Two excellent letters from Wally Hicks in the Northland Age (June 28).

He's right on the money re Matt King's claims re a four-lane highway; Wellsford to Whangārei. Mr King has also stated: "Watch Northland Boom", when this mirage Road of National Significance is completed, which I venture won't be in my lifetime, let alone during his tenure as an MP.

Perhaps first let's see the Puhoi to Wellsford stretch in reality before the politicising on the above pie in the sky.

Maybe if the ex-Minister of Bridges had been really smart he would have also promised a tunnel through the Brynderwyns, as well as the 10 bridges for Northland, albeit great to see the progress on the Taipa bridge.

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As for trucks on SH1 and SH10 too for that matter, we missed an opportunity a few years back to get export logs from the Far North directly shipside to vessels at Marsden Point via Sea Tow's proposed barge service.

They proposed 38 truckloads per barge with a two-barge shuttle system. I suggest vested interests and emotive misinformation killed that proposal at the outset.(In my humble opinion).

Regarding Mr Hick's 'Anecdote and opinion' letter, I've often been bemused by the misnomer and the stigmatisation of so-called perceived communists. I've had that accusation thrown at me in the past by persons who wouldn't know an apple from an apricot.

I recall the catchcry of the late 50s and 60s, reds under the bed and better dead than red, in an era of hysterical, paranoia and propaganda of anti-communism in America.

Indeed a couple of fine, older gentlemen, New Zealand seamen, I knew were prevented from stepping ashore, and armed guards were stationed at the gangway when we had New Zealand Union Co vessels running up to the west coast of the US in the good old days, because they may have had communist sympathies.

One had actually fought in the Spanish Civil War against the fascists.

Nor have I forgotten the electioneering of the Muldoon National Government with Cossacks dancing across our black and white TV screens. Or the hundreds of thousands of men, women and children, napalmed, sprayed with Agent Orange and saturation-bombed in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, who very likely had no idea they were commies in that undeclared war of the independence-seeking, North Vietnamese 'communists'.

An estimated 365 civilians were victims and US$170 billion wasted to stall the fall of the dominoes to communism in SE Asia, not to forget all the young men on both sides who died in vain and the dominoes still stand.

My brother was stationed, in the 60s, on towers off the US Atlantic Coast to give early warning of the coming commie invasion. It never came, and it's perhaps ironical that the only attack on mainland America was committed by pilots, etc, from the very anti-communist, friendly nation of Saudi Arabia.

Concerning the consents granted for the taking of aquifer water on the Aupouri Peninsular. We are blessed with a high rainfall here in the North, but Mother Nature is throwing more and more extremes at us worldwide.

Many countries and regions have turned to sea water, desalination plants, to supply water for agriculture, horticulture and survival, as their aquifers have suffered salt intrusion or dried up because of overtaking and extremes of climate.

Who is to say that we won't get a few years of drought in the future, and it happens here and it all turns to custard? I rely on my fresh bore water, as many do and everyone has a stake in our natural resources.

I wonder if any consideration has been given to the feasibility of the construction of desalination plants as an alternative. Perhaps the FNDC, during Wayne Brown's reign may have been better to invest in desalination for Kaitaia's future water supply rather than waste millions on the Sweetwater bore project that is still sitting idle.

I F BURKE
Kaitaia