As the Queen said to Alice [in Wonderland]: "... sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

Between pestering businesses for donations, MidWest Ferries' sole director Neville Johnson isn't quite that quick off the mark with his impossible things. However, anyone eagerly awaiting an exhilarating ride over the Whanganui bar on SS MidWest's maiden voyage would do well to keep their ticket money in their wallets till the curiouser and curiouser business of passengers riding the ferry is sorted out once and for all.

Johnson to Chronicle , April 21, 2017: The feasibility study predicted an increase of 150 per cent in tourist bed-nights with only one ferry daily each way in Whanganui. "The city can cope, but could need to build more motels as required" ... "The study shows that the ferry service, with one ferry sailing each way once a day, would be profitable within its first year of operation."

Johnson to Whanganui District Council, May 3, 2017: The single ferry proposal would cater only for trucks that would arrive in Whanganui in time for the right tide and sail south. There would be no passengers for at least the first three years because MidWest's "backers" didn't want to waste container space on passengers [this said to Mayor McDouall's astonishment].

Johnson to Horizons Regional Council, March 2019: Although any ferry route needed passengers to make it worthwhile, early predictions showed they would make up 40 per cent of revenue on the new service.
Breakfast is served, everyone!



Student action

Anne Mohrdieck (letter, March 8) and others say they support the students' strike for the inaction we adults take when it comes to climate change.
I agree to their letters to an extent.

I often debate, and sometimes argue, with my university student daughter about this subject. She has done a paper on this subject in depth, and has opened my eyes about climate change, again to an extent.

I don't doubt fossil fuels and the industrial revolution have contributed to climate change, but there are other factors too, which I won't go into because that is not what this letter is about.

It's about students making a change too, and striking is not the way forward because of the inaction of us adults.

Walking or biking to school is a way they can make a difference.

At the start and finish of school during the week, the number of cars on the city streets explodes as students are driven to and from school. Every weekday, for most of the year.

You students want to change the inaction we adults take when it comes to climate change.
Tell your parents you are walking to school.


None step forward

Pope Francis, at the conclusion of the recent summit, said the worldwide phenomenon of abuse was "all the more grave and scandalous in the church", incompatible with its "moral authority and ethical credibility".

The Catholic Church, since his earlier direct address to perpetrators of clerical sexual abuse, telling them to "convert and hand yourself over to human justice, and prepare for divine justice", has not had, in my knowledge, a collective or individual response.

Who has voluntarily stepped forward to acknowledge guilt or knowledge?

Doctrinally, the Pope is believed and espoused to be virtually "the voice of God". For none to step forward defies belief, both in this individual's view, and in the minds of individuals within the hierocracy of the church, of their own creed.

Are the Catholic Church's beliefs an "absolute truth" or a convenience to be applied to serve an end and not a god?

Should each sermon be prefaced with a declaration or oath? "I swear that the evidence that I shall give, shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God"? Followed by "I have no knowledge of abuse nor have participated in abuse".

Consequent revelations will reveal "the truth".

Te Rapa

Send your letters to: The Editor, Whanganui Chronicle, 100 Guyton St, PO Box 433, Whanganui 4500; or email