Feedback March 8

Magnificent Howick hoe down!
To all you organisers and participants, what a magnificent performance you have given to the good people of Howick and all those who attended.
All the side shows and acts were very professional and the music was phantasmagoric.
It was also an honoured pleasure to see and chat to our National MP (Pakuranga) Simeon Brown, his delightful wife Rebecca and her brother. She is still recovering from her fall, and was it a real pleasure to see them all there, and their encouragement.
The weather was magnificent and the pony club was doing a very enthusiastic trade.
Where was a sausage sizzle ? Local schools, Rotary, Lions, any other group looking for exposure? NZ traditionally has a sausage sizzle at such events.
Bit disappointed that Auckland Transport manning detours and road closures were unaware that all through-traffic also applied to a group of lycra-dressed cyclists, with no interest in the proceedings, totally ignored the signage, and rode through at speed, and one individual when approached refused to get off his bicycle.
However, a very enjoyable day and fantastic to see the enthusiasm of the young in their respective sports.
May this type of entertainment be the start of something great.
A thumbs up to council and Local Board of rates well spent.
John Champion
Mellons Bay

This dumping has got to stop
Please see attached a picture of the gardening waste that was dumped in Gills Road Pigeon Mountain Car Park on Saturday, February 24.
A friend saw someone in a small truck (with sides) at around 12pm-1pm that was loitering in that area.
The truck was loaded with large white bags which were tied at the tops.
He felt a bit curious about this person was up to but did not stop to observe.
The waste looks like Yucca or similar soft wood which has been shredded.
I live opposite this area and it is a place that people leave rubbish and old household whiteware often, obviously when they do not want to pay to dispose of their unwanted rubbish.
I would appreciate that this could be brought to the attention of the readers who may have an idea of someone that could have been involved in this unworthy behaviour.
Ann Henderson
Half Moon Bay

Car Thieves
Some time during the night of February 10 my car, which was parked outside my Bucklands Beach Rd property, was broken into.  The ignition was totally destroyed after a failed attempt to start it.
According to a recent article in the NZ Herald, three youths stole a car outside another Bucklands Beach Rd property during the same evening.  The culprits have since been apprehended and referred to Youth Aid.
Not that I’m accusing this trio of trying to steal my car.  I have no proof.  But I find it hard to believe that there would have been two gangs of car thieves operating in the same area at the same time.
Graham Pettett
Bucklands Beach

Ramp is dangerous
In response to an article (Times, March 1), about Half Moon Bay ramp.
For the last month I have been trying to find out about what is happening about the ramps. I have been onto Auckland City Council and been shoved from pillar to post. No one on the phones knows what department to put you onto for advice including the Harbour Master (who has nothing to do with ramps).
I went to Bucklands Beach Yacht Club and spoke with them. They gave me the name of a councillor who I rang about three times and no answer ever came back.
If you get no response from council, who do you turn to?
It’s very dangerous for elderly boaties and women handling vessels while partners are parking trailers or retrieving trailers from parking areas which can be a long way off.
Now the extra to turn left at the first set of lights has been installed.
Safety first everywhere but here. Wake up whoever is in control.
G Platt

Water charges awful
If you were to have a meal at a restaurant and the meal cost $35.52, you would not expect to pay $65.10 to go to the toilet afterwards.
The Auckland Council’s motto “Never give a sucker an even break” seems to apply to Auckland’s suffering ratepayers.
For two pensioners, our water rates are on par with the monstrous electrical monthly bills we get seince the Auckland Electric Power Board was sold off.
It’s not as if Auckland was in the middle of the Sahara desert and they had to fly the water in by the bucketful.
We usually get too much of the stuff which can be verified by the unfortunate people who have leaky homes that were passed by council building inspectors that now leak live sieves.
The charges for water are a financial money pit for families living in Auckland, lowering their standard of living.
Water is an essential to a human being — we all need it.
It should be available at cost. It should not be a money maker for a council that is not capable of running a tight ship.
Stan Hunt
Mellons Bay

An open letter to Auckland Transport
I decided to wait till March and give you the benefit of the doubt before responding to your email (see below).

I have copied the Times and Simeon Brown (National MP Pakuranga) as he is having a meeting on Transport issues on 6th March and local public transport should be one of his priorities.

I think it is time you admitted you got it wrong and fix the problem. It has never been as bad as it is now.

The 734 bus replaced two buses that used to service Prince Regent Drive (554X and 552), these buses also serviced the Farm Cove area along with the 553X.  (3 buses replaced by one)

To make matters worse the replacement bus service (734) goes to Botany and not Panmure as proposed during the consultation process. (All working people and University Students go to the city via Panmure not Botany)

Since inception the replacement 734 bus  is almost always empty, both ways from/to the Ferry. (As a matter of fact so are the other buses from Half Moon Bay Ferry terminal –  714,735)

As I highlighted to you before no one will catch the bus to the Ferry as there is no combined fare for bus/ferry. This is also the reason the other buses to/from the Ferry are also empty . (Hop – Ferry $1.80+$7.50=$9.30 compared to bus/train $4.85 per trip)

The Buses on Pakuranga road are a mess, although more frequent, in rush hour just means they catch up to each other and then we have a lot of buses at the same time, they are also overcrowded, adding to traffic congestion.  (That is another matter, it is a mess)

How to fix problem. (If you don’t want to keep running empty buses in peak times):
Make the 734 go to Panmure instead of Botany preferably via Farm Cove (Like the old 552/554X and 553X), this will take the load off Pakuranga Road and provide a better service for Half Moon Bay and Farm Cove — not everyone wants to catch ferry.

Combine the Ferry and Bus fare, this will get people on the bus that want to catch the ferry. This will also get people onto you other empty ferry buses the 714 and 735.

Everyone I speak to hate the changes and is very frustrated. There was no consultation.

According to your statistics below – Patronage on the existing 552 via Prince Regent Drive has increased approximately 30% since consultation, from approximately 100 boarding’s a day (on weekdays) to 130. It would be good to see what the patronage is now on the 714,734 and 735.
Les Eriksen
Half Moon Bay


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