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Letters to the Editor

Any Progress at Council Cove?

In January a storm hit the beach front on Buffalo Beach and scalloped out a small cove. Then on the 14th of February, Cyclone Gabrielle hit us and turned it into a larger cove and extended it out almost to the road.

The Council viewed the damage and told us they would extend the retaining rock wall and back-fill the material. Now I readily concede that to actually accomplish this massive ambition would baffle the engineering brains trust of most councils in New Zealand. I expect there has been a large team of engineers and consultants working night and day to come up with a workable scheme to repair the damage. Although I suspect most of that time would have been spent calculating how much they could charge for Resource Consent without generating a ratepayer rebellion.

We are now into the eighth month (October) and so far, all we’ve seen are a few pickets and some plastic safety mesh.

In reality we are looking at repairing approximately a 30 or 40 metre gap in the foreshore. It is hardly rocket science. I would have thought, get a lot of large rocks, stack them on top of each other until they form a thick solid wall then push sand in behind them and sow some grass seed.

A thousand years ago Hadrian built a wall. It was 118 kilometres long and 6 metres high in parts and only took 6 years to build. At that pace he could have repaired our problem on a Saturday morning, washed his chariot and still got to the footie. This was all done before cranes; hydraulics and the diesel truck came along. It was also done without the handicap of resource consent, consultants and a dithering council. If old Hadrian had to do it today, he’d spend at least six years waiting for consent and a building permit from the authorities.

It is a great pity those Romans aren’t around today. They could build the wall and spend a bit of extra time repairing our pitiful roads. Their roads have managed to last a thousand years. Ours need maintenance after a hundred days. They could start at the end of Marlin Street.

Wayne Hill


TCDC’s response to Wayne HILL’S Letter – ‘Council Cove’

Council is preparing to lodge a resource consent application to both Waikato Regional Council (WRC) and TCDC to extend the rock wall at Buffalo Beach near the public toilets, and that the plan is to extend the rock protection about 30 metres north while gradually tapering it to help minimise the ‘end effects’ of wave action on the end of the proposed wall. The lodging of the consent should be completed by the end of the month, and this process has included pre-application meetings to set the direction of the application, Resource Management Act requirements to consult with iwi and complete ecological and coastal process environmental assessments.

We advised that the consent and resulting construction could take until the end of the year to complete, but this may be longer depending on how both Council’s view the consent application. If they view the application as needing public input (more than minor effects on the coastal environment) then the application could be publicly notified. If this is the case, then timeframes could be significantly longer than if the process was not publicly notified.

Like all other Councils and private persons in the country, we are required to comply with legislation. In this case, it does mean obtaining Resource Consent and in doing so meeting the policy direction of the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement, relevant hazard management policies, WRC’s Regional Policy statement, WRC’s Regional Coastal Plan, and TCDC’s district plan.

Push-ups of sand may still be required until consent is granted to keep the erosion away from the road. These sand push-ups act as a sacrificial buffer during storms by absorbing wave energy and are relatively inexpensive to carry out.

Ngā mihi nui and thank you,

Jamie Boyle. Mātanga Taiao - Coastal Scientist

Thames-Coromandel District Council

Time to Comment!

Re editorial in issue 1074, by Pauline. Have to say, as per usual, a very balanced point of view. Personally, I like Trevor's contributions and it's a pity the others of a different opinion do not want to contribute. If you disagree with his articles write your own instead of sniping over social media.

John Reader

Undue haste and NO public voice!

In 2004 govt told us Coromandel had an emergency. All our hillsides would be bare of trees in a year or two unless the possums were controlled immediately. It would need a quick-acting, super-powered poison able to be dropped from the air. The answer - 1080. Info time for anything else. No prior discussion with the affected people. The poisoning went ahead - and has been going on ever since.

20 years later, the un-poisoned hills are in better shape than the poisoned ones.

The covid emergency in 2019 was dealt with in identical manner - no consultation with the affected people. We had another ‘emergency’ requiring ‘emergency measures. Stand back!

The solutions to both emergencies were sold to us as “safe and effective”.

Three years later, after a massive vaccination operation, there are hundreds of new covid cases every week. This week they include our prime Minister!

In 2004, the poisoners knew the harm 1080 would cause before they dropped it.

In 2019, the vaccinators knew nothing about the vaccine they were delivering.

Is one more guilty than the other?

Or do we excuse them both for acting with undue haste under emergency conditions? But is that really an excuse?

In neither instance was a public voice listened to.

Where were our ‘representatives’?

When all those doctors, school teachers, truck-drivers and farmers, parents and children, all those with concerns about the style of government assembled outside parliament, not one 'representative' in The Beehive spoke to or for, any of them.

This is not true “representation”. MMP can no longer be seen as a ‘democratic' process.

I’m dragged away from my dinner to answer the phone. It is the recorded voice of Chris Luxon wanting my vote. A recorded voice is never going to listen to me.

‘Communication’ National Party style.

In 2020, the total number of votes cast was 2,919,086 which, if divided by the number of seats, 120, means each seat was worth 24, 326 votes.

In a ‘democratic’ system every candidate/party who polled 24,326 votes on election day would get a seat in parliament.

BUT . . .

Under the New Zealand electoral system, you’ve got to get five seats worth of votes - 5% of all the votes before you can get even one seat.

Yet another area of our electoral system which lacks democracy.

5% of 2,919,086 votes = 146,000 votes. The gap between 24,326 and 146,000 is surmountable, and it is surmountable within a week.

I will be proud to be one of the 146,000.

All the parties already in Wellington are following the same path. No matter how the power gets divided between them, their later deviations from the same path will be imperceptible. A vote for any of them is simply asking for more of the same.

Alas we’ve been let down by Winston Peters before, so New Zealand First is not an option for us; we desperately need something new.

The only party to offer any kind of real change is the Loyal Party. Their open naïveté is refreshing, vote-catching even. Without Loyal there would be no one for us.

If we are serious about wanting any kind of change, the Loyal Party is our only choice.

See you at the polling booth.

John Veysey



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