Save the trees
It was with great concern that we read recently of the plan to schedule the removal of the beautiful and historic oak trees on the site of the retirement village being constructed in Warkworth central (MM November 15). This grotesque development has been allowed to proceed on a scale never envisaged by most local residents, and these oak trees are essential to mitigate and screen the buildings. The excuse has been given that the trees are dying and are “past their use by date”, but to the common observer the trees are making copious new growth. We would urge that the Council obtain a reliable alternative assessment of the condition of these beautiful trees before any permission is given to hand them over to the chainsaw.
John and Barbara Maltby, Point Wells
On receipt of my new Auckland Council valuation for my rural property I did calculations which revealed to my shock and horror the value has increased by 60 per cent (MM November 29). The average over the city is 46 per cent. This means I am looking at a significant rate increase. We live in an area where the Unitary Plan prevents development. There has not been an obvious increase in property sales in this area. We receive little in the way of services – no sewerage, no water, no power and the only significant asset is the sealed road to Warkworth, which is very poorly maintained. Ready access to Warkworth is a pipe dream, with a Council having no intention of improving access through Matakana or Hill Street. Without the support of the local Board with their meagre budget we would have no significant asset upgrades in our community. It is clear that Council is determined to use rural properties, which already pay an unfair share of rates, and are expected to pay a fuel tax for the greater distances they must travel, to subsidise urban ratepayers who have access to all the expensive facilities enjoyed by central city folk. We have no proper public transport system and few, if any, opportunities to benefit from expensive rail and road systems, the America’s Cup and all the grand schemes proposed for people who are to be protected from paying the true value of their extravagance. Our only hope for the future is with NAG.
Elizabeth Foster, Whangateau
I believe there is another direction from which the question of whether to provide a pedestrian crossing in Matakana Road may be approached (MM November 29). Rather than applying a set of largely arbitrary criteria, we could ask the following questions:
• Will a crossing increase the risk to pedestrian or vehicular traffic?
• Will a crossing significantly impede pedestrian or vehicular traffic?
• Will a crossing significantly reduce available parking?
If the answer to these questions is “no”, and bearing in mind that a large proportion of locals would feel safer if a crossing were provided, then there is no real reason why work should not proceed. Why waste yet more money trying to prove a crossing is not needed, rather than going ahead and building it? We should beware of Auckland Transport estimating the cost of a gold-plated, Rolls Royce crossing. Something similar to that provided for other local schools will suffice.
John Northcott, Warkworth
Hill Street (again)
I must admit the bull we have been getting from the people in charge of Hill St is absolutely diabolical. Roger Williams’ proposal (MM November 15) was much better than the last proposal I saw in the Mahurangi Matters (MM November 1). That one looked like they were trying to frighten taxpayers to death with a billion-dollar bill. Agreed, the traffic from SH1 slip lane must be stopped. It has been a disaster ever since it was built. The easiest way to do this would be to make it a left turn only with a large sign. As for the shops in Elizabeth Street, the public should shop there on their way out. They do not need to charge across an intersection to do it. The other hazard is that when cars come out of Elizabeth Street they block off the traffic coming from Sandspit Rd to get onto SH1. This is where the linked lights would come in. But do not hold your breath. There will be delays after delays until it is forgotten. As far as I know, 60 years ago we were in the Rodney Borough Council. Auckland Council took over and we end up as cash cows for their projects. It looks like there will be a lot more to come. Watch this space.
John Leech, Matakana
Apologies, enquire here!
For those wanting to find out more in relation to a story on preventing kauri dieback at Parry Kauri Park (MM Nov 29) please note that the correct phone number for Ray is 425 8391.