Letters to Editor: bus hub, healthcare and praise for photo

Flowers lie where Enere McLaren-Taana was fatally stabbed at the Dunedin bus hub. PHOTO: PETER...
Flowers lie where Enere McLaren-Taana was fatally stabbed at the Dunedin bus hub. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Today's Letters to the Editor from readers cover topics including violence on our streets, dogs in the central city, concerns about healthcare and a purr-fect photo. 

Being in the wrong place at wrong time

It is simplistic to label the bus hub as somehow complicit in last week's tragedy. The proximity of the police station has nothing to do with it either.

There have always been places young people congregate and should continue to do so. New Zealand now experiences serious violence on the street and the underlying reasons will fuel opinion for some time to come.

But if that opinion is about banning, stopping, controlling, disciplining, punishing, it achieves nothing. Read an in-depth story about an individual's sad and sullied life, damage and suffering, simmering rage and explosive crime.

A reality beyond fixing. A reality that urges caution on our part, high awareness of self-safety and the random chance that we too may be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Liz Benny


Doggie determination

Thank you to Sally Peart (ODT 23.5.24) and her chihuahua, for advocating for allowing dogs to walk through the centre city on leash.

I have been awaiting a change of by-law for some time as our dog, Rosie, loves to walk where she gets lots of smiles and attention, and never any negative comments.

The next thing for dog owners is to be allowed to take dogs on a leash in buses, maybe under restricted conditions, but not confined in a carrier as is currently dictated.

I have written to both the DCC and the ORC for better access for dogs and have pointed out that a good example representative of other international cities is Edinburgh, Scotland, where dogs can be taken on all forms of public transport - buses, trains, and trams.

As the ‘‘Edinburgh of the South’’ it would be significant to lead the process of bringing the current position up to modern day standards. I look forward as one of thousands of Dunedin dog owners to a sensible new bylaw.

Janine Race

I did not agree

Christopher Luxton keeps talking about a coalition mandate. There is no such thing if he means that the public voted for it. Any mandate results from horse trading and backroom deals which the NZ public had absolutely no say about.

We are stuck with this horrible huddle for three years but please spare us the insult that we agreed to it.

Peter Sara

Worthy, not dull

Although it sounds mundane in 1923 (ODT 100 Years Ago, From Our Archives 22.5.23) the Dunedin Drainage and Sewerage Board works committee recommended £2105 be spent on St Kilda mud tanks and £2500 on renewal of stormwater drains, St Kilda and Musselburgh.

It was money well spent. I hope the Dunedin City Council in 2024 can do the same, despite inflation.

Anthony Skegg
St Clair


Sun-bathing cat brightened one reader’s day

I would like to praise Stephen Jaquiery's purr-fect spot photo of a cat in today's paper (ODT 24.5.24).

Stephen has taken so many wonderful photos over the years I have subscribed to your paper, and I have often thought what a talented photographer he is.

Thank you, Stephen, for this exceptionally artistic shot.

And thank you, ODT, for including it in your daily edition. I really appreciate it, and look forward to your next amazing photo.

From experience I know I won't have to wait very long.

Rosemary Giles

All that glitters

Reading about the police drain from New Zealand to Australia (ODT 16.5.24), do you think anyone in government here has thought about trying to reverse that trend and advertise for Aussie cops to come here? All that glitters over there is not necessarily gold and some of the postings in Australia are really remote.

Robert McCallum


Time to opt for health hub or other things

Mayor Tim Cadogan along with adjoining Queenstown Mayor Glyn Lewers report that with their respective regions “growing too fast to wait any longer for adequate healthcare services’’ that they are expecting Health New Zealand to get involved to find solutions for “adequate local health care facilities”.

They both say they need and expect immediate investment “commencing in the 2024-25 financial year”. Like, right now.

With the new Dunedin hospital at $2 billion-plus, with only the below ground structures completed and with the above ground level structures not even being started, during the next six months it is not difficult to predict that the best that may occur to resolve this regional problem will be a couple more ambulances to ferry patients to Dunedin. 

What is more concerning is the business priorities our mayors have, as to how the region’s financial resources should be invested.

The council has to choose between spending just on $50 million on a ‘‘nice to have’’ community complex that as a business investment will never be able to pay for itself and an essential $50m hospital/health complex adjoining our current hospital.

With a bit of business acumen, that could not only meet our local needs but also integrate a profit-making business component like Mercy Hospital. Such a huge investment makes more sense, especially as there are commercial complexes that meet the social needs already in the region.

It is a perfectly good argument that it is ‘‘not fair’’ that our region is not getting its proper share of the health budget, but that is not going to solve the problem. If we have the financial resources to build a $50m community complex, then we do have the financial resources to solve our critical health facilities. As we will never get the resources for the foreseeable future via our national entitlement then we will never get our health complex. All that is left is for us to choose.

Stan Randle

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