by Warren Slater and Pat Slater



          'Bad decisions make good stories'

Warren Slater has written numerous ‘Letters to the Editor’ to local newspapers in Whangarei. The topics have been varied, pointing out issues of concern affecting the community. On occasions there have been opportunities for Warren Slater to portray more positive spin to situations to which a bouquet is given. There are also letters written by my wife Pat Slater included in the list.

Many phone calls personally received by Warren Slater and supporting letters to the Editors have been the result of the letters being published. There has been a few negative comments to the letters of Warren Slater but these have been grossly outweighed by the passionate support shown by the many who have obviously enjoyed reading them which has high-lighted the many issues often hidden under the covers of silence. Some of the ‘rights of replies’ from the targets of many of the letters have been of no real significance. People reading ‘Letters to the Editor’ is alive and well, despite that being denied by a few.

Warren Slaters group of support continues to grow and I will endeavour to satisfy their needs by being open and honest of my opinions.
Every effort has been made to have the publication dates accurate but apologies for the occasional error. Feel free to contact me to make comment in regards to any of these letters.


'Stand up for what you believe in - even if you have to stand alone'


Click on  Bold  or  Coloured  Titles to Link to Letters



Equal coverage - Northern Advocate - 7th September 2016. This years local body election campaigning is under way and the unequal exposure given to some candidates needed a mention. I asked does preferential treament cost and how much?

Please fix road - Northern Advocate - 27th August 2014. One year has passed since the meeting before the 2013 local body election, with promises by councillors made and what has happened with the condition of Otaika Valley Road?  Diddly squat!

What lessons? - Northern Advocate - 3rd July 2014. What came through loud and clear was it was “process” and “lack of relevant and accurate information” that signed off the demise of the Hundertwasser Art Centre project.
Games a delight - Northern Advocate - 20th January 2014. Colgate Games. A grand performance by the organisers, measurers, timekeepers, sponsors, caterers, team managers and the many scores of volunteers who made this event a showcase for Whangarei.

