Narrow thinking

I am puzzled by the decision to narrow Heads Rd between the Rogers St and Gilbert St intersections.

Why would we narrow an arterial route to Whanganui's biggest industrial hub and employment area?

Heavy vehicles and emergency services use this road continuously, as well as the general public going to and from Castlecliff, and narrowing it does not make any sense.

Furthermore, including an extra dog-leg in the road is simply dangerous and poorly thought out. I am told it is to allow for rainwater to get away in heavy downpours.


Why wasn't a simple sump pump put in place? A pump could easily push the water from this low patch of road over the stopbank to the river, where it is naturally trying to go, and the road could have remained the same width.


Protest report

Saturday's Chronicle report on John Key's visit covered the protest staged at the Union Boat Club.

This was not solely a protest against the Trans-Pacific Partnership; people present came to express their dissatisfaction at the state of the nation, and represented were NZ First, the Green Party, Mana Party and the unions.

As in all protests, individuals brought their own posters and placards, some of which could be construed as confronting and less than polite.

However, that is the nature of protest, which allows all inhabitants of our dear country to exercise their democratic rights and express their unease -- anger, even -- at their Government's poor performance. Our own placards can be seen at our information booth at the market.

Given the anger around Government policies, which allow mandatory cancellation of benefits, eviction from state homes, removal of children from families, children dying in CYF care, increased unemployment, increasing environmental degradation and neglect of the homeless and mentally ill, emotional displays are understandable.

The most abusive woman present was unknown to us -- she was from Rotorua. We found her behaviour distressing. Dr Chris Cresswell, the police and myself all asked her to tone down her rhetoric, and I was abused and threatened by her after my request.

TPPA Action Whanganui

Lose the rancour

Acting in his role as a branch official of the Whanganui National Party, Stephen Lace's response to the chairman of the Whanganui Branch of the Labour Party Craig Paynter's letter of August 11 is revealing. His representations of the motives and aspirations of Labour Party functionaries are similar in tone and delusion to those he has already expressed in the past and are not worthy of comment.

What should be noted, however, is his deliberate and calculated vilification of that group of people who, in the course of successive National and Labour-led governments, have become socially and economically disadvantaged.

The tactic of blaming the victims of a society for propaganda reasons or -- as in Stephen Lace's case -- for reasons of obfuscation, is not worthy of the National Party. The issue of poor parenting that Mr Lace raises is not confined to the beneficiary class and is not a significant cause of the complex array of problems that our modern society has to deal with.

Intemperate assertions and specious argument may be acceptable on the workplace floor or on talkback radio -- on Seven Sharp, even -- but is, I think, unbecoming in the more formal political forums, especially by a party official.
It would be good, therefore if, in the next election campaign the philosophical and policy differences that the respective parties have can be argued without the rancour that seems to be a feature of Mr Lace's style.


Bad signage

As I am now using the local bus service, I find the drivers great, but the bus stop signs are often badly placed. Some are facing out towards the middle of the road and the oncoming motorists or pedestrians don't notice them.

Such is the one outside the Splash Centre, and often vehicles are parked on the stop. Opposite this there is no matching bus stop sign, but down at the roundabout there is a bus stop sign on the dotted yellow lines and opposite at 5 Fitzherbert Ave, the bus stop sign faces towards the middle of the road, the residents park on the bus stop and bus passengers get picked up by a bus which is forced to park on dotted yellow lines and risk a ticket.

Where dotted yellow lines are needed is where the bus swings around from Rata St into Koromiko St. The residents wisely park on the grass, but dotted yellow lines would make it clear. I noticed on one election hoarding the reason for this situation -- it said management inaction.