The Southland Times - - COMMENT&OPINION -

Mu­seum clo­sure

The cul­tural hub of our prov­ince has had a bat­ter­ing in the past few years, only to end its run with a sud­den and shock­ing clo­sure.

We have had hope on sev­eral oc­ca­sions and even a lovely lit­tle mockup dis­played in the mu­seum it­self promis­ing ratepay­ers a new build­ing and re­spon­si­ble stew­ard­ship of an es­sen­tial col­lec­tion of his­toric im­por­tance.

Henry was even go­ing to have some feath­ered friends of the na­tive per­sua­sion.

Now, in car­pet-ripped-fro­munder-us form, there is nowhere for South­landers to cel­e­brate each other, re­mem­ber those on whose shoul­ders we stand, and pre­serve the pre­cious and the rare for those who come af­ter us.

In­so­far as the new In­ver­cargill City Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer’s in­her­ited de­ba­cle is con­cerned, one can only as­sume the le­gal obli­ga­tion left no other choice than to shut up shop af­ter years of pas­siv­ity from pre­de­ces­sors who busily cited re­stric­tions, reg­u­la­tions, re­ports and con­sents and who are, to date, sus­pi­ciously silent and ap­pallingly ab­sent.

This goes nowhere in at­tract­ing those 10,000 new res­i­dents by 2025 that strate­gic plans yo­del about, as new­com­ers be­gin to re­alise things just get shut down if they are in the too-hard bas­ket.

And let’s not for­get about all the pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion the coun­cil was good enough to ar­range prior to this cat­a­strophic event, pre­tend­ing to ask us what we wanted for our new cul­tural heart.

The re­cent re­lease of the ICC con­sul­ta­tion doc­u­ment out­lines that the ICC does not ac­tu­ally own the mu­seum. So who does?

If any­one would care to or­gan­ise a protest march down the main streets of our fair city, end­ing in a con­glom­er­a­tion of the faith­ful in­censed out­side the Civic Ad­min­is­tra­tion Build­ing, count me in.

I am cer­tain the turnout would be abun­dant. Michelle Daw­son In­ver­cargill

Earth­quake prone

With re­spect to our ‘‘earth­quake­prone’’ ex-mu­seum: a re­cent head­line stated that the Mayor was shocked by the clo­sure.If so I would say that he’s com­pletely out of touch.

Or is he merely a fig­ure­head, the ‘‘laugh­ing clown’’ pub­lic face whilst the de­vi­ous qui­etly ap­ply their agen­das in the back­ground?

And he word ‘‘prone’’ means sim­ply that who­ever is prone is ly­ing down; or what­ever they are prone to hap­pens to them a lot. Does our ‘‘earth­quake prone mu­seum’’ get sig­nif­i­cantly more earthquakes than any other build­ing in In­ver­cargill?

So isn’t it naivety to in­form the world’s po­ten­tial tourists that by com­ing here they run a ma­jor risk of get­ting earth­quaked?

Back to Mayor Tim be­ing ‘‘shocked’’ … I be­lieve that this is part of a con­spir­acy to re­lo­cate the Mu­seum per se to the so-called CBD.

Pow­ers have moved shock­ingly fast to seize an op­por­tu­nity here; and if that pyra­mid stays closed In­ver­cargill will be very much the poorer for it. Fait ac­com­pli - Cui bono? John Hunter Win­ton The trust board owns the mu­seum and the coun­cil has the man­age­ment con­tract. Cui bono? means ‘‘who ben­e­fits?’’ - Editor

Road cone epi­demic

Trav­el­ling around the coun­try it’s been great to see so many road works un­der­way be­fore win­ter sets in but con­sider the cost of all those big red road cones. I

t used to be that just a cou­ple of road cones was enough to im­me­di­ately trig­ger aware­ness by mo­torists that road works were ahead and slow us down. Now they can stretch as far as the eye can see.

It turns out each of them costs an eye-wa­ter­ing $28 (ex­clud­ing GST).Mul­ti­ply the thou­sands dot­ted around the coun­try, most of them packed to­gether cheek to jowl rather than spread out more cost-ef­fec­tively, and that’s a huge tax­payer in­vest­ment.

Then con­sider how many of those cones stand idle with ab­so­lutely no work go­ing on for days or weeks at a time when the non-essen­tials could be used else­where rather than buy­ing more new ones to com­pound the na­tional road cone epi­demic.

Surely it’s time for an in­quiry to find out how the epi­demic has got out of hand, whether tax­pay­ers are be­ing well served, and whether more cost-ef­fec­tive rules on how many cones are re­ally needed at each site should be brought in.

Yes safety is crit­i­cal but just how many cones does it take to tell us we’re en­ter­ing a dan­ger zone? Chris Turver Waikanae Abridged - Editor

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