Transparency needed - Northern Advocate - 30th November 2013. ‘Affidavit alleges skeletons in closet’. One also must ask, if the Chief Executive Officer has such concerns, as alleged, why has he taken no action on what is claimed?
Audit the council - Northern Advocate - 21st November 2013. Wednesday’s Northern Advocate lead story ‘Affidavit alleges skeletons in closet’ further substantiates my thoughts of a number of years. As a candidate, I campaigned for a ‘Forensic Audit’ of the Whangarei District Councils finances during the 2010 election and again recently in the 2013 local body election.
Become informed - Northern Advocate - 28th September 2013. We do not need ill informed voters; don’t rely on everything in the candidate information booklet circulated with the voting papers, as that information is not confirmed.
Expensive - Northern Advocate - 28th August 2013. Any project for Whangarei needs to have the people onboard right from the start. One way to achieve that is by it possibly being either community initiated or to have given the people of Whangarei a choice. 
Revenue queries - Northern Advocate - 13th July 2013. If it’s good enough for me to comply, should all others? 
Be involved - Whangarei Leader - 11th June 2013. Do not turn a blind eye, walk around in a dream and pretend it is not happening.
Eating Out? - NOT YET PUBLISHED - They certainly don’t need people refraining from eating out because it may be them.
Lost souls - Northern Advocate - 7th June 2013. If we want to lift this society we live in we have to lift it from the bottom, all the way up.
Democracy - Whangarei Leader - 23rd April 2013. It has been witnessed by myself and others who attend council meetings that a number of requests to speak at the ‘Public Forum’ have not been approved.
Ticking the boxes - Northern Advocate- 20th April 2013. Disillusioned once again, I believe our consultation processes are flawed.
Forum North plan - Northern Advocate- 23rd March 2013. To shift to a purpose built facility at present would cost a large amount of money.
Docking buyer - Northern Advocate - 14th January 2013.  If it was good enough for a council to force ratepayers for things they didn’t need or want and get away with it, why can’t a supermarket.
Mayoral bid - Northern Advocate - 22nd December 2012. You don’t have to look at Greece or Kaipara; you need to look no further than Forum North.
Launch trip a treat - Northern Advocate - 1st December 2012. Spoil yourselves, take a trip out to Limestone Island
Harbour stalwart - Northern Advocate - 2nd November 2012. Wiremu Eruera Pohe, known to many as Willie Pohe, passed away suddenly last month.
Focus on needs - Northern Advocate - 31st October 2012. Bees around the honey pot?
It’s not OK - Northern Advocate- 30th July 2012
                   - The Whangarei Report - 2nd August 2012. - Last Wednesday’s Whangarei District Council meeting was a platform for council to have yet another attack on one of our sincere, community minded citizens.
Time for Change - Northern Advocate - 16th June 2012.  I have to ask, should there be a resignation from the CEO, for this type of intolerable behaviour?
WDC mystery - Northern Advocate - 13th June 2012. The way the NRC presented for their Long Term Plan to the public was far different to how the WDC treated their prestation.
Arrogant stance - Northern Advocate - 29th May 2012. Cr Phil Halse states “Senior citizens might like to take out a bank loan or increase their mortgage”
What’s Hot? - Whangarei Leader - 1st May 2012. (‘e- edition’)  Penny Ashton was in town with her show ‘Hot Pink’ on a tour with the ‘Arts on Tour New Zealand Trust’.
Get the message - Northern Advocate - 28th April 2012. Don’t go into denial or bury your head in the sand; you may miss the message.
Sign of the times - Northern Advocate - 10th April 2012. Am I mistaken, or have these business people have the intentions of self rewarding contracts for legal, design, construction, promotional and employment options to line their own coffers? 
Decision made?  - Northern Advocate - 3rd April 2012. “Within the next two years we will have a Hundertwasser Building here” quoted the mayor Morris Cutforth. Was the ink already dry without proper consultation?
We don’t forget - Northern Advocate - 27th February 2012. All talk and no action.
Green buses - Northern Advocate - 20th February 2012After fielding many comments about the ‘Green Buses’ in Whangarei we decided to go take a ride ourselves. See what we thought.
Excellent care - Northern Advocate - 18th February 2012.  A bouquet to Whangarei Hospital staff for the excellence of their service provided in January 2012.

Whisleblowers - Northern Advocate - 14th February 2012. The Protected Disclosures Act 2000, commonly called the "whistleblowers act" is to protect individuals, employees and contractors brave enough and prepared to speak out about workplace bullying or wrongdoings. I too assure confidentiality for those with information the community needs to be aware of where donations, taxpayer and ratepayer funds have been used.

Victoria BridgeWhangarei Leader - 31st January 2012. Is the bridge more prettier than functional?  Is it time they listened to the potential users rather than going off on their own tangents?

About time a real multi-events centre built - Northern Advocate - 10th January 2012. Those were the promises but many have failed to eventuate as it appears it's a rugby stadium. After using smaller sports as pawns to procure approvals they are then cast away by those wanting their own projects completed.

Tidal problems - Northern Advocate - 29th December 2011. What allows a high tide to infiltrate the towns sewerage system causing the CBD to close down leading up to Christmas?  Isn't it time major works were undertaken on the towns sewerage system to stop council continually polluting our harbour, with or without resource consent?

Rest in pieces?Northern Advocate - 14th December 2011. Local iwi find dumped grave headstones on the Onerahi foreshore. Council admits it has known for some time; but what have council done to remedy it?

More debt for ratepayers, yippee - Northern Advocate - 23rd November 2011. Paper published the same letter two days consecutively . Same as Back to basics (below)

Back to basicsNorthern Advocate - 22nd November 2011. They want ratepayers money to go to another museum.  Is that basic infrastructure?  I would much rather have no poo in the harbour for a healthier environment; so fix the sewerage system properly.

System LoopholeNorthern Advocate - 14th November 2011. Read how an OIA to Whangarei District Council uncovers a loophole in their system. Was an old memo used in an attempt to cover up how Cr John Williamson had his wifes parking ticket cancelled?

How Treated? - Whangarei Leader - 13th September 2011. An abridged letter, with the same message as the one below.

