The Bay of Plenty Times welcomes letters and comments from readers. Here you can read the letters we have published in your newspaper today.
Jobless total shameful as Key fails
Since John Key took over as Prime Minister unemployment has gone from about 120,000 (4.7 per cent) under Labour to about 160,000 (6.5 per cent) now.
Unemployment was much lower under Labour, yearly average 4.7 per cent for nine years.
It is pure electioneering nonsense for John Key to suggest that being tougher on benefits will reduce unemployment when currently a single job vacancy may get 90 applicants.
John Key was elected because he said we were overtaxed and that large tax cuts would improve economic growth.
From 1991 to 2008 our economic growth averaged 3 per cent a year.
The Key government has slipped to economic growth of 1.5 per cent a year.
Its $2.4 billion of tax cuts have forced it to borrow about $15 billion overthree years to balance its budgets.
Quite simply the tax cuts made were unaffordable and have not increased economic growth or reduced unemployment.
Finally in a desperate attempt to find extra income the Key government plans to sell off $5 billion of high earning assets in a move that will cover only one year of current borrowing.
Wage earners, the unemployed, and the business community would all be better off now with a Labour government.
Peter Dey, Tauranga
Recent criticism of Don Brash's "one law for all" policy has consisted of petulantly attacking the man rather than explaining why Article 3 (which provides for equality of citizenship) somehow can be rejected when it doesn't suit.
Kaumatua Colin Bidios claimed (BOP Times September 10) that special legal status for Maori was needed to compensate for the past.
That maybe acceptable if that status was for a finite time allowing Maori time to catch but special status conferred by the Resource Management Act and the Marine and Coastal Areas Act provide for privileges in perpetuity.
Privileges are often presented as "affirmative action" programmes but they are no more than discrimination in a tuxedo.
In the wider sense they may sound fine but when looked at on an individual level they are clearly discriminatory.
A student is denied a place in medical school in favour of someone with poorer marks because of their ethnicity.
That student's dreams, are dashed, and potential value to society lost, not because their marks were not good enough but because of something they had no control over and cannot change - they were born white.
Equality of outcomes is required in this country but the use of racial privilege and discrimination are the wrong tools to achieve this.
Richard Prince, Welcome Bay
TECT Arena restaurant. What a pleasure it was to discover this superb building when searching for their recommended restaurant.
Their cheerful staff really put themselves out to help everyone, reminding us that it's the personnel that make a building so wonderful as well.
Although roast beef was not on the menu the chef agreed to oblige for Woody's 85th birthday.
Next morning there was a special table beautifully set up for four oldies and management staff to wait on us.
No wonder we felt like royalty.
Out came this humongous platter with the most delectable roast beef, Yorkshire pudding and all the trimmings imaginable .
This was topped by a birthday cake and sparkling candle and their joyous rendition of Happy Birthday to this "unsung hero".
Truly a day to remember.
Maureen Woodmore, Maungatapu
Just bad timing
We live in Welcome Bay and consider the Welcome Bay roundabout quite satisfactory.
Trouble is the single lane Hairini bridge.
The concept of an underpass is good, the trouble is timing.
The bridge and 15th Ave should be upgraded first.
Tom King, Welcome Bay
City misses out
Tauranga is the largest city in the country that has missed out on the RWC bonanza which the rest of the country has enjoyed.
Tauranga's Mainstreet should be embarrassed and ashamed of themselves at the lack of action to promote the largest event in 30 years in the Tauranga area. Compared to other provincial cities and towns, including those without games, you would be forgiven for being oblivious to the existence of RWC considering the lack of activities in Tauranga.
Teams have had training sessions in Tauranga and the promotion of these has been non-existent. Tauranga should be embarrassed at the lack of locals to watch the Russians train on Friday. Now the latest decision by council to refer the decision on a fan zone to a group of three councillors is further example of lack of council support half way through the event, by the time they get anything done it will be over.
Even the PM expressed surprise at Tauranga's lack of a fan zone.
Governing what is arguably one of most beautiful locations in the country and failing to promote it is like winking at a pretty woman in the dark, you know you are doing it but nobody else does.
The Mainstreet organisation should be shut down as they are not serving any useful purpose for the CBD businesses.
Glenn Williams, Te Puke
Act leader Don Brash calls for decriminalisation of cannabis. What do you think?
* People smoking pot isn't really making any trouble. If you look at who is in prison for drug related offense they are the drug dealers from raids. Think about the harmless common kiwi citizens that are at home right now having a smoke. Could be the people living next to you. Or the guy who served your lunch. It's a choice not a crime. I myself do not smoke but I'm open minded and one day might try it. Why not put the money we spend on tax towards stopping people selling and making meth and a class drugs.
I might agree with the idea. But there is no way on earth that would make me vote for him.
* Policing it costs millions of tax payer dollars and clogs up the court system" - if that's the criteria, then just do away with all laws. Citizen Iniated Justice System, like the ol' Wild West. Will also reduce prisoner numbers, and probably get rid of this pesky MMP debacle.
* the law should be sensible and effective. Statistics suggest that NZ has the highest teenage cannabis use in the world (28%). Clearly the current approach is ineffective. In terms of making sense - we have close to 400,000 adult users of cannabis (NZ Govt stats). Is it sensible to label them all as criminals. Cannabis is less toxic and causes less social harm than alcohol or tobacco. Please explain the logic in continuing its criminal status?
* Do you guys not see how 'cannabis' affects people's social abilities and how it affects their families and people around them, and also generally leads to much stronger and more harmful drug use.
Bar owners to help pay for screen
* There were other options too.... Tauranga Real Festival offered their screen as well, which will already be set up and their concert finishes at 8pm and the rugby I believe starts at 10.30....There was also the TECT Arena option.
* Good on Matt Hayward and Riki Walls. Fantastic positive events is what Tauranga needs. A alcohol free family zone is a great idea too.
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