Kapi-Mana News : December 6th 2011
8 KAPI-MANA NEWS, DECEMBER 6, 2011 OPINION IT'S APARTMENT WEEKEND AT SUMMERSET AT AOTEA Apartments and care apartments open to view, Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th December, 1pm -- 5pm Summerset at Aotea is holding two special viewings to let you see the very best in retirement village apartments. Take a good look around our brand new 2 bedroom apartments designed for easy, independent living, and our purpose-designed care apartments within our much admired Main Building. We'll not only show you these top quality, spacious apartments, we'll also show you the fantastic village amenities. Divine Cafe, all weather bowling green, family areas, lounges with big screen TVs, library with computers -- they're all here, and another reason why these are "must see" retirement village apartments. To find out more about our Apartment Weekend, call Alan Mathews or Dawn Nelson on 04 235 9613. Find us at 15 Aotea Drive, Aotea. LETTERS EKERS' WEEK Inferior road seals Editor, Despite public opposition, Porirua City Council continues to use inferior materials to reseal Porirua s roads, the latest examples being Spinnaker Drive and The Mainsail in Whitby. Developers creating subdivisions in Whitby are required by PCC to seal new roads in hot mix which is superior for low tyre wear, low noise, reduced fuel usage and durability, but when it becomes their responsibility to resurface, they use the cheapest materials they can source. Talk about double standards. Meanwhile, our