Letters to the Editor: mental health, prosperity and taxes

The corner of Bath St and Stuart St, where a pump remains as a temporary solution to...
The corner of Bath St and Stuart St, where a pump remains as a temporary solution to deteriorating pipes. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Today's Letters to the Editor from readers cover topics including Dunedin's endless street repairs, the sorry state of humanity, and the need for a mental health facility.


Not a fan before, not a fan now either

I was never a fan of Three Waters but have significant concerns about the "replacement" proposed by the government.

The idea of councils helping one another with water services is sound, and is already happening in some areas, for example Manawatu and Rangitikei district councils.

However, consider the example of Waimate District Council, which has a large land area (it can sometimes take a three-quarters-of-an-hour drive to collect a single water sample) and a small rating base. Why would any of the surrounding councils (Waitaki, Mackenzie and Timaru) consider helping out without some form of encouragement, financial or otherwise, from central government?

The second piece of signalled legislation, the formation of CCOs to deliver water services, reads to me as "let's get rid of annoying local government involvement by privatising water services".

Call me paranoid, and I'm sure those in government would, but the proposed law as briefly explained certainly sets up a scenario where that could easily happen.

Consider the effect on the consumer if water service delivery becomes profit-driven, rather than the "service" it is supposed to be.

Graham Mason


Street repairs

I read with alarm the article in today’s ODT (16.2.24) regarding further planned roadworks in the city around Bath St.

When will it end? I really feel for the businesses and I am frustrated with the difficulties of doing everyday activities in the George St area. Rather go to South-D or Mosgiel to shop, etc.

I support replacing pipes. Although I would like to understand why there has been so much delayed maintenance — probably over many years.

Could the contractors finish one section before starting another? And, finish a section and not dig it up again. Could they work 24/7? As well that they don’t start the work until they have all the materials needed to finish the job.

I don’t want to see any more street landscaping either. Might help to reduce time and costs of the water pipe replacement?

The other issues are lack of safety for pedestrians and traffic. The road cones are confusing.

We live in a Dunedin maze, sort of, but we are not rats.

Vivienne Cuff
Calton Hill


Sorry state

I would like to take a moment to reflect on the sorry state of humanity, if you bear with me. I would like to step through the one word that is central to our collective plight.

That is the word "prosperity".

Prosperity as a word feels friendly, warm and very desirable to the mind but if you dig into it as reality things get dark really fast, especially if you follow history. It would not be ridiculous or exaggeration to call it social cancer when it becomes a doctrine because it acts on the human brain like an addictive drug.

If you care to track it in real time it is breaking up relationships, turning family members and neighbours against each other, gutting our communities and our nations, and has got to a point today where it is an existential risk to everything past, present and future.

Side effects of prosperity may include wars, racism, hate crimes, property crimes, anxiety, refugees, overpopulation, pollution, depression and religious intolerance. Also, your political and religious leaders may become literal and figurative muppets.

Ask your doctor if prosperity is right for you. Then ask how we can use it to stop climate disaster?

Aaron Nicholson


The need to make Wakari fit for purpose

Most of us have seen or know about people who can’t look after themselves. Mental health disorders could happen to any of us and no-one would choose to be born, or become reliant, on others.

Birth problems, stress, addictions, accidents or old age problems could affect any family and each of us would want the very best care and attention, if we were affected. We would need a safe place to live, proper medical care and dedicated, patient and kind doctors, nurses and carers to attend to our basic needs.

Wakari Hospital is a large building but we are told that just a few wards are dedicated to those with mental health needs. The whole building and surrounding area should be made completely safe and fit for purpose for all those Otago and Southland people needing special care (even those with high needs).

The need is urgent and this hospital building is already there. Improvements would be needed in order to make this building fit for purpose but to save expense why not replicate the design of a currently successful hospital?

It could be extremely difficult to find adequate health professionals and staff for any proposed hospital but it all comes back to correct training methods and money. All available money should always be used for employing and placing the right people on the front line rather than employing extra managers, office workers and expensive consultants. Just what happened to the almost $2 billion spent in the past six years?

Bernice Armstrong
North East Valley
[Abridged — length]


The question was?

The National-led government continues to insist that tax cuts are the answer. What was the question again?

Andy Barratt


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