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Letters to the Editor



Rubbish dumping solved

Some years ago, when living in Ruakaka, getting rid of household rubbish was not a problem as there was a Council transfer station at the Waipu tip – two huge skips that Council removed when full – and at no charge to residents.

Somewhere along the line Council decided that here was a chance to make money, so rates that were paid for the Council to provide that service were siphoned off elsewhere.

Families on pensions or those on benefits cannot afford to pay over $50 or more just to get rid of unwanted items, resulting in people covertly dumping anything and everything onto wherever they can get away with it. Councils then have to employ staff to remove the rubbish that is an environmental eyesore.

So come on Councils, whichever district you may serve – give some thought to the ratepayers who are paying your salaries and provide some sort of affordable service. Even a non-organic rubbish collection every one or two months would put an end to the problem.

Mitch Morgan


Winning margin
It is about time that National and Act Party supporters stopped whinging and displaying their failure to understand how the MMP electoral system works.

Under MMP it is the total number of votes gained by a coalition that counts and not which single party got the most votes as was the case under the first past the post (FPP) electoral system.

On October 7 the Labour Party and its two coalition partners scored a winning margin of 150,183 votes, according to the final result declared by the electoral commission. All previous administrations chosen under MMP have been formed the same way with either National or Labour having an overall working majority. The fact that National got the largest single number of votes this time matters not a whit. It did not get an overall majority nor could it attract a coalition partner to get it over the line.

What appears to annoy the critics is that under their old FPP-thinking formula, National would have won although in a minority. This anomalous FPP system returned successive National and Labour governments for many years last century. In fact the last government to win an outright majority under FPP was National led by Sid Holland. He won the 1951 snap election against Labour’s Walter Nash whose grandson is currently in the new Labour-led Government.


Ron Taylor


Rogan for mayor
I refer to the editorial in the last issue of the Focus when Rob Pooley comments on NZ’s obsessive fervour over elections. Surely elections are an integral part of the democratic process and are to be taken very seriously!

I am very disappointed that Mayor Gent does not view matters in this way. He has displayed a cavalier and, some may say, a callous attitude to the whole electoral process in that he campaigned hard for the job of Mayor, was duly appointed, chose a deputy, fired the CEO and is now resigning a year into a three year appointment.

Given the significant hurt that has occurred in Kaipara at the hands of the previous elected council and the contentious reign of commissioners (not elected) who outstayed their original brief (to the chagrin of many) I find this reprehensible. We do not know, of course, the real reason for Gent’s resignation so can only surmise that it proved not to be the part-time job he had envisaged when he committed to it.

I agree with Rob Pooley that Bruce Rogan could take up the mayoral reins, though with a different and more favourable outcome predicted than his. Rogan was second runner in the mayoral race and he has had experience on council in the past. He has demonstrated in the last 10 years that his focus is very much on the well-being of Kaipara. He will not be daunted by the workload as he has worked tirelessly on this cause, out of office, for free.

Yes, we should have another election, even though it will be expensive, but please Kaipara voters, vote for a person with commitment, passion, zeal and stick-at-ability.

Barbara Pengelly
Mangawhai Heads

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