I feel fortunate to work for a newspaper that still has a lively Letters page and a recent letter to the editor got me thinking.
GJ Moles of Castlecliff (Your views, June 6) wrote a fairly lengthy and considered response to a recent Wanganui Chronicle story on a proposal for kerbside recycling.
The writer suggested that the mayor should cease bowing down to "newbies" and further suggested that it is up to newbies to adapt to "Wanganui systems".
Although I believe the mayor was simply considering the views of all ratepayers, I tend to agree with the part about adapting.
I'm a newbie myself and shortly after arriving here four years ago, I had the privilege of interviewing the inspirational Huia Rewiti Henere who had recently celebrated her 80th birthday.
Despite having lived in Whanganui since 1959 and being the driver of numerous projects including Whanganui's first Māori language pre-school Te Heti Te Kohanga Reo in Castlecliff in 1983, she remained modest and respectful that Whanganui was not her tūrangawaewae, her standing place.
"I'm not originally from here and I know to go safely when entering someone else's region," she said.
Her words resonated with me and I thought of them again when I read GJ Moles' letter.
There is arrogance in lobbying for change before first thoroughly exploring existing structures.
Coming from Christchurch, where the council operates a very successful three-bin recycling system, I wondered why Whanganui did not have something similar.
That was before I discovered the Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre – a place where an efficient system allows you to recycle anytime and because it is not next to a landfill, there is no awful smell.
The award-winning centre in Maria Place effectively deals with over 3000 tonnes of plastic, steel, aluminium, glass, paper and green waste each year and that is only a part of what it does.
For those who can't get there, the Whanganui District Council runs a monthly pick-up service which you can apply for online or request an application form.
If you haven't been there yet – check it out, newbies.