Dunne not down or out of Ohariu



Rose Hud­son, Con­ver­sa­tions, June 14, cred­its the Trans­mis­sion Gully route to ‘‘pro­gres­sive business lead­ers in the early 1920s’’.

This im­plies that the coastal Cen­ten­nial High­way of the late 1930s was in the wrong place and gives no credit to the Pub­lic Works Depart­ment’s pro­fes­sional engi­neers, who de­signed and built this very suc­cess­ful road.

Their work showed ear­lier sup­port for the gully route was mis­placed. The gully route has never been eco­nomic, and never will be, in terms of value for road users’ taxes. MJWil­liams Tawa


The gov­ern­ment and the Porirua City Coun­cil have lost the plot.

A hous­ing de­vel­op­ment needs care­ful plan­ning or it can end up a slum. We al­ready have houses in Ti­tahi Bay badly planned and dys­func­tional.

One group in Tireti Rd, sup­posed to be used by Work and In­come for the el­derly, have stair­ways so nar­row and steep that they are dan­ger­ous.

Apart from that, Kenepuru Hos­pi­tal will need its sur­round­ing land in the near fu­ture to care for pa­tients in our city, Porirua.

The sub­urbs of Whitby, Aotea and the Kapiti Coast have grow­ing pop­u­la­tions.

Also throw­ing peo­ple out of hous­ing on the old Kenepuru site now, is in­hu­mane and im­moral.

Short-sighted knee-jerk re­ac­tions will not solve the hous­ing cri­sis.

We need peo­ple with ex­pe­ri­ence, ed­u­ca­tion and ex­per­tise and cool pairs of hands. Anne Perry Ti­tahi Bay


Irene Swadling, Con­ver­sa­tions July 5, needs to come over from Cam­borne one day and spend a few hours in Aotea Dr, and count all the cy­clists she sees.

No pen and pa­per will be re­quired, in fact the fin­gers on one hand will be more than suf­fi­cient for count­ing.

No one de­nies that cy­cling is healthy, clean and green, but in this case it was a shame­ful waste of thou­sands of ratepayer dol­lars on a project that made so lit­tle sense as cy­clists are a rar­ity in this street. AlanWick­ens Aotea


I re­cently read an un­dated letter sent out by Nick Leggett to all Welling­ton res­i­dents.

Has he had an epiphany? Is he be­ing held hostage by aliens? Or has he been won over to the light side?

‘‘Our city has a real is­sue when ‘nice to have’ items like the $100 mil­lion cy­cle­way and $6m gar­den are tak­ing prece­dence over our most fun­da­men­tal obli­ga­tions,’’ a quote from his letter says.

Why didn’t he ut­ter these words while at Porirua, to en­cour­age in­creased in­vest­ment in our wa­ter sup­ply, the leaki­est in the re­gion and the one with the most in­ad­e­quate stor­age, with too lit­tle stored in low earth­quake-rated tanks?

Why didn’t he spend on es­sen­tial in­fra­struc­ture or in­crease planned main­te­nance to re­duce re­ac­tive main­te­nance costs? Porirua City Coun­cil staff and con­trac­tors race from one dis­as­ter to an­other, ap­ply­ing bandaids.

In­stead, he backed closed door meet­ings to buy yet more land and build­ings for a non-ex­is­tent CBD re­de­vel­op­ment plan. Un­less a new toi­let block, fewer car parks and less rates in­come from the area count.

Don’t worry. He’s given the nod, and put his hand on the shoul­der of a man who will repli­cate the old Nick - ig­nor­ing in­fra­struc­ture as it crum­bles around us, while press­ing on with the CBD re-de­vel­op­ment white ele­phant, with the usual rate in­creases con­sis­tently dou­ble, tre­ble or more above in­fla­tion, and driv­ing away ex­ist­ing busi­nesses..

Though I’msure new busi­nesses will be at­tracted us­ing rate payer sub­si­dies.

