South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - Hi­lary Stephen

In re­sponse to the let­ter of Teehi Ani Wha­iapu [March 15]. I would sug­gest that Teehi check out facts be­fore mak­ing slan­der­ous and in­cor­rect state­ments in the pub­lic fo­rum.

Firstly, Mayor Shat­tock WAS dis­ap­pointed with the some­what sur­pris­ing out­come, be­cause an op­por­tu­nity for em­ploy­ment and the pro­vi­sion of goods and ser­vices by the lo­cal firms had been turned down, even though the coun­cil and the lo­cal com­mu­nity – in­clud­ing lo­cal Maori – had in­di­cated strong sup­port. To say that it ‘smacked of eco­nomic favouritism’ and ‘pa­tro­n­ises lo­cal iwi and all Maori’ im­plies that the Mayor placed the in­ter­ests of Mrs Waite’s at­tempted com­mer­cial ven­ture above that of the com­mu­nity, which is slan­der­ous.

Teehi also im­plies strongly that the cafe´ project would do harm to the ‘en­vi­ron­men­tal land­scape’. The pro­posed cafe´ would have been al­most a kilo­me­tre away from the Blue Springs, well in­side her own pri­vate prop­erty. There would have been no di­rect easy ac­cess to the Blue Springs from the cafe´ . Mrs Waite had al­ready planted some thou­sands of na­tive trees in the area – all this was at a sig­nif­i­cant per­sonal cost and totally un­nec­es­sary for the cafe´ project – it was only to im­prove the en­vi­ron­ment around Te Wai­hou, a mat­ter to which Mrs Waite has given high pri­or­ity through­out the whole course of events.

Teehi stated that the ap­pli­ca­tion was not turned down. Wrong. Only a part of the ap­pli­ca­tion was ap­proved. The ap­pli­ca­tion for the cafe´ WAS turned down. Any­one who has any knowl­edge of busi­ness would know that in such a cir­cum­stance, it is the cafe´ that car­ries the whole. Re­fus­ing the cafe´ very ef­fec­tively killed the whole project.

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