Bike tax needed
Peter Hickey, Silverdale (abridged)
I think the editor’s note on Danny Donovan’s letter (HM July 1) missed the point. Yes cyclists who have cars do pay registration and fuel tax (if the car is petrol). This is for the car or motorcycle. They do not pay any tax for their bicycle. They essentially get free cycleways at the expense of the motorist. No motorists, no bridge. If you haven’t noticed, Auckland geography and climate are not suitable for push bikes. I can count the number of people on one hand going to work on bicycles in the morning.
Alan Powell, Red Beach
I hope the boffins designing the extensions to Ōrewa Boulevard (‘Costs approach $2m’, HM July 14) have noted the fate and failing of the first section. They forgot about the wind blown sand and installed an under-path drainage network that was impossible to clean after the very first easterly blow, and remains blocked to this day. Please allow for the moving sand we see after every big wind, and avoid another expensive disaster.
Doug Conley, Ōrewa
Regarding the new pedestrian crossing with controlled lights being installed on the highway at the southern end of Ōrewa. With the cycleway on one side of the road and the beach on the other there is definitely a need for a safe crossing there. Considering that it is also a busy section of highway, traffic will have to stop for longer periods and more frequently when the new crossing is operational. Was there any thought of building the pedestrian crossing under the existing bridge? Of course a pathway under the bridge would cost much more than across the road’s surface but without the need to stop traffic and greater safety it might have been a better option.
Editor’s note: We asked Auckland Transport whether this was ever an option – it’s not often they are asked to consider spending more money! They declined to comment apart from saying budget was definitely an issue.
Pass memories on
Geoff Marshall, Gulf Harbour (abridged)
I refer to your Final Years feature (HM July 14). Something else that people may consider in their final years is leaving their history to their children and grandchildren. Many New Zealanders were not born in this country and their childhoods could hardly be more different from those that our children are experiencing. Some of us can remember when grainy 12-inch black and white televisions were new and exciting, coal for the fire was delivered in 1cwt sacks from a horse drawn cart, and can anyone who experienced it ever forget the dentist’s drill driven by that long band around all of those pulley wheels? Hand written, typed on a computer or videoed, they don’t have to be great literary works but I think they are well worth recording.
Robyn Green, Stanmore Bay (abridged)
Is it just me – or are others thinking how crazy this Brightside Rd/Ozone Rd development (HM July 1) is? Let’s talk parking! There are 57 apartments – most households I know have more than one car, so at the least there could be 114 cars, yet there are 16 proposed car parks. So please tell me where these people are going to park? Holiday Rd and Ozone Rd are already used for the overflow parking for New World and associated businesses. Brightside Rd is busy and parking would cause havoc. Also, Ozone Rd is the entrance for deliveries for New World, there are some huge trucks that deliver on a daily basis so parking there won’t work. Please don’t try and tell me these people will be riding bikes to work – Brightside Road is a big slope. Of course they are all going to catch the bus! Yeah, right. Ozone Ltd, has requested that the change to its consent be granted without public notification. Perhaps they might like to come and live in these apartments and have to park 2km away.
Editor’s note: The developer says he’s working on it! The story referred to was about an application to Council to amend a resource consent, so nothing is definite until Council approves it. We sought comment from Ozone Ltd director Colin Craig, who said: “It is a work in progress. Car parking is not a Council requirement so they won’t be pushing for that, however I want more car parking myself so am trying to achieve that with the designers now.”
In it together
David Stewart, Waiwera
On some things, I think the farmers are justified to protest. However, characterising people who buy an EV using the subsidy as “latte drinking Ponsonby dwellers”, as the Mayor of Westland did, is not helpful. It would pay for dairy farmers to remember that latte is made with their milk, and give their urban customers more credit. We are all in this climate crisis together and must all play our part – including moving away from oil. If we don’t, the climate that makes farming as good as it is in NZ will be a thing of the past – giving new meaning to the statement ‘No Farmers – No Food’.
Meg MacDonald, Warkworth
Great that you were there to cover the tractor protest. Did you notice the Voices for Freedom people? They are against government Covid measures and the vaccine. They had the ‘Toot for Freedom’ signs. They are entitled to their views of course, but I would be interested to know if the protest organisers invited them to join?
Editor’s note: We put this question to Mick Smith of Groundswell, organiser of the Ōrewa protest. He says Voices for Freedom contacted him before the protest, so he knew they would be there. “I don’t know who Voices for Freedom are, but it was a public place and I was happy for anyone to come along. It wasn’t an endorsement of their views and we gave no speaking rights,” he says. “The Communist League was also there, but we didn’t know they were coming beforehand. We invited members from every political party – the more apolitical we can be, the better.”
Town ute dinosaurs
Rachel Anderson, Hatfields Beach
I was in Takapuna town centre recently and couldn’t help but notice the amount of 4WDs and utes – they were everywhere. While I feel for farmers and others who protested in Ōrewa, who need that kind of vehicle, I think suburbanites using them is crazy. I put together a small poem, with a nod towards a kids book called I thought I saw a Dinosaur…
I thought I saw a dinosaur
drive past me last weekend
It was tall and wide and diesel-powered
One person sat inside
I’d like to think those days are gone
and transport will be different
smaller, cleaner, more efficient
– and kinder to our planet
Guides dumped on
Dave Mason, Ōrewa (abridged)
The Girl Guide Den in Centreway Road, Ōrewa is home to Pippins (5-6 year olds), Brownies (7-9 year olds), Guides (9-13 year olds) and Rangers (13-17 year olds). Recently we have been having a big cleanup of the den and have been busy painting the outside and generally bringing it up to scratch. We have had to pay to have rubbish removed that someone has thoughtlessly and selfishly dumped in the Den’s gardens. On July 17 yet more rubbish appeared including an old chair just dumped on the driveway. Girl Guiding is a charity and funds raised go to improving the lives and goals of young girls. Paying to have rubbish removed takes money away from these girls. It’s a disgrace that someone should think it’s ok to simply dump their junk and rubbish onto others. It’s really disheartening to see such selfishness.
Brian Mullan, Millwater
The brief about Rotary helping out I Got Your Backpack (IGYBP) on page 24 of your July 1 edition caught the eye of local lady Tiffany (who does not want her surname published). She got in touch with the Rotary Club of Ōrewa-Millwater and delivered a quantity of backpacks – including some pre-stuffed with useful things – plus a large box of new socks, gloves and other items. She told us, “I Got Your Back Pack is a wonderful charity that helps women and children who have, for whatever reason, had to leave their homes in a hurry. That story in Hibiscus Matters touched my heart and I am just so happy to be able to help.” Anita Hinton (seen here) works for IGYBP and collected the items from me, in my role as an honorary Rotarian. Anita thanked Hibiscus Matters, Rotary Ōrewa-Millwater and Tiffany, saying she was delighted with the combined teamwork that delivered such a variety of essentials.