Council not a big fan of swings

Beware, Auckland Council is going to fit out its officers with black shirts, jackboots and cudgels to beat the life out of children who dare to use road side swings. But what can you expect when the elected councillors are dictated to by officious bureaucrats.

Some years ago there was a rope swing over the gully at Green Bay. Not only was it removed but the tree was chopped down.

Clark James, New Lynn.

Stifling complainers

When great cultures die it need not be by cataclysm but by being white-anted into a risk averse, prescriptive anxiety state by usually anonymous complainers who are really just whiners who've forgotten their youth.


A case in point is surely the pending removal of the tree swing on the berm in Calgary St, Sandringham, a quiet, traffic-calmed street of young families and kids at play, a metaphor for that which makes growing up in New Zealand a happy spontaneous and confident country.

From possible strangulation to tree damage, the rationale for the swing's removal sounds like the death knell of our beautiful informal culture. We let these forces suffocate us at our peril.

Phil O'Reilly, New Lynn.

Atrocity speech

In her Waitangi address, Dame Susan Devoy described how a group of young Waikato school children had visited some of the sites of the great Waikato War of 1862-63. She talked of a particular atrocity where Maori civilians retreated to a church and which was then locked and burned to the ground, killing all inside.

What concerned me most was that such an accusatory diatribe (even if it was true?) could be delivered by our Race Relations Commissioner. Her office has been promoting 'Know your History', which is fine, but I spent hours searching many sources and nowhere could I find an account of this terrible event as she described it.

John Perham, Omokoroa.

Willie Jackson

Mr Jackson knows as much about education as Mr Trump does about politics. How is it possible for a Labour MP to support the only policy of the Act Party? With full financial support from the state but with no public controls of curricula, charter "schools" overseas have served as indoctrination centres for extremist groups.

All the attackers of the transport system in London were graduates of such a school in Manchester, and boot camps were popular in Nazi Germany. For the good of the party Mr Little must withdraw his support for Mr Jackson, or Mr Jackson must withdraw support for such an anti-social policy.

J. Binsley, Life Member NZEI, Parnell.

Trump's genes

To shut Trump up about racial differences, could someone do a DNA analysis on him? Our DNA is far less diverse than our cultures and skin colours might suggest. Though realistically speaking I don't think it's possible to plug that obscenely shaped mouth and all the pent-up gas that needs to escape from it.

Heather Mackay, Kerikeri.

Horeke's day

It was great that we were able to watch the dramatisation of the signing of the Treaty at Waitangi on Waitangi Day. As part of the re-enactment, the highly respected chiefs Tamati Waka Nene and Patuone spoke in favour of the Treaty. These two chiefs were from the Hokianga and were closely associated with the Wesleyan mission, which was in their territory.

When the treaty was taken to the Wesleyan Mission at Horeke in the Hokianga so that the local chiefs could sign it, Governor Hobson asked John Hobbs to be his interpreter. It was a much bigger signing and will be celebrated on February 12.

Dorothy Tomlinson, St Heliers.

Muslim ban

In a recent publication Nigel Latta quoted Mr Trump to the effect that "I, Donald J Trump, will put a complete stop to all Muslims entering the USA". Mr Latta deliberately omitted the latter part of Mr Trump's statement which was "until we find out what the hell is going on."

This changes the interpretation and meaning of his statement and I suggest that Mr Latta not indulge in misrepresentation by omission.

Ivor Miller, Stonefields.

Safety under Trump

The grandstanding hysteria over Trump's travel ban on people coming from seven terrorist countries falls into the category of sound and fury signifying nothing, save the persistence of death-wish liberalism in our politics. Since when has it been a constitutional right for peoples residing in terrorist hotbeds to travel inconvenience-free to America?

One would think from the tear-shedding, garment-rending hysterics of Trump's critics that his travel ban had resulted in mass slaughter rather than delayed or denied travel.

The media's all-hands-on-deck coverage suggested the twittering class finally thought it had Trump cornered. But he refuses to take their nonsense seriously.

As long as his policies rest on a reassertion of common sense, their propaganda masquerading as journalism has no power. Having been burned so many times by political correctness, the people know that it will not keep them safe and that they need, at long last, a take-charge president like Trump.

The Screen Actors Guild won't keep them safe. The know-it-alls on morning talk-shows and various editorial boards won't keep them safe. The celebrities won't keep them safe.

All these parties are not interested in solving the problem of insecurity but denying it, in the name of some ill-defined enlightenment, which amounts to a repudiation of common sense.

Jay Pegler, Mt Eden.

Honourable members

In his letter on Tuesday Miles Langdon writes, "only the highest calibre of persons should be considered as parliamentary material". Would Mr Langdon care to run his ruler over the 120 incumbents to ascertain which of them measure up to those standards? Very few I'd say.

Ian Williamson, Bucklands Beach.

Safe driving

I have been driving for only 54 years, compared with Pamela Russel's "nearly 70" so I haven't had as much time to observe the driving faults of others. Mostly I'm bothered by drivers who indicate their intentions to turn left later than they could.

And Pamela might note, I haven't had one speeding ticket. My speedometer doesn't require careful watching - just a split second glance followed by a lifting of my foot from the accelerator, and maybe a brief pressure on the brake. It's never too late to learn.

Margaret Bongard, Grey Lynn.

Tiriti Day

Unruly elements of Ngapuhi continue to make such a mockery ($10,000 for media access) of what ought to be the day we celebrate the anniversary of our nationhood that it's now well past the time that the Government stepped in to take charge of our official observances.

New Prime Minister Bill English has made a start by suggesting that the official celebration be rotated among the various locations throughout New Zealand where copies of the treaty were signed.

He should now go a step further and change the name of the day to Tiriti Day to remind Kiwis that the treaty belongs to us all and it's the document that's important, not the site of its first signing. It's not the sole plaything of Ngapuhi.

Naming it Tiriti Day would finally bring relevance to Hobson's memorable utterance on 6 February 1840: "He iwi tahi tatou".

Terry Dunleavy MBE, JP, Hauraki.

Bypass marae

Negative perceptions regarding Waitangi Day celebrations at Waitangi could be solved by removing Ti Tii Marae from the proceedings. Many people do not realise the annual marae bunfight is a separate event in a different location down the road from the Treaty Grounds.

Politicians and media alike should deal with the poor behaviour by boycotting the lower marae. However, this should not stop them attending the actual Waitangi celebrations. Do not use the lack of good manners by an overly noisy few as an excuse to deprive Northland of the opportunity the Waitangi Festival gives to showcase its talent.

A. C. Cronshaw, Kerikeri.

Way to spend the day

A fantastic representation of the multi-cultural nature of Auckland could be seen on Monday at Mission Bay. There were hundreds of people of various ethnicities, speaking a variety of languages, taking advantage of the holiday and the weather.

What a very New Zealand way to spend and celebrate our national day.

Patricia Judd, Newmarket.