HOW lucky we are in Whanganui to be one of the 23 venues for the outstanding performances of the highly talented and musically gifted singers of the Operatunity "family"!

Thursday, October 4, was no exception, and the Royal Wanganui Opera House was filled with an appreciative audience who joined in the "Grand Ole Opry" singalongs with gusto.

Advertised as "fabulous, fun and frenetic bluegrass fiddling", it was exactly that. If any readers don't know about it, there are still two daytime concerts this year; November 8 and December 10.

As some of the audience are mobility-impaired and Operatunity's real "home" is the War Memorial Centre, the organisers have gone to a lot of trouble to ensure that lunches are served after the shows so that everyone could thrill to the exceptional "fiddling" of Marian Burns MNZM, diva Suzanne Lynch MNZM, songstress Karen Davy LMM and the inimitable Karl Perigo and his awesome pals. There are other delightful singers in the "team" and every show is unique.



Money from mining

David Bennett (October 6) opines on the possibility of a "local economic lift from seabed mining".

However, his reasoning lacks the very facts he claims would fit on "a poster exhorting the true value of mining the seabed" — concern for the environment is dismissed; he advocates resource destruction, not creation.

The only indication given as to what benefits we may expect, are vague and based on the possibility (if the dredge should use our port) that "other engineering, other service providers, other businesses would be able to offer services" — along with "possible wealth creation and employment opportunities" and the baseless conclusion "we need these sort of developments" .

But it is unlikely the mining suction dredge would use Whanganui or any New Zealand port, often, if at all — or that the crew would be local — or that any measurable economic benefit would accrue to New Zealand beyond the "royalties" imposed on mineral extraction operations. This tax is minimal, on net value — the most valuable is gold mining and iron sand is not dorë bullion. (Ref: Crown Minerals/Royalties for Minerals Other than Petroleum/Regulations 2013- SR 2013/206).

Land-based extraction industries have laid waste to vast swaths of New Zealand and the benefits (still) mostly accrue to overseas economies — we do not need "these sorts of developments" to now start laying waste to our coastlines.


Jealous dinosaur

I was surprised that you allowed the crass, derisive letter written by D Partner (October 6) to be published.

It appears from his scathing comments on the fact that our Prime Minister takes her child overseas with her, has the help of her husband, and continues to maintain a breastfeeding regime, that he is either a misogynist dinosaur or insanely envious that his mother didn't do the same for him.

All I can say is that, as a nation, we are extremely fortunate to have a Prime Minister that can juggle the two jobs with the help of a very supportive husband, while paving the way for female prime ministers of the future. At last.


Behind the image

Seen that charming picture of smiling Jacinda with her baby in her arms? Lovely, heart-warming, a great image for her government. Yet there's a shadow that's smudging the image.

Jacinda said recently that child welfare will be the eighth priority in her Government's 12 priorities, adding her own noble pledge "to make New Zealand the best place in the world to be a child". Unfortunately, her government plans to torpedo that ideal.

Every child commences life at conception and develops in the womb, and through birth enters upon its life in the world. Abortion takes 1 in every 5 unborn lives in NZ but in each case mothers are exonerated from prosecution by section 183 of the Crimes Act.
So Jacinda's shining rhetoric is belied by her Government's request to the Law Commission to provide a plausible way to call abortion merely a health issue, and allow it at any time during pregnancy — an extreme that overseas has led to sex selection, and late term murder of the disabled.

If successful, this Government should cancel its signature on the Bill of Rights — the first being the right to life.


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