Chester's stand

Chester Borrows has said that we need to think "smart" on crime rather than "tough".

It is a brave politician or party that attempts to change attitudes to our criminal justice system in our present climate, but it is long overdue.

Good on you, Chester, for raising the issue.


The restorative approach is at the core of this change but currently only skirts around the edges.

Our prison population is rising, and that reflects the attitudes of lawmakers rather than the level of crime.

A great number of young people in prison are victims of neglect, poor schooling, violence in the home, addiction, and the list goes on.

We need to address the drivers of crime in the community, not in the prisons, by the realistic funding of addiction services and programmes, literacy and education programmes, parenting programmes and that list goes on too.

Funding that does not require social agencies to have to resort to fundraising would be a good start.

But even more importantly, I believe, we need to accept that we, the community, are part of the problem and can be part of the solution.


A statesman


Chester Borrows, MP for Whanganui, can finish his political career as a statesman, not just a politician.

Scaremongering over crime to win votes from an electorate relying on prisons to punish and to heal must now belong to darker ages.

A photo of Garth McVicar of Napier, with his obsession to treat the effects of crime in a place of much violence -- prison, is inappropriate on the same front page as the April 18 Wanganui Chronicle story about Chester Borrows and a focus on earlier intervention.

Kia ora, Chester -- enjoy your retirement.

Napier community mentor

Essentials first

Oh, how I wish Martin Visser was still on council.

I couldn't agree more with his letter (April 17), stating that keeping rates artificially low will only increase the debt burden and ultimately lead to higher rates, which will hit us worse than a bucket of cold water eventually.

I am also surprised that Philippa Baker-Hogan (and probably some others in that group of seven), who is very much supporting a roof over the velodrome, thinks this can be achieved on a very low rates increase.

It really smells of vote grabbing.

Don't be fooled, citizens of Whanganui. We have to pay for what we need (the wastewater treatment plant) and we should think very hard about items that are not essential (eg, roof over velodrome).

Tighten-your-belts-time is coming, if not now then twice as hard later.


Please tell me...

Who is Steve Baron?



In response to Albert Thompson's missive in the Chronicle (letters, April 15), may I have the temerity to inform him that I am well aware of the different pronunciation of words by members of different iwi throughout the country.

This difference between iwi is seen in many forms, not only language, but also in interpretation of the meaning of the language.

After all the kerfuffle associated with Wanganui giving birth to an 'H' at the behest of a few vocal locals (contrary to the wishes of the majority), the very least we can do is ensure that the word which caused so much angst is pronounced in accordance with the official example as specified by the local iwi.

To not do so can only be considered an insult by those who fought so hard to establish their will upon others.

As for Jack Tame, all credit to him, but that has nothing to do with my objection to the 6 o'clock news anchors and reporters in the field buggering up the pronunciation of our town's name.