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Helen Clark and GE

Sir, Helen Clark stated that she assumes supermarket food is safe (DominionPost, 28/8/03). This remark is worthy of George W Bush. He doesn’t have to pretend to be intelligent because no one expects him to be. But we expect more from our PM. Her government is considering lifting the GM-ban in October. If this is the level of her awareness regarding GM, then God help us.

Ignorance is the ultimate plausible deniability; ‘Don’t ask me because I’m too stupid to even think’. Such an attitude may work for Mr Bush. It may even work for some of her colleagues, but not for Miss Clark.

Yours sincerely,

Dave Taggart – Napier, NZ

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Cullen’s Comments Amplifies Incompetence?

Deputy Prime Minsiter Michael Cullens cowardly and unfounded accusation of Marlborough District Council Mayor Tom Harrison being a "racist" only serves to amplify just how far he has been promoted beyond his own competence.

As an academic, Dr Cullen would be mindful of the need to empirically back such a claim with evidence, and then have the courage of his convictions to publically defend his case. As Dr Cullen can do neither (instead quivering behind the rort that is "prliamentary priviledge"), he only serves to illustrate the characteristics of a weak-kneed bully.

I have often read in the media that Dr Cullen is a formibable opponent in debate within the House - however I've yet to see it. Pithy one-liners and personal attacks on other people do not a great orator or debater make. Maybe Dr Cullen could grow a backbone, step out from behind the protection of parliamentary priviled racist".

Not consulting with the locals prior to making a legislative decision (a speciality of Dr Cullen & his Labour caucus) whilst in government is called "representative democracy", not racism. Someone find the man a dictionary - and look up the word "courage" for him while you're at it, would you?

Yours faithfully

Steve Taylor – Auckland NZ

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Maori Land Court And Punctuation

The son of Pharoahs daughter is the daughter of Pharaohs son. Absent punctuation this statement is meaningless, punctuate it correctly and it makes sense. Similarly the Maori Land Court. To many New Zealanders it’s a Maori court that is somehow going to steal our birthright. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It is a not a Court controlled by Maori, rather it’s a European [Pakeha] court set up so Maori land could be moved into individual title so it could be purchased by – you guessed it – we Pakeha. Without the ‘Maori’ Land court, no-one in NZ would have their little quarter acre of paradise because it was once all Maori land. Fearmongerers say that there is some kind of a Maori takeover of the beaches going on. Sorry - wrong again. The appeal court simply found that under New Zealand law, derived from Britain – not Tahiti, people have a right to their day in court, to prove ownership to property be removed from a single group simply by virtue of their race? Is that Justice?

Yours faithfully

Deb Wansink – Auckland, NZ

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Dunne’s “Rubbish” Comment Silly

I am unsure about wholesale decriminalisation of cannabis,but I was incensed to read Peter Dunne's reply to Greg Soars' polite inquiry about possibilities for partial decriminalisation of medical cannabis. Mr Dunne referred to Mr Soars' letter as "garbage," and dismissed it in a single sentence

Mr Soars is HIV+ and the Washington DC-based Institute of Medicine has published two evidence-based collections of clinical studies* which indicate that administration of cannabinoids can help reducing wasting symptoms associated with HIV/AIDS, restimulate appetite and counteract associated nausea connected with some protease inhibitors and combination therapies. As a gay man, I do support decriminalisation of medical cannabis and its derivatives in cases related to evidence-based clinical trial contexts.

Caring, compassionate and centrist? Mr Dunne's cursory dismissal of this important palliative care issue disgusts me, as does his treatment of a man who has a bona fide serious medical condition.

*Janet Joy, Stanley Watson and John Benson (eds) Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base: Division of Neurosciences and Behavioural Health, Institute of Medicine: Washington DC: National Academy Press: 1999

New Zealand Holdings:

Auckland City Libraries

Auckland University of Technology Library

Canterbury Medical Library

Ministry of Health Information Centre

South Waikato District Library

University of Auckland Philson Library

Wellington Institute of Technology Library

Alison Mack and Janet Joy (eds) Marijuana as Medicine? The Science Behind the Controversy: Washington DC: National Academy Press: 2001

New Zealand Holdings:

AUT Library

Eastern Institute of Technology (Hawkes Bay) Library

Invercargill District Library

Kapiti District Library

Tauranga District Library

UCOL Library (Palmerston North)

University of Auckland Science Library

University of Canterbury Law Library

University of Otago Medical Library

Waikato Institute of Technology Library

Wellington Institute of Technology Library

Note: Incidentally, I am a total abstainer when it comes to alcohol and drugs.

Yours faithfully

Craig Young – Wellington NZ

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