Letters: Let those who pay come first
The Southland District Council submission process around the free camping in Lumsden does not only show the deep divisions within the town's community but also deep flaws in the submission process.
There are people who should be treated much differently within the process and that's the people paying the bill.
To talk of submissions from Germany does little apart from cloud the process.
Of course any tourist would want something for free. Who doesn't?
If the process was to have integrity the question should be how much would you be prepared to contribute from Germany for the running of the Lumsden precinct free camping?
Then see how many would be as supportive.
The whole process the council has used is wrong.
Firstly it has never consulted with the industry.
Secondly it has never been honest about the cost to the ratepayers.
And thirdly it has never respected the ratepayers of Lumsden by asking them first about how happy they are to pay the costs on an ongoing basis.
The resource consent process was bought in to give people the tools to properly understand and have their say on things that may affect them but the council has failed to use this process to make changes to the use of public areas which has left people feeling they have no say in their own community.
While I have been an outspoken critic of what is going on in Lumsden I personally thought what right do I have to submit on something that someone else has to pay for?
It is just so wrong.
The SDC needs to rethink how it arrives at such decisions and do what it says: put the people first. In this case the people who should come first are the people paying the bills.
On September 16-20, Russia is holding the biggest combined war exercise since the Cold War days.
It involves an estimated 100 planes and 20 wars ships with 100,000 troops being moved by rail from West Russia, where they are already, through Belarus (just above Ukraine) right across to Leningrad by the Baltic Sea).
This will enable them to assess how quickly they can move to war front.Western observers are afraid that Russia will not want to withdraw from Belarus after the exercise is over.
The Swedish people have a long history of fighting back and forth with Russia and are also "scared of the Russians".
Let us see what happens. Maybe we could ask our broadcasting media to show us something on this subject.
On the front page of The Southland Time (September 8) was an article on how Sea Shepherd was starting a campaign to stop illegal fishing in southern waters.
After I stopped laughing my next thought was "what illegal fishing?"
We already have three government agencies breathing down our neck and a woman from Otago University spreading false news; now we have to put up with these clowns.
They are claiming there are 150 Hector's dolphin deaths a year yet the population in Te Waiwai bay is estimated at 259 individuals.
Set netting is banned in the bay out to six miles off Pahia and Sandhill points and most of the Southland coast out to two mile for both commercial and recreational .
Trawlers have a height restriction on their nets of one metre. That's about waist height so it is unlikely to occur.
Sea Shepherd has never achieved any of its major goals while endangering lives and risking major environmental damage on many occasions. ]
They only survive by pulling on the heart strings of a well meaning public, an act I would call fraud, myself.
DOC estimate there are five Hector's deaths a year to all forms of fishing both recreational and commercial in the whole country.
I see so far this year there have been two, one possible death and one confirmed. Although unfortunate and unwanted, it is hardly catastrophic in a population of 15,000.
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