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Letters to the Editor

A letter to the editor in our last issue stated that Mr Bruce Rogan had failed to complete his term as a Kaipara Councillor in 2002. This was incorrect. Though he missed three meetings during that time he did serve out the full term untill 2004.

Best candidate the key
In the coming postal vote for mayor it is essential we all take the time to vote for the best person for the job. We will all have our own views on what skills the right person will need, but I for one will be looking for stability, experience and good sense. For me that person is Peter Wethey, sitting councillor, deputy mayor and acting mayor since November last year.

Kaipara has had too much disruption over the years. We need a mayor now who knows what he is doing, not someone who is going to take time to figure out what’s required.

I am concerned at suggestions that instead of voting for the best person for the job some say they will vote in order to avoid a by-election in the Otamatea Ward because a by-election will cost $20,000. What a ridiculous argument that is. Surely the cost of a by-election is the price of democracy. And apart from the flawed thinking of dismissing the most well equipped candidate, let’s look at the maths. If there is a (Ward councillor) by-election, the combination of savings in payroll (of deputy mayor and councillor) since the declaration of the mayoral vacancy to the declaration of a new councillor will more than outweigh the cost of the Ward by-election.

But that is by the bye. Isn’t it more important that we elect the right person as mayor, arguably the most important leadership role in the Kaipara. Let’s not be swayed by obscure arguments about why we should not vote for someone because he is currently a councillor. Let’s focus on the reasons why we should vote for a candidate – because they are the best qualified for the job.


Gordon Hosking


Mayoralty race: Experience counts
I recently attended a mayoral candidates meeting in Paparoa. It was a well-attended and informative meeting where we were able to gauge the skills and experience of the eight candidates for the role of mayor.

It seems to me we have a choice between one candidate (Peter Wethey) who has proven experience as a sitting councillor, deputy mayor and since the middle of November acting mayor, and seven other candidates who aspire to the mayoral role, but either have no experience of the role of a councillor let alone mayor, or (in the case of two) whose experience as councillor was some time ago.

Interestingly, of the councillors elected in 2016, just one, Peter Wethey, has put his hand up to stand for mayor. To me, this speaks volumes. It shows this is a united and cohesive council that is getting on with the job. They are not scrambling over each other to seek the mayoralty. They are focussed on the big

issues of reducing debt, improving roads and making great progress on engaging with the community.

We have a choice in this mayoral election. We can vote for a mayor whose track record in Council we know; who we can assume has the support of his colleagues (as they are not standing against him) and who will continue to build on the progress made in the last 18 months. Or we can risk voting for a new face who will not only need to build credibility with the councillors elected in 2016 who have since done the hard yards but who will also need to learn what is actually involved in being a mayor and take the time to come up to speed.

Kaipara deserves better than that. We need a mayor who has the confidence of his fellow councillors, can hit the road running, and get on with the job NOW, not in six months or a years time.


Belinda Vernon
Mangawhai Heads


Prohibition can kill
So, what are the facts on prohibition, and who benefits?

Cannabis: We know that it has health benefits, proven by countless studies and the US patent. We know that Government and most New Zealanders can’t afford to pay $1,000-plus a month for pharmaceutical cannabis products currently permitted. We know that most New Zealanders can grow their own, and indeed many do, for self-treatment.

Apricot kernels: Some studies have proven its effectiveness (Laetrile) in the treatment of cancer.

Black salve: Anecdotal evidence shows that it is effective in treating melanomas.

Join the dots. What is the common theme here? It is not that people are dying from these three. Are people likely to get “stoned” from using unradiated apricot kernels or black salve? No. Do people need to be protected from themselves for using these three potential healers? Again no. Why? Because nobody has died from using cannabis in the last 11,500 years, or from natural health supplements in their recommended dosages.

Efficacy comparison: An estimate from Merck Shape & Dohme was that 12 per cent of people with cancer could have been saved from using their currently unapproved pharmaceutical drug – 88 per cent would not! Cannabis is curing many diseases, including Alzheimer’s, colitis, some cancers and neurogenerative diseases, with no side effects.

The common theme is that people who use traditional medicines are not using Big Pharma products. The number of deaths from opioids in States where cannabis is legal has dropped dramatically.

