Letters to the Editor: bananas, protests and posties

Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Today's Letters to the Editor from readers cover topics including "half peeled bananas" at the university, the right to loud protest, and the downgrading of our postal service.


Grumpy correspondent and an honoured MP

Responding to your (grumpy) correspondent Dave Tackney (ODT 12.4.24): on the contrary, it’s an honour and privilege to serve and we local Labour MPs never take our support for granted.

Perhaps Mr Tackney could ask why the mayor has gone quiet on the new Dunedin hospital build post-election despite no financial commitments by Health Minister Dr Shane Reti. Is he aware the Dunedin mayor has urged councillors not to ask hard questions of Joseph Mooney — the closest National MP, based 3.5 hours away in Queenstown?

The council should be hollering for answers as to why Dr Reti hasn’t visited the hospital nearly six months into being Health Minister. By contrast Labour Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall was here in day two of her role.

The callous, chaotic and shameful cutting of public services that marginalise ordinary New Zealanders to give tax cuts that favour wealthy people and landlords should be evidence enough as to where the current government’s focus and loyalties lie: not with the people of Dunedin and Taieri, nor the new Dunedin hospital.

Ingrid Leary
Taieri MP



Is the Aramoana aluminium smelter more important than nature, te tiriti and heritage? The fast track consenting Bill submissions need to be in by April 19. We don’t know what projects might be pushed through.

It is alarming to think environmental threats fought hard against and put to bed can be resubmitted. Courts said the Clyde Dam couldn't be built but a specific act overrode that. Locals were outraged.

"If there is a mineral, if there is a mining opportunity and it's impeded by a blind frog, goodbye, Freddie," a minister said, authorising harm to wildlife in return for compensation.

Archey’s frogs (not chocolate Freddies), a taonga species to Māori and resident 200 million years, have perfect eyesight and can see this crazy situation.

Frogs, hoiho, velvet worms, whales, sealions, bats and blue mushrooms etc. Save them for our children’s children. Oppose corporate interests over protection of nature and people.

Barbara Warren


Time for a cuppa

I see in the ODT (5.4.24) that the roundabout at Frankton is to be upgraded to a traffic light system. Traffic planners that are far more knowledgeable than me about such matters have decided that traffic lights will make the journey around that area more seamless.

What is astounding to me is the price tag for the whole project of $250 million. Really? How can they possibly justify that?

I must be really out of touch with what things cost nowadays. I think I need a cup of tea and a wee lie down.

John Grant


Check the dustbin

Mac Gardner (ODT 9.4.24) draws our attention to the fact that logos of "half peeled bananas" are being erected around the University of Otago.

This begs the more fundamental question of what is the fate of the university’s Coat of Arms? Designing a new version and submitting it to the College of Arms in England for approval would only cost £18,415, so one wonders if a bean counter has made a cheapskate unilateral decision.

Or is the official Coat of Arms quietly being consigned to the dustbin, and why?

Dick Wilkins


Evolving to meet the needs of NZers — or not

The latest NZ Post bombshell scrapping rural deliveries on Saturday's is ridiculous. The world operates on a 24-hour day seven days a week. Life doesn't stop on the weekend.

The worst aspect is the pathetic response from NZ Post chief operating officer Brendon Main.

He said the decision wasn't taken lightly . . . hard decisions . . . and the real doozey "as we evolve to meet the needs of New Zealanders."

Ha. What a joke. I'm sure he means "as we devolve in not meeting the needs of New Zealanders."

The days of the postie being the bastion of communication in any society are fast disappearing in this country.

Neville Idour


A trip to town

Last weekend I took my kids to the city centre for a nice day of shopping and ice cream. The streets buzzed with tourists, enjoying our town's charm. This was a stark contrast to a few months ago when the city was filled with cluttered posters and loud protests regarding a distant Middle Eastern conflict. Instead of leisure, I found myself explaining geopolitics to my family and witnessing tourists discomforted by the disturbance.

While I respect the right to protest, I question its disruption of our city's peace. Can centuries-old conflicts in distant lands be solved by plastering our streets with contentious posters? Shouldn't we prioritise the comfort and tranquillity of residents and the very much welcomed tourists?

After Ramadan, the demonstrations may return, but perhaps alternative protest locations can be considered, preserving our city's tranquillity. Let's create a community where diverse voices can be heard without unsettling our cherished peace.

I. Kant


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