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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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