Pre­serve this gem

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -


I hear the Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion sees no rea­son not to grant a nine-year lease of Aotea La­goon to the pro­posed wake­board op­er­a­tion.

Pre­sum­ably this is be­cause they see no value in the prop­erty other than its abil­ity to gen­er­ate in­come for them. Why should they care what Porirua ratepay­ers think or what fu­ture costs may oc­cur for ratepay­ers or what amenity loss oc­curs?

Porirua City Coun­cil on the other hand must have re­gard for these is­sues and pre­serve this gem of the Welling­ton re­gion.

Pre­sum­ably they will en­sure any ap­pli­ca­tion for such a lease will be given max­i­mum pub­lic­ity so ratepay­ers and res­i­dents can have their say.

PCC must also en­sure that in the event of the un­think­able grant­ing of such a lease, it con­tains strin­gent con­di­tions en­sur­ing all ex­ist­ing amenity ac­tiv­i­ties con­tinue freely with­out in­ter­rup­tion or dan­ger.

Sim­i­larly the lessee should, be­fore the start of any work, be re­quired to de­posit, with a trust con­trolled by PCC, a cap­i­tal sum suf­fi­cient to cover the costs of restor­ing the la­goon to its present state when the wake­board op­er­a­tion ceases.

There would, of course, be need for re­stric­tions of hours of op­er­a­tion, pro­vi­sion for non­op­er­a­tion when re­quired for model yachting, fish­ing com­pe­ti­tions and fes­ti­val events.

Pro­vi­sion of ad­di­tional park­ing would also be es­sen­tial as ex­ist­ing road­side park­ing is in­ad­e­quate for ex­ist­ing use, let alone ad­di­tional use.

I sug­gest a much more suit­able lo­ca­tion for a wakepark op­er­a­tion would be the mud-flat along­side Wi­neera Drive where the build­ing of a weir would cre­ate a much larger ‘‘la­goon’’ and put the op­er­a­tion in a place where it would not in­ter­fere with ex­ist­ing ac­tiv­i­ties. Martin Holmes,

Pa­pakowhai spend­ing sub­stan­tial coun­cil funds on this project.

Calvert re­peat­edly failed to an­swer ques­tions about the al­leged need for more re­tail out­lets in Porirua and failed to jus­tify spend­ing large amounts of pub­lic money that would ben­e­fit a small group of busi­ness­peo­ple and com­mer­cial real es­tate agents.

It is good we now have a mayor in­di­cat­ing he and the coun­cil have had a fun­da­men­tal re­think about the process. The need for coun­cil staff to care­fully re­search the likely re­sponse from busi­nesses and govern­ment de­part­ments is ac­knowl­edged.

He also af­firms that com­mit­ments and guar­an­tees from busi­nesses and other em­ploy­ers are nec­es­sary be­fore high-risk ma­jor fi­nan­cial ex­pen­di­ture is ap­proved. This cau­tion is com­mend­able.

New chief ex­ec­u­tive Gary Simp­son’s prom­ises of progress re­ports via coun­cil’s com­mit­tees are wel­come. Some­times progress re­ports get lost in the sys­tem or go no fur­ther than com­mit­tees.

Ratepay­ers de­serve to be kept well in­formed about the city cen­tre pro­pos­als, ei­ther through coun­cil up­dates or the lo­cal press. Ross Piper,

Ti­tahi Bay have a le­gal re­spon­si­bil­ity for all lo­cal roads and as­so­ci­ated berms.

My neigh­bours and I had the same is­sue with PCC. Af­ter al­most a year of a com­mon berm not be­ing mowed, and sev­eral com­plaints later, ex­ter­nal contractors fi­nally came and cut it. A stark con­trast to the reg­u­lar monthly cuts it used to re­ceive, with no ex­pla­na­tion of why main­te­nance stopped.

Was there no money bud­geted for main­te­nance of berms? Why not? Our 7 per cent rates in­crease meant there were very few bud­get cuts this year, so there is no ad­e­quate ex­cuse for PCC to de­fer main­te­nance. PCC works op­er­a­tions man­ager Wil­liam Mid­dle­ton re­sponds: Coun­cil does not dis­pute own­er­ship of road berms: they are all in pub­lic own­er­ship. For the most part, Porirua’s res­i­dents, per­haps for per­sonal or civic pride, are happy to mow their berm. Be­cause most peo­ple are will­ing to do this and pre­fer not to have to pay (via their rates) for some­one else to do it, coun­cil does not bud­get to mow ev­ery berm in the city. To do so is very ex­pen­sive and this would def­i­nitely have an im­pact on rates. mil­lion un­bud­geted prop­erty in­vest­ment is pro­vid­ing ad­di­tional rev­enue af­ter ex­penses to un­der­write rates or not. Dick Re­nouf,

Ti­tahi Bay

Each time, the per­son I speak to writes it down on a pretty pink post-it note and says they will get back to me. Not once have they got back to me.

I just want to know if it will ever get fixed. It is hard enough pulling out of any road in Pukerua Bay with wankers driv­ing well over 50kmh but now one has to avoid gap­ing holes as well.

What does it take to get a safety is­sue seen to around here? I hope not an ac­ci­dent. Ter­ence P Con­way,

Pukerua Bay PCC Works Op­er­a­tions man­ager Wil­liam Mid­dle­ton re­sponds:

I can only apol­o­gise that Mr Con­way’s pre­vi­ous re­quests to coun­cil have not re­sulted in the pot­hole be­ing re­paired.

Nor­mally re­quests for ser­vice that are made to our con­tact cen­tre are logged for com­ple­tion within a set time. It ap­pears this one has slipped through the net.

Te Ara Rd is un­usual in that it is partly un­der NZ Trans­port Agency own­er­ship and partly un­der coun­cil’s. If Mr Con­way’s pot­hole is not in the area coun­cil is re­spon­si­ble for, I will en­sure it is brought to the at­ten­tion of the state high­way main­te­nance team.

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