Replanting: Over 50 poplar poles provided by Horizons Regional Council are visible in this image of part of Kaitiaki Farm where slips occurred in 2015. Photo/supplied

River Week

I enjoyed viewing the historic photographs of the Whanganui River at the museum during the recent River Week programme.

Astute audience members pointed out the significant impacts of land use changes on water levels in those early years of European settlement, as the native bush was cleared. The legacy remains today in terms of both poor water quality and increased chance of major flooding.


The solution, of course, is to plant more trees in the entire drainage basin and particularly in the riparian corridor and on steep slopes as we have done on our farm. With the help of Horizons Regional Council and over 100 volunteers from the community (including three school groups) we've planted over 2000 trees, shrubs and native grasses over the past 18 months.

Many thanks to HRC and those friends of Kaitiaki Farm who have helped out during this massive effort.

Kaitiaki Farm, Okoia

New signs

Many a friend visiting has said how absent or dull our visitor attraction signage is. Barring Google, most could not find the stunning NZ Glassworks without asking locals or visiting the friendly i-Site. Better signage for this icon is on its way.

Googling is a huge plus, but does this mean we should minimise the impact of attractive directional signage and pure spontaneity when it hits your eyeballs?

The Town Centre Regeneration Strategy was endorsed by council earlier this year and is guided by a steering committee.

One of the key proposals listed in that 30-year span document is providing for some of the "basic visitor needs". Several of the actions proposed are described as "immediate,

low-hanging fruit" or could be considered as "quick hits". Visitor attraction signage is not specifically mentioned as an obvious need, but many are aware it is a need.


I have suggested (as a resident) to Cr Helen Craig to consider taking this to the steering committee, as one of those quick can do, within current budget matters.

The venues are not going anywhere. They just need to be identified better, be they in the town centre or our district surrounds.

The Sarjeant will reopen around 2020, the velodrome roof and upgrades thereabouts we hope, the brand new Upok-to-Papaiti bicycle suspension bridge (late 2018) and, the major cycleways will be in grand use and maybe even the mole upgrades.

I do hope that soon we might have a new, comprehensive set of eye-catching, heritage-looking or modern, locally made signage ready within the next 12 months as a "can do", please?


Refugee risks

Although I express concern at the plight of the Manus Island refugees, I am more concerned at the insistence by our Prime Minister that New Zealand should "adopt" 150 of these people.

By doing so, she is not only exposing New Zealand to unacceptable security risks, but also infinite negative impact upon our economy.

These 150 refugees will be given housing, at the expense of our homeless population. They will be given medical benefits, which our homeless don't receive. They will be given government provided food and clothing, which our homeless don't get. They will also be given financial benefits, which will probably be for the duration of their lives because they will either not be able or not want to work.

It would be timely to remind Prime Minister Ardern that charity begins at home.

Durie Hill

Kea numbers

Reply to F. Foster (letters, October 30): Sorry about the delayed reply, but research takes time.

DoC gave the kea figures in 2015 as 1000 to 2000. Now stating, knowing full well that an average 12 per cent will be poisoned every drop of 1080, and stating they are also severely predated, doesn't stand up to their saying now their numbers are 3000 to 7000. I think their arithmetic is out of this world.

You say that in 2015-16, 50 per cent of monitored kea nests produced young, but with constant handling, weighing and measuring, a lot of those nests were abandoned by the parent birds and, of course, the young chicks predated as the human trail led right to the nests for the stoats to follow. Plus for a bird that does not always nest every year, one year of figures is not indicative.

DoC's own 2015 survey stated that 63 per cent of the population was against 1080 as it has shown no benefit for the native bird population in the 60-plus years of its use and as it is highly toxic to all oxygen-using life (including human life), it is a very dangerous poison to be spreading by air or ground all over our land.


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