Leave it to kids to solve the read­ing prob­lem

The Dominion Post - - Opinion / Letters -

Re A fix for the read­ing slide (Jan 9), on the de­clin­ing read­ing abil­i­ties of chil­dren, might it not sim­ply be a case of chil­dren solv­ing the prob­lem them­selves in a lat­eral, for­ward-think­ing way?

For ex­am­ple, tra­di­tional read­ing skills are evolv­ing into text-speak, which in many ways is more pho­net­i­cally cor­rect than tra­di­tional English, the lat­ter be­ing full of am­bigu­ous ter­mi­nol­ogy, un­nec­es­sar­ily long words, and words which have con­fus­ingly mul­ti­ple mean­ings.

Young peo­ple have done an amaz­ing job by in­vent­ing a whole new lan­guage in the space of a few mere decades. What other gen­er­a­tion can boast an achieve­ment like that?

Lan­guage is an evolv­ing beast, and any­one who can’t ac­cept that is ei­ther scared of change or too old to be able to change.

Chris Lakomy, Para­pa­raumu

To­tal­i­tar­ian Aussies

The New Zealand TAB has re­placed its own bet­ting sys­tem with a li­censed UK-sup­plied sys­tem pro­vid­ing a fuller ser­vice, at a cost of $40 mil­lion, to try to en­tice back pun­ters who are by­pass­ing the NZ TAB and us­ing over­seas web­sites.

Although this is an ex­pen­sive so­lu­tion for the TAB, it is in con­trast with the un­der­arm tac­tics of Aus­tralia, which for about the last two years has blocked New Zealan­ders ac­cess­ing their own NZ TAB ac­counts while in Aus­tralia.

Block­ing web­sites is the type of ac­tion taken by to­tal­i­tar­ian regimes and is an­other ex­am­ple of Aus­tralian dis­crim­i­na­tion against New Zealan­ders. It’s well past time for the Min­is­ter of Rac­ing, Win­ston Peters, to sort out this is­sue with his Aus­tralian coun­ter­parts. Mur­ray Car­pen­ter, Wil­ton

A stop to bus use

Re Brakes still on cap­i­tal’s traf­fic plans (Jan 10), the re­cent bus ser­vice ‘‘im­prove­ments’’ have cer­tainly con­trib­uted to the brakes on traf­fic flow. I once was a bus user but now of­ten need to use my car in­stead, and so do many oth­ers.

One ex­am­ple (of many) is the re­sit­ing of the Kil­birnie hub busstops so many shoppers and com­muters must cross two twolane roads to reach them, and buses are of­ten held up mak­ing a right­hand turn at the busy Bay/ Ron­go­tai Rd in­ter­sec­tion.

An ob­vi­ous choice, and vastly cheaper, would be to make a short stretch of Ron­go­tai Rd buses only, then put the Kil­birnie Cres­cent North route bus stop where the tem­po­rary one was out­side Pak’n Save. The other three stops could go back where they were, in Ron­go­tai Rd near the shops.

This rerout­ing would make bus travel more at­trac­tive, and wouldn’t ma­jorly in­con­ve­nience pri­vate ve­hi­cles which have sev­eral route al­ter­na­tives (un­like the buses).

So will Greater Welling­ton Re­gional Coun­cil please re­think throw­ing good money af­ter bad on a cov­ered walk­way that won’t solve the prob­lems, and con­sider the above op­tion.

The bus ser­vice would then be a bet­ter con­trib­u­tor to good traf­fic flow, and also do its bit to re­duce green­house gases. Lee Pomeroy, Kil­birnie

Youth­ful fun

Martin van Bey­nen got it so right (Jan 12). I am an old guy well into my GoldCard years but Lime scoot­ers have added an­other way to pre­tend I am still a whole lot younger. I use one when­ever I have an ex­cuse.

Of course I could walk but how much more fun it is to come home from the su­per­mar­ket with my shop­ping in my back­pack at 20+ kmh down the Pe­tone Es­planade, or Lime into the Bob Scott Re­tire­ment fa­cil­ity to visit a friend, or to show off to our grand­chil­dren. Well done to our coun­cil for let­ting these fun ma­chines loose in Lower Hutt. Of course there will be ac­ci­dents, I haven’t had one yet, but that is part of be­ing alive.

Nor­man Wilkins, Pe­tone

Jet ski id­iots

To the two id­iots on the jet ski at Evans Bay on Satur­day who kept chas­ing and break­ing up the pod of dol­phins.

There were a great num­ber of by­standers along the Bay watch­ing their charm­ing per­son­al­i­ties and en­joy­ing the pod’s dis­play. Then you came along. You saw the pod, yet dis­re­garded its safety by cir­cling, ob­struct­ing the dol­phins’ path and cut­ting through the group by mak­ing sud­den changes in speed and di­rec­tion.

All marine mam­mals are pro­tected within New Zealand wa­ters. Sec­tion 28 of the Marine Mam­mals Pro­tec­tion Act (1978) gives the Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion pow­ers to hand out se­vere penal­ties for of­fences com­mit­ted, which you did. If only you could be caught for your reck­less be­hav­iour.

Kylie Mer­rick, Mi­ra­mar [abridged]

Lack of fore­sight

To O¯ taki MP Nathan Guy, you ap­pear to be try­ing to po­lit­i­cally ridicule the pro­posed two-lane high­way from O¯ taki to Levin in stat­ing that it should be four lanes.

I am not ar­gu­ing with your rea­son­ing here. It sounds good.

But what hap­pens when the four-lane road reaches the Manawatu¯ River bridge at Whi­rokino? This is only a twolane bridge, in­ci­den­tally de­signed un­der the pre­vi­ous, Na­tional, govern­ment.

Maybe you would like to give the Na­tional Party the thumb­s­down for its lack of fore­sight when de­sign­ing this bridge. Kev Jensen, Levin

Me­dia Coun­cil

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