Our property was seriously flooded in April 2018 and the restoration was not
completed until October, some six or seven months of heartache, disruption and inconvenience.
Towards the end of last year the council rang us wanting to know if they could help. This was after all our soggy mess and ruined possessions had been disposed off and the rebuild was almost finished.
The offer was meaningless and even hurtful being so late, until it was suggested a person from the water department could come out. This we jumped at. After waiting months for the council to follow through, we rang the council, then we waited some more.
Much to our joy, this week a water guy turned up and looked at our problem areas. We showed him how we were trying to solve the flooding problem with multi soak holes etc.
However, when it is all boiled down there is nothing we can do to about a one in 100-year flood like April's. (Except for us, April was the second major flood we have had in the 14 years we have lived here.)
Nothing will improve until our council decides to spend money on the Tilsley storm water system.
It is hopelessly inadequate. I wonder how many more one in 100-year floods we will experience while the council, in my view, ignores our plight, and those of others who worry the next rain will be another flood.
Birds eating fish
Trout are being wrongly blamed for the decline in native fish numbers.
The true culprit is an Australian bird which to my knowledge first appeared in NZ in the early 1940s.
As a child in South Canterbury I believed it was a juvenile white heron which had forgotten the way home.
Sadly there are many hundreds, perhaps thousands of them, commonly known as blue herons, stripping the breeding grounds of small fish in Otago and Canterbury.
These immigrants have foolishly been naturalised by DOC and given the same status as kiwi and tui.
Recently a pair have settled in Lake Rotoma but there will certainly be more in their favourite hunting grounds, shallow streams ideal for the production of juvenile fish, including trout.
It can only be hoped that DOC will come to its senses, as it did eventually with the spur winged plover and admit that they have made a terrible mistake.
Brian W Judkins
Late rates penalty
For the first time in 29 years I omitted to pay my Rotorua Lakes Council quarterly payment on time.
Two weeks later a letter from the rates arrears team informed me that a 10 per cent penalty had been issued. That being $88.02.
Why not a brief email informing me of my error and giving a couple of days to pay?
For the two of us, over 70s, annual rates are almost $3600.
Joint income is borderline for any rebate so don't bother applying.
I feel the value we get from the $3600 is little.
A 10 per cent penalty for late payment is a disgrace.
However if you pay all your rates up front at beginning of year the council generously give a 2 per cent discount. Typical council greed.
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