On Tuesday, February 28, I was on the 3.20pm train from Wellington heading home to Paraparaumu after spending a lovely day in Wellington and having lunch with my daughter.
The train timetable is misleading for those using their Gold Card because it highlights in red the ‘off peak’ times it can be used from 9am till 3pm and the 3.20pm train is in red.
Understanding this to be correct, I produced my card only to be told it didn’t apply to that express train. As is the case with a lot of people today, we don’t tend to carry change and I was embarrassed to find I didn’t have the fare of $8 when the guard asked for the money.
The lady I wish to thank was sitting behind me, (someone I had never met or spoken to before), who produced a $10 note and handed it to the guard. I said I wouldn’t hear of it and was then told by the guard I would be invoiced $8 for the one-way fare and a $5 administration fee.
I was appalled and got the train timetable out and tried to explain but there was no question, I was in the wrong. The lady sitting behind me insisted on paying and I said I could pay the $8 to a charity. I thanked her profusely and said I would pay it to cancer research.
She was pleased as she had in recent months had her hair shaved for breast cancer research and so I have done that and today posted a cheque for $10 to Breast Cancer Research Cure in Auckland. I hope the lady in question who got off at Mana and did that very kind deed with no hesitation at all, is reading this, because I would like to say to her, thank-you very much and to inform her the money has now gone to a very good cause. SHIRLEY HAYES, Paraparaumu
Beach. Upper Hutt and Wellington city councils. Over the last 15 years, the regional council has reduced its annual costs to the councils three times and held costs a further 10 times.
If our charges had increased in line with inflation since 1997, they would now be over $35 million rather than the current $24m. This equates to over $90m savings since 1997. We achieved these savings while cutting debt by 40 per cent, investing $63m in infrastructure and creating a $17m self insurance reserve.
Regarding quality, we have the highest possible Ministry of Health grading for our water treatment plants and distribution system and have established quality and environmental management systems that are recognised internationally for best practice.
We agree that savings could be gained by integrating water management in the region but believe, as our performance above clearly demonstrates, that this can be achieved through direct council management rather than the complex Capacity management model that has not performed to expectations since it was set up in 2004. DAVID BENHAM, chief executive, Greater Wellington Regional
Council. CCO as proposed is the thin edge of the wedge that could lead to privatisation of water or at the least a reduction of public accountability.
Without GWRC and Porirua City, Capacity cannot provide a vertically and horizontally integrated water service delivery. This could be possible at a future date with a different model of regional governance such as a unitary authority for Wellington but whatever the regional governance outcome I believe we should be retaining public accountability and control of water services within direct council management, especially when it is already being provided effectively and efficiently.
JENNY BRASH, regional councillor, Greater Wellington. Porirua. He accepted the term ‘P-town’ as a colloquial nickname but nothing more.