Let­ter to Len: Is this fair?

Auckland City Harbour News - - OPINION -

An un­her­alded, un­ex­pected city coun­cil change of sys­tem drew this re­ply from our house­hold. What was your re­sponse?

Dear Len Brown, we’ve re­ceived your let­ter ask­ing for money.

Your en­ve­lope preached that more than 400,000 of us still get our rate de­mands posted and how waste­ful and en­vi­ron­men­tally un­friendly this makes us.

‘‘Enough pieces of pa­per to mea­sure the length of 95 har­bour bridges, and the weight of 10 rugby teams.’’ Hmmm.

We would be the poor or elderly per­haps in that 400,000 who don’t have a com­puter or who don’t know how to pay on­line.

And since a com­puter tech­ni­cian costs roughly $50 an hour, plus $40 trav­el­ling time where I live, many of us prob­a­bly can’t af­ford to pay for their help, to pay our rates in the man­ner you and the coun­cil would like.

So do you want us to pay the rates or not? If you do, send us a bill. Se­condly, we live out in the sticks – we don’t have all the ameni­ties of Auck­land city and were hus­tled into the big city against our will. Re­mem­ber?

Why should we have to pay such big rates for ameni­ties and priv­i­leges in­ner city res­i­dents take for granted when we en­joy none of them?

Our rates are now based on the same for­mula as every­one else’s in this big city, even though we don’t get a free rub­bish or in­or­ganic col­lec­tion.

We col­lect our own wa­ter and dis­pose of our own waste, no bus ser­vice with most of our roads unsealed and we pay to mow our large grass berm on coun­cil land.

Oh yes. We live half an hour from the near­est Auck­land City Coun­cil li­brary so use a small vol­un­teer li­brary that has served this vil­lage for decades, run by un­paid lo­cals, and sup­ported be­fore now by a small coun­cil grant.

Another coun­cil let­ter – shame­lessly adding to those 95 har­bour bridge or 10 rugby team sta­tis­tics – warns the lat­est grant is a one-off.

And when (or if) you get that fancy rail­way as a mon­u­ment to your term as mayor higher rates will help pay for some­thing we’ll never use.

Ex­plain why you think this is fair, Mr Brown? Or do you think fair­ness isn’t an is­sue?

Jus­tify ask­ing peo­ple in their late 70s and 80s to cope with your un­rea­son­able rates de­mands? ( No mat­ter how you ask for them).

PS: If ‘‘more than 400,000’’ are now pay­ing af­ter a mailed de­mand, how many pay through their com­puter al­ready? More or less than 400,000?




Bob Ker­ridge, Auck­land SPCA’s voice for an­i­mals, has set read­ers’ minds at rest over more meat sell­ers ad­ver­tis­ing Halal meat.

The let­ter: ‘‘It up­sets me deeply to see more and more shops ad­ver­tis­ing that they sell halal meat.

‘‘Tra­di­tion­ally, in Mus­lim coun­tries Halal meat means the name of Al­lah been in­voked three times by a Mus­lim who then cuts the an­i­mal’s throat – it bleeds to death, gasp­ing for its last breaths.

‘‘This is cruel, which is why Western abat­toirs have evolved the tech­nique of stun­ning an­i­mals so they are not con­scious when they are killed.

‘‘Halal killing has spread to many pre­vi­ously hu­mane abat­toirs in the UK and else­where.’’

Bob Ker­ridge says he shared this con­cern when Halal killing be­gan in New Zealand.

But he is con­fi­dent an­i­mals are stunned be­fore the Mus­lim killing rit­ual be­gins.

If you have ev­i­dence that doesn’t sup­port that, please phone Bob on 09 256 7300.

Halal meats: SPCA stal­wart Bob Ker­ridge is con­fi­dent the prac­tice is hu­mane. Are you?

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