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Letters to the Editor

Whispir or Whimpur

TCDC’s reply toHelen Vivian’s letter last week

Whispir, as a public alerting platform has been up and running across the Coromandel for a number of years now, it is known as the EMA or Emergency Mobile Alert. This is both a national and regional alerting tool and one TCDC activated during Cyclone Gabrielle, connecting with over 95% of cell phone users.

Our Council has a parallel project using the Whispir platform called ‘TCDC Alerts’, this is a free subscription service using the same cellular connectivity as the EMA. We wanted to expand the service to include access to landlines and voice messaging, this is where the delays have occurred.

While subscribing to TCDC Alerts was easy and straight forward for the majority of users who took part in testing, it was not compatible and easy to use for others due to the type of or brand of device they were using.

TCDC has spent many months trying to improve this glitch in the process and while progress has been made our Emergency Management staff are not satisfied that the ‘user friendly’ threshold that has been set to fully launch the service has been met.

Work will continue on ‘TCDC Alerts’ and everyone is assured the Coromandel is well connected with the national EMA.

Garry Towler,

TCDC District Manager Emergency Management.

Say NO, to spat farming and caged-fish farming.

The decision to allow a single entity to use resource consent for spat farming and cage fishing is wrong and morally corrupt. The role of a regional council and Iwi is to be stewards of, protectors of, and preservers of natural resources.

The lure of money has the power to allow a select few to benefit financially who are willing to give away their heritage and steal the taonga from future generations.

The voices of these select few 5% drown out the voices of the many who are opposed. According to The Informer article published August 29, there were 204 submissions, of which 195 were opposed. 95% of the submitters do not want or agree to having a spat farm or caged fish farming in this area. They are opposed because such practices destroy the biodiversity and natural beauty of Mercury Bay specifically and the oceans generally.

It also creates a precedent that the ocean that once belonged to everyone now becomes private property. How can the sea be divided into hectares? Does this imply private ownership of common resources, and if so, can anyone apply to have a 10-hectare aqua farm to call their own?

The wisest action Waikato Regional Council could take is to say no and deny resource consent to the invasion of a spat mussel farm and caged fish farming.

  • There is absolutely no benefit or advantage to any resident or visitor to Mercury Bay.

  • There will be long-term consequences and environmental pollution as the structures and ropes age and break down.

  • Detrimental to the natural eco-system and sea life.

  • 30 hectares of buoys and ropes are ugly and impact the natural beauty and aesthetics of Mercury Bay. Tourism is Whitianga’s biggest industry.

  • Caged fish farming is cruel, especially to large fin fish, and creates biosecurity risks.

Verna Carr


Labour and other parties needed!

It has been said that if a million monkeys bang away at a million typewriters for a million years, they could inadvertently write the complete works of Shakespeare. This is probably an apocryphal story; however, I have often wondered if the same could not be said of Trevor Ammundsen, namely that at some stage he could inadvertently and in error offer something of sense. However, his guest editorial in last week’s Informer, New Zealand Labour Party – RIP, did not breach his thus far consistent record of complete nonsense.

The entire range of meaningless assertions are too numerous and general to be worthy a response. But taking just the second paragraph as an example, he appears to be asserting that, over time, the Labour government has had such little or no electoral success, it is therefore worthy of removal from the political scene. In the 29 elections from 1935 Labour has won 13 and National 16. In the period post-MMP, only one party has once won an electoral majority, that would be the Labour Party, the other eight required coalition arrangements. Of the nine elections post-MMP, Labour have won 5 and National 4.

So it is with the rest of the column, code for bigoted, racist and misogynist rubbish that a normal thinking person might just ignore but for the frightening conclusion. Your correspondent, whether he knows it or not, and I suspect he doesn’t, is advocating a one-party authoritarian state. If my memory serves me correctly, we have tried that arrangement on a number of occasions in the past and in various parts of the world, most spectacularly in Europe during the first half of the last century. It did not end well.

I wonder if I am alone in finding Mr Ammundsen’s column besmirches the integrity of a neat little local paper, of significant democratic value, which I look forward to receiving weekly. And not just for the Sudoku.

But as a staunch advocate for free speech, I acknowledge that the Informer is able to publish anything it wishes as editorial policy, and consequently do not advocate the banning of such columns. However, the reading public also must have the protected right to call out such fascist ideas for what they are, lest some in the community form the notion that these ideas are of merit. They are not!

Alastair Sims


Recycling - TCDC won’t empty it!

I put my yellow recycling bin out for collection the night before collection day on Tuesday (29/08/23) and noticed that it was not emptied on Tuesday after work so I left it thinking that

maybe the truck was full, but then read on social media that the council are wanting to put stupid data tags on the bins, so I thought I had better leave it out and rang TCDC to ask if they can arrange for my bin to be emptied, the CS rep said “We will get in touch with the contractor” I said “Thank you, as this has happened before, I will leave the bin on the curb side so it is convenient for the contractor.” The CS rep “Ok, no problem that’s great”. I then received a call from the same CS

rep stating that the contractor said "No, we won’t be picking it up as we no longer have the contract.” I said that it was appalling considering the bin has been out for three days, before the said contract ended. It is TCDC’s responsibility that this has not been done. Therefore, I won’t pay my rates today, and the bin will remain on the curb till the next pick up. As I move out next week I was told to ‘take the bin to the recycle centre myself. I ask TCDC ‘What the hell am I paying

$4000.00 in rates for? It’s a blatant disregard for responsibility and accountability.

Emma G



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