It’s not what you say but how you say it.
TCDC’s paid insert ‘Corrections to Informer article’ (Issue 1067-15 August 2023)
is unnecessarily petty, patronizing, and confrontational. I was not present at the meeting in question and cannot comment on what was said. However, the tone that the rate payer funded TCDC communication team strikes is arrogant and demeaning. The question TCDC should ask themselves are: “Have we successfully got our message across in this meeting or is there room for improvement?” There is no good reason why the Informer would intentionally misrepresent facts. So, don’t shoot the messenger. The Council’s role is to provide services to ratepayers and not to engage in trivial confrontations with their customers in such an overbearing way.
The Editor’s transparent response is highly commendable.
Saddened and Disgusted
In an article written in The Informer dated 15 August 2023, I was saddened by the advert which promoted the upcoming ‘Coromandel Artbeat Spring Festival’ from September to December 2023 ‘Creative Coromandel’ is promoting this festival and stated that “the Arts Sector was recognized as the heart of many communities around the peninsula’. The only thing missing in the article was the inclusion of mercury/Bay Whitianga and I am saddened and disgusted by this.
We have lived in Whitianga for over 40 years and have contributed to the ‘Art Sector’ in various ways and continue to do so. The community of mercury bay/Whitianga has supplied an amazing array of talent over the years. Amongst so many genres, music in its various styles, is outstanding. Today the Art sector is so strong that it has given its residents, and in particular, our young people, a real sense of purpose in life. Let us all work together to achieve our goals and be an integral part of the Peninsula as a whole.
They call themselves ‘useless’ and that’s not right!
The little lady burst through the door to tell her story. She was concerned and flustered. It had taken a lot of courage for her to bring her concern. The words rushed out. She was describing a section of Buffalo Beach pathway and a concern that someone is really going to get injured.
“They have put up some plastic to warn people, but the older people keep getting stuck. There’s nowhere else to walk. have to keep running across to save them. There’s one man on a really good tricycle and he keeps getting stuck. He enjoys riding along the beach front and why not? People come on frames or walking sticks; they get stuck because there is nothing on which to get a grip. Where the path was, It’s just sand. It scares me that someone is going to fall over and hit their head. The Council has put up a passage way - that’s where the green plastic is, but that doesn’t change the situation that they get stuck. Sometimes, a person will look and decide they won’t be able to get across, so they go down on to the road and that’s worse.
The path has been eaten away by the cyclone. I have tried to talk to the Council. I have visited once and phoned. They listened well and the person took notes, but nothing has happened. I know things take time, but it’s been a long time. I work as a cleaner at one of the places opposite and when I see someone in trouble, I run across to help them. I worry about our older people and it’s not just the older ones; there are other cyclists and young ones with tricycles. This is right across the road from Continuing Care. The rest of the path is fine; it’s just this one section; it needs fixing asap. When I go to save the person, I am embarrassed and find myself apologising to them on behalf of the town. I have been looking after older people for most of my life. Sometimes when they’re stuck, they take it back on themselves and call themselves ‘useless. That’s not right. “
These notes were taken verbatim.
Reacting to Stan’s Stuff
Stan is obviously a keen observer of humanity, I being a casual one. I read Stan’s Stuff with pleasure in Auckland where I live. I also am an observer of life.
For instance, as I walk along the beach in Kohimarama I revel in the breeze, the beautiful water with light dancing on it with the stern backdrop of Rangitoto. And it astounds me that with all this joy and beauty, how can some people walk along glued to their iPhones or lost in the sounds of their earbuds. To me joy and life are out there, what our eyes can see, not inside. They miss so much!
But maybe there is a more general ailment being demonstrated? That would be self/inner focus versus global awareness. It is my instant- theory that the ratio of outer focus time to inner focus time is a measure of happiness and my guess would be a factor of at least two to one would indicate healthy happiness.
Speaking of healthy happiness, I saw my doctor recently and fishing, as I sometimes do, I asked him health-wise, how would he rate me among ninety-year-olds, I being ninety-four. He said I would be a 6 or 7. I was dashed as I was expecting a 9 or a 9+. Then he went on to say all his other 90-year-old patients were twos or threes. So, I had angled successfully!
People tell me I am doing well for a ninety plus year old. I accept that and continue my life with daily body exercise, at least six or seven spoons of yogurt, and close to one kilometre walk each day. I consider myself to be a very lucky man and of course I am very lucky to have Ruth as a partner/wife.
I am grateful for what I have and what I am. I have no ailments to speak of; a sore back to be sure but that I take care of with stretching exercises every morning and I supplement my back work with about 10 minutes on the stationary bicycle every day. I am still a bit light headed and wobble around a bit but no complaints.
Post use-by-date as I am, it seems to me that my degree of tranquillity and joyfulness is somehow misplaced. Do I deserve it? I cannot really see why. But do I like it? Yes indeed. I figure unearned joy is somehow attenuated, but I can’t notice any reduction.
No Cathedral Cove walk, so why not New Chum Beach?
Having read the NZ Herald article (Tuesday August 15th) referencing the closure of Cathedral Cove for Summer and longer (walking track closed but access by water will be open), it is important that people know the other beautiful beaches that are accessible and open to the public on the Eastern seaboard. I am referring to not only ‘The North Island’s famous beaches but an internationally famous’ beach - New Chum/Wainuiototo one of the key ‘Jewels in the Crown’ of our tourism industry on the Coromandel Peninsula and in particular, the Eastern side of the Peninsula.
As most know, New Chum is rated one of the top three wilderness beaches in the world, enhanced by the magnificent walk around the rocks and over the saddle through the ancient Nikau grove. This experience has given New Chum additional accolades as one of the most beautiful 10 beaches in the world.
Having noticed that it is not being promoted much these days it seems timely to revisit this decision? Perhaps TCDC and Coromandel Good for your Soul can begin ‘quiet’ promotion of this iconic beach again for incoming tourists.
Communicating with Iwi, DOC and TCDC, necessary track repair is being encouraged and the walkway through the Nikau that suffered some damage during the cyclone is in need of some TLC. It is up to us all to preserve and protect the area and the walkway along the coast and through the Nikau. Nothing is major but this special area needs some TLC and signage needs upgrading and logs removed from along the coastal walk.
A working bee is being suggested and considered for Labour Day weekend. If you or a group would like to be involved, please contact me. Many hands make light work as we all know. Hope you can help. Wear appropriate footwear, check the tides, don’t wander off the track, and no animals allowed.
Respecting this beautiful area will ensure it is in this pristine state for future generations. And, of course, NO DEVELOPMENT is still the ultimate goal.
Linda Cholmondeley Smith
Laihana - no sirens to warn people of Fire Storm
The article about Lahaina and the editorial from last week’s NZ Herald caught my eye.
It seems that Lahaina, (on the Island of Maui, Hawaii) had a sophisticated siren warning system which was never activated to warn people of the wildfire danger. Social media posts simply didn’t cut the mustard and other forms of communicating a warning, such as radio, TV and cell phones were stymied by power and other outages.
There’s surely a lesson there for TCDC that, absent tsunami sirens, their means of warning the public of an impending natural hazard, will be similarly compromised. What do you think?