Porirua push a boost for An­zac Day early drinks cause

Kapi-Mana News - - CONVERSATIONS -

Porirua has done it again. It might have been Na­tional MPPaul FosterBell’s bill to en­sure RSAs weren’t hav­ing to pay for a spe­cial li­cence to serve al­co­hol from 5am on An­zac Day, but it re­ceived a big push from Porirua.

Be­fore April 6, Roger Kings­ford from Porirua RSA, along with his coun­ter­parts across the country, had to pay a fee – $207 in Porirua, but it would vary else­where – just so vet­er­ans and other RSA mem­bers could en­joy a tot be­fore and af­ter the dawn pa­rade on April 25.

The ‘‘gun­fire break­fasts’’ of cof­fee and rum are a tra­di­tion dat­ing back nearly 100 years, re­call­ing the repast taken by sol­diers be­fore the bat­tle and the rum ra­tion that was stan­dard mil­i­tary is­sue.

Kings­ford ar­gued he had a liquor li­cence al­ready and while find­ing $207 would not be dif­fi­cult, re­fused to pay on prin­ci­ple.

He left a strongly worded voice­mail mes­sage on ManaMP Kris Faafoi’s phone, and from that point things moved quickly.

Fos­ter-Bell and Faafoi know each other from a weekly ra­dio show. With the agree­ment of their fel­low MPs and no horse-trad­ing re­quired in the House, they got the bill fast-tracked through in 90 min­utes on April 6.

What a fan­tas­tic ef­fort and a real ex­am­ple of what can get done by MPs when the need is there.

Our views of MPs in Par­lia­ment are of­ten coloured by the cir­cus show painted by our na­tional me­dia, when the re­al­ity is of­ten dif­fer­ent: men and women, voted in by their com­mu­ni­ties, work­ing to make a dif­fer­ence.

In the sit­u­a­tion of the spe­cial liquor li­cence, MPs from op­po­site sides of the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum put their heads to­gether and said, ‘‘Let’s fix this quickly’’.

No read­ings or se­lect com­mit­tee process needed – just shut­ting the door on some­thing that should have been fixed in 2012.

The cyn­i­cal among us might say that Kings­ford was think­ing of the nev­erend­ing ding of the cash reg­is­ter on April 25, but that’s never what this was about.

Faafoi lis­tened to his com­mu­nity, reached his hand across to Na­tional, and fixed it.

WE’LL CLAIM HIM

Porirua has an­other prom­i­nent res­i­dent, with for­mer in­ter­na­tional crick­eter Gavin Larsen mov­ing to Aotea in Jan­uary.

He’s keen to be in­volved in his com­mu­nity and es­tab­lish­ing a re­la­tion­ship with Western Suburbs FC seems a com­ing to­gether of like minds. Larsen is a foot­ball tragic, and Wests are seek­ing an ex­pe­ri­enced head to raise fundrais­ing and de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.

It seems a good fit and we wish them good luck.

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