Like you, I was impressed with the performance of Mike King addressing the assembly at City College.

But I was impressed with other things as well. It's a fine school hall, and the students were alert and responsive. Deputy principal Val Rooderkerk was just as impressive as the main speaker ... articulate and caring. Mike King seemed delighted with the whole-school haka in response. It was an uplifting experience.

But I also noted how small this school has become ... did I hear 285 students?

"Tomorrow's Schools" champions competition among schools, but there is a downside. It will be interesting to see if the minister's current review makes any changes in direction.



No plan B

Well done, Chronicle, December 4. When will the world wake up to "No Plan B"?
Get out of your own heads and look at what you are creating for generations to come.

If even a part of the individual time and effort devoted to our emotional well-being was put into the well-being of our whole community, then the flow-on effect would be a better environment for all.

In a world obsessed with hyperconsumerism (David Suzuki — Suzuki Speaks) our need for material things is driving us to the brink of our own extinction. And when more, more, more is not enough, we discard those things that we no longer "need"and replace them with something else. The more we discard the more we are destroying the planet, our only home.

It is no longer OK to say, "I am only one person. What can I do?" Donald Trump is only one person and look what he is able to do. Yes, he may have power and wealth but he is still only one man.

By presiding over the shift placing climate change scepticism in the GOP's mainstream thinking he is implying that there is no issue to be addressed.

Encourage our government to be stronger in our opposition to his political leanings on this matter. We may be a tiny nation but we are a voice that is heard.



We saw it coming

The recent spate of vandalism and crime is, to me, like the escalating climate change problem. We've all known for a long time it was going to happen and we've all done very little to stop it.

The big problem in our city is our terrible rate of bad parenting, abuse and neglect of children and the influence of gangs on our young.

If the gang members themselves would accept responsibility, they could be a terrific source for good in their communities, and help stop the tide of damaged and damaging children who haven't had a chance and won't otherwise get one.


Disposal costs rise

As a confirmed resident of Whanganui, albeit for the relatively short period of slightly over four years, I find myself yet again commenting on what has become a major issue both here and elsewhere nationwide: the ongoing disposal of rubbish and how it best can be managed.

It appears the council's answer to what is undoubtedly a growing problem, not only here in Whanganui, but also nationwide, is to make it more expensive, firstly by increasing the costs of the Liffiton St Transfer Station, along with the obvious push to phase out what for an awful lot of Whanganui residents the most affordable option, the yellow-stickered plastic bag.

Single-use bags are being phased out in our supermarkets, and how long before rubbish bags go the same way? We are told plastic wheelie bins are the way of the future, and — like it or not, and a lot of us don't — we will soon be forced to pay the much higher cost, at least $7 a week, as opposed to the under $2 every three weeks myself, my partner, and a lot of other people we know currently pay to have our rubbish removed, mostly because we recycle as much as we can.

In the not-so-distant past, where the council of Papakura, as I'm told was the case here, would deliver 52 paper Kleensak rubbish bags to every household, something that was built into the rates. To me, this is a much better and cheaper option, and will go a long way to negate what I fear will be even more illegal dumping of rubbish around our town, something that is sadly on the increase. The old adage "work smarter, not hArder" seems to apply well in this situation.


Editor's note: Kerbside rubbish collection and disposal are currently performed by a commercial operator, not the council.
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