Ra Cleave (Letters, November 2) claimed that the Lakefront project is a "no-brainer" for two reasons. First, the $40 million will be well spent if it connects the CBD with our lake. Second, it is doubly attractive because the rest of New Zealand will pay half.

Hold on, why should $40 million expenditure on public works be justified by how well it enables "private industry to connect the lakefront with the city centre"? Community projects should benefit four sets of interests; people, profit, planet and progress.

Only adjacent landowners, waka ama enthusiasts, current operators and new operators approved by mana whenua appear to be serious potential beneficiaries. As citizens, not just consumers, we need to be wary of private interests invading our public domain.

Worse, the claim that "Rotorua residents are getting a 'two-for-one deal' via Jones' slush fund" because, as taxpayers, "we share that burden with four million others," is, in my view, illogical and immoral.

Rotorua is getting roughly proportionate access to the Provincial Growth Fund. And since the PGF is distributing our money anyway, we should take pride in paying our own way, not in sponging off others.


In my view, the council should stop until it can clarify the project's purpose, its community development values, its relative priority (compared to the Museum and the Civic Centre) and its value for money.

So I agree with Cleave that the Lakefront project is a "no-brainer" for another reason; Council's brains have yet to be fully engaged.

Harry Brasser

Mamaku sanitation challenge

In an era when the world is on the cusp of a sanitation revolution it seems strange Rotorua Lakes Council, through its staff and rural community chair, are including a failed septic tank concept as one of the three options to solve Mamaku's growing sanitation needs.

There are a number of new-age methods becoming available. Take, for example, the Omniprocessor – it takes in human waste, kills all pathogens and converts the resulting materials into products with commercial potential. It would possibly cost a dollar a week to run but solar power too may be used. There are also other new-age methods becoming available.

If Lake Rotorua is being degraded further through nitrogen from septic tanks then there may only be one solution – a pipe connection to the grid at Ngongotaha. (Abridged)

JA Rush