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Letters to the Editor

30 Jan, 2023


East versus West

First of all, I would like to thank all the voters of Kaipara who voted for me either as the mayor or as a councillor or both and wish them a very happy and prosperous 2023! Since I polled a significant number of votes for both mayoralty and the Ward, I’ll continue my pursuit to deliver what I promised to the voters.

The issue of East versus West is not new and was evident during my campaign when first question people asked is whether I was from Dargaville or Mangawhai. I was emphatic in my promises about the fairness in progress of whole of Kaipara rather than haphazard and unplanned growth of Mangawhai at the expense of other parts of Kaipara.

Now elected mayor resonated my feelings in his campaign about growth of Dargaville which is available in his ads in Kaipara Lifestyler which helped him gather a large number of votes in the west and the eventual mayoralty. In Mangawhai he campaigned on the basis of the mayor being from Mangawhai to solve the problems of Mangawhai.

I guess the main concern is of ‘keeping the faith’. The poorer cousins of Mangawhai in western Kaipara want to see things happening in their patch in terms of boosting business, tourism and infrastructure and even in small matters as waste management.

At present, the action is in Mangawhai. Dargavillians still feel the pain of inappropriate management of MWWS [Mangawhai Waste Water Scheme] and it is important that the ‘infrastructure projects’ are well considered with people’s involvement rather than the consultants. Mangawhai Central has the risk of going a similar way.

I agree with comments of Doug Nilsson and Peter Bull and believe, for a start, the following may help: The mayor should spend more time in the Dargaville Office (at least two days a week) to be available to people and monitor its growth. The council staff should be equally spread in the two offices so Kaiparians can see efficiency in service delivery.

I hope the ‘proof of pudding’ will be delivered soon. As your elected representative in the Council, I’ll ensure that it is sweet.


Cr Ash Nayyar





Internet side-effects

I always enjoy your dissertations [The Climate Chap] and wish to comment on your statement in the current Mangawhai Focus [January 16, 2023] that ‘using Zoom … costs nothing’.

It’s a common misconception that internet usage (emails, Zoom meetings, streaming services, YouTube, etc) is somehow devoid of side-effects. These ‘packets’ of energy don’t have wings or propellors – they need energy from somewhere. Data centres, through which these are channelled, consume huge amounts of electricity, mostly from non-renewable sources, and have ‘industrial strength’ cooling systems generating vast amounts of ‘dirty water’.

As an example of the huge cost, consider this: In Finland fully one-third of electricity generated is used by data centres! How can all this not have an adverse effect on the climate?

Whether it’s less damaging to the environment to have a Zoom conference versus delegates flying/motoring to the venue will, of course, depend on the number of delegates. I attended several annual conferences of the American Society of Anesthesiologists and the number of attendees varied between 15,000 and 18,500. Nothing beats the personal interactions at these meetings and several ‘take home’ messages came not from the formal presentations but during the breaks at the various trade displays. There is none of the latter during a Zoom meeting.


Fred Muller


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