Out with the old

Looks like the Wanganui community has spoken: Out with the old and in with the new.

Let's turn this town around, as it has stagnated for some time now with excuses after excuses. Accountability has to be the main target to move forward.

While businesses in the Avenue struggle to survive, perhaps bring the public back to the Avenue.


Block it off from Maria Place to Guyton St and move the Saturday morning markets there. This would make the Ave more lively.

Yes, the markets on the riverbank is a good location, but why not try something new.

I also see the city logo has changed. I'm rather disappointed that the ratepayers had no say. There was nothing wrong with Wanganui (Well worth the journey). Imagine the thousands spent promoting this.

Why was the outgoing mayor allowed to make such a sweeping change without consultation with the people of Wanganui?

Time to move forward.


My congratulations to all the successful candidates in the local body elections.

As readers may know, I "threw my hat in the ring" for a seat on the Whanganui District Council. It was not to be this time for me.

Perhaps two decades being a mover and shaker, but in other parts of the country away from my home town, did not mean much to Whanganui citizens -- and rightly so, I should add. For this election, in particular, it would have been an unwise thing to vote for someone whose achievements were unknown locally or meant nothing locally.

I must add special congratulations to my distant cousin-in-law. He made mayor, and with a sufficient interim majority that I believe the final result will not change his success.

As Hamish McDouall alluded recently in a speech at the opening of the strengthened Alexander Library (and quoted in the Chronicle, date forgotten), his wife was related to Clifford Hood, one of the architects who designed the Alexander. As am I.

May our district have a fruitful three years under our new mayor and council.


Doctors' strike

I see in the Chronicle front page (October 4) that the resident doctors have finally had enough and are going to strike.

Once again the dispensable morality of our so-called lawmakers has been highlighted where money is concerned.

Contrast the resident doctors' situation with that of professional drivers. Both are responsible for working safely (apparently) and not endangering the general public in the course of their work, so why not issue resident doctors with log books? These, as with the drivers, to be maintained correctly showing maximum continuous work periods of 5 hours without a half-hour break in one 24-hour period. After 13 hours thus worked, a 10-hour break is mandatory, and after 70 hours a 24-hour break is mandatory.

Attempts to falsify log book entries are punishable by fines for drivers and employers if they are found to be complicit, and serious or continuous offending is punishable by stand-downs of some months or ultimately withdrawal of the offenders' qualifications to work in their chosen profession.

So there you have it: The answer to the resident doctors already exists with a small army of specialised police to enforce it.

Leaving the risk assessment of both situations to common sense, one has to ask -- what is the problem here? Money, of course. That and the fact truck and bus drivers are more numerous and therefore more dispensable than resident doctors.


Alarm bells

The Domm report on the WWTP covers a council meeting on the August 31, 2009 where it was stated: "Increasing loads from Imlay double shift caused large volumes of animal byproducts to block the screens at the Beach Road Pump station".

Further on in the report, it covers a council meeting on July 19, 2010 where it stated: "Council asked Horizons for permission to divert to ocean when flow exceeded 1120 litres/sec".

One tonne per second of a product that could contain mad cow disease, brucellosis and leptospirosis (just naming a few pathogens that I know of) should not be overflowing in our town, surely? Or even piped through our town or under our river?

I can't see how the new $46 million plant will solve this problem. Perhaps this is the bit where Alice wakes up!


Sea pollution

G R Scown reckons sewage is found everywhere on our planet and is too diluted to pollute -- and is also just a part of the food chain.

Well, just last week I saw the beach from Castlecliff to Moawhanau covered with what could only be milliscreened fat.

I contacted the regional council and they did not seem to be very concerned.

I have been fishing a few kilometres offshore and found myself surrounded by a layer of what looked like liquefied chocolate floating on the surface of the sea. This was not a nice experience, and the next step was to find an area of clean, clear water and open up the throttle to wash the boat.

This meant going slowly a few more kilometres seaward. A face full of spray in that situation could have been very unhealthy or even fatal. I also know that in certain conditions that stuff can end up on the beach or even enter the river with the rising tide to be carried up to its origin, the centre of our town.

So I must ask, with the arrival of summer, is the council testing our local waterways and beaches?

Is it safe for my mokopuna to swim in the river or sea?

Should we be eating mussels from Waitotara?

I can only conclude that we humans have become a cancer on the planet and all its other inhabitants would be better off without us.


WGC event

I have just been online (October 4) to see who of my years (1957-61) has registered for the Wanganui Girls' College 125th celebrations later this month. I am quite sad that fewer than 10 of my classmates have registered.

At least one of our group is coming from overseas, I am coming from "up north" and I think the rest might still be local-ish.

I know you locals see each other regularly, but out-of-towners want to see you all too. I realise it is expensive to go, but you won't be here for the 150th, so please can we meet up?

I don't think it is too late to register, please check and I look forward to catching up with you.