Letters, February 11: On trail of Mokau mine

23:09, Apr 30 2009

It is highly improbable that the mine displayed at Mokau is of Australian origin as has recently been claimed. (Waikato Times, January 29). There are two reasons for this assertion; geography and time.

Anti-invasion mines were not laid in Australian and New Zealand waters until 1942.

All the Australian mines used in New Zealand waters were laid off the east coast, mainly from Whangaroa Harbour down to the Hauraki Gulf. Mines from these fields would have to drift north, east and then south to reach Mokau which is quite unlikely.

In Australian waters, most defensive minefields were laid from Moreton Bay (Brisbane) north to Torres Strait.

The key to the Mokau mine and 14 other World War II mines, which either drifted ashore on New Zealand's west coast or were sunk in the Tasman Sea, is the east Australian current. This runs southward along the east coast of Australia from New South Wales to Tasmania, then swings east across the Tasman and then north to brush the west coast of New Zealand.

It is simply not credible that a defensive mine laid off Australia could break from its moorings then drift thousands of kilometres and end up at Mokau by December 2, 1942.


It is much more probable that the Mokau mine is one of 230 Y type mines laid by the German raider Pinguin and the minelayer Passat off the southeast coast of Australia in late October/early November 1940.



Evil seed

Rachel Solly's letter (Waikato Times, January 30) asserting that I am sowing evil seed is in line with the evil of which I wrote.

Rachel may be one with fundamentalist political/religious leanings and she may be a rational woman? There is the matter of tolerance, dignity, respect and need for dialogue and compromise.

Zealous fundamentalists may experience a degree of difficulty as compromise is usually difficult for most of them to accept.

Rachel's knowledge of me is limited to what I have written. If Rachel has difficulty with my assertion that "fundamentalist political/religious groups are harbingers of evil", she should re-read what she has written.

Including my writing with others in the same letter is wrong and out of order.

At no stage did I mention Palestinians, Arabs or Israel or any specific conflict.

My concern is for all matters that relate to politics/religions. I accept both are part of the human condition.

I restate that conflict is based upon intolerance, bigotry and failure of people to find rational political/religious compromise. Greed is a component in all of this. (Abridged)



Real democracy

The Wanganui District Council and Mayor Michael Laws have now given other councils something to aspire to by offering their ratepayers various options regarding rate rises and where the money will be spent.

They are doing this by way of referendum.

This is what democracy is all about. Giving citizens choices rather than megalomaniacs dictating to them.

This is empowering the people of Wanganui and giving them more control over their lives and their wallets.

Wanganui has now become the Switzerland of the South Pacific and shows other councils what democracy really is.

The new National Government could also take a leaf out of this book.



Pakeha fear

Denis Shuker's letter "Let's unite with one flag" (Waikato Times, January 27) raised a concern and fear which I, and probably other Pakeha, have concerning Maori.

Upon reflection of more than 150 years plus of history and living with Maori, who could blame them for enforcing their own way in 2009 when they their culture has been suppressed for 150-plus years?

Think about this: the more Pakeha fear, then the more often Pakeha will reject and then the bigger the divide will be between Maori and Pakeha.

When Pakeha as a whole apologise, accept, understand, involve Maori as an equal partner and work quickly to intertwine both cultures, the less the Maori will be angry.

As far as other immigrants go, as I see it, they did not sign the Treaty of Waitangi and they left their culture behind by choice.

They emigrated to this country, accepting its culture and way it operates, even though in all probability they desperately want us to take on their culture and language as well.

Why don't we work with Maori to include their flag design on the New Zealand flag and make it a true New Zealand flag, not just a piece of material? (Abridged)


Rude judgments

In response to T de Leeuw's letter (Waikato Times, January 28):

Does he think that on the basis of his odd letter the rest of us will take any notice of his rude judgments regarding Keith Locke?

Mr de Leeuw wrote that Ahmed Zaoui had an "Arabian sounding" name whatever that means.

People like Mr de Leeuw are well out of their depth, poking their noses into the affairs of countries whose history and culture are for their people to sort out.

I am sure he doesn't know the tiniest fraction about the huge differences in the "Arab" countries in the Middle East, just like he has no idea about the reason for the opinions of Mr Locke.

Maybe Mr de Leeuw's letter really says (after writing 25 letters to uninterested parties) "listen to my opinions since they are the only ones that count".


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