"We need 5000 more homes" — a rebuttal:

In a letter to this paper, Steve Baron has shown his knowledge of local body economics is lacking in a couple of areas.

He states: "For those on low incomes who are struggling to find accommodation, don't blame the godsend of economic growth that has finally arrived. Blame the previous National Government for selling off over 20 per cent of state houses in Whanganui."
The majority of the state houses were sold to first home buyers who were renting, so no increase in rental demand.

Some were sold to people who already rented them out, so no increase in rental demand.
Some where sold to second home buyers who then sold their original houses to first home buyers, no increase in rental demand.

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Some houses are always sold to new citizens to Whanganui and these people do change the rental demand, but this is offset by growth of businesses and people in the town. Is this overall not a good thing?

Very few, if any, state houses were sold and left empty.

Once a state house is sold, its capital value increases as it is privately owned. Silly but true.

This means the overall capital value of the district increases, so the rates value per property decreases but the dollar cost of running the district" does not. So a theoretical rates decrease which the council does not pass on but absorbs by more spending on trips to sister cities.

This economic factoid also applies to new builds and increases due to building permits for existing homes.

The cost of running the district does not increase in proportion to the capital value rates increases, so if the amount needed to run the council stays the same, rates in theory would decrease. Very few councils disclose this figure but just absorb the windfall with increased spending.

JIM WHITE
Whanganui


Hobson's choice

My New Year's resolution for these columns was to discuss the Club of Rome, iodine, manuka and Ohakune's black plague. Alas, your anti-Maori correspondents have left me with Hobson's choice.

Ross Baker (January 12) reckons the Treaty guaranteed Maori their land, their settlement and all their property but gave the Crown no power to grant any special rights to them.

Quite true, Ross, but the English colonists spent the next 140 years ignoring their guarantee, brazenly robbing Maori of their land, their settlements and their property, and robbing them of their culture to boot. The tribunal has only made token repayments to them, hence the special treatment given to our fellow citizens who are still affected by generations of racist injustice.

Rod Anderson (January 12) wants to know why the damage done by 140 years of government robbery and racist prejudice has not been completely repaired by recent token repayments to some iwi.

It's a work in progress, Rod. May I ask what you are doing yourself to make us all one family again? How much te reo have you learnt? How many days have you spent on a marae? Remember, we are all South Pacific citizens, not faux Europeans.

Don Brash's thesis (January 7) is that Governor Hobson said "He iwi tahi tatou" — we are one extended family — and therefore every New Zealander should have equal rights.

Don, you and your Hobson's Pledge cronies conveniently ignore the fact that every iwi member also has equal responsibilities. The Pakeha members of our iwi tahi wrongly enriched themselves and their descendants by grievously restricting the rights of our Maori family members for many generations, and therefore Ngati Pakeha must now make restitution by granting extra rights to Ngati Maori for the same number of generations.

JOHN ARCHER
Ohakune


Rights of animals

The NZ Outdoors Party totally supports the call by the SPCA to stop using the poison 1080. The SPCA have been very brave in standing up for the rights of the animals involved.

Hunters who have seen the dreadful agonising death wild animals undergo after ingesting 1080 find it hard to understand the environmentalists' cruel and inhumane attitude to wild animals. Deer writhe around in pain for days trying to rip their stomachs open with their hooves.

After 60 years of use it is about time the Department of Conservation woke up to the fact that it is not working and looked to more humane methods of pest control.

We stand right behind the SPCA, whom I am sure will receive much criticism for pointing out the dreadful cruelty involved in the mass poisoning programme currently engaged in by the NZ Government.

ALAN SIMMONS
President and co-leader, NZ Outdoors Party
Turangi


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