Letters to the editor: hospital justice league and the one-way battle


Today’s letters to the editor from readers cover topics including the council of 12 superheroes, the final decision on the one-way system, and changes to the TAB.


Mayor Radich and the hospital justice league

Congratulations for Stephen Jaquiery’s superb photo today (ODT, 28.3.23).

Every picture tells a story, but I can see several stories here. Firstly, there is the Mayor Jules, surrounded by his council of 12 superheroes, all proclaiming their unity in the fight for Dunedin Hospital. I am hugely impressed that our council could be so united and determined to fight the petty minded bureaucrats who rule our lives, unelected, unaccountable and anonymous. This current struggle epitomises (for me) how our entire democratic system has been sold by a “Parcel of Rogues” in Wellington.

Behind the group is the magnificent St Paul’s Cathedral reinforcing the message that this group of 12 and their leader are on a mission for the benefit of us, the wider community.

Lastly, above the group sits the Bard himself, clutching the pithy logo: “They save, we pay”. While it might not rank with Burns’ poetry, the message itself would be one dear to Burns’ heart e.g. when he disdains the Parcel of Rogues.

Sadly the Bard is himself suffering the same treatment from a pigeon symbolic of Otago University — a founding creation of the original settlers — which is likewise defecating on academia, treating it as a business rather than a sacred duty. When a university attacks the Humanities and axes languages, how can they expect their students to even comprehend the university motto, “Sapere Aude”?

Thankfully, under Mayor Jules Radich, our council are indeed daring to be wise.

Hugh B. O’Neill



Parking pains

My heart sank when I read the front page today (ODT, 23.3.23). The offending words were “reduced parking” in the area around the new hospital.

I had occasion to take my wife to A&E last Thursday morning. My thanks to A&E: they were excellent. It was the parking that was a nightmare.

Foolishly, once things had settled down, I went home mid-morning to get some things. On return it was impossible to find any parking anywhere in the vicinity of the hospital. It would have been quicker and less hassle to walk from home.

Walking access is fine, but there are times when you need quick access by car, not only to deliver patients but also to provide them with support. I hope in the drive to ensure we get a hospital that is medically fit for purpose we do not overlook access.

In the meantime, I have sympathy particularly for those who come from out of town and are forced to live the nightmare that is finding a park in the vicinity of the hospital.

John Highton



Stop and reconsider

I am writing in response to Christopher Horan (Letters, 28.3.23).

Trans and marginalised people’s rights shouldn’t be up for debate. Transphobia and associated hate speech threatens trans people’s lives. When white supremacist groups show up to support your cause, for example in Melbourne on March 18, surely that makes one stop and reconsider?

If you’re all about the rights of women and children, how about speaking up on issues such as gender pay gaps, child poverty, clean air standards for schools and implementing the Welfare Expert Advisory Group recommendations? Many people gathered in the weekend to demonstrate our solidarity with trans people in saying Keen-Minshull and her anti-trans rhetoric is not welcome here, full stop.

Jasmin Taylor



The one-way battle one well worth winning

On behalf of Grey Power Otago Association may I extend our sincere appreciation for the final decision on the one-way arterial route system.

Firstly to the Otago Daily Times for their poll drawing our petition to residents’ attention, to all of you who signed the petition and finally to the council for their majority vote to retain the present system.

It was disheartening to hear councillors in favour of changing to a two-way system making statements that the community believe it will be the status quo when it will not.

No-one expects there not to be some changes and this was stated in Waka Kotahi, or to some of us NZTA’s, original document which contained changes for safety reasons. The biggest concerns of the community was the disruption to the current flow of traffic but more importantly what it would cost us if these roads no longer had state highway status. I was appalled to hear that if the two-way system became the reality we, whether ratepayers or renters, would be faced with a cost of $18.2 million. I can assure you as a superannuitant on an income of $9.54 an hour I would not be able to absorb the considerable cost to our rates. I am pleased to be able to remain in Dunedin.

Jo Millar

President, Grey Power Otago Inc


Public ownership

There is a seemingly small error at first glance, but on reflection a very significant one, in the article on the Catlins “integrated masterplan” (ODT 28.3.23).

It refers to the Department of Conservation owning the Nugget Point tourist attraction. Doc do not own the Nugget Point tourist attraction. The public do, Doc is merely the caretaker, entrusted to safeguard the public interest. Doc bureaucrats are public servants, paid by the public, to serve the public interest.

Lewis Hore



No-one wants us, so we will not have a bet

Old people’s enjoyment has been ruined.

On June 11, 2020 you published a letter about TAB woes that I wrote, hoping things would change.

But it has got worse thanks to Winston Peters and Grant Robertson. The little punter has kept the TAB going since 1951 and most were working class people who had little money. Now, unless you have a smart-phone or can touch-tone, you cannot have a bet.

I would like to tell overseas firms not to buy the New Zealand TAB now that is now up for sale (22.3.23). It is a lemon. They want to sell it and keep the board to oversee stake money, etc and stay in the glass palace in Parnell that cost $10 million and collect salaries exceeding millions of dollars for doing nothing.

The TAB does not want us, so we don’t bet anymore.

Mike Lewis




Railway cases

Sophie Barker (ODT, 24.3.23) makes a strong case for retention of the Taieri Gorge Railway, though some statements do not hold up to scrutiny. It would indeed be fantastic to combine rail and cycle but there is no connection currently from Middlemarch for cyclists to jump on the train to Dunedin as the trunk line is not maintained due to the cost, which is exactly why it would be a great idea to make it a cycle trail instead.

Secondly nobody suggested to not have a train at all, just not on the Taieri trunk line. Mr Simms suggested to retain a train north on the existing and maintained main trunk line. To have a cycle trail from Dunedin to Middlemarch would complete the OTR and connect to the coming Clutha Gold. It is not just another cycle trail as suggested, but a missing piece in the network which once completed would attract many more users than unconnected trails would.

Felix Kluge

Macandrew Bay


Address Letters to the Editor to: Otago Daily Times, PO Box 517, 52-56 Lower Stuart St, Dunedin. Email: [email protected]