Kapiti News - - News -

Tree re­moval

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.


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


Es­tu­ary is­sues

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.


Treaty claims

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.



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