DEAR, oh dear, it just keeps keeping on. I refer to Kym Fell's proud announcement of a half-million-dollar council chamber upgrade.

Kym has obviously inherited Annette Main's "waste the ratepayers' money syndrome". Reading his article, you would think we're akin to a luxury motel resort.

Doesn't he realise it's only a workplace, and I for one wouldn't be expecting the upmarket surroundings he is introducing.

The chambers, as they stand, fit the requirement perfectly. There's an old saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."


It would be far more beneficial for those monies to be put towards the velodrome roofing project.


Editor's note: The upgrade is not to the council chamber itself but to the customer service and reception area on the ground floor.

Well said

Well said, Maureen J Anderson! (Letters, November 20).


Clever legumes

Legumes are clever plants; the nitrogen-fixing bacteria in their root nodules enable them to make large amounts of protein. Unfortunately, this made legumes a favourite food of dinosaurs, so legumes in the southern hemisphere that started producing monofluoroacetate (the same as in 1080) soon became the most widespread species.

In response, dinosaurs whose gut bacteria and kidneys evolved to get rid of the fluoroacetate poison survived and flourished.

A few million years rolled by, and in Australia those dinosaurs evolved into birds and marsupials resistant to small amounts of fluoroacetate. Some of these birds migrated to New Zealand, evolved into our native birds and this is why the anti-1080 protesters had to resort to using road-kill native birds at their protest outside Parliament recently.

Meanwhile, plants laced with monofluoroacetate in South Africa, Australia and South America kill about one million cattle each year. "Poison peas" are the big cattle killer in Western Australia (

The good thing is that 1080 is a mono-halide that enzymes in gut and soil bacteria can quickly break down, as opposed to poly-halides like teflon, PVC and DDT that persist in the environment for years. So Gary Gleeson (Chronicle, November 12) and all others with similar concerns can rest assured that 1080 is not indiscriminate and not going to have a long-term detrimental impact on every living thing, us included (

If anyone is still worried about being poisoned by 1080, I guess you could take a pill made from kangaroo dung to get its bacteria into your gut; apparently kangaroos have bacteria that produce dehalogenase enzymes (

Nevertheless, 1080 has created one health problem for me: There are now so many birds in our national park nearby that their dawn chorus is waking me at 5am, and I'm not getting enough sleep.


Dr Stoop a city treasure

I was very interested to read about the lady whose little hen was saved by Dr Stoop at the Somme Pde Vet Clinic. This lovely man tried hard to save my badly injured cat, Pipi.

While he was not successful, due to the horrific facial injuries my cat suffered, he did some quite amazing surgery practically rebuilding Pipi's face. However, my cat suffered so much in recovery I took Dr Stoop's advice and had him put to sleep. But I shall never forget how hard Hein tried to save him, and I know if he couldn't no one could.

I am eternally grateful to him and to the staff at Somme Pde and also the Heads Rd clinic for their never failing kindness when our animal friends need them. Dr Stoop is a city treasure and I hope we will make him so welcome here he and his family will never want to leave.

Kia kaha, rangatira, kia kaha. kia ora. Ake. (All strength and good health, Sir, be always with you).


Hidden agenda?

On November 19 you quoted a Waste Management spokesperson as saying "Lifting and carrying 20kg bags to drop into a waste truck is not safe for workers".

On November 20 I watched as a fit young man effortlessly tossed several bags of rubbish into a Waste Management truck one-handed, as if they were feather pillows.

I am disabled, in my 80s, with a surgically rebuilt shoulder. Recently I handed my 22kg suitcase to a slender young lady at airline check-in. At best she weighted 60kg. Neither of us found the exercise onerous or unusually taxing.

Could it be that Waste Management has a hidden agenda?

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