Letters: Climate change is the economic elephant in the room
Reminder, this is a Premium article and requires a subscription to read. Climate change is going to cost the Government, writes John Milnes. Photo / NZME Cyclone Gabrielle is going to cost the country probably more than $10 billion dollars. If not directly caused by climate change, it was certainly exacerbated by global warming. The cost of other storms that have hit Aotearoa/New Zealand this year will add at least another $10 billion, the final total is likely to be much more. Christopher Luxon spoke at the Davis Theatre on June 1. Luxon spoke of the profligate expenditure and waste of money by the current Government which came nowhere near the cost of the current storms. Not once did he mention climate change, the elephant in the room, and its effect on the economy, which otherwise featured majorly in his address. If $20 billion is not a notable figure in the economy I dont know what is. Probably because to do anything about it would have cost money and their supporters, and of course, their donors preferred the status quo. How much longer can they ignore it? Is it now too embarrassing to even speak its name? Having spent so long kicking this can down the road they still havent noticed that it is now so big its the size of an oil barrel. With all that needs to be done, this country does not need a government that is still actively ignoring climate change. JOHN MILNES Whanganui I was quite surprised to read the article (May 29) regarding the ongoing flooding in Turoa Road and the response from both councils involved. Firstly, the upkeep of all roading culverts is the responsibility of the Whanganui District Council and secondly, the upkeep of the streams is the responsibility of Horizons. Please correct me if Im wrong. Horizons have a very good reference map which is found on their website, which is called Public Viewer. Simply open the map and by putting Matarawa into the search column, you can immediately see how many streams are feeding into the Matarawa Stream from Matarawa, Longacre, Kaukatea Valley Road and Waikupa Road. These are huge catchment areas, from which the heavy downpours of rain we are experiencing, will end up in the Matarawa Stream. Basically, the stream can no longer cope and this is exacerbated when the Whanganui River is in flood or has a high tide coinciding with the floodwaters coming down the stream. It simply backs up and floods the areas it runs through. It will not be an easy situation to remedy, but now is the time for some smart cookie to step forward and do something constructive to fix the problem, instead of denying responsibility and hoping it will go away. Otherwise, the next thing coming will be those properties affected by flooding will become uninsurable. GRAEME SIMPSON Whanganui East Reminder, this is a Premium article and requires a subscription to read. Set in a small country village, it takes readers on a nostalgic journey to 1940s NZ.