Blame game

Fish and Game are threatening to take Horizons to court because they blame them for not getting tough on farmers over water quality.

Horizons prefer the carrot approach to the stick because it gets best long-term results.

I agree with them; heavy-handed, high fines and strict regulations only alienate us and get our backs up. It is we ratepayers that will pay the many thousands of dollars in legal costs.

Also, Fish and Game should back off from throwing stones, because they are not exactly lily-white in the environmental field. Trout are exotic predators of many of our native fish species and their "game" animals are all exotic imports that do a lot of damage to native species.

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Maggie Barry's new "anti-predator" bill could well affect Fish and Game's future.

I believe we need to get right behind Horizons and work with them to try and stop the terrible things we are doing to our environment. I also believe they have a good management style with qualified people in the right places.

Perhaps our district council should take a leaf out of their book.

ROB BUTCHER
Aramoho

Our thanks

The team of Whanganui beyond 2030 would like to publicly thank all those who supported our campaign.

To those who encouraged us, helped to distribute leaflets, had signs on their properties, voiced the radio ads and contributed to the expenses.

Dave Hill's cafe, especially, contributed with numerous cups of coffee. And, especially, those who endorsed us by voting for us.

This was the result of 10 months' planning by a group of people who are concerned about the lack of real leadership in our city, and who wanted to do their bit to put things right.

To some extent the sewage issue became a powerful sideshow, and we plan to fix that with the help of other right-minded councillors.

But our focus really will be on growing the city's population and prosperity to 60,000 and Wanganui beyond 2030. We will change the council. Stand by!

ALAN TAYLOR
DAVID BENNETT
MURRAY CLEVELAND
GRAEME YOUNG
Whanganui


Humbling

An election campaign is always a very humbling experience.

You are never quite confident that you have done enough to win the support of the voting public -- but when that happens it really comes home to you that the voting public have expectations of you, and there can be no reason to let them down.

I wish to thank sincerely the 7994 voters who gave me their support, and I wish to say that I will do everything I can over this next term to deserve that support.

There were many excellent candidates in this election and there will be both disappointment and elation.

I want to thank them all for taking part in this democratic process.

Every candidate stood for only one reason -- to make a difference for Whanganui -- and, win or lose, you all did that.

Thank you again, Whanganui. You make me proud that this is my home.

ROB VINSEN
Whanganui District Councillor

Until next time

I would like to sincerely thank all those citizens who favoured me with their votes for council.

Unfortunately, we didn't have the numbers to make it work for us this time. Let's try again in three years.

Perhaps by then I will have been "home" long enough to show my humble abilities for achievement and teamwork by meeting, and helping to overcome, local challenges.

Thanks again.

STAN HOOD
Aramoho

Thanks, voters

Fighting for our Turakina ward at the table is an honour and a privilege that I don't take for granted.

Being put back in unopposed means it is business as usual with plenty to do this term.

My focus is continuing the walk beside you to support the groups in each community to continue building resilience and relationships where it is going to count for us all.

I acknowledge all the work that goes on behind the scenes of the small communities in the Turakina Ward: Koitiata Residents' Committee -- a progressive group who meet monthly, tenderly taking care of maintenance and upkeep in the community and their hall -- Turakina Community Committee, who fought hard to have the village rezoned, the community of Kaungaroa for bouncing back and getting on with it after yet another flood, Ratana Community Board for ongoing monitoring of their utilities, Whangaehu community for uniting to strengthen resilience and bring the hall alive.

To our rural sector and those many volunteers who simply get on with it, thank you for the contribution you all give to making our ward and district a special place to live.

At a wider level there are a number of major challenges ahead during the new term. Changes are afoot to LG Act that potentially take away local democracy, pushing us into establishing a CCO. We must challenge this, push back where we can and ask the right questions.

Affordability of rates has always been and always will be a concern, finding the balance and making the hard decisions between this, developing our communities and economic development is not going to be easy.

For those who have stood up to be counted, I wish you all the very best and look forward to working together during the next three years.

SORAYA PEKE-MASON
Rangitikei District Councillor