Nelson Lebo (January 23) writes about the Whanganui District Council having a strategy of obfuscation and unresponsiveness to the public and the media.
These comments were evidently prompted by the Whanganui Chronicle's editorial about a purported council policy of non-communication regarding the stalled installation of the bridge at Upokongaro.
As for that issue, why would council say something just for the sake of saying something? I'm sure it will happen all in good time after consultation over changes to the bridge have concluded.
Obfuscation and unresponsiveness from council officers has certainly not been my experience — quite the opposite, in fact. I've always found council officers to be very forthcoming when I have asked questions or sought further information.
Front desk staff have also been only too happy to help when treated with courtesy and respect, which sadly is not always the case. Senior council staff have always been prepared to meet me and explain matters in more detail when required, often at their suggestion.
I've also had a good experience with most other councils around New Zealand (Wellington City Council is rather tardy, however). Nevertheless, I would agree that some councillors are often unresponsive and others show a haughtiness when challenged or questioned. I don't know if that is a lack of self-confidence or the inability to keep an open mind, but it's certainly something some of our councillors could work on.
Far too often I see people using our council as a punching bag for all their frustrations. I suspect these frustrations sometimes come from the wheels of bureaucracy turning slower than most people want.
However, if we want a robust and inclusive society, then it takes time to consult with affected parties and to gather feedback.
As Rachel Hunter told me once, "It won't happen overnight, but it will happen!".
Patience is indeed a virtue so let's give our council the credit it's due. They mostly do a damn fine job even if we don't agree with everything they do or don't do.
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Greta and Joan
Frank Greenall, (Chronicle, January 23) has attempted to liken Greta Thunberg to St Joan of Arc. To compare these two girls and their political confrontations shows that Frank knows nothing of the saint and her mission.
St Joan died with the name of Jesus on her lips and spent her short life completely devoted to God's will. She was chosen by God to fight for the honour of Jesus Christ and his church, which Joan in her trial confirmed were "just one thing".
She could neither read nor write, but in giving her body and soul to Christ wished only to do His will, even unto losing her life. Her standard in battle showed Jesus holding the world and her banner was Jesus crucified.
Greta Thunberg has only one agenda, and that is climate change. Should she suddenly stand up one day and say "God is punishing us for our crimes against Him, for the sins of abortion, homosexuality, immorality as well as blasphemy and greed.
We must repent and ask forgiveness of Jesus who died on the cross for our sins". Then we will definitely have something to compare. But who would listen?
On Friday January 24, just before 4pm, a Singapore Airlines, 500-tonne, 500-passenger Air Bus 380 flew directly over Whanganui.
It flew from Ohakea to Auckland at about 10,000ft. It had been diverted to Ohakea because maintenance to the Auckland airport runway.
Hayden Bullock predicted it might fly over from information from the internet program Flight Radar 24.
Unfortunately, we had the camera ready but still did not get it in time, as it quickly and quietly passed over, looking very impressive. They are very quiet aircraft, having travelled on them a number of times.
NED and HAYDEN BULLOCK
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