Hibiscus Matters Letters - May 2017

By: Blogger

I found this dead creature near the bush opposite Whangaparaoa Library last week. It seems that the hedgehog put his head into the drink container to extract a slug that was in there or to lick up any remaining drink. Because of his prickles, he couldn’t pull his head back out of the narrow entry hole and probably suffocated. Put your rubbish in the bin people, or take it home and recycle it. It’s not that hard. Whatever you think of hedgehogs, it is shameful that an animal suffered and died in this way. Terry Moore, Editor
Bike rack now!
Stephen Wilson, Army Bay. Published May 17, 2017

Wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry at your story on the bike rack at Gulf Harbour (HM May 3). It was an example of how far away from reality large bureaucracies can get. For goodness sake, all we need is a business to sponsor it and we could surely just get it done. No wonder Penlink is taking so long!
Rough roundabout
Anna Murray, Silverdale. Published May 17, 2017

Like the local board, I have my fingers crossed for better service under the new maintenance contracts (HM May 3). I hope that one of the first things on the list might be the roundabout at the Silverdale exit from the northern motorway. It is a very large roundabout and was once planted up, but is now a bit of a disgrace as an entranceway to an area. We cringe every time we drive around it (which is most days!). I fear this might be an Auckland Transport thing in which case, judging from how long it takes to get a bike rack installed, I shouldn’t get too hopeful.
Fair’s fair
Sam Douglas, Millwater. Published May 17, 2017

I read your coverage of the recent Chamber of Commerce’s Penlink meeting (HM May 3) and think it was fair enough to call the Councillors and MP Mark Mitchell to task. But it’s also fair to say that since the Chamber began advocating the project, a couple of years ago, they have not moved it one jot further up the Council’s priority list. Or found a way to fund it.

Caught in the act
Andy Dunn, Orewa. Published May 3, 2017

This is a man who regularly camps in Remembrance Reserve. Every morning he gets up and urinates into the carpark. There are public toilets 100 metres away in both directions! Every day we watch people park here and unload their cars before venturing to the beach. This involves putting their towels, picnic baskets, etc on the ground! In his defence, there is a drain here but that does not make his activities safe or acceptable. The same gentleman also took his dog for a crap in the reserve garden, with no plastic bag cleanup.
Red Beach recalled
Patrick Hackett, Red Beach. Published May 3, 2017

Great to see Red Beach as it was in your photo Blast from the Past (HM April 12)  – thanks to you and Debbie Bays. Back in the mid fifties and sixties Holeproof Clothing used their two trucks to bring staff for our annual picnic to Red Beach. They were fitted out with seats either side and a back-to-back row in the middle (also used for staff pick up) – no seat belts back then. I have often tried to visualise how the beach looked back then. I seem to remember a shop back from the beach but can’t seem to pinpoint where that was when I go there most mornings.
RSA not alone
John Campion (via website, abridged). Published May 3, 2017

Sadly this club is not the only RSA being run by committees that has failed in the last 10-20 years in New Zealand (RSA financial battle, HM April 12). The club’s constitution probably prohibits a business-like management approach due to the focus needed to primarily look after their aging members, restrict club membership (in the past) and support the organisation at a national level. The $35,000 per year needed just for the national body must be crippling on its own. Therefore a change in the management structure should be the primary focus. I’m sure this can be achieved whilst still assisting those aging members requiring club and community support. Other clubs on the North Shore with less facilities for members have managed to increase membership and club participation plus return to a positive trading position just by opening up membership to the wider community and reducing the membership fees to just $25 for over 60s. If the national RSA organisation is preventing a radical restructure at a local level, then the Hibiscus club should go it alone.
Anger boils over
Bruce and Val Hall, Little Manly. Published May 3, 2017

As long standing supporters of the Hibiscus Coast RSA, we went to attend the meeting on April 9 (HM April 12) only to find nowhere to park. It makes our blood boil that these so called members show up when there is a problem but never come in for a meal or drinks. The club’s survival depends on support from all its members, not just the few who want to put the boot in.
Safe speeds
Darrol Walton, Orewa. Published May 3, 2017

I am writing to you concerning a matter that I consider needs attention. Pine Valley Road, which turns off Dairy Flat Road in Silverdale and is a rather flat straight road, has a speed limit of 80kph. Upper Orewa Road at the back end of Orewa, is a winding road with several sharp corners and has a speed limit of 100kph. Upper Orewa Road turns into Waiwera Road which is also a winding road and has a large section of untarred road appears to have a speed limit of 100kph too. A normal motorist would consider the speed limit on these two roads to be dangerous. Can you do anything to bring this matter to the attention of those responsible?

Editor’s note: This letter was forwarded to local board deputy chair Janet Fitzgerald who raised the concerns with Auckland Transport.
School fee suggestion
Jeanette Grant, Arkles Bay. Published May 3, 2017

Thirty years ago I was on the Board of Trustees for a secondary school in a low decile area. Collecting fees was always a struggle, particularly as many families had more than one child at the school. I suggested that the fees for each subsequent child should be reduced by $10 and that a 10 percent discount be offered for prompt payment. As a result, the parents had an incentive to pay and the school benefited by a record number of fees paid.
Absent friends
Melody Webster, Manly. Published May 3, 2017

The felling of those trees at Whangaparaoa Primary reminds me of how I felt when the people at Masala (Stanmore Bay Cottage) removed those trees out the front of their restaurant a few years ago. Now when I look at the restaurant I still imagine the trees that are no longer there, filled with lights. Sure, the new landscaping is ok but that could have been done around those awesome mature trees. Now whenever I look at Whangaparaoa Primary, as I do on my walks, I will see those liquidambars, no matter what is put in their place. When will we learn to work with nature, not against her?
Council queries cost
John Simons, Orewa (abridged). Published May 3, 2017

We continually hear comments on the high cost of building and constant complaints of the excessive demands and charges by Auckland Council for various building consents. Along with this are the regular reports of delays caused by questionable demands for additional details, which in turn might raise questions as to the competence of the applicant and their various professionals making those submissions. Or does it go deeper than that, as highlighted in the Hibiscus Matters item (April 1) on the proposed Orewa beach seawall which includes the following statement: “Despite the massive volumes of detailed documentation prepared by the Council’s engineers and staff in support of the proposed wall, Council’s resource consent team asked for more information in order to progress the application.” This seawall is being proposed, prepared, progressed, investigated, designed and approved by one single entity, the Auckland Council. Does this mean one department of Council has no real idea what another department actually requires? Does it perhaps mean one department is incapable of producing adequate information to their own council’s requirements. Or are others in the organisation unable to actually interpret the information provided? Perhaps it displays an element of bureaucratic power play, or is it simply incompetence? As ever, it is costing us, the ratepayers, a great deal of unnecessary expense.


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