Letters to the editor
From the information given to us through the media, the proposal to move the Cook Strait ferry terminal from Picton to a new facility at Clifford Bay seems irrational, or am I missing something?
Granted, there is the longer ferry transit time to Picton, governed by the speed limit in the Sounds for environmental and safety reasons. Then there is the slow hill road section of State Highway 1 south of Blenheim for southbound transporters. That's it, the only negatives. And please don't give me traffic congestion in Blenheim as an excuse.
The case for Clifford Bay. This proposal is based on the shorter road delivery time to Christchurch.
Logic suggests, then, send the ferries direct to Lyttelton. One question begs to be asked - what happens to the freight destined for Nelson and West Coast and even Blenheim? There would be significant cost increases in cartage alone.
The cost of a new port at Clifford Bay would not include the infrastructure of employee homes, traveller accommodation and indeed, a new town. It would come as no surprise to anyone that a new port at Clifford Bay would have to be paid for, and that, my friends, would be you and me, South Island consumers.
If the freight ferries stopped using Picton as the South Island hub, that would spell the end of a passenger service from Picton to Wellington. You could also add the rail line to the list.
Forget any romantic ideas of Picton becoming a tourist destination like Queenstown. Just visit Picton when no ferry passengers are in town - the streets are empty of cars and people, excluding of course the parking wardens.
Finally, Prime Minister John Key deigns to acknowledge what the general public, and teachers in particular, already know full well - the Ministry of Education's Novopay system is a complete bag of nails. Mr Key prefers the word "unacceptable" ["Government threatens penalties over Novopay saga", Stuff, November 12].
I would go one better: the system is deplorable.
The Government should immediately direct Novopay be tossed upon the scrap-heap for the rubbish that it is. Moreover, departmental and ministerial heads must roll.
My question to John Key is this: why, when Rome burns, Government's stubbornness for playing the part of Nero? Admittedly, hands-off governance has its place but not when jobs are at stake, consequence of across-the-board inefficient functioning of public services aggravated by ministerial predilections for "pussy-footing" about the side-lines.
Considering also the debacle of declared school closures in Christchurch, the troublesome saga of ACC, job losses within the coalmining sector, KiwiRail, and the Bluff aluminium smelter, one easily pictures a wallowing ship-of-state upon a storm-tossed ocean. In such parlous conditions, passengers and crew rightfully expect of their captain safeguarding hands-on-the-tiller action not feeble platitudinous inaction.
I find it incredible that the police would not reply to your reporter's request for comment on the Vaiola Fuapau wrongful arrest article ["Man wrongfully arrested wants police to apologise", Express, November 14], the comment being, "They would have preferred to comment on the original story published yesterday". Why was that?
Compare that response with the letter to your paper on November 8 by Superintendent Richard Chambers, of Tasman police, who was quick to go into print to defend his troops and express his disappointment at your reporter "not providing an accurate and balanced view of any police activities".
So how does a reporter obtain a balanced view on police activities if the police choose not to comment?
The reporter's job is to report information obtained by them - they are not the authority to prove or disprove whether it is fact or not. Neither is it the police function; that is for the courts to decide.
Selective use of the media, I say.
- The Mirror