In response to Rob Rattenbury's opinion article on February 24:
Having studied New Zealand history at Massey University many years ago, it was good to receive some revision on the history of the development of State Houses.
I had already commented on Chester Borrows' conservative view of what New Zealanders needed, i.e. to own their own houses, which allowed their children to have a stable and continual education at the local school.
I may be wrong, but in my travels around the world I gathered a perception that those who rented their accommodation were somehow seen as second-class citizens.
Since the age of three months, when I travelled from Wellington to Whanganui, I lived in rented accommodation. Firstly in Purnell St up to age seven, then moved to Gonville and newly-built State houses in Mamaku St (since renamed Akatea St). At nine I went to live in Aramoho until age 23, when I began many years of travel.
Briefly, from age three months to age 75 years I have lived in rental accommodation. For my purposes and choice of lifestyle. this was the easiest and most economical way to move from one place to another.
As far as education was concerned, I attended Queen's Park Primary School which I began while living in Purnell St and continued while living in Gonville, riding a bicycle to Queen's Park School and later, on the same bicycle, travelling from Aramoho. Then on to Intermediate School and finally Whanganui Technical College on the same bicycle.
At l5 I bought a motorbike, a BSA Bantam Major Two-Stroke (from Percy Coleman's Motor Bike Shop in Guyton St) on hire purchase paid from my paper run earnings and jobs arising from customers; mowing lawns on Saturday mornings and making extra chips on Thursday evening for the busier Friday and Saturday evenings. This was at Tommy's Fish and Chip Shop, near the entrance to the Aramoho pub.
The motorbike replaced the bicycle for all purposes: Travelling to school, the paper run, and travelling to and from Palmerston North Teachers' College, where I boarded for the first year and rented a flat the second year.
There you are: No qualms about living in rented accommodation most if my life.
After criticism is due, thanks is also due to the WDC for the thorough clean-up of the tipped rubbish below the walkway.
Rubbish breeds rubbish, so it's important for us all (council and citizens) to keep on top of it.
Cameras out, tourists! All is well on our bit of the awa.
Carol Webb's letter (February 28) re refugees is heartwarming. So, Carol (and all who sympathise with her) feel free to take refugees into your own homes and make them welcome; what a wonderful gesture that would be.
Even better would be to do likewise for the homeless in our own city. They too are refugees. Victims of the oppression of many past governments and their seeming refusal to abide by the oath they took when entering Parliament. In fact, the majority did the opposite and enacted laws damaging their country and many of its people.
Yes, it's a beautiful offer to take in 170 traumatised, homeless foreigners. Council sees the dollar signs of government funding and money flowing into the area. But were there signed and sealed government guarantees? Was there solid planning of infrastructure in place? Has the council studied the impact and what is required in health, and mental health, education, housing, transport? I doubt it.
So let's forget the "pie in the sky" stuff and provide for our own family first.
And no, this country isn't a wonderful place to live for many of our whanau, Carol. It's a never-ending battle that hundreds of thousands are losing. Which is indeed shameful, resulting in much suffering of their tamariki and serious trouble for society as a whole.