Council out of touch
John Clements, Orewa. June 14, 2017
I note (HM June 1) that the Orewa call centre is moving to the Council’s ‘Centre of Excellence’ at Manukau and the ‘Transformation Director’ says the changes from legacy council days were ‘seamless’. No they weren’t! The classic was when I requested a footpath on Moana Avenue be repaired and got a snooty email saying an engineer had inspected it and there was nothing wrong with it. The glitch was that he/she had inspected a Moana Avenue in Auckland central. In ‘legacy days’, Rodney District Council people knew precisely where locations were and in many cases what the problem was. Issues were resolved quickly. It now takes ages to get things done because so many staff people are involved – up to five different ‘teams’. Far from ‘excellent’ and ‘transformed’, the Council’s performance has plummeted. As Mr Goff said prior to the elections: “Satisfaction with the Council is at rock bottom...it is seen as bloated and unwieldy”. I reckon it’s like Alice in Wonderland – out of touch with reality.
Cliff Tait, Red Beach (abridged). June 14, 2017
I write out of sheer frustration at the incompetence of Auckland Transport and the impatience, aggression and lack of courtesy displayed by drivers using Whangaparaoa Rd. From my apartment at North Haven in Red Beach I witness every day cars and trucks speeding and overtaking dangerously as they try to beat other road users or traffic lights and can only sit and wait for the carnage which will surely follow. I have no doubt the Auckland Transport board believes that speeding up the traffic flow is the answer but it not only turns a blind eye to the problem, but actively encourages it. The 60kph speed limit on this portion of Whangaparaoa Rd ignores the fact that the road passes a hospital, a retirement village and a block of health clinics all of which have a great deal of traffic including ambulances and on occasion fire engines, but no advance warning of these facilities nor reduction in speeds is called for! Vehicles leaving these facilities are forced to make hazardous attempts to integrate with masses of traffic. On rare occasions, oncoming traffic will slow down to let them in but such action is not the norm. The problem is exacerbated by the inconsiderate all day parking of a Bayes bus just outside our village entrance which completely obliterates the view of traffic leaving the traffic lights up the hill making it very dangerous to cross the road when proceeding west. I suggest Bayes should be fined for inconsiderate parking. Prior to the last road works on this stretch of road there was a concrete marker in the middle of the road that could be used as a refuge when crossing the road by passengers alighting from the bus at the stop just west of the traffic lights. In their wisdom AT has not replaced it, creating another hazard for people walking to the village or other facilities. The fix is simple and can be done for little or no expense: Ban Bayes bus from all day parking, reduce the speed limit from the lights at the Silverdale/Whangaparaoa Rd turn off to Red Beach lights to 50kph but preferably to the school limit of 40kph (surely us old people deserve as much consideration as the young folk), replace the refuge block and erect a sign warning motorists of the presence of a hospital, health clinics and retirement homes.
Great Plaza potential
Annabel Stubbs, Arkles Bay. June 14, 2017
The timing of this potential purchase of The Plaza in Whangaparaoa (HM June 1) could not be better. When the change of logo and the landscaping outside happened, what was really needed was a total revamp inside to give it a new lease of life. I lived in Christchurch for many years and Barrington was my local mall. If The Plaza could be made like that, it would be a great improvement – for retailers and for the public. It’s also important with the new mall starting in Silverdale later this year. Fingers crossed that The Plaza can be helped to reach its full potential as a shopping centre to be proud of.
Investment plan praised
Anna Gibbs, Manly. June 14, 2017
My family visit the Plaza shops regularly and agree that it is long overdue for some investment. It has some great shops, but a strange layout and the Farmers in particular is a very odd space. It is sad to see the number of empty shops. I hope that this plan to improve it goes ahead because it’s in a prime location for a community that’s growing like Topsy.
Sonya Phillips, Takapuna. June 1, 2017
I wanted to let your paper know that I have cut out the photo of the hedgehog who died in a plastic drink container (HM May 17) and put it on the wall at our playgroup. It is not to frighten the kids but to show them what can happen when we litter. I think it’s been very helpful in getting the message across. A friend in Whangaparaoa showed it to me. Great paper by the way! Wish we had one like it here but we only get the standard Fairfax stuff.
Frank Southerby, Red Beach. June 1, 2017
Pleased to see Whangaparaoa School take such a sensible attitude to the need (or not) for homework (HM May 17). Back in the day, there was a lot more playing than working after school and getting outside to run about with friends was a healthy contrast to a day otherwise mainly spent at a desk. I couldn’t agree more that we need to let kids be kids.
Barbara Rosser, Stanmore Bay. June 1, 2017
Enjoyed the interesting article you printed on Trap Technology (HM May 3) which was written by Phillip Wrigley of Hibiscus Coast Forest and Bird. It was extremely informative. Thanks to all the volunteers who give their time to help us be rid of pests. Hopefully birdsong will return in time through their efforts and it is good to know that a local firm (Northpine) is getting behind the efforts by donating timber for some of the traps. To have a Pest Free Peninsula is a very worthwhile goal.