I read Tracey Martin’s Viewpoint (MM July 5) asking how the Supercity is working. That’s easy. It isn’t. Tracey is not right that it was a National-led idea. The former Labour government appointed the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance in July 2007. It always seemed odd to me that National ran with it. The way things have panned out, it might be having second thoughts. Here are just a few examples of what’s wrong: Massive debt, expenses and wages blowout. Few of the promised economies of scale. Services cut. Rural rates siphoned off to fund metropolitan projects. Cumbersome, duplicated admin procedures. Inadequate maintenance of assets. Too little delegation to Boards. Also, failure to implement 32 recommendations of the Royal Commission. Had that been done we might not be in such a parlous state. But the killer is that Wellington and East Coast towns, having witnessed the Auckland debacle, voted not to have bar of amalgamation. That’s democracy!
John Clements, Orewa
Stop kidding ourselves
Targeted rates are not OK (MM June 14). By the time the targeted rate is split into three or four projects my road in N.W. Rodney will never be sealed. I moved here 15 years ago and thought at the time this road will never be sealed in my lifetime. I am right so far, but I accepted that this would be the case. Even then, under Rodney District Council, I never expected roads in N.W. Rodney to be sealed. The money was spent in Orewa and Hibiscus Coast. So “no thank you,” I don’t want my rates increased one cent under any plan or scheme. As far as the Northern Action Group (NAG) is concerned, I feel they are dreaming too. We may not like the Supercity, but it is better to be aligned with a group with big money than just a small northern group of dreamers. NAG will require computers, cars, premises and a tea lady, and still my gravel road will remain unsealed. What happens when large expenditure items appear such as sewerage or water works for one of our growing towns? I’ll tell you what will happen: our rates will go up just as they always do, and still my gravel road will not get sealed. So for better or worse, let’s just stay how we are and stop kidding ourselves that 600km of gravel roads will be sealed in the near future.
Bob McLaren, Wellsford
Dementia Care Available
I want to respond to your article “Women preparing to tackle Warkworth dementia woes” (MM June 14). It said “Currently, there is no all-day respite care available in the area, which can provide quality care for sufferers and give their caregivers a much-needed break.” We were extremely disappointed when we heard this news. Leigh Road Cottage, situated at 582 Leigh Road, is a 30-bed specialist dementia facility in the Warkworth region. We are highly competent and trained to look after all dementia residents. In fact, we are the only dementia facility which is approved by the Ministry of Health in this region. It is a false statement to say that there is no dementia facility in the Warkworth region. And this is utterly unfair to our general public and the community who live around this region. Also, from our point of view, all our dedicated staff, deserve some credit and recognition, as it is not an easy task to look after dementia sufferers. In saying there is no dementia care facility in Warkworth region, it seems like their effort and presence, are not recognised.
Dennie Chiew, owner Leigh Road Cottage (abridged)
(MM acknowledges Leigh Road Cottage provides all-day respite care, along with other dementia services, and regrets the error – Ed)
Doctors must listen
In support of Debating Vaccination by Eugene Sims (MM July 5), my husband and I have two children who are now in their 20s. Our daughter never had a problem with any of her vaccinations, so I wasn’t concerned when our son Josh came along and he started having his vaccinations, too. But he was a totally different case. Each time he had a vaccine he would react badly. One time he had a swelling on his leg at the vaccine site that was about the size of an orange. So, it was with trepidation I took him for his MMR vaccine at 19 months. In the early hours of the following morning we were woken by a high-pitched scream from Josh’s room. When we tried to pick him up he was rigid and arched backwards. My husband and I were frantic and rang the doctor and Plunket several times. We were told, “Don’t worry some children sometimes have a slight reaction following a vaccination. Just give him Pamol or put him in the bath to soothe him.” I had the feeling that we were being considered over-reactive parents. When finally our son fell asleep, I thought “Thank God that’s all over.” But it was far from over. Josh changed from a smiley, friendly, toddler to a screaming, crying wee man who stopped interacting and kept banging his head, which he had never done previously. I sincerely hope there are some medical practitioners who are really listening to the parents of the children they are vaccinating, and if they tell them, “My child had quite a bad reaction to their last vaccination” then perhaps other options could be made available.
Sharon and Gary Barber, Warkworth (abridged)
Look at the facts
In reply to Cindy Lynch’s response to the Debating Vaccination article (MM July 5).
I would like to point out that I was very careful not to add my personal view or opinion on whether I was pro- or anti-vaccination. Most of the thread of the Vaxxed documentary is not anti-vaccination. It is more aligned with getting the record straight and releasing real results. The alleged evidence suggests that vaccination would be less risky if it was in fact delayed until the newborns were a bit older. However, when all links to harmful effects are denied it leaves no room for discussion/investigation. I appreciate the link to the information that you provided as that will no doubt help people in their process of information gathering. It may have been amiss of me to not include any reference to information from the manufacturers of vaccinations. The reason that I did not include such information is because pro-vaccination information is given to every mother/parent in New Zealand who is about to have or has just had a child. It is further backed up with every visit by the midwife and visit to the doctor. It is also frequently broadcast via mainstream media as well. Providing more pro-vaccination information won’t help to balance the pool of information that is already so unbalanced that many people don’t even know that other information exists. The main point that I was making is that we actually have to look at the facts. The worst of the facts is that there is no legislation that indicates that adverse effects of vaccination (if there ever are any) need to be reported. This is nothing but a mockery of science. How can we make informed decisions when risks (if any) are not reviewed and published as they are with drug trials?
Eugene Sims, Warkworth Natural Therapies and MM health columnist (abridged)
Building claims refuted
Councillor Sayers (MM Jul 19) states that it is easier in Thames or elsewhere to get a building consent. Actually, my daughter and her husband have been waiting months for a building consent in Thames. The issue with housing is as much to do with the Health and Safety legislation, the change of Building Code after the earthquakes and changes made after the leaky building crisis. All changes made by Government and imposed on Local Government. The issue is compounded by the lack of certified builders, plumbers, electricians and other tradespeople because of the standards required by Government. Blaming the Council is easy. Doing something about it is difficult.
Penny Webster, Snells Beach