Letters to the editor
Keep it simple
So, Picton will finally get a bus shelter after more than a decade of pleading. And are we ever going to get something.
Beyond our wildest expectations, the Marlborough District Council in all its wisdom and sagacity has agreed that $160,000 of forest reserve funds will go to build a protective enclosure of colossal engineering enterprise - something we should all be ever so grateful for.
May it please the court: all that was ever necessary was two walls, a roof and a bit of seating in the area for the stop as it is. Instead, we are going to have what will look like a three-year-old with makeup adjacent to a structure that all but disappears into the foreshore.
It is an overkill, neither smart nor connected, but reeking of smug hubris. How dare we complain when, after all our yearly submissions, the council stoops to conquer?
A swift kick in the stoop would be energetically appropriate.
The Marlborough District Council in its supposed wisdom has decided not to renew the contract of Green Fingers Composting.
One would like to know why this is, as Greg and Kaye have provided an exceptional service. They have proved that there is a use for the grass clippings, by making a compost that is used in the laying of lawns.
The council has chosen to abandon this and return the grass clippings to the general waste stream, at the increased cost of $29 per cubic metre.
It has not provided details of how the new composting operation will be set up, or the proposed costs. Is the new operation going to be a stand-alone business, or will it be subsidised by the ratepayer?
Had the council bowed to commercial pressure or complaints from the residents in the new subdivisions along Taylor Pass Rd, or is it just taking the easiest option?
While flounder fishing in the tidal estuary at Okuru River in the Haast area on July 22, we snagged a brown trout. I have since learned that it is illegal to catch trout without a licence, and that it is illegal to snag trout in a net, and that any fish caught like this needs to be released immediately, either alive or dead.
Since being contacted by Fish & Game, I have undertaken to understand the rules and regulations in regard to sports fishing in New Zealand. I believe that I have broken a number of rules and regulations, and have paid reparation to Fish & Game.
I apologise to licence holders and anglers, and will endeavour to advocate better for sound management of our sport fishing in the future, for all future generations to enjoy.
The commercial scallop season has started this week. The fleet of Nelson and Golden Bay will target 48 tonnes of scallop meat in the Marlborough Sounds.
This means the Sounds will suffer the same fate as Tasman Bay and Golden Bay: totally vacuum-cleaned. There have been reseeding campaigns over there but so far all efforts have failed.
Not only that, the dredges destroy the habitat of the juvenile cod, which live in deep water on the sandy bottom and in fact often shelter in the empty shells of dead scallops.
I don't understand why all the people who opposed NZ King Salmon recently, and say they want to save our Sounds, keep silent about the real damage that is about to happen right now.
Councillor Pete Jerram points out that one of the biggest issues facing Marlborough is water, its availability and quality. However, Brian Dawson wants to ramp up the population in our area, which will surely impact on our reliance on this limited resource.
Last year was another drought summer, followed by the warmest winter on record. Climate modelling predicts our region to get even drier.
Assuming that Mr Dawson accepts the overwhelming scientific consensus on global warming, how can he reconcile these two positions? We voters deserve an answer.
Mayoral and council candidate Brian Dawson responds:
I read with interest Bob Crum's letter questioning my election platform of growth. He doesn't need to take my word for it. I'll quote from a July 2013 article by senior economic commentator Bernard Hickey:
"It was delivered quietly and delicately, but it still felt like a kick in the guts to the leaders of regional New Zealand.
"Waikato University demographer Natalie Jackson's presentation about ageing to Local Government New Zealand's annual conference in Hamilton this week was a detailed and sobering look into the future that mayors, councillors and planners perhaps weren't expecting.
"Jackson detailed what ageing would do to the structure and size of their communities in the decades to come, including how many provincial towns and cities would become ‘top heavy' with pensioners, few working-age people and even fewer children. She described how an ageing population and both internal and external migration would mean almost every territorial local authority outside of Auckland and Christchurch would not only see their populations age dramatically, but that many would be declining by the middle of the century.
"[Councils] will have to plan to collect the same or more rates from a smaller number of working-age people. Many more of their ratepayers will be on fixed incomes. Many of the councils will have to pay for the same number of roads, maintain the same length of water pipes and sewers, and mow the same number of sports fields, but have fewer ratepayers to pay for them."
We face the future as described above, or instead we grow to help deliver the future we all want. Marlborough needs to choose.
How many voters have opened their voting papers and discovered that the candidates' names are in a different order than on other family members' voting papers?
Is this a strategic move or another mindless extra expense on the ratepayer? Anyone care to comment?
Marlborough District electoral officer Dean Heiford responds:
The Local Electoral Act allows the council to choose what order the candidates' names are in on the voting papers.
There are three options: alphabetical, random and pseudo-random.
The Marlborough District Council chose random, as this was considered fairer to all candidates than alphabetical. Therefore, every voting paper is generated with the candidates in random order. There is no extra cost to use this method.
The Nelson Marlborough District Health Board chose pseudo-random - the names of the candidates were drawn out of a hat and were put on the voting document in that draw order. This part will be the same on every voting paper.
The likelihood of people at the same residence getting identical papers for the Marlborough District Council election is very small.
On Wednesday I was alerted to a pesky dog roaming my neighbourhood in Seddon. After he repeatedly jumped the gate on to my property, I decided to ring animal control, as I decided it was not safe for my young children to play outside around a dog of unknown temperament.
Animal control's response: "It is too far for us to drive for a dog that is just loose; he might run away before we get there. If you can catch him, we will come out and get him."
Well, no, I can't catch him.
"Oh well, sorry, there's nothing we can do."
As a diligent dog owner myself, I pay my registration fees so animal control can come and "catch him".
Animal "control"? More like "animal courtesy van".
- The Marlborough Express