Mayor, council fail to back tourism initiative
I wish to thank his worship Neil Sinclair, South Waikato mayor for reminding us all in last week’s South Waikato News that it is indeed a criminal offence for any person (man, woman or child) to fly a toy plane, helicopter or kite in a park or reserve . . . or indeed, even in their own back yard in the Tokoroa township.
How sad it is that the mayor and his councillors choose to place the financial interests of a Hamilton-based business (CTC flight school) ahead of the rights of Tokoroa’s own residents and indeed, ahead of an initiative that would bring tourists from all over the country and the world, flocking to Tokoroa to fly model aircraft.
I refer to the Tokoroa Model Park initiative, a plan to turn what is a virtually disused airfield, and a drain on ratepayers’ pockets, into an international tourist attraction in Tokoroa.
Instead of embracing this bold initiative that hundreds of people around the world have pledged a five-figure sum to create, the mayor seems to think it better that we continue to turn our children into criminals every time they fly a toy helicopter or kite in a park or residential back yard.
Ratepayers ought to be more than a little worried that the Hamilton-based flight school concerned pays nothing to use an asset that costs ratepayers more than $30,000 a year to maintain, and which community groups have to pay a hefty fee to use.
This flight school employs nobody in the district, pays no rates, spends no money with local businesses, brings nobody to the district, and pays no fees for airfield use – and has never done so, despite using the facility for many years. Why is that?
How sad that this council forbids, or criminalises, the simple pleasures that so many of us enjoyed in our own youth. In a low-income district like Tokoroa, perhaps more ready access to such pastimes would help reduce the problems we have with bored children getting into mischief for lack of an innocent, enjoyable, affordable hobby.
We should be encouraging children to take up hobbies, and we should be asking why people from one of New Zealand’s lowestincome areas are subsidising NZ’s largest flight school. Bruce Simpson, Tokoroa
(Abridged) land amid driver training classes of cars on runway when white crosses at each end of tarmac indicate to planes ‘‘the strip is booked and closed to planes’’.
The council is attacking kites in parks while the real travesty is annual plan submissions are being ignored year after year for a de-listed airport in Tokoroa saving $200,000 and $30,000 of ratepayers money a year. The mayor has tripped over, with the kite string tangled around his feet in the plastic foam toy children’s models, inside 4km of the airfield.
R Young, Tokoroa (Abridged) erected which could benefit businesses in our town.
Tokoroa is a town the NZTA treats with absolute distain. What other town allows the maximum traffic speed within its town boundaries.
When I take State Highway 1 and want to turn left into East Parkdale St, surprisingly I have to slow down, traffic travelling past me at 100kmh without fail do so by travelling on the painted hatched area, which is against the law.
Yet when asked how we could be safe (and wishing to go south) from vehicles coming through this road junction from the north, the district’s resident NZTA engineer said ‘‘to allow those vehicles (travelling through) to pass on your left you should travel on the hatched area going south’’, which is against the law.
How many of us have travelled north from town and noticed there is no signage warning of a road junction (for East Parkdale St) so strangers going through have no warning of any kind that a problem may be ahead.
There are sufficient hazards in this area without any bureaucratic nonsense by some people who believe they have to find ways of justifying their authority.
John C Simcock, Tokoroa