Feedlots issue

Allan Wrigglesworth needs to do his homework before making accusations of "gross environmental degradation" (letters, September 23).|
He, and presumably Rachel Keedwell, assume that because cattle are being fed on terraces adjacent to a river, there must be an adverse environmental effect - presumably on water quality.|
Do they have scientific evidence to support such a claim?|
Are water test results showing an increase in bacteria, periphyton, sediment or nutrients that can be attributed to these "feedlots"? Horizons Regional Council reports have never documented such pollution.|
It is good farm management practice to take heavy cattle off fragile soils during the wet part of the year to avoid pugging and soil compaction, by holding them on dry areas for a short period, and feeding them hay or silage.|
This allows farmers to prevent degradation of at-risk soils in late winter, while being able to feed more cattle using saved pasture from the previous spring "flush" growth.|
The cattle are not standing in the riverbed as implied, but are fenced on terraces above the river. What farmer would risk losing a $1500 beast if the river rose 7 metres in a winter flood?|
Mr Wrigglesworth thinks fencing the "Queen's Chain" will solve water quality problems.|
Publicly available records show most of the middle and lower reaches of the Rangitikei River are bounded by private land, except for some sections of its south bank opposite Mangaweka and Hunterville.|
There is very little "Queen's Chain" to fence on the river - assuming that it is not fenced now.|
The whole exercise appears to be an election "beat-up" by Ms Keedwell, with the assistance of Greg Carlyon, to create a scare of cattle polluting water.|
Mr Carlyon had the ability, while group manager at Horizons, and architect of the One Plan, to write rules and/or prosecute owners of these "feedlots".|
There are no specific rules in the final One Plan, nor has anyone been prosecuted, because no adverse effects have been identified from these areas.|
If Mr Wrigglesworth wishes to become a valued Horizons councillor, he needs to exercise better judgment to separate scientific fact from unsupported populist perception.

HARRY MATTHEWS|
President, Wanganui Federated Farmers


Council's agenda

Denise Lockett is incorrect (letters, September 27). Council is not required to put all issues raised by citizens on to the council agenda.|
Items on the agenda must meet a high level of need, fact, immediate relevance and domain, or we'd not have time to focus on critical local body issues. But the mayor controls the agenda and can shove items on it without consulting councillors (with resulting mutiny), and it seems make unilateral decisions such as not to consider fluoridation - that item certainly never came to council despite a request.|
There are many such instances. None of this has ever been about the left or right, and as you clearly stated at the very beginning of your protests, your cause is not politically aligned - neither is mine but a desire for appropriate governance.

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HELEN CRAIG
Whanganui

Helen Craig is a candidate for the Whanganui mayoralty and district council in the October elections.|


Good councillor

I was appalled to see a letter from mayor Annette Main criticising councillor Philippa Baker-Hogan published in Tuesday morning's Chronicle.|
The mayor attacks the councillor for daring to bring to the attention of the public certain facts that relate to the WWTP and the council's chief executive.|
The mayor says it is wrong for the councillor - as the council is the employer of the chief executive - to criticise an employee publicly, that it is a breach of the chief executive's employment contract, and that it has the potential to damage the reputation of individuals and the council.|
The mayor seems to have forgotten that both she and the councillor are the employees of the same public that was in the dark about the facts the councillor presented.|
The "risks arising from" and the "potential harm caused" by the councillor's public statement seem to really be that of further embarrassing the council over their handling of the entire WWTP fiasco and their ongoing spin-doctoring of it.|
It is good to have councillors like Mrs Baker-Hogan who are prepared to let her employers know what is going on.

K A BENFELL|
Gonville|


Utopian dream

To think or not to think is the modern-day quandary.|
To truly think you use your brain, but too often people think with their hearts, which means they are indoctrinated by propaganda.|
New Zealand is in a truly unique country of 4 million people, because it is in the middle of a very vast ocean.|
We are in a situation where we may be able to pollute our rivers with sewage, but never in 1000 years of trying will we pollute our vast ocean with sewage.|
This is why our poo ponds are an unnecessary drain on our finances, and are just a sop to those indoctrinated souls - who, dare I say it, have had their minds polluted by the propaganda of the Utopia-seekers.|
Our sewage is just substances found everywhere on this planet, in other words natural, and can only be of benefit to the planet, as in the ocean they are too diluted to pollute, just part of the food chain.|
So let's just stick another kilometre on to our outfall pipe and spend this massive establishment cost and massive running cost on things that will actually improve this town.|
Alas, the propaganda of those who dream of Utopia has probably taken over too many minds, so what could be won't be.

GR SCOWN|
Whanganui|