Letters: Poor cousins’ waiting room

SOME months ago I wrote about the woefully inadequate “travel centre” in Whanganui.

I enclose a photo of this venue, showing its unattractive appearance and limited facilities.

The doors on this office (situated at the far end of Ridgway St) close at 5pm, which wouldn’t be a problem if buses arrived before closing time.

Inevitably, however, those of us travelling to Wellington and Palmerston North in the evening are waiting for buses well after the doors are closed. There are, therefore, no toilets available or shelter for more than four people outside when it’s wet and windy.

Neither Whanganui District Council nor InterCity has responded to my written requests for a conversation about how to improve the “travel centre”, so I am left to assume that catering for after-hours bus passengers is of very low importance in Whanganui.

Where is the evidence of the city’s interest in catering for visitors, tourists, people passing through? It wouldn’t take much imagination to improve on the current facility,
but it seems there is very little interest.

Are bus passengers “poor cousins” in respect of public transport?

Palmerston North

Housing shortage

I write in response to the article published in the Whanganui Chronicle on December 15, “Heading to crisis point” about the near-critical shortage of housing here in Whanganui.

As a resident of little over four years of this little slice of paradise, I have observed the number of properties available go from around 120 when we first moved here to less than a dozen now, as well as the price to rent them increase markedly.

In my opinion, there are two main reasons for the drastic change that has occurred in the last two years or so, number one being the Labour Government’s crackdown on what they termed substandard housing, which — as happened to my partner and I — compelled a lot of rental property owners to sell up rather than do the work required to bring the property up to government standards, and two, the steady influx of new residents moving here which has put pressure on both the homes for sale and rental market.

Because of this pressure, the cost of renting has risen markedly, far outstripping the rise in incomes, be it wages or, in the case of my partner and I, benefits. Add to that the rising cost of power and food, along with the initial cost of occupying a rental property, and there is little wonder the situation is what it is.

Sadly, Whanganui is not unique in this situation, with the problem being pretty much nationwide.

While I agree in principle with this Government’s stance on substandard housing — and we have surely all seen the examples aired on TV, most of which have been state-owned properties — part of me wonders if a substandard house is better than no house at all, and perhaps a more measured approach to the problem would have lessened the crisis we now face.

Interestingly, despite the crisis, my partner and I are finding it near impossible to rent the spare room in our modern, clean, well-insulated town house, despite it being one of the cheapest available.


1080 facts

I thought that, being a scientist, Robin Wakeling (letters, December 14) would have more faith in facts.

Rather than doing more harm than good, the facts show that without 1080 most of our native wildlife would already be past saving.

Just Google “DOC 1080 Facts”, click on “1080 NZ Pest Control Methods” and select “Proof 1080 is Saving our Species”.

Durie Hill

Send your letters to: The Editor, Whanganui Chronicle, 100 Guyton St, PO Box 433, Whanganui 4500; or email [email protected]

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