Letters to the Editor: ugly homes and left-wing opinions

Rawhiti St residents Angela and Ian Formston hold their stickers objecting to council plans to...
Rawhiti St residents Angela and Ian Formston hold their stickers objecting to council plans to allow more intensive housing. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Today's Letters to the Editor from readers cover topics including cheap, nasty housing developments, concern about story time events, and will Christopher Luxon resign?


Are we building homes to be proud to live in?

Good on you residents of Rawhiti St for objecting to the ugly Coronation Street development in your street – an area of extreme concern due to the water table level. These cheap and nasty looking blocks seem to be popping up in nearly every suburb.

The now completed block on the corner of Napier St and Kenmure Rd in Mornington is a total blot on the landscape. I haven’t counted the number of units since completion, but it is close to the earlier plan of 17 on a corner site that once held three substantial family houses.

So much for these developments "overcoming the housing shortage", as Labour Party MP Ingrid Leary put it, when the owner of an even bigger block in Brunel St recently applied to use some of their units as bed and breakfast establishments?

Just who are all these mass units intended for then? Families? With no garden space for children to play, come on. Pensioners? Most of these units have stairs. The homeless we’ve read about more recently? Landlords, looking to rent them out for a small killing?

Some 80-odd years ago the then Labour government built houses for families who couldn’t afford a home of their own. I was born in one of them and driving past it today I feel proud to the extent I could happily live there again.

Will the occupants of those built today feel the same?

Lois Galer


Truss this

In 2022, Liz Truss served as the UK’s Conservative prime minister for 42 days, prompting the Economist to compare her shelf-life to that of an iceberg lettuce. A series of disastrous decisions had crashed the economy, her popularity sank to 9%, and she resigned. The lettuce won.

Christopher Luxon has been prime minister of New Zealand for over 100 days, but his equally disastrous decisions have crashed our economy. Results include a deepening recession, record emigration, the collapse of house-building companies, and business coming to a "screaming halt", in the words of BNZ senior economist Craig Ebert.

Recently a Talbot Mills Research poll reported that Mr Luxon’s favourability rating was a staggeringly negative –7%, modified only slightly by the latest Taxpayer Union Curia poll, National’s own polling company, to – 5%. Will Mr Luxon see the writing on the wall of the garden shed, and resign?

Jocelyn Harris


Safe as houses

It is a worry living in small iconic places in New Zealand these days. Here in Manapouri we are seeing the future arrive in the form of new subdivisions. Something that in the past was seen as natural progress of any community now has a twist because of the way property has become an economic driver in sleepy summer resort towns.

Gone are the humble family baches: now we have giant boat sheds with living quarters, or fancy Airbnb houses, but mostly land speculators who need to park money in a decent investment with very little thought for seasonal workers or community, let alone ambience.

Micro retirement villages are probably the most useful thing to build, especially if they could build some for essential workers as well.

At any rate, if a developer seriously wants an iconic community the developer needs to fork out money and build it to a plan with the help of a theatrical set designer. Today's architects don't quite cut it, unless you feature leaky roofs as a thing.

Aaron Nicholson


Raising concerns fine, but not the right target

It is my opinion that Cr Vandervis was correct in raising parent concerns about the drag queen Ann Arkii story time event. To not do so meant he was not representing his constituents.

However, we still live in a free country with the freedom to do activities that may cause some moral uprising, but do not break the country’s laws. This person has not committed a crime or shown any indication of doing so. In fact, recent documentaries on television about places like Gloriavale and Dilworth School indicate people coming before the courts for criminal actions are not drag queens.

Ian McGimpsey


An Otago education

Great that Grant Robertson is now vice-chancellor at the University of Otago. This the perfect opportunity for him to now commence a degree in accountancy .

Greg Glendining


Viewpoint rubbished

Another left-wing opinion piece (ODT 17.4.24), along the lines of one by yourself, this time a highly emotive piece by Helen Beattie, supported by an old file photo of Anne Barkman. It is hard to understand Helen’s point as it is many years since we have exported livestock for slaughter and as for New Zealand's reputation, she and others are doing immense damage to our reputation for insinuating that China (the country we export livestock to ) is a filthy, third world country where anything goes for livestock standards. She is dreaming if she thinks that the Chinese are not noting these insults. Also she doesn't mention the New Zealand government singular in her article. Several times it is "the National-led government" and that speaks volumes in itself as to where her political feelings lie.

Robert McCallum


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