Merry Christmas from the team @Ponsonby News

At Christmas it's always sad to remember our family and friends who have passed away. Jay and I always think about our two scotties and how much they loved being with us during the summer holidays.

We have some incredible businesses in our neighbourhood doing some wonderful things. Like our cover stars this month - Soho Wines. Rachael Carter tells us her gold award-wining Pink Sheep label has raised over $50,000 supporting four charities.

Last month the new boutique hotel, The Convent opened on Great North Road. Developer Andy Davies was telling us that most weekends are fully booked until February 2021. He has done an incredible job and we were impressed he had the place blessed not once but twice.

The Waitemat-a Local Board has voted 4 to 3 to accept the resource consent which allows all 200 pine trees in the Western Springs Forest to be felled. Several people that John Elliott spoke to at last month’s Grey Lynn Park Festival told him that the decision has been made and those opposed should just walk away and should not continue to argue for saving the trees.

In this issue you can read John’s editorial about the decision. Circumstances in Auckland have changed drastically in the last five years. The amenity values of trees in our city is being diminished weekly by the chainsaw massacre of thousands of trees. Aucklanders have had enough and there are four letters opposite which hold that view. The cost of removing the trees will be in excess of $2M, money would could be spent on the restoration of the Leys Institute or any number of other worthwhile projects. We believe the decision needs to be reversed.

I still cannot believe that the health of Aucklanders is being put at risk by the continued use of Roundup and other products which contain the carcinogen glyphosate. Auckland Council should stop arguing about the relative cost of glyphosate versus steam and other methods of weed control and concentrate on the health of our people. Remember Jacinda’s edict during Covid-19, “I will not sacrifice the health of our people on the altar of GDP.”

We support the principle of tactical urbanism but do worry that our already cone strewn city will become further cluttered up and may inhibit the walking and cycling, which the Council and AT are trying to encourage. Ponsonby Road is a thoroughfare less suitable for modification than some other quiet residential streets.

Sadly there are no Franklin Road Christmas lights this year. Many are disappointed but we understand why they are not going ahead. We know they bring visitors to Ponsonby - now we need other ways to get them to the strip!

The art of giving this year seems inextricably linked to finding ways to be kind; kind to each other, kind to our communities and kind to our environment. It’s a Christmas for sustaining ourselves and thriving with good times, good people and good things. Have a very Merry Christmas and enjoy our summer. This issue has plenty of ideas for summer reading. Enjoy! (MARTIN LEACH)

Pictured above: Martin & Jay with Jack and Tiger, both sadly RIP.