A couple of days after the third anniversary of the disastrous flood of June 20, 2015, a story and photo appeared on page 2 of last Saturday's Chronicle, headlined "SH4 rebuild still on schedule".

I wondered which "schedule" the story was referring to when it quoted NZTA regional transport manager Ross l'Anson saying the work was due to be finished in June next year.

A "schedule" attributed to Mr l'Anson by Radio NZ on August 8, 2017, had work expected to start in September or October last year and "be done by December". It would cost about $6 million, and NZTA would pick up the bill.

Reporter John Maslin, whose byline appeared on last Saturday's story, apparently didn't challenge Mr l'Anson about what had changed to push the completion date out so far.


Neither did he ask for an updated estimate of the cost of the work to taxpayers, which I believe is well into double figures. He might also have asked what effect a big flood this winter would have on bank protection work now in progress.

I expected a significant Chronicle feature marking the anniversary, following up with those affected and "benchmarking" progress, or lack thereof.

The physical scars of that night remain in the form of abandoned downtown buildings, a Bastia Hill family still engaged in a battle with EQC over the loss of part of their property and their still uninhabitable home, sundry rural road repairs, and Horizons announcing its policy concerning properties on the Whanganui East floodplain.

Answering the call for volunteer helpers the week following the flood, I experienced first-hand the psychological trauma of an older woman living in state housing on Anzac Parade. Evacuated overnight, she'd returned to find her home and possessions deep in foul-smelling, sticky mud.

Her case manager was marvellous, offering her a unit that was under renovation and well away from the river, with the department putting her up in a motel until it was ready. But nothing could take away the pain of losing her family memorabilia and other precious possessions.

My thoughts are with that lady and all others still battling the trauma that changed their lives on June 20, 2015.

CAROL WEBB, Whanganui
Hospital thanks

I wish to say thank you on behalf of someone close to me who recently was admitted to the Wanganui hospital.


First, Brendan, our ambulance driver - no doubt your job is a thankless one at times, but you were a welcome face at a time of stress. Thank you for your professionalism and your calm and caring help. Wanganui people are lucky to have you looking after them.

Second, the emergency staff and doctors who made us a priority, professionally put us at ease, and kept us informed - you are all angels. We know this is a stressful, busy hospital where dedicated staff often work long hours with little recognition.

Third, the medical ward - what an amazing bunch of people, the doctors, support staff, the nurses, porters, cleaners. Nothing was too much trouble, and the care received was really impressive.

We also witnessed another side, and agree nurses should be getting paid for the very important job they do - a lot of their dedication is overlooked.

Many thanks, you are all beautiful people.

Waverley tragedy

Firstly, my sincere condolences to those who have suffered the loss of a loved one in the tragedy near Waverley on Wednesday.

Secondly, to those who attended the accident, being members of the public the first on scene, St John staff, police, fire service, funeral directors and chopper pilots, with the doctors and nurses, my thoughts are with you for the professional manner that you carried out your job.

Those scenes will be embedded with you forever.

Your continued services are appreciated by the greater majority of the population and something that no one wishes to have to attend.

Finally, what a waste of time and resource the media was.

I appreciate it is a freedom that you have to report the news, but hiring a chopper to get a view of the accident - waste.

The questions asked of the inspector bore near no relevance to the accident - waste.

The scene must be made safe for all others; the injured transported to hospital; the deceased transported to where coroner directs; and the next of kin must be found and the sad news delivered of the loss of a loved one.

The relevance of how the accident happened and who is to blame is not for today - this is a time for families to mourn their loss.

RAY STEVENS, Whanganui
Kuten's claims

Jay Kuten has made substantial effort in his article in the Chronicle (June 20) to back his thoughts on inter-American migration.

Like his thinking on euthanasia, however, it is an emotional response that is still hollow.

Note Kuten has not congratulated President Donald Trump on his effort to save American unborn children by clamping down on abortion clinics like Planned Parenting.

Note also the irony of an abortion clinic claiming planned parenting by killing defenceless boys and girls in the womb.

Also, Jay Kuten has not - in my experience - defended the unborn in New Zealand.

Would he explain how he can defend children in another country like Mexico while approving of abortion in New Zealand?

I see the Roman Catholic Church celebrated St Gervase and St Protase on June 19 who were tortured and executed for refusing to deny the Judaeo-Christian Uncreated.

Two brothers among tens of thousands who did the same.

So what does Kuten have to offer with his carefully selected criticisms?

F R HALPIN, Gonville