Road too narrow

I agree with Dan Jackson's letter (September 2).

Who made the decision to narrow Heads Rd so significantly? There isn't even a shoulder on the railway side for a vehicle to pull over if you need to avoid a head-on collision.

Given this is a main thoroughfare shared by residents in cars and industrial heavy trucks, it seems a very dangerous, foolish decision to make. This needs to be reviewed.


Is it a district council or NZ Transport Agency project? They clearly don't take this route home.



Taboo subjects

J A Lamont's letter of August 25 breezed swiftly over a range of issues that the author dare not delve deeply into.

Such as that:

-The control over residential land availability in Auckland has been controlled by a Labour mayor and Labour-dominated council for six years. Are we seriously being told that they have done their best to resolve the issue?

-The debt taken on by this Government has not been seriously criticised by either Labour or Green leadership because most people understand how badly the economy would have tanked had the Government not followed standard procedure in a recession and continued spending on social services and infrastructure.

-The distortion to the economy (and environmental pressure?) caused by Michael Cullen's cynical election carrot where Labour and the Greens enabled even families earning over $120,000 to access benefits if they had large numbers of children, will take decades to recover from.

-With most sectors of the economy doing quite well and dairy prices improving slowly, the socio-economic recovery J Lamont fears may be a bit too close for comfort.



Bullock must go

I was surprised to see councillor Jack Bullock renominate himself after admitting in an recent front-page article in the Chronicle that he felt he was incompetent to vote on issues surrounding the wastewater treatment plant.

Yet he voted in favour at the special meeting.

Perhaps if his attendance record exceeded 50 per cent, he might have been capable of voting with the knowledge required to be making a pertinent vote.

If he had any character at all he would withdraw from the election.



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Smoking rise

I see the Whanganui smoking rate has just gone up 2 per cent despite the district health board spending nearly half a million a year on smoking cessation programmes. Is that money well spent?

Smoking-related health costs to the Whanganui DHB are estimated to be about half a million dollars annually, meanwhile Whanganui smokers contribute $10 million a year to the government by way of taxes on tobacco.

Could someone please explain to me the logic behind the "smoke free" campaign?


Smoke free Georgetown

Ask local Maori

Bruce Moon of Nelson opines on the spelling of our town.

However, if you wanted to know the correct spelling and pronunciation of - for instance - a French word, you would not ask a Franc-phobic, you would ask a Francophile.

Equally, when it's a Maori word, like Whanganui, you would not rely on Bruce Moon, you would ask Whanganui Maori.

Meanwhile, attention elsewhere has been on the suggested National Day commemorating our own wars - those that made us what we are today and happened right here.

Attention and resources have ensured an understanding of Gallipoli and other atrocities, but nothing for our defining New Zealand wars.

Certainly, we have lots of memorials to dead defenders of the realm (Moutoa Gardens, Veteran Steps) but nothing comparable tells us who, why, how and where they were fighting.

As Bill English admits, the history of the wars has been neglected - unfortunately, Bill's intent can disappear faster than a budget surplus.



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