Al­ways con­sult

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

Editor,

I re­fer to the head­line ar­ti­cle Whi­tireia merger . . . [ KMN, Au­gust 23]. I ap­plaud the sen­ti­ments of PCC want­ing to see cour­ses, staff and fa­cil­i­ties re­tained in Porirua, but I also think Whi­tireia and WelTec are tak­ing pru­dent steps to en­sure both or­gan­i­sa­tions sur­vive, and fee costs re­main af­ford­able.

Cost con­trol, ef­fi­ciency and af­ford­abil­ity, are con­cepts ap­par­ently not yet grasped by our mayor, coun­cil­lors and se­nior man­age­ment team.

PCC chief ex­ec­u­tive Gary Simp­son is quoted as hav­ing said ‘‘they are still in the dark about many de­tails . . .’’. Gary, wel­come to our world. That’s ex­actly how ratepay­ers feel about PCC de­ci­sion mak­ing.

The coun­cil’s se­nior eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment ad­vi­sor (I won­der what the salary pack­age, key re­sult ar­eas, and achieve­ments for the last three years are for this po­si­tion?) said ‘‘coun­cil was not of­fered the op­por­tu­nity to make an oral sub­mis­sion’’ and ‘‘. . . a de­ci­sion should not be made without proper pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion’’.

Hang on a minute. PCC ex­pects a high level of pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion from Whi­tireia, but doesn’t ex­tend the same to its own ratepay­ers.

In­stead of com­plain­ing about oth­ers, how about gen­uine con­sul­ta­tion and trans­parency for bud­gets and projects like prop­erty pur­chases, city cen­tre re­de­vel­op­ment, the per­form­ing arts cen­tre and new head of­fice, and no se­cret Smartlinx meet­ings.

Or do you mean you want Whi­tireia to con­sult, like PCC did with ratepay­ers in re­spect to Te Rau­paraha? Or for yet an­other mil­lion dol­lar re­serve in Plim­mer­ton?

ANDREW WELLUM, Cam­borne. Gospel Chapel, have been car­ing about and giv­ing them­selves in work with at-risk youth since the mid 1970s. Un­known to most of the pub­lic, and largely un­her­alded by the me­dia, they have shown a true Chris­tian hum­ble­ness of spirit, love without judge­ment and without strings at­tached, and must have touched hun­dreds of lives.

Men­tor­ing of that kind – just an­other de­cent adult who cares enough to get along­side, who lives lo­cally, and who sticks with you, does more to see young peo­ple through the fraught teen years than any other ‘‘so­lu­tion’’ do­good­ers have pro­posed.

I first knew Lloyd when he was run­ning ‘‘Youth Guid­ance’’ pro­grammes (a Youth for Christ ser­vice for trou­bled teens) in 1978 and 1979. Since then the Gospel Chapel build­ings have been used fre­quently as a place youth can meet – of­ten to the cost of wear and tear – but more important, the Gospel Chapel peo­ple must have given Lloyd and Peggy their full, pa­tient, and gen­er­ous sup­port, as no-one can do that sort of work for long without gen­uine back-up and per­sonal as­sis­tance from oth­ers who share the vi­sion and un­der­stand the need.

If the city has not yet hon­oured these two, or recog­nised the role of the chapel in our com­mu­nity in some tan­gi­ble way, this would be the time to do it – though they are both so down to earth and mod­est, they might well say ‘‘no, we just do it for the kids – and for God’’.

SYLVIA L JENKIN, Porirua. ter­ri­tory of Stu­art Park, I won­dered how the Porirua coun­cil came to the de­ci­sion to refuse ac­cess to the lo­cal rid­ing club who have been us­ing this area for the past 30 years for graz­ing and al­low in­stead ac­cess to a few dog own­ers?

My wife and I have al­ways re­ceived a friendly word and a wave from mem­bers as they ride or lead their horses past our house. And what a de­light to see those very young mem­bers rid­ing their ponies with their faces a pic­ture of de­ter­mi­na­tion to be like mum.

A lovely tran­quil pas­toral scene for old re­tired folk like us. We as­sume the new ‘‘own­ers’’ of this coun­cil land will be as con­sci­en­tious as the rid­ing club have been in keep­ing the park clear of that ob­nox­ious gorse that threat­ens to over­take the green space. Or will the coun­cil have to find the funds and labour to keep it clear?

There are am­ple acres of open scrub­land for their dogs to run riot op­po­site Stu­art Park where they can do their busi­ness without turn­ing Stu­art Park into a dog­gie toi­let!

MIKE POVEY, Ti­tahi Bay.

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