From the Editor

Our photo this month was a shot taken at the Zoo, when it was open!

Last month was a tricky one with the Delta variant in our community but fortunately we’ve been lucky here in Ponsonby as so far there have only been four or five places of interest in our local area.

We will eliminate Delta if we’re lucky; there are great hopes it can be achieved, and if it is, some doubters, especially across the Tasman, will be silenced. Scott Morrison has not been a kind neighbour in recent days, but there does remain the big follow up question: How does the border opening happen, who gets in, and how do we continue to protect ourselves, while Delta, or even its successor, is rampant worldwide? Experts say high levels of vaccination will help.

List MP Helen White has a new Ponsonby office which we recently attended the opening of. Her new electorate office in Ponsonby Road was crowded with supporters and we spent some time talking to proud father, Peter White, local retired lawyer. White will share the office with Camila Belich, list MP for Epsom. Mayor Phil Goff gave a stirring speech extolling Helen White’s qualities, and wine and canapés were enjoyed by the crowd. The offices are only partly funded by Parliamentary services.

White’s next challenge is to win the Auckland seat at the next election, but she does not underrate Chlöe Swarbrick, who is also on the finance committee with Helen. The public will see a more mature politician than Helen White was last year, a woman with experience and maturity, a wonderful sense of humour, quick on her feet, and an able debater.

Gael Baldock is a well-known community advocate and our cover star this issue. She told Ponsonby News last month, “I've just been up against the 'machine' of Auckland Council and it's still not done, yet I feel as though I've been spat out the other end. I've been outnumbered in a 'David and Goliath' war of words in court. I've been threatened by the senior council member leading the project and even falsely accused of faking a heart attack by a local board member - to name just a few of my experiences." Gael tells her story in this issue.

Over the past year the property market has been in the news more than ever with the pandemic buying boom a hot topic in the press and around dinner tables. Local scribe Helene Ravlich spoke to several of the neighbourhood’s most well-known agents about everything from what spurs on a sale to their favourite place to eat.

Memo to Council: Please take your own advice - Item K iv of the resource consent to fell the pines - “(we) recommend that all weeding in the park be chemical free.” Ponsonby News has raved on about the dangers of glyphosate for decades. My colleague has a niece who has developed cancer, and specialists have found that her family lived next door to a landscape gardener in a Northland town. The neighbour sprayed glyphosate like it was going out of fashion, which it clearly should have years ago. Come on Waitematā Local Board, be an important part of history, and vote this carcinogen down.

Next issue is our 32nd birthday. Our first issue was published in October 1989 - a long time ago! (MARTIN LEACH)

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