It’s an urgent matter - protecting the Hauraki Gulf
May I say a big thank you to all who have spent much time and effort endeavouring to point out the dreadful decision made by our Waikato Regional Council and Iwi, in giving consent for a spat farm and caged fish enterprise within our Mercury Bay waters.
By so doing they, in their wisdom, have set a precedent for future similar projects, businesses, enterprises, to follow.
The WRC (Waikato Regional Council) is financed by us, the ratepayer, the taxpayer. Their primary function is, or should be, to protect our natural resources and environment.
With Iwi working with the WRC and being the single entity wanting to start up this ill-conceived spat farm/caged fish enterprise, it is my honest opinion that they are too close to the decision that’s been made. Dare I say, a conflict of interest, comes to mind.
For many years our Bay has been visited by many species whose natural home is water – i.e. orca, bottlenose dolphin and common dolphin. In fact we were privileged to have a family of the latter who took up residence in our estuary. They would often escort the boats out to sea and back to their moorings. Ramphal (we named the male) very cleverly untangled a friend’s mooring rope from the propeller of his boat – how clever is that!
They would escort the children swimming beneath them when the local school held their ‘across the river’ swim. They even did early morning swims with a friend of mind out of Front Beach. We never could figure out how they knew when she was there. But, when they started constructing the marina, our dolphin family disappeared.
Karen Campbell Whitianga
P.S. Thanks Informer, you do a sterling job. Your wee paper is well named.
Editor's note: Karen walked over a kilometre to bring her handwritten letter to the Informer, such was her conviction and concern for this matter.
Objection to TCDC's Gary Towler’s message
We have had enough of your ongoing misinformation with the whimper you call whispir. Your letter confirms that the Whispir system DOES NOT WORK ON THE PENINSULA! Any warning system that does not include all residents and ratepayers is not a “system” at all. There is certain information in you letter which is difficult to reconcile with the truth, and I have all the information to prove it. You have not looked, listened, or learned from the fires of Lahaina. You removed all the sirens from the Peninsula before there was a working system to replace them. You refused to attend the siren demonstration held at Simpsons Farm. You have a closed mind. The truth is you have failed Whitianga and Wharekaho, one of the three most vulnerable tsunami areas in New Zealand and for years now we have had absolutely no effective warning system in place. Lahaina devastatingly proved that the very systems you are investing your time and our money in are inadequate and in a real disaster, simply do not work. Sirens do. How could anyone rely on you for their safety?
The Informer asked Dal Minogue if the letter below could be reprinted in light of what is happening with the Hauraki Gulf. Warwick Wilson and Professor Tom Maxwell are wanting to lead a communitywide request for a World Heritage site. If enough care it can be done. World Heritage site - a difficult challenge (Previously printed in Issue 1057, 6 June this year under the title: 'Brilliant idea Warwick but three slight problems.')
Congratulations to Warwick Wilson for thinking outside the box and coming up with his brilliant idea to seek a World Heritage rating for the wider Mercury Bay Area. I can’t think of a better way to achieve a long term sustainable business future within and while maintaining our unique and beautiful environment.
While it would be be a great achievement for something like this to happen, there is a slight problem that would need to be overcome.
This relates to the fact that we are designated as being within the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park (HGMP) established by an Act of Parliament and governed by the Hauraki Gulf Forum. I note: a) that this Forum created the initial zoning for the spat farm Mr Wilson talks so critically about and that; b) the current Government intends to change the makeup of the Hauraki Gulf forum to create a co-governance structure that excludes elected membership and then; c) allow the Forum to monopolies environmental planning over the HGMP, above any other planning regime.
I doubt that the new co-governance structure would approve a localised World Heritage structure within the HGMP when Hauraki Iwi and DOC and MPI (the proposed co-governance partners) have waited so long and so desperately to get ultimate control over it.
I have been fortunate enough to represent Mercury Bay on both TCDC and WRC over many years where, unfortunately, I have also witnessed the spread of impenetrable Central Government planning frameworks wrapped up in equally impenetrable co-governance structures.
So, the only way Mr Wilson’s idea will ever float is by a new Act of Parliament that excludes the area identified by Mr Wilson from the current HGMP and that also allows for eventual establishment of a World Heritage Area. Achieving that would not be an easy ask. And I am not sure if our current batch of elected representatives, who would need to drive the idea, would quite be up to that task, even though they obviously mean well.
But it would be great to be surprised!
