Do­na­tion made

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

Ed­i­tor,

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.

– Ed­i­tor.

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