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Tairua to North Shore and back on a single charge

 |  John Veysey  | 
Last week I drove up to Auckland travelling the southern motorway over to the North Shore. Around two in the afternoon well before any rush hour, I found myself at Ellerslie-Greenlane in stop-crawl semi gridlock, an everyday along there.

As I sat there I watched the electric trains on the line beside the motorway whizzing past and thought about Trevor Ammundsen’s opinion piece about rail in The Informer the week before and how 19th century irrelevant and dirty-word socialist the said railways were.

Surrounded by diesel trucks chugging at idle or spurting black smoke when the line moved a few metres, bumper to bumper cars and vans with engines running while stationary, I reflected on Alistair Brickell’s Guest Editorial in the same issue of The Informer attacking electric cars. I noted  his seriously dubious ‘facts’ and the inference that the status quo of ICE vehicles was the way it had to be.

I had the windows of my Tesla up and the air-con in cabin recirculating because of the stench outside. My car is not contributing to that; no smell, no poisonous gases, no power used when stationary, Tairua to the North Shore and back on a single charge. Yes Mr Brickell, EVs have negatives (that you are so keen to invent or overstate) but nothing in comparison to the damage to our world being done at the moment.

Ben Grubb, Tairua

The Conch 6,400

In the 27 Feb issue, The Informer was taken to task for ‘promoting’ the idea of a sea wall to protect local beach properties, the critic saying it was ‘simplistic and parochial’. But simplistic and parochial is exactly what we have all been asking for from TCDC.

Our government has been told to exploit ‘managed retreat’ rather than simplistic and parochial protection measures against a sea which may or may not rise dangerously.

TCDC is locked into regulations from Wellington and Wellington is locked into regulations from overseas. Whether it’s a sea wall or a coastal track, if we really want sensible, simple and locally thought-out solutions we, the rate-payers, are going to have to take them into our own hands.

Local opinion can be gathered electronically through a collection tool like a website which we will call the ‘conch’. Interested rate-payers and residents need only register their electronic address and they can then inject their concerns into the conch for discussion.

The conch can be used for referenda on every matter of concern. The conch could be part of the answer to the palpable lack of democracy at every level of our present system of government. The conch on a national level has already been used by SCYTL who have developed the security and privacy measures acceptable to nations for electronic voting at election time. NZ’s next general election could well be electronic. And why not?

If it can happen on a national level, surely we can initiate our own conch. Start with a few thousand local voices and follow the direction of public opinion rather than being subject to an ill-informed directive from out of town.

Is there anyone out there prepared to set up a conch site of our own? We all have access to the technology.

Who would help to set up a working conch?  To give the job to some overseas firm is the very opposite of what we are trying to achieve here.


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