Letters to the Editor: greed, ideology and extinction

A dredge works the Clutha River below Beaumont. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
A dredge works the Clutha River below Beaumont. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
Today's Letters to the Editor from readers cover topics including the well-trodden path of career politicians, the ecological vandalism of dredging, and a critically endangered bird.


Of children, politics and the Waitaki

I was disturbed to read that Waitaki electorate Labour candidate Ethan Reille was subjected to abuse and death threats, leaving him "furious and upset".

Labour deemed it expeditious to target and vilify various small parts of society, leaving many people furious and upset but that is no reason for those who lack self-control to take it out on Mr Reille, who was not involved and indeed was a child throughout most of the recent Labour government's tenure.

This raises another point. Many have said "teenagers should be running the country while they still know everything". We weren't serious. The point is that whilst youth obviously has a valuable perspective on youth, with more, preferably varied, life experience we see others’ points of view and realise that we do not in fact know everything.

There is a well-trodden career path, mostly to the left of the political spectrum, encompassing school, law/politics/communications degree, parliamentary staff, member of Parliament. Like the two most recent prime ministers. These people know "the game of politics" but little of life, business, social work or anything else. Devoid of genuine empathy, they then proceed to blindly follow their ideology and are happy to mess with our lives.

I note that Reille wants to be involved in politics and is moving to Wellington to be more involved in the policy sector. Which is nearly as concerning as those who thought it OK to abuse him.

Julian Price


Dredging consents

I trust that the consents being applied for are rejected and totally erased from any future possibility of issue. The original consents should never have been issued in this day and age.

This dredging is ecological vandalism driven by greed. Why not put the dredge to a useful purpose to extract and mine the silt build-up behind Roxburgh and other South Island dams?

There is no doubt that substantial amounts of fine gold are likely to be found in these deposits.

Ken Steel


Bettering the game

Here's another way to dramatically improve rugby (ODT 22.11.23): reduce the number of forwards from eight to five. It's too dangerous, cumbersome and complicated having nearly one tonne of players in each forward pack. The whole game would be faster and safer. The brilliant All Black backs would have more space in which to entertain us all.

Allan Gardyne


Awful depths

With reference to the situation in Gaza, Laurette Robinson asks "To what depths can mankind descend?" (ODT, 20.11.23). A credible answer would be "The depths of barbaric depravity displayed by Hamas militants in their satanic obscenities against innocent Israeli citizens."

L McConnell


The Southern NZ Dotterel. PHOTO: WIKIPEDIA
The Southern NZ Dotterel. PHOTO: WIKIPEDIA

Preserve the precious southern dotterel

According to an article published by Victoria University in 2019 New Zealand has the highest proportion of species at risk. A perfect example of this is the New Zealand southern dotterel. This is a critically endangered subspecies of the New Zealand dotterel and is one step away from extinction. Annual Department of Conservation flock counts April 2023 shows that just 126 remain, a 13% decline from 144 a year earlier. About 40 to 50 died during the past breeding season on Stewart Island/Rakiura.

Doc has four permanent dotterel rangers who live on Rakiura and undertake pest control in southern New Zealand dotterel breeding areas, monitor nests and undertake population counts, so significant time and resources are being invested in this bird to bring it back from the brink of extinction. Some of these birds come to Awarua Bay in Southland, where nearly 50% of the entire global population of southern New Zealand dotterel winter over. Awarua Bay is an area used by duck hunters and their dogs. This can potentially put the birds at risk from disturbance, accidental injury, or death from dogs. Surely a ban on duck shooting and dogs in this area is a small price to pay to give this species a chance of survival?

Jan Solbak


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