Your readers might be surprised to know that a flyer recently delivered into the letterboxes of Kaipara ki Mahurangi voters was actually paid for by themselves. National Party candidate Chris Penk’s flyer, recently delivered in the electorate with the Parliamentary Crest on it, was funded in his role as a current Helensville MP by taxpayer funds through Parliamentary Service. It doesn’t appear that any other Kaipara ki Mahurangi candidates have used or been able to use Parliamentary Service funding for their flyers during this election period, instead they have been fundraising from supporters for their campaigns. Is this an unfair advantage then? It is also interesting to note that Mr Penk chooses not to use his taxpayer funded salary on living in the electorate. In the flyer, Chris Penk extols the virtues of living in west Auckland. However, what he fails to say is that where he lives is not in the Kaipara ki Mahurangi electorate or indeed wasn’t in the old Helensville electorate where he is currently the MP, but some considerable distance away in Glen Eden. I think I will buy local and keep it local when I get my vote in October.
Neil Anderson, Algies Bay
Mr Anderson sought an opinion on the flyer from Parliamentary Service. Parliamentary Service confirmed that parliamentary funding was used to pay for the flyer in question but said this was a legitimate use of funds because it was not considered an election advertisement. Mr Anderson disagrees. In his view the flyer was clearly an election advertisement and raised Mr Penk’s profile in the electorate immediately prior to the election at taxpayer’s expense. The flyer explained recent electorate boundary changes, gave some biographical details of Mr Penk and urged constituents to contact him if they needed assistance. In the weeks prior to the election (August 18 to October 16), MPs cannot publish material funded by Parliamentary Service if it is deemed election advertising – Ed
Pathetic and unsafe
June 2019, Auckland Council declares a climate emergency. November 2019, the digging starts on a perfectly reasonable quality stretch of road (Mahurangi East Road) to bury a pipeline so Watercare can transport more sewage out to sea. We, the people who live out this way, have endured months of disruptions to our everyday lives because of this work on our only access road. The end to this upheaval appears a long way off still. The mess created is appalling and no effort is made to tidy as they go. Rubbish, broken trees, gravel excesses.
Traffic management standards and systems that are used are pathetic and unsafe. Numerous incidents reported. Most of us have our own sewage systems and water supply and therefore do not see any benefit from this long drawn out mess making. The quality of the road surface that has been used to reinstate our only access route is outstandingly poor. There are a growing number of issues with pot holes, gravel missing, lumps and bumps and no road markings on newly laid road. That is because of the roading methods that have been used to reinstate what we had. Any complaints have been met with platitudes about the road being reinstated to the same or better than before the works started. They have photos! Whenever the proper reinstatement may occur no one can tell us. Surely there must be standards and a finite time frame. When will the road be reinstated to its previous quality? Surely it is better to do it once right, instead of needing to redo it before you have even finished. The environmental cost and carbon footprint of this project is not balanced by planting 8000 native plants at some undetermined time in the future. There are much more efficient, cost effective ways of dealing with waste water in this 21st century. Please respond with actual meaningful answers.
Sandy Free, Miller Way
Watercare was invited to comment on this letter but did not respond – Ed