A question for those upset about the possible sale of 10 public reserve sites: When was the last time you used one? Walked, played a game of cricket or touch footy, threw a ball to a dog?
I'm a regular at a couple. One that isn't on the endangered list is a hidden gem.
A large paddock flanked by a deep valley with giant eucalyptus dropping their bark on larch, a sprinkling of Douglas fir and native ferns, sequoia.
On the many times I've walked there, I doubt I've encountered more than a handful of people. All houses backing on this reserve have 2 to 3m-high fences.
Any idea what it costs to just mow our reserve's lawns? A lot.
Surely, selling off a limited number of reserves would help the council deficit, and allow money to be directed to reserves that do get used, like Holden's and Hannah's Bays.
Don't get me wrong. Our council needs to stop conducting business in secret and it and government agencies need to be held accountable to ensure new housing is managed properly.
As Gandhi wrote: The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable.
Thank you to Felix Desmarais, Local Democracy Reporting, for his article on Lakes Council's vision for a revitalised "Civic Plaza". (News, June 21)
Plans appear to hinge on approval for the removal of the existing courthouse, which would be rebuilt on another location.
Bearing in mind that a letter written by Mayor Steve Chadwick over 12 months ago to then-Minister of Justice Kris Faapoi and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash had not yet been responded to, it appears that this project may be in for the "long haul".
In the meantime, Rotorua residents and tourists must bear with an, in my view, bleak, featureless "Te Manawa (formerly the "City Focus") which sports two truncated pou.
I recall it as once a vibrant, and colourful hub. It included impressive Te Arawa carvings,
a sail for protection from the elements, and a well-patronised information booth, which included a police presence, albeit minor.
Until the council's vision comes to fruition, we should, in my view, bring back what has been lost- especially the pou (carvings), the sail, and the valuable information booth.
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