Sewage discharge - Northern Advocate - 8th September 2011. Read how Whangarei District Council are seeking resource consent to discharge more sewage into the Hatea River & our harbour. Have your say by making a submission against this unacceptable practice of using our waterways as a dumping ground. Link to Submission Form or contact Northland Regional Council.

Conflicting? - Whangarei Leader - 2nd August 2011. Read how sewage spills initiate conflicting media reports from council. How can effluent overflows at Hatea pump station be classified as 'partially treated'?  Is that watered down with storm water?

Trucks trash - Northern Advocate - 11th July 2011. After 2 trips to Auckland last week I felt it necessary to write (with a challenge to politicians) about the trucks and the state of the roads in Northland.  Bulk freight needs to be on Rail.  Link to a text view to Northern Advocate 13th July 2011.

Dog registration - Northern Advocate - 30th June 2011. Dog registration climbs up by16.2% while council claims only 4.5% increase in rates.  If they want people to pay and use the system, why not keep the charges reasonable? Check the increases in consents, rubbish, parking etc and what is the real increase?

Please turn up - Whangarei Leader - 28th June 2011.
                          - Northern Advocate - 22nd June 2011. 
An example of the great service received from Whangarei hospital in caring for my elderly mother. Bouquets to the staff for their top notch manner.

Focus on basics - Northern Advocate - 7th June 2011. A reprint, but slightly abridged letter of one previously published a month ago, but sewage overflows keep happening; so do letters to remind them.

Council integrity - Northern Advocate - 24th May 2011. To sell your integrity and the integrity of others for $60-00 really does show, their 'true worth'.  Are these people fit to represent the citizens who pay their wages?  Personally, i don't think so.

Sewage woes - Northern Advocate - 6th May 2011. Concern at sewage spills and overflows when money is being spent on other projects that many believe are of far less importance than fixing the sewerage issues.

Trust moneyNorthern Advocate - 15th April 2011. (Republished again16th April 2011 - they must have felt it had a message in it) Clear view of helicopter spending; Yeah right?  Why a lack of transparency and are some facts being hidden?

Gravy train - Northern Advocate - 11th April 2011. Now a third helicopter is purchased by a trust that needed funding in the form of targeted rates from the Northland Region. And the trustees don't want to tell where the money goes and to whom. So who is getting fat on the proceeds?

Should we steal gallery idea? - Northern Advocate - 28th March 2011. Can we afford it? Is it appropriate?  Does it truly represent Whangarei?  Or is it just another want by a few in power?
Lest we forget - Northern Advocate - 1st February 2011. Special thanks to those that made submissions preventing the Whangarei District Council from legally dumping raw untreated sewage into our harbour.

Muddy water - Whangarei Leader - 1st February 2011 (same as Maintenance)
Maintenance - Northern Advocate - 28th January 2011. Mr Mayor you have had your 'Century' (100 days in office) to fix the problems you promised on the election......Now it’s my turn to bat, so beware, I'm a stayer and in for the long haul.

Pat on the backThe Whangarei Report - 12th August 2010.

Think of guests too - Northern Advocate - 4th August 2010.

Bad booze attitudes must go - Northern Advocate - 29th July 2010. (Original)

Wise words help bad news - Northern Advocate - 27th July 2010. (Pat Slater)

Pooh stinkThe Whangarei Report - 15th July 2010.

Time to get out of this poo - Northern Advocate - 9th July 2010. (Original)
  see replies - Two urgent problems (M McDonald) & 
                    - Get back to basics (Chris Carter) - Northern Advocate - 15th July 2010.

Showing off talentNorthern Advocate - 6th July 2010.

Pollution costsThe Whangarei Report - 1st July 2010 (Pat Slater)

A clear view - The Whangarei Report - 24th June 2010.

Worthy rally - Northern Advocate - 23rd June 2010.  (Pat Slater)

Real people matterNorthern Advocate - 9th June 2010.

Depressing - Whangarei Leader - 8th June 2010. (Pat Slater)

Case against crimsNorthern Advocate - 7th June 2010.

