Letters to the Editor: weather, war and wilding trees

Dunedin City Council waste management supervisor Catherine Gledhill and EnviroNZ Dunedin branch...
Dunedin City Council waste management supervisor Catherine Gledhill and EnviroNZ Dunedin branch manager Kane Bray inspect the council’s new kerbside bins due to be rolled out in July. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
Today's Letters to the Editor from readers cover topics including scattered weather predictions, a moral compass in the face of war, and a huge kerbside mistake.


Abandoned buildings opportunity for housing

Your recent article (ODT 31.1.24) about the council's draft future development strategy stated that Dunedin may need 6550 new homes in the next 30 years.

We have an untapped resource in the (possibly large) number of derelict and abandoned buildings in the city residential zones.

This would require action from central government, as there is currently no law preventing owners from leaving fire-damaged and rotted-out buildings empty for decades, taking up some of our finite land resource.

Claire Laverty


Wilding trees opportunity

With regards meeting emissions targets (ODT 2.2.24) due to Aotearoa being forecasted to not meet greenhouse emissions by 2030, Treasury are forecasting having to spend in the region $500,000,000 per annum buying carbon credits from overseas.

At the risk of being accused of banging on, am I the only one to whom it appears ludicrous to be spending that much money while at the same time frantically cutting down and poisoning wilding trees that are growing, on their own, for free, in land that while majestic and looks good on a calendar, is pretty much unproductive.

Perhaps, we would be better off diverting the carbon produced in cutting down, myths aside, mostly harmless trees and put it into more climate friendly projects such as, say, cycleways . . . oh wait.

Jerry Lynch


Forecasting crystal ball

I sympathise with West Coasters with their problems with weather service predictions.

It’s not much better here on the North Otago coast. Big black cloud with raindrops pictured due this morning until afternoon.

Great. No need to water. Not a drop of rain so far to 3pm.

My observation at 8am, cloud cover, strata cumulous one-third with two-thirds clear sky.

And this has been happening for about a month.

Daily forecast: "Scattered showers, some heavy with possible thunder ..."

Otherwise fine.

So where are these scattered showers ending up?

Jim Childerstone


Find moral compass

Our government must strongly and explicitly condemn Israel for its occupation of, and war on Gaza and the occupied territories through the application of sanctions and developing a foreign policy independent of the United States.

But the government’s silence on the ICJ ruling of plausible genocide of the Palestinians, its readiness to partake in America’s Prosperity Guardian against the Houthis to, in Christopher Luxon’s words, protect innocent consumers, its halting of UNRWA funding, make New Zealand complicit alongside the US in the terrible slaughter of Palestinians.

Thousands of New Zealanders stood against apartheid South Africa, while governments around the world, including the United States, Israel and New Zealand’s National Party all overtly and tacitly supported this barbaric regime.

The same thing is happening again.

The New Zealand government must find the moral compass to see and condemn what is happening before our eyes.

Kobi Bosshard


Every reason to spurn war and make peace

Contrary to Dave Tackney's original assumptions (Letters, 16.1.24) the phrase he considers outdated, "from the river to the sea", was new to me.

It did, however, remind me of the song Ballad of Easy Rider, by Roger McGuinn (with input from Bob Dylan), coincidentally, about a yearning for freedom and a place.

If he wants a phrase that travels well, how about German exile Karl Marx's "working men have no country" or his (executed) compatriot Rosa Luxemburg's "Socialism or Barbarism" for relevance.

Mr Tackney raises the spectre of the Holocaust as if, in the current rush to arms by a resurgent militarism in jingoistic thrall, it is we who need reminding.

Of the 70-85 million people who perished in WW2, more than half were accounted for by allies the Soviet Union and the Republic of China.

New Zealand's toll was highest, per capita, of the Commonwealth countries, with the Maori Battalion suffering an almost 50% higher casualty rate than the average NZ infantry battalion.

There is every reason to spurn war and make peace.

Susan Hall


Hard no to cycleway

I am totally opposed to the proposed cycleway for the student population.

They are young and fit, there is also a bus service in the area.

The loss of so many car parks is crazy when so many elderly folk like myself must travel by car as we can't walk on hills to a bus stop.

Please DCC stop all this waste of our rates.

This way you won't need a big rate increase.

Ray Scott
Port Chalmers


New Zealand should chart its own course

As an Otago Kiwi now living in Australia, I write in support of Professor Robert Patman’s concerns about New Zealand joining the Aukus agreement, albeit perched on a second pillar (ODT 3.2.24).

Firstly, look at the origin of the Aukus agreement.

It was drawn up when Scott Morrison’s coalition was in power in Canberra.

The coalition used it as one of the "wedges" they forced on the Australian Labor Party prior to the 2022 election.

Labor felt they had to accept it to avoid an election fought over defence.

New Zealand’s recent defence history has been distinct from that of Australia.

Most distinct was the 80s nuclear ship ban, which proved very popular with Kiwis.

Now the National-led government wants to throw this away.

Surely there is still a place for a democratic country in the aptly-named Pacific to chart a different course from the larger countries of the anglosphere?

(Dr) Jock Churchman


Rubbish mistake

Who is kidding who?

It’s rubbish that a maximum 300 litres of household waste per week (approx. 20 blue, 70 yellow, 70 red, 140 green) is “helping you reduce waste and protect the environment” as stated in the February 2024 DCC FYI pamphlet.

Once upon a time the tall household metal rubbish bin held an approximate maximum of 70 litres weekly rubbish.

Perhaps the mayor might go back to school and brush up on his maths, history, and environmental science, then model ways for Dunedin households to minimise and recycle their own excess rubbish.

We are all being forced to pay for this huge kerbside mistake.

Ron Adams


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