I attended the Horizons Regional Council meeting last week in Palmerston North where a decision was made to implement Māori ward constituencies.
Only 8 per cent, effectively, (those on the Māori electoral roll) were polled to ask their opinion.
For the remainder of us it was considered that it would not affect us, therefore not necessary to ask our opinion.
This was a major policy decision and the whole electorate should have been consulted.
Nicola Patrick who is one of our councillors for Whanganui was all for it. David Cotton voted against it.
In my opinion if Nicola is only prepared to listen to 8 per cent of the voters in our district, she does not represent us all and we need to find someone else at the next election who is prepared to represent us all.
Weirdly, the US having acknowledged Israel's right to defend itself, is now backtracking and asking them to stop responding to rocket fire from Gaza (and Lebanon).
Why is it that Israel is being asked to scale back? Because the US doesn't negotiate with terrorists (Hamas/Hezbollah etc) and if they did, they would have no more traction than they have had in the "indirect negotiations" with Iran over the JCPOA.
Terrorists expect concessions and funding. Israel is more likely to succumb to moral pressure from international "friends".
It is easy to lose sight of who fired rockets at whom when the awful statistics of civilian deaths are recited.
The fact is Israel values the lives of civilians, Hamas does not. To quote Israel's ambassador to the UN, "Israel uses rockets to protect its children, Hamas uses its children to protect its rockets".
M DONNE LEE
I have just read the address to the United Nations General Assembly concerning today's ceasefire in the Palestinian/Israel issue, given by Justin Fepulea'i, deputy Permanent Representative of New Zealand to the United Nations.
In his speech he refers three times to this country as "Aotearoa New Zealand". Periodically this term has been used by the odd TV presenter and the writers of issues in the newspapers and magazines. The use of this name for our country in the UN General Assembly can only mean that it is now the official name of our homeland.
I would like to know:
a. When was the name authorised and gazetted?
b. Who authorised it?
c. Why was the whole population not invited to have to have a say in this matter? [Abridged]