Letters to the Editor: rents, rates and bullies

Ethan de Groot. File photo
Ethan de Groot. Photo: file
Today's Letters to the Editor from readers cover topics including renting back the family home, thoughts on the sale of Aurora, and bullying behaviour by those who know better.


Not wise to sell house and then rent it back

The DCC/DCHL selling Aurora Energy would be like me selling my family home and renting it back from the new owner.

Initially I would be able to repay my mortgage to the bank and then I would be able to invest the remaining money and every year I could spend the income on something really good, like a new car, a boat, or even a great holiday. and somebody else would have to do the maintenance on my old house.

The new owner would want a return on their investment, they would want to pay for any mortgage that they needed to purchase the property and then they would like a return on the deposit that they invested in the property, they would get this from the rent they would be charging me, everybody wins.

Eventually they will have a house that I have paid for through my rent and I will continue to pay rent giving them an income and I will not own anything but I will still be paying rent forever, and probably I will have blown the money I had invested, leaving me with nothing but rent to pay week after week.

The only real world way out is keep the house and pay off the mortgage and not pay rent

Gavin Turner


Proudly in the minority

"Majority says don’t sell Aurora." What a page one headline (ODT 10.5.24), which left me in wild anticipation of what was to be in the contents.

About 750 submissions were received from a possible 200,000 residents Aurora supplies the electricity to. What a let down as I expected more than this 0.375% .

As no exact number of replies was given I am led to assume, which I do not like doing, the total number was 750 respondents. Of these the majority could be to retain Aurora was somewhere from 376 or 749 respectively. As my submission was to sell I know where this now fell.

For both former mayor Aaron Hawkins and former DCC chief financial officer Grant McKenzie, any increase in rates to pay for Aurora’s past mismanagement blunders would be just like raiding the children’s piggy bank.

But for many ratepayers now on fixed incomes any increases may mean the difference between paying or not paying the insurance, building maintenance, weekly food, clothing, transport costs, etc.

In future I would like more accurate figures when reporting issues like this. Words like, "over", "more than", do not "cut the mustard" with me. Providing the actual figures would be a major step in the right direction.

John Neilson


Calvert dismays

We, of the Dunedin Area Citizens Assn Inc are dismayed how a former councillor has spoken regarding the ratepayers and voters of Dunedin.

Hilary Calvert states (ODT 17.5.24) "democracy involved people choosing their representatives and these representatives then exercising sound judgement on their behalf".

Democracy is also the right of the ratepayers and residents having their own say in matters in which they view as important.

This is why council requested submissions for the residents to have their say and gauge the thoughts of ratepayers. Yes, we do vote these people in but, if they do not make the choices that the general ratepayers believe in then they need to be told and held accountable. The overwhelming majority have stated that they do not want the sale of Aurora to go ahead, as did a poll which we held which resulted in an 88% out of over 1000 persons having sighted the poll voting to retain.

We believe that DCHL whilst fully recommending a sale do not appear to have disclosed to council a full and convincing reason for sale.

Jennifer Thomas
Secretary, Dunedin Area Citizens Assn Inc


While wearing blue shirt, think about pink shirt

What contrasting attitudes to bullying I was able to read about in the ODT (18.5.24).

On page 32 it is reported that the captain of the Highlanders, Ethan de Groot, hoped that the Highlanders could be "the bullies this weekend".

He quotes Mr de Groot as saying that the Blues are "a big team that try to bully their way through".

No doubt Mr de Groot would say that he means that the Blues players will use their physical size and strength to challenge the Highlanders team and that the Highlanders hope to respond strongly.

However, this intention of meeting bullying with bullying is in stark contrast to the page 4 report of Pink Shirt Day, in which children were encouraged to support others and stand up to bullying by being brave.

While this annual event opposes bullying it also seeks to educate children and adults about appropriate choices and behaviours.

Why this important message needs to be heard within our communities is illustrated by the article on page 5 which tells of concerns about violence among local youth and describes episodes of intimidation, threats and physical violence.

All are examples of bullying behaviour.

All members of communities, young or old, need to behave respectfully and responsibly towards others.

Rugby players exercise significant influence on the attitudes and lives of many in New Zealand.

They and rugby administrators need to send messages which oppose bullying rather than suggesting that meeting bullying with more bullying is an appropriate choice.

Vivienne Galletly


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