Dunne not down or out of Ohariu
LET’S NOT FORGET CENTENNIAL HIGHWAY
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
HOUSING DEVELOPMENT NEEDS PLANNING
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
FEWCYCLISTS IN AOTEA
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
NICK LEGGETT’S LETTER TO WELLINGTON
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.’’