Closer communitiesNorthern Advocate - 4th June 2010. (Pat Slater)

Care for our own firstNorthern Advocate - 20th May 2010. (Pat Slater)

Talent among taggersNorthern Advocate - 17th May 2010.

Hospice awareness -  Northern Advocate - 14th May 2010. (Pat Slater)

Road show on Local Government - The Northland Age - 13th May 2010.      
     A synopsis of my attendance to eight meetings on Local Governance undertaken by WDC staff.

Technology  works - The Northland Age - 6th May 2010. 
    Comments on a vistit to Far North District Council meeting 29th April  

Comments appreciated - Northern Advocate - 4th May 2010
    see Mayor Semen-off's reply - Northern Advocate - 6th May 2010.
    see Wayne Deemings reply - Northern Advocate - 11th May 2010
    You must cross the negatives to get a positive (e.g.  - crossed with - = +)
    and a reminder about 'who' said it publicly  (for those with bad memories or in  
    total denial. Isn't a newspaper saying it publicly? I,m not the one in the pork industry).
    and 'The letter to a tiny group' from HenryGerald, Stan GA Semen-off Mayor.

If the governance is not broken, why fix it? - Northern Advocate Guest Editorial - 9th April 2010 (an accumulation of letters on Local Government options for Northland as below but published as a Guest Editorial)

Councils at loggerheads over reform proposals for North - Radio New Zealand - Friday 16th April 2010.

Campaign on Northland local govt reform heads to Waipu - Radio New Zealand - Wednesday 21st April 2010.

Government will not impose further reforms, says Hide -  Radio New Zealand - Wednesday 21st April 2010.

Ratepayer spectator in game of power - Northern Advocate (Craig Cooper Editorial) - 21st April 2010.

Report is a council plot - Northern Advocate letters - 23rd April 2010. (one is from an ex councillor)
and even a letter from the mayor and another letter, also from an ex councillor)

WDC Public Notices 'Scare Tactics' - Whangarei Leader - 27th April 2010.

Not-so-super spend-up - Northern Advocate - 17th May 2010. Wayne Deeming

Inquiry call on spending - Whangarei Leader - 27th April 2010.

Spectators sidelined...save 'family silver' - Northern Advocate - 30th April 2010 (different perspectives from a couple of WDC & NRC Councillors)

NRC 'likely base' for sole North body - Northern Advocate - 3rd May 2010.

Skewed facts and Piece of PR letters - Northern Advocate - 3rd May 2010.

Radio advertisement for WDC - MoreFM - 5th May 2010. (Unbiased or biased ad?  What do you think?  Still casting confusion, doubt & buck passing?  Insulting to WDC? or NRC?)

See Ngunguru Sandspit Protection Society Inc. - Local Govt options for Northland

Play an eye-opener - Northern Advocate - 5th April 2010 (Pat & Warren Slater)

Local Government Options for NorthlandWhangarei, Dargaville  &  Kaikohe  letters sent in regards to 3 of the 6 meetings on McKinlay Report (all pending publication) 
(see Wayne Deemings letter) - The Whangarei Report - 1st April 2010

Timing of contracts - The Whangarei Report - 1st April 2010

Unitary councils - Northern Advocate - 29th March 2010 (Pat Slater)

Status quo no option - Northern Advocate - 25th March 2010 (Pat Slater)

User friendly? - Whangarei Leader - 23rd March 2010 (Pat Slater)

Employment contracts - Northern Advocate - 23rd March 2010  (see Cr Syers reply.... if you can find anything in my letter that caused 'an insulting slight upon my professional integrity' as quoted by Mr Syers please tell me, or is he confused? Just like when he insisted, in one of his sermons, that those that did not wish to stand for his "Boss" stay outside the chamber, which he never approached us about. This has duly upset the boss as he wants to think we are always late instead of why we don't wish to stand. We are always early, but as instructed by Warwick, wait outside the chamber till the prayer is about to be read. Thanks Warwick for the explanation regarding the CEO's contract as this has not been clarified at a public meeting. Its like pulling teeth getting information from the present council..... hence many of us have stacks of Official Information requests!) 
(See Warwick Syers the Rugby Insider you take a vow of silence and agree to keep your mouth shut)            
(See Wayne Deeming's letter) - Northern Advocate - 29th March 2010

