Eastern Courier : December 10th 2010
4 EASTERN COURIER, DECEMBER 10, 2010 NEWS BIKE BARN BOTANY 287 Botany Road. Ph 09 271 4122 Email firstname.lastname@example.org ITS THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN Come in and get your transmission checked AUTO TRANSMISSION SPECIALISTS CALL DARREN HUGHES FIRST GEARBOXES PH 577 5555 ORCOMEIN&SEEMEAT UNIT D, 56 BEN LOMOND CRES, PAKURANGA Decisions on big plan changes in January By MATT BOWEN Decisions on three major plan changes for Beachlands won't hit residents until January. Independent commissioners are deliberating over the flood of submissions on plan changes 30, 30A and 34 following hearings in September and October. A total of 1009 submissions were received. Auckland Council chief planning officer Roger Blakeley says the large number of submissions means a long deliberation and reporting pro- cess. The decisions are expected to be released in early 2011, he says. Decisions on all plan changes are expected to be released at the same time.'' The three applications sparked a mass of submissions from residents who feared the proposed changes, and 30A in particular, would alter the quiet seaside nature of their town. Australian supermarket giant Progressive Enterprises wants to establish a Countdown supermarket alongside other retail outlets at the Beachlands roundabout through plan change 30A. Some residents are worried it will be an eyesore, hold up traffic, dam- age the current business zone and that it goes against everything that people moved to the Beachlands- Maraetai area for. The decisions could go either way but it's likely the arguments will be taken to the Environment Court for a final ruling. Driving home the concerns It was a drive around what are now effectively super Auckland's north- ern suburbs -- or should that word be ineffectively''? Lots of grass and livestock, old houses obviously loved, others pre- viously loved in the inner city and now beginning a new existence, some of them seemingly fresh off the removal trailers. Idyllic spots, others looking like a film set for a hillbilly comedy. Or the then'' segment of a television then and now paint advertisement. It was a journey of discovery revealing places I never knew ex- isted. Like Kanohi, Waiwhiu, Pohuehue and Makarau. And others we knew well and one we had lived in so happily at Wainui. The house we'd moved there years ago, now massively extended with a spread of terraces going down to the lake, the waterfall and a grove of ancient kauri, looking like a million dollars. It was an expedition of nostalgia -- and realisation. We could have gone east all the way to Orere Point or gone south -- where we once moved another house of dreams -- and found the same spread of open country. And almost certainly gravel roads like the ones we covered on this journey. Which set me wondering yet again. How is the supercity going to cope with all these contrasts and needs -- the hundreds of kilometres of roads desperately needing seal, the little, well-established settlements which don't know what a footpath is? And perhaps they'd like new roads before broadband. Obviously those brand-new coun- cillors know all about finance -- they had hardly settled into their seats or got their first pay cheque before they were complaining that their income needed a boost to cover all the work they needed to do. Not a good look from people in new positions some had paid out thousands in advertising to win. Didn't they study their job description in advance? Well, the newly defined rate- payers of the not-so-supercity living on gravel roads have got a worry too. They wonder how members and bureaucrats living in high rises on equally high assets will produce a fair division of rating between posh suburbs and rural communities. They worry as all those familiar names in new jobs put the arm on the government for billions to carve a tunnel below a distant CBD -- and patch up some decrepit building off Queen St so Christmas shoppers and tourists don't have their city vistas marred. They ask: What's all this going to do to our rates? I remember one of those new names telling a group around us that the real test would be when we opened the books''. That was a month ago. Are the books still closed? And when are the ratepayers in unfashionable suburbs and the gravel-roaded communities going to be told the details on the accounts we all share -- some of us very unwillingly. In the mailbag: Unsuspecting public need to be aware of cowboy' builders advertis- ing and not to trust what you read. I engaged a builder to renovate my bathroom, supposedly with 35-plus years experience who also did painting and tiling himself. What a disaster. Four weeks down the track I was frustrated at nothing happening fast (he turned up when he felt like it). Then I discovered excessive wastage of my expensive tiles part way through the job, so got a quali- fied' tiler's opinion. After he told me he'd never seen such a poor job, I paid the builder several thousand dollars to get rid of him. Then to my further distress a qualified' painter said the same about the hit-and-miss paint job (also pointing out the paint splat- ters all over my brand new fittings). So after paying the builder for shoddy workmanship (which I have since regretted), then extra for a tiler to finish the job and a painter to re-do the paintwork, we are understandably extremely angry at being ripped off. So to anybody thinking of renovations be warned: Check out references for the builder's work beforehand and use qualified sub- trades. This whole experience has caused much stress and just leaves a bad taste in your mouth for shoddy tradesmen.'' And another letter: I am surprised that there has been no comment in any of the media of the situation that exists on Auckland roads with regards to the proliferation of traffic lights. My point is this, at any given time, half of the moving traffic is standing at traffic lights on red. With close to 400 sets of lights in the metropolitan area that is a lot of cars belching out toxic fumes and going nowhere. Now we have the supercity under one control for planning, per- haps this might be a good time to phase out traffic lights and intro- duce traffic Islands. With the res- cinding of the give way to the right rule being changed in a couple of years, we might have a more even flow of traffic.'' -- P F Goodwin, Beach Haven And a bouquet or three: You make so much sense. I admire your courage and directness in addressing many of the social injustices that continue to plague our society today. It's such a pity our newspapers today are full of poorly written articles, with messages so hidden under a maze of meaningless words and oft-times poorly researched facts' that one loses interest very quickly. The power of your pen gives ordinary New Zealanders hope that somebody still makes sense in our society driven by greed, political correctness, and spineless, mediocre liberals who do more harm than good in my experience.'' -- Naila Fanene I feel I have to email you and let you know that I cried this morning -- while eating my breakfast -- as I read your column At the minehead, portraits in pain. It was a heartfelt, emotional and very well-written article and I could visualise all you talked about. A very sad day, too, for the nation and particularly the families and friends of the miners in Greymouth as they have their mem- orial service.'' -- Sue Pearce My sincere thanks for a well- written, thought-provoking column -- thoughtful and so touching that I was moved to tears as I read your recounted details of past disasters. The pain for those left behind must be enormous. I have nothing but admiration and praise for men like Peter Whit- tall and Superintendent Gary Knowles Then to face the families of the 29 miners trapped and killed by the mine that was their livelihood, hope and then disillusionment as the situation worsened. Thank you Pat for putting into words what many of us cannot express.'' -- Alma Daw- son To contact Pat Booth email off email@example.com or write care of this newspaper.
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