Home' The Wellingtonian : April 12th 2012 Contents 10 THE WELLINGTONIAN, APRIL 12, 2012
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Your mid-term report on the city
councillors (April 5) was
It does not surprise me that
Bryan Pepperell was rated as the
cellar dweller . I have written to
Mr Pepperell on two occasions
regarding Island Bay problems
without receiving a reply.
Fortunately, I copied the mayor
and she acted with haste. It is
time he carried out his elected
duties with effort or resigned.
In support of
The How our councillors rate
spread has little credibility when
you look at the majority of the
It would have been a better idea
to ask a selection of constituents
from the different wards how they
rate their local councillors.
Councillor Bryan Pepperell is
right when he states: It is the
people who elect me who always
For the panelists to claim Mr
Pepperell voted against virtually
everything, appeared to have little
idea what was going on and came
across as pompous is absurd.
I have always found him well
informed, responsible, totally
approachable, good humoured and
certainly never pompous.
Check his voting record on the
important issues -- it speaks for
who do the work
Before the last local body
elections, it was evident that the
Wellington City Council s
spending was spiralling out of
At one of the candidate
meetings, when asked why many
of the candidates appeared to be
career councillors , the vitriol
with which some responded was
seemed the order of the day, not
what they could achieve for their
Given the result of the panel s
ratings, indolence seems to be the
key component for many long-
Celia Wade-Brown has made an
error in rewarding many of our
councillors with portfolios and
trying to be inclusive. Many who
were pro-Kerry Prendergast at
the last elections are now
revealing their true colours as do
Perhaps Ms Wade-Brown needs
a refresher course in Leadership
101, and should start rewarding
those councillors who really want
to make a difference.
I d like to thank my fellow
Wellingtonians after I took a fall
last Thursday night when leaving
I have no recollection of
collapsing, but was told by a
friend who came across me that a
passing nurse stopped her car to
come and render assistance, along
with a young man who used his
bag to support my head until the
I have fractured my cheek, but
am not in too much pain. Thank
you for being so kind and I hope I
didn t inconvenience your night.
Special thanks also to
Wellington Free Ambulance and
the team at Wellington A and E.
Getting ready for
Our front page story
today highlights the
problem the Christ-
church earthquakes have
caused for building owners all
around the country.
Many of the buildings in
Cuba St have been deemed
They do not meet the new
standards of safety -- standards
everyone is a lot more aware of
these days after what happened
People working in them and
those walking past are said to
be in danger. They would be,
too, if Wellington was struck by
a major earthquake, and it s
wise to be aware of that.
Wellington was last hit by
massive earthquakes in 1848
and 1855. They changed the
topography of the city.
For example, where the
Basin Reserve is now was a
shallow harbour until 1855.
Overnight the land was raised
so far that it became a park.
If an earthquake that size
struck again, there is no doubt
the damage would be extremely
severe and all the buildings
that are now being identified as
earthquake risks would be in
Many schools, churches, old
brick buildings, private
dwellings and a vast number of
buildings in the central city
would suffer damage.
Under the heading of Better
safe than sorry , councils
around the country are
identifying their at-risk
But what happens then?
Many such buildings do not
return much of a profit anyway.
Owners are certainly not
queuing to spend millions of
Some simply can t afford to.
Local councils, already
saddled with heavy debts, do
not have anything like the
money to do the job themselves.
And while the Government
can assist to some degree, per-
haps by providing tax relief for
building owners doing earth-
quake strengthening, it, too,
cannot undertake major works
all around the country.
The job is simply too big.
So what s to happen?
Some buildings will be
upgraded. The Majestic Centre,
described by real estate com-
panies trying to rent space as
the best quality office building
in Wellington , needs to be
The 29-storey building was
finished as recently as 1991,
but is not up to the required
standard. It is to be
strengthened shortly, at a cost
of $35 million.
Few building owners will be
able to fork out that sort of
It seems the Government and
councils will need to prioritise,
with emergency buildings such
as fire and police stations at the
front of the queue, and then,
perhaps a bit further down the
Perhaps there ll be some lob-
bying for historic buildings.
But the money will run out
quickly and most buildings will
probably end up being
It seems odd to tear down a
building that has been standing
without problems for decades
simply because it has suddenly
been deemed an earthquake
But what s the alternative?
Do we wait for Wellington to be
struck by a major earthquake,
and then act?
It s all very inconvenient and
there is no satisfactory answer.
The over-riding concern, how-
ever, must always be safety.
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