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Upper Hutt Leader : August 24th 2011
10 UPPER HUTT LEADER, AUGUST 24, 2011 LETTERS Ph: 528 7588 (24hrs) 15 Geange Street, Upper Hutt "When quality counts" Fo rProfessional Advice on Flooring WE HAVE IT COVERED! U 103863R 3609155AD Time offenders took responsibility HAVE YOUR SAY We welcome your letters. They should be no longer than 250 words. The editor reserves the right to abridge letters and also decide whether letters are suitable for publication. Letters must include the writer's name for publication. Pen names are not accepted. The writer's address and phone number must be supplied for our records. Email to email@example.com, fax 528 3021 or P O Box 40001, Upper Hutt. Thanks letters for grants to groups are not accepted. Open letters and poetry are seldom used. CONTINUED Page 16 I am writing this letter because I am appalled to read about the sheep shot in Totara Park (Leader, August 17). What has the world come to that we can harm an innocent animal with little babies to care for? I fear this is just the tip of the iceberg. What is happening in the world today? An element of our community has lost all respect for other people s property, tagging fences, breaking letterboxes, and now, shooting defenceless livestock. What is next? Rioting as we have recently witnessed in the UK. We are letting this happen and all we say is: it happens! We are far too forgiving. Come on, let s stop this and start to be more responsible for our actions. Just because we can t smack our kids, let s teach them that it is not OK, and if you have to report your family s actions to the police, do so and be responsible citizens. I have heard such wonderful, heartfelt stories of communities, neighbours and friends helping each other during this unprecedented snowstorm (the worst in living memory), that I can hardly believe this person or person s actions in Totara Park. Soifyouknowwhodiditorifit was you, turn yourself in and take responsibly for your action. CLAIRE CROCKER, Upper Hutt Think about the reasons The natural reaction for residents living in and around Maymorn and the Mangaroa Valley is to reject the Maymorn Structure Plan outright. As was strongly indicated in the Summarised Feedback from Landowners Consultation (January 29, 2009), an overwhelming majority of the local community were of the view that the proposed development was inappropriate and should be considered for other areas of the city, where rural values and lifestyle are less impacted. Putting aside the substantive issues of whether or not to reject and the apparent lack of recognition of stakeholder s views, it would be tragedy if the Upper Hutt community were not sympathetic to the underlying intent of why the proposal was presented in the first place. It would be too easy and convenient to criticise council for why they have progressed to this stage or even to the inadequacies of the consultants in preparing the plan itself. It would be far more constructive in any submission to clearly indicate the reasons why the plan, either in its entirety or otherwise, should be supported or not. More importantly, the opportunity must be taken to articulate viewpoints on a long- term vision for Maymorn and the Mangaroa Valley, where such proposed development could be located and why. In essence, this is ultimately what the council is seeking and while some may struggle to see that, it would be disingenuous to think otherwise. While the council is represen- tative of the community, vision, directions and decisions come as a result of ongoing dialogue, dis- cussion and debate -- we re all in this together and, ultimately, the community owns the result. All things aside, one thing we should not forget is that the plan is, in fact, a proposal for potential development. It is a step in a process which may or may not proceed any further. Consultation, therefore, should simply be seen as a means to determine what the nature of that step is. And let s not be under any illusion that there is no develop- ment already occurring in the Mangaroa Valley. There has been substantive development for a considerable length of time, impacting upon lifestyles, biodiversity, eco- systems, recreational activities and the like. One could go as far as saying that this has been relatively random and undirectional. Now is the time to address that and set a path for the future. Let s make the most of it. BARRY WARDS, Upper Hutt Forest & Bird Silverstream was lesson I see and read people knocking the Maymorn plan. Maybe it is out of the box, maybe that would take shoppers from the CBD, maybe it would cost a lot. Upper Hutt s CBD is dying, if not already. People stopped the Silverstream mall plans for the sake of saving the CBD. So it didn t happen. The result was Lower Hutt s Westfield got bigger as did the Porirua mall, while Upper Hutt s CBD started to decline. Potential businesses, jobs, people gone. If building owners (landlords) and council won t invest in the CBD maybe it s not feasible to do so. Maybe start somewhere else. The Silverstream mall would have been bigger than Lower Hutt and Porirua at the time and would have brought businesses, jobs and people to the valley with the potential of spin-offs for Upper Hutt s CBD. People were worried about the effect on the CBD. Well, oops. It didn t take the Silverstream mall to achieve that. So where do a lot of people shop and why? That could be part of the solution. Maybe an idea, install an overhead enclosed