Tuesday Beacon please

WHILE it is disappointing that the Beacon will reduce to two editions a week for the foreseeable future, especially as one has paid an annual subscription for three editions a week, could I respectfully suggest the editions are Tuesday and Friday, rather than Wednesday and Friday.

This is more evenly placed through the week and will pick up relevant weekend news in a more timely way.

Carol Routley
Long-time subscriber

Excellent service

I WOULD like to compliment the taxi company Dial-a-Cab on the excellent service they provide, especially through these lockdown weeks.

They are reliable and arrive on time.

Also, my special thanks and praise go to all the staff at Whakatane Hospital and Pathlab where everyone is cheerful and caring and brave.

Grateful client

Buy New Zealand-made

I BELIEVE until New Zealanders have received a compensation payment from China for the 22 Covid-19 victims who have died and the many billions it has cost our country and the people who have lost their jobs, we should all refuse to buy Chinese-made goods.

We will all be paying back the debt it has cost us for many years into the future and many costs are going to rise.

Our government should ban all imports from China and double the price of all exports to China.

Our government should freeze all Chinese-owned assets until a favourable outcome has been agreed and paid for.

Someone needs to pay, and it should not be us. Think what would happen to us if we gave China the Covid-19 virus.

My grandfather told me that he believed “Community China would take over the world without firing a shot and beware of the yellow peril”.

D Dawson

‘Why can’t we all live simply so others can simply live’

I WATCH with interest the news and 7 Sharp each day for up-to-date information on the Covid-19 pandemic and its effects.

I had the pleasure of being an essential worker in a supermarket and watched with interest people flock to the supermarket to get their essentials. Discussions have been had regarding the use of the WINZ Green card for essential groceries.

Customers have then handed over cash for their cigarettes and alcohol. I thought to get WINZ assistance you had to have spent all your cash on essential items and then had none left for food.

I do, however, think this is great if people have extra cash because perhaps things aren’t as dire as we believe.

Why does the 6pm news and 7 Sharp think that all there is to New Zealand is Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington and Queenstown. That is all you hear about.

There are other places in New Zealand and also not everyone in New Zealand is wondering where their next cappuccino, latte, long black, almond-flavoured soy non-fat mochaccino is coming from or when they will be going out for their next restaurant or cafe meal.

To some of us this is not the norm. We shop for essentials, cook daily meals and as a treat have a takeaway meal or a sit-down restaurant meal.

What do the truly poor, starving and homeless New Zealanders think of our Warriors heading off to Australia on a $150,000 chartered flight to train in Australia at what cost?

Surely these funds could have been spent more wisely at this time.

There is always time in the future for the Warriors and every other sports team to get back into training and playing once our lovely country has started recovering from this pandemic.

I know it is a different pool of funding for sport but it takes me back to the simple quote “Why can’t we all live simply so others can simply live”.

L Harrison

Mud flies over reserve

I AM not one of the teens that were building mountain bike tracks in Waiewe Reserve, though I have been in touch with the boys that were building. I have also been there to ride since I am very much into riding.

I have read this article (Mud flies over reserve, Beacon May 6) and have noticed that like all media outlooks on things, it is extremely one-sided. Last year my family and many others attended a petition given to the district council. The entire room was full, and still nothing has happened.

So many people want a place to ride, yet the council is still doing nothing. If anything, it’s going to bring a lot of money into this community.

The biggest example is the one of the closest places to go, which is still an hour and 15 minutes away in Rotorua, generates millions in a year due to biking even hosting one of the biggest mountain events in the world.

The resident that is upset is the one and only person that I know doesn’t agree. I have gone riding with some of those boys, keeping our bubbles, and have had people come past and had a chat to them. They think us doing that is a great idea.

One lady I do recall having a problem was only due to a worry about us not keeping to our bubble, which I and the other boys understand.

The simple fix to a problem that is only going to continue is to help the mountain bike club.

Any help is more than what they’re giving.

I truly admire Richard Hamer and his work for the community and think that this article that was written is brainwashing people and residents of the Whakatane district into believing that your media source is being fair and that mountain bikers are only a problem.

The sport is only going to grow and this problem of residents destroying hard work instead of working out a solution, which eventually after years were sorted, is only going to spread with a simple solution already stated.

As a resident, local and active youth of this community, I believe you should write something on how nothing is being done instead of finding people that only complain about youth doing good in this community.

The current facilities which have been supplied do not fit the purpose of what the mountain bike community need or want.

