Mahurangi Matters, 20 November 2023 – Readers Letters

Kawau support

My congratulations and support to Lloyd Lamberg et al for figuring out how to shave $4 million of ratepayers money off the cost of pest eradication on their island [Kawau]. Their counter-proposal is of particular interest in that it involves some self-reliance from the local population. Perhaps it’s time council employees were rewarded for saving money, not wasting it. They could start by consulting the locals before they propose expensive solutions.

Andrew Westaway, Orewa

Frittering away rates

In my letter in your September 25 issue, I drew attention to the money being spent on lavish cycleways costing more than roads, when our existing roads are in a disgraceful state of disrepair.
The Ministry of Transport household travel analysis of 2020 showed that the average Aucklander takes only 4% of travel trips by public transport and only 1% by cycle. The analysis shows that in response to the changing environment in Auckland (e.g living more remotely from the city centre), Aucklanders are travelling further within the same travel time by increasing their share of car travel at the expense of slower modes.

If Mayor Brown really wants AT to listen to the needs of Aucklanders, he should ask them to focus their attention on providing better, wider, safer roads to speed up travel times for both cars and public transport, and to cater for the parking needed at drivers’ destinations.

Spending four times what it costs to build roads on cycleways used for 1% of travel trips and narrowing roads to slow traffic and increase car travel times is hurting Auckland’s productivity, as well as frittering away rates monies pandering to the leisure time pursuits of Auckland’s ideologues.
The ministry report can be read here:

Bill Foster, Leigh

Why do we accept this?

Geoff Upson’s viewpoint (MM Oct 10) was yet again eye opening as to how the ratepayers money is wasted, time and time again.

I wrote to him thanking him for voting against the council spending $600,000, yes $600,000, on a speed bump outside the college on Woodcocks Rd. 

There may be a need for a speed bump, that’s debatable. but how can anyone justify that expense if you can build a house for less?

Whoever is responsible for signing off on such expenditure would not be doing it if it were their own money. Do we get companies to quote for this type of work or not? I suspect not.

It is simply handed out to the usual contractor, which at best shows council negligence and could be construed as criminal negligence.

How the costs are arrived at should be made public. If a speed bump is needed it should cost more like $200,000 and that is still excessive. Why do we the ratepayers put up with it? We should all write in to the councillors and complain, but sadly, apathy allows this stuff to occur.

Alan Sandrey, Point Wells

Seawall repetition

After attending the presentation at the Snells Beach Residents & Ratepayers meeting on another seawall by Auckland Council, on Monday .November 6, I will sum it up like this:

Freud would call the Auckland Council action on the Snells Beach seawall the repetition compulsion: We feel driven to repeat mistakes from the past in the hope that, this time, the situation will work out differently. But it rarely does. To break free, you must identify the pattern.

The Snells Beach (third) same seawall will prove once again Freud’s statement to be true.

Chas Benest, Snells Beach