Cold,hard facts on global warming - cash no cure - Northern Advocate - 1st March 2010  (letter with photo)
Letter to Bream Bay News and sent to Warren by Steve Goldthorpe
Warren Slaters reply email to Steve Goldthorpe - 3 March 2010
Steve Goldthorpe letter - Northern Advocate - 3 March 2010
Steve Goldthorpe reply email to Warren Slater - 3 March 2010
Warren Slaters 2nd reply email to Steve Goldthorpe - 3 March 2010
Ian Wishart reply - Northern Advocate - 5 March 2010

Multi-events centre - Northern Advocate - 18th February 2010

Less is more - Whangarei Leader - 16th February 2010 (letter with photo)

Parrots in council - Northern Advocate - 10th February 2010 (Pat Slater)

Communication gap - Northern Advocate - 6th February 2010 (Pat Slater)

Answers on bridge spend -  Northern Advocate – 2nd February 2010 (I only asked for Community feedback and queried the cost of aesthetics - look at the wonderful responses received and maybe some may have been involved?)   
Original Design concepts which triggered discussion. Northern Advocate - 30th January 2010.
WDC CEO Mark Simpson's reply (was he on the design team?) - Northern Advocate - 6th February 2010.
See reply by Wayne Deeming to Simpsons letter - Northern Advocate - 10th February 2010.
Advocate Opinion on bridge - Northern Advocate - 6th February 2010. 
Even more comments - Northern Advocate - 8th February 2010.    
And even more comments - Northern Advocate - 16th February 2010.    
And even more comments - Whangarei Leader - 16th February 2010 and more (not bad when the WDC. CEO Simpson claimed it wasn't contraversial !!!!)                                                       
High time to make a stand - Northern Advocate - 29th January 2010

See letter by Cr Brian McLachlan in regards to sewerage system ongoing problems - Northern Advocate - 10th February 2010.

Salute to NRC councillors - Northern Advocate - 5th January 2010 (Warren & Pat Slater)

Everyday like Christmas Day - Northern Advocate - 14th December 2009 (Pat Slater)

Control of the worst kind - sent to Northern Advocate on 27th November 2009 - (Not yet published) - Pat Slater

Shame,shame,shame - The Whangarei Report - 19th November 2009 (Warren & Pat Slater) (see published amended letter)

Nudge-nudge, wink-wink - Northern Advocate - 9th November 2009 (Pat Slater)
See  Mayor Semen-off's reply  ( Did the letter hit a nerve? Many callers have been asking, even some different ones from within) 
See  letter from Wayne Deeming in response to the Mayor
See more Letters to Editor responding to this letter - Northern Advocate - 28th November 2009

Please follow the rules - Northern Advocate - 6th November 2009
(an interesting comment on Monday 9th November 2009, from someone within, 'loved your letter, it was exactly what he said, he made a point of it, like he normally does')     
(see Wayne Deemings letter - The Whangarei Report - 19th November 2009)

Good Politics - Northern Advocate - 8th September 2009

Keeping informed - Northern Advocate - 4th September 2009

Kaipara conversation - The Whangarei Report - 3rd September 2009
    See Kaipara District Council reply Chief Executives Report Sept 2009 (on page 3)

Missed the Target - Northern Advocate - 3rd September 2009

Well worth entering contest  - Northern Advocate - 16th & 26th August 2009 (Warren & Pat Slater)

Telethon spirit recovers  - Northern Advocate - 13th August 2009 (Pat Slater)

One sea, one seashore  - Northern Advocate - 10th August 2009- (Pat Slater)

Selective vaccination  - Northern Advocate - 30th July 2009         
      See Mayor's reply   and the Northern Advocate same day front page article  30 July (who informs who?) 
      See  comment from F Iseke - Northern Advocate  - 6th August 2009 
      See comment from  L Craig - Northern Advocate - 11th August 2009
      Dangers in mass use of Tamiflu - Northern Advocate - 11th August 2009  
Who ya gonna call?  - The Whangarei Report - 30th July 2009

Top Marks  - Northern Advocate -  25th July 2009

Museum's situation disputed  - Northern Advocate - 2nd July 2009 (Pat Slater)
     See Mayor's reply   (as anticipated, but gosh, who writes for him?)

