Letters to the editor
Bangs in the night
The Marlborough District Council have just put up banners in Seddon stating "Utterly Awesome Awatere".
Well, we know that already, but were you aware that we have the only night flying squadron of starlings in the district, if not the country?
This must be the case, else why would we have gas guns going off in the middle of the night? At 20 minute intervals, no less.
Or is the idea that the birds will be so buggered that they won't have enough energy to fly during the day?
Perhaps someone in the Awatere grape growing industry could provide an explanation of the rationale.
Rory Newsam's claim that trout poisoning is an "urban myth" ["Fish fears groundless", Express, February 18] is symptomatic of Department of Conservation knee- jerk reactions to anything or anybody who remotely asks questions of 1080.
I'm afraid Rory is very ill-informed on those matters he purports to be knowledgeable about - there is no publicly available robust peer reviewed research on the effects of secondary poisoning of trout by ingestion of 1080 poisoned mice.
Landcare, DOC and other research to date has been confined to eels, koura and the effects of dissolved - not ingested - 1080 on aquatic life.
As a former research scientist, graduate of the Royal Society of Chemistry and being able to read, I can tell him they are not the same.
President, New Zealand Federation of Freshwater Anglers
We all expect emergency services to respond quickly when we need them, but an incident on February 20 makes me wonder what they think.
While going to work, I stopped at an intersection as two police cars sped past at about 120kmh on Maxwell Rd, judging by the following distance as per the road code.
The news report in the Express later that day told of an accident caused by fog.
My question is: What would have happened if the police suddenly found fog as they rounded Meater's corner on Maxwell Rd or someone did not use the Alabama Rd/Maxwell Rd roundabout correctly?
They would have been glad they had two ambulances following them.
A load of cod
What ridiculous recreational "blue cod fishery" rules we are subject to in the Marlborough Sounds.
I wonder if it was necessity or indifference to have a commercial cod fisherman setting numerous cod pots at the Ninepin Rocks (Chetwode Island), a popular recreational fishing "spot" on a fine calm Saturday afternoon.
Perhaps we could have given him our bigger cod (outside the slot regulations) that may not have survived being returned to the sea; problem is we can't have them legally on board our boat.
This regulation needs to be addressed in all fairness to the fishing public.
Everything came together for a brilliant picnic for Synergy youth mentoring last Sunday. The sun shone on us like the first real day of summer.
Mentor Sue Monahan's garden was a beautiful backdrop with games run by volunteers in the shade of the olive grove and a BBQ and cool swimming pool to top it all off.
Previous mentor Hamish Beard, of Archery Marlborough, gave the kids the thrill of handling a bow and arrow and "Bounce Me" gave us a great deal on their giant inflatable slide - kept well away from flying arrows.
Our thanks to everyone for contributing to a fantastic day.
Hoping a new batch or mentors will train soon on March 2 so they can enjoy the coming year's events with us.
Family Works, Blenheim
Well done Bev Lyford [letters, Express, February 18].
Florists in Picton and Blenheim provide wonderful floral tributes, elegantly arranged with a great deal of thought into each arrangement. Going the extra mile to please a customer's special wishes certainly does not suggest a "conveyor belt" product.
Thank you from a very happy customer and recipient.
Of a survey (postal) contrived by the Marlborough District Council in the hope of finding some support for their ill-conceived regulatory programme on Sounds' forestry and colour control, only about a third of those surveyed bothered responding.
Of the respondents - 1360 out of 3240 - just over half (about 700) felt some sort of housing control was necessary and a slightly larger number (893) felt that forestry in the Sounds needed various forms of regulation.
Surveys, as we all know, can be manipulated to mean all sorts of things.
This survey tells me that nearly two-thirds of those surveyed didn't rate the survey of any consequence and didn't even respond. Those who responded rate our beautiful Sounds highly and a small fringe would let the council further interfere in our lives.
If this council committee think on the basis of this survey they have a mandate to proceed to regulation boy oh boy, have they bought into a fight.
Queen Charlotte Drive
No naval plans
There has been some local public discussion that the New Zealand Defence Force is considering developing or relocating naval base facilities at Picton.
To clarify matters, a written question was lodged in Parliament on January 31 by Labour Defence spokesman Phil Goff to the Minister of Defence Johnathon Coleman. The reply from the Minister of Defence on February 12, in answer to the question "Does he have any plans to establish a naval training base at Picton, or anywhere in the Kaikoura electorate, and if so what are those plans," was a resounding no.
Perhaps more pertinent discussions should focus on recent budget and staffing cuts to Defence Force personal and the impacts the cuts have had on the health and safety of young recruits engaging in training operations.
- The Marlborough Express