Letters to the editor

Market St plan

Although a recent resident of Blenheim, I wish to caution against the proposal to make part of Market St two-way at a cost to the community of $70,000.

The question we need to ask is why this is being proposed, and what costs there are (apart from the money itself).

Blenheim at present has a very unusually successful blend of cars and pedestrians, achieved mostly through the obvious emphasis given to walking by the paving and by the narrowing of Market St, which makes it the heart of the little town.

It is absurd to have Market St part two-way and part one-way, and there will be great danger that in the future there will be pressure put on to resolve the situation by making all of Market St two-way.

A better solution would be to think about using Market St and Market Pl more for outdoor stalls and events, recognising that it is in fact the heart of the retail area (and giving up the odd idea of the cold, detached, "pocket park" with its cost of $540,000).



Ugly Blenheim

In my opinion, Councillor Peter Jerram is correct when he says Blenheim is a "grey ugly little town" ["Wynen St trees win stay of execution", Express, July 24].

The photo of Wynen St shows a perfect example - a grey building and grey pavement. There are black and grey buildings all over. From the air, it must look like little black ants scurrying along among black ant hills.

Clothing shops make me shudder and I hurry past. Shop assistants are in black and characterless. Who are they? Just a blob and a smile if you are lucky.

Market St, from Main to Wynen, should have been turned into a mall when it was proposed years ago, but then I suppose it would be black, unimaginative, faceless and characterless.

We are supposed to be vying with Nelson in the sunshine stakes. Not a show.

On the plus side, three cheers for the council gardeners who do a grand job in Pollard Park and the square.



Road name

There is a road in Tuamarina called Parkes Rd. As a descendant of the owner of the hop garden in the Tuamarina, I would like to point out that when Mr and Mrs Parkes came to Tuamarina with five children and no furniture, they went to live in the original house built by the Boyes. (Bessie Parkes was the third daughter of 10 children.)

If you need a name for the road, Boyes would be a better name than Parkes.



Push for a poll

Colin King claims that "some amalgamations simply haven't happened because one area within a region has stymied the decision” ["Bill will facilitate local governance", Express, July 3]. This claim is disingenuous.

Since 1999 four decisions have involved a poll in two councils. In each case one council voted in favour of amalgamation and one against. Up to that point Mr King is correct.

But the matter does not “simply” end there.

In each case, the significant majority of people democratically voted to reject the amalgamation proposal. Given a chance to vote, they rejected amalgamation.

The reality is that New Zealanders seem to like the idea of local decision making and continued local democracy. Mr King must have other views.

He is also supporting a draconian measure buried in the new legislation that is clearly aimed at removing the right of the community to vote on the form of local government that they want for themselves.

Should a future Local Government Commission decide that there should be an amalgamation of two councils, that is exactly what will happen - unless opponents can obtain the signatures of 10 per cent of electors within 40 working days of the decision announcement. Previous petitions in favour of change were given unlimited time and took between a year and 18 months to get over the 10 per cent. The Government knows that giving just 40 working days will guarantee that there will be no poll.

Yet Mr King tells us that the new legislation “puts important decisions back with the community”. If he really believes that statement, then he will push for a poll to be mandatory.



They're not kids

Good news. Compliments to the Express for the July 24 edition. "Infant" (aged 4) and "girl" (aged 3 and referred to as "toddler" in the story) were used in the headlines (pages 4 and 6, respectively) even though both the stories which followed were regrettable and sad.

So, it is possible to use alternatives to kid(s) - ie, "baby/young goats"; still the first option for such in Google and the dictionaries.



Maori language

Since it is Maori Language Week why don't you as the editor translate Te Tiriti o Waitangi into English? Surely we all should know what it says.



Historic and modern translations are available at: tiritiowaitangi.govt.nz/treaty

The Marlborough Express