Thanks, voters

I would like to offer a sincere and heartfelt "thank you" to the 5174 people of Whanganui who had the confidence in me to give me their vote. I feel humbled.

Even though the results were not quite what I had hoped for, there is no shame in defeat. It was close, but just not close enough.

For those who were elected, I congratulate you on your success.


For me, my campaign was extremely hard work, beginning in January of this year with a determined door-knocking campaign.

Along the way it was a pleasure to meet so many wonderful people who really do care about their community and new friendships have also been forged on the campaign trail.

Whanganui certainly has all you need (and then some). In recent times we have started to head in the right direction as a community. With good leadership, along with a determined and positive effort from all who live here, we know it will be even better.

Whanganui voted for change. No doubt there will be more change next election, and I plan to be part of that ever-evolving change-- but it is my hope it will be a positive change next time. So, I will be back to build on my recent efforts.

I intend to stay involved with promoting Whanganui from outside the council chamber and my 2019 campaign starts today.



Deputy mayor

Section 41A of Part 4 the Local Government Act 2002 allows the mayor to appoint the deputy mayor.

Section 18 of the Schedule to Part 4 provides for a majority of the council to overturn the appointment and appoint their own.

That being the case, perhaps the venue for the first meeting of the new council could be in the Eulogy Lounge at the racecourse.

Ratepayers' Association


Visit denied

The term "punitive" is close to home in Whanganui, concerning the Department of Corrections' intensive checking system for offender Stewart Murray Wilson.

The role of the Scandinavian Justice Department is not to "throw away the key" but to find out the conditions that led to the offences and to release the offender as soon as possible, with assistance

Wilson is keen to visit his ailing mother under strict Corrections supervision, but the visit is denied, even after 23 years of Corrections control.

The reason suggested: "Wilson's victims may object."

My question is: "Have the Department of Corrections contacted his former victims?"

Further, Corrections should be able to confirm or deny the strong rumour that Stewart Murray Wilson will be denied leave to attend his mother's funeral.

Napier Community Mentor, Napier


Funny but sad

I don't know how many watch Full Frontal with Samantha Bee on Duke (Freeview 13) at 9.30pm most weeknights. It truly is the comedy it is intended to be.

The subject? The American presidential contest and, in particular, the antics of candidate/competitor Donald Trump.

It's very funny. It's also very sad that this is no reality show being satirically mocked. This is reality.



Two women

Two women have impressed me in the past few days, for very different reasons.

Helen Kelly, who died this week, spent her all-too-brief life unstintingly working for the benefit of others.

With no trace of ego that I could see, she exemplified wisdom and compassion. She unswervingly sought justice for her fellow human beings, especially for those whose voices couldn't be heard. In short, an incredible human being, a true heroine, working for others until the end of her life.

For me, Helen Kelly's example contrasts starkly with that of Judith Collins, who has once again made known her low opinion of some vulnerable New Zealanders. With harsh judgment, she has blamed child poverty on "irresponsible" parents who make bad choices.

It's not a new judgment, of course. It's been around for centuries, but for a minister of the Crown to make sweeping generalisations of this kind reveals not only her ignorance of the complex issues around poverty and parenting, but also her very harsh and hard heart.

Naturally, there will be many who agree with her. Those who are always ready to express their judgements of other people's parenting, or how they handle their money. Underneath our often pleasant demeanour we Kiwis can be pretty ugly in our criticism of others.

Judith Collins has revealed some of that this week � so very different from that which we have seen from Helen Kelly during her life.

I know who I find more inspiring and will remember longer and more fondly.



One Plan issues

Rob Butcher's letter, (October 13) misses the point by a country mile.

Fish and Game are not taking Horizons to the Environment Court to enforce a heavy-handed approach with high fines and strict regulations. Along with the Environmental Defence Society, they are simply trying to get Horizons to implement an agreed policy, the One Plan -- a plan which has, after exhaustive consultation with farmers and at a cost of $12 million, finally become council policy.

EDS and Fish and Game say: "The key points of difference with Horizons include interpretations of the Resource Management Act, the National Policy Statement on Freshwater Management and the One Plan itself. In short, we are not convinced the One Plan's freshwater quality limits will be achieved given the way the consenting regime is presently being managed."

"We consider the One Plan to be nationally precedent-setting because it shows how farming can be both economically and environmentally sustainable while maintaining water quality for New Zealand's longer term future.

"The proceedings we are filing are declaration proceedings, which pose legal questions for the Environment Court to answer. We have invited Horizons to comment on the proposed questions and to participate in a co-operative way to get clarity."

Of course, it would be better for the plan to be properly implemented without the threat of legal action. The questions need to be asked: Why haven't councillors ensured the plan they voted to implement has actually been implemented in a timely manner, and why are Horizons stonewalling and risking ratepayers' money on legal action to forestall the implementation of policy they have already agreed to implement?



Card nonsense

Over the last two weeks, we have received a raft of so-called "loyalty cards" from various firms.

The local supermarket has now issued a Club card. I don't wish to be part of their "Club" and find hauling around all these cards just plain irritating.

I have decided not to shop at stores telling me goods are only on special if I produce their wretched card.

Shoppers, revolt! Let them know you have better things to do than tolerate this nonsense, and only shop where a good bargain is evident.