Home' The Wellingtonian : July 14th 2011 Contents LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Thank you for highlighting in
your editorial (July 7) Wellington
City Council's change of mind
concerning the feasibility study of
an Olympic standard pool in
It is time to ask ourselves some
1. Who in our Wellington
community have basic needs not
2. What are these needs?
3. How can we (through our
council) best help meet these
And yes, there are much more
pressing concerns than an
Olympic standard pool. The
council itself mentioned some last
month, as you pointed out.
I urge Wellingtonians to press
their local councillors into
fairness. It's clear from their
changes of mind that it's pressure
I agree with your editorial. Hasn't
Wellington got enough swimming
It's strange that some
councillors think there is enough
money to throw around on absurd
ideas we're supposed to pay for.
Yesterday, while at Karori
Park, my two-year-old son ran
away from me and slipped
between the gap in the fence on
top of the river bridge. He was
centimetres from falling into the
river, where he might have been
killed. Luckily, I was able to grab
him from the edge in time.
The council needs to get its
priorities right. How can there be
money for a pool when a simple
fence around a dangerous
waterway cannot be erected
Gordon Campbell raises some
pertinent points (July 7) about the
performance of the National
Government, which seems more
interested in photo opportunities
than developing discussion about
the direction it is steering the
One senior Cabinet minister,
Steven Joyce, begins almost every
answer with a dismissive chuckle
and then attempts to undermine
the credibility of anyone who
questions the reasoning behind
Bill English smirks when asked
a question contrary to National's
philosophy, as if the person asking
the question lacks the most
Our leader is sharp on rhetoric,
but when it comes to providing
real and meaningful answers, he
is also sadly dismissive.
Given that asset sales are going
to form a large part of National's
election policy, now might be the
time to open that debate, not after
the Rugby World Cup.
Bad news for
Gordon Campbell is right to slate
the media for ignoring important
events, such as National's 50 per
cent book increase in the capital
value of State Owned Enterprise
Meridian's Tekapo hydro stations
being transferred to Genesis.
This financial engineering does
not reflect market forces, as both
SOEs are controlled by the
Government and do whatever the
Government tells them.
But it is very bad news for
electricity consumers. The cost of
Tekapo hydro electricity will rise
50 per cent, because it is directly
proportional to the capital value of
the hydro stations.
Expect more price rises once the
SOEs are partly privatised. The
community, after all, is just there
to be ripped off by big business,
Pat on back
shy about taking a
crack at Wellington City Coun-
cil when it has mucked up.
But fair is fair and we give
credit when it's due.
Karori residents will prob-
ably disagree with the council's
handling of the proposal to
build a Mitre 10 store in Curtis
St. What especially grates on
locals is the decision to stick
with limited notification.
However, the council has dot-
ted its I's and crossed its T's
Karori residents asked for a
meeting with their ward coun-
cillor Andy Foster and council
officials and this occurred on
June 28. Half a dozen were
expected, but about 50 turned
up.This didn't faze Foster, who
arranged a room-swap with
another meeting to accommo-
date the masses.
Two officials were present,
one a co-writer of the report
with which residents were
The officials sat quietly while
residents launched into a bar-
rage of complaints and then
calmly answered the questions
fired at them.
Foster played mediator, sit-
ting in the middle, careful not
to offer too much support either
way. It's a role in which he is
Only the 10 residents who
were notified were legally able
to make submissions on the
But the council accepted that
people were upset and offered
them a chance to put their con-
cerns in writing.
While these would not be
official submissions, residents
were able to have their say as to
why they thought the notifi-
cation should be widened and
were assured their views would
Council officers considered
these emails -- there were about
second time to reflect on the
After another report, they
decided the initial limited noti-
fication was acceptable.
Karori residents will no
doubt be put out, as people tend
to be when they don't get their
However, it appears the
council has gone out of its way
to accommodate their views. It's
the council's job to listen to the
public and they've done just
Wellingtonians suffer from
the not in my backyard'' syn-
drome. Whether it's an indoor
sports centre, a swimming pool
or, in this case, a Mitre 10
We generally want them
built, but not where they might
in any way inconvenience us.
Some of the objections
seemed somewhat spurious.
People who live a considerable
distance from the proposed
Mitre 10 site complained about
issues that seem most unlikely
to affect them.
The one constant theme that
did resonate was traffic.
Already Karori is one of the
suburbs in this regard.
There's a very limited num-
ber of roads into and out of the
suburb and at peak times
traffic can get extremely bottled
up. Even off-peak, the flow is
heavy and relentless.
But what's to be done in the
short and medium-term?
Karori is a major suburb, the
biggest in New Zealand it is
claimed (though proof of that
oft-quoted statement is hard to
come by). It has to develop and
needs new retail outlets.
A Mitre 10 store in an area of
the suburb that is not especially
busy at present seems entirely
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10 THE WELLINGTONIAN, JULY 14, 2011
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