Bridge over Troubled Water
                                     - Northern Advocate - 29th June 2009      
                                     - The Whangarei Report - 2nd July 2009 

Multi Events ? Confirmed Not Now
                             - Northern Advocate - 22nd June 2009
                             - Whangarei Leader - 23rd June 2009
                             - The Whangarei Report - 25th June 2009 

Who is for a cuppa?  - The Whangarei Report - 28th May 2009
                                    - Northern Advocate - 28 May 2009
Previous action caused reaction   - The Whangarei Report - 21st May 2009

Action and Reaction
                                            - Whangarei Leader - 12 May 2009   
                                            - Northern Advocate - 12 May 2009

Who's listening  - Northern  Advocate - 12 May 2009 (Pat Slater)

They didn't say boo - Importance of LTCCP                       
                                - Northern Advocate - 8 April 2009
                                - The Whangarei Report - 5 April 2009
                                - Whangarei Leader - 5 April 2009

Gone fishing - Who's fishing - Northern Advocate 7 April 2009
Cost of Information - Costs of Transparency
                                        - Whangarei Leader - 31 March  2009
                                        - The Whangarei Report - 26 March 2009
                                        - Northern Advocate19 March 2009

I read with interest - The Whangarei Report  - 16 March 2009
Have your say - Sustainable Futures 30/50 
                                      - Northern Advocate - 26 February 2009
                                      - Whangarei Leader - 26 February 2009
What about $4m fix? -Is there or is there not, a $4 million fix? - Northern Advocate - 17 February 2009  See WDC reply 
Treated sewage is different - Bowel emptying in city pool   (Pat Slater)
                             - Northern Advocate - 6 February 2009 
                             - The Whangarei Report - 3 February 2009 
Stadium decision of grandeur - Fishing any one? 
                                        -  Whangarei Leader - 3 February 2009
                                        -  Northern Advocate - 31 January 2009 
Anniversary weekend and Western Hills Station was buzzing - Northern Advocate - 27 January 2009
Sewage before art - In need of more listeners  – The Whangarei Report – 15 January 2009 (Pat Slater)
Trying to push it uphill - Answers please - Northern Advocate - 13 January 2009 
Toward a cleaner harbour - Special Thanks after march
                                 -  Whangarei Leader – 13 January 2009
                                 -  Northern Advocate – 23 December 2008
                                 - The Whangarei Report – 18 December 2008
                                 -  Newstalk ZB – 14 December 2008                 
Sewage scandal - The best investment yet  - Northern Advocate - 9 December 2008 
Something smells - Pooh, what stinks? - Northern Advocate - 14 November 2008 
Dancing in the dark - What’s transparency?
                               -  The Whangarei Report - 10 November 2008
                               -   Northern Advocate - 23 October 2008  
Views can be voiced - Community involvement   (Pat Slater)
                                            -   Northern Advocate - 13 Sept 2008 
                                            -   Whangarei Leader - 8 Sept 2008
Lecture     – Northern Advocate - 4 Sept 2008 
Stormy Praises      - Northern Advocate - 31 July 2008
                                - Whangarei Leader - 31 July 2008 
True Colours Darkening  - Northern Advocate - 25 July 2008 
Manners maketh man - Reply to true colours & Apology needed  - Northern Advocate - 25 July 2008
Respect on the waka please 
                                             - Northern Advocate - 17 July 2008
                                             -  Whangarei Leader - 22 July 2008           
Good changes - Dog-gone Impressed 
                                             - The Whangarei Report - 12 June 2008
                                             -  Northern Advocate - 9 June 2008 
Wot’s that floating in the harbour?  - Northern Advocate - 28 May 2008 
New centre? Not yet - Who is paying? Event Centre  - Northern Advocate - 16 May 2008   (Pat Slater)


'Too bad that all the people who really know how to run a country are busy driving taxi cabs and cutting hair.' ~ George Burns