Kapi-Mana News : June 21st 2011
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NORTH CITY PHARMACY North City Shopping Centre, Porirua WELLINGTON Ph: (04) 237-5777 Councillors say the rise in fares not fair By JIM CHIPP ' We need to do more to encourage people on to public transport, not punish them year after year with higher fares. ' Paul Bruce Wellington councillor Bus and train fares will rise, despite a $4 million fund the Greater Wel- lington Regional Council has amassed to offset oil price rises -- and not touched. Snapper price, 10-trip, most monthly tickets and adult cash fares for more than eight sections will rise by an average of 5 per cent, starting on September 1. There will be no change in adult cash fares up to eight sections or child fares up to nine sections. Child fares over nine sections will rise 50 cents. Special stadium fares will rise $2 to $12 return on the Hutt Valley line. Rover tickets and after-midnight fares will not change. The minimum fare on the Wairarapa trains will be $9.50. Wellington-based councillors Paul Bruce and Daran Ponter, and Kapiti councillor Nigel Wilson, voted against the increases. Mr Bruce said the council has accumulated more than $4m in anticipation of oil price shocks that never happened because of the rising New Zealand dollar. The rises were unnecessary and extra revenue could be captured from increased commuter numbers following the introduction of the more reliable Matangi trains, he said. We need to do more to encourage people on to public transport, not punish them year after year with higher fares. Council economic wellbeing com- mittee chairman Peter Glensor acknowledged the fund s existence. The dollar is very high at the moment, he said. Mr Glensor said the council would spend $2m of it in the next year and $2m more during the next. He said Mr Bruce regularly preaches a lot of doom and alarm over oil prices . Mr Glensor said last year s increases were focused on cash fares in central Wellington, and long- distance fares. Year after year we try to spread it around so that no-one gets hit two years in a row. The Government has ruled that the council must recover half of the costs of public transport operation from fares, he said. It s well-known that there is some elasticity. A 10 per cent increase in fares brings a 3 per cent drop in patronage, but it is temporary. The council s transport rate increased 10 per cent this year and 13 per cent last year. I believe that we cannot just keep whacking the ratepayer with these costs. We think the 50-50 split is about right, Mr Glensor said. Mr Wilson said he wanted the council to focus on efficiencies rather than pass on cost increases. Mr Ponter wanted a simpler fare system that gave bigger discounts for students, off-peak travellers and beneficiaries. Boss not lovin' it By ANDREA O'NEIL Bigger fish to fry: Porirua McDonald's franchise owner Trevor Campbell wants to future-proof the CBD, starting by demolishing the canopies and building more office space. His business has achieved a national milestone, but Trevor Campbell hardly noticed -- he s focused on improving the future of inner-city Porirua. Porirua McDonald s res- taurant celebrated 35 years in business last week, the first in New Zealand. Mr Campbell, 48, has owned the franchise for 20 years. He has worked for McDonald s since the 1970s, first flipping burgers as a Hutt Valley High School student, then working in the burger chain s corporate team. In 1991, sick of travelling away from his family for work, he bought Porirua McDonald s. I didn t want to be living out of hotels and suitcases. Two years ago he moved the restaurant out of the canopies area, and does not mince words about his opinion of Porirua s retail heart: This area is a hole. As chairman of the Canopy Connection, Mr Campbell is leading the call to revitalise the city centre. Canopy Connection, a lobby group made up of 140 businesses under the canopies, is working with Porirua City Council to improve the space. They want to turn the Cob- ham Court car park into a green space, build better access roads and increase office space in the area. The first blow to the area s retailers was when North City mall was built in 1992, Mr Campbell says. The canopies were built as a response to the mall, and retailers contributed half the $4 million cost of erecting them. But the area has become run down, and recently retailers commissioned a report on how to revitalise central Porirua. A key recommendation is doubling the city s office space to stop the daily commuter flow towards Wellington. Two-thirds of Porirua s workforce have jobs outside the city, Mr Campbell says. For the city to survive, we have to get more people working here. Porirua was built for a popu- lation of 40,000, and urgently needs residents, businesses and the council to consider for its current and future population. How do we actually change the nature of the city and its use? Mr Campbell asks. You start with who the popu- lation is, their needs.
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