LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
I greatly enjoyed meeting Mayor Gurunathan and his wife recently at our citizenship ceremony but I wanted to reply in response to his question about whether people like myself who questioned the timing of the Mahara Place tree removal during nesting season ate meat or owned cats. I haven’t eaten meat or owned a cat since moving to Ka¯ piti in 2006, though I’m not sure all that should be required in order for a resident to express concern.
I went down to (peacefully) witness the tree removal and was relieved that of the dozen nests I saw removed from the first tree by the arborist, who was careful, none contained live young, and only some contained eggs. That said, there was no way to know in advance that that would be the case. In a similar situation I’d express concerns again. JESSICA DAUGHERTY
Well done all
I followed up with council, 10-year-old Jack Stephens letter (Nov 7) requesting a crossing in Beachwater Grove. Council have advised me they have checked the site and it is feasible to put a refuge crossing at the top of Beachwater Grove and have offered to meet with Jack, his parents, and the school to look at the problem. Well done to council staff for listening, Ka¯ piti News for printing the letter and Jack for the suggestion.
BERNIE RANDALL PARAPARAUMU RAUMATI COMMUNITY BOARD MEMBER
Bottled water anger
I try to stop thinking about it anymore as it makes me so angry. Giving away our precious water resources by local authorities to private bottling companies is short-sighted. The way forward is for either local authorities to the Crown to set up sustainable bottled water enterprises, both production and marketing, so that all ratepayers and taxpayers will reap the benefits rather than a single entity. Over time the financial benefits will be huge as clean drinkable water, will, quite likely, be one of the major internationally tradeable commodities of the future. It would mean that existing enterprises that have been given long-term consents for next to nothing would have to be bought out, but it would be more than worth it in the long-term. DAVID W PALMER
Test those who ask
On Thursday evening last the police had an alcohol checkpoint on Te Moana Rd, near the golf club. Lots of officers on duty. Very quick and efficient. Being unsure whether I would have been over the new lower limit, I asked if I could be tested too. No, I was told, you’re not driving. But why not test anyone who asks at a checkpoint? Surely the police should welcome anyone wanting to know their personal limit. We don’t all have the same capacity, and the size of ‘a glass’ can vary widely. I think that officer made the wrong call. DIANNE COOPER
I see that Warren Hutton congratulates Eugenie Sage on the state of the Waikanae estuary and illegal driving on the beach. In doing so, he conveniently ignores the scientific report commissioned by DOC itself and the message that Chris Turver of the Waikanae Whitebaiters network is putting in front of councils, local wards and DOC. The estuary is in extremely poor condition and an independent scientific analysis is required. From that, all interested people and groups could be united in undertaking a planned rectification from the headwaters to the sea. When that occurs, the members of the Whitebaiters network will do more than their fair share. Driving on the beach may illegal, but there is scientific evidence to support that vehicle damage is nil to negligible, and the law is more about population growth. The network will fight to retain the fifty year plus historical access for the whitebait season, at least until climate change alters everything for everybody.
JIM SIMONS WAIKANAE BEACH
Only a few weeks ago the Minister of Health was telling nurses that their claim for a better pay increase offer over the next three years could not be fully met because the government simply had no more money to offer. Now, the Minister of Education is giving teachers the same message. Nobody believes either minister because everyone in NZ know that in that same three-year period there will be, at least, another $300M — $400M paid out in treaty claims. Also, in each of those three years, government will spend, approximately, $2 billion to maintain a separate system for New Zealanders with a Ma¯ ori ancestor. Neither is an essential spend. It puts the government in the position of a person who complains to a budgeting service that, after buying several boxes of chocolates, they do not have enough money left for basic food items.
To put the whole, ‘no money,’ claim beyond any credibility it is an undeniable fact that a substantial majority of those people, on whose behalf the money is spent, are not Ma¯ ori but are European with, possibly, one or two Ma¯ ori among their forebears. REG FOWLES WAIKANAE The mayor and council have rejected further discussion of their intention, announced in the Long Term Plan in July this year, to finance local development funding of $20 million through financial market speculation. It is therefore interesting to note that had the Council already established these funds it would have lost at least $550,000, possibly much more, of ratepayers’ monies in just the first three months! That equates to a potential loss for ratepayers of more than $2 million per year. (This sobering calculation is based on the council’s own data and stated funding approach for the period 01 August to 31 October this year, managed by a successful NZ fund manager. It does not include associated, and substantial, management fees.) It is difficult to imagine a more idiotic scheme than this. Sadly, though not surprisingly, the Ministers of Finance and Local Government and the Office of the Auditor General have each confirmed in writing that they are powerless to prevent the council from including this proposal in its LTP. Nor can they protect ratepayers from the consequences. The Ministers also state that “it is difficult say whether the proposal breaks any rules or whether it is beyond the skills of the staff who would implement it”. Well, we now know the answer to that, as the above figures show.
What is truly difficult to say is whether this proposal arose out of ignorance of financial management issues, or incompetence, by both council and staff. This nonsense has got to stop.
DAVID WEBBER FORMER CHAIRMAN, KA¯ PITI ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT