Letters to the Editor: uranium, gondolas and the airport

An international flight at Dunedin Airport. Photo: Gerard O'Brien
An international flight at Dunedin Airport. Photo: Gerard O'Brien
Today's Letters to the Editor from readers cover topics including the promise of uranium, a ill-considered gondola fast-track, and the return of international flights to Dunedin.


Consider uranium use for future prosperity

It has been very interesting reading, and listening to, the reports stating we need to work to get back to the "rock star status" we once had.

I totally agree with the sentiments and have to say that the politician making the most sense in this regard is Shane Jones. Comparisons are always being made between New Zealand and countries such as Sweden and Norway. To get to the stage that those countries are at, they utilised assets which were available, and in demand worldwide. We certainly have agriculture but some of the greatest assets we have are in the ground and these include antimony, gold, scheelite and dare I say it, uranium.

All of these minerals, if mined in a satisfactory manner have the capability of greatly increasing the wealth for all New Zealanders. One of the minerals with the most potential for wealth is uranium which we have deposits of.

Now that nuclear fusion is starting to look like a reality it is the most promising development for creating clean electricity. To do this uranium is required. Let’s be sensible and listen to Shane Jones and have an intelligent discussion without the raging dialogue of the "anti-everything" groups.

We owe it to ourselves and our children to have the chance to live side by side in a prosperous country.

Bob Farrell


Poorly thought out

Regarding the gondola fast-track application on Coronet Peak (ODT 16.5.24). Having seen the application documents, I feel obliged to highlight that the briefly mentioned "village" is, in fact, a densely packed, multi-storey, gardenless, grid of units with a private international boarding school and some "Millbrook-style" houses over the foothills. Up to 780 dwellings in total. It is clear little thought has gone toward the surrounding environment which lies within the Lake Hayes catchment area. Likewise the beautiful views from Malaghan Rd, the skifield and the proposed mountain bike park over the picturesque green valley.

How many hours and dollars went into consulting the community to formulate the district plan for it to be overridden? This gondola is being used as a smoke-screen for a far less desirable, ill-placed, poorly thought-through scheme.

Julia Coleman


Same as it ever was

Jocelyn Harris (Letters ODT 23.5.24) writes despairingly about the number of Kiwis leaving the country and states what a loss they are to the economy. It was ever thus.

I graduated in dentistry here in Dunedin in 1960 and left the country exactly a month later. I returned to Dunedin in 1968 and spent most of my working life here until my retirement at the age of 67. My graduating class of 31 was the smallest since World War 2 to the present day. One third of them, including one Māori graduate, practised overseas either totally or for a substantial period.

Is this current loss, as Jocelyn Harris says, an alarming waste of taxpayer money or is their departure nothing new and more than balanced by those who graduate overseas and come here to work and give of their skills? I suggest the latter is the case.

Undoubtedly, the current situation is coloured by the events of the past four years, but it is not new. Stats NZ monthly data shows that 52,500 New Zealand citizens (out of a population of 5.3 million) left in the year just ended in March. This represents 1% of the total population.

The previous record for the annual net migration loss of New Zealand citizens was 44,400 in the year ending February 2012, when the population was 4.4 million. This was also 1% of the total population. The current annual net migration gain into NZ is over 111,000 people, many of whom arrive with qualifications and skills learned in other countries.

John Burton


What has been going on behind the scenes?

I find it interesting that since my recent Letter to the Editor (ODT 10.5.24), the CEO from Dunedin Airport, whom I questioned about their openness, has now ensured that the media is aware of their business trip to Australia so that the public can see that they are working on getting the international flights to return to Dunedin. Have the management team at Dunedin Airport been scared by recent comments? I still ask where are the Dunedin City Council and as another recent Letter to the Editor writer said, the "elusive mayor" or the young man's local MP or the local tourism businesses that will clearly benefit from the flights. Will they all wait until the announcement and then rush forward to say they have been working behind the scenes rather than acknowledging that realistically if it wasn't for this teenager's efforts that most likely the flights restarting would still be dead in the water?

William May


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