Mahurangi Matters, 25 April 2022 – Readers Letters

Bus services clarification

I note that in John Griffin’s letter to the editor (MM Apr 11) titled ‘AT out of touch’, refers to “buses on this route to Omaha have been operating for a number of years, funded by a transport tax imposed upon local ratepayers”… and … “Never once have I seen anywhere near enough passengers to justify the tax pilfered to fund the service”.

I assume that Mr Griffin is referring to the Rodney transport targeted rate. Can we please assure him and other readers that the local bus services are not funded by this rate, but from general rates. The only bus service that has been funded by the transport targeted rate in the Warkworth area is the 998 service to Wellsford, which is a success, reaching agreed patronage targets over its three years of operation and will be taken over by Auckland Transport from May this year, and will be funded by general rates from then onwards. Quite a milestone actually.

It would be helpful if the Local Board could be given an opportunity to comment or have right-of-reply to letters to the editor that make statements about decisions or projects and programmes of the local board which may require clarification. I am sure you are very familiar with the transport targeted rate programme so might have known that the statements in Mr Griffin’s letter which allude to it, are not accurate.

Beth Houlbrooke, Rodney Local Board member

Editor’s Note: In the same issue, a letter by the Maltbys was also critical of some of the bus services. That letter was referred to Board chair Phelan Pirrie who responded: “Unfortunately I haven’t received the information in time for the deadline that I needed to respond meaningfully to this.” Given his response, there seemed little point in referring the subsequent letter. Additionally, while the targeted rate is not funding the Omaha run, the point the correspondent was making is that these services aren’t attracting the patronage to justify any rates being spent on them. Whether it’s from a targeted rate or the general rates makes little difference to the average ratepayer.

Paper wasps

One of our clients sent us an article in your paper regarding paper wasps (MM Mar 28). He was concerned that the article indicated that Vespex works for paper wasps and was querying this as I had told him Vespex would not work for paper wasps.

I read the Department of Conservation wasp control page that the article referenced and can see where the confusion arises as they included a bit about paper wasps in their introduction, but the page is about controlling common and German wasps.

Paper wasps take live prey and will not take Vespex.

Spray is the best option to kill a paper wasp nest. Spray nests at dusk when all the adults have returned to the nest. You can get sprays from the hardware store that will spray a long way so you don’t have to get too close to the nest.

Once the adults have dropped off the nest, snip off the nest into a plastic bag, seal and put into the freezer to kill the larvae.

Research is currently underway to find a bait that will work for paper wasps, but it is a challenge to find an attractant. A new generation of insecticide specific to paper wasps is providing some hope, however, as it will allow for sweet baits to be trialled.

Kerry Barton, Merchento (manufacturers of Vespex), Nelson