Letters to the Editor: Warbirds, place names and railways

The pyramids at Okia. PHOTO: LUKE CHAPMAN
The pyramids at Okia. PHOTO: LUKE CHAPMAN
Today's Letters to the Editor from readers cover topics including the Dunedin Railways debacle, the folklore around place names and events, and an awesome Warbirds.


Time DCC decided on railway’s future

C'mon Dunedin City Council, front up and make a decision about the Dunedin Railways debacle.

To lose $800K in six months is literally money going up in smoke and is unsustainable. For the steam tragics out there I sympathise with you, but the brutal reality of what makes an entity commercially viable or not is so obvious that change has to happen.

Concentrate on a service that runs from Port to Dunedin, ferry passengers will pay $20 a head for the trip. Organise frequent excursion trains up the coast and back, make them viable by charging accordingly.

Sell off surplus rolling stock, at least it will be retained in a museum somewhere.

As for the Taieri Gorge line, rip it up. There must be thousands of sleepers that can be sold off. Likewise the track. It then becomes a walking / cycling track for which maybe a charge could be made to use.

Either way, stop procrastinating. Why does the sale of Aurora seem so easy and this seem so difficult?

Graham Bulman


No to charter schools

We certainly should not allow the new government to introduce charter schools. They are private/independent institutions which don’t need to follow the New Zealand curriculum and make their own rules. Our schools at present need every bit of funding they can get to educate our students to prepare them well for the future.

Tom Phillips
Macandrew Bay


Great resource

As a history wonk myself I would like to thank the ODT for publishing "The Land Remembers" (The Mix 30.3.24). Recently there have been a lot of pre European place names popping up in conversation and it's good to see them get some media citation and background. Also it is a resource for schools.

Part of what interests me in history is remembering folkore around names and events. They can be special to the people of today and it feels like university town newspapers like the Otago Daily Times are the curators of this responsibility. Let's hope NZ on Air will fund some more work.

Wilderness magazine did a big spread on the lost tribe of Fiordland: there is a story. Or perhaps folklore from of the coast north of Aramoana? Abandoned history is also interesting. There is a whole TV sub-industry about that.

Aaron Nicholson


Second languages

That was a good article about the decline in foreign language learning (ODT 27.3.24). As a pupil at Otago Boys' High School (1945-49) I was privileged to learn three foreign languages: French, Latin and German, mainly in the classroom of Dr Keith Sheen, later director-general of education.

Sad today that Victoria University in Wellington has decided to do away with its Greek, Latin and Italian programmes, and that the University of Otago is discontinuing German. I believe that aged 92, I can still appreciate the benefit that just a little knowledge of three foreign languages conferred upon me down through the years. Bonus, bon, gut.

Clarke Isaacs

An F16 Fighting Falcon at Warbirds Over Wanaka. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
An F16 Fighting Falcon at Warbirds Over Wanaka. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON

Warbirds prize entree to the best day ever

I was very fortunate to win tickets to Warbirds Over Wanaka on Sunday after entering your competition.

We had an awesome day, arriving at 8am and leaving around 5pm.

The whole day from when we were directed to and left our park, entering the gates to welcoming music and smiles from support staff, the wonderful trio of singers dressed in World War 2 uniforms, array of stalls and food caravans and then the big event, was absolutely incredible.

We were entertained all day by aerial displays that defied gravity and humour-filled commentators.

They had so much knowledge about the planes and pilots, from all over the world.

Well done to all the organisers and support staff involved in this awesome event.

A special thank you to (our) ODT for giving us this opportunity to be part of such a memorable event.

And I even have the Warbirds tote bag.

It will remind me every time I get my groceries of the best day ever.

Janet and Doug Amies


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