Re­minds me of a song – we (res­i­dents) need a hero. Will we get one? An­drewWel­lum Cam­borne Last month, the Greens and Labour agreed to co-oper­ate dur­ing next year’s elec­tion cam­paign, to max­imise the cen­tre-left vote. But there have been very few in­di­ca­tions of how this agree­ment might work in prac­tice.

For now, the Ohariu seat is widely seen as Ground Zero for how the Greens/Labour agree­ment will play out at elec­torate level.

Cur­rent Ohar­i­uMP and United Fu­ture leader Peter Dunne hasn’t heard much about the shape of the chal­lenge he’s likely to face.

In fact, Dunne is not even will­ing to com­mit on whether he’ll be stand­ing again in 2017.

‘‘To be per­fectly hon­est I won’t make that call un­til much later on. But I see no rea­son why not.’’

On pa­per, Dunne’s 710 vote ma­jor­ity looks highly vul­ner­a­ble to a pin­cer move­ment by the Greens and Labour.

If the cen­tre-left does col­lude against him next year, would Dunne ex­pect to re­ceive a size­able sym­pa­thy vote?

‘‘Its in­ter­est­ing you say that. Since that [col­lu­sion] has been spec­u­lated on, what feed­back I have got is ex­actly that.

Peo­ple are say­ing, ‘we’re not go­ing to let that hap­pen’,’’ he says.

‘‘But if it oc­curred, there’s a whole other side of the ledger that hasn’t been tapped.’’

Mean­ing? Ex­plicit col­lu­sion by the cen­tre-left, Dunne ex­plains, may re­sult in a sim­i­lar counter move on the cen­tre-right.

‘‘Look on the other side of the ledger [at the com­bined Dunne/ Na­tional vote] and add those votes to­gether.

That is not even be­ing con­sid­ered. That just blows the [Greens/Labour] thing out of the wa­ter.’’

Maybe. Could lo­cal peo­ple also re­sent the Ohariu elec­torate be­ing treated merely as a piece in a na­tional jig­saw?

‘‘That could be a fac­tor,’’ Dunne agrees.

‘‘Par­tic­u­larly since when there have been ar­range­ments [else­where] in the past, the peo­ple who are now con­sid­er­ing such ar­range­ments have been at the fore­front of crit­i­cis­ing those sort of things.

‘‘All I’d say is that the peo­ple who are say­ing, ‘Labour plus Greens equals Good­bye Peter’, well, that’s far too sim­plis­tic.’’

It is early days, but has Dunne been hear­ing any gos­sip as to whether a Labour or Greens can­di­date will get first crack at him? ‘‘No. I’m not.’’

Could, as ru­moured, Greens leader James Shaw be ready­ing him­self for the role of Dun­nes­layer in Ohariu? Not ac­cord­ing to Dunne. ‘‘He’s in­di­cated to me that won’t be the case.’’

Shaw con­firms Dunne’s hunch.

‘‘The peo­ple who are say­ing, 'Labour plus Greens equals Good­bye Peter', well, that's far too sim­plis­tic.’’

‘‘Its ex­tremely un­likely I’d go to Ohariu.’’

He doesn’t live there, and has run two good cam­paigns in Welling­ton Cen­tral. Nor have the Greens and Labour yet de­cided which party would be the main ben­e­fi­ciary of any deal struck be­tween them in Ohariu.

‘‘We haven’t had that con­ver­sa­tion yet.’’ Shaw says.

After Dunne’s 32 years in Par­lia­ment, vot­ers could surely be for­given for think­ing of him as be­ing more part of the prob­lem than part of the so­lu­tion.

Even so, Dunne ticks off plenty of tasks still left for him to com­plete.

‘‘Ma­jor work on ar­chives and li­braries. As­pi­ra­tional stuff to do with our place in the world. Plenty of chal­lenges in health. If you’re ask­ing whether I’ve achieved all I set out to do? By no means.’’

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