With regard to the recent conundrum that that venerable and admired organisation, (SPCA), found themselves faced with as the anti-1080 zealots pursued and amplified their rather hysterical denial of reality, I make these comments.

In rugby terms, I would like to believe that the good and sensible people of SPCA were first "blind-sided" and then "stiff-armed" by the extremist elements of the "anti-1080" folk.

Like the anti-1080 crowd, I do not like the idea of massive application of chemicals into our environment. Like the SPCA, I prefer to avoid any acceptance of cruelty to animals.
However, as a committed and proactive contributor (170ha of prime bush in QEII covenant) to the preservation and future enhancement of the "conservation estate" of our country, I offer the following opinions.

If we want to preserve and sustain our dwindling native bird population, we must maintain our surviving bush and other natural environments as viable habitats for those birds.

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Possums massively and increasingly degrade that environment necessary to sustain a healthy feathered population. Add in other introduced earthbound predators preying on the next generation of our indigenous bird life and we are on a hiding to nothing!

Simply; if we want bird life, we have to have healthy bush. If we want healthy bush, we have to eliminate possums (and their ground-dwelling co-assassins).

By all means devise ways to eradicate them as humanely, but as quickly as possible. They have to go — NOW! Perhaps we could regard these marsupial pests as "Pozzies"?

JOHN THURLOW
Pitangi


Sands through hourglass

As a Seafront Rd resident, I watch with a mixture of incredulity and amusement as truck after truck of sand drives past me en route to Morgan St.

I get that due to the prevailing wind the sand builds up in the surf club carpark. It comes from the beach in front. What I don't get is why it's not returned to where it came from.
I have noticed increasing tidal ingress, especially spring tides which nearly now flow to the wall, bringing with it driftwood and debris.

This brings up further issue.

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In an attempt to beautify the beach area in front of the carpark, from time to time a large grader is employed to smooth out the sand and push the driftwood etc back to the seafront.

What a spectacular failure — the large grader also mashes the larger pieces of quite attractive driftwood into ugly and sharp jetsam preventing free and unfettered access to the sea without injury. Hard on the little ones.

Solution — simple: Return the sand to the beachfront, cover the nasties. Eventually, the beach will become predominantly sand again and the ecology is restored.

ROB HAWORTH
Castlecliff

Housing letter saga rolls on

There must be "something in the water" judging by the erroneous enunciation from your correspondent Terry Coxon (January 29) in response to my comments to Jim White's rebuttal letter.

If Coxon actually bothered to read what I said, he would see I agreed with Jim White's "home truths". As I said, White's facts were correct, but so were mine.

Coxon is also under the impression I think I am an "economic expert", something I have never claimed. But if he thinks a bachelor of arts degree with a major in economics warrants being called an "economic expert", I will humbly take the honour.

My mathematics is probably better than Mr Coxon's, however. The cost to build 5000 new homes in Whanganui would be around $1.7 billion, not the $1b he suggests.

Who pays for this, he asks. It's not rocket science — the people who decide to build pay.

Building 5000 new homes in Whanganui might be a pipe dream, but, nevertheless, it a lofty goal to aim for. He asks what facts I have to assert investors are abandoning town.

I never said they were abandoning Whanganui, but I do have some anecdotal evidence from speaking to several landlords who have sold their rental properties because of upcoming laws. Given there is an undisputed shortage of rental properties in Whanganui, there must be some good reason for this to be happening.

STEVE BARON
Whanganui


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