Home' The Wellingtonian : February 23rd 2012 Contents 10 THE WELLINGTONIAN, FEBRUARY 23, 2012
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I strongly agree with Mr Jenkins
(February 16) with regard to the
installation of tsunami sirens in
Since moving to Miramar from
Japan last May, tsunamis have
constantly been on my mind. It
surprised me that Wellington does
not have tsunami sirens in place.
Even though the council s
emergency preparedness manager
Fred Mecoy said Japan was now
considering removing their sirens,
I could not find any news
regarding the elimination of
sirens in coastal regions on
Also, it is obvious that a large
majority of coastline
municipalities, including the
Tohoku area in Japan, still use
sirens as a useful tsunami
Sirens are effective. As just one
example, thanks to the siren
system, my acquaintance who
lived in Ishinomaki city survived
last year s tsunami.
Soon after she heard the siren,
she left her home by car and tried
Unfortunately, the main road
was blocked with traffic and so
she instinctively got out of her car
and ran for the hills.
My acquaintance was one of the
lucky ones, but without the
advance warning of the siren, she
would have surely perished.
Many of the people in Japan
who did die were elderly who
could not move quickly and people
who lived on the flat with no close
hills to climb.
Whatever the scientists say, we
Japanese have been using sirens
for a long time, and it is just not
realistic for Japan to abandon this
I wish to praise your newspaper
and your reporter Emma Beer for
the article about Wellington City
Council chief executive Garry
Poole (February 16).
With a combination of his large
salary plus the city councillors
salaries, I can see that in future
ratepayers of Wellington will have
to cater for much larger salaries.
People find it a struggle now. A
combination of things such as
leaky buildings and earthquakes
plus the general cost of living, will
lead to us finishing up like Greece.
Complaining to the council is
hard work. It requires people to
have time and money to succeed.
rich and poor
Mystery man? listed what some
council chief executives are paid.
Very revealing research!
They range from $14,278 a
week (Auckland), to $3000 a week
Even the latter seems a lot to a
person on $15 an hour -- $600 a
Then consider the pay of some
chief executives in the business
world -- up to more than $5 million
a year. That is $96,153 a week.
The Occupy Movement did well
to highlight the corporate greed
that contributed to the 2008
financial meltdown and the
burgeoning gap between the rich
and the poor.
J CHRIS HORNE
Score one for
There was a victory for
people power in New-
town this week with a
businessman withdrawing his
application for a liquor licence.
Luv Khattar had applied to
run Vee s Liquor Planet across
the road from Newtown School
in Riddiford St.
Concerned people in New-
town and elsewhere felt the last
thing Newtown needed was
another liquor outlet and took
Liquor licences are already
being sought for two big
supermarkets being built in
Progressive Enterprises has
begun building a Countdown
supermarket at the intersection
of Adelaide Rd and John and
Competitor, Foodstuffs has
proposed a supermarket and
apartment complex in Tasman
St, where the Wellington Boys
and Girls Institute was.
Capital and Coast District
Health Board member Judith
Aitken said last month that the
board would formally oppose
liquor licence applications for
Newtown did not need
another big liquor outlet, she
said, pointing out that there
were 28 liquor licences between
John St and the zoo.
Clearly Newtown people are
not short of places to buy
alcohol so action by them and
the board is understandable.
It s all well and good to be a
liquor retailer but it seems
aspiring businesspeople and big
supermarkets see liquor as an
easy way to rake in money.
The Newtown residents
objections to Mr Khattar s
proposed store were not just
that it was opposite a school,
but also that there were Sal-
vation Army and Cancer
Society branches nearby.
On this occasion the decision
not to proceed was a good one,
though why the Cancer Society
branch was relevant in the
debate is puzzling.
Mr Khattar was lauded by
Newtown Community Centre
co-ordinator Anna Costley as a
hero for withdrawing his
This was rather overstating
the issue. People in Christ-
church who pulled earthquake
victims from tumbling build-
ings were heroes.
Mr Khattar s about-face came
after a record 111 objections
and a petition containing 676
signatures were lodged with the
Wellington District Licensing
The public pressure became
A similar battle is being
waged in Cannons Creek,
where a liquor application has
been received for a site across
the road from Russell School.
The Newtown and Cannons
Creek objectors supported and
encouraged each other. It s
possible that after the Cannons
Creek case hearing in May, the
objectors might have scored
People power is a formidable
force. At present some deter-
mined western suburbs people
are battling hard to stop a
Mitre 10 Mega store being built
in Curtis St, Karori.
Legal proceedings have been
undertaken. The residents are
hopeful of winning that one too
but it will be a tough battle.
It s one thing to rally the
troops and get a single busi-
nessman to change his mind,
it s quite another to fight major
chains, such as Mitre 10,
Foodstuffs and Progressive
The Newtown objectors
should enjoy their victory this
week while they can, because
they might find it a far more
difficult task getting the two big
supermarkets -- with their deep
pockets and dollar signs in their
eyes -- to change their liquor
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