I must compliment the council on having almost completed Te Tuaiwi, the St Hill St shared pathway from Taupō Quay to London St.

It is enjoyable riding along past Cooks Gardens, past City College, and then beside the railway line behind the Intermediate School and Pak'nSave to Glasgow St. And soon the next bit to London St will be finished.

Riding a bike without having to compete with cars and trucks is a pleasure and, despite Rob Vinsen's scepticism of the worth of such traffic-free infrastructure, there seem to be some councillors and council officers whose ideas are more up-to-date. I hope the council continues planning and building more such shared pathways.

I. D. FERGUSON
Whanganui

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Justice falls short

Max Warburton takes issue with Ken Orr's comments about the Cardinal George Pell trial, yet Warburton's words are hardly comforting.

Warburton says it was a "police investigation" that was begun against Pell in 2013 and "not a task force" as Orr stated, yet gives no reason why the Victoria police spent two years investigating the cardinal before any complaints were made.

Warburton mentions two accusers, but there was only one accuser, who claimed he and his friend were both abused. The friend died before any accusation was made and therefore could not corroborate or deny his friend's accusations.

Warburton points us to the Victorian Legislation Evidence Act 2008 which, he says, "takes into account that child abuse typically is inflicted in secret, without other evidence, therefore necessitating that the abuser's testimony does not need to be corroborated". I assume he meant the testimony of the abused, not the abuser, which is the crux of the matter.

So, because there is likely to be no other evidence, the law is simply altered to not require any other evidence. The entire case, as the lead appeal court judge's statement makes clear, revolves around believing the testimony of one person.

The facts, all the statements and evidence that point to the difficulty or impossibility of the crime being committed as the accuser states, apparently don't matter if the accuser is considered believable. Two of the appeal court judges believed him, the third did not.

This subjective approach to judgment is not justice.

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K. A. BENFELL
Gonville


Diminished world

Reading Rob Rattenbury, Robert Jaunay and your editorial writers' submissions on your opinion page of August 31, I can empathise with their frustrations over the wilful lack of meaningful action by the world's leaders over climate change.

At my age now, I can be fatalistic about this and take a longer view, dispassionately accepting that we really are as stupid, short-sighted and selfish a species as it appears. I am sure that the Dr Strangeloves and strategic planners of the various powers are working on their plans for being the strongest remaining of the holdouts, whether regionally or globally, being able to dominate the others.

Could the grim totalitarian future envisaged by George Orwell (pictured) in his novel
Could the grim totalitarian future envisaged by George Orwell (pictured) in his novel "1984" really be in our future?

The first major casualties — apart from the human ones — will be the democracies, from within, of course, as the necessity for stringent wartime-like controls occurs. I say democracies, not necessarily capitalism, because at the meeting point of the philosophical circle, far left and right have much in common.

The whole of human history will undertake a violent swerve in direction in a much-diminished Orwellian world, though scientific progress will no doubt make huge strides and technical progress will offer incredible benefits to the surviving elites.

Maybe this is the way it always had to be, and our profligate age is just a failed experiment.

However, I do pity the coming generations having to endure it.

L. E. FITTON
Whanganui