In re­ply to Phil Etheridge’s let­ter re the phas­ing out of cats (Tri­bune Novem­ber 11): I have never seen a cat with a na­tive bird. Young fe­male do­mes­tic cats in­clud­ing strays may catch ex­otic birds and rats and mice, but even in Gareth Mor­gan’s well awaited Cat Cam project, which was meant to vil­ify cats to the na­tion, not one sin­gle bird was caught, let alone a na­tive.

Once, to my hor­ror, I found seven dead birds in a bucket at my place, pre­sum­ably poi­soned nearby and look­ing for wa­ter. Ev­ery day there is also a dead bird on the busy road. I sug­gest we swap the ‘T’ for an ‘R’ and phase out cars? Stray and feral cats are born out of hu­man ir­re­spon­si­bil­ity.

Ob­vi­ously de­sex­ing strays is go­ing to stop them mul­ti­ply­ing and is bet­ter than do­ing noth­ing. And if the Coun­cil was to man­date the spay­ing and neu­ter­ing of peo­ple’s pets, the un­wanted cat and kit­ten pop­u­la­tion would prac­ti­cally be solved. Rhonda Findlay



I haven’t said too much about the whole flag de­bate so far, but I feel it’s worth shar­ing my thoughts.

I am not against chang­ing the flag but I do have an is­sue with it.. As some­one who works in the not­for-profit sec­tor with peo­ple on low in­comes, or who are strug­gling to make ends meet, I have tried to take a wider view of the de­bate.

The cost has been said to be $26m, but chang­ing the flag is much more than the $26m it costs to make the de­ci­sion about it. For ex­am­ple, think about the New Zealand armed forces for a mo­ment. Now think about the num­ber of flags used in the forces – the flags, the badges, other in­signia, even the lo­gos and pa­per­work – all which will have to be changed to dis­play the ‘‘new’’ flag.

Now if we con­sider the num­ber of dif­fer­ent gov­ern­ment agen­cies (of which most will not have things like badges, yeah I get that) and busi­ness that cur­rently use the flag on their lo­gos, their coat of arms, their let­ter­heads, etc, we can start to see the share scale of the size, and there­fore the cost to the coun­try, in chang­ing the flag. Com­pa­nies who make flags and cor­po­rate para­pher­na­lia must be rub­bing their hands to­gether.

In sum­mary, the cost to change the flag in NZ is far more than $26m. That is only the cost we can see for the process of chang­ing the flag. The real cost is un­known and can’t be es­ti­mated.

In times when, as a coun­try, we need to sup­port those in need, the sick, the poor, and the hun­gry, please con­sider se­ri­ously where you put your vote in the ref­er­en­dum.

Re­becca Cul­ver Palmer­ston North


The 3.8 per cent rates in­crease is ap­plied, along with 15 per cent GST, push­ing peo­ple fur­ther into eco­nomic slav­ery.

In­creases are grossly in ex­cess of in­fla­tion and more im­por­tantly, most peo­ple’s an­nual pay rise. Now the new QV val­u­a­tions in­di­cate the av­er­age cap­i­tal value of homes in­creased an av­er­age of 3.7 per cent land value com­po­nent alone (on which rates are based), by 8.5 per cent to $148K, since 2012.

In­creases ex­ceeded rises com­pared to en­ergy, hous­ing, food etc over past 12 years, why? HAVE YOUR SAY The Tri­bune wel­comes let­ters. They should not ex­ceed 250 words and must carry a gen­uine name, home ad­dress and day­time phone num­ber. Pref­er­ence is given to let­ters ex­clu­sive to The Tri­bune. Let­ters may be edited. They can be emailed to tri­ or posted to PO Box 3, Palmer­ston North to be re­ceived by 4pm on the Thurs­day prior to pub­li­ca­tion.


Aban­doned cats re­main a po­lar­is­ing is­sue .

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