A couple of cold rainy Sundays ago my friend and I were hauling a few tonnes of timber and iron from Raetihi to Mt Taranaki, midday when we arrived in Whanganui.
At the first set of lights turning north the clutch carked it, dead as a duck. The traffic was pretty backed up but the couple in the ute behind us sprung to help. When the situation was realised and we had to back the car & trailer down and into the kerb a number of Kiwis leapt out to scrum down on the bonnet, pretty awesome.
We were in a serious bind by this stage, everybody had a laugh and wished us the best. The AA arrived in five minutes, towing our vehicle 100 metres to David Jones Motors. Immediately the AA blokes and the salesman organised a loan vehicle so we could get to Taranaki with our load safely. Pretty incredible.
Having just returned home from half my life offshore I can assure you that such never happens anywhere else, be proud and keep helping folk broken down on the road. Very impressive stuff the Whanganui mob, thank you so much!
The Chronicle 's article (September 7) on local economics featuring Cameron Bagrie was interesting. He spent almost half the article talking about property prices. He briefly mentioned housing affordability, but then went on to talk about prices catching up with the major centres. Fundamentally though, we don't need a trained economist to tell us that houses are rapidly becoming increasingly unaffordable for locals. The cost of rental accommodation has been this way for quite a few years already. And rising residential property prices is not an indicator of economic success, especially when a significant proportion of buyers are outside investors hoping for capital gain.
He goes on to talk about the success of the Pilot academy, and in this he is correct, it is doing well – for now. There are a couple of factors that are needed to ensure this success continues. The airport must be upgraded to ensure it has the capacity to handle the traffic that will result. As for the port, he says nothing other than he is keeping an eye on the project. He is not the only one.
For some time I have been arguing for the Council to work with Horizons, to divert the river straight out past Landguard Bluff to the sea, to both alleviate some of the flooding pressures upstream, and to remove the silting problem from the harbour basin. I have argued that the ongoing cost of having to continually dredge the basin will be a millstone around the neck of the port, preventing it from being a financial success.
An article in the Chronicle (August 12) suggests that these arguments have fallen on deaf ears, as it is identified that the project now includes the purchase of a dredge. With the increasing pressure of climate change, alternate eco-friendly transport options are being actively sought, and a well developed, fully capable port here will be in a prime position to compliment NZ's transport network.
Diverting the river will provide the opportunity the reclaim the area out from where Q-West currently sits to South Spit, providing a significant parcel of land for freight storage and industrial development, as well as significantly increasing available space for wharves.
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