Home' The Wellingtonian : May 12th 2011 Contents 11
THE WELLINGTONIAN, MAY 12, 2011
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It's the Don and Hone sideshow
Over the past fortnight,
Hone Harawira and Don
Brash have not only re-
launched their political careers,
but have committed an uncannily
similar sequence of faux pas.
As things stand, any impact
they may have on the November
election has been overshadowed
by their sideshow antics.
First, there was Brash, mount-
ing a hostile takeover of an ACT
Party to which he didn t belong,
and then finally winning the lead-
ership, thanks to the most junior
ACT MP, who only 24 hours
beforehand had claimed to be 100
per cent behind his rival.
Once installed as leader, Brash
decided to leave his predecessor,
Rodney Hide, in place as Local
Government Minister -- a decision
that had less to do with Hide s
severely tarnished mandate than
with the awkward constitutional
issue of having the Key Govern-
ment negotiate a common strat-
egy between now and November
with a coalition party led by some-
one outside Parliament.
Parliament is, after all, sup-
posed to be sovereign. Therefore,
it cannot be dictated to or
influenced by anyone beyond its
Presumably, any subsequent
negotiations between National
and ACT about parliamentary
business or election strategies will
have to be conducted (nominally
at least) through Hide, as the
messenger boy, or perhaps, by
If ACT s machinations seemed
bizarre, they were quickly
matched by Harawira s launch of
his new political vehicle, the
Initially, Harawira signalled his
determination to resign from Par-
liament and trigger a by-election
in Te Tai Tokerau, a gambit
quickly denounced by everyone
else as an expensive publicity
stunt devised mainly to win extra
office funds and election coverage
for Harawira, who would be
returning to Parliament as a
party leader and not as an ordi-
Gambit or not, the resignation
was suddenly put on hold. Belat-
edly, it dawned on Harawira that
the election deadline for extra
airtime had expired in March.
To cap things off, Harawira
then saluted Osama Bin Laden as
a fellow freedom fighter -- a com-
pliment that hadn t been applied
to Bin Laden and his colleagues
since they were fighting the
Soviets back in the 1980s and
Ronald Reagan called them free-
After perhaps realising that
standing shoulder to shoulder
with Ronald Reagan wasn t such a
good look for a newly-minted left-
wing party, Harawira apologised
for his Bin Laden comments, and
vowed to consult more fully with
his Te Tai Tokerau advisers.
Come November one can only
hope such sideshows will be his-
tory. By then, ACT will have
widened its recent focus on tax-
ation and crime.
Under Brash, its platform will
seek further reductions in govern-
ment debt, state asset sales,
equality between Maori and
non-Maori, and an even harder
line than Hide -- if that is possible
-- on the alleged hoax of global
Harawira will be doing almost
the exact opposite, and will be
combating what he sees as Maori
Party compromises on issues
affecting Maori, and opposing any
punitive crackdown on benefici-
How far will they be able to pull
their colleagues over onto their
For now, ACT under Brash is
merely making the Government
look more moderate without --
according to National party
polling -- affecting National s own
base of support.
Similarly, Harawira s early
leadership gaffes have enabled
the Maori Party, Labour and the
Greens to sleep far more easily at
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A lone female would be most
unwise to use the walkway even
though it allows access to the
main road and Karori shops
within seven or eight minutes, as
opposed to the main road with a
minimum of 20 minutes.
The path and zigzag between the
Ridgway and Havelock St in
Mornington is another hazard.
The zigzag itself has only one
(ineffective) light -- about halfway
Most of the path is shrouded in
darkness and I have fallen there
To exacerbate matters, the sole
light has been out for several
A few weeks ago I noticed at the
bottom of the zigzag a council
worker who appeared to be
inspecting a light on the street.
I asked if he was here to fix the
one on the zigzag and he said that
it might perhaps be the one he
was supposed to be repairing.
When I last saw him he was
knocking on the door of a nearby
house, but the light is still not
functioning. PHILLIPA GUTHREY
Your stories on underlit paths
highlight a problem we have with
getting results from complaints to
the city council.
I live in Salek St where all the
street lights have been out since
April 24 -- a very windy night.
Salek St is designated as an
important vehicle thoroughfare to
Rongotai, is and also a street
many people walk along during
the evening. It s pitch black.
I have called the council a few
times to ask when we may expect
to have lights again and the
answer is that this is referred to
Is this not an issue of safety for
those walking the street and for
residents? A couple of nights I
could have expected but not so
long with no communication from
the council and no sign of a fix.
So, let s see...Patrick Morgan s
excellent summary of the reverse
angle parking suggestion (May 5)
sets out the advantages.
The Automobile Association
says drivers want to back into a
big road and that people often
feel unsure about parking .
Apparently there is no pressure
when all they are likely to hit is a
Why is the road big ? Perhaps
because unsure drivers have
frightened away all the cyclists?
Why are some businesses
compensated by Wellington City
Council in Riddiford St, and not
I have had to apply for a
$30,000 loan to keep my business
afloat owing to the disruptions of
roadworks in the 2008 Riddiford
We lost nine car parks. The
roadworks lasted more than two-
and-a-half years, and there were
three power cuts on different
Three confidential payouts
made by the council to some
businesses, but not others.
It is shameful that the council
would divide neighbours and
Though I m a royalist (a moderate
and critical one), I m not a royals
watcher. However, I was chuffed
that Wills has at last made an
honest woman of Kate, after
several years of their living in sin
All the pomp and ceremony
rather bores me; but at any rate, I
hope many other cohabiting
couples will now emulate them by
getting properly married soon, if
there s no legal bar to their
I like to think it was my
nagging that largely contributed
to the eventual marriages, after
years of cohabitation, of two
couples I know; and I now hope to
see another such couple, whom
I ve been nagging for about 25
years, follow suit before I kick the
Anyway, I wish Prince and
Princess William well. He seems a
very nice boy -- he s probably a
brainless wonder like the rest of
the House of Windsor; but so
I enjoyed your editorial (May 5)
about the recycling situation.
Another issue with the
recycling wheelie bins is how they
will behave when empty on a
windy day. Once they have been
emptied they will be light, mobile
and on roadsides. They could well
be a traffic hazard.
The whole system feels like an
Auckland solution for a
Wellington problem. We have a
very specific environment here
which isn t that easy to ignore.
Robert Davies (May 5) ponders
whether residents in private ways
will have to carry plastic rubbish
bags to the nearest road accessible
by the pickup trucks?
In a word, yes. As a fellow way
dweller, I can tell him that a
council rubbish truck has not been
down my little street for five
years. Nor have the drain clearers
or weed sprayers.
It leads to wider questions: why
do such private ways exist? What
makes them private, and should
the council consider a rates
reduction to such way dwellers?
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