Betsy Kettle, Sustainable North Trust (abridged)
The latest news tells us Indonesia has identified shipping containers of mixed plastic waste coming from NZ that do not meet international recycling standards. Is it Government’s responsibility to “fix” this? I believe we, as ratepayers, created this problem when we demanded the cheapest recycling option, pressuring Councils to move away from hand-sorted, separate bins for paper and glass to mixed bins and mechanical sorting. There are many solutions to our waste problem and most of them start with us. These include using the Whangaparaoa Community Recycling Centre for separating glass, paper and cardboard; demanding that Government raise the waste levy – the tax on landfilling that sends revenue to recycling and waste minimisation programmes; stop using single-use containers, support container deposit legislation where manufacturers are required to consider the lifecycle of their products and packaging; purchase products in glass and aluminium instead of plastic; support legislation requiring materials like tyres, batteries, agrichemicals, e-waste, and refrigerants to be properly recycled and kept out of landfill, and return to separate kerbside bins for glass and paper/cardboard, charging for the service by volume produced. It will also mean paying more so the price of recycling can be included in the purchase price of what we buy to create cyclical resource management systems.
Heather Lloyd, Dairy Flat
Regarding the long running dispute over the signage at Silverdale Village, I think there need to be two signs. One reading Silverdale Village and another reading Silverdale Centre 1km, with an arrow directing visitors up the hill to the newer Silverdale Centre. Problem solved (hopefully)!
Allan Weeks, Orewa (abridged)
I see in the latest letters for Hibiscus Matters (HM September 18) that Rae Bird bemoans the fact that we are randomly killing off all our rats and possums and we have no compassion for these creatures. Well I must admit at first I thought it was just a joke, but just in case he or she is actually serious, would somebody who knows anything about native conservation please remind Rae that if we ignored this issue very few native birds would exist in most of New Zealand within 10-20 years?
Sandra Halling, Orewa (abridged)
It is good to see that some effort has been made to plant new trees on Millwater Parkway to replace the dreadful looking half dead species that had been there. (HM May 8 and June 5). One of the new trees has already been broken off halfway up by a vandal, however they do look much better and the place looks like someone cares finally. How about continuing planting up past the entrance to The Warehouse, and the roundabout? Then the job would be completed. Also, why has gorse been left to grow prolifically in the last few years instead of being sprayed culled or got rid of? Everywhere you look, at the moment it is flowering non-stop. It will seed itself all over the place and in a short time we will have a real problem. In fact I would think we have a real problem now – there are paddocks full of it. Does the Council not have contact with the owners of these properties? Is it because there has been an uproar about spraying by the public, or is it the present contractors not doing their job properly? In addition, the two roundabouts before you get to Grande Drive have never been maintained or weeded. There is palm tree rubbish left after contractors have mowed the lawns. The standards have certainly dropped with the new contractors. It may be because they haven’t the staff numbers, as there is a huge area to cover or is there another reason? Was it worth it to get a cheaper quote? I don’t think so.
Hibiscus & Bays Local Board chair Julia Parfitt responds: Our local board actually receives a lot of positive feedback about our current contractor, Ventia. I have, however, forwarded your concerns on to our Community Facilities team, who manage the contract, to speak to the contractor about. The roundabouts referred to are managed by Auckland Transport and I have logged that complaint with them to action. Like you, we believe it is important that these roundabouts are maintained properly, especially as they mark a key entranceway into Orewa. The street trees are part of our street enhancement work. The replacement planting was undertaken in Spring to ensure the trees have the best chance to survive and flourish. Your request for further street tree planting has been forwarded on to our Community Facilities team. The issue of gorse on private land is not as easily addressed as it is considered largely a civil matter. In rural areas there is a 20 metre rule back from the boundary that should be kept free of gorse but the only person that can complain is a directly affected neighbour, who is managing gorse effectively on their own property. In urban areas no such rule applies unfortunately.
Alice Cummings, Orewa
Noticed recently a new ‘jewel in the crown’ – a horrible car yard that has been allowed to go in right by the Silverdale off ramp. Coupled with the huge roundabout that has not been replanted since Rodney District Council days, this provides everyone with a ‘welcome’ to the Hibiscus Coast. Why would you go any further? And why would an eyesore like a car yard be allowed to go in on such a public site?
Bring on Silvertown
Chris Richards, Millwater
Pleased to see the planned town centre that could be built along Curley Ave in Silverdale (HM September 4). I agree, it could give Silverdale a lift. I hope however that it takes an environmentally friendly approach, with plenty of green spaces and not too much retail. Shops are struggling and there are a lot of vacancies in places like Coast Plaza, Silverdale and elsewhere. More parks and playgrounds and just a few, carefully selected boutique shops or cafés would make for a user-friendly town centre.