Knowing that 64,000-plus people a year in the US dying from Big Pharma’s opioids, and 12,000-plus from aspirin, demonstrates that being “stoned” is a red herring. Both the US and NZ has a “legal substance” opioid epidemic. With 450 million people in the US and 4.5 million in NZ, and having similar societies, we could reasonably assume 640 people are dying in NZ from opioids, and 120 from aspirin.

For our safety and protection, Government needs to lift the prohibition on cannabis immediately.


Beverley Aldridge
President, Otamatea Grey Power


Shame more didn’t strike
After reading the last denigrating letter against Bruce Rogan (Focus, January 15) I want to remind readers of the facts.

The ratepayers who withheld their rates did so as a last resort to get to the bottom of the illegal acts by previous council. They did not do this to escape paying rates.

Another fact is that it was the council that started court action. After the Validation Act was passed, Bruce Rogan, on behalf of striking ratepayers, presented $1 million in withheld rates to the council. This was refused, so that council could sue for penalties. I would guess that the council has since spent much more on legal costs than the penalties.

It is a great shame that many more ratepayers did not join the strike, and then something may have been resolved. Where we are now is that the High Court judged that the Wastewater Scheme , and the council’s actions, were illegal. The Auditor General admitted that her department failed to do their job of auditing, missed the illegalities, and “is sorry”. The present council have washed their hands of the affair, and want to “move on”.

I wonder how individuals would react in a similar scenario: They get talked into getting a new roof, the price is $15,000. Job done, the bill is $60,000. Then they find that the roofer had no license, which is illegal. No insurance. Small Claims Court finds for the roofer. Finally the roof leaks, and will cost $15,000 to fix. Would the answer be to meekly pay up and move on?


Sam Southward

Domain multi-sport facility proposal declined
How dare six people (the remaining members of the Mangawhai Domain Society after the latest walkouts last week) all new members to our community, make this outlandish decision and use untruths to present ‘their’ decision to our community.

The reasons for declining this early proposal are simply lies as follows:

1. Contrary to your propaganda, any sports fields will be fully available for use by the general public except of course when the many interested sports clubs are using it or games are being played – you continue to be scurrilous in your implication of anything other than this. This is your main argument and it is, as you know, incorrect. Your percentages are also well off, and it is obvious you have tried your best to make it look as if the soccer club will take 50 per cent of the Domain and close it all off to the public. You and I know this isn’t true as stated and yet you continue to present this to the community.

2. So called emails of support for your decision I believe would be far outnumbered by the obvious huge interest and positivity for this project, if it were made public and available to the community.

3. More people would come on board to this committee if there were not so much obvious infighting and turnover of committee so regularly. Whilst we don’t need to know why the latest group has left the committee, it is fairly obvious that something isn’t right.

4. Peter Wethey himself stated in the Mangawhai Focus that there were anomalies that need attention within the committee – have these received said attention? Is the committee more transparent? It certainly doesn’t look like it from where our community sits. Mangawhai Focus perhaps needs to ask him what specifically he was alluding to?

May I ask why do you really oppose this proposed fantastic facility for our community? If your written answers to The Focus are your real reasons then as I say, we’ve just blown them away so what now Mangawhai Domain Society? Will you have an open mind and be mature enough to change your closed minds and support this proposal at this very early stage? Will you encourage and promote the community to support you in your endeavours?

Michelle Jago

Ratepayer of 37 years responds
I feel compelled to respond and correct many accusations about Mr Bruce Rogan who is standing for mayor in the by-election of the KDC.

First of all I will NOT be asking the editor of the Focus to withhold my name, I have nothing to hide and have very broad shoulders. Perhaps you have something to hide?

Were you a ratepayer of Kaipara at the time Mr Rogan served on the council from 2001- 2004? He attended every meeting apart from three due to illness.

Mr Rogan was based in Napier for the last year, that is why he did not stand for re-election. However he did attend every meeting during that year and travelled at his own expense which is more that many other past and current councillors did! I bet Gent and the commissioners never did?

Mr Rogan did NOT bail on his duties and did see his full term out, which is a lot more than Mr Gent and many past councillors and staff. Next time you choose to accuse someone of wrongdoing make sure you have the CORRECT facts.

Gaye Burt

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