Home' The Wellingtonian : November 24th 2011 Contents 8 THE WELLINGTONIAN, NOVEMBER 24, 2011
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
The case for
It surely is ironic when defenders
of the current bloated council
structure in the Wellington region
offer up the list the current 87
local councillors, eight mayors and
13 regional councillors as if they
were a precious treasure about to
be lost if we move to a super-city
For supporters of the super-city
concept, such as myself, getting
rid of this tangle of council
deadwood is the whole idea and is
one of the principal benefits of a
move to such a structure.
A harsh indictment of our local
elected representatives, I hear
Well, whose fault is it that the
majority of people have a zero
level of engagement with local
democracy, with perhaps their
sole commitment being voting in
local body elections, with even
that measure decreasing steadily
over the years?
The answer is that attempting
to engage with local or regional
councils leaves people feeling like
councillors would prefer you didn t
Some councillors make
disparaging about the usual
You can generally be sure that
once you get an initial reply you
will never hear back from the
council staff again and any
decisions made seem to show no
sign of the council incorporating
citizen feedback. CURTIS NIXON
In favour of
One of the great things about
MMP is that it allows the leading
party to expand its talent pool by
bringing in other parties.
A good example is Peter Dunne
and his work as a minister in two
During this term, he has dealt
with tax issues and banning
Kronic et al with no fuss and no
Contrast this with ACT and the
toxic twins (Brash and Banks).
In this latest term all that ACT
has achieved is the super-city and
bringing Parliament into
Clearly Brash and Banks will
not go the distance as a team, so
having them as part of a coalition
is likely to cause more headaches
for John Key.
Dunne is a welcome addition to
the pool. Brash and Banks are
what you don t want in your pool:
Hopefully the voters of Epsom
and Ohariu will see it this way.
Why MMP is
the way to go
This election we can keep MMP
and make it better. The
alternative is to vote for a system
like First Past the Post and face
another referendum in 2014.
This will be an expensive
exercise (this referendum alone is
costing $11 million).
Under MMP every vote counts.
Your party vote determines the
number of seats each party gets in
A vote against MMP would
probably mean that system was
up against the discredited First
Past the Post in a second
Under FPP, elections are
decided by voters in marginal
seats. National votes in safe
Labour seats and vice versa don t
MMP delivers stable effective
governments -- we ve had stable
coalition governments from both
sides of the political spectrum.
MMP does not mean more MPs
than the other systems. The size
of parliament relates to the size of
our population, not to our
Vote to keep MMP and improve
it. Let s not go back to FPP, which
was resoundingly rejected in
No sign at all
would be better
Perhaps Wellywood pro-
tester Andy Boreham
has a point about the
proposed sign on the hill above
the Miramar cutting.
Boreham, who was a member
of the seven-person panel that
culled through the suggestions
for the sign, has made the point
that the strongest vote was
probably for nothing at all to go
on the hill.
He was strongly opposed to
Wellington Airport s original
proposal -- Wellywood. So
pointed were his objections and
so effective his protest action
that the airport reconsidered.
A panel of seven Welling-
tonians -- Fran Wilde, Allan
Probert, Dave Gibson, John
Milford, Liz Mellish, Richard
Stone and Boreham -- was
appointed. They considered a
raft of public submissions,
about 350 in all.
There followed a convoluted
process of public votes as the
submissions were pared back to
five, then three and finally the
winner: Wellington -- blown
The winning suggestion was
put forward by some bright
sparks from advertising agency
Saatchi & Saatchi.
Our objection isn t that those
making the proposal reside in
Auckland (as if we re so bereft
of imaginative ideas we need to
seek assistance from our north-
ern cousins), but that out of all
the great things Wellington has
to offer, they have focused on
the fact that the city is windy.
Who cares about Wellington s
magnificent topography, with
its harbour and hills, its buzzy
nightlife, its varied and exten-
sive arts scene?
No, the single most interes-
ting and original aspect to focus
is that the city is windy.
Reinforcing that often
overstated concept will surely
be a boon to our tourism and
We should be grateful to Wel-
lington Airport for its initial
endeavours. The idea to dedi-
cate some prominent space to a
Wellington site showed initia-
tive and flair.
The airport s initial sugges-
tion, Wellywood, didn t work, as
was shown by the final vote.
There were 33,027 votes cast
for the final three suggestions.
The windblown letters received
18,862 votes, the Eye of the
Taniwha 11,061 and Wellywood
Those statistics indicate
Boreham was right to mount
such an impassioned protest,
and that Celia Wade-Brown
and her council were also wise
to dig their heels in and implore
the airport to consult on the
Having got past the rather
uncreative, try-hard Welly-
wood, the question was what to
put in the space.
Boreham makes the point
that up to one third of the orig-
inal 18,500 people who made
submissions would have pre-
ferred nothing at all on the hill.
That seemed a little ungrate-
ful. The airport had come up
with the concept of a word or
sign of welcome to visitors to
the city, and had, after some
sharp prodding, left the final
design of the sign in the hands
of the voting public.
However, if the best idea was
merely to poke fun at Welling-
ton because of its wind, perhaps
Boreham s instincts were right.
No sign at all would have been
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