Passing the buck
As an elected member of the Far North District Council, representing Te Hiku Ward, I have previously stated that I don’t make a habit of grandstanding or bringing up issues through letters to the
editor. My style has always been to debate all relevant issues around the table, then vote according to what i believe would be in the best interests of the ratepayers who elected me.
However, in this instance I am seeking community support in relation to an issue that continues to bug me, and I am sure annoys readers also.
The issue is crashed, burnt-out and abandoned vehicles that litter our highways and local roads. We are supposed to be a clean green area in the Far North, but these eyesores definitely do not portray that image.
I have never seen so much buckpassing in all my life as when it comes to getting the right agency to remove such vehicles.
If the owner of the vehicle has insurance the police have no problem contacting a towie, or if it’s a fatal crash the vehicle/s are removed to be examined by a vehicle inspector or forensically. Other than that, it goes like this. Ring FNDC - who’s paying? Ring the NZ Transport Agency - who’s paying? Ring the NRC - not our responsibility. Ring the police - we haven’t got the budget for that. And it goes on and on.
The non-action continues to put more demand on our emergency service personnel, the majority of whom are volunteers. Having served as a volunteer firefighter for 50-plus years, I will give you a scenario that has happened time and time again.
Called to car crash and the situation is
it to our children to fight for a better deal and future for them and ourselves?
As I have said in the past, every year millions of dollars is stolen from Far North communities by politics and businesses outside the area for their own agendas and profit, much leaving New Zealand shores to profit greedy investors. Once gone, gone forever.
So with that folks, Kaitaia and Far North communities are in your hands. If you do not speak up and unite you have more to lose than to gain. Do we not owe it to ourselves, children, communities and our environment?
I say yes we do need to unite . Divided we fall, as appears to be the case at present. JOHN BASSETT
looking for an alternate Kaitaia water source.
Northland Regional Council should also look closely at the environmental and social impacts of FNDC’s failure to maintain ratepayer sewerage and town water facilities across the district. Kaitaia schemes would be a good place to start. STEVE MCNALLY
Kerikeri I agree with Cr Mate Radich (Infrastructure First, Letters May 16). The main point of my letter (New Approach, May 9) regarding financial planning, is that paying to fix infrastructure will not occur without well thought out financial planning.
The council currently has a confirmed capital works programme for infrastructure renewal and new works (level of service capital works) in the annual plan, but only approximately 50 per cent of these projects that are promised to the community are completed each year. Is this acceptable to the public and to governance?
Currently ratepayers pay for the depreciation of each and every piece of council infrastructure, each and every year. Why is this method of depreciation of assets used, instead of doing proper condition assessments of the assets, and only rating each year for the depreciation costs that are required to do the physical upgrades of council’s infrastructure?
This has a direct impact on how much rates are charged to our community. Is the current way of financial planning for asset depreciation having good outcomes for our community?
Council can also be smarter about how existing funds are utilised. For example, Centennial Park is currently being upgraded, but not through any new budgets. It is being done utilising existing depreciation funds for each item in the park, renewing most of the assets in the park at the same time, and also by concentrating the existing Te Hiku Community Boards’ funding streams on one large project.
With the unsubsidised road sealing, the current $1 million did not “just appear.” I have previously been described as “crowing” about this motion that I moved, which resulted in Okahu Rd being sealed.
I support an increase to this road sealing budget, as Mate has suggested. However, if this budget increase is loanfunded or rates-funded will have an impact on rates, and therefore if it will get the required six councillor/Mayor votes to get this motion passed.
These are some of the reasons to my logic as to why I feel that FNDC still has more than a few “small issues” to resolve with how financial planning links to improving infrastructure.
CR FELICITY FOY
and nearly choked on my Weetbix.
Composing myself, I went to the bookcase and grabbed James Cowan’s ‘New Zealand Wars,’ and thankfully this reputable historian’s epic authoritative text on the topic based on eye witness accounts quickly reassured me I hadn’t missed something, concluding Paddy O’s blurb was primarily a flowery piece of prose.
Eye witness accounts always trump modern day mythistory, or put another way, a Royal Flush trounces the Knave/ Deuce hand every time.
Breathing a sigh of relief, I moved on to the Review Section, being confronted there by Dizzy Lizzie Marvelly’s take on Captain Cook titled ‘Heroic Endeavour or murderous invasion.’ Fortunately I didn’t need to check any authentic reputable source to realise this was just another throwaway piece of nonsense.
Incidentally, Admiral Zheng-He (1421) and Tasman (1642) both preceded Cook (1769) in finding New Zealand, and by all accounts probably others pre-Ma¯ ori did too.
Mandatory media warning is needed to make it clear that this mythistory stuff bears little relation to either the truth or facts, or reality being primarily floated to cause consternation.
We should consider nominating Paddy O’s NZ Wars novel for the Acorn or Pappe Fiction Prize and the Marvelly Cook fantasy piece for Sargeson Short Story Fiction Prize. ROB PATERSON Mount Maunganui