The Thain building at 1 Victoria Ave, and climate change coupled with sea level rises, have all been newsworthy in the Chronicle over the last week or two.

So why am I not hearing of the only way to preserve the Thain building for posterity?

Whether it is demolished, or brought up to standard, the present site will be under water within 50 years. The building, if still there, will become nothing more than a navigation hazard for shipping in the large new estuary which will also inundate all of low-lying Whanganui.

Incidentally, it isn't me claiming this, I just listen to some of the smartest climate people on earth.


I am not suggesting don't save this fine heritage building. I am saying the only way to save it for posterity is to dismantle it and rebuild it on higher ground.

Those who contemplate leaving it where it is while speaking of "saving" are in need of critical education of what global warming really means for Whanganui.

Premise: The Thain building has already been flooded more than once in recent times.
Premise: a prestigious scientific journal has recently reported sea rises between 10m and 30m and wilder weather yet to come.

Conclusion for Whanganui? Move the building or do nothing with it except to raze it.


Past its use-by date

Our city planners are bleating about the proposed demolition of the old Thain building on the corner of Taupo Quay and Victoria Ave.

This reminds me of a previous generation of planners who moved a demolition crew into the Hatrick building at the crack of dawn in order to widen the bottom block of St Hill St.

The Hatrick building was far more attractive than Thain, with greater historic value. Now we have come full circle and the council is spending more of our money to put St Hill St back to its original width. Words almost fail me.

I am all in favour of preserving heritage, but the Thain building is probably past its use-by date and prohibitively costly to repair.

The Hatrick building was sacrificed for an unrealistic view of future development, and it seems to me that our planners should be more concerned about what will be built in Thain's place rather than trying to uphold unsustainable district plan rules.

Each generation leaves its legacy of built environment and we ought to encourage developers to ensure that our legacy will be looked back on by our grandchildren with pleasure rather than with contempt.

Licensed architectural designer, Bastia Hill

Time to end Māori seats

Act party policy has always been to reduce Parliament to 99 MPs, and abolish the Māori seats.

Even without the Māori seats, Māori are well represented in Parliament. The leaders of Act (David Seymour), National (Simon Bridges), and NZ First (Winston Peters) are all Māori. Yet most Māori vote for parties led by Pākehā — Labour and the Greens.

Do the Māori seats benefit Te Tiriti millionaires? I don't know, but the seats do little for ordinary Māori people. It is time they went.


Spreading confusion

"There is still, I think, not enough recognition of the fact that the desire to think — which is fundamentally a moral problem — must be induced before the power is developed.

Most people, whether men or women, wish above all else to be comfortable, and thought is a pre-eminently uncomfortable process; it brings to the individual far more suffering than happiness ... " — Vera Brittain (1898-1970).

It is the suffering that provides for the gathering of wisdom by individuals. Socrates once said: "True wisdom comes to us when we realise how little we understand about life, ourselves and the world around us."

I would suggest that, without the wisdom he describes, the propensity for individuals to undertake the critical thinking process required to decide when something being said is more likely to be factually incorrect will not occur. Into such vacuous thinking, distorted reality is espoused and accepted as truth.

At a crowded rally in Pennsylvania last week, Trump said, "I tell you what, Russia never wanted Trump to win" — despite Putin at the Helsinki meeting having said he favoured Trump's election. To destabilise a democracy requires its people to be unsure as to what and what not to believe as factual.

The resulting chaos from such a societal uncertainty beckons anarchy to take centre-stage.


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