Home' The Wellingtonian : May 19th 2011 Contents 11
THE WELLINGTONIAN, MAY 19, 2011
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BUILD A BETTER BUSINESS
of our city
Shanks not to be under-rated
By some estimates, Ohariu
is one of the three most
marginal seats in the
Electorate deals are common-
place. Last election, National s
John Key publicly urged Ohariu
voters to split their vote in favour
of United Future leader Peter
Dunne, and not to vote locally for
National s candidate (and list MP)
That couldn t have been pleas-
ant -- to be out asking locals for
their vote, while your party leader
was telling them to pick someone
else to represent them.
At the time, Shanks could see
It was a totally different scen-
ario in 2008, she explains.
National was desperate about
getting on to the government
benches . Having Dunne, a coal-
ition partner of the Labour Gov-
ernment, come across to join them
was seen as a fantastic endorse-
ment of the Opposition and
marked a loss of faith in Labour.
In the end, Dunne squeaked
home over Labour s Charles
Chauvel by 1006 votes, with
Shanks in third place.
Times have changed. In Novem-
ber, does Shanks plan to run on a
campaign of two ticks for
Ever the dutiful caucus mem-
ber, she evades the question: I
believe the voters of Ohariu will
make that decision themselves.
Plainly, she doesn t want to be
the person to deliver Dunne the
bad news that all deals with
National may be off -- not while
there is still legislative business to
be done in the House.
There s a lot of water to go
under the bridge over the next six
Yet the reality is that Dunne s
support in the electorate is headed
downwards, and no other MPs
come in on his coat-tails.
If the Greens (who got 2665
electorate votes last time) choose
to focus this time only on the
party vote, wouldn t all this create
a compelling argument for sup-
porting National on both fronts to
keep Chauvel out? That could
well be the case, Shanks con-
Shanks is not a high-profile MP.
In 2010 the Transtasman busi-
ness service gave her a scathing
3/10 rating, and commented:
Showed early promise but hasn t
lived up to it. Must do more than
ask patsy questions and make the
occasional forgettable speech.
Was that fair? That s their per-
ception of who I am, Shanks says
And I suppose in politics, per-
ception is a big thing. My biggest
fault -- personal fault -- would
most probably be that I don t go
after the limelight.
I just quietly work behind the
scenes. That s who I am. That s
what I do. Maybe I don t get seen
as much as other people do.
If her contribution is largely
invisible to the naked eye, what
does she count as her single
biggest achievement since
The maternity policy she devel-
oped with Health Minister Tony
Ryall in 2008, she says.
I advocated it in my policy, put
it out there, and got the mandate
from New Zealand to basically get
another $100 million into
Despite her mediocre national
image, she still won 10,000 elec-
torate votes in Ohariu last time,
regardless of the deal with Dunne.
It will be a tight contest in
November, she predicts.
Her natural ability at playing
the earnest underdog could well
make her a more formidable
opponent on the ground than Bel-
tway insiders perceive her to be.
The Wellingtonian welcomes
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Shedding light on
those dark paths
Regarding street lighting along
Wellington paths, your readers
may find the Cycling and Walking
By zooming right in on any path
in Wellington City, users can see
where there are street lights.
This is particularly handy if you
are looking for a well-lit shortcut
to an area you haven t visited
The journey planner also gives
directions, journey distance and
an altitude graph.SIMON KENNETT
Active Transport and Road Safety
Get cyclists on to
I read with interest the article
about reverse parking along
Oriental Pde (May 5) and have
observed that there is currently a
shared cycle/footpath along this
It appears the main reason for
the reduction in speed limit and
for contemplating reverse parking
is for the benefit of cyclists.
I can offer a simpler solution
that requires minimal change and
would save ratepayers the
thousands of dollars that would be
required to repaint angle parks to
allow reverse parking.
The solution would be for the
council to pass a by-law banning
cyclists from using the roads
where they are entitled to utilise
I m sure the shared cycleway/
footpaths were created to provide
a safer route for cyclists where
cycling on the road could cause an
After all, why should ratepayers
have to pay for a reduction in
speed limit or changes to road
markings to suit cyclists who have
been given a safe route off the
Surely Patrick Morgan would
be better making fellow cyclists
aware of the shared footpath
availability and encourage its use.
If cyclists used it, there would
be no need for reverse parking.
Light rail and
Demetrius Christoforou claims
one light rail vehicle will take
250 single-occupancy cars off the
This is typical of the utopian
claims made by light rail
Anyone with half a brain knows
that only 0.01 per cent of the
region s single-occupancy car
drivers happen to live, work, shop,
socialise, and get their children
schooled on any possible
prospective light rail route.
Light rail (tram) systems all
over the world are driving their
local governments broke, even
after years of massive tax (rates)
increases and slashing of other,
far more effective, transport
subsidies (for example, to buses);
and slashing of other more
Left-wing economist Anthony
Downs (now nearly 90) has been
saying for decades that planning
for rail-based travel and high-
density living is always doomed to
failure by the way real estate
markets in free countries work.
This is because, as Downs
points out, the planning of site
uses and the provision of
infrastructure drive land prices
up.Rails and high-density housing
go with totalitarian government;
roads, cars and sprawl go with
free democratic society.
Downs himself expresses regret
that the people in the West, while
seeming to be convinced about
saving the planet, are not
politically ready for the
PHILIP G HAYWARD
Why no mention
of oil scarcity?
The International Monetary
Fund, whose mission is to foster
global growth, last month
produced a report which
concluded that the world had
entered an era of oil scarcity, in
which global Gross Domestic
Product doesn t grow, but declines
Strangely, our media has
ignored this report, which is really
worrying and surprising when you
consider the huge impact this will
have, compared to, say, the royal
The price of oil will skyrocket
and with it the price of food,
transport and everything else we
I agree with the sentiments
expressed by Duncan Lints (May
5) about sports reporting.
Wellington are the national
men s hockey league champions,
but hockey wasn t mentioned.
I believe hockey deserves more
in-depth reporting from the
The women s Black Sticks
recently drew a test series with
Argentina, who are No 1 in the
world. Surely this was worth
celebrating. JANICE CAMPBELL
I write regarding the May 12
issue, and those two young ladies
quoted and pictured, specimens of
people upset by the recent
commonsense advice of a Canuck
Why don t they all put it to the
test by not dressing like sluts?
That way we would soon see
whether this would result in a
significant reduction in the
number of actual or attempted
rapes and indecent assaults by
males on females. H WESTFOLD
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