Stand up for us!
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.