The Bay of Plenty Times welcomes letters and comments from readers. Here you can read the letters we have published in your newspaper today.
Drivers can't be road hogs
Re hi-visibility fluoro vests for motorcyclists (Street View, Dec 7).
I think the wrong approach is being taken. The focus should not only be on motorcyclists and whether or not they wear the vest but on car drivers and their awareness of other road users - including cyclists. Car drivers need to be taught to share the road and not to think they own it. As a cyclist and car driver from a big European city, I can only say that in general the car drivers here drive more carelessly.
S MARX, Greerton
Park is for all
It is refreshing to hear a mayor actually state his mind, rather than another mayor who often repeats the phrase that it's time to bite the bullet.
I am referring to Western Bay of Plenty Mayor Ross Paterson and his comments (News, Dec 8) regarding some of the user groups of the TECT All Terrain Park, who are opposing the development of a historic bush railway and old sawmill at the park.
For the record, this park comprises 1638ha and is located within the WBOP district but is actually closer to Rotorua than it is to Tauranga.
For better or for worse, the TCC is a 50 per cent funder of all the costs of this park and, while it is in the development stage, it is costing TCC ratepayers close to $1 million each year.
In my view, the camping ground proposal appears realistic because, unless this park manages to raise significant income, it will become a constant draw on the financial resources of Tauranga City and, due to these ongoing costs, will probably prevent other local parks and reserves from being developed.
It's time for some of these park users to actually get real and accept that the park is for all users, not just themselves.
MIKE BAKER, Bethlehem
Get $5m's worth
I am all for making sure that Baypark - a great facility for Bay of Plenty - is kept in operation.
However, as a ratepayer I do object to the private operating company simply saying it can't pay us (the home and business owning community) and walking away from $5 million of its debt to us.
I can see that the debt needs restructuring but, for goodness' sake, if we are going to write off $5 million then surely we must take an equal amount of equity in this private business. We should then be able to appoint suitably qualified professionals to their board, proportional to our equity stake, to get their operating business back on track to profitability.
Public/private partnerships are touted as the way forward. Let's not just walk away from our cash and give it to a failing business. If we do, then surely it will not be long before they ask for the other $2 million of the loan to be forgiven.
SUSAN-JANE DAVIES, Mount Maunganui
The recent attack on the leadership of the Maori Party by Labour's Shane Jones says it all about his true colours.
The true colour or true flavour of a political party post-elections is like a boil up, their real flavour comes out when they are stuck in hot water.
Those Maori who voted for Mr Jones, and are not at the decision-making table, will have somewhat of a sour taste in their mouth, amplified by his continued bitterness. While those dining at the Maori Party table will be enjoying a good kai.
Bon appetite and bon boil up, Mr Jones.
TOMMY KAPAI, Tauranga
When writing to us, please note the following:
•Letters should not exceed 200 words
•Please include your address and phone number (for our records only)
•Letters may be abridged, edited or refused at the editor's discretion
•The editor's decision to publish is final. Rejected letters are usually not acknowledged
•Local letters are given preference
•Text: 021 241 4568 - Please start your message with BOP