INDEPENDENT NEWS

Scoop Column: Feelings Of Frustration On The Coast

Published: Thu 23 Dec 1999 11:13 AM
Yesterday's snap Parliamentary debate on Timberlands West Coast, seems to have been the straw that broke the camel's back for some West Coasters. Not because of the snap debate, but because Coaster's don't receive the Parliamentary radio broadcast. John Howard reports.
Some would say it's a blessing not to receive the Radio NZ parliamentary broadcast, but an informal phone-around of thirty Coaster's last night, revealed that they want to know what's going on in the highest court in the land particularly when it directly affects them.
Comments were wide-ranging, with some unprintable, but the general consensus was this was yet another example of how the Coast has been deserted and discriminated against over a number of years.
"The government has taken our resources, used them for the benefit of the rest of the country and returned stuff-all to us. They can get f.....," one angry Coaster said.
"We pay rates for possum control when the possums come from their (government) land. Now they want to lock us up," a farmer said.
"If they think those trees will remain standing, think again," another said.
"Auckland gets a new motorway extension to save them 30 minutes of travelling time, while we have one lane road/rail bridges on State-highways and our kids have to write to the Holmes show about an unsafe bridge where people are regularly being killed," a Coast women added.
Fighting words! But seemingly born out of years of frustration. With the 100-year-old Seaview Psychiatric Hospital closing down and loss of wages from that, with rural schools closing and people and investment deserting the Coast the words are not really surprising. The Coast's lack of the Parliamentary broadcast seems to be the final straw. It is to be hoped, however, that the words don't turn into actions.

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