Editorials 16 February 2010

The Herald praises the Tamaki deal:

The Auckland agreement is a credit to all leaders of the tribes concerned, particularly those of Ngati Whatua who have had to endure challenges to their long cherished tangata whenua status on the isthmus. It is also a credit to the Government’s appointed interlocutor, Sir Douglas Graham, that the vexed issues appear to have been resolved fairly rapidly and amicably.

The Press looks at cycle trails:

With 54 regions across the country bidding for a slice of $50 million earmarked for the New Zealand Cycle Trail project, there were always going to be winners and losers.

Unfortunately, when the Ministry of Tourism released the list last week of which 13 proposals got the nod, and the money, to proceed to the feasibility study stage, Environment Canterbury’s Mountains to Sea trail from Arthur’s Pass to the Waimakariri River mouth was not among them. There will still be a cycleway from the mountains to the sea, but this Alps to Ocean scheme will be located further south, between Aoraki/Mt Cook and Oamaru.

When the cycle trail proposal was unveiled by its architect, Prime Minister John Key, as one of the few concrete projects to emerge from his overhyped Job Summit, there were plenty of sceptics. Certainly his idea of a national cycle trail running the length of the country has been pared back to a more affordable series of individual rides showcasing natural attractions.

But the number of bids for funding suggests that Key’s idea has defied its initial critics and captured the imagination of many New Zealanders and local councils.

The Dominion Post talks :

There is an important qualification in Professor Hattie’s dismissal of homework. He says “it’s far more important to have interaction with parents rather than spending some hours on some project”. The key is the interaction with parents. Nothing will be gained by the Karori pupils, or those of other schools that abandon homework, if interaction with parents turns instead into more time in front of the television or computer screen.

Just as parents ultimately take responsibility for ensuring homework is done, in the end it will be up to them to make the no-homework strategy work.

I’m just glad I don’t have homework anymore!

The ODT discusses campervans:

It would not be unfair to say members of the Otago Conservation Board are a group of somewhat “unhappy campers”.

Their call for a national ban on the use of campervans smacks of a cause in search of publicity.

If their initiative in voting unanimously to draft a letter to their Department of Conservation seniors, calling on the Government to create legislation towards such a ban, has raised a fair old stink, they would say it is nothing compared to what the tourists in their four-wheeled portable tents are doing to the countryside.

Such a ban is, of course, a far-fetched proposal and is highly unlikely to gain serious traction, but it might be argued that the board, in promoting it, has done the country, the rental vehicle and tourism industries, and regional and district authorities a favour.

It might be argued. It might also be argued that have made the Board look like unbalanced zealots.