Letters to Editor: Centre-right parties, nursing, Dunedin sound

ACT leader David Seymour (left) and NZ First's Winston Peters. Photo: NZ Herald
ACT leader David Seymour (left) and NZ First's Winston Peters. Photo: NZ Herald
Today's Letters to the Editor from readers cover topics including Dunedin's relation to centre-right parties, nursing, and the city's music scene

The centre right parties owe Dunedin nothing

I would like to comment on the pathetic and stupid ramblings by Steve Walker, the Labour councillor, regarding the Dunedin Hospital upgrade.

It is people like Cr Walker who have over the years, aided by the many misguided voters in Dunedin, made this city a left-wing stronghold. In all that time, what have the Labour Party done for our city?

I would contend extraordinarily little, bearing in mind the loyal support they have received from the local populace.

By guaranteeing that one side of the political spectrum has a mortgage on Dunedin’s parliamentary representation, the Labour Party have taken their support for granted and their poor performance has reflected that.

If the Dunedin electorates were marginal, we would have a far better chance of getting preferential treatment from whatever major party was in power at the time.

The rhetoric emanating from Steve Walker will be counterproductive as Dunedin is the beggar not the chooser, because as far as the coalition government is concerned, the centre-right parties owe Dunedin nothing.

Dave Tackney



What treachery?

Treacherous nurses. Really? Treasonous for leaving New Zealand for financial gain? D. Graham (ODT 5.4.24) is using very strong language indeed.

It was recently reported in the ODT that all five people who had just completed their radiology degree in Dunedin left for Australia. Are they treasonous? When will the list end? Carpenters, plumbers, electricians, members of the police force, teachers?

Perhaps D. Graham could inform us where these treasonous miscreants should be jailed. Treason is strong language indeed, compounded by the ODT heading.

If previous governments had not wasted literally billions of dollars on politically motivated policies of rebranding and renaming then New Zealand would not be technically insolvent. All this money could have been spent on better wages to prevent more New Zealanders fleeing for, goodness gracious, a better life for themselves and their families.

I left New Zealand many years ago for Australia, was able to triple my wages, afford great education for my children, afford private health insurance and have a far far better quality of life. On return I did reinvest the majority of my wealth in business in New Zealand, employing many people, which I could not have done had I stayed.

I have the utmost respect for nurses, the care and empathy they give patients often under incredibly difficult circumstances. I would, as they said many years ago, suggest to D. Graham, “Go wash your mouth out”.

Richard Hutchison



Remember Ravey

Before heavy trucks get to Port Chalmers they have to go a much greater distance along SH88, through both Ravensbourne and Maia.

At the present time Port Chalmers has an electronic speed indicator, a legal 40kmh road speed. mainly businesses and only a few residences located alongside.

In contrast Ravensbourne/Maia has no electronic speed indicators, a legal 50kmh speed limit that very few motorists take any heed of, and many residences located on one side.

As well, the road shoulder in many locations along this section of road fails to meet the state highway standard of being 0.5 metres away from the road edge.

No need to worry about the cyclists as there is now a very suitable shared path for them.

Having a freight hub outside Dunedin would also help the residents of Ravensbourne and Maia, not just the main street of Port Chalmers.

John Neilson



Treasure past, but call to heed future backed

Hugh Askerud’s call for a shift from the Dunedin Sound (ODT 4.4.24), though engaging, seems to overlook the deep and diverse musical fabric that has defined Dunedin.

Celebrating the "Dunedin Sound", a phenomenon that brought international acclaim to bands like The Clean, The Chills, and The Verlaines, is not mere nostalgia but acknowledgment of our city’s significant contribution to indie rock.

However, the assertion that this legacy stifles contemporary musicians is not reflective of the broader dynamics at play. The era of the Dunedin Sound was distinct, supported by an ecosystem that is vastly different from today. It was a time when live music was the soul of social outings, supported by breweries, university associations, and public funding in ways that are no longer prevalent, reflecting a pre-neoliberal investment in arts and community.

The true challenge lies not in our musical roots but in adapting to the current realities of venue sustainability and audience engagement.

And this challenge is one felt globally and noted in the findings of the UK Music Census. The diversity in Dunedin’s music scene has always been its strength, far beyond the confines of any one genre.

Let’s continue the conversation on how to nurture all aspects of Dunedin’s music scene, leveraging our rich history as a foundation for future growth. Askerud’s desire for a more thriving local musical ecosystem is commendable and work on this is important, and I hope my reply is taken in the spirit of somebody engaging with his writing and sharing the ideals of the broader aims that his opinion piece addresses.

Mike McLeod



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