Mahurangi Matters, 18 October 2017 – Readers Letters

Honesty lacking

I dislike it intensely when people present opinion as fact. Councillor Greg Sayers, in his column last week, firstly presented one person’s opinion, in what was essentially a gossip column, as some sort of review of his performance as a councillor. He then followed this up with his so-called facts about how Rodney’s rates are spent, and quoted the source as himself – “Independently commissioned by Cr Sayers.” This makes it neither independent nor true. There may be some validity to his argument, but what Cr Sayers is actually doing is completely over-simplifying and misrepresenting how Council funds activities that benefit all of Auckland, in order to play the populist to those in the community who want to feel aggrieved by how rates are spent. I would say to Cr Sayers that he be more honest and far more robust in his methods if he wants to be taken seriously.
Luke Williamson, Snells Beach

Skewed report

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff was asked how he would respond to NZ First’s undertaking to hold a binding referendum for the residents of North Rodney to determine whether or not they want to separate from Auckland City. As he has done in the past, Mr Goff quoted the recent highly flawed Morrison Low report that suggests a 48 per cent rate rise for North Rodney residents should they vote to separate. In his statement, Mr Goff inferred that Auckland Council had commissioned this report when in fact it was commissioned by the Local Government Commission. Nevertheless, when the report is read, it is clear that Auckland Council played a large part in skewing the facts and making sure that the Northern Action Group’s proposal to set up a Council based on the highly successful Thames Coromandel model was completely ignored. The Northern Action Group (NAG) have now commissioned APR Consultants Ltd to produce a proper report, based on the actual NAG proposal. This report will be made public prior to the running of the binding referendum that NZ First will be pushing for in the coalition negotiations.
John and Barbara Maltby, Committee members NAG

Council, listen up

On Monday, I heard a gentleman on National Radio, from the New Zealand Notable Trees Trust talking about their official records of important trees. He stated that the Snells Beach Norfolk pine has been added to their list and is at number 7. This seems to prove that this tree is considered important by this organisation as well as we local people. Is it not about time that Council officials took some note of us local people?
Jennifer Ferguson, Warkworth.

Loos blues

I am really disappointed that Auckland Council thinks so little of Warkworth that after some considerable time and expense, they have done such a shoddy job on our town toilets. OK, the walls are now a pretty colour and the partitions don’t have any screw holes, but the floor is a mess. The basin/ mirror fittings might look fine if they were kept polished, but the loo seats look as if they have come to us as surplus supply from the prison department of a primitive country. They may be easy to wash with a quick hose down, but are not comfortable. We have heaps of tourists coming north from Auckland wanting to stay a while and use our facilities. They will not be impressed.
Sue Stevenson, Warkworth

Rodney Local Board chair Beth Houlbrooke responds:
The choice of toilet pan was necessary to address repeated vandalism of the previous porcelain and plastic toilets, which on some occasions were completely smashed by vandals, closing the toilets or cubicles for weeks at a time. I have raised a complaint over the floor surface covering, which has not been sealed to a standard that successfully repels dirt. The current surface seems to attract and trap dirt.  Hopefully, we will see this rectified shortly.  We are also responding to complaints about the new hand driers being very noisy and this noise transferring through the wall into the i-Site. The driers are going to be relocated onto internal walls.