An­swer im­mi­nent on whether size mat­ters

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS/OPINION -

This is the month when ei­ther the axe falls or the city sun rises, depend­ing on your point of view. The Lo­cal Govern­ment Com­mis­sion is to give its ver­dict on what it thinks is best for the Welling­ton re­gion in terms of lo­cal govern­ment. What we ex­pect is ei­ther a rec­om­men­da­tion of the sta­tus quo or a pro­posed draft model for amal­ga­ma­tion. Com­mon opin­ion is it will be the lat­ter.

There are vo­cal pro­po­nents on both sides, and we need to de­cide where we want to be on the is­sue.

In The Do­min­ion Post last month, Sue Ked­g­ley, Welling­ton re­gional coun­cil­lor, said: ‘‘ It’s quite clear that Up­per Hutt, Lower Hutt, and the Wairarapa don’t want it [amal­ga­ma­tion]. It’s go­ing to be up to the people of Welling­ton, and that’s how it should be.’’

But should it be up to only the people of Welling­ton? What about the rest of us? Is the idea to sub­sume the rest of the re­gion?

From all ac­counts, the Auck­land su­per-city is not ex­actly the an­swer to all the re­gion’s pre­vi­ous woes.

My ques­tion is: Is megaev­ery­thing go­ing to con­sume us in the end? We have mega- stars, mega-cen­tres, mega-cities – all in the name of eco­nomic progress.

But with New Zealand’s limited pop­u­la­tion, how much ‘‘mega’’ can we sup­port? Com­mon wis­dom tells us not to put all our eggs in one bas­ket. And what about those to whom ‘‘mega’’ is an im­pos­si­ble dream, given that they are strug­gling just to get the ba­sics for their fam­i­lies?

How is the pro­posed amal­ga­ma­tion go­ing to af­fect them?

Will rates be re­duced, in­stance? Will the few

for free ser­vices they can en­joy be im­proved? Will they have ac­cess to the pow­ers-that-be?

We need to look at these ques­tions if and when we are called upon to vote on the is­sue.

Last month, we were given some very wise ad­vice by Denise Brown of the Pub­lic Trust on the very im­por­tant is­sues of pow­ers of at­tor­ney and wills.

This month, we are look­ing at a sub­ject far re­moved from that.

I’m sure you have no­ticed the num­bers of people of dif­fer­ent eth­nic­i­ties now ap­pear­ing in our cities, many of them refugees from their home coun­try.

How do we as a so­ci­ety deal with these dis­placed people? Come and find out.

Kate Twyford of Red Cross Refugee Ser­vices will be our speaker. Ev­ery­one is wel­come. Grey Power meet­ing, The Porirua Club, Lodge Place. Tues­day, June 10, 1.30pm. Phone Glo­ria Hazlewood. Phone: 233-0162 (also con­tact for Grey Power Elec­tric­ity).

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