It would be a sad day for Rotorua if the racecourse had to close. It is a part of Rotorua that gives the city stature, a pleasant way to greet visitors arriving from the south, it gives character to Fenton St.
The site is perfect for many purposes other than racing. I know several tracks in the UK that ran into closure from lack of use.
The fate of the property will inevitably be to wind up as a housing estate or another shopping mall - which, in my view, we do not need. (Abridged)
Councillors' pay rise
Ryan Gray's apology (Letters, September 5) on behalf of councillors accepting the pay rises made no mention of the technical and principled grounds given by the PM and all MPs for not accepting them; the formula used by the Remuneration Authority produced bizarre outcomes that would have widened, not closed, the pay equity gap.
Ratepayers would, if they were listened to, add two more reasons for most councillors having the decency not to accept pay rises; their wasteful use of rates and rates rises massively outstripping CPI-indexed incomes.
Similarly, Charles Sturt's (Letters, September 5) incantation of positivity fudges the fact that Rotorua fluked a trifecta last year to get a GDP rise slightly above the national average. The trifecta was the 18 per cent rise in the value of forestry exports, exchange rates prompting record tourist numbers, and near record milk solid payouts.
But none of these factors were caused by the council. None of them are likely to be repeated. So why bet again on Sturt's trifecta? The council's economic development strategy is, in my view, vision-driven not market-responsive, and therefore unbelievable.
No wonder business confidence is down at 2008 GFC levels. And no wonder the mayor used a staged point of order from Sturt at council to suppress any discussion of the councillors' pay rise (Local News, August 31).