Cody Evetts

Need targeted plan for safe biking

THE topic of cycling has been well traversed lately in the Beacon. During Covi-19 lockdown we got a taste of how fantastic safe biking could be. The crowds of cyclists showed how popular biking is to our local people. Safe biking is a priority to our community.

There are so many reasons to promote biking as Richard Hammer said in “the Petition for Safer Streets” (Beacon, May 1, 2020). The list includes family fun, health, exercise, reducing pollution, connecting with nature, reducing vehicle use and road congestion, providing a healthy activity for young adults, but also to promote our beautiful local area as a biking and walking haven for tourism.

Now traffic is back on the roads, driving faster than ever. Biking has returned to the often-hazardous activity it was before lockdown.

To make sure people get out on their bikes we need to ensure cycle tracks are safe. Cycle tracks need to link communities and community activities. Cycle tracks need to be incorporated in the development of every new project involving a new road or upgrade of an existing road.

For example, improvements to Wainui Road should include a safe cycle track as this would link the Burma Road tracks. Upgrading existing cycle tracks to be safe for all users, including pedestrians, and incorporating new safe cycle tracks with each new road development is, I suggest, a priority for Whakatane District Council.

The government’s collective policy and vision is to prioritise safe cycling infrastructure.
Come on Whakatane District Council, embrace the vision of safe bicycling with improvement of existing cycleways and with the development of new safe biking tracks.

If this cannot be immediately afforded there are other ways of protecting safety immediately such as temporarily reducing speed limits. The option of reducing speed limits on some roads from 50kmh to 30kmh has already been imposed by a number of councils around New Zealand since Covid-19 to protect the increased number of pedestrians and cyclists.

Let us know how we can communicate with you and be involved in a targeted plan to get on track with safe biking.

Emmeline Taylor

Lack of respect

I AM very disturbed with the young mountain bikers building jumps and destroying vegetation in the Waiewe Reserve.

It mainly troubles me about the lack of respect for the bush and all the hard work people have done there.
This mahi has resulted in more native birds returning to Whakatane’s reserves as well as an increase in the general biodiversity.

During my 12 years as a regional councillor, I always pushed for funding to manage our reserves better, especially around pest control and new plantings of indigenous species.

The results have been the much larger numbers of native birds which we now see. Yes, I am an avid bird lover. Two days into lockdown a weka visited my garden.

It also reminds me of my time on the road safety committee, three of these as chair.

Richard Harmer suggested that we should erect signs with the words respect for motorcyclists. Respect for cyclists. Respect for other road users.

I thought that this was a brilliant concept. It is an aspect that we as a society have lost, but regained to a degree during lockdown. No bait bags on the shoreline, fewer motorbikes on the beach.

I do have sympathy for the mountain bikers, having helped formed the club some 18 years ago and building tracks in the Rawhiti Forest.

There is Onepu park, with Rotorua not too far away. I am sure Kim Van de Aa would welcome more help to build tracks, berms and jumps at Onepu.

Malcolm Whitaker

Need to boost tourism

I SOMETIMES jog around the tracks of the Waiewe Reserve and was upset to hear that some of it had been spoilt by a few youngsters.

I feel so sorry for those dedicated folk who worked so hard and spent so much time getting rid of all the weeds, crack willows and blackberry and renewing the bush. They have worked wonders.

An effort should be made to get the culprits to restore everything. However, I have some sympathy for those who like to mountain bike.

The track that the council has made a worthy effort to provide near Warren Park is a good start. Do the culprits ever go there?

There could be a better solution. To the east of the Bird Walk and Toi’s track there is a block of land which used to be the Melville block.

It was previously planted in pines and when they were all clear-felled at once it caused flooding of the Mokuroa Gorge stream and damage to houses in the town. There are many existing forestry tracks and roads there already and it would make a great adventure park for mountain bikers, walkers, trampers, horse riders and joggers.

South of Te Puke there is such a place, the Tech Park. It is great and much enjoyed. People flock from all over the world to bike in the tracks at Rotorua, Taupo and in the South Island. As businessmen say, there is always the money.

Instead of Government funds being spent on flashing up the river bank (a great job has already been done) and destroying one of our great free car parks use some of that.

I am sure sporting and tramping clubs would willingly help finance it and the council could use some of the harbour funds.

Whakatane, after recent setbacks, needs to boost tourism and create employment and could get rid of a social problem at the same time.

Tom Bayliss