The Bay of Plenty Times welcomes letters and comments from readers. Below you can read the letters we have published in your newspaper today.
More biking education needed hereRe: Cyclists' deaths reignite debate (News, Nov 17).
As a New Zealander currently living in the UK, I can share a few lessons that have been learned over here about cycling promotion and safety.
The UK Government has realised the important role that more people using bikes to get around can plan in our future, in terms of improving health, reducing congestion and green house gas emissions. In New Zealand as in the UK, more than one-third of all trips are under 3km - an easy cycling distance.
It has also been realised that there is a whole lost generation of cyclists - people who never learned to ride a bike like their parents might have. People who learn to cycle properly as kids are then in a much better position to take up cycling as adults. If we don't teach our children to cycle properly then we'll lose another generation.
Universal cycle training for all 9, 10 and 11-year-olds will ensure that every New Zealander understands how to cycle safely and how to drive safely around cyclists. This is one major step to improving cycle safety, health and sustainability in New Zealand.
THOMAS STOKELL UK
Cycle lanes a must
Cycling is not a passing fad for those with a lycra fetish. It is a practical means of transport, effective form of exercise and a great way of exploring the countryside with a minimal environmental effect. The recent growth of cyclists on our roads is evidence of this.
Five deaths of cyclists in four days is appalling. Separate cycle tracks with a barrier from motor vehicles are a must. Where that's not feasible there should be at least a 1.5m sealed strip on the left hand side of the road exclusively for cyclists.
Domain and Parton Rd Papamoa are good examples of poor road design with no provision for cyclists as are many bridges and roundabouts.
The number of cyclists using Welcome Bay Rd justifies widening for a cycle lane on each side. The urgent need would justify a further tax on petrol and diesel.
It's time to get on your bike in safety.
JOHN DOUGLAS Tauranga
Stop your grizzling
An open letter to all those hand wringers grizzling about the $25 million the government is "giving" you.
Enough is enough. Grow up. Get real. The government is not giving anything.
It is we - the tax payers you should be thanking.
The "gift" means less money for the police, education, health - the list goes on and on and on.
And what about those of us who are less fortunate? The elderly, those existing on superannuation? We will continue to suffer for you.
Think about the dire straits the wine exporters are in. Do we bail them out too?
Enough of the hand wringers. We need bell ringers.
And now a suggestion for Messrs John Key and Bill English ...
Next time you pull out "our" cheque book, as for The Hobbit and now the kiwifruit farmers, do it on the condition that we, the New Zealand taxpayers, are allocated shares and thus get back a slice of the profits to help get our economy right.
IAN MACFARLANE  Wellington
Braunias not wrong
Re: City source of pride despite criticism (Our View, Nov 20).
Steve Braunias is not wrong. I'm 24, lived in Tauranga my whole life and live square in the middle of Cherrywood. I recently returned from my OE and have been unable to find a job.
From what I have noticed, in this time, Tauranga offers nothing to those under 40 unless you're settled or retired.
With nothing on offer for us here, we move to Australia.
When the retirees are gone we'll go from being a city back to a town. Tauranga City Council doesn't support growth of its people, it supports the rates the pensioners brings in.
Tauranga is a city based on the beach. The beach is enjoyed by both young and old. Tauranga has the ability to be the spot for summer but instead we put tighter restrictions on noise and festivals because those who used to enjoy both no longer do and now have the majority vote.
I am for supporting elderly rights but I don't believe we should behave like the rest of NZ where if one complaint is laid then without investigation or consultation, then revocations and cancellations are instantly dished out.
BUCK RAINES Cherrywood
White tail horrors
Re white tail spiders (News, November 11).
I had the same experience on Labour weekend and woke up with a huge lump on my chin.
I couldn't speak, my lip and neck were so swollen. I spent four days getting IV antibiotics twice a day then six antibiotics a day for eight days. I still have a small hole on my chin.
This is the third time I have been bitten over the last two years but this one was by far the worst.
The pain was bad and no relief from anti-inflammatory pills. I had to sit with an ice pack on my face for four days until the swelling started to go down.
I have children too and hate to think what would have happened if it had happened to them.
God help us if there are redbacks here in Tauranga.
The joke being we are moving to Melbourne in January, hate to think what's going to eat me there.
SARAH-JANE SUKKEL Papamoa
Cannot fault care
I have been closely involved with Cedar Manor for the last 15 years.
I have a near relative who first lived four to five years in a Cedar Manor house - Arundel St, followed by 10 years in an apartment and the past two years in the hospital, both in the Cedar Manor building in 6th Avenue.
I cannot fault the care and devoted attention she has received during that time, and I am constantly well informed as to the state of her health.
ROSMUND GRANGER Matua
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