Letters to the editor
Co-ed plans minimal
I write with major reservations about the current consultation process and the possible outcomes for secondary education in Marlborough.
Parents of primary students were not encouraged to participate, but it will be their youngsters who inherit the results of the imminent decisions.
I am waiting for a map of the proposed combined colleges at Marlborough Girls' College to be published for the community to see.
The ministry's possible layout was presented at the first public meeting but was so poorly managed that no-one was the wiser.
So great is the sharing of facilities, it would be inevitable that the schools would be combined to become one co-educational college. The provision for shared specialist rooms means both schools would have seriously constrained resources compared to the present situation.
At present there is the option of co-ed at Queen Charlotte College. If the combined colleges option went ahead, there would be no single-sex option for Marlborough.
Boys' College at present has at least four football fields for 1000 boys, whereas the new option would have just one football field for 2000 students.
I am incredulous that the MGC board is not fighting the combined concept tooth and nail. It would be the only girls' college in the country that would cheerfully turn co-ed on a very constrained site.
I must admit to a fair degree of cynicism to the ministry's motivation. I think Marlborough is being sold short on provision for secondary education into the future.
One asks what some delegates of the National Party were thinking when they voted out the sitting member Colin King.
This next election is crucial for National, as it would be for any government seeking a third term - every seat will count. So to dump a sitting member who has had one of the highest majorities - continually for past elections - is to any thinking person's mind insane. It almost smells of the "syndrome" - you didn't get us what we wanted, Mr King, so out you go.
Fancy throwing this inane comment to the news media: There had been speculation Mr King and several other MPs had been given the message, by the hierarchy, it was time to step down.
At a crucial election like this next one? One doesn't believe this statement would have come from the "powers that be".
As it is said, get real.
The Labour candidate is a popular and seemly well-known and liked person. Other parties' candidates must all be rubbing their hands together in glee and singing joyful songs, as the majority of National delegates have cleared the way for them.
So the safe Kaikoura seat for National will be another party's seat after the election this coming year?
Well, watch this space.
Getting it right
Further to your story "Get it right hiring migrants" [Express, December 11], were the authors commenting on what looks like another Warner Bros labour law change and has National finally concluded that only foreigners have workers' rights?
The writers say that Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment squads will arrive unannounced on to property to the indignation of farmers, who after all are the busy bee backbones of the nation, and lord help us if DOC, local councils, the Green Party, the SPCA or Forest & Bird decide to join forces with Immigration in spot inspections of working farms.
I can just imagine this special forces group abseiling from a helicopter and rushing up to a farmer and his bamboozled worker, yelling out instructions while dressed in camouflage gear.
The farmer would then be interrogated by Immigration officials as to why he promoted his foreign labour unit without sending an excruciatingly detailed account to Immigration and then waiting four weeks for a reply.
But of course at the end of the day, the real solution is to employ only Kiwis and not dumpster-diving skip-rummaging foreigners on a working holidays.
- The Marlborough Express