Empty buses

I was amazed at Nicola Patrick's rejoinder to my letter about our empty bus service. I voted Green because I thought they were the only sensible Kiwi political party, but that belief was shaken by her advocacy for a system that costs most Whanganui people money to run buses they do not use.

I did not say Whanganui should not have public transport, only that the "service" provided by Horizons is an irresponsible waste of resources and ratepayers' money. If we are going to have public transport, then it should be thoughtfully and imaginatively designed to satisfy the wants and needs of our whole community, not just a narrow sector.

Before Horizons stuffed it up, Whanganui had an economical, sustainable and flexible bus service provided by the local taxi company, which cost ratepayers zilch and was genuinely green.



Easter trading

I was disappointed at the council decision against adopting an Easter Sunday trading policy, taking away the rights of the ratepayer to choose to work on that day or go shopping, if that is what they want to do.

We are spending time and ratepayer funds promoting the city as a tourist destination, but this is saying to them: Don't come at Easter or Christmas, because we are too insular in our thinking to see the bigger picture.

The council charges rates for all 365 days in the year but supports barriers to businesses opening on religious holidays and other days. There are now three or four days when businesses are not allowed to open. That equates to about about 1 per cent of all commercial rates.

Councillor Craig is correct about the anomalies that exist.

If it is okay to decide not to allow trading on certain days, this must be applied without exception, otherwise the decision is without integrity.

That is impractical in some areas, but also manifestly unfair to businesses deemed non-essential by someone in an office.

Councillor Duncan relies on the 91 per cent of submissions opposing Easter Sunday Trading. If there were only 45 submissions, that would have been only 41 that support the decision to disallow trading — hardly representative of the community.

We had a referendum about the "H" in the spelling of our city's name in 2009, and 77 per cent wanted it to remain unchanged. That was 77 per cent of those entitled to vote and the clear mandate of the community was ignored.

Alan Taylor has it in a nutshell; it should be a matter of choice to open your business or not. It also should be your choice whether you want to go shopping.

The 91 per cent of submitters opposing trading would never go, and that is their choice. People who want to shop on a day away from work should be able to.

If the policy was adopted, who would be worse off ? As people who supposedly live in a free country, we are dictated to far too often about what we can do, and how and when we can do it.


Taniwha tale

A month ago I sent a letter to the Chronicle regarding Tutaeporoporo, the former mascot of the Wanganui Rugby Union. It was not published and rightly so, as it was factually incorrect and contained other issues.

I have since researched Tutaeporoporo's story and it is fascinating. Briefly, here it is:
Chief Tuariki of Rangitikei caught a shark and kept him as a pet. As he grew, he changed into a whale and then a water-serpent (taniwha). He lived partly on land and partly in the water.

Chief Tuariki was killed, and Tutaeporoporo decided to avenge his master's death. He started eating Whanganui River people by the canoe-load.

The people contacted Aokehu, who got into a hollowed-out log, armed with a maripu (shark-toothed weapon). The log floated down the river and Tutaeporoporo swallowed it, but Aokehu thrust up his weapon and slew the taniwha.

Tutaeporoporo is featured on the Whanganui District Council's coat-of-arms.
I was wondering when and why the Wanganui Rugby Union decided to discard Tutaeporoporo as its mascot, or is he "on ice"?



A timely letter from Robert Allen (November 20) regarding the Prime Minister's preoccupation with bringing in 150 Manus Island refugees.

In bringing in these refugees, your correspondent cites some salient points which demonstrate the inevitable disadvantage to our own homeless, poverty-stricken people, who could find themselves even further away from the front of the "queue" .

Yes, "charity" should "begin at home", and the sooner the Prime Minister has an urgent mindset change to realise this, the better.


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