A RECENT editorial in this paper has personified, in a latte glass, what is wrong with Whanganui. It was highly critical of a new business that might set up in town.

There are those that like to sit at coffee houses contemplating "coffee culture", but there are others who wish to grab a coffee and get on with their business of making Whanganui a town of the future.

Don't get me wrong, Whanganui is a great place to live — it is full of wonderful people and there are lots of activities and social life.

However, the district council, assisted by the Chronicle, must take the lead in turning Whanganui into a modern, forward-thinking community rather than holding in the past.

Advertisement

We have a local body election coming up in just over a year. It is time for citizens with forward-looking minds to step up and take control from the current batch of "names" holding us back from becoming a town of the future.

There is an attitude by those who perceive themselves as "movers and shakers" that will always hold it back. The reason for this is because they have only one eye on the goalposts. The other eye is always looking back to the bygone days when wool was gold and the sound of spinning mills could be heard humming in the distance.

Why did we spend $35-plus million on a dated art gallery when New Plymouth spent half that on a modern, fit-for-purpose one that people flock to see? It is why we will have a building at the end of the main street that sits "empty of life" when it could be a modern showpiece for visitors to admire.

A million-dollar roof on a uneconomic velodrome, a wharf to nowhere and cycleways that nobody but the council workers who proposed them use.

Why had our council development arm always struggled and seems to go though endless metamorphoses? It's because that one eye is looking back instead of pairing up with the other to look ahead to a different future and not the Edwardian one we seem stuck in.

JIM WHITE
Whanganui


Grey Power support

With regard to the letter from Dave Hill, chairman of the Wanganui Ratepayers' Association concerning Whanganui & Partners (Chronicle, September 3), it is strongly endorsed by Grey Power Wanganui.

SHARRON CALLAGHAN
President, Grey Power Wanganui


Our opposition is clear

Jay Kuten (Chronicle, August 22) gives rein to considerable venom in his treatment of the opponents of the End of Life Choices Bill.

Apparently Simon O'Connor, Maggie Barry (a long-time champion of palliative care), and people like me use disabled people — like me — as mascots while failing to do anything to improve their actual lives.

As an ordained Anglican, a trustee of Elevate, the Christian Disability Trust, and a disabled person with spastic hemiplegia, let me explain to him exactly why we're opposing Mr Seymour's bill.

We're not a signatory to some American agenda — and I'm no one's mascot.

Elevate has 21 branches, and 5800 people get our newsletter, including Whanganuians.
We've spent 40 years defending the values of good neighbourliness Mr Kuten borrows to advance his political agenda, saying to disabled people: "We love you just the way you are", and "Your life is valuable and matters to us."

The End of Life Choices bill creates a category of disabled people whose suicide is treated differently.

There is not one word in the bill about suicide prevention. There is no proper psychological exam, no stand-down period, no real protection against coercion.

Two GPs with no expertise in disability can authorise the suicide of someone they may never have met. The criteria are broad and vague, and allow suicide for people with declining incurable and irremediable conditions based on perception — no objective safeguards there, either.

And when the suicide is done, doctors are protected from prosecution if they "have acted in good faith", whatever that means.

We spend our time at Elevate offering support and care to vulnerable people who are often prey to "suicidality" and extremes of emotion. They are eligible for suicide under the bill. We make no apology for defending the lives and value of our neighbours.

We invite Mr Kuten to a neighbourly cup of tea to hear our concerns.

REV DR JOHN FOX
Elevate National Office, Mt Smart Rd, Onehunga


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