LIKE Rod Sach of Castlecliff, I am disappointed that our district council has succumbed to the nationwide CCO pandemic, with all the duplication and duplicity entailed.

More bureaucracy, heaps more rhetoric but much less real council control than the initials are supposed to denote.

Good business, though, for the printers of all those glossy publications Whanganui and Partners churn out — all those strategies, for instance, meant for public input but with pre-determined outcomes meant to delay real action.

On a larger scale are the plethora of task-forces and commissions invented by successive governments. The latest is designed to "keep politics out of decision-making" — meaning "don't trust our democratically elected MPs".

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Shane Jones's bill to establish an "independent" New Zealand Infrastructure Commission passed its first reading in April, enthusiastically supported by all parties in Parliament.

The aim is to encourage more private investment in our public infrastructures — welcome news for investors wanting low-risk returns.

A report due from the select committee in late August will prove interesting and concerning. The $4.2 million already expended on the advisory committee should act as a warning as to future expenses.

More taxes, anyone?

HEATHER MARION SMITH
Gonville


Fake news on Trump

Jay Kuten claims President Trump "has stretched the powers of his office beyond almost all his predecessors".

He says Trump "has unilaterally withdrawn the US from the Paris Climate accord and the Iran nuclear agreement", but fails to mention President Obama unilaterally took the US into those agreements without the support or agreement of Congress.

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He says Trump has "overturned" (read "renegotiated") "international trade agreements", "imposed tariffs on allies", and "rolled back regulations". How are any of these unusual activities for a president?

Then Mr Kuten's bias really gets going. He says the President "acting alone" (not true) has promulgated "bigoted" immigration policies (not true), "violated treaties on the status of refugees" (not true), and created "a mechanism whereby refugee children are separated and detained apart from their parents" (not true and then some).

Trump did not "create" the separation of children practice, it is US law as Mr Kuten well knows. Instead of the law being followed, there was a practice of allowing adults accompanied by a child into the US to await their court hearing, which they don't turn up for.

Trump did try to stop the abuse of that by people claiming to be parents to get into the US illegally. Many of the adults taking children across the border are not even related to them.

Mr Kuten claims the President and his family "have used the White House to enrich themselves", while offering no evidence of this. It is not an impossible idea, there was plenty of evidence of the Clintons apparently using the White House to enrich themselves, but Mr Kuten was still a Hillary Clinton supporter, so this accusation rings a little hollow.

Mr Kuten is correct that Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi is a political operator, and she can see Democrats' love for the notion of impeaching the President is going to hurt the party.

The fact that some Democrats have been calling for impeachment for two and a half years, and they still haven't found a crime to impeach him for, really damages their credibility.

K.A. BENFELL
Gonville


Climate solutions

Now that we have a climate emergency, it is reassuring that New Zealand's foremost climate change authority, Bronwyn Hayward, a political scientist, is providing solutions. As the science is settled and there is a consensus, there is no need to debate the science.

She suggests children walk to school. But why stop there? Why not people walk to work or, better still, stop all vehicular traffic. This would reduce net CO2 emissions by over 50 million tonnes a year. It would also reduce road deaths.

She suggests visiting a park to make ourselves environmentally aware and then acting on it.

She suggests reducing our meat and dairy intake. Why not just close down Fonterra? Farmers would then be able to grow grapes, bananas or pineapples because of the warmer climate.

She suggests using Skype instead of air travel to business meetings. But the internet is responsible for producing over 300 million tonnes of CO2 per year. It is time to close down the internet.

Hopefully, by applying such solutions and others, we will be able to reduce the current temperature anomaly of +0.32C and return to our usual unpredictable weather patterns. The debate is over.

ROB THOMSON
Parapara Rd


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