I find myself compelled to write in reply chiefly to Elaine Hampton's, and to a lesser extent John Haakma's, comment (Chronicle, August 31) on what is, and likely always will be, an emotive subject, the assisted suicide of a loved one.

Elaine Hampton appears to dispute that life is sacred, and that we should be able to depart this mortal coil when and if the pain of whatever ailment we are suffering from, albeit terminal, becomes too great, but all the while being of "sound mind". She then goes on to blame all the people who dare to have either conservative or religious beliefs on the matter, while at the same time informing us that we humans have been relieving pain since Pre-Roman times, as if to say that offing oneself as the ultimate pain relief is somehow acceptable.

What both Elaine Hampton and, to a lesser extent, John Haakma have seemingly failed to recognise or take into account is that, while death is the end of this stage of our existence, every religion known to man tells us that there is life after death, and that offing oneself doesn't herald a warm reception when we arrive, wherever it is we believe we are going.

As for we who hold religious beliefs opposing wars, our armies are full of people from many different faiths, as were the trenches. What I find most interesting about this whole debate is the constant hand-wringing being done in Parliament and our various health organisations over the steadily increasing suicide rate in this country, yet at the same time we are debating the moral legality of offing our old and terminally ill.



W&P return concerning

The Wanganui Ratepayers' Association (WRA) is concerned that, despite Whanganui & Partners (W&P) receiving over $2 million a year from Wanganui ratepayers through council, there has been very little in tangible results delivering in the areas they were tasked to perform in; business, population and tourism growth and education.

Last year the WRA publicly applauded Whanganui District Council CEO, Kym Fell, for instigating quantifiable and measurable key performance indicators (KPIs) to increase accountability. These KPIs put a number on the results that Whanganui & Partners were responsible for. Eg: to increase the region's population by 4000 over four years.

Following the announcement of the new KPIs, three senior executives resigned from W&P. This instigated a search for a new CEO and new paid board members. After a supposedly robust and thorough recruitment process for the appropriate individual to fill the CEO position, Philippa Ivory was appointed. Now, only seven months into the job, Philippa has resigned in such haste she hasn't even worked out her notice. Council have also reneged by discarding the quantifiable and measurable KPIs, replacing these with "soft" unaccountable results.

The population growth KPI has now been altered to simply "growth" with no measurable figure. According to this requirement, presumably a population growth of just one would qualify — not a good return on our investment.

If Wanganui is to expand, provide jobs, and progress tourism and economic opportunity, Whanganui and Partners organisation needs a solid and capable board, CEO and executive team that can wisely invest our $2 million with accountability, proving to the ratepayers of this region that we are getting some real benefit. It's local body election time again next year. Last election all councillors endorsed a strong, growth-focused local council. Sadly, it appears that, once again, economic growth will be an election issue next year.

Chairman, Wanganui Ratepayers' Association

Which witch?


America's cartoon President Donald J Trump is constantly calling the Mueller investigations into any collusion surrounding the 2016 presidential election a "witchhunt".

For once he may be right; they are certainly finding a lot of witches. Federal investigators only give immunity to witches so they can catch bigger witches. I wonder which witch they are looking for now!


Send your letters to: The Editor, Wanganui Chronicle, 100 Guyton St, PO Box 433, Wanganui 4500; or email editor@wanganuichronicle.co.nz