I feel compelled to write after reading Cr John Watson’s Viewpoint column (HM June 27). In this disturbing time where freedom of speech has ramifications for everyone, it takes real courage to stand up for what you know is right and say it like it is. More than ever before, we need leaders with courage and conviction, strength and clarity; we need leaders who have the confidence to risk their reputations by speaking the truth in a public forum. Well done and thank you John. And also thanks to the Hibiscus Matters editor for her unbiased support of freedom of speech and openness to publishing potentially contentious viewpoints – one of the few in today’s media. A great newspaper which I always look forward to reading.
Michelle Blythen, Manly (abridged)
Te reo debate
I agree with the correspondent who wrote complaining about Council spending rates on te reo signage alongside or to replace perfectly good English names. In the same edition of Hibiscus Matters, the You Say article about doing away with the name Penlink and replacing it with O Mahurangi is more of the same ridiculous and unwarranted expenditure. I suggest to those equally annoyed that they do what I do and conduct a little bit of civil disobedience and wherever I see a name changed in this way, I cross it out and put the old one in its place. It’s very satisfying and maybe the faceless decision-makers will eventually get the message.
Richard Brown, Manly
Density bad news
I read with interest the comments on Nimby-ism regarding the in-fill housing which is being surreptitiously pushed through for Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch. I absolutely see the need for more housing, however, there is already enough land put aside to enable this without the need to rush through this piece of legislation. As much as we are being told they will be ‘affordable housing’, I do not see how this will come about, given that the seller will know how much more the land will be worth with three or more dwellings on it. When the Unitary Plan first came into force it was decided that due to the topography of the land, single dwellings were the recommendations for much of Whangaparāoa. So, what has changed? Certainly our topography hasn’t, so how come suddenly it’s OK to suggest that building three lots of 3-storey dwellings can be safely or practically undertaken? One of my biggest concerns is that this proposal will be binding as of August 1, at which time there will be no ability to reverse the Act. Sure, some people may have personal issues about having three lots of 3-story buildings one metre either side of their boundary, but it’s actually about the impact of the lack of infrastructure to support such intensification that is of most concern, and that no consent will be required for these developments to go ahead. Our beaches are already regularly closed for one or two days due to sewage ending up in the sea after a big downpour, and silt is now a problem on Ōrewa Beach due to the various housing projects that have been completed. It is now commonplace to see ‘news flashes’ of flooded cities and towns, and yes, we get the whole global warming thing, but flooding will only increase as we concrete over the green spaces necessary to enable natural drainage. Flooding, coupled with poor infrastructure , will mean more plastics, rubbish and debris washed into the oceans. We have been told most of our coastline will become a marine reserve within the next few years to help build up the depleting stock of fish and shellfish, but with all this extra pollution what use will a marine reserve be? And so, to roading. With no garaging being included in the housing developments there will be less room on the road for traffic to manoeuvre, and with only one road on and off the Coast I’d hate to require the urgent assistance of our emergency services. It would only be a matter of time before someone dies. When our kids and grandkids look back to this time will they be pleased with the decisions we have made for their future, especially when we already know there is land already put aside for enough housing? There are many, many people who do not yet know what is being proposed and we need to ensure everyone is aware of what is happening, what the implications may be, and how to manage it responsibly, not just for the Coast but for everyone in NZ. In summary: Why is the legislation being rushed thru so quickly, especially since there is enough land to build on already? How will we pay for the necessary infrastructure given the amount of money that will be required to be spent and that there are no spare funds set aside? Think of Penlink and how long this has taken to get underway, and now consider how long it will take to get the necessary infrastructure put in place to support the 1000’s of extra houses.
Alison Field, Big Manly (abridged)
The 19 year olds who ripped up the grounds in their car will not get the said three months imprisonment or a maximum $2000 fine because our judicial system is lacking a spine due to the overwhelming number of limp-wristed do gooders who will feel sorry for these adult “children”. Crush the car and make them pay for the full cost of repairs. There needs to be consequences for actions.