Letters to the editor
As I go to the full Marlborough District Council meetings, I thought it was strange to see other people there on Thursday.
On looking closer I saw some people from the theatre trust and it didn't take long to work out something was going to happen.
Low and behold the mayor stated the theatre debate item was now in public and not in the non-public section as per the order paper. He then went ahead and presented the document for the guarantee of the $2.75 million loan for the trust of the new theatre.
When it came to the risk part, he said he was assured that the trust could meet this as he had seen the figures.
I wanted to ask for a point of order, but I left it to the end of the debate. I then asked him how did the trust find out the meeting was going to be in public. He replied he had invited them. I told him he should have invited the public who go to the meetings.
I just walked out. The meeting was over and I was disgusted at the behaviour of the mayor.
No wonder the debate was a debacle - trust has gone out of the window.
A pity the reporter had gone from the meeting - it is the media we rely on. .
Colin King's response to my letter (Express, June 28), in true political fashion, avoided giving a direct answer but went on to sing the party's - or is that John Key's - song about mums and dads buying shares.
My letter pointed out that the taxpayer is better off to retain full ownership of the state assets – and therefore the profits – than selling the assets to pay off or avoid increasing debt. He also stated that the assets for sale only showed a return of 4.1 per cent. Seems to me like some creative accounting has been applied there.
Is his 4.1 per cent on capital cost, replacement cost or the trading account? Most of the electricity generating stations were built prior to the mid-70s, which is 35-plus years ago. So the actual return on cost to the Government is significantly more than 4.1 per cent, or even my figure of 16 per cent.
However it is not necessary for me to comment any further as the Express editorial (June 29) was an excellent explanation of why we should retain 100 per cent ownership of the assets.
One further comment: who is going to invest in the SOEs if, as Colin King or his party states, the SOE only returns 4.1 per cent? Not a very good investment for the mums and dads. Or does it mean that once the assets are partially privatised charges will increase significantly in order to pay a dividend, or alternatively will sell below their true value?
We are told to use our car tyres at the correct pressure for reasons of safety, tyre wear and fuel economy. Over a 10-minute period I checked my tyre pressures at four garages, having set the pressure at 30 PSI at the Mobil digital pump with resultant pressure readings of 24, 30, 30 and 32 PSI.
So which garage(s) has the accurate equipment. Are there any national or individual checks on accuracy carried out?
The school children concerned about the effects of fracking on the environment ("Frack-free focus for pupils", Express, June 27) will be interested to know that a United States news magazine report said there had been no proven case of ground water pollution in that country due to fracking. This despite widespread use of the procedure over many years.
The thousands of fracked wells and the resulting low cost of natural gas is allowing power companies to switch from coal to cleaner gas. A real winner.
I presume these children are doing their bit by riding their bikes to school and sport and travel by car only when really necessary.
To change the subject, I read a lot about asset sales in your paper, including an editorial ("Don't sell our assets", Express, June 29).
If I sell an asset, that is the end of it – I take the money and run. There is no truth in saying that the Government is selling assets, so will everybody stick to the truth.
- The Marlborough Express