Letters to the editor - Marlborough Express

Hot topic

Why are the "Hot Topic" comments on the front page of the newspaper unsigned?

Your Letters to the Editor must be signed and pseudonyms are not accepted, yet every day on the front page in large red type are two or more comments that are not signed.  These comments, presumably they have been sought by a staff member from the public at random, are presented as being important contributions from the public.  Please follow your own rules and insist that the contributors' names are also published.

Russell Cannan

Blenheim

Thanks for your letter Russell - Hot Topic comments are taken from comments on our online stories, and these are indeed important contributions from the public. These play quite a different role to that of letters to the editor, and therefore we do not require a full name to be used. Thank you for your feedback - Ed.

 

World news

We live in an age of fake news – items not grounded in reality, but deliberately created to promote a particular political agenda. Fairfax's policy of publishing 'World' news items from such a restricted group of right-wing outlets, makes its readers susceptible to exposure to such fake news. Your article 'Snowden may be Putin's 'gift' to US' in the Express (February 13)  and syndicated from the UK's Daily Telegraph, has to be a case in point.

Firstly it is quite obvious that Putin's good relations, or otherwise, with Trump are not in any way dependent on Putin offering Snowden up as a sacrifice on the altar of American justice. There are many, far more important considerations in the relationship. Secondly, though there would be no obvious upside for Putin in making such a move, the downside would be massive.

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At risk, would be all the recent gains in western public opinion that Russia has made at America's expense. Snowden is generally regarded as a hero, who martyred himself to perform a singular service for individual freedom and human rights. For Putin, now to forcibly repatriate him to the US, would be a public demonstration of Russian indifference to such considerations. It would undo the years of carefully managed and highly successful public relations effort, which fabricated fake news items like this are designed to counter.

Hugh Steadman

Blenheim

 

Speed limit

Through your paper may I ask the person responsible for lowering the speed limit from 100kmh to 80kmh on SH6 from Blenheim to the Omaka Bridge just exactly what risk they are trying to manage?

John Sinclair

Blenheim

 

A note of thanks

As director general of conservation, I am pleased and humbled by the huge volunteer response to the recent whale stranding at Farewell Spit.

I was impressed by the large numbers of volunteers who came from all walks of life in DOC's time of need to help with the attempted whale rescue. With so many volunteers involved, I was pleased to see the respect for safety for themselves in potentially difficult circumstances while being aware of the welfare of the stranded whales.

I want to say 'thank you' to our whale rescue partners, WhaleRescue and Project Jonah. Daren Grover's team did an outstanding job of coordinating the help that enabled DOC to focus on the best way to deal with rapidly changing scenarios as events unfolded. I want to acknowledge our Treaty partners, Manawhenua ki Mohua, who worked alongside us in making rational decisions and provide cultural comfort in the face of so much emotion.

There were a several commercial enterprises who contributed to the success of the effort. Farewell Spit Tours, for their transport, Fulton Hogan for their traffic management. Golden Bay Air and Adventure Air helped and Air New Zealand offered assistance. Even Interislander offered free passage across Cook Strait to those coming from the North Island specifically for the stranding.

New Zealanders' love of nature was on show here and my gratitude on behalf of my staff involved, goes out to all those who volunteered in DOC's time of need. Conservation is at the heart of people's values.

Lou Sanson

Director General of Conservation

 - The Marlborough Express

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