Hibiscus Matters Letters - February 2016

By: Blogger

Buses not working
Marty van Iersel, Stanmore Bay. Published February 17.

I see public transport is going up in price again. When are we going to get a break? It is expensive enough as it is. If they want bums on seats the price should come down not up. And what do we get for the high price as it is? Overfilled buses, and parking that’s always full unless you wake up before the early bird. A monthly pass isn’t viable for what I do. If I were to use the bus for a week it would cost $76! No wonder I try to drive closer to the city. Drop the prices, increase the amount of buses –someone is making a killing. Maybe someone should start a bus service and undercut the monopoly this city has. Or just no one use the services until the prices come down. I would like to see the Councillors use public transport from real locations like Arkles Bay or anywhere that isn’t on the main route. And use it at peak times. When the buses turn into sardine cans. When is the council going to wake up and smell the roses? Public transport isn’t working like other countries. If it was, the motorways would be empty and free flowing.
Squash court big loss
Kim DuFresne, Stanmore Bay. Published February 17.

Thanks Auckland council for stripping away the Squash/Racquet ball courts in the near future from Stanmore Bay Leisure Centre (HM February 3). This is one of the main facilities we use at the centre, and far superior to anything else locally. Apparently they are arranging discounted membership to another local court, but that is still money on top of our membership and for an inferior set up. We understand that they are under utilised, and can’t justify keeping all three open – but why can’t they stick to the original plans and keep one with their refurbishment? We know we’re not the only ones upset about this.
Penlink - bring it on
David Martin, Gulf Harbour. Published February 17.

There is no doubt that we will have the Chinese to thank if Penlink ever gets built (HM February 3). The commuters and businesses of this area need that road, but we can’t afford to build it. I hope that there will be controls over the environmental and building standards, and some enforcement, as well, as of our labour laws to make sure no corners are cut to reduce the cost. I suspect these things could become issues here when foreign money comes in to build infrastructure. Other than that, bring it on!
Writer’s credit
Bob Mackenzie, Gulf Harbour. Published February 17.

You guys do a terrific job. My wife and I’d been waiting all summer to see what was up with the Hammerhead, as the application on the Council website was just the old stuff from Rodney District Council days. Sure enough, your paper delivered. I’m going to that meeting about the Hammerhead, which I saw in your paper, and will take the paper with me. All credit to you.

Editor’s note: Thanks Bob! There were quite a few who brought our paper to that meeting. See our report on the meeting, p2 and 3.
Money talks
Martin Cochrane, Whangaparaoa. Published February 17.

It makes me hot under the collar to see that the business roundtable and a small group of business owners and developers have taken matters into their own hands and are pushing for Penlink to be built (HM February 3). There are many reasons why Penlink is a bad idea – a weak business case, its environmental cost and the irreparable damage to Stillwater’s community among them. Not to mention that it would make shopping away from the Coast way easier. I bet this group is not considering the ‘cons’ as well as the ‘pros’ because they are focused on self-interest, not the community good. Once again, money talks.
Inspiring reading
Amber Johnson, Tindalls Bay. Published February 17.

I read the story about Lexy Davis over the holidays (HM December 16) and found her journey really inspiring. People I know have had many battles with drugs and they too are coming out the other side. I have passed your fabulous paper onto them so they can see how one person fought their addiction and turned their life around.
Guava moth spreads
James Welch, Gulf Harbour. Published February 17.

Your front page story about Guava Moth (HM February 3) solved a problem for me – until then I had no idea what had caused the loss of my entire plum crop. I looked closely at the fruit after reading the story and am sure it’s the same thing. There is a tiny pinhole in each fruit and the side of the plum is soft. I talked to Bugman Ruud Kleinpaste’s office and Biosecurity and it seems that MAF at the time the moth came in was underfunded and did nothing about it. Now it’s rampant everywhere on the peninsula. This is the first time this has happened and now other gardeners on the peninsula are seeing it in their stone fruit and apples. The only thing that controls it is too toxic for humans. If anyone has any ideas how to get rid of it without poisons, please write to this paper.
Sand vs path
John Smart, Red Beach (abridged). Published February 3

I am struggling to understand the contradiction in the behaviour of the Auckland Council and the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board. The report on the investigation over pohutukawa pruning (HM December 16) leaves me totally conflicted about the consistency of Council. While funds are available for that investigation, the local board is energetically driving for a rock and stone sea wall on Orewa Beach to bury 6000 square metres of golden dry sand under rocks and concrete! It is well known, and its own engineers accept, that rock walls damage beach dynamics, survival, and appearance, but on the board drives. The board shows no evidence of any plans to recover the beach from the damage of human activity. The reality of human contribution to the harm (no longer can we blame divine retribution for bad weather), and continuing loss of a recreational beach is incontrovertible. There are ethical sakes to consider. Do walkers really want to be responsible for yet more loss of so much recovering beach? Except for only a very few hours a year, there is a wide and much used path over the whole beach. Please tell your board that we want a beach for recreation, natural appearance, our descendants, our pride, and vistas. Spending $8000 for each metre of a path for just a 2-3 hours a year is vandalism. There are other options which we must examine first. Do we really think that a man made path built on our Orewa Beach sand is a better attraction than a sandy beach?

Martin van Jaarsveld, Parks-North manager replies: We are proposing to build a permanent seawall at the northern end of Orewa Beach, between Kohu St and Marine View. It’s important to build a seawall and do this work because storm damage has severely compromised access to the beach and existing walkway. People have until March 31 to have their say on the proposal at shapeauckland.co.nz. We’re still in the early feedback stages, any resource consent application will not be lodged until mid-year. We will request it is publicly notified – this will allow people to make submissions on it. The Hibiscus and Bays Local Board will seek to ring-fence funding for this proposal next financial year (2016/17). It is important to note funding for this proposal and tree maintenance come from separate pools, specifically dedicated to those respective activities.
Harmonious view
Graeme Wake, Red Beach. Published February 3.

Your interview in Hibiscus Matters (December 16) with science teacher Chris Wyatt is topical and deserves comment. Congratulations on publishing this, and thank you Chris for exposing this issue. I am responding as there are some points that need clarification. Basically Chris has implied that evolution and the belief in a creator God is irreconcilable. This is, in my experience, definitely not the case and I assure you that is an out-dated but unfortunately commonly held, view. The description in the Book of Genesis can be understood in terms of evolutionary theory and modern cosmological knowledge. All are consistent, and indeed they inform each other. There are many scientists like myself who are also Christians, and I think that the harmonisation of evolution and Christian faith is now almost complete. Those of us privileged to be involved in both endeavours certainly can testify to this.
Snail trail
Mac Hine, Whangaparaoa. Published February 3.

Is it possible that NZ Post are running a competition to find the slowest Snail-Mail delivery over the Christmas period, if so, I would like to enter on two counts. Cards to England posted at the Plaza on November 25 were received on December 23. Ships can deliver mail to the UK in five weeks, so where did it go? This seemed rather slow until email from our daughter in Christchurch on Friday, January 15, in which she was delighted to tell us that she had that morning received cards from the Plaza date stamped December 12. All cards had correct postage paid, so 34 days to Christchurch does look as if it could be a record, that is, unless one of your readers has done even worse?



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