Letters to the Editor: housing, climate and TV news

Some Otago Tramping and Mountaineering Club members. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Some Otago Tramping and Mountaineering Club members. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Today's Letters to the Editor from readers cover topics including the failure of emergency housing, a solution to climate change, and the silencing of traditional media.


Heartbreaking story shows lack of care

The story of those in emergency housing (ODT 10.4.24) was heartbreaking. Both successive central and local governments have failed regarding housing for many years now.

More social housing needs to be built but this government’s approach is to firstly make life even more difficult for renters. This government appears to lack humanity for those in need.

Because of the very poor record of central and local governments regarding building and maintaining essential infrastructure, I am worried the sale of Aurora Energy would just create a slush fund for the DCC to fritter away on poorly made decisions.

I have little confidence in either the central or local government’s ability to make decisions for the benefit of everyone. I think we should be very wary about the DCC wanting to sell Aurora Energy. Privatisation of essential infrastructure is not a good idea.

Costs will no doubt rise to provide returns to investors rather than the DCC. This would be a very foolish outcome.

Lou Scott


Think before you strike

The strike action by students, along with their march and chanting political demands under the umbrella of climate change, is concerning if they lack the ability to analyse the current government’s selected strategy to address the concerns they chant out.

What they still do not seem to understand is that emotional outbursts are the enemy of facts. The issues they are chanting out are problems of significance but there are several solutions to most problems and the starting point for resolution is to gather and identify the facts underlying the problems.

They have every right to challenge the solutions selected by the government but the same rights apply to the public’s view as to the solutions the previous Labour government selected — and the majority of New Zealanders voted them out because the majority considered that Labour’s solutions were wrong. That is called democracy.

It is accepted that our educational standards at all levels have declined.

Attend your classes. Gather the facts around your list of slogans. All alternative zero CO2 emitting energy sources demand the initial use of fossil fuels.

Have a go at writing a cost benefit analysis to check if it is an actual benefit. Then get it peer reviewed and be prepared to debate and possibly change your mind in the light of the evidence.

Stan Randle


[Abridged — length. Ed]


Smelling a rat

I somehow smell a conspiratorial rat in the demise of news coverage and similar in New Zealand courtesy of Warner Bros pulling the plug, even though their financial commitment to local news is minuscule given their multibillion-dollar value.

If ever there was a time when news media needs to be at its prime it is when a government changes hands; at that time changes take place and without a balanced media perspective a lot can go under the radar.

So far TV3 and similar are reporting things as they should be: sadly, that won't last.

If this coalition was in any way genuinely concerned with honesty and transparency in the media they would front up and sort this. We have all seen how the online media has been paralysed by misinformation, lies and duplicity overseas, especially in the USA.

Are we happy here to see a dissenting, alternative or honest voice being silenced because the existing coalition can't afford to do anything because they have little left after giving landlords a $3 billion windfall — did we vote for this?

Graham Bulman


More sought about early days of tramping club

I am editing the centenary publication of the Otago Tramping and Mountaineering Club, which began in Dunedin in August 1923. Publication is planned for late 2024. We have good information on early leaders, including Oscar Balk and Robert Gilkison: we would welcome information about early women leaders.

We are especially keen to learn about Miss Agnes Edmond, who was president in 1931 and again in 1941. In 1933, as vice-president, she officially opened the club’s Green Peak Hut in the Silver Peaks.

To date, ODT files and the Hocken Library have provided limited material.

Please send any reports, articles or leads to: rmitchl28@gmail.com.

Rob Mitchell
Editor Outdoors 100


Well done coach

Congratulations to Paris-bound Olympic swimmers Erika Fairweather, Caitlin Deans and Kane Follows.

But let's not forget the man behind their success. Lars Humer is New Zealand's top swimming coach and Dunedin is fortunate to have him. Not since the legendary Duncan Laing have Otago swimming stocks looked so good.

David Gerrard
Hatfield's Beach


Changing of the guard for Passing Notes

Civis, thank you for your 13-year contribution. "Passing Notes" was compulsory reading for me. Your contributions were always relevant, thought-provoking and occasionally provocative. I hope you and “your spouse" enjoy many more Dunedin Symphony Orchestra performances. The new Civis has big shoes to fill.

Laurette Robinson


We need Civis

As I settled down with a coffee to read Civis on Saturday morning it was with some dismay that I realised he was saying farewell.

Although happy for him after an amazing 13 years of columns I couldn’t help feeling, somewhat selfishly, that we needed his wise and humane view of the world now more than ever.

I have so enjoyed his columns where his beliefs in social democracy have underpinned his writing on matters personal, local, regional and indeed universal. They were all written so thoughtfully, with warmth and humour often shining through.

I shall greatly miss his columns and wish him all the best for the future.

Ann Rutherford


Armageddon time

The people we elected have just voted for our extinction. Every species – including our high-opinion-of-itself one – requires a sustainable environment, that is an either/or, black/white choice; there is no such state as being "a little bit sustainable".

Yet Parliament has just voted "down with sustainability" – meaning "up with unsustainability". Brilliant; not. I was about to write that our grandchildren will abhor everyone involved, but of course, on this trajectory, they won’t be around to do the abhorring.

Murray Grimwood


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