The Bay of Plenty Times welcomes letters and comments from readers. Below you can read the letters we have published in your newspaper this weekend.
THIS WEEKEND'S LETTERS
Bad behaviour from locals an aberration
Last week's story about a Christchurch quake victim who was told to "get over it" has sparked a strong response from readers. Here is a selection of their letters:
I have been to Christchurch twice since February 22 and seen the devastation of homes and lives of my family, relatives and others.
They are not going to "just get over it". The reality of living it is vastly different from viewing it from afar.
It has been amazing to see the amount of support and fundraising efforts here in Tauranga and the rest of the country. It seems to have raised a community compassion that it would be great to have all the time.
We have to keep the aberrant behaviour in perspective. Like looters and scam artists in Christchurch, a small minority like the ill-mannered people at the Palm Beach Post Office are "a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic".
In Christchurch, the lights are off and there is nobody home. With these people, the lights are on and there is nobody home.
Chris Taylor, Papamoa Beach
Having just returned from a week in Christchurch working with the Salvation Army welfare team, I am absolutely appalled at the article on the front page (Bay of Plenty Times Weekend, March 19).
Jody, you need more than an apology.
I would like to see the two people in the queue offer to pay for your parcel to Christchurch, donate $10 to the mayoral fund for "Bands 4 Hope" or, better still, go themselves to Christchurch and help.
I hope that the people of the Bay of Plenty who think that the people of Christchurch need to "get over it" are in a small minority. Even after working for five days, the effects of disaster fatigue are real but I can come home to a safe place, whereas the people of Christchurch can't.
Christchurch can be likened to a war zone, with the faces of the people showing the same signs of emotional damage as the people I saw in Croatia after the war there.
Our Canterbury friends are resilient but desperately need our love and support, our help, and not receive the damaging comments from ignorant people with selfish ambitions, insensitive feelings and unwillingness to participate in a national disaster.
We are all in this together. Jody, I hope that you and your family are feeling more relaxed here, with some sense of "normality" returning to your lives.
Frances Austin, Bethlehem
I read with disgust the headlines and article in the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend. How petty of the Post Shop worker over a bit of tape. I have often been in post shops and seen tellers getting tape to firmly stick down customers parcels. It was no biggie, actually it is good for business.
As for the impatient customers, have they heard of karma? Well, they better look up about it because with all the talk of tsunamis and earthquakes there is a likelihood that they could lose their houses and belongings.
I hope they went home and thought about what they said. It looks like they will have to experience something bad before they will be able to have compassion to humanity.
Obviously they weren't affected by the TV coverage of the Christchurch disaster.
If Post Shop gave away 10cm of sticky tape to every customer, they would soon go broke.
I would hate to think that people are going to start using the Christchurch earthquake as an excuse for preying on people's consciences and their good will. After all, I did visit the city a couple of years ago but don't expect special consideration because of it. I think it is time we got over it and got on with life.
Which brings me to the point that I don't think it is appropriate to give alcohol to someone. They don't know whether that person has a drinking problem or not. What was wrong with a verbal apology, if anything at all was warranted?
R Smith, Tauranga
Empathy for Jody
As a resident of Papamoa I want to express my sincere apologies to the Christchurch lady who was treated so badly in our local Post Shop. I was horrified and ashamed to read of the actions of the post office worker and the comments of two of the other customers.
I cannot believe people can be so insensitive and uncaring. I am sorry that I had not been in there at the time to show this lady some compassion. I hope she can meet other residents who can show her we are not all like that and that we have a heart and really feel for her and all that she has been through.
Lesley Foster, Papamoa
The absolute lack of sympathy and consideration shown to Jody Cowper-James by the three people at Palm Beach Post Shop seems to epitomise the attitude of many of our fellow New Zealanders.
We may have a reputation as a friendly nation on the whole but, individually, many Kiwis have become self-centred, impatient and selfish, living a life inside their own little comfort zone.
Anything outside that narrow corridor of existence is too much effort and a nuisance.
I am disappointed at the way Jody was treated. I approve of the media bringing the episode into the limelight.
If the perpetrators have any conscience, maybe seeking Jody out to apologise may ease the situation.Geoff DickKatikatiA new 'normal'It's a shame some Tauranga people (in my view a minority) seem to think that Christchurch people should just "get over it". I hope they never have to go through the same things. Maybe if they lost a loved one or friends, a business, their home, all their belongings, their computer, cellphone and iPod they'd feel different.
We had a friend and her son from Christchurch stay with us for a few days.
They just needed some time out away from the chaos that doesn't go away. It was quite an eye-opener.
Of course, like everyone from there, they had their stories of the earthquakes and of their own relatively minor loss for which they were incredibly thankful and positive.
There are countless stories from Christchurch of the human spirit going beyond selflessness to serve and help neighbours, to give what they had, to relieve the stress and suffering of those whose needs they could meet.
We enjoy this great region, its people and the bounty it has for us. But it will never be normal there.
But they will build a new normal which may perhaps take a generation.
Food for thought.
Stephen Whitwell, Otumoetai
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