Good to be back

I am delighted to be back at Horizons for a second term and thank those who supported me.

With 100 per cent of the 10 past councillors re-elected, it shows the community is supportive of the direction and pace of our policy setting, which is balancing economy and social and environment issues.

The Environmental Defence Society and Fish & Game election stunt of dropping a court case on Horizons the day before election papers hit the mail boxes failed to gain any traction with the community, and nor did the Morgan Foundation interviewing a farmer on their website about One Plan and him not declaring his conflict of interest as he was standing as a candidate for Horizons.


Horizons needs to work harder at ensuring the community understands the work we do, as most people do not understand how the annual or long-term plans change policy.

I want to encourage people to work together on solutions to issues, not just grandstand on the argument.

Be assured I will again be working hard to help make this region a great place to live, work and play.

Horizons Regional Councillor

What happened?

Wanganui had the chance of a deep water port during World War II but turned it down.

We had the university offered but said no.

We build a world-class wooden cycle track but don't roof it.

We were offered millions of dollars by a tram-loving group; all council had to do was let it happen, but they stalled till the money went elsewhere.

They were offered free tram poles, but they didn't fit in with the look, so we spend thousands on new ones.

Maori were meant to be partners in the port, but have they fronted any money yet?

Major talks about rejuvenating our port, so council make the main road in smaller.

Don't even get me started on the sewer problem.

I think we can all see the pattern/problem. Wanganui was one of the fastest-growing cities in New Zealand.

What happened?

If Wanganui ever gets a council of strong-minded people who know where we could go... Looking back, we can all see where we should have been.

A lot of our assets are due to the generosity of past citizens, not smart-thinking councillors.

We still have a brilliant town (it was a city) but it could be so much more.


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.


Avenue trees

The state of the footpaths along the length of Victoria Ave is a problem that is not going to get better, only worse, if the plane trees remain.

The convoluted paths, because of the trees' large rooting system, pose a danger to all pedestrians and it is only a matter of time before serious injury results. The solution, as it was put to me by unsuccessful district council candidate Peter Hackett, seems to be the only one, as I see it, and is in the interests of sustainable environmental management; that is to cut down the trees and replace them with new young plantings -- maybe with trees that don't have such prominent roots so future problems don't arise.

I feel sentiment has to give way to practicality here.

Otherwise, what other resolution is there to this ever-worsening problem?


Population limit

Re: Letter from G R Scown (October 8), querying my source for the figures quoted in Conservation Comment.

Live Science provided the figure of 10 billion population that the planet may be able to feed. But the population must be vegetarian.

Other scientists, such as James Lovelock, think the figure is much smaller.

Of course, any predictions of future events could be affected by unseen events: such as an asteroid colliding with the earth, a mass epidemic removing two thirds of the population, or flooding caused by a sea level rise of 70 metres in the next 50 years or so.

Or maybe visitors from outer space will come and take two thirds of our population to colonise two young, earthlike planets in the habitable zone around other suns far, far away ... (Thank you, Dr Brian Cox, BBC Knowledge, Human Universe, 8.25 pm, Ch 074, Saturdays.)