Regional councils

Fred Frederikse is right on the money re the regional council (Chronicle, September 27). In fact, I think he's being too kind.

Ever since I attended the seminars promoting the formation of the regional councils, with Brian Elwood providing the spin on behalf of the politicians, I have thought they don't exist for the benefit of the regions.

They were created to administer and enforce the right-wing hidden agenda that began in 1984. It is no coincidence that the dismemberment of government services and the centralisation of same to Auckland began at this time.


As Fred says, Horizons picks winners and, as a consequence, losers. That means Wanganui loses and Palmerston North wins as a matter of necessity.

Yes, getting rid of Horizons would reduce overheads, or conversely we could get rid of district councils and make honest elected officials of the regional councils. But I doubt if the puppet-masters in the Beehive would want that. They want the bulk of the money, and the votes, in Auckland, don't they?


Sand mining

The sand mining madness off Patea was refused approval last time after considerable public protest and submissions. Now Trans Pacific Resources are at it again.

Anyone who thinks sucking 20 million tonnes/year out of the sea floor and firing it back down again isn't a wise idea, please make a submission to that effect. The closing date is October 14.

Kiwis Against Seabed Mining (KASM) have a website with links to submit easily.

Just to picture 20 million tonnes, while researching my objection last time, I was shocked to see that 20 million tonnes is almost the same amount of silt that the Whanganui River spews out every year. At least that is the erosion from thousands of hectares, not from one 8-metre-deep hole on the mineral rich sea floor.


Seabed holes

One would have thought that people would be in favour of seabed mining. It allows somewhere for ice melt to go, without raising sea levels.

The Chinese are doing their bit with the Spratly Islands.


Seven should go

Oh dear, a group of district councillors is getting cold feet and took out a page in the Chronicle (Friday, September 23) to save their bacon.

If they, or the majority of them, are going to get dumped, it's for more than one issue. Let me remind them: Their focus on the art gallery, increased rates and wasting ratepayers' money, changing the city's name, inept handling of last year's floods, arrogance, poor (and lack of) attendance at council meetings (that also means leaving council meetings early), backdoor meetings to achieve results that "some people want" (democracy out the door), poor chair and committee protocol, and Victoria Ave looking like Dodge City. Then, finally, the process and handling of the treatment station saga. That is 10 issues that would upset most ratepayers.

Needless to say, none of the seven got my vote. The "leader of the pack" got my vote on the DHB, vote 15.

Never has it been so important for ratepayers to remember how some councillors have treated the community. It might have been better for them to keep their heads down.


Enlighten me

I quote from the Wanganui Chronicle (September 25) re the sewerage plant.

Mr Fell, council CEO, told councillors "discussions with the city wet industries regarding a separate treatment scheme had failed".

At the time he said that the council had "bent over backwards to accommodate what the wet industries wanted" but no agreement had been reached.

"Affco have told me they cannot agree to our terms so we have to assume they will remain in the municipal scheme."

The way I read it they will opt out or close down. Either way it will be a financial disaster for the ratepayers of Wanganui.

Will somebody enlighten me?

Please step up, Hamish McDouall, deputy mayor.


Change needed

Councillor Martin Visser's letter from Friday, September 22 attempts to justify an increase in councillor remuneration.

Most on the current council aren't worth what they are currently paid, let alone suggesting they should receive more, when the ratepayers got very little for their money.

Salaries equated to performance is something the new council needs to look at, starting with the CEO.

This town needs change, and in the candidates available there are several that have the right attitude, business acumen and common sense to move us forward.

Whether the decision was correct or not is not really the issue. It was irresponsible for an outgoing council to commit a new regime to financial doom by making a $42m decision as the last thing "achieved" in their term.

Change is required, and the election is our chance to get it. Vote for change.


Snail mail

Today (October 4) I received a letter postmarked as having been mailed on June 18, 2015. The letter was sent from Auckland and arrived in Marton fully intact after a journey of 474 days. I am not sure whether it travelled by snail or pony express but am thankful and surprised at its arrival.


Pensioner safety

I am really concerned about the possibility of the Whanganui District Council absolving themselves of the responsibility of providing safe and affordable pensioner housing.

It is absolutely essential that we preserve our pensioner housing for our elderly population, and it worries me that if the responsibility is shared with some other organisation, we face the very real possibility of undesirable people living alongside vulnerable elderly pensioners.

Perhaps council should make some of the pensioner flats into two-bedroomed accommodation to allow more options.

I know quite a few people in their 80s who are renting privately and are paying in excess of $200 per week just so they can have slightly bigger accommodation.

If the eligibility criteria for qualifying for a pensioner flat are relaxed, we run the real possibility of attracting some social problems for the elderly.


Nationwide issue

After reading the article concerning social housing in Whanganui, I have to say that this is a nationwide concern.

How Mr Hilson can say empty homes are only going to new home-owners or new tenants is absolute nonsense.

One should look at the social housing statistics on the NZ Social Development site: For instance, 360 houses sold in Hawke's Bay and seven rebuilt.

In Auckland, thousands of houses have been sold or are empty. People can be on the waiting list for up to three years.

Don't listen to Tory propaganda and vote Labour at the next election.

Mt Wellington