MEDIA MUSINGS: Dani and Bunty's take on local issues

By Danielle Nicholson

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Hamilton News editor Danielle Nicholson and Classic Hits breakfast host Mark Bunting give their take on local issues and goings-on. This week it's the Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park and fluoride 'angries'.

From: Mark Bunting [mark@classichits.co.nz]
Sent: Monday, 3 March 2014 7:17 p.m.
To: Danielle Nicholson [danielle, nicholson@apn.co.nz]
Subject: The Paddock

Hey Dani,

You said the other day that you were on the fence about the paddock/subdivision next to the wetlands. Did you go to the hearings last week?

Bunty

From: Danielle Nicholson
Sent: Monday, 3 March 2014 7.25 p.m.
To: Mark Bunting
Subject: The Paddock

Gidday,

I didn't manage to get to the council meeting where it was on the agenda last Thursday, but that sensible Rob Pascoe suggested council take a breath and look at it more before they make a final decision.

But I'm not sitting on the fence. I understand where environmentalists are coming from: they want to ensure the 60ha of land that thousands of volunteers have spent thousands of hours planting trees and shrubs on is adequately protected. Waiwhakareke is an asset to this city, though it'd be even cooler if we could get in there to take a look at it! The people who spoke at council last week presented sensible, level-headed arguments.

But this city also has massive debt so I can see where Mallett is coming from in terms of generating some revenue to either pay down debt or reduce rates (yes please!).

Environmentalists don't want the park to be bordered by a residential development. Have they considered that if council grants "reserve" status to the 5ha and the land is developed as part of the park, one day it will butt up to a bunch of residential properties that already border the paddock!?

So no, I'm not sitting on the fence. Imagine the fence that divides the paddock and the park ... I'm in the paddock ... probably surrounded by the cattle that graze it!

Dani

From: Mark Bunting
Sent: Monday, 3 March 2014 7:49 p.m.
To: Danielle Nicholson
Subject: The Paddock

Wow! I knew you had a philosophical objection to sandals and underarm hair, but I didn't quite see you as the rainforest-burning tree hating sort! - lol. Actually no lol! Don't you get sick of being called "right wing" because you don't hold an opinion on some conspiracy theory or asset sale? That's the thing that irritated me about the fluoride debate. If you don't hold a position either way, the "angries" would push you into the opposing side because you didn't want to hear their whining and yelling. I really didn't have a strong opinion about it until I got yelled at so much I just took the other side to get away from them! I read once that you can tell who's losing an argument - listen for the loudest one.

There's a joke going around the net atm. How do you upset a greenie? Not be a greenie. Yeesh!

Have you ever been into these wetlands yourself?

MB

From: Danielle Nicholson
Sent: Monday, 3 March 2014 8:04 p.m.
To: Mark Bunting
Subject: The Paddock

Haha! I love trees, especially those of the rainforest-dwelling variety :) I would also love a rates reduction!

Don't get me started on fluoride ... that's back on the agenda this year no doubt. I can't speak for other journos but the constant "yelling" from those opposing it did my head in.

And no, I've never been into Waiwhakareke. When I lived over that way I stopped off to see if it was open to the public. Turns out it's open for things like Arbor Day plantings and by prior arrangement with the council.

I imagine it would be a beautiful, peaceful place. Perhaps we could hide out there from the "angries" when the fluoride debate eventually rears its ugly head again!?

DN

From: Mark Bunting
Sent: Monday, 3 March 2014 8:11 p.m.
To: Danielle Nicholson
Subject: The Paddock

LOL! Maybe it's where they live????? Ever considered that?

From: Danielle Nicholson
Sent: Monday, 3 March 2014 8:15 p.m.
To: Mark Bunting
Subject: The Paddock

You reckon the fluoride angries live there?! In amongst the kauri saplings?!

From: Mark Bunting
Sent: Monday, 3 March 2014 8:28 p.m.
To: Danielle Nicholson
Subject: The Paddock

We'll neeeevvver know ... Seriously though, I don't reckon I've seen a council actually work this hard so early in their term for years. They've had some toughies and they've got some biggies to come. And don't tell anyone but I reckon the way they worked as a group thrashing out the legal highs stuff was really encouraging. I know we poke the borax at them (and will continue to do so for as long as Garry wears tweed) but we've gotta respect their work around that table at the mo. Can't WAIT to see how they go when fluoride rears its head again ... oops - back there again.

- Hamilton News

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