WE'D like to endorse Janet Mace's considered opinion of the Intercity bus terminal.

We could add that buses do arrive and go later than 5.15pm. And even when it's really dark at night. And in the weekends the depot is also closed. And that this lack of shelter or use of facilities has been happening for some years.

We used to make sure we were always there when our 80-year-old mother arrived from Wellington or waited with her until her bus arrived when she left.

We appreciated her visits but wonder if many in our city appreciate bus visitors at all.
Some of our most vulnerable citizens use this bus service to visit and support their families. They deserve better.

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Then there are the overseas visitors carrying all they have on their backs. We wonder what they think of this lack of facilities and the exposed situation they are forced to wait in. Well, honesty we really hate to think. We also think these travellers are using less carbon than air travellers and should be rewarded for that.

So where is their cafe, comfy chairs, free paper, etc?

We definitely think InterCity and WDC need to seriously and sensibly talk about this situation and work to improve it. However, we wish to thank whoever is responsible for our local bus stops at Trafalgar Square at last having the bus destinations and routes displayed.

Could we please now have similar info on all local bus shelters? Then we would all really know we are at the right bus stop and the bus coming will be going in our desired direction. Wishing for ongoing support for all bus users.

LYN and GRAHAM PEARSON
Whanganui


Design flaw

The plan to proactively make our district "digital by design" is majorly flawed. (Chronicle, June 10).

Many people don't have access to the sorts of hardware and software necessary to contribute to a community that puts digital design first. The cost of upgrading digital equipment constantly, because of planned obsolescence, means "staying current" with technology is a burden, and when measured against the need for housing, education, transport and work, must come second.

Not to even mention that damage done by EMFs is finally being scientifically acknowledged.

It troubles me that there is even discussion about this ... taking away important time and resources that could go into any number of human issues.

And a Draft Digital Strategy ... ? Funding must not be allocated. Businesses will spend money running their businesses. Sure — put in the infrastructure — that every town in NZ currently is ... but please get out from behind the computers. You will find more humans ... and for a district council, they are the priority.

CHANNA MIRIAM KNUCKEY
Whanganui


Rates increases

G.J. Moles (Letters, June 10) misquotes council chief executive Kym Fell when he claims the CE was asking us what to cut around council spending. The CE was actually addressing the councillors.

Council's website (as part of legally required transparency) provides the "Ask It" option and I appreciate the answers I have received. Thank you, WDC, for your transparency.

G.J. Moles' letter poses nine "technical" questions (with seven clearly related to just "external" costs). Then there is the not-so-subtly worded reassuring challenge, "I am sure an organisation as transparent as the WDC purports to be will have no problem providing the figures requested." Hmm. Can be read two ways. Not exactly "buttering the goose", so to speak?

The Local Government Act requires an incredible level of internal and external accountability and transparency, with few exceptions a council can exercise. Discussions with staff, middle management, the CE, mayor and councillors take place. At "full time" it takes seven votes to get a final determination. WDC also seeks public submissions. The CE simply asked councillors (as time was drawing near) where the cuts could be made?

I hope we find savings every single year that others more trained than us can find. To simply rob Peter to pay Paul (in a small, ratepayer-based town with noted challenges) is not my preferred process or reality. Unless savings are millions (every year), my rates will go up a projected minimum of 2.5 per cent every year with a 3.7 per cent averaged for 2019-20.

We must push for a national review of local ratings in NZ, otherwise questions by G.J. Moles will be an annual event, but under differing names. In years past, this council has started raising this nationally. If our mayor gets a second term, it is my hope that this is what we most remember him for.

Take it to the meeting of mayors for support (again) and then to government and fight and chest-thump for this until a commission is agreed to.
Empathy by those on high during rate increases (especially for those on low, fixed incomes) is recognised but it is not enough any more.

ROSS FALLEN
Castlecliff


Send your letters to: Letters, Whanganui Chronicle, 100 Guyton St, PO Box 433, Whanganui 4500; or email letters@wanganuichronicle.co.nz