I write in response to June 15th letter from Aiden Crabtree about the recent bylaw passed by Auckland Council relating to indoor home fires and air quality. This bylaw was developed as a response to the Unitary Plan which didn’t include any specific references to indoor domestic fires. As many will recall, in 2014, council considered an idea to ban open fires and force the replacement of old wood burners over a few short years. This was opposed by owners of these fireplaces, so council decided to not pursue that proposal. The council was concer-ned that without any rules in place, we would be unable to monitor or control noxious fumes from indoor domestic fires in urban areas. The solution was a bylaw which mirrored for the most part the rules for indoor domestic fires that were in the former Auckland Council Regional Plan, air, land and water. The restrictions are that people cannot burn fuel that creates toxic fumes such as plastics and polystyrenes nor high-sulphur coal. We ask people to instead use dry untreated wood and low sulphur coal. When people are installing or replacing a fireplace, the bylaw requires the new fireplace to meet the appropriate emission standard. These measures will reduce the amount of smoky particles in the air and contribute to clean fresh air for all of us. Council will not have staff out in the streets monitoring this, however, they now have the mandate to act on complaints from the public concerned about high levels of toxic smoke. When responding to complaints staff will always educate first rather than prosecute.
The Trust isn’t a monopoly because there are cafes and wineries? What a joke. I wish to buy my cooking wine along with my groceries at the supermarket, like everyone else. I cannot. That is a monopoly. I have completed endless surveys about this issue to no avail, it’s about time we rid Waitakere of The Trusts. H MOORE
Putting aside whether people are for or against The Trusts, it is time for another vote. Under legislation, licensing trusts exist at the will of the people. The people are supposed to have a say. The ideal time for west Aucklanders to next have their say about The Trusts is as part of the local body elections in 2019. By then it will be around 15 years since a vote was last held. Well overdue. The opportunity to vote on it can come about in one of two ways. One way is to have a petition. The total number of signatures must represent at least 15 per cent of eligible voters for the petition to be successful. The other way that a vote can be achieved is for The Trusts themselves to simply pass a resolution that a vote will be held. To my way of thinking, that is the easiest way and the most respectful way for a vote to be initiated. It is a way for The
Trusts to send a message to our communities that they don’t take their existence for granted and that the ‘will of the people’ is worth hearing. I would like to hear from The Trusts whether they are prepared to make that resolution, whether they are prepared to be part of the voting papers in 2019.
JASON VALENTINE-BURT Avondale
Editor’s note: We asked for a response to this letter from The Trusts, but received no reply before our print deadline.
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Waitakere councillor Linda Cooper.