Letters to the Editor: blue lights and Arkwrights

Arkwrights building. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
Arkwrights building. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
Today's Letters to the Editor from readers cover topics including the lights on police vehicles, the malaise of the Arkwrights building, and the battle of the Taieri Gorge train.


Police flashing light placement in question

With regard to red and blue lights on police vehicles, I have noticed that police vehicles these days have the blue lights on the left side which is traditionally the port side and the red lights on the right side of the vehicle or starboard side.

So, the reverse of those lights situated on airplanes and ships and therefore not compliant with international navigation lighting schemes.

But perhaps they don’t have to be?

I don’t know if there are any rules or regulations governing on which side of a police vehicle those lights should be placed, but it seems strange that all of a sudden, the police have decided to reverse the position of these lights.

It would be interesting to know why the police have done this after so many years of originally using just blue lights on patrol cars and then red and blue lights with red to port (left) and blue to starboard (right) and as I have said above, this way around was in keeping with international lighting schemes.

Why the change?

Gil Elliott


Reply from New Zealand Police Fleet Services Group:

New Zealand Police emergency lighting does not need to comply with international navigation lighting schemes.

Given our vehicles are used on domestic roads in New Zealand, our emergency lighting complies with Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency standards for emergency vehicles.

The history of blue lights on the left and red lights on the right isn’t clear.

However, it is clear the two colours should be separated from left to right.

This prevents the appearance of a magenta colour when the lights are activated.


Arkwrights dirge

In late January 2022 I wrote to your newspaper expressing major concerns at the never ending malaise of the Arkwirghts building in the central business district. Subsequent outrage has been expressed from your other contributors. In nearly two years, this recalcitrant building owner has done nothing to address this eyesore which we all have to live with.

Scaffolding may give the impression of work being done on any building; the reality of why it is erected on this building is to prevent it from falling down and collapsing, this is the most deplorable indictment upon this building’s owner.

This individual needs to be black listed from buying any other properties in our city.

His irresponsible attitude just beggars belief.

And Arkwrights continues to decay and cast a depressing dirge on our city.

Clive McNeill
North East Valley


Battle of words over railway space heating up

If a picture paints a thousand words then the photo on the front page of today’s ODT (10.11.23) will have greatly aided the campaign to remove existing railway lines and turn the space into yet another cycle trail. The photo of the face of this campaign, Andrew Simms, with his children on bikes, the rail lines in the background, is a blatant piece of advocacy for his views and that of the Trust. I note Mr Simms has already tabled a report about the possible economic impact of removing some of the rail line in favour of a cycle trail.

I do not support his agenda and agree with Keith McCabe that advocates like Mr Simms and the Trust "are pursuing a totally unnecessary course of action".

Margaret Henry


So a city council spokesperson has justified the city subsidising the Taieri Gorge train by $68 a person (ODT, 10.11.23) due to the financial impact of Covid-19, and the wider benefit the trip provides as a drawcard for Dunedin tourism. Leaving aside the fact the $68 subsidy is presumably only towards the direct operating costs, and does not cover any of the $10m deferred maintenance needing to be spent, are they seriously suggesting the cruise ships with their $60m annual economic benefit would not visit Dunedin if there was no Taieri Gorge train?

The cruise ship business model relies on overnight sailings with a captive hungry and bored customer base, and then offloading them during the day to give staff time off, and collect a margin on all the ticket sales to local attractions. If there was no Taieri Gorge train, those same cruise passengers would instead spend their money on the other attractions offered by local businesses who don't receive any council subsidy. I would have thought our city leaders would have more economic nous. Or have I missed something?

Colin Brown


Address Letters to the Editor to: Otago Daily Times, PO Box 517, 52-56 Lower Stuart St, Dunedin. Email: editor@odt.co.nz