Letters : Dogs in Picton

Simon Holtham serves up some food to Dante and Winnie
Simon Holtham serves up some food to Dante and Winnie

Dogs in Picton

If Picton wishes to remain solvent when Clifford Bay is running, it could consider liking dogs.

By walking your dog, you are also exercising the four common threads of longevity - an overwhelming passion, a positive outlook, a reason for living, and perhaps, too, an effective way of dealing with grief.

Who wants to visit an out-of-the-way town with a CBD that prohibits overwhelming passions and positive outlooks?



Warrant woes

Having planned for Christmas holidays in Nelson, I thought I would make sure to have our boat trailer warranted and registered. To do this, I had to have a new light board fitted and a new wheel bearing fitted, as per the instructions of the local mechanic who was to issue the warrant.

I pulled out of the local garage to go and attend to the items at hand - our property is less than 1km away - only to have to drive through a police checkpoint. After having explained to the officer the above, and showing him the new light board mount, the old lights on the back of my ute, and the warrant document outlining the defects to be fixed, I explained that these were all going to be sorted within the hour.

However, the officer felt it prudent to issue infringement notices for no warrant and no registration ($200), but explained that he would make a side note that I was intending to get the warrant and rego that afternoon. He said to write a letter outlining all this and the ticket should be waived.

I thought it was a little pedantic, but he had a job to do, and I guess he had to document it to show his superiors he was making his quota.

So I wrote a letter with copies of the tickets and copies of the warrant and rego, dated the same day as the infringement notices. I then received a letter from the police adjudication section declining to waive the tickets. Case closed.

I think there may be a niche in the market for VTNZ vehicle inspectors to do house calls if this type of impractical law enforcement is the norm.



See the scenery

The Government made numerous concessions to ensure that The Hobbit was filmed in New Zealand, partly on the premise that the country would be promoted as a tourist destination.

Recently, lots of excitement was generated by reports of Kate Winslet and her husband taking the ferry to Picton. It's rather improbable that they would have chosen to travel by sea due to financial considerations. If they'd just wanted to get to Marlborough, there is no doubt they would have flown, probably in a private jet.

The most likely reason they chose to travel by sea was due to the spectacular scenery of the Marlborough Sounds. I suspect they would have had much less desire to travel to a barren, windswept piece of coastline, with little of interest to see during the course of the voyage.

It's been argued that Marlborough has to take second place to national (or should that be National?) interest, but at least as far as tourism is concerned, it seems highly questionable whether a move to Clifford Bay would be in anyone's interest.



Clifford Bay

I have just read our MP Colin King's column "Pros and cons in debate" [Marlborough Express, February 20], and I am not convinced that he will fight strongly against the move to Clifford Bay.

He quite rightly gives a list of activities that are able to be undertaken and built upon. But you need many customers throughout the year.

He perhaps did not read in the Express [February 19] that there was a "Slow start for Sounds seafood tours venture". But the removal of ferry passengers will seriously reduce and harm the accommodation facilities and investment. Will the cruise ships still be here?

The National Government is looking for foreign investment to build this new port and facility. Will these investors pay New Zealand taxes? Starbucks, in Britain, is a large foreign company that so far has avoided paying tax, as legally dispersed profits have gone abroad.

What does the Labour Party have to say about the move? It might gain some votes if we knew.



Loan swaps

It was good to read your article concerning Janette Walker ["Fight for loan swap inquiry continues", Express, February 19] presenting the "loan swaps" damages done by banks.

She is familiar with bank procedure, is experienced, and has been successful dealing with similar issues. On this issue of "swaps", she has already been asked for help by 183 businesses damaged - 10 from Marlborough. I hope more from Marlborough businesses affected will take the opportunity to contact her and seek redress.

Until 20 years ago, bank managers had salaries, and clients had fixed interest and repaid mortgages early. Within the last 20 years, bank managers were given incentive goals based on the company's desire to grow and drive up the bank share price. The goal they needed to reach in order to get a bonus was 10 per cent growth, regardless of whether the industry was growing and strong, or declining and weak.

The 10 per cent increased interest payment set in "swaps" would meet this target very nicely, enabling bank managers to get their bonuses.

Australia is way ahead of New Zealand in getting redress from banks.