They didn't have to do it

At first glance you might want to applaud Spark's and Vodafone's decisions to temporarily close their Whanganui stores due to earthquake issues (Chronicle, December 5). Good that they've got client/staff safety front of mind.

But both groups admit that they didn't have to do it.

Spark's spokesman says that "the company's standard for earthquake resilience is more stringent than government building requirements and the Whanganui store has been closed by choice rather than necessity".

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I'm presuming, therefore, that both buildings exceed the minimum 34 percent of New Building Standard.

Why is it then that companies feel that they must exceed the new national requirements, including especially government departments, after so much work has gone into the latest legislation?

Initial legislation pointed to an outlay of $5 billion to $10b to save on average one half life per year. The trend seems to be spreading its way into insurance for and mortgage-lending on buildings as well.

Perhaps there was a concern by many chief executives that they might be personally liable if staff or customers were injured or killed as the result of an earthquake and they were seen to be negligent? However WorkSafe NZ says that it will not take action against an owner or occupier along as he/she has complied with the Building Act.

This trend of going beyond the legislative requirements in no way helps a small city like Whanganui, with less than 1 per cent of New Zealand's population but with the burden of 11 per cent of the country's at-risk heritage buildings and, therefore, a significant portion of the country's heritage.

Let's hope the telcos stay and the building owners don't lose out or lose too much.

MARTIN VISSER, Whanganui
Childish assertions

John Archer made some good points in relation to Paul Evans' childish assertions against Universal-Christianity's Eucharistic doctrine.

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While his indirect implication that such a "simplistic" inference as "cannibalism" (of Catholic belief) is not quite "brain-right" (or brain-left – whatever the case may be), he nevertheless misses the point of the Gospel of John, chapter six.

On this occasion Jesus Christ, son of the Living God, repeated this doctrine of what can only be called the miracle of the Eucharistic-Christ no less than four times, and the reactions of Jesus' followers leaves no room for doubt – secular humanism's figurative "nourishment", and inter-personal nourishing of one another is incapable of rationalising the Gospel away.

"This doctrine is too hard, who can hear it? …and they walked with Him no more (Jo.6: 61, 67)."

Saint Peter's response – the Papal response (ibid. verse-69) — has been authentic Christianity's response ever since.

I think Mr Archer is in good-faith, and so I hope this response encourages him to "Ask, seek …f ind: knock… (Mt.7:7-11)", and understand the full significance of Christ's mass.

CHRISTOPHER PIPER, Aramoho
Living with regret

Forty years ago I met a Mormon family in Auckland who had eight children.

I don't remember whether it was a maternal or paternal uncle and aunt who put pressure on the parents to abort the ninth baby.

The mother particularly resisted going on to a successful birth and I suppose you can guess the rest of the story — the uncle and aunt fell in love with the infant, lavishing attention on him no doubt straining to alleviate a primeval guilt.

Twenty years ago a Tasmanian woman met women who had gone through killing their own child regretting it every day of their lives as most of us do when we have seriously blundered.

The Tasmanian wanted to write a book on those she had met in various stages of distress and needed more cases. She advertised and was overwhelmed by the response of women having gone through the same experience — they searching for a miracle that child could be returned to the mother.

Not possible. But we can give them hope, we can turn others from a serious blunder. Adoption, not abortion.

F HALPIN, Gonville
Medication concerns

In response to the article on Te Awhina in the weekend Chronicle (December 9-10):

Yes, Te Awhina is a wonderful place. However, after your stay, they often tell the patient that has a "mental illness" they need to be medicated.

Instead of coming right in a few years with the right care, you are medicated. The medication is horrible and you become dependant on it.

If you stop taking your medication you have withdrawal symptoms which some doctors are convinced is the illness not under control.

The medication is strong stuff. I'm not impressed with the mental health service — people are suffering through it.

H WILLIAMS, Whanganui