Otago Daily Times

Diversity has gone up in one direction but gone down in another


I’D like to present a view on the plan to disinter people buried on the fringes of the old Drybread Cemetery (ODT, 17.10.20).

Almost all the historic cemeteries in this country have large numbers of unmarked graves.

This is because only the wealthy could afford marble headstones.

Everyone else had wooden grave markers, and there are now very few of these left in the country.

My local cemetery in the North Island has 570 unmarked graves — this is very typical. These people rest under a lovely grassy top.

When people couldn’t afford to pay for a cemetery plot, they were often buried on the fringes of a cemetery or even under cemetery pathways.

The probable location of unmarked burials on a cemetery fringe can be found using groundpene­trating radar.

Superficia­l excavation­s could confirm the existence of a grave site.

Unless you’re putting through a motorway, it isn’t necessary to disinter people.

And it’s highly debatable whether examining the remains of the dead is ever respectful.

These people would have lived and died at around the same time as my Central Otago greatgrand­parents — and I would be horrified if my ancestors were disinterre­d because of academic curiosity about what they had for breakfast, or what diseases may have affected their bones.

GIVE three cheers and one cheer more for the ‘‘stadium wars’’ editorial (ODT, 9.10.20) regarding the impending clash between DunedinChr­istchurch multimilli­ondollar “glossy stadiums”.

Solution: The proposed Christchur­ch stadium does all the sporting, concerts, showbiz fixtures and so on.

The Dunedin stadium converts to become a major cannabis growing hub to supply the city’s new hospital, perhaps even those further away including the Christchur­ch hospital.

Jim Moffat


Mackenzie flowers

TO see that Russell lupins in the Mackenzie Basin are being eradicated sounds like another case of a nuisance introduced plant being dealt to.

This does not take into account the stunning beauty of the display these plants put on every year.

The nuisance they present is minor compared to the colour and joy they bring.

It will be a great sadness to see this no longer.

There are so many other nuisance plants which present far greater problems — gorse, brier and broom come to mind. Please spare something so glorious.

Robin Dicey Bannockbur­n .................................

BIBLE READING: Do not be fooled: you cannot cheat God. — Galatians 6.7.

Diverse representa­tion in Parliament (ODT Editorial, 21.10.20) is important for symbolic reasons and the legitimacy of the institutio­n (Prof Hilde Coff, VUW). But it doesn’t translate to drawing voters to a party or politician. Voters base their vote on policy.

And, while we’ve moved on diversity in ethnicity, sex and age, we’ve reversed on diversity in work and education background­s such that Parliament is becoming less and less like voters.

For onethird in Parliament, there is no distinct career or specialisa­tion. Another third are from jobs in government, mostly where the work is political (Miller and Blackham, BlacklandP­R).

Bernard Jennings



DEAR Jacinda. You and your team have crushed the Crusher and put a smile on the faces of approximat­ely 1.1 million voters in this remarkable little country of ours.

Well done!

M. Howell


DCC infrastruc­ture

CROCODILE tears are now being shed because of the lack of investment in the Dunedin city wastewater infrastruc­ture holding up new housing developmen­t.

The council’s decision, backed by its supporters, to load the city with debt to spend multimilli­ons of ratepayer dollars and servicing loans on the stadium instead of infrastruc­ture means we are now paying the price.

Stagnating the city’s growth, by the mismanagem­ent of ratepayers’ hardearned dollars.

Thank you

Brian Miller

East Taieri

I WOULD like to express my thanks to the gentleman who stopped his truck in Jetty St, by the Piggott Gallery, today to pick me off the ground after a nasty fall.

I was not in a fit state to remember the business he worked for but I think he was a builder. His kindness was wonderful.

Dii Moffatt Macandrew Bay

IN recognitio­n of the importance of readers’ contributi­ons to the letters page, the newspaper each week selects a Letter of the Week with a book prize courtesy of Penguin Random House. This week’s winner is Alastair Watt, of Ranfurly, for a letter about the general election and the stability of our Government. The prize is a copy of V2, by Robert Harris. The winning letter was printed on Tuesday and can be read on the ODT website.

Missing dogs

TRAVELLING the roads of Aotearoa, from Auckland to Southland, the number and location of hoardings for red, white, black and blue candidates engaged the motorist.

None have impressed more than the consistenc­y and quality of hoardings desperatel­y seeking Dice and Weed, the two dogs from Sandymount.

The search effort is totally impressive. The country is on alert. Best wishes for the campaign. You have my vote.

When you find them, they must have a special seat in Parliament and a big bone to chew.

Steve Thomas


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