I WONDER at the decision-making that prompted the police chase in Castlecliff last Monday afternoon.

This occurred immediately before school children's home time. It seems to me the offence must have been pretty horrific for a chase to be initiated at that time, considering that the police were right behind the offender and could read the number plate.

Even if the car was stolen, was that the most intelligent action, given the time of day?

It reminded me of a declaration made at a Castlecliff community meeting early in the year. Officer plod proudly declared that he had chased teens on motorbikes down the beach ... Really, who was the biggest cowboy? On our beach with children around.

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DENISE LOCKETT
Whanganui


Election is about us

This year's local election is one to watch. It isn't about issues. It isn't about political parties' ties. It isn't about abortion, global warming, monetary policy, immigration or trade.

It is about values, character and how we think about things, both as a society and as individuals.

Shall we embrace hatred, fear, insularity and incivility, or shall we embrace the challenge of attempting to make our society and ourselves better?

That is the real question this election poses, in every contest in every precinct, parish, city, village and people.

Hatred, fear, insularity and incivility are the Four Horsemen of today. We cannot improve anything if those are the tools that we bring to bear. Those can only destroy, and they destroy those who wield them as surely as those against whom they are employed.

Look at our political campaigns and our candidates — from all walks of life. Behold the degree to which the Four Horsemen attract votes through tickets. They do that because we succumb to it; they prey on our weakness, and we reward them for it.

This election isn't about issues. It is about us this year; we must really think about who we want to choose.

MATTHEW URRY
Young New Zealand First vice-chair and treasurer, Whanganui


Assisted dying

Patricia Butler (letters, May 18) needs to be whistling in the dark when she states the assisted dying bill shall become law.

This is in the face of 90.1 per cent of petitions invited by the parliamentary subcommittee being against the contents. She should also give references about the medical, nursing and palliative care "withdrawing their opposition". Has anyone seen such thoughts in the Chronicle lately?

And what does Patricia tell her friends and family? Suicide is okay.

We should note her compassion is a beautiful thing but her heart leads to her head saying civilisations should allow suicide. This is thinking that has lost its way.

F.R. HALPIN
Whanganui


Randomised candidates

On May 14, the Whanganui District Council voted on the format of voting papers for the upcoming election in October and I'm pleased to say they voted for randomised voting papers.

That means that Frank Zapper will be at the top of voting papers just as often as Aaron Aardvark.

The format has traditionally been in alphabetical order. I have always found that totally unacceptable, even though my name would have been near the top of the list under alphabetical order, because this potentially gives me an unfair advantage over other candidates (although not enough last time, obviously).

Even though there is some disagreement among experts in the field of electoral studies, regarding ballot order, there is a suggestion from studies that have been undertaken that being high on the ballot list gives a candidate an unfair advantage of 1-3 per cent over those further down the list.

There should never be any potential advantage to any candidate simply because of the spelling of their name. Luckily democracy prevailed on the day, but it was a bit of a worry that there were some councillors who wouldn't accept research-based decision-making and actually voted against randomised voting papers.

STEVE BARON
Whanganui


Thanks, Pharmacy 145

I would like to acknowledge with thanks the expert care and attention from Bryce Esquilant and staff of Pharmacy 145 On Victoria.

Your thoughtful actions have been much appreciated.

S. MATTHEWS
Whanganui


Send your letters to: Letters, Whanganui Chronicle, 100 Guyton St, PO Box 433, Whanganui 4500; or email letters@wanganuichronicle.co.nz