Is this hang­ing over your home?

Auckland City Harbour News - - OPINION -

To­day’s new lo­cal body buzz-phrase: ‘‘Ur­ban Air­shed’’.

You will hear plenty about the term if the lat­est not-so-su­per-city fetish gets off the ground and some wood­burn­ers are banned.

Reader Ai­dan Crab­tree fired lit­er­ary warn­ing shots in this col­umn last week.

‘‘The pro­posed by­law has been put on hold yet again; is the hope that if it is put off enough times it may get to slip through un­no­ticed? Why has this idea not been scrapped al­to­gether by now; are they hop­ing the protest will die down?’’

Coun­cil spokesman Colin Craig replied: ‘‘The pro­posed by­law on open fire and wood­burn­ers in ur­ban ar­eas of Auck­land, at some time in the fu­ture, has been put on hold for a few months while the coun­cil con­sid­ers its ef­fects on the com­mu­nity.

‘‘If the coun­cil wants to pro­ceed with the by­law in what­ever form it takes there will be an ex­ten­sive public con­sul­ta­tion process.’’ There had bet­ter be. Crab­tree wrote again and Craig’s re­ply in­cluded a sec­tion from a mas­ter map of the mys­te­ri­ous ‘‘Ur­ban Air­shed’’ which in­cludes Crab­tree’s own Westridge Rd – and per­haps your street too.

Did you know about the Ur­ban Air­shed and its re­la­tion­ship to your home, even up to when you try to sell it? From Craig’s re­ply: ‘‘Westridge Rd is in­cluded in the Auck­land Ur­ban Air­shed.

‘‘The coun­cil has not yet made a fi­nal de­ci­sion on what will be in­cluded in the pro­posed Air Qual­ity By­law be­fore it is no­ti­fied for public sub­mis­sion – this de­ci­sion may be made in April or May.

‘‘I un­der­stand, how­ever, that the point of sale rule may re­main so that if you are in the Auck­land Ur­ban Air­shed and you sell your house, you would be re­quired to dis­able an in­door open fire if you have one or dis­pose of any pre-2005 wood­burn­ers in the house, prior to the sale of the house.’’

Now you know.

From Paul Gille­spie, Wind­sor Park: ‘‘Tak­ing over public road space paid for mainly by mo­torists and turn­ing it into cy­cle lanes for cy­clists who haven’t con­trib­uted any­thing to the cost, must be ques­tioned.

‘‘Pri­vate cit­i­zens own one or more home trail­ers, boat trail­ers, car­a­vans, cars, sta­tion wag­ons, SUVs, utes, camper­vans, mo­tor cy­cles, quad bikes, etc.

‘‘Peo­ple us­ing th­ese on a public road are legally re­quired to have a user’s li­cence to prove they (a) know the road rules, (b) are ma­ture enough to use public roads, (c) are ca­pa­ble of us­ing the ve­hi­cle/s they own on public roads.

‘‘They legally need to (1) pay a 12-month reg­is­tra­tion fee for each type of ve­hi­cle they own in spite of only be­ing able to use two types of ve­hi­cle at the most on the road at any one time, (2) pay ACC levies for each ve­hi­cle, (3) have a war­rant of fit­ness for each ve­hi­cle owned to prove it is road wor­thy.

‘‘Now what are cy­cle own­ers cur- rently re­quired to do to be­fore they use pub­licly funded road­ing for their cy­cles? ‘‘Ab­so­lutely noth­ing. ‘‘Cy­clists have no age re­stric­tions, pay no ACC levies, have no li­cence to show ca­pa­bil­ity, have no WOF to show their cy­cles are safe to use among fast-mov­ing traf­fic, make no fi­nan­cial con­tri­bu­tion to the ex­pen­sive cy­cle lanes and off-road ar­eas pro­vided for them, have no reg­is­tra­tion to iden­tify the many cy­clists who fre­quently run red lights and give way signs, etc, en­dan­ger­ing other road users.

‘‘This free­bee men­tal­ity most cy­clists seem to ex­pect must be chal­lenged in this day and age of user pays.

‘‘What right do th­ese peo­ple have to as­sume they should not (1) con­trib­ute to the ex­pense of the ser­vices pro­vided for them, (2) have an age limit for peo­ple cy­cling on the same public roads used by all man­ner of ve­hi­cles with other driv­ers who must be at least 15 years of age, (3) have a road wor­thy cer­tifi­cate for their cy­cle, as re­quired for other road user ve­hi­cles, (4) have a rider’s li­cence to show they have a knowl­edge of road rules, and (5) have reg­is­tra­tion for their cy­cle as a means of iden­ti­fi­ca­tion?’’

User pays: ‘‘This free­bee men­tal­ity most cy­clists seem to ex­pect must be chal­lenged.’’

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