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Upper Hutt Leader : December 7th 2011
10 UPPER HUTT LEADER, DECEMBER 7, 2011 LETTERS Councillor Nick Thomas • Working for you • Advocating on behalf of rate payers CONTACT ME 24/7 Phone 528 7588 3608550AE 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 email@example.com chrishipkins.org.nz labour.org.nz 04 528 5715 3823214AZ 2ND HAND APPLIANCES Queen Street, Upper Hutt 528 6767 3928350AJ Washers from $99 Dryers from $199 Dishwashers from $329 Fridge/Freezers from $99 TVs from $29 Stoves from $499 Haier 6 kg Dryers brand new C grade 4 ONLY - $529 SAVE $200 now $329 WE CAN DELIVER & INSTALL Work & Income Quotes Welcome Spare Parts Available PRE LOVED APPLIANCES pix.ccn.co.nz er your own copy of photos in this paper, or other CCN titles, check out: To orde HN072576 C & i l s l s & S co h C Ov locki g C T t t ff t t t 255-257 i h , i fi l Ph 567-9684 10 - 5 Big S l c io of c s, s & s s Rail project is for greater good HAVE YOUR SAY We welcome your letters. They should be no longer than 250 words. The editor reserves the right to abridge letters and 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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. To me, Barriers to Rimutaka railway'' should only be sufficient funding to complete this magnificent project. I am a biker, a walker and a hiker and am president of the Wellington Corgi Walking Club, but the idea of recapturing the glory days and romance of the steam train and on one of the toughest/steepest railway routes in the world appeals to me, not only for my own individual satisfaction but for the huge tourist (external and internal) interest that would be generated. Here the greater good of such an ambitious and spectacular undertaking supersedes that of bikers in particular. Alternative tracks can be arranged for walkers, trampers and bikers and if biking the full distance becomes untenable, so be it. I as a biker can go elsewhere or partake in part journeys of the Rimutaka Incline. The tunnels belong'' to rail and not cycling or walking. The Department of Conservation, Rotary, cycle organisations and some others are just so very short-sighted and I liken to dropping the ball with the tryline in sight. Upper Hutt as a commercial, retail and tourist destination would be boosted in substantially benefiting from such a lengthy steam train heritage experience based in its turf. Goodness knows this city needs boosting. And what better way of traversing towards Martinborough and other Wairarapa attractions and events, but to travel to Featherston on a vintage steam train over the awe-inspiring Rimutaka summit and beyond. I, for one, am right behind the Rimutaka Heritage Railway Trust. MICHAEL ROMANOS, Silverstream Walking, cycling more important Your November 30 issue had two articles about the Rimutaka rail trail and the proposal to put trains back on it. I first heard about this proposal around four years ago when the group behind it made a presentation to Heretaunga Rotary. I thought at the time that I hoped it was just a pipe dream because to make it a reality would destroy a piece of local history that was easily accessible to many people simply so a group of men could enjoy playing trains. The Rimutaka Rail Trail is enjoyed by at least 30,000 people a year (and probably more as this number comes from a 2005 report). The reason for the usage is that it is a very pleasant walk or cycle with the added bonus that you get to go through the tunnels. It is such a gentle slope that you often see preschool kids riding bikes up there. Over the years DOC and the regional council has done an excellent job of highlighting the history of the route, and I am sure that many of the people who call into the Fell Museum in Featherston do so because their interest has been pricked on the trail. Now the group behind the move say they will put in a new walking trail but has already been noted it will be a lot steeper and it will not include the tunnels. The net result is that you will remove the majority of the current users and leave only the extremely fit and keen cyclist. The region already has a number of excellent bike trails for them. Tracks like the incline are actually in short supply. Another point is that the current trail is free. I am sure that to ride this train will not be. To be truly spectacular and historically accurate, any recreation of the rail line will need to use steam engines, and the one thing that the group promoting the idea have not said is that it is extremely unlikely that they will be able to run the trains at the height of summer when the most people walk/cycle the trail. This is for the simple reason that steam trains have a habit of dropping burning embers on the tracks, and the regional council is unlikely to let this happen when the conditions on the Rimutakas get tinder-dry. If these people want to play with trains then they can join up with the excellent group already in the valley at Silverstream. Just leave the rail trail alone. PAUL WHITHAM, Upper Hutt Why not abandon Maymorn plan? Upper Hutt City Council have heard strong and eloquent arguments for the abandonment of the Maymorn Structure Plan, yet are unable to take this knowledge to its logical conclusion and abandon the MSP. Why is this ? What is the point of having hearings that make it abundantly clear that the MSP is not wanted, and not needed, and then put off making a decision. Delaying the inevitable is just playing cruel games with us. Are councillors tired ? Well, give some thought to the thousands of hours of community effort that went into holding the MSP public meeting, writing submissions, and preparing and giving oral submissions. So council, you set a process in motion. You only gave us three weeks to respond in the depths of winter, which, after strong requests from the community, you then extended to six weeks. Then you seem to need months and months to do your part. You are not being fair. We do not want to have a summer spoiled by this threat hanging over the Maymorn and whole Upper Hutt community. The oral submissions showed that 94 per cent of the community do not want the MSP. The remaining 6 per cent were developers and people who, I believe, will exploit the situation to their own purposes. The people have spoken. Act now on what you have heard. PAT van BERKEL, Pinehaven What about a temporary court site? Opus consultants have quickly come to the conclusion that the Upper Hutt court house is an earthquake risk. This is a shock and its closure a major concern because of its effects on all aspects of its operation, not least the effect on staff. Upper Hutt is a city, and we need to have access to speedy justice and our court house open. Opus has been quick to condemn the building. I believe they could make a sound and quick assessment on how to earthquake- proof this one-storey building. Local engineering firms could be contracted to do the work needed. We have the engineering ability in Upper Hutt and it would generate work for local business. In the meantime, the adjacent Hapi Club may be a temporary alternative for some court work. This would minimise the effect on staff, lawyers, police and the public. The money to earthquake-proof these buildings should be made readily available from the Justice Ministry, that should have maintained these buildings' warrants of fitness. Local problems need local solutions and we should demand prompt action over this issue. We cannot allow this building to be closed for 12 months and I challenge our council and local MP to act on Upper Hutt's behalf immediately. Or is this an underhanded attempt to take our court house away permanently, moving Upper Hutt city one step closer to becoming a suburb of Wellington. STEWART HOMAN, Upper Hutt City is losing its own identity It is sad to see the Hazelwoods building gone for good as it was an icon of Upper Hutt, been there before most of us were a twinkle in the eye or even thought of. The new defence building blends in very well, does not look out of character, is pleasing to the eye but can't see a door to get in. If the Hazelwoods building had to go, my first choice would be to have a grassed area with a few bench seats and some native trees, something like Midland Park in Wellington. Try and picture that and you will agree with me. Upper Hutt is losing its foundation identity. CRAIG LINDSAY, Upper Hutt REUNIONS UH Bowling Club 100 years, January 20-22, 2012. Contact M Parsons, 68 Gibbons St, 970 0207, mparsons@ paradise.net.nz.
November 30th 2011
December 14th 2011