I would just like to congratulate you on your reporting and real informing; such a refreshing change, in this day of selective reporting, to see integrity and no bias. Your guest editorial articles are brilliant and Malcolm Campbell makes a lot of sense as well. These guys should be in Government at some level) and with all the letters to the Editor, issues are well covered. Well done.
K Mouritsen Port Jackson
The damage of neo-liberal philosophy
What is the neo-liberal or Friedman philosophy damagingly promoted by certain elected representatives, especially Roger Douglas in Rogernomics? It is the government cannot run, efficiently, enterprises that were instigated to help citizens, e.g.: the Government Printing dept, the Electricity System, the Post Office. That these groups (and others) had to provide a profit to the owners and that private enterprise, and the free market would keep prices down through competition. To this end “the family Silver” was sold off to the wealthy and profit driven entrepreneurs.
Well, we’ve given it a go and the results are disheartening. The Bradford reforms of electricity industry have seen the assured profit to many new players of the “availability charge”. Profit being more important than nations well – being. The gap between the “haves” and the “not haves” rapidly widening. Quality printing removed by commercial works for profit. A downgraded railway that was asset- stripped by the new owners who ignored the cause of Climate Change. The neo-liberal philosophy negates altruism, which our nation needs. We need to repudiate the Friedman Philosophy.
Peter H Wood
NZ’s 2023 elections have become meaningless. My previous understanding about politics was that the rich were conservative and blue in colour. In NZ these were farmers who voted National. This was a 'right-wing' party. The poor, the workers, were represented by the Labour Party, which was red in colour and regarded as 'left wing'. You voted blue or red. But then we got the Greens! The Greens were radical environmentalists. Anything radical was deemed 'far left’. Today the Labour/Greens are called ‘Far right’. Everything has changed. The blues, the reds and the greens have all become centrist parties. Every MP in Wellington now follows the same agendas and accords from overseas and so it'll make no difference to the way I am going to be governed whether I vote blue, green, red or pinko. The communist countries have become capitalist and, with the advent of pandemic emergencies, both styles of government have become totalitarian. MMP has led us to totalitarian rule and not one of the aspiring political parties offers any change to this fundamental fault in our system of government.
MMP has led us to totalitarian rule and not one of the aspiring political parties offers any change to this fundamental fault in our system of government.
Get A Life!
I would like to comment on the letter headed ‘Labour is Needed” in last week’s issue. If you read the last two paragraphs again, the whole thing is a total contradiction!
Recently it seems our household made a purchase, completely unsolicited, of two hideous plastic bins, one with a red top, the other a green colour. We cannot return them and get a refund as we could with anything else, as they were supplied by the TCDC and paid for through our significantly increased rates.
So, in an era when we are continually being told to reduce plastic and save the planet, we are instead adding more plastic, which will inevitably become discarded and probably end up in a landfill at some stage.
It seems that this new system, proudly proclaimed by TCDC as “Your new improved system” is an ill-advised Central Government initiative and TCDC probably had no option but to introduce it.
It would have been nice to have a proper consultation process, but when submissions were called for, they only concentrated on the trivia, not whether ratepayers actually wanted a changed system.
Now we have several bins to cope with, all significantly bulky. Lord help people with long steep driveways to cope with. Before they had one wheelie bin, now they have two. How do they manage to get them to the gate?
The effectiveness of the food scraps bin is debatable. From my observations in the Tauranga area, where this system has been in place for a while, these bins are often just another receptacle for all waste, making the contents useless for composting. It will be interesting to see how many food scrap bins even get put out. I would have thought that most of us will simply continue with our own composting, thus enriching our own gardens. So now we do our own composting but pay Council for the privilege. Cute!
Apart from all the inconveniences of this new system one must wonder at the effectiveness of all these measures in terms of saving our planet. Diesel burning trucks are used to carry all waste out of town, then much of the plastic is shipped offshore using more fossil fuels, only for much of it to go into landfills overseas.
A significant portion is dumped in our own landfills. Where are the benefits from this?
It seems that glass and some paper and cardboard are the exception as they can be recycled within our own country.
Here's a challenge to TCDC. Simply and clearly write to the Informer telling us all exactly what does happen to our recycling. Explain what proportion of the plastics put out goes to landfills, what is recycled within our shores, and what goes offshore. We can then judge for ourselves whether all this recycling is worth the hassle, or whether it is just another politically correct exercise to make some people feel good about saving the planet, when in reality absolutely nothing positive is being achieved.