It’s December, again. Another year has passed us by, another year of having to put up with the pathetic COL in Government, I have been told the COL means a collection of lunatics and it times it seems like it with what goes on. That outburst by Shane Jones outside Parliament in front of all those hard working farmers calling them “rednecks” is an outrage and is almost a bridge too far. These people are the backbone of our country and the backbone of our economy. Sure, their water – their rivers and creeks – can be messy at times, but they are making huge attempts to clean up their environment and it’s working, throughout the country. I’d far sooner be eating food grown in this country than buying an overseas product that you have no idea of their farming practices and if these products are grown using the same standards that we have.
You’re much better to support our local growers than buying imported food. Not only that but if you are supporting our local growers, you are buying in season for fruit and vegetables, which is good for our carbon footprint!!
I heard a good rumour the other day, and I heard it from a very good source. There is a drive to rename all the streets and roads in Devonport to Mäori names. I’d really like to get to the bottom of this one, as Devonport is full of historic and wonderful names for our streets and roads. If anyone knows anything about this, please let me know. But, beware and let’s watch this space.
I see that the Bean Rock playground, which is a million dollar Bean Rock themed playground on Windsor Reserve in Devonport has been stalled, while the sewer lines are being located. Auckland Council said the design avoids the sewer lines and Watercare will locate them prior to any foundations being poured. I would have thought it would be common sense to have located where the sewer lines were and constructed prior to any plans being drawn, then design the foundations where applicable to adjust to these lines. Or this too much like common sense? What has happened is the contractors have gone in there, fenced off the area, set up construction offices, started work and loaded the site with materials and it has now ground to a halt while something that is as basic and common sense as this has been overlooked. So, the poor contractor now has to find other work for his workforce and with Christmas looming I can see a vacant and horrible construction site sitting there right over the Christmas holiday period for tourists and locals to ogle and photograph. Well done, and again, watch this space.
Still in Devonport, I see the Devonport Yacht Club Wharf is still sitting there, broken, as it has been for the last three years. Is it not time that Auckland Transport made a statement of where they are headed with this project? It is just another example of once proud amenities becoming dilapidated and let go to slide into oblivion.
And, while we are in Devonport, walking across the pedestrian crossing from the Ferry Buildings and up the main street, Victoria Road, there is a patch of grass outside the Esplanade Hotel that for months has never been mown. This was starting to gather rubbish, cigarette butts, straws, etc. Not a great look for the front door of our North Shore. A local contractor, Dave McNeish, who is the Company Director of the Devonport Lawn Company, and one of his employees known as “Tex” took it upon themselves to go down one Monday morning in mid-November and clean it up. What a great thing. He picked up all the rubbish and mowed the grass, and edged it all and made it look like a million dollar front lawn. We obviously cannot rely on the Council maintenance to do this anymore. In fact, things have slipped badly since Recreational Services, the local North Shore company, lost the contract for parks and gardens throughout the Auckland area to a company that is run by an Australian parent company. There is an agreement now with regards to this particular piece of ground that a local Devonport contractor will maintain this area from now on.
While we are in Devonport, we might as well stay in Devonport – we used to have six petrol stations. I do agree that there is no need for six stations any more, but driving to the BP at Clifton can be a real pain in the neck especially during busy weekends, due to the constant clogging of Lake Road. Of late of course we have not had a petrol station there, the nearest being at the top of Barry’s Point Road. I do see though, there are plans afoot to build a self-service Gull station on the corner of Vauxhall and Tainui Roads, and as sure as God made little green apples, a neighbourhood group formed to oppose this construction. I cannot understand the opposition towards this, especially if it’s built in keeping with Devonport character. There has been a service station there on that site for so many years going back, I can’t remember it not being there. Sure, I don’t believe we need a 24 hour station, 7am to 7pm is plenty of time for people to get their fuel and I’m sure there is some common ground there.
Alright, that’s it for one more year. Enjoy the summer, your friends, a good barbecue with locally sourced meat and vegetables, our great beaches and clean air. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.