02 May 2013

Letters: Backlash over NIMBY blog

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Published: Auckland Now – North Shore Times

YOUTH VOICE: Albany councillor Michael Goudie supports a controversial blog which attacks opponents of intensification.

YOUTH VOICE: Albany councillor Michael Goudie supports a controversial blog which attacks opponents of intensification.

OPINION: Readers reacted with outrage to councillor Michael Goudie’s endorsement of the anonymous blog We Hate NIMBYs, whose author attacked opponents of high-rise intensification in derogatory terms. Here are some of the letters:


It was bad enough reading the despicable rhetoric of an anonymous blogger (Blog attacks village idiots, NST April 25), and his or her extreme bigotry against North Shore citizens opposing the Unitary Plan: “Soulless geriatric time bombs.”

Then to note that councillor Michael Goudie, elected to represent his Albany constituents, has endorsed the malicious opinions of the blogger, saying: ”The blog is brilliant.”

Heaven help us if the ilk of Mr Goudie survives in his career as a local body politician.

He endorses the prejudice of extremism and discrimination and denigrates the youth vote that put him there. What sort of a model is he to the young people whom he represents?

Mr Goudie, in endorsing the I Hate NIMBYS blog, displays no understanding of the rationale of age, stage and experience of those who question the decisions of the Unitary Plan. It is called empathising, Mr Goudie, the ability to put oneself in the shoes of others.

Well spoken, Gary Holmes, (Hibiscus and Bays Local Board) who displays the wisdom of maturity in advising Goudie to ”back off” his pedestal.

Vaughan Tabuteau
Age Concern North Shore


I feel Michael Goudie’s link to the blog you reported (NST April 25) is encouraging younger people to blag the older generation’s concerns about intensification.

Every generation makes its own mistakes perhaps.

Mr Goudie needs to realise people’s real concern, as the saying goes: ”You can’t put an old head on young shoulders.” Please remember we’ve all been young and have had ideas that have challenged our older generations.

Probably many of these people have travelled, lived or come from overseas and love coming back to New Zealand and experiencing the uniqueness we have here.

My real concern is the intensification of already established areas. Perhaps let them be and do it in outer areas yet to be created.

I have to comment that here in New Zealand we are incredibly lax in urban planning along with other important areas, such as health.

I’m not sure why but we are so bad at looking at the bigger picture in the long term – young and old people both. Mr Goudie, go easy.

You attract more bees with honey than vinegar – please don’t close your ears to someone who has faced life’s hurdles that you have yet to try and jump.

Respect goes a long way, a lesson that young and old need to remember when discussing differing points of view.

Denise Hetherington


found it strange that in your Anzac Day issue, of all days, you should publish an attack on old people, quoting an anonymous blog.

The veterans of two world wars deserve better than being told to ”hurry up and die”. They are not ”immensely miserable, neurotic, repressed . . . and not very bright”. They are just old, as many of us are and as everybody, however young, will inevitably become.

Confucius is rumoured to have said that ”many years bring great wisdom”. It’s a pity that councillor Michael Goudie is not old enough to have the wisdom to keep his mouth shut instead of endorsing a distasteful blog.

Alan Irvine


I like others no doubt found the timing of your news item most unfortunate, even offensive, as New Zealanders everywhere on April 25 remembered the fallen of two world wars and other fields of action in which soldiers of previous and current generations selfishly laid down their lives.

I personally have not served New Zealand in time of war but my grandfather did and lies buried in Flanders.

He like so many never grew old and I would suggest that councillor Goudie reflect on that when he watches the older generation at the dawn parade as I am certain he did.

My contribution to New Zealand has been to have paid taxes for 40 years at rates of up to 66 per cent in the dollar: To contribute not only for myself in old age, but to provide education for the young and infrastructure such as the motorway in and out of Albany, which ”anonymous” no doubt uses to attend the nightly hotspots of Auckland, returning at 3am fresh for work later in the morning.

I like many of my generation also paid mortgage rates of up to 30 per cent and accordingly if councillor Goudie wishes to take away my house in Milford then he and his soft young cohorts will have to fight the battle-hardened geriatrics.

John Hudson


Is it any wonder that ratepayers are suspicious of this so-called consultation process for the Unitary Plan when it’s so obvious that councillors have already made up their minds?

Michael Goudie’s description of an abusive, anonymous blog as ”brilliant”, (NST April 25), only highlights the frustration and lack of a voice that people experience when dealing with local body entities. Unlike the bloggers Goudie holds in such esteem, people who go to the meetings are willing to stand up, be identified and express their legitimate concerns or alternative views.

Penny Hulse has been quoted as saying the ratepayers have to trust the council with this plan, but can we trust a council that displays such gullibility, naivety and contempt for its communities?

D Musgrave


Re your article Blog attacks village idiots.

So Michael Goudie ”prides himself as being the voice of youth on council”. I sincerely hope that he is not typical of those young folk.

Surely, if he has such strong opinions, he would do better to state his case rather than denigrate his opponents by passing them off as ”geriatrics” and ”village idiots”. Using such terms displays his lack of maturity and inability to mount a reasonable argument.

Pauline Kelly


I may be of Gold Card age, but I am also fully in support of your Gen Z writer (NST April 19).

This is the generation we need to listen to as Auckland plans for the next 30 years. I applaud the North Shore Times for featuring Dr Singh on the front page.

The April 25 issue also featured younger Aucklanders voicing their views and concerns: Blog attacks village idiots. I’m glad councillor Michael Goudie supports the concerns of this generation.

However, I was disappointed that the contributors to their blog seem to be using the same angry, name calling, judgmental style that the people they see as village idiots used at the community meeting I attended to discuss the Unitary Plan.

I too was very frustrated at two or three people (all older than I am, I would judge) who used the question time to rant and grandstand about their own NIMBY views. It was disgraceful behaviour in my view.

There were many others in the meeting who were genuinely there to listen, learn and consider options but they had very little chance to be heard. It would be wonderful if the Generation Z modelled a style of communication that more courteously expressed their views and concerns rather than simply bad-mouthing those who disagree.

Come on Gen Z, double your impact by demonstrating a communication style that is more mature than that of the ”village idiots”.

Sheila Pritchard


I am amazed that a responsible newspaper would publish the inane ramblings of some spoilt brat and that supported by a local councillor who was democratically elected.

He is quite happy to enjoy the benefits provided by the older generation who worked and saved to provide them.

The tirade is an insult to your readers by an egotistic small- minded councillor who thinks he is God’s gift to Albany.

He will be old one day, what legacy will he leave behind, a concentration camp for elderly Albany people?

Edward Hilson



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