LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
INFORMATION CENTRE WILL BE MISSED
Going past the Information Centre recently, I saw a notice stating that its doors are to close for good on May 16. Future reservations and bookings were to be made at the AA shop from that day on.
It is sad that Porirua City loses its Information Centre.
This centre has been great over the years with use of internet, maps, travel arrangements and bookings. Our area is growing, so the centre is needed.
When one visits another city this is a place you naturally look for to seek information required and make your visit better.
Thank you to all the staff who have been of great assistance over the years, but sadly our city will have lost something that other towns and cities have.
COUNCIL SPENDING UNSATISFACTORY
Kevin Watson continues to earn his 50-year gong from Porirua City Council by making sure people do not see the wood for the trees (April 26).
It was the councillors (minus four who had to exclude themselves) and the developer who decided on the Aotea block development, not the citizens.
Who in their right mind would think that 1950s-style cut and fill rape of the land that is Aotea Block is a credit to the city?
The ongoing extra rates production that was supposed to reduce the burden on the rest of us does not seem to have eventuated.
The ongoing costs of things like stormwater will be horrific.
With the strategic land purchases, I would not mind if the council at least maintained them. It is frustrating that at one end of the spectrum the council can afford expensive strategic land purchases, but at the other it cannot afford to keep some reserves throughout the city.
Who knows in whose hands all the properties will end up or go through.
Most people are finally coming to the conclusion that there is definitely something rotten in the state of Porirua City Council despite the spin doctor friends of the council.
MEMORIES OF PETER SELLERS
Thanks to Joseph Romanos (April 26) for his perceptive insights into the life and career of Peter Sellers, who died recently.
He rightly noted that because Peter had been retired for 30 years the pool of those who recall him has largely diminished in both Wellington and Dunedin.
However, I was only a year or two his junior and remember him and many of his contributions to sports journalism, particularly in his time in Wellington.
I visited Peter once in his parents’ home, where I still remember the state of Peter’s room. It could be said that wallpaper was superfluous.
Every inch of the walls was proudly covered with autographed photos of his sporting heroes. It may surprise that the largest number of these were boxers and wrestlers.
As Joseph said, his forte was not in commentating on particular contests. The aptitude for these did not suit the workings of his brain.
But his knowledge of individual sportsmen, the history of their deeds and the delight of discussing and delving with them stood him without a peer.
I am sure that Peter hardly played much outdoor sport himself and I put that down to the state of his health.
As a young man he was afflicted with tuberculosis and spent some time in recovery hospitals. There he had plenty of time to update his knowledge of his heroes and sporting history.
It is almost exactly 50 years since I last saw him in Dunedin.
I walked from my hotel after breakfast and met him crossing the street in the centre of the city.
In his inimitable way he enthused at meeting an old Wellington friend and demanded all the news from his home town and his beloved Rongotai College.
I hoped he didn’t have an early interview at the studio because he would certainly have been very late for work.
My memory is still clear of an unusual and very likeable man with his own delights in life including a vast enthusiasm for jazz music and its stars at that time.
Society needs decent citizens who are often slightly eccentric in their own way, but are always a pleasant part of our community. Peter was one of these, a real character and we would have been poorer without his contribution particularly in the field of sport.
BROADCASTER’S GOOD INNINGS
It was good to see the sports column (April 26) acknowledging Peter Sellers.
Growing up in Dunedin, he was a familiar sight around town (always on foot), but was wary of random approaches by strangers firing sporting trivia questions at him.
I was bemused by the brief news items about his death run in most papers just referencing his ‘‘bloody pies’’ comment, but not really giving weight to the contribution he made to sports journalism.
However, he had a good innings - nearly 95, which is a lot more than poor Martin Crowe managed, after all.
LIVINGWAGE COSTS LOWER THAN STATED
I feel obliged to correct the misinformation and scaremongering of the departing city councillor Tim Sheppard (May 3) regarding the cost of implementing the living wage into the Porirua City Council.
The actual cost of introducing the living wage is 6 cents per day or $21.90 per annum. Based on the council rates I pay that equates to a 0.72 per cent increase to my rates and that is if the living wage is introduced immediately, and that is not what the living wage movement of Porirua is proposing.
It is proposing a phased introduction, moving to $19.25 and then to the current living wage rate in 2017-2018. As a result, the actual cost will be far less than 0.72 per cent and far below the figures touted by Tim Sheppard.
Ironically, he represents the more affluent end of town, where median personal incomes of about $55,000 per annum are the norm.
The median personal incomes of Cannons Creek North ($15,800) and Cannons Creek South, East and Waitangirua all have median personal incomes of less than ($20,000).
This stance from the departing Tim Sheppard is disappointing, given we are one city, made up of diverse communities all seeking to participate with dignity in our beautiful city.
My family are happy to have our annual rates increased by the paltry figure of 0.72 per cent (actually less as per the above) by introducing the living wage into Porirua City Council.
ANZAC DAY CELEBRATIONS
I’d like to thank the Mana electorate RSAs for hosting me through Anzac Day.
I’m always honoured to pay my respects to our servicemen on Anzac Day.
This year I attended the dawn service at Porirua RSA, Anzac Day breakfast at Titahi Bay RSA, civic service at Paraparaumu RSA and the Whenua Tapu wreath laying with Pukerua Bay RSA.
I have a good relationship with my local RSA and apologised for not being able to attend the midmorning session this year. It was the first time I’d been able to attend.
With a number of services around the electorate I try to ensure I attend them all over the three-year Parliamentary term.
MONGREL MOB HAS RIGHTS TOO
Mr Name Withheld, Porirua (May 3), who are you to stereotype me into your perceived belief that I amsubhuman and my rights under the United Nations Charter Declaration on human rights do not apply?
I do not rape, I do not bash or murder innocent people. I do not harass the weak. I pay high taxes, assist the community when and if I can.
Who are you to stand on your hidden pedestal and throw dirty, smelly stones. That’s fascist buddy, bigoted and gutless.
Engage your brain before your mouth. There’s a political reason for the existence of Mongrel Mob. You’re not on the level of intelligence to go there.
SELL GOVERNMENT HOMES FIRST
I write in response to article "Council assets unused" (April 12).
The real issue here is the ratio between home ownership and state homes (or rental properties).
There are just not enough home owners (ratepayers) in Porirua to develop the area in a financially feasible way, where the cost of rates would be agreeable.
I would like to see the council have a short-term goal to reduce the cost in rates as we see home ownership increase, with the everincreasing housing development (in Aotea and Whitby, for example).
Alternatively, I’d like to see the Government sell off the vacant state homes in Porirua. We should be looking at current government assets such as the many empty state homes that are sitting there in limbo. Sell them before we start selling council assets.
If the focus remains on selling council assets in Titahi Bay and Plimmerton, then you have to question the motives. It becomes a question of personal gain for one individual, rather than an actual interest in reducing rates for everyone in Porirua.
I would also be interested in what the local iwi have to say about council assets held in Titahi Bay and Plimmerton.