LocalMatters       

Hibiscus Matters letters - October 14, 2020

Mail delays

Jean Whitehouse, Red Beach
Has anyone else had incoming mail go missing? In December, before the pandemic, about six of my letters from overseas disappeared – from the UK, Ireland, USA and Hawaii.  I contacted postal head office in Wellington but they didn't (couldn't) help even though the fault must lie in this country. Recently, two more letters were mailed from Ireland, fast post in mid-July, and arrived here in September, two months later. I suppose Covid-19 can be blamed this time.

NZ Post international supply chain solutions general manager Murray Silcock responded as follows: NZ Post delivered around 318 million letters in the last financial year. We do our best to deliver all of these safely, and within our targeted service time. For domestic letters, that is three working days. There are a number of reasons the letters in December may not have arrived – they may have been incorrectly addressed, they may have been lost before they arrived in the country or in rare instances they may have been lost or mis-delivered in New Zealand. If this is the case, we are very sorry. It's important to note that NZ Post does not have any control over the first two legs (domestic transit and airline transit) of an international letter's journey to the country. That is dependent on the sending postal agency. There have been a number of delays with countries sending to New Zealand this year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has resulted in far less airplanes flying post around the world. Once letters are in the country and have cleared the border, we aim to have them delivered within three working days. We're really sorry to hear about these problems. We would be happy to look further into this and whether there are any systemic problems to delivery in your area. It's also always important for the sender to include their address as well, so that if there are problems a letter can be returned to them and to raise an investigation with the sending post office to rule out any issues in the originating country.


Cannabis views

Lleon Downes, Ōrewa (abridged)
I am surprised that Tuari Potiki, chair of the Drug Foundation and Director of Maori Development at Otago University, is advocating the legalisation of recreational cannabis, especially after his personal experiences as a drug addict. Legalisation will generate a wider use of cannabis being readily available to over 20 year olds. It will not deter the mainly gang activities who can easily undercut the retail price and provide cannabis with a higher THC content. No doubt they will target teenagers more than before. Generally, productivity will decline – late arrival at work/absenteeism and a lower focus on the work at hand. Work place accidents will increase especially in the construction sector. I agree that users should not be prosecuted and be directed to health rehabilitation. More resources should be put in place to bring suppliers to justice. Many years ago I studied research on cannabis, and picked up a report from a New York University professor. It takes 30 days for two joints to be eliminated from the body (imagine the time for ongoing regular use), male sperm count is steadily reduced with ongoing use, and over 70 percent move onto harder drugs as they no longer get the same “kick”. The latest statistics reveal that currently there are more drug related road deaths than alcohol related.


Sign misread

Karen Browne, NZ Sign Solutions, Whangaparāoa
NZ Sign Solutions would like to make an apology to anyone who may have taken offense to our sign which referred to mask wearing. We have been changing our sign messages weekly since March to bring some Covid humour to the Coast and have a laugh at Covid. We have received many calls and positive facebook comments about how clever and funny they are. The message which someone took offence to was a song by Freddie Mercury (which we referenced on facebook) and was a play on the words of Queen's We will Rock You song.  Coasties messaged us that they had driven past the sign and ended up singing that song to work. The week before we had done a movie title. Our staff member received an anonymous call and received a threat against our company property. Please if anyone has a complaint, ask for management and leave your number so we can have a chat and resolve the matter. We did not intend at all for the sign to be political or offensive, our intention purely was to be able to bring some Coastie humour during a difficult 2020.


Penlink misinformation

Stephen Doyle, Ōrewa (abridged)
It is disappointing to see some election candidates taking the Trump attitude that peddling a few little untruths is OK. The attitude is – put it up on social media and some will stick. Even more disturbing is so called social media moderators editing out what doesn't suit their political viewpoint. A serious case in point on this is the exchanges that have been taking place in the Hibiscus Coast community Facebook pages, where incorrect information has been put up by supporters of Mark Mitchell, the National candidate, with claims he has been instrumental in seeing the go ahead for the much needed Penlink route out of Whangaparāoa. Despite promises made in a press release in April 2006, following on from their 2005 election commitments, National said; “National Party commits to Penlink.” It goes on to say the National Party committed to Penlink within 10 years of becoming government. Of course, that never happened. And no funding was ever committed in National's election infrastructure promises during their period in government or indeed during the 2017 election and, as recently, as last year it didn't feature in their infrastructure plan. Now that Labour list MP based in Rodney, Marja Lubeck, has spoken several times in parliament and secured $411 million in funding to deliver this much-need infrastructure, National MP Mark Mitchell has as recently as this week in Hibiscus Matters claimed to have achieved success on delivering Penlink. It is my understanding Ms Lubeck has been unable to cross post on this to put the record straight. Hopefully, you will publish this and fix that injustice.

Editor's note: There has been a lot of strong advocacy for Penlink over many years. Janet Fitzgerald and Penlink Now; former Rodney District Council Major Penny Webster (known by then Minister of Transport as ‘Penny Link'), Hibiscus & Bays Local Board members, Councillors and National MP Mark Mitchell. Labour list MP Marja Lubeck got it across the line, coupled with huge growth in the area making the business case more compelling. For the latest on Penlink, see brief p7.