Troubled water                    -  Northern Advocate – 29 June 2009


Of bridges and sewage      -  The Whangarei Report - 2 July 2009                            



Bridge over Troubled Water

This title once represented an emotive song of Simon & Garfunkel’s in the seventies reaching the top of the charts.  Whangarei’s recent rendition, still emotive, is the result of the smokescreen process of the Whangarei District Council Long Term Council Community Plan ( LTCCP). The LTCCP process is compulsory with any changes to the draft by council, by the influence of ratepayer’s ideas through the submission process, are voluntary. In my opinion from listening to the moderate debate in Council on Wednesday 24th June in regards to the finalisation, it has become more apparent that the ink on the draft copy had well dried before the earlier process of submitters had commenced. One Councillor, who normally is reasonably quite in representing his constituents, gave a lengthy sermon, to the auditor attending the meeting, critical of the cost of the process. In previous meetings when any of the changes to the LTCCP could have been affected, like approving or discounting some of their expensive wishes, (e.g. second harbour crossing) had failed to speak in depth to the necessities of this project. On a positive note the ‘Loch’ for the harbour presentation has much credit, but let’s hope the ‘Troubled Waters’ of the Whangarei Harbour are fixed before this option ‘Loch bridge’ is instigated or could it be Councils own acceptance of Options 2, 3 and 4, of their submission sent to ratepayers, for the sewage solution. If so, the result will be the Loch contained harbour side area becoming a storage facility or tank, for the sewage pollution that infiltrates our harbour and waterways. Is the high priority of stopping this pollution problem just too hard?

Warren Slater