Let him stay

"Stepfather facing deportation…" (P2, April 16). Readers could not have missed this very large headline. Obviously the Chronicle considered it highly newsworthy. So do I.

Mark Middleton's feelings and attitudes over his murdered daughter touched my heart.
On that basis alone, without knowing the man, Mark Middleton has my full, total support to stay in New Zealand.

The placard on the right of the photo attached to that news article is one I can agree with too.


I don't have daughters, only five sisters, and I keep losing count of all my nieces and great-nieces.


True courage

In less than a fortnight we've seen strong leadership from a major bank and central government on one of the defining issues of our time: Climate change.

As reported in the Herald (April 4) "Immediate action on climate could save New Zealand tens of billions of dollars, according to a Westpac report. Based on research conducted by EY and Vivid Economics, the report shows the New Zealand economy could benefit by $30 billion by 2050 if government and business take early action on climate change."

Although I consider this type of approach simple common sense and fiscal conservatism, coming from a bank it should be commended none the less.

As for central government, nothing short of courageous can be used to describe the announcement to ban further offshore oil and gas exploration. As one of the world's youngest and least experienced heads of state, Prime Minister Ardern has just established herself as one that will be praised for generations to come while others are cursed for their cowardice and inaction.

I have never witnessed this type of bold and courageous leadership in government of any size during my lifetime. Refreshing is the only word to describe what brave politicians can do.


Swing history

Great to hear common sense has prevailed and the Mosquito Point swing is to return.
The original swing was hung from a cotton poplar a very long time ago. After a flood/storm, the tree was gone, so some friends and I found a suitable long macrocapara pole and pulled it up with a dozer.

We attached it back to a large poplar (some will remember it was mostly hollow at base), and we put in hardwood posts and wire rope to keep it in place.

It was only there for a while when some bright persons removed the stay ropes and we had to do it again.

If we had been paid 50 cents a swing, we would have been very well off — that's how popular it was.

The mac pole was there for some years but I was concerned that, not being treated, it might fail and so I contacted the council about my concern.

Eventually the council erected a treated pole which, to my amazement, was removed because it was rotting.

Questions must be asked as to why a treated pole should rot — especially as the important parts of the pole were up in the air. People who have been paying for treated posts must be very concerned.

I had heard that the so-called rot was used as an excuse to remove swing. However, I couldn't possibly comment ...



It was heartbreaking to open the Wanganui Chronicle on Saturday and view the report on the front page referring to "Woman dies with dead dog in her arms". One has to ask the question: "Why the Chronicle want to publish a tragic event on the front page (or any page for that matter)."

It did the same a few months ago regarding a young person's death.

We realise that coroner's findings are made public, but this type of reporting would have a devastating effect on the families and loved ones involved. They should have been treated respectfully instead of having their privacy compromised and made public.

A sacred moment for the close family is now in the public domain. Please have compassion for the families left behind; allow them to grieve.


A new low

Well done, Wanganui Chronicle — you've sunk to a new level with your front-page coroner's report.

In my view, it was unnecessary to headline that tragic story — usually they are placed on an inside page.

It was not of general interest and, I am sure, would have been very upsetting to members of the family and many other readers.


More casuistry

Two nice bits of casuistry in Ken Orr's response to Hugh Rennie QC.

The first argues that Right to Life is not a "splinter" of SPUC. No, it is a "chip off the old block".

The second argues that the "right to life" is "a human rights issue: it is not a religious issue". But he goes on to justify that position by claiming "we must recognise that our human rights are given to us by our Creator at conception", which piece of double-speak might earn him another papal medal — but not, I think, a Nobel in logic.

These efforts ignore the fact that human rights are codes passed by the secular United Nations body — certainly not a religious one.

They also ignore 200 years of evolutionary science dealing with the development of all life for more than three billion years.

That rather alters the perspective on the authority of the religious position on the start point of human life and the clear claim to establish creationism as beating science in the debate.

For the record, the Oxford English Reference Dictionary defines a casuist as "a person who resolves problems of conscience, duty etc. often with clever but false reasoning". Right.


Rodeo bans

Sara Dickon claims in her letter ("Easy rider", April 10) that rodeos do not involve the abuse of animals for entertainment.

This being the case, why are rodeos banned in the UK and in parts of Australia and even in parts of the USA, the home of rodeo?


Send your letters to: The Editor, Wanganui Chronicle, 100 Guyton St, PO Box 433, Wanganui 4500; or email editor@wanganuichronicle.co.nz