As a former councillor, it is hardly surprising to me that the damning report (News, April 13) into the four contentious city projects came to the conclusions that it did.

In my view, the problem that has been identified may in part result from the elected councillors not sufficiently questioning the contractors, consultants and Council staff involved with such contentious projects before they commence.

The 10-year annual plan process introduces what projects are proposed to be undertaken, in future years, but unless councillors constantly review the projects, within the plan, the projects will occur even if no longer required.

As an example, what we are currently seeing the destruction of a perfectly satisfactory roundabout system at the Cambridge and Waihi Road intersection with the replacement seemingly reminiscing the debacle that the Council has achieved in Greerton.

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Roll on local body elections 2019. (Abridged)

Mike Baker
Bethlehem

Capitalism and socialism

In reply to Neil Harvey (Letters, April 13), capitalism does not work, never has, and never will without the aid of socialism.

Private health, education and a pension are for those who can afford it, what about the majority of the population who, no matter how hard they work, would not be able to afford these essential services.

Where would the capitalist's workforce come from then when there weren't enough people to read instructions or well enough to perform hard mahi.


Nine years of National government downgraded virtually every social need required to provide a fit and willing labour force. The rich got richer and many a lower middle-income family found themselves slipping into poverty.

Yet again Labour was voted in to clean up the social mess left. Middle-income families were struggling to make ends meet and workers having to work three jobs just to put a roof over their heads and food on the table. The words "Let them eat cake" started a revolution in France, luckily we only needed a general election.

Getting the balance right to benefit all is a difficult task but until the pendulum stops swinging so wildly from left to right and vice versa, it will be a hard-fought battle. The closer we get to a balanced society the less we need handouts to make ends meet.

Winston Peters may have his detractors but this time he definitely got it right. We need socialism to balance capitalism without it we'd just be another dictatorship in disguise. (Abridged)

Barbara Baldwin
Te Puke
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