The Bay of Plenty Times welcomes letters and comments from readers. Here you can read the letters we have published in your newspaper today.
Brash must be challenged
The political point-scoring by Don Brash on national radio this week that the Maori language is irrelevant must be met with the wero (challenge) it deserves.
When my mother attended Te Puna School, built on land donated by her great grandmother, she was physically punished for speaking her native tongue. As were tamariki up and down the land. Stories of one teacher holding one hand and another holding the other while a third forced soap down the mouth of the offending child who dared to speak their language still haunt many Maori.
The relevant story behind this sad, irrelevant comment by Dr Brash is today in the same school my mother was punished for speaking te reo Maori, her grand-daughter, my daughter is learning the language openly from all teachers, Maori and non-Maori.
If we are to build bridges between Maori and Caucasian cousins, then surely the irrelevant comments such as Dr Brash has made should be challenged by all of us, no matter what our political persuasion may be.
Maori language is to be celebrated by all New Zealanders, even by us half castes who still stumble in their pronunciation. It is more relevant now than it has ever been.
Ti hei Mauriora.
T KAPAI, Te Puna
Let family stay
I am appalled by your report of the treatment of a Te Puke overstayer family (News, November 6).
They have lived here 10 years - worked, paid their taxes, borne a son in this country, schooled a daughter to a high level. They have also tried to engage with the immigration authorities to legitimise their situation.
Some would call this a criminal offence and unwarranted privilege. To me they evidence good citizenship.
There are other overstayers who are less deserving of compassion. In this instance, the actions of Immigration New Zealand and the family's lawyer are not condonable. The use of force to gain "consent" does not reflect well on our police.
I hope this Punjabi family has the opportunity to stay on in New Zealand.
BEA O'CONNOR Tauranga
No visa, so leave
The emotion, the drama, the brutality and the photo - oh please.
This family [the Kapilas] by their own admission have been overstayers for 10 years.
They are cheats and yet expect preferential treatment to jump the immigration queue ahead of others, who are going through the process to gain lawful entry.
If their visas were not renewed in 2005, why did they not leave then or talk to Immigration directly?
Has anyone spoken to the old lawyer? How are they paying for the new lawyer if they have no money?
Mrs Kapila showed scant regard or respect to the immigration official or to the police who were just trying to do their jobs. Her bruised fingers were a consequence of not co-operating with their lawful request.
This family broke our law and have been caught.
Deport them and send a strong, clear message to all overstayers - you will be caught and you will be sent home.
No visa, no stay.
A THOMPSON Katikati
Family must go
No, they should be sent back. They are overstayers and made use of the New Zealand health system, education system and so on. Have they paid taxes? I doubt it.
They knowingly broke the law, then she resisted the authorities and are now complaining of ill treatment. What would happen if she behaved like this in India? If she is worried about living back in the slums of India, then how were they able to afford to move to NZ and what has happened to all of the tax free money they have earned? Shame on you.
LEIGH CARR Bellevue
I have been a recreational fisherman and spearfisherman all my life (I'm in my late 50s now) and have always followed stories like this [Tauranga man fined $27,000 over the dumping of legal-size snapper] in New Zealand and Australia, where I lived for 13 years.
Why are commercial fisherman not penalised more? This was a second offence - if a recreational fisherman had been caught with more than his legal limit of fish he would have been penalised a lot worse in proportion to what the commercial guy received.
He should have this amount of fish (for every offence and cumulative) taken off his quota, lost the right to fish as he has proved he is not making an effort to support a sustainable method of fishing.
Guys with over-the-limit paua etc lose their boats, this guy lost a couple of months' income as a fine.
MIKE HAMILTON Tauranga
May Street Reserve was gifted to the people of Mount Maunganui for use as a green space.
It was not gifted so that the council could sell it off to developers.
When will this disgusting debate end?
Shame on the council for considering the selling of May Street Reserve. Shame, shame, shame.
Good and generous people will cease to leave land for the enjoyment of others if councils like this grab it away.
CLIVE MASEY Mount Maunganui
Policy to sell all
On Sunday talkback shows, Labour outlined a very balanced proposal for our financial future and National's response left one wondering what their proposals were.
Sell everything seemed to be their only solution, or possibly they feel they are so well loved, a purposeful financial policy is not needed. Personality politics is a poor substitute for sound government.
State assets: the Finance Minister claims power companies, in particular, will have more room to move.
However, the new owners with a 49 per cent voice may not agree with his proposals and bye-bye dividends.
During the talkback, most of the sages seemed to be protecting their $1000 per week tax reduction at all costs. This tax incentive was a real crafty move, solely designed to guarantee the wealth faction's loyalty. The cost must run into billions and buys a lot of votes. Taxpayer-funded, of course. If the money received from the sale of assets is spent on election promises, isn't this back-door borrowing?
The Union Steamship Company was an asset and it has gone, plus most of our merchant navy.
G DENNISON Maungatapu
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