Thursday September 1, 8 2016

Let’s fix Hobsonville

Blenheim, which has a population of 30,600, has built an airport now capable of taking international flights and soon will be.

The North Shore, which has a population of 205,605, doesn’t even have one.

Hobsonville, in terms of domestic and international flights, is dysfunctional but with a bit of initiative could be made into one. This would go a long way to solving the Southern Motorway congestion problems and could even do away with the need for a second harbour crossing.

Such a venture would be forward thinking and make a lot of traffic flow and economic sense.

Blenheim has also built a huge sports stadium and a cultural centre, both the envy of the rest of the South Island. Their rates are less than a quarter of what Aucklanders pay.

So how do they do it? In the not too distant past, the council and mayor invested in a slice of forestry which is making such a good return rates could almost be done away with.

That is the kind of mayor and council that Auckland so desperately needs.

Gary Hollis, Mellons Bay

Well done Steve

It is truly a sad day to see Steve Udy standing down from the Local Board.

His wealth of life experience was seen regularly when he got his teeth into issues supporting the community, and stood up to the bureaucrats to get issues sorted out for the Howick ratepayers.

Steve and his talent will be missed by the residents of Howick, especially the roading issues which were his passion.

I was quietly hoping that Steve might have stood again and joined with John Spiller and myself and really helped to make the wheels spin even faster.

Hopefully he will enjoy his extra spare time on the waves, where I believe he spends most of his leisure hours.

Bob Wichman, Botany

Animal lovers beware

I wish to thank the young couple who witnessed and cared for my pedigree Bichon puppy, who was knocked over on Saturday, August 27 at 7.40am in Bradbury Road, Howick, by a hit-and-run driver.

Monti had been maliciously allowed to escape by a bully, who trespassed on my property, cut the lock which secures his gate during the gale force winds on Friday night, August 26.

Monti is recovering at the vets following extensive surgery for a broken leg, hip and cracked pelvis at considerable cost to me.

Zenda Smith

Skills lacking

I would like to bring to your attention the recent install of fibre broadband connection to my friend’s house in Ullswater Place, Half Moon Bay.

The fibre cable is exposed (pictured) on the street side and not buried, where it could be damaged by kids or when mowing the lawn.

The contractors are taking shot cuts to save money for the service provider Chorus. Fibre installation is a major infrastructure project in our country and the workmanship and quality is of the lowest standard and the staff employed to do the work are not skilled to do the work.

Michael Le Grand

General elections

The articles you are putting together for the Local Authority Election are interesting and timely.

The public will benefit from the information you provide. We, on our part, are also working hard to convey the message of enrolling to vote to the general public.

We look forward to working with you next year to enhance voter participation in the General Election. Thanks again for your strong support.

Kenneth Liam, Registrar of Electors

Local rangers make the panel

Three local rangers were recently selected joined a newly-established GirlGuiding New Zealand Ranger Advocacy Panel to speak out publicly on issues affecting girls across New Zealand.

Some of the topics on the minds of the nine Ranger members, aged from 13 to 16 years old, included Helen Clark’s bid for Secretary General at the United Nations, family violence, cyber bullying and gender inequality. And these young women are ready to talk about them.

Selected for their understanding of issues affecting girls and their ideas for bringing about change, the panel – which includes three local rangers – marks a milestone for GirlGuiding’s transition to being ‘girl-led’.

The three local panellists were Charlotte Howard (15) Wakaaranga Rangers, Sunnyhills; Mikayla Madden-Snoad  (14) Pakuranga Rangers and Briana Valgre (14) Pakuranga Rangers.

The rangers immersed themselves in the national workshop which was held in Auckland last month.

ADVOCACY: From left, Michaela Lenehan, Tayla Webb, Madeline Arps and local ranger Charlotte Howard. Photo supplied.