'NZer' not an option

In over half a century of filling in Census forms, there was one question I never answered by use of the options displayed.

For the question of my ethnicity, I always hand-wrote my own option.
Sometimes I added a — shall we say — "blunt" comment to my stock answer of "I am a New Zealander".

Sorry, but in this country we are so proud of ourselves as we preach racial harmony and equality to the world, and I have always insisted — vehemently — on my right to actually practise what my country preaches.

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I am proudly born of the soil of New Zealand/Aotearoa, as were my forefathers, for generations — and that's final.

So what brought on that outburst? Attempting to fill in the online Census form, that's what.

It insists I must tick one of the usual ethnic options, yet none of them allows me to be someone who is simply born of this land. That omission is so stupid, when you come to think of it, isn't it?

I've requested a paper Census form. My pen awaits. I shall be a New Zealander, as I have been my whole life.

STAN HOOD
Aramoho


Pauls Rd rocks

All ups to the Butlers and their hardworking team.

Thanks for your wonderful generosity in donating your land, hard yakka and music to raise funds for a very sick little girl's dream.

You have created a community picnic with soul, where one feels part of a larger family. One of the great occasions Whanganui folk provide for each other. Thank you all for a rockin' great day.

DENISE LOCKETT
Whanganui


Great service

After a recent visit to Whanganui Hospital I discovered it was necessary to refuel my car at the nearby Gull service station.

Driving to the petrol pump, I was immediately warmly greeted by a polite young forecourt attendant. A rarity these days.

This young woman inquired which fuel I required and promptly filled the tank.
Entering the premises to pay, I was again greeted in a friendly manner by the male attendant. These new premises were spotless, carried a good stock of takeaway food, coffee, groceries and hardware.

Such a handy, safe, station to visit.

I will definitely return and also advise my friends of this pleasant experience.

P JACKSON
Whanganui East


Real Jesus

I wonder what is being taught in theological colleges these days. I read the Thought for today (March 6) as an attempt at undoing the "Quest for the Historical Jesus" that began with Albert Schweitzer in 1910. He said that the Jesus you hear about at church didn't really exist.

John's Gospel is from the end of the first century, and it was not used in the church until Tatian used it in his Diatessaron, circa 160AD.

In it there is no list of the 12 apostles, no Sermon on the Mount, parables or Lord's Prayer. The miracles are "signs", unlike the Jesus of Matthew, Mark and Luke who refused to give a sign. Mark 8:12.

John's Gospel is a debate with "the Jews". The John who wrote it was possibly a Jewish priest converted to Christianity. See Eusebius' History 3:31.

One tradition is that the Apostle John lived to a great age at Ephesus. Another is that he was martyred with his brother in 42AD. Mark 10:35-40. Acts 12:2. And another is that he went to Rome and survived being plunged into boiling oil. Tertullian, Prescription Against Heretics 36.

TOM PITTAMS
Whanganui