Kapi-Mana News : May 17th 2011
8 KAPI-MANA NEWS, MAY 17, 2011 OPINION 3214052AA LETTERS EKERS' WEEK Know your place Editor, Maori Wardens are governed by an act of Parliament which is defined in the Maori Community Development Act 1962. Kapi Mana Maori Wardens are controlled by Porirua East Maori Committee which is chaired by Josie Lancaster and three executive members and five committee members. Over the past decade we have given our service to organisations, members of the public, even the police, on a voluntary basis. Police do not tell wardens what to do as they work from their own jurisdiction within the justice system, and Maori wardens need to work within the kaupapa of the Maori Community Development Act 1962. This is why the Minister issues you with a badge and warrant. Kapi Mana Maori Wardens are the only legal identity working with this basin. Also, currently there are wardens out there at present working with the police who don t have their warrants or badges (you shouldn t be working and reported to the ministry). All people intending to be wardens please read the act before being nominated, as you should remember you are wardens and not police officers. JOSIE LANCASTER, chairperson, Porirua East Maori Committee. Cost too high Editor, I don t believe it s helpful to engage in an ongoing he said, she said debate with your correspondent Jeanette Erceg (Letters, April 26) about the closure of Muri Station. But I will reiterate the reasons. The decision to close Muri Station was a hard one, based on hard facts. The station needs an upgrade costing more than $1 million to meet rail safety standards, and this was considered simply far too expensive for the number of people who use this station compared to other stations on Wellington s rail network. A slightly cheaper solution, involving shortening of the platform and only certain carriages being opened at the station, was considered closely and discussed in depth by Greater Wellington Regional Councillors and KiwiRail management. However, we agreed with the advice from KiwiRail that the level of risk was just too great. No public transport decision ever pleases everyone. It may well be that Jeanette Erceg will never accept our reasoning and our decision to close Muri Station. I invite her to join other affected residents to work with Greater Wellington, Porirua City Council and other agencies to find solutions for improving access to Pukerua Bay Station from the northern end of Pukerua Bay. PETER GLENSOR, GWRC Economic Wellbeing Committee chairman. Please explain Editor, Regarding Shelling out for beach property [KMN, April 19], can Nick Leggett and the councillors who decided unanimously behind closed doors, please explain clearly why owning two expensive properties in Plimmerton is a good deal for Porirua ratepayers? From the information to date, it seems ratepayers will all appreciate what they have done. After telling us that any decision on future use is some way off, our mayor has done his best to put a positive spin on their collective willingness to inflict further financial burden on suffering ratepayers by implying that this deal is a logical addition to what we are told is adjacent land bought by PCC 22 years ago. I assume he is referring to the small park at the corner of Steyne Avenue and Queens Avenue? If this is correct, then the properties are hardly adjacent. The other thing we should all be ecstatic about is the properties are to be rented for the time being so PCC will receive some return on the $1.125 million un-budgeted spend-up that has been done on behalf of the ratepayers. I find it ironical that (in) the same issue it was revealed PCC is considering selling Mungavin Homestead, a building and site of significance listed in the District Plan. Questions I would like the mayor and councillors to answer include: 1. Assuming that the decision to spend $1.125 million of public money was not made without a firm plan on future use, exactly what is the land to be used for? 2. How do they propose to finance the purchase? 3. What will it cost to maintain these properties as rentals, particularly given that PCC has already indicated by the review of Moana Court that it does not want to be in the residential rental market? 4. How will the revenue lost from the rating base be replaced? 5. What additional future spending will be required to convert this land to whatever use the mayor and councillors want to use it for? 6. Has this purchase anything to do with the policy to protect recreational areas from inappropriate development pressures as set out in the District Plan and specifically, is this a move to prevent high density residential development in Plimmerton in the Steyne Avenue area? GARY HAYWOOD, Ranui Heights. Porirua City Council chief executive Gary Simpson responds: 1. The properties were purchased with the intention of being developed into public open space at a future time. The current houses on the property will be retained in the meantime and be rented. 2. The cost of the properties was financed by loan. 3. The council has indicated it is reviewing its continued ownership of the Moana Ct flats. It is not, and never has been, a provider of residential accommodation on a general scale. The council decision to do further work on options available in respect to Moana Ct flats requires that the properties are to be retained for social housing purposes. 4. Porirua City Council rates paid on 34 and 36 Steyne Ave are $5629.54. 5. The cost to convert these properties into a park will depend on a number of things, including the standard of the park to be developed and the range of amenities contained within. It is expected that the design exercise for this work is some years away and until it has been undertaken, a reasonable estimate is not possible. 6. The purchase of this land has nothing to do with any move to prevent high density residential development in Steyne Ave. Thank you Editor, On behalf of Kmart I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who pitched in to raise over $12,000 for people in need following the recent Christchurch Earthquake. Over $900 of this came from customers who made donations at coin collection boxes at Kmart Porirua over the past month. Many of us have been personally affected or have friends, neighbours and workmates who have lost their homes and belongings. The money raised by Kmart customers will help our friends and neighbours replace essential items and access support services. Our welfare partner The Salvation Army has also expressed their appreciation for the donations made to the appeal, which will go a long way to helping the Christchurch community re-build and recover. Thank you again for your support. ELAYNE O'BRIEN, Kmart Porirua store manager. Priced out Editor, I am a youth leader at the Holy Family Catholic Church. I recently asked for a quote for the hirage of a volleyball court [at Te Rauparaha Arena] for two hours -- and this costs over $300? So we can t afford to hire the court, and so wouldn t a large number of other community groups or small organisations. This facility was the greatest resource we had for indoor sports and it was groups like mine and other small groups that were one of the many lifelines when it was the rec centre. Now we have to struggle to find a decent place within our city that provides the services the Arena/recreation centre does. Now I can t help but feel cheated. At the most all I needed to take along to our youth sessions/games on Friday was $2 or $3, now it seems that revenue and profit comes before community, however large organisations and profitable opportunities will keep the bank happy. Is this what matters? I ask that the council reassess this issue and take a look at what really matters. FALA LUTU, Porirua. (Letter abridged) Community recreation manager Willie Taurima responds: Unfortunately the rate of $300 was incorrectly quoted by one of our staff members. A Church Youth Group would qualify for the community rate which has a 25 per cent discount on the full rate. This means that the hourly rate for a volleyball court is $67.50 plus gst. The cost to hire the whole Mana Community Grants Foundation stadium, giving the user access to six volleyball courts, would cost $187.50 plus gst per hour. Arrogant and nasty Editor, In the front page article headlined Debate over purchase [KMN, May 3], Councillor Euon Murrell comes across as a particularly arrogant and nasty individual. It has become quite apparent that he only represents himself rather than his Northern Ward constituents. ALLAN BLOOMFIELD, Pauatahanui. For the future Editor, I note adverse public comment made regarding the Porirua City Council s recent purchase of land in Plimmerton. Older residents will recall the public opposition to the purchase of the former Medical Supplies Building, which now houses the library and Pataka. I imagine that 30 years later, few would be critical of the purchase made at that time. Back then it seemed, to some, a quite unnecessary purchase and too great a distance from the city centre. But today it is seen as a valuable community asset which integrates very well with adjacent community facilities. At high tide, a great deal of the Plimmerton beach is underwater and it seems to me that this land purchase will enable things such as family picnics on the land purchased, at times of high tide when most of the beach is unavailable for that purpose. In my time in public office I have discovered that there is never a right time for non- essential land purchases such as this. I do however believe that future generations will judge the council more kindly in respect of this recent purchase, than some of the present generation seem to. JOHN BURKE, former mayor, Paremata.
May 24th 2011