FUNDRAISER: Kaia Potaka-Osborne wears the shirt she hopes will raise plenty of funds for a good cause.

An inspiration

What an inspiration to us all is the action of St George's School pupil Kaia Potaka-Osborne in seeking to raise money for young cancer patient Amelia Bennett by selling her Hurricanes-signed jersey.

Of course, this is not the first time that Kaia has shown her community spirit. In 2013, while at St John's Hill School, Kaia and a fellow student, Ella Watson, raised over $500 for the hihi/stitchbird translocation into Bushy Park.


Now she shows her concern for a sick child in our community - an action worthy of our support. I'm sure that Hurricanes jersey is special to Kaia - I once sold an All Blacks jersey signed by the '97 team for a charity, so this one should go well.

Let us all support Kaia's endeavours. We don't have to purchase it online. I will be sending a donation to her school and I invite Chronicle readers to do the same. Who said our young people of today aren't what they were in our day? So let's join with her to make her effort a success.


Personal attacks

The letter from councillor Charlie Anderson (August 22) titled "Personal attacks", is very timely.

I completely agree with Councillor Anderson - attack the issue, not the person.
I saw Kym Fell's pain, based on his best efforts (and they were excellent efforts, in my humble opinion) in trying to resolve important matters of council, at the extraordinary council meeting of August 9.

Councillors who get to work with this man after October should feel privileged to work with a CEO so capable of following instructions from council - even if a few of the instructions he gets stuck with are, again IMHO, real shockers I personally would not want to foist on anybody.

For a perfect example of a letter that addresses the issue, not the person, I refer Chronicle readers to Kym Fell's own letter, titled "Affordability" in the same issue (August 22) on the same page.

Question: If that isn't the kind of sincere, open personality the district needs as CEO, then what is?


Stan Hood is a candidate for the Whanganui District Council in the October

Racial politics

I see [Whanganui District Council candidate] Ian Brougham wants to scrap preferential treatment for Maori (Chronicle, August 13).

Under the Treaty of Waitangi this treatment for Maori is just and true, it's to accommodate Maori for past injustices, for the land-grabbing and rape of Maori land along with the other atrocities inflicted upon Maori.

But Mr Brougham makes it sound like they're getting preferential treatment that all Maori are benefiting from.

It's not based on race; it's based on giving back what was wrongfully taken.

Mr Brougham's agenda is certainly race-based. He's a European paranoid that Maori are getting something he isn't, and what some Maori have got is minuscule in terms of what they have lost.

The purpose of race-based politics is to put Maori and European on an equal playing field, and to date the equality is very unbalanced. Equality is far more important than money - from equality comes money.

The fact that Mr Brougham still wants to control the tangata and mana whenua future scares me. Who is he to say Whanganui isn't a Maori word? Up near the Coromandel is Whanganui Island, and south of Cape Farewell is Whanganui inlet, along with endless other names spelt Whanganui; it certainly isn't a Pakeha word.

Mr Brougham, your prejudice is wasting time and money; now you want to stick your rakau into the bees' nest and stir it up again over the name of Whanganui/Wanganui, waste more ratepayers' money and keep the community segregated.

If, in fact, you were voted on to council, being a painter, you could paint the whole town white and start again with a blank canvas.

There are bigger and more important issues around Whanganui than a name. Put your time and energy into those instead of worrying who's getting more lollies than you.

If, in fact, you do have such a big hate towards Maori getting preferential treatment, I wouldn't run for council. Go straight for the top and run for Parliament. Failing that, join the circus. (Abridged)



I do not normally engage in tit for tat in a newspaper, however, my previous letter was abridged to such an extent as to remove the focus of my main point. I therefore hope that this letter fares better.

To Kym Fell: I read the Massey report, and it was on the basis of that report that my letter was penned. I therefore challenge you to quote, in its complete context, that section of the report which states without equivocation that the proposed WTTP scheme is affordable by the average ratepayer in Whanganui.

I would draw your attention to Appendix 1, which most probably, depending on political interpretation, shows that the scheme may not be affordable by the average ratepayer.
The report notes the substantially lower household median income and the high levels of socio-economic deprivation in Whanganui.

I am glad to see that Mr Fell has clarified that the $150,000 per year is the total iwi engagement budget. Why this was not clarified in the original 10-year plan, I fail to understand. There were even reports of councillors being unsure of what the amount was being spent on.

At the same time, I still feel unable to understand why a full-time cultural adviser is needed when there is such wide consultation already.


Just like on TV

As our ongoing wastewater treatment plant farce continues and some of our district council members and officers keep telling us that it is all under control, I find myself constantly reminded of a television programme quite popular many years ago.

In this programme, a comedy, the lead character would always look into the camera and say, "Trust me, I know what I'm doing!" just before he stuffed everything up.


Changing guard

It was disappointing to see former Horizons councillor Bob Walker take a swing at Horizons candidate Nicola Patrick in the letters page.

Bob's perspective: Nicola used the online fundraising platform Givealittle to raise campaign funds, a major crime.

My perspective? Bob represents the old guard. On his watch we saw increased waterway pollution and farming intensification with little care for the damage done. That is the bigger issue.

It is exciting to see a candidate like Nicola, with fresh thinking and solid environmental credentials, taking on this outdated bureaucracy. And it should be made OK for people to use Givealittle. I just received a flyer with another candidate's bank account, asking for donations. What really is the difference?

Go, Nicola. I'm telling everybody to vote for you.


New brooms

On Saturday, August 20 Rachel Rose raised two issues which concern me. One shows her column's political leanings, when she says councillors Duncan and Visser are readily available at the Saturday Market. No mention of councillor Craig, who regularly attended with councillor Visser. Is this due to their differing political leanings?

The mayor also rates a mention for being at the market and available for a chat. Of course she is, as she has a stall.

The second point is Ms Rose raises misgivings about some mayoral candidates having no council experience. Personally, I find this aspect to be an advantage, as if elected they come with no baggage.

In my working life, I experienced a major merger. The upshot of this was the appointment of a young executive as GM Travel Division. With no travel industry experience, the appointment was greeted with scepticism and dismay. In hindsight, it was the best appointment made, as he came with no baggage and fresh ideas.

Council standards and procedures are set down by central government and Local Government NZ, so prior experience counts for little.

It is vital to have strong people around the council table, otherwise they will be controlled by management and it will be like Yes, Minister.


Sewer gas

The Whanganui District Council has a consent to create gases as a result of its sewer system, but not at a level that makes people sick.

It has been impossible to get information from council about what gases, and their levels, have been created under this consent.

The current mayor and all current councillors ignored the Environmental Reporting Bill 2014 which encourages communities to discuss how much air pollution they are prepared to tolerate and have stated air quality is not their business. This was also the response around asking for advocacy for transparency around what gases and levels our malfunctioning sewer system creates.

Symptoms of sewer gas poisoning include asthma, coughs, hay fever and watery eyes. A bit like seasonal allergy all the time.

We should not have to make so many public requests for information around air pollution.

Forty per cent of strokes in China are attributed to air pollution. It is in a council's interest to have air that does not make people sick.

Let's hope our next council is a bit more forward-thinking around issues that affect health.