Porirua push a boost for Anzac Day early drinks cause
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.