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Letters to the Editor

We want our bins back!

Removal of public rubbish bins Hi there. I am a resident of Tairua and recently our rubbish bin from down the Tairua wharf has been removed. I have queried this with the people responsible and the Thames Coromandel District Council, and they've all got different excuses as to why they removed the bin, but apparently it's due to nothing else but costs. The rubbish bin I'm mainly concerned about is the one down at the Tairua wharf. Everytime I go down to the wharf now, I see rubbish jammed in the seats or lying on the ground. Imagine how much more is now making its way into our Waterways. Locals I've spoken to are also concerned, as when you're finished with rubbish down the wharf, you can't really leave it lying around till you leave, as it could get blown off the wharf. Even if a bin was to save one piece of rubbish a week from going in our waterways that would be worth it; but now there would still be at least a squid bag per day making its way into our beautiful harbour. This is all just to save a couple of dollars a week from the people collecting them. It’s no good and we want our bins back. Jesse Ellsworth Tairua

Jesse also contacted Scott Simpson MP - he promptly wrote back. “Hi and thanks Jesse. I appreciate your letting me know. I wasn’t aware the bin had been removed. Sadly, there is an increasingly common view from Councils (not just ours) and organisations, that the bins are the problem rather than the rubbish. I share your concerns, especially the point you make that the situation is worse as the summer peak comes upon us. Decisisons about litter and rubbish bins are matters for Thames Coromandel District Council rather than central government. That said, I will write to our new Mayor asking for his comments and response to the matter you’ve raised and the points you make. I will be back in touch once I get a reply.”

Weighty Thoughts

By John Veysey

Here are my thoughts on two issues raised in the Informer in recent times. I am quoting from The Informer (italics) to provide context for further discussion and comment but also to make clear my response for people who may not have read the pertinent articles in The Informer. ELECTIONS: This year is election year and, come Election Day, many voters will be hoping to effect some kind of change in the way we are being governed. In the Informer of 27 December our MP states that: “There is an increasingly toxic response to the current government.” The current government sees us locked into a democratic system of representatives which has matured into central rule by one political party. No matter which party wins the vote this year, the central rule will remain just the same. We voted for our local Mayor and he tells us: “A lot of our work is to implement the decisions of central government. We are governed by the Local Government Act. It is our job to deliver those pieces of legislation at local and district level. We don’t have a lot of flexibility in that.” Councils take their orders from central government, these orders are implemented by council staff; what then is the purpose of the councillors? Or of community boards when all elected members are subject to regulations made in Wellington? We call upon them in dire need and they prove powerless. These are not positions of power to which we have elected them. Their elected positions serve no public purpose.

THREE WATERS: Our Mayor tells us he is going to follow the orders from Wellington. Our MP is very disappointed in this decision. Here are our two major ‘representatives’ supposedly in different camps regarding the take over of our waters yet both are completely subordinate to the orders from Wellington. Councillors and council staff receive manuals, books of regulations and protocols from central government which tell them how to proceed. They hold positions of ‘power', a councillor, a Mayor, a roading manager, but none of them is required to make a decision contrary to that which appears in the regulation manual, or in the MP’s case, contrary to his party's policies. The present one-party system in Wellington precludes our MP from having any influence on national decision-making. He is unable to speak up for his electors about anything. Regarding 3-waters bill our MP said, “We have little or no say.”


whose responsibility?

Those poor people, with their homes daily covered in dust (Informer 13 December), have been trying to get some kind of relief; tar-seal on a dusty surface. Both regional and district councils denied responsibility. If it’s in the air it’s WRC, if it’s on the road, it’s TCDC. “One day a worker was sent out to check the dust but the night before it rained.” However it was not the rain that prevented the dust from being measured; No, TCDC states, “in the absence of any national guidance on how to measure dust . . . Council does not accept responsibility.” We wonder that council can fund so many seemingly unnecessary roadworks everywhere else, but cannot manage a muchneeded little strip of tar-seal in Whitianga. There we have it. Not only are our representatives doing nothing but are unable to do anything even if they wanted to. They are bound by the rules. Give us the rule book and we don’t have any further use for these ‘representatives’. We don’t need to pay representatives or staff managers to tell us the rules. A machine can do that for us. 2023 gives us a chance to change the way we are governed, to implement a system which allows every member of the public to have their say. PS. In TCDC there are seven service managers, 73 staff and 17 jobs advertised on January 4th 2023.

Mask up again!

1.Covid is serious, don’t discard the masks Roy and Veida came in to The Informer office to tell their story orally so that it could end up as a Letter to the Editor. Roy - “I was out and about in Countdown. That’s where I caught it. No one wears masks these days. We (my wife and I) were thinking we were immune from it. We have been careful and lived quietly. Last week I wasn’t feeling very well, I felt most unusual. The next day I went for a seven kilometre run to try and run off the bug. ( I run a lot) Well, the run had the opposite effect. I collapsed. My wife had to call the ambulance. As well as having Covid, I banged my head and cut my lip. I spent the night in Thames Hospital, which was extended due to the bad weather. I still feel very unwell. I want to tell others, Covid is no joke. We are saying to people - put your masks back on. Ambulance technique: We could not fault the care I received and attentiveness from the Ambulance officers, but the ride to Thames in the ambulance was a trip from hell. They strap you down so tight that you feel every bump intensely and you can’t move to release the pressure. The strap presses your neck against whatever it is you lie on. I did not have a neck problem when I got into the ambulance, but I did when I arrived at the Thames Hospital. The method of their restraint to the table or bed to keep the passenger safe, is incorrect, at least in terms of a Covid patient.

Roy and Veida Owens Kuaotunu

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