Stand up for us!

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

Editor,

It was with con­sid­er­able shock that I read Peter Glen­sor’s ar­ti­cle in the Kapi-Mana News [Septem­ber 13] where he said, ‘‘As far as I’m con­cerned, reg­u­lar fare in­creases are here to stay’’.

Mr Glen­sor is wrong when he says that only cash fares and longdis­tance trips in­creased last year, when in fact monthly rail passes in­creased in price – I buy one ev­ery month, and I did no­tice the in­crease.

Vis­i­tors to Welling­ton are ab­so­lutely stag­gered when I tell them what I have to pay for a monthly pass for my short train trip to Welling­ton, on run-down, un­re­li­able old trains to a grotty, cig­a­rette smoke-filled sta­tion.

So reg­u­lar users of pub­lic trans­port are to be hit again.

Mr Glen­sor claims that ‘‘read­ers de­serve to know the facts’’, but he is be­ing mis­lead­ing when he states that the NZ Trans­port Agency now ‘‘cal­cu­lates costs dif­fer­ently’’.

‘‘Dif­fer­ently’’ here means that the Min­is­ter of Mo­tor­ways, Steven Joyce, is de­lib­er­ately starv­ing pub­lic trans­port of funds whilst in­vest­ing $10 bil­lion of tax­pay­ers’ money in yet more roads.

The GWRC should be do­ing its ut­most to pro­mote pub­lic trans­port use and de­mand­ing of the Govern­ment that it changes its cur­rent in­sane ad­dic­tion to roads and ad­e­quately funds pub­lic trans­port.

It is not Mr Glen­sor’s role to jus­tify changes in cen­tral govern­ment pol­icy to the peo­ple of Welling­ton who elected him to rep­re­sent them in a re­gional body.

The facts are that the Govern­ment has clearly an­nounced that it is re­duc­ing its fund­ing to re­gional bod­ies for pub­lic trans­port.

This Govern­ment sees no pub­lic ben­e­fit to pub­lic trans­port use, in that it keeps more cars off the roads, re­duces our car­bon emis­sions, and means less con­gested and more live­able cities.

National has shown its com­plete dis­re­gard for the clear pub­lic good that comes from pub­lic trans­port use, and if re­elected, we are likely to see both the Welling­ton city and re­gional coun­cils bul­lied by the Govern­ment into ac­cept­ing a mo­tor­way from the air­port to Levin.

Piece by piece, this is hap­pen­ing, and the at­tack on rail and buses by the steady and un­nec­es­sary in­creases in fares is a part of that strat­egy.

The peo­ple of Welling­ton did not vote for such a strat­egy, and Mr Glen­sor should be aware of that. Can Mr Glen­sor ex­plain to his con­stituency why he ap­pears to have so com­pletely bought into the Govern­ment’s line? When will he stand up for the peo­ple of Welling­ton against a bul­ly­ing Govern­ment?

I know that there were some re­gional coun­cil­lors who voted against the lat­est set of fare rises. I know that they are truly con­cerned that we have a trans­port sys­tem in place for us and for our grand­chil­dren.

It is im­pos­si­ble to un­der­stand how those coun­cil­lors who slav­ishly obey the Govern­ment’s anti-pub­lic trans­port line will ever de­liver us that. MICHAEL PRINGLE,

Tawa. from the coun­cil pub­lic doc­u­ment (the 2011-12 pro­gramme of pro­posed works/vil­lage pro­gramme).

This doc­u­ment clearly shows the in­ad­e­quate al­lo­ca­tion of bud­geted funds.

Again, Ti­tahi Bay is the poor area on the block, and when will it change from the man­age­ment/ of­fi­cers/coun­cil­lors of the PCC?

To have $3.98 al­lo­cated is an af­front to com­mon sense and an af­front to fair al­lo­ca­tion of ratepayer funds. PETER WIND­SOR,

Ti­tahi Bay. PCC Vil­lage Pro­grammes man­ager, Ian Bar­low re­sponds:

The ‘‘vil­lage’’ bud­get es­sen­tially pro­vides seed­ing money and, with an em­pow­ered com­mu­nity, this fund­ing is added to sig­nif­i­cantly by lo­cal vol­un­tary labour, per­sonal do­na­tions, busi­ness and Char­i­ta­ble Trust spon­sor­ship, fund­ing and sub­si­dies from other coun­cil bud­gets and re­gional and national Govern­ment agen­cies.

For Ti­tahi Bay, the Vil­lage Plan­ning bud­get for 2011-12 is rel­a­tively small, as it is a de­sign/ re­view op­por­tu­nity for this com­mu­nity to iden­tify ‘‘what’s next’’ for their vil­lage.

How­ever, last year in Ti­tahi Bay ma­jor work as­so­ci­ated with the Ti­tahi Bay beach up­grade was done us­ing $179,000 from the Vil­lage Pro­gramme, plus $61,000 from the leisure as­sets area of coun­cil. A to­tal of $240,000.

In ad­di­tion, it is es­ti­mated that $6000 of value has been added to this project by lo­cal vol­un­teers pro­vid­ing their time and en­ergy for veg­e­ta­tion clean up and re­plant­ing work.

This year (2011-12), a fur­ther $100,000 will be funded by coun­cil (leisure as­sets) to con­tinue the phys­i­cal work at Ti­tahi Bay beach, in ad­di­tion to the small bud­get, for on­go­ing fu­ture de­sign, con­tained in the Vil­lage Pro­gramme bud­get.

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