Paremata Kindergarten has a wonderful setting by the inlet down off State Highway 58, and it is led by a dedicated, creative and committed group of staff.
Unfortunately our situation can also make us vulnerable, and recently we have been targeted by vandals and burglars. We have had three break-ins in the last month, along with some graffiti. We have recently strengthened our security measures, but in the face of funding cuts and in the midst of preparing for a fundraiser to help with renovations, the break-ins are disheartening, to say the least.
We know we are not alone in this situation – we were appalled to see the Salvation Army food bank recently targeted, and know that other educational places around the community regularly suffer in this way.
Our purpose in writing this letter is to publicly express our support for the teaching and support staff, and to alert the local community to these events. Please be in touch with the police or let the kindergarten know if any suspicious activity is spotted.
And regardless of where you live in the Porirua area, think global and act local. Please make sure you have taken sufficient precautions with your treasured community assets and make friends with the neighbours to help keep these precious places secure.
MARILYN HUNT, Secretary, Paremata Kindergarten Committee.
My interpretation of these comments is that Mr Leggett is more concerned for easing a few minutes of traffic congestion in his own region than he is for the hundreds that have been left homeless in Christchurch.
While I understand that the rest of New Zealand should not be left unconsidered while rebuilding Christchurch, Mr Leggett could as least have waited for the rubble to clear before leaping on any money available to satisfy his own means.
And his request to ‘ring-fence’ money for his own projects is completely at odds with another statement he makes, that ‘‘We are strongly supportive of a comprehensive rebuilding of [Christchurch] . . . with support from across New Zealand.’’
Just not from your electorate, aye Nick?
B BEGOVICH, Kapiti. Mr Leggett responds: B Begovich seems to think she has stumbled onto some kind of scoop.
In fact what she quotes me on is nothing new and all my comments have previously been covered in both the Kapi-Mana and Dominion Post.
Ms Begovich is clearly an antiexpressway campaigner from the Kapiti Coast, which is a fair position to have. However, I stand by my comments that roading upgrades for Wellington communities are still required and that the Christchurch earthquake reinforces the need for an alternative access from the region rather than presenting the Government of the day an excuse to yet again ‘‘do nothing’’.
The good news is that Steven Joyce has indicated that the airport to Levin roading upgrades are safe. ‘‘residents’ survey’’ data claiming 76 per cent of residents say they are satisfied with the way their rates are spent.
Currently, some councillors [have a] fantasy that blowing away millions of our dollars in demolishing the canopied area of the city will remove the perception that the canopies’ presence encourages crime, loitering and shoddy shops.
Security cameras, classical music and a word in the ears of inept shop owners will fix those problems for less than $100,000.
As for his farcical surveys, most people know that survey questions can be loaded to achieve a desired result and the results manipulated to suit an argument.
In this latest case, his claim of 76 per cent satisfaction approval only applied to 76 per cent of the 400 people surveyed; a total of 0.63 per cent of 48000 Porirua residents. R R BRADY, Whitby.
(Letter abridged) PCC chief executive Gary Simpson responds: The survey is undertaken on behalf of the council by the National Research Bureau using robust and accurate survey methodology and the results are widely used to evaluate most council activities.
Surveys are used by a large number of councils in New Zealand and the NRB undertakes a large proportion of those surveys. Part of their service allows councils to benchmark and compare results and this one reason why Porirua City uses this particular survey. While Mr Brady may disagree with the survey findings he cannot credibly fault either the integrity of the questions or the robustness of the methodology.
While there will always be people who have conflicting views, the mayor and I regularly meet a large number of residents and business owners in the course of our work, and the general feedback we are getting is consistent with the survey results.