Cable bridge

The news announced in the Chronicle (August 4) that a cable bridge will be built over the Whanganui River to accommodate the new route of the Mountains to the Sea cycleway is a huge uplift for Papaiti and Aramoho.

We will now become the first significant urban entry point to our town for those who use this route. No land requisitions and no flood issues foreseen. I and others locally have lobbied since 2015 on various topics such as this matter, the rail bridge and Aramoho School so that Aramoho is not forgotten and is supported like other suburbs. Hopefully, our time has come.

I recall one noted commentator who was quite disparaging of the cable bridge route down Aramoho and our very few shops. Wake up! Aramoho has many beautiful tree-lined streets, lovely restored homes and over 20 thriving businesses down the riverside. There are numerous stopping points along the way to rest, purchase refreshments and appreciate the magnificent views along the way.


In 2021 we will likely see the rail bridge repainted by KiwiRail and a new footbridge via council. This is the kind of renewal long awaited for by our area.

Castlecliff is fast becoming a once-again-thriving seaside suburb, and Whanganui East has a very busy inner shopping village. The town and Gonville will benefit from the inner city and riverside shared pathway that leads out to the mole and which concludes the Mountains to the Sea journey.

I wish to thank all of the committee, but especially Cr Helen Craig, who chairs the Whanganui District Council's property and community services committee.

While final approval rests with NZTA, I feel confident that this will happen.


Long way to go

Although New Zealand is leading the world in animal welfare standards, I believe we still have a long way to go.

Countdown Supermarkets can be commended for their decision to only stock free-range eggs, the recent changes to some of our welfare laws are definitely a step in the right direction and many farms are beginning to adopt better practices. Yet we still see cage eggs on the shelves of other supermarkets, false labelling concealing poor practices, farrowing crates and similar systems are still prevalent, and many farming models are severely detrimental to the environment.

It is easy to blame the consumers, farmers, distributors or law-makers for the continuation of these practices but I believe the blame is on the money system itself. Because we are constrained by the constant pressure to balance ethics with cost, we end up compromising on our morals. If we adopt a resource-based economy, our actions can be defined simply by our moral code, not our bank balance.


Air Chathams

I can hardly believe a whole year has passed since Air Chathams rescued us after Air New Zealand ditched us.

I and my family have flown with them this year, and a very pleasant experience it was. I would like to ask them if they have any plans to reinstate a service to Wellington. I know there are people who would love to fly to "Welly"rather than tackle the road trip.

I also wonder why House of Travel presumably (as their name is on it) fund the big billboard on top of what was the Angora restaurant,, advertising Palmerston North airport and what it has to offer. Surely they should be supporting our own airline?


Little mistakes

It's sad to see any political party drop its leader, but sadly Andrew Little didn't set the world on fire. He may have been a nice guy and a good, hard-working trade unionist, but not the leader of a main political party.

Andrew Little made a couple of mistakes that hopefully the "new management team" can correct. Labour is a party of the people (all New Zealanders), so why the hell would you link up with a bunch of Green weirdos and drag your party down to their level? Many Labour voters cast their party aside when Andrew Little and co "made an arrangement with the Greens to work together". Fatal mistake.

Stick to your own party values and show that you are capable of forming a government of the people for the people. Sure, after the elections you may need to work in collaboration with Winston, but that would be a far better deal after the elections. Far better than pinning your flag to a bunch of political misfits prior to the vote now.

Second, dump Willie Jackson, who is a political clown and a loose cannon, and in my view has damaged Labour, more so now that Labour has a strong deputy leader in Kelvin Davis, who is a strong, well-educated, likeable Maori who has shown he is capable of moving into a leadership role of a major political party.


Watershed Rd

Re: Your feature story on Watershed Rd in The Country.

The Whanganui District Council is typical and no different to many other district councils in trying to wipe its hands of its responsibilities to maintain back-country roads.

Watershed Rd might have only four residents on it, however, all the properties on that road -- which would be many in total, including the tree plantation blocks -- pay their rates just like everybody else. It looks as though not a lot of that money is being spent on their road maintenance. I believe that the present conditions on some parts of this road are so bad that it is not possible for a stock truck to get trailers through to some of the properties.

I read the council is proposing a levy on the forestry companies, as some of these blocks are nearly ready for harvest. The council should put pressure on central government for funding. After all, most if not all of these logs will be exported, earning overseas revenue that the Government gathers taxes on. I have been up Watershed Rd only once, six years ago -- myself and a close friend. We were invited to help for three days with livestock on a property while the owner was home in his native country visiting family. The condition of the road at this time was relatively poor, and I am assuming that, based on this article, not much has been done since to improve this road.

I enjoyed reading this article and wish Hans and Michelle well in their pursuits on pressuring the council for improvements to be carried out on Watershed Rd. I have to say that it is a beautiful part of the country that I have had the opportunity to visit.

Te Kuiti and Parapara resident