It's summer again, and in two weeks the schoolchildren and their families will be flocking to Castlecliff Beach.

The Whanganui District Council's ban on dogs in the main swimming area will kick in at that point, but vehicles will still be able to travel at 100km/h within inches of children using the beach.

This irresponsible lunacy has been a "normal" part of Castlecliff Beach for years now, despite a continuous plea from the Castlecliff community for speed controls and/or outright vehicle bans. Whanganui City now enjoys the dubious distinction of being the only coastal city in New Zealand without vehicle controls on its main beach.

The district council, along with Horizons, recently formed a joint task group to "look into the matter". This large group comprising many council officers so far has been capable only of producing much mutual hand-wringing and excuses as to why they can't do what other cities have already achieved.


The beach is a legal road. It doesn't seem to register with the joint councils that any Dick or Harry can sling up a temporary speed limit or road stoppage when health and safety issues require in the normal course of road maintenance.

And at the same time Whanganui District might consider why its bylaw banning vehicles in the coastal reserve and dunes has not resulted in one single prosecution despite the fact that every day numerous people openly flout the bylaw.

Time to end the pathetic excuses and act now to protect the lives and safety of our citizens.


History debunked

P Smith (letters, December 3) is attached to the idea that Moriori were the original settlers of Aotearoa/NZ, but this old myth passed its use-by date some time in the last century.

Modern archaeology points to P Smith's history teachers indeed being wrong. (In the 1950s, at my own primary school, I was subjected to similar stories.)



True "user pays" system

With the recent unannounced 100 per cent price increase in the cost of rubbish bag stickers, along with ongoing claims by supporters for a Whanganui District Council-operated rubbish and recycling collection, it was refreshing to finally see a councillor's acceptance (Whanganui Chronicle, December 1) that the smaller households and those conscientious ratepayers working towards zero rubbish and putting out one bag every two or three weeks would face a large cost increase if the council's wheelie bin system does happen.

The simple logic is that we "two- and three-weekers" would be rated for a service we do not use, ie 52 empties of a bin as opposed to the actual 26 or 17 times we would put out a bin ... which in reality would probably be far less because a bin holds much more than a bag.

Once again, this council is attempting to charge ratepayers for a service we either don't want or can never use, the last example being the abortive attempt for an annual sewerage charge to rural ratepayers on septic tanks.

Accordingly, if Wanganui District Council do succeed in forcing wheelie bins on us, then they should adopt Auckland City Council's rubbish and recycling system, which requires prepayment when a bin is put out to be emptied. Such a charge is totally fair and means that we "two- and three-weekers" do not end up subsidising the weekly user.

A true "user pays" system and accordingly a "no brainer."

The small problem with the prepayment stickers encountered by Aucklanders should be solved by Auckland City Council well before the time such a decision has to be made here in Wanganui.


Dancing delight

Congratulations to Melissa Tate and her team.

What a wonderful Sunday. We so enjoyed the traditional, contemporary, modern, tap and character dances.

What a group of very special dancers, from the little ones to the grown-ups.

The costumes were stunning, and the lighting showed up the details on them. We appreciate the hard, long hours preparing this fantastic show. Well done to all of you.

Durie Hill

Send your letters to: The Editor, Whanganui Chronicle, 100 Guyton St, PO Box 433, Whanganui 4500; or email