Home' The Wellingtonian : September 22nd 2011 Contents 10 THE WELLINGTONIAN, SEPTEMBER 22, 2011
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
I left home at 7 o clock on Sunday
morning and as I meandered
through Newtown, I encountered
a parking warden patrolling the
I was heading to the markets in
town to get some fresh produce.
No-one was parked illegally, but
the warden was on the road,
checking for expired warrants and
Parking wasn t an issue at that
time of the morning.
As residents and ratepayers
slept, our nefarious warden went
about his job. But at 7am was he
doing his job or was it another
case of the city council treating all
and sundry as if they were
At least with the police, if your
warrant or registration has
expired, you get a seven-day
period of grace to rectify the
Parkwise is judge and jury, no
second chances. Pay up or go
directly to jail!
Back in the late 1970s someone
put out a lapel badge with those
immortal words, Punch a Pom a
day . I can think of a better
version today, very politically
incorrect and no doubt likely to
cause a riot. But gee -- what fun!
for peak oil
In More roads not the answer
(September 15), Julie Anne
Genter convincingly undermines
the arguments used by the pro-
road lobby who persist in striving
to achieve their unattainable goal
of free-flowing traffic on all roads
at all times.
The predictable result of their
car-centric transport planning is
that induced traffic ensures that
congestion continues to increase.
This is regardless of how many
billions of our dollars
governments pour into
destructive road projects.
Their seriously reactionary
approach continues to blight our
transport planning, and fails to
prepare us for when peak oil bites,
once and for all, and fuel prices
shoot through the roof
When that happens, people will
forsake their cars in droves, and
demand for public transport will
Train services will thrive, as
will bus services, which will have
ever more space on roads, as
Let s future-proof the region
against peak oil by terminating
forthwith the Minister of
Transport s unsustainable Roads
of National Significance projects,
and investing heavily in
increasing the coverage, capacity
and efficiency of our public
transport services. J CHRIS HORNE
The right way to
cross a street
Mr Goggin of Johnsonville is
quoted (page 18, September 8) as
advising that before crossing the
street, look left, look right, then
look left again. I m pretty sure
that s how they taught it at
primary school .
I do not know where Mr Goggin
attended primary school but in
New Zealand it has always been --
for 60-plus years that I know of:
look right, then left, then right
After all, the traffic here will be
coming from your right and that is
the vehicle that would hit you
Signs were put up in Manners
St after the upgrade saying to look
left first, but they were soon taken
More recently at the
intersection of Cambridge Tce and
Barker St, I saw words painted on
the road surface saying to look left
first when it is traffic turning left
into or out of Barker St from a
pedestrian s right that would hit
Trustees of Zealandia find
themselves in a tricky
position of their own
The wildlife sanctuary in
Karori is in financial crisis,
again. This has occurred regu-
larly during the sanctuary s
short but chequered history.
Reports indicate the trust
will soon eat up its $1.79
million in cash reserves.
Closure is a possibility.
Visitor numbers are far below
There were 89,643 visitors for
the year to June compared with
a budgeted 140,000. Who
makes these projections? Are
they merely flights of fancy?
Faced with a large funding
shortfall -- again -- the trustees
are pondering several stra-
tegies, including revising entry
prices, mothballing the visitor
centre (which cost $17 million
and was opened in April 2010),
and asking Wellington City
Council for even more money.
Already the council has given
the sanctuary a $10.3 million,
25-year interest-free loan, plus
sizeable annual grants.
Repayment of the loan is
scheduled to begin in 2013, but
how can it when the sanctuary
is losing money?
Not surprisingly, some coun-
cillors are balking at shovelling
more money the sanctuary s
It s a bottomless pit the
council is throwing money into,
councillor John Morrison said.
The sanctuary trustees
gambled last year by virtually
doubling the entry prices.
Entry for adults went from
$15 to $28 and for children from
$7 to $14. Family passes
rocketed from $37 to $70.
Sanctuary chief executive
Nancy McIntosh-Ward said the
prices rises were necessary to
raise sufficient income to cover
The Wellingtonian warned at
the time the trustees were
playing a dangerous game and
a nasty shock might be in the
It is difficult not to feel the
trustees have been wildly opti-
mistic in their decision-making.
Was the state-of-the-art visi-
tor centre a good idea? It s fan-
tastic, but was it a prudent way
to spend money? Was the
decision to crank up entry
prices thought through?
While the trustees and
Friends of the sanctuary are
committed to the project, not
everyone feels quite as strongly.
Parents, contemplating a
family outing, will not spend
$70 lightly. A walk through the
Botanic Garden or the Otari-
Wilton bush reserve costs
nothing. Both offer the oppor-
tunity to be close to nature and
to have a pleasant walk.
The sanctuary is beautifully
maintained and there is the
opportunity to see native
wildlife, but it is not Disney-
land. It is not utterly compel-
ling for most people.
Some may visit once and not
Many, deterred by the entry
price, will not visit at all.
What s to happen now?
There is a suggestion the
council could take the sanctu-
ary in-house, or put it under an
umbrella of Wellington Zoo s
A Department of Conser-
vation role has been mooted.
These scenarios don t deal
with the core problem: the sanc-
tuary is not generating enough
income to exist profitably, even
without repaying its whopping
There is no question that
Zealandia adds to Wellington.
It is another attraction.
But those running it have not
been financially prudent.
They have allowed their
passion to over-rule hard
The result is a financial mess
with no clear solution.
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