Meri Kirihimete

Last week, Auckland's resident Santa said 'No' to a woman taking on the role.

Nelson's event manager got a right telling off by some for a change to a magnificent-looking Maori complete with korowai cloak in red, but no Santa costume.

Hang on …Whanganui's effort beat them all by 12 months as our Santa 2017 was a respected Maori, wearing sunnies, shorts, and jandals — though he did have the top half of the costume. But it never made national headlines ... bugger!

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Mainstreet is treated by Whanganui District Council as having "preferred provider" status (no tendering) and receives monies and strict requirements from council to run the Christmas parade.

It does provide continuity of the parade year after year, and council should be thanked for that.

Many parade entries are left late or last-minute, making proper curation of some dubious entries all but impossible. But we must all appreciate the entries are us — locals — who put in volunteer time and great effort.

Mainstreet relies on whoever enters, setting the date of the parade well in advance in consultation with a tiny set of engaged member shop-owners/keepers.

If it went to tender to self-employed event managers, and/or a post-event public survey, could it be better? There's many a talented local event manager who would like a crack at that opportunity.

For 2017, Mainstreet had no control over the racehorse industry and fun runs in the morning and afternoon.

However, the new Mainstreet general manager and the new governance board could look at a quicker turn around in reporting, and seek the public's input around feedback and possible new ideas.

Mainstreet did not get one written complaint for its attempt to bring a new look to the 2017 parade. Maybe in Whanganui we are more progressive and open to change.

It's great that the Mainstreet event manager tried in 2017; this year it looks like its back to tradition. Bugger!
Ross Fallen
Castlecliff
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On Tuesday the Chronicle made an emotional plea on behalf of a mum and six kids desperately searching for a home – "they may have to live in a car, which is currently not going".

For some reason this family must have four bedrooms or more, and Ray White say "there is nothing available in her budget at a rent she can afford".

This is sad.

By my calculation, this mother is eligible for a Solo Parent Benefit, an Accommodation Supplement, four Child Disability allowances, a Community Services Card giving her access to discounts; and the heating supplement in winter, with no doubt further help available in the community.

Why do they need four or more bedrooms? I myself am the eldest of seven children who grew up in a two-bedroom house.

My siblings are all high achievers. We did not suffer, physically, mentally or emotionally because we had to share. I suggest we learned valuable life lessons.
A measure of common sense is called for here — less emotion and more practical help and advice.
Jean McDavitt
69A Halswell St
Wanganui
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Bullying in Parliament? What a lot of softies. Mallard, himself, is the bully of bullies.
Get over it for god's sake and get our country in order.
Gary Stewart
Foxton Beach
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Chester Borrows in his Chronicle article (November 23) attacks racism, and I agree it's counter-productive and self-defeating.

But it is difficult to defeat when the people who oppose racism fail to realise they are the racist ones, because you can't have racism if you believe we are all equal.
Everyone can be considered racist because, mostly, we like to socialise with those of our own race.

Chester says the racism shown — in his opinion — was wrong, wrong, wrong. No, it wasn't — in those people's minds The Black and White Minstrel Show was a fun show.
They did not even think about racism, but the nit-pickers sure did, and used it as an excuse to get on their high horse.

I recently witnessed racism at a service station when an ignorant pakeha was irate at something the Indian lad behind the counter had done. The Indian lad did not deserve this tirade.

The chap was using crude language and vented, as he left, it appeared the Indians were taking all the jobs.

Perhaps they are taking jobs because they are prepared to work.
G R Scown
Whanganui
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The weekend edition of the Chronicle (December 2-3) was an absolutely first-rate paper — congratulations to all who put it together.

It was a substantial and satisfying combination of local stories that mattered and insightful stories sourced from the wider NZME network.

Laurel Stowell's page one story on our city's waste problem was well timed; Sue Dudman did a great job of explaining restorative justice.

Please can the new Review section continue to run in-depth stories on the main issues we face; the story on abortion reform was excellent.
Rachel Rose
Whanganui
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I hear that a new version of Monopoly for millennials is being released whereby players move around the board buying experiences rather than property.

Plans for the millennial version of Trivial Pursuit are being shelved.
Kerry Hagan
Whanganui