Free not easy
Reuben Tylor, Orewa. Published March 1, 2018
At first light I go for my morning walk through Arundel Reserve. This morning there are 14 vehicles of various kinds camping overnight (less than normal). They ignore the clearly marked restriction on six vehicles in clearly marked designated spaces. Most park close to the public toilets ignoring the signs prohibiting parking there. They ignore the self contained requirement (few of them are ever self-contained). The signs requiring them to leave by 10am are ignored and several stay for several days on end. Their washing hangs from trees, they wash their dishes, their clothes, themselves, and brush their teeth (and presumably their bums) in the hand basins inside the toilets. There is a line up at the toilets with 28 persons (14 vans x 2 persons) trying to perform their daily ablutions at the same time each morning competing with unfortunate beach walkers. They overfill the rubbish bins with their daily trash (I have to pay for my rubbish disposal). The privilege of overnighting at one of our most beautiful reserves is therefore being abused. It has also created a significant public health safety issue for residents and visitors alike. In addition, by the weekend most of the parking at Arundel is taken up by campers and there is no parking left for elderly locals. I have written to the Council repeatedly about this over the last three summers. Last summer the Council finally allotted inspectors to monitor the situation each morning and evening over a three month period and there was a good response. However the Council did not have funds to continue this exercise and the problem now returns. I have been given assurances by Council staff and members on several occasions over the last 3 years that the problem will be addressed with new by laws by “next summer”. Mrs Parfit has been told the same thing. The reality is our council does not see any urgency in dealing with this problem. In the meantime, the real problem is the failure of Council to enforce the existing law. There is no point in having new by laws if they are similarly not enforced. Local residents need to avoid visiting Arundel Reserve, particularly at the weekends when campervans come to town. For health safety reasons they also need to avoid using the public toilets at Arundel. If its an emergency, I suggest you ask one of the campervans to unpack the chemical toilet from the box in their van and let you use that.
Cliff Tyler, Dairy Flat. Published March 1, 2018
Your description of the Mighty Ape warehouse “attracting a lot of interest from local residents” sounds very positive but that belies the horror and dismay at the rural skyline to the North of Silverdale being wiped out. A sentiment that I have heard from all friends, acquaintances and passers by. At its least, it destroys any hope that some visual rural amenity could prevail up here and at its worst it makes residents who have to look at it from their rural lounge 15-20km or more away regard themselves as having been transported into an industrial zone! As such it has become the bane of arguments with council who continue to insist on finicky rural attributes of properties to the South and West of the view be 110 percent upheld as a legal necessity by owners of them. Why should great effort and cost be spent to maintain ‘rural ameanity’ when, at the stroke of a pen, council can foist an industrial scene onto so many people without warning. Whilst I don’t begrudge the Bartons having to be somewhere, it’s more a case of a building of that size and appearance should have been publicly notified by council when the building permit went in. If you look around Auckland City, you will notice that most industrial zones are in valleys, hidden away from domesticity and rural land. Not in Silverdale! Even the shopping centre is an industrial zone – no thought, no character, no heart. ‘Uglydale’, my wife calls it!
Waste of time?
Ray Edmonds, Tindalls Bay. Published March 1, 2018
It’s a wonderful goal, but I wonder how close to zero waste the arts festival in Orewa actually gets (HM February 14). My observation around local streets, parks and beaches is that too many people, young and old, are quite happy to drop their rubbish where they stand before even looking in the direction of a bin.
Editor’s note: A figure for how much waste was reduced by the zero waste initiative event can be found in the story.
Praise for Jug
John Ferguson, Stanmore Bay. Published March 1, 2018
What a pillar of the community our local constable Jug has been. So sorry to see him go (HM February 1). His shoes are big ones to fill. Old style policing – walking the beat – is still as effective as ever and he was proof of that. All the best for a well-earned retirement.