HOW can the Chronicle account for its front-page article on January 14 — basically a complaint from a few people in Putiki about a new building on Putiki Drive, a former boat hull which will be used initially as an Airbnb?

As this new building will accommodate a maximum of three people, on an occasional basis, it is hard to understand the locals' complaint that lots of new traffic will upset their "little piece of paradise".

No mention made of the fact that Putiki Drive is actually State Highway 4, a busy road with trucks and other traffic at most times, and which already accommodates a number of quite large, fulltime commercial businesses.

Whanganui is well known for its creative people and their accomplishments, and this interesting small building — which has an old timber vessel as one of its structural elements — is a worthy addition.


I think architect Elinor McDouall is to be congratulated for this creative contribution to our environment — certainly not censured.

Durie Hill

Judge's ruling

Kate Stewart, thank you for your writing (December 2018) — and I am sure that all Wanganui people think as you.

I cannot believe the judge's ruling — I don't know how he can sleep at night.
Also the family of the driver, my sympathy goes to them. Nobody wants their children to do drugs, get drunk and drive.

I wonder what the verdict would have been if it had been a young Maori girl whose family had to get legal aid instead of a Queen's Counsel?

Deepest sympathy to the family who have lost their lovely young daughter.



Age doesn't matter

Ian Pashby says I "failed to specify what age" I was referring to when I wrote of "distinct human beings". Embryo, toddler, teenager, adult, what does age matter when the question is whether or not to kill them?

But this led to an even stranger comment from Mr Pashby, that my statement that an unborn child is a distinct and unique human being was "simply" my "opinion". This is surprising as I thought most people in Western nations had at least a basic high school education.

To put it really simply, in human reproduction when the two gametes (sperm and egg) join at conception, there is a new life. Scientific investigation has shown that this life is new, genetically distinct from his/her parents, unique, and human. From then on we grow and get larger, in middle age we get wider, and we often start shrinking between our 60th and 80th years of age.

After conception there is no point on this journey of life where we change from non-human to human or suddenly "become" the "distinct and unique human being" writing letters to the paper.


Future voting system

This year is an important year for the people of Whanganui because we get to have our say in a council poll to show our preference for the voting system our council will use in future elections.

Most people don't like change. It's much easier to stick with the status quo, especially when something new is proposed. However, STV (Single Transferable Vote) is not that new; several councils around NZ already use it, as we do here to elect our district health board.

If you are not familiar with STV, I would like to encourage you to keep an open mind and become informed on this issue, because it does make a difference to whom we might elect, especially for mayor. Under the current FPP (First Past the Post) system, a mayor is often elected with around 30 per cent of the vote. Simple mathematics tells you that 70 per cent of voters may not actually want that mayor.

Mathematics is the genius of the STV voting system, because a mayor will only ever be elected when they have the support of at least 50 per cent of voters. And isn't that what we want … a mayor the majority of us support? STV achieves this by redistributing the second preference of the lowest polling candidate until one candidate gets to 50 per cent +1.

STV is the fairest and most effective system when there are more than two candidates, and that is why I support it. Please visit and watch the short video to get a better understanding of STV.


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