Call to save ‘historic gem’
SAVE THE HALL
Porirua City Council is currently calling for submissions for its 2017/2018 annual plan. It is hoped that this plan will provide funding for the 2018 Waitangi Day celebrations at Te Rauparaha Park in Porirua, an annual event which attracts around 35,000 supporters each year, a blazing jewel in the nation’s Waitangi Day celebratory crown, a jewel the city can not afford to lose.
Porirua City has another historic gem requiring urgent funding, the old World War II Marines Hall, in Titahi Bay, used by the Americans while in New Zealand during the war - the only New Zealand hall of this kind from this period still standing. Porirua City Council needs to plan to keep the city’s jewels safe and sound, ready to be used and enjoyed for many decades to come.
We are facing the second largest single event in the creation of a racially divided country. The first was 1975, when a bogus English version of Te Tiriti o Waitangi was created at law. The second is the upcoming rash of ‘‘Customary Rights’’ applications before the courts and directly with the Crown.
Maori are claiming huge tracts of New Zealand coastline out to 12 nautical miles, extending to the 200 mile Economic Zone. These claims are the consequences of the Marine and Coastal Act (Takutai Moana). There are two avenues for claimants. The High Court, and direct Crown engagement.
High Court claims can be opposed, but there is no public objection process for claims to the Crown. It is no surprise to find that 381 claims are for ‘‘direct negotiations with the Crown’’ (read Solicitor General Treaty Minister, Chris Finlayson) with no ability for claims to be opposed. The Crown process could be seen to be a ‘‘disgraceful conflict of interest’’. A hundred and seventy claims to date have applied to go to the High Court.
Maureen J Anderson
Regarding proposed rate increases for Porirua City Council. Most of the responsibility for upcoming increases rests not with the current mayor or newly voted councillors, but with decisions made by the previous council - ex Mayor Leggett and councillors (some of whom are still on this council) - who have committed this council with the multi-year funding commitments they have ‘‘locked in’’ in previous years. This has left Mayor Mike and current councillors with little room to move on new initiatives.
I value the social services like libraries and rubbish and recycling collections, so don’t want them cut. And we should make a commitment to start giving council employees and contractors a living wage, and plan for that to be extended in future years. How to fund? Well sharing the rates more fairly between commercial and residential. Raising the rates but keeping the rise modest. And I wish we could get out of that foolish decision of the previous council to fund Splash Pad.
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Rose Hudson from Karori wants to protect Titahi Bay’s Marines Hall.