Letter to Len: Is this fair?
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?