In response to Jim White's letter (October 23), I'd like to clarify my position on the household waste survey.

The comments I made on social media may have come across unclearly.

I disclosed I would vote for Option C as my personal preference when returning my own survey. At no point did I suggest I would vote a certain way around the council table, "no matter what the ratepayers want".

As a member of the waste minimisation working party who drafted the survey, I supported this method as a way of informing our decision-making process.

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The final recommendation that will be presented to council is not yet known. Therefore, I cannot predetermine how I will vote.

My preference as a private ratepayer is separate to the decision I make as a councillor.

When I vote on the final decision, I will weigh up different factors, including environmental benefit; how best to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill; costs; timelines; market risks and opportunities; public demand and the preference of the community etc.

Councillors received an assurance at the recent strategy and finance committee meeting that any colour scheme used in the design of the waste survey had no intention of subliminally leading the public to a predetermined conclusion.

I encourage everyone who received a survey to help inform council decision making by indicating their preferred option and returning the survey.

JOSH CHANDULAL-MACKAY, Whanganui District Councillor
Keep them brief

I totally agree with G A McGrath's letter in the Chronicle (October 22) about the brevity of letters - Stan Hood, inter alia, please take note.

DOUG PRICE, Castlecliff
Shorter is better

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People will not read a long letter but they will read a short one.

ALLAN ANDERSON, Brunswick
Medical cannabis

I can't believe it. Here in New Zealand we get all this claptrap to obstruct medical marijuana.

I open the Chronicle (October 18) and discover that Canada, another Commonwealth country, has legally had medical marijuana for 17 years.

ROD SACH, Castlecliff
1080 controversy

"The Kia Whārite area and 32,500 hectares of the park will have 1080 poison baits dropped over them as soon as there is a good stretch of fine weather. Local people have been consulted and warned and there has been a public notice in the Chronicle."

From a report in the Chronicle this month.

The Whanganui River has the rights of a person - has the river been consulted?

Until the river (whose rights stretch for the length of the river) has been consulted and acknowledged that he (she) understands, then surely legally 1080 cannot be dropped?

"Technology allows the sowing to be done very precisely, DOC staff say." Rubbish. "The first helicopter flyover will drop 2cm-long cylindrical cereal baits, at a rate of 500g per hectare. They will be eaten by possums and rats."

Yeah? As everything that finds it will also, including native birds. Possums and rats are the only animals that eat nice tasting green baits? Rubbish.

If the Whanganui Chronicle stood up for what was right, instead of bowing to corporations and government departments, it would certainly put the Chronicle on the national radar.

Here is a minority - be it nearly 100,000 strong nationally - who you can support; a minority who will eventually be proven to be correct and eventually stop 1080 use in New Zealand.

Go and really find out what is truly happening, because if you did, you would see the carnage.

TED CHARLTON, Castlecliff
Separate Maori health services

Re: Article in Dominion Post (October 17) - "Tamihere urges Maori for Maori".

John Tamihere wants Maori to have their own health system and says it's a breach of the Treaty of Waitangi. Nowhere in the Treaty does it says Maori have special rights. They are not different than the rest of us. Their physical bodies are exactly the same as all other human beings - and they don't need a different health system because of the different culture.

Separationism is not going to solve any problems.

Humans, no matter what colour their skin nor what belief system they adhere to are all equal.

Once the separation starts, it will seep into all aspects of life and that will eventually cause many associated problems.

IAN BROUGHAM, Whanganui
- Edited