FAIR DIS­CUS­SION

Taupo Times - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - C McCarthy Bob South

I may only be a su­per­an­nu­i­tant, and a per­ma­nent res­i­dent of Tu­rangi, but even I can recog­nise bi­ased re­port­ing when I see it.

Your re­porter Steph Rangi, un­der the dra­matic head­line ‘‘Tu­rangi is split over big project’’ (March 29 2018) pro­vides a one sided view, even from the point of word vol­ume.

The op­po­si­tion group to the Holmes pro­posal is given 3 para­graphs of this re­port, no in­ter­views, no pho­tos, while the de­vel­op­ers and their sup­port­ers are given 20+ para­graphs, 2 in­ter­views, and 2 pho­tos.

Is this fair jour­nal­ism? I don’t think so!

Where are the views of the nearly 1,000 home own­ers who have signed the pe­ti­tion in op­po­si­tion to this pro­posal?

What about the views of New Zealand Trans­port Agency, who must be in­volved in this? How are the fig­ures of pos­si­ble em­ploy­ment ar­rived at? Or are these just ar­bi­trary es­ti­mates?

What will the ef­fect be on an­other main road devel­op­ment, pulling po­ten­tial cus­tomers away from the al­ready strug­gling shop­ping cen­tre?

And where are the lo­cal Coun­cil­lor’s views? Have they been pre­sented with both sides of this pro­posal, so they can make in­formed de­ci­sions?

News­pa­per ar­ti­cles can form part of the re­search into any pro­posal, and we de­serve both sides to be fairly pre­sented.

Let’s have some well re­searched, un­bi­ased re­port­ing in fu­ture, Taupo Times!

MEdAdm, BSc, Dip Ed, DipTchg, Lt Cdr RNZN (Rtd)

PROJECT SUP­PORTER

This let­ter is be­ing sub­mit­ted to fully and un­equiv­o­cally sup­port the Holmes Group (Ro­torua) pro­posal to de­velop the cor­ner site in Tu­rangi, neigh­bour­ing the Park­lands Mo­tor Lodge, into a BP Con­nect ser­vice sta­tion with eight bowsers, plus a truck stop and fast food out­let.

I am fully aware of or­gan­ised op­po­si­tion to this ven­ture by a self-serv­ing group in Tu­rangi town­ship that calls it­self Holmes Pro­posal Op­po­si­tion Group In­cor­po­rated.

This group pro­fesses to rep­re­sent the views of a ma­jor­ity of lo­cals, yet it is clear that an equal amount of un­bri­dled and en­thu­si­as­tic, al­beit silent sup­port ex­ists for the devel­op­ment.

Tu­rangi, un­for­tu­nately, has a his­tory of aborted ini­ta­tives. While progress al­ways seems slow and new ini­tia­tives are far and few be­tween, most res­i­dents earnestly want the town­ship to move ahead, to foster busi­nesses that pro­vide more jobs, and to cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment where it can at­tract more visi­tors.

Park­lands Mo­tor Lodge and its own­ers have been in the fore­front of do­ing just that, mak­ing Tu­rangi a bet­ter place, for more than a decade. And the Holmes Group project can only be viewed by ra­tio­nal thinkers as a worth­while step for­ward in fur­ther fa­cil­i­tat­ing em­ploy­ment and ser­vice-pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for a town that des­per­ately needs both.

Ap­par­ently, the Holmes Pro­posal Op­po­si­tion Group In­cor­po­rated is so­lic­it­ing do­na­tions in a bid to ‘‘stop the devel­op­ment pro­posal in its tracks for the preser­va­tion of Tu­rangi’s nat­u­ral beauty and the pro­tec­tion of the peace­ful char­ac­ter of the river­side res­i­den­tial area’’.

This group is hell-bent on stop­ping the project be­cause, it con­tends: ‘‘The pro­posed devel­op­ment would add to the con­fu­sion and con­ges­tion at the in­ter­sec­tion where Park­land Mo­tel sits, cre­at­ing safety risks for mo­torists, pedes­tri­ans and cy­clists, would lead to a large in­crease in traf­fic us­ing Topaz Rd (sic Tau­pahi), would cre­ate truck noise day and night, and its high LED lights would cre­ate a dis­trac­tion for mo­torists and dis­turb neigh­bours.

Most im­por­tantly, it would de­stroy the peace and tran­quil­lity of the river­side res­i­den­tial area and be an eye­sore at the fo­cal point of the town.’’

This is non­sense at best, and pro­foundly ab­surd sup­po­si­tion at worst. Cur­rently, trucks not only stop and overnight at Park­lands nightly, as well as across State High­way 1 near the Z Sta­tion, with­out of­fend­ing and/or dis­turb­ing any­one in the ‘‘river­side res­i­den­tial area’’.

As well, river­side res­i­dents wor­ried about any pro­jected ‘‘con­fu­sion and con­ges­tion’’ at the in­ter­sec­tion of Te Ara­hori St and SH 1 as a re­sult of the devel­op­ment pro­posal surely must re­alise that they have, and al­ways have had, at least two other con­ve­nient, im­mi­nently vi­able op­tions for ne­go­ti­at­ing SH 1 to reach the cen­tre of town.

Just as the rel­a­tively ‘new’ New World, Z Sta­tion and Burger King have be­come widely ac­cepted and hugely pop­u­lar ‘added-value’ re­sources to Tu­rangi’s eco­nomic growth, en­cour­ag­ing trav­ellers to stop and spend time in the town­ship, so too will the Holmes Group devel­op­ment.

It is be­cause of all the ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties that an­other new devel­op­ment will bring to this town that I un­re­servedly sup­port the Holmes Group ap­pli­ca­tion for re­source con­sent, while at the same time ex­press­ing my in­tense dis­ap­point­ment in those who, for no sound rea­son, choose to op­pose it and, in do­ing so, im­pede Tu­rangi’s eco­nomic po­ten­tial.

Sin­cerely, Tu­rangi res­i­dent

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