It is encouraging to see that our new city council chief executive (Local News, December 28) is prepared to take a reasonable view of the museum debate by putting aside some funding to facilitate further discussions on this subject.

Those councillors who cite the 60:40 referendum vote earlier this year against supporting a museum in continuing not to support a museum are using a suspect base, as there was a very low voter turnout (27 per cent) for a byelection to which the museum referendum was added quite late in the piece. However regardless of that, 40 per cent of the voters should not simply be ignored.

On the face of it, councillor Catherine Stewart seems to have a very narrow view of what a modern museum would provide for our community if she sees it just as a place to display the city's heritage collection, which is only a part of what any modern museum would set out to achieve.

Well done Marty Grenfell for having the vision to at least allow for thoughtful discussions around the idea of creating a cultural heart for the city. We need more of that vision. (Abridged)

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Terry Collett
Bethlehem

Phoenix Park debacle

Mount Phoenix park debacle (Local News, December 29) has locals fuming and the five elected members causing most angst needn't worry about "circling birds", just focus on circling storm clouds come October 2019 elections.

Concept design and real-life photos are nothing alike. Projected costs have rocketed from $3m - $3.5m excluding toilets upgrade.

It is not an urban green space, it's a skateboarding concrete jungle.

Fifty precious carparks lost, no shade, not one redeeming feature and damning public comments.

The unsuitable name, in my view, has no cultural or spiritual significance and the afterthought council consultation received 1042 responses, 757 against versus 285 in favour.

Farmer's market and other expos/displays will be marginalised.

How Mount retailers let them get away with this defies belief.

Comments from elected members Kelvin Clout and Leanne Brown, on pruning costs, modifications, water features, and expecting slow growing pohutakawa trees to provide shade demonstrates cavalier mindsets confirming when faced with a complete disaster, total defiance is the answer.

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How will this huge slab of concrete cope with torrential rain and heat?

Councillors must have approved the final plans or didn't they even know what was going on? The whole exercise was an unnecessary, obscenely expensive blunder. (Abridged)

S Paterson
Ohauiti

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