption has asked for a second opinion on the horse racing scene in New Zealand.

New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing has differing opinions from that Aussie who wants to close 120 tracks over six years.

Anyway, why would anyone in control of our racing industry listen to him when you see what's happening over there.

They have tracks by the dozen all over the place and yet that joker wants to close our tracks. He should practise what he preaches and start in his own backyard. (Abridged)

Take note Winston!

Rod Petterson
Rotorua
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