As an elderly person, I have three things to mention.

1. New Zealand has a high occurrence of melanoma. The Tauranga City Council doesn't seem to have taken any notice of this fact. The "place of the circling birds" (annoying, noisy, messy seagulls, do you mean?) replacing the Phoenix carpark has had no permanent shade areas built, yet.

Council blithely spend a lot of money erecting "an urban green space where people can relax". Who can relax sitting in 25C+ made hotter surrounded by 1600sq m of concrete? I understand the area is not finished. I sincerely hope lots of shady places are planned as trees take a long time to be of any use.

2. Can I please ask for more easy-to-get-out-of seating everywhere especially at the Mount facing the sea?

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3. More handrails on the concrete steps in the area overlooking the sea on the Strand.

How about council remember us in its decisions. Not many years ago, I was asked how the council could make the city more elderly-friendly? I'm curious; did that survey get thrown into the rubbish bin? (Abridged)

Angela E Dold
Tauranga

New Year's at Mount

Except for the past two years our family and friends have always enjoyed New Year's Eve at the Mount.

Evidently it was decided that we and thousands of others should be saved from continuing to enjoy the vagaries of being in such an iconic location on New Year's Eve.

We are not sure if the concerns for our welfare were centred on the ugly and expensive barricades surrounding Mt Drury; fenced off sections of Marine Parade and other locations; or was it the lack of fireworks?

Should we have been grateful for the large number officials and wardens on patrol? Should we have been saved from the young people and holiday-makers roaming the deserted streets in search of entertainment or something to do?

Or were there other dangers lurking about of which we were not informed?

However, the strange thing is that all those years ago, we always felt safe and secure. We always knew that our village was well policed. Riotous behaviour seemed a thing of the past.

People of all ages and beliefs were accepting of the need for sharper vigilance and co-operation with those in authority. It was a great occasion to be able to listen to the bands and other music, mingle with the crowds, and welcome in each new year.

Ratepayers have yet to see a financial reckoning for the considerable expense and labour costs of ratepayers' money which was spent to ensure that nothing happened.

Ray Malcolm
Mount Maunganui

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