walkway connecting the CBD to Maidstone Park, Mitre 10 Mega and steps from the carpark in front of McDonald s. Utilising carparks on both sides and creating easy movement of people (potential shoppers). IAN BUCHANAN, Maoribank Rates shocker After all the assurances from council that everything possible was being done to contain rate increases, it came as something of a shock to find my rates for the coming year had been increased by 20 per cent. Apparently it is all my fault. Recently I undertook some modest improvements to my property -- giving local trades- people and suppliers some much- needed work and income. Wanting to follow correct procedures, I then notified Quotable Value New Zealand, and the resultant revaluation has led to this -- not so modest -- increase in my rates. Let others be warned: Do not seek an upward revaluation of your property. Unless you are planning to sell your property, the QVNZ value placed on your property is of no relevance, other than to our council who are all too ready to cash in for their own benefit. With the notable exception of the mayor and councillors, most of us have had no increase in our wages, and it is beyond credulity that council can, with clear conscience, preside over a rating system that inflicts this magnitude of increase on ratepayers. Compounding the impact on my pocket is the sense of frustration that council will most likely be using their windfall to subsidise ever more consultants reports, which, as recently commented on in The Leader, have resulted in little more than the movement of a few trees in Main St. Council may be satisfied with these illusions of progress; ratepayers should not be. Sadly, but inevitably, the case for council amalgamation becomes stronger -- Rodney Hide where are you ? MIKE HORNER, Silverstream I have just received the rates bill. They have gone up 7.64 per cent from this time last year. We do not get value for our money. The council is hellbent on wasting ratepayers money on non-essential non-art junk and the white elephant, Expressions, which is a drain on funds and not needed. Also extra paper-shuffling staff has been added to soak up our monies. The council has increased the rates steadily over the years, which is becoming a stranglehold on low income, pensioners and businesses trying to survive in this recession and depressed time. The council is spending our rates without any consultation or approval from us. The councillors must be held accountable for wasting our money. Pensions and wages have not gone up accordingly to balance out. We are worse off than 10 to 20 years ago. We had more efficient service for money, but not now. I can t see things getting better unless there is a complete turnaround of the council. How the council can morally justify these yearly increases is beyond me. What is happening -- they are spending our rates on champagne and caviar and disregarding the bread and butter, then trying to justify the increases to pay for the vital infrastructure and maintenance of, which are being neglected. Rates go up, service goes down. As it is the council is far away from what it used to be. It used to be a service to all of the ratepayers; that is domestic, commercial and businesses -- now they are not, they are a business. They should be an efficient service. We do not get value for our money. In times past we did, but not now. It is what can you do for the council (pay exorbitant rates)? It should be what can the council do for you? CRAIG LINDSAY, Upper Hutt Dog care course needed Thankfully Upper Hutt s new dog control laws have retained much of what makes Upper Hutt a haven for dogs and their owners ahead of the rest of New Zealand -- apart that is from the cost structure. In relationship to this, I advocate and would wish to assist in the installing of a local public scheme to promote proper dog care and management (including litter protocol) courses because there are too few knowledgeable dog owners. This would be funded through a portion of Upper Hutt City Council dog registration fees and dog control funds channelled to local dog clubs to front the programme. If this was set up it would take Upper Hutt to another level far removed from the unenlightened and backward section of the New Zealand public who fail to recognise the true value of dogs and dog ownership and the well- documented unique bond and love between dogs and people. MICHAEL ROMANOS, executive editor NZ Dog World I hold regular constituency clinics throughout the electorate. To book an appointment, please contact my offices. Chris HIPKINS MP for Rimutaka Chris Hipkins Taita Electorate Office: 1195 High Street Taita Phone 04 567 0156 Upper Hutt Office: 216 Main Street, Upper Hutt Phone Email firstname.lastname@example.org chrishipkins.org.nz labour.org.nz 04 528 5715 3823214AI REUNIONS 25th Hutt Valley Girls Brigade based at St Mar- garet s Silverstream are celebrating their 50th Jubilee on Sunday, Sept- ember 18, 2011. Contact Lynaire at Wolfsbauer@xtra.co .nz 528 2267. Otago Boys' High, 150th, 2013. A major part of the lead-in to the fes- tivities will be gath- ering contact details for all pupils since 1863. Website: obhs foundation.co.nz or contact P O Box 5077, Dunedin, or 477 8977. There must be SOMEONE who can help me! Upper Hutt Citizens Advice Bureau 18 Logan Street, Upper Hutt Ph: 528 9040 E: email@example.com Ad kindly sponsored by UH Cossie Club 2411429BQ Budgeting Training Parenting Counselling
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