Lack of beds hurt visitors
Whanganui is at a severe risk of losing out on attracting tourists to stay and any prospect of hosting any large events visitors need accommodation for, because over the last few years we have had at least six motels and hotels either close or turn into long term accommodation.
The latest additions to this list are the Collegiate hotel/motel and the Mid Avenue.
The cumulative effect is that we have hundreds of less beds available for tourists or visitors for major events like the Masters Games, Cemetery Circuit, Vintage Weekend, conferences etc.
Over 12 months we have thousands of less bed nights available, this has to have a negative effect and cost to our city and region.
Losing up to 30 per cent of our accommodation facilities over the last eight years with no new facilities being opened or planned has cost retailers, cafes and restaurants and tourist providers, even taking into account some of that lost capacity has been taken up by Airbnb type establishments. Then there's the employment of cleaners, management and suppliers, all gone.
Surely there is now great potential for forward thinking entrepreneurs and hotel/motel chains to establish new facilities in Whanganui, one would think this would be a high priority in Whanganui and Partners forward planning.
Confused by column
after the cannabis information evening I became quite confused, as every time she wrote about the dangers of this drug, I kept having to remind myself that the drug she was talking about was cannabis.
Why this confusion? Because every danger, problem or risk she attributed to cannabis we have with alcohol, only more so and most of what she claimed has been debunked.
To pick just one, family violence, was attributed to cannabis along with "domestic and social problems, intra and inter-familial issues, mental health afflictions and intergenerational cyclical manifestations".
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Chester Borrows, who said he has progressed from arresting those for cannabis offences when a young cop, to now advocating legalisation reform, said that of the many domestic violence callouts he attended were where the single or main drug was alcohol and he had never attended a violence callout where the only drug was cannabis.
There is another very good reason to legalise cannabis. It is becoming more obvious that metamphetamine, P, is not only becoming more common and competing with alcohol as a drug of violence but also seems to be easier to access than cannabis.
I believe that this is because P is more lucrative and less hassle to process and sell than cannabis via the most common source of illegal drugs, the gangs.
Decriminalising cannabis won't take the gangs out of the equation, nor discourage them from the P industry, but legalisation will go a long way towards disconnecting this link of cannabis users from the P sellers.
What I believe is proposed in the new cannabis laws is to ensure we don't have have it as blatantly advertised and available as alcohol is now.
"I'll just pop down to the supermarket for a couple of bottles of wine and 10 grams of cannabis".
That availability would not be helpful. So how come it is okay for alcohol to be advertised and sold so blatantly.
Harete's National party has obviously never wanted to upset the alcohol (drug dealer) lobby by banning advertising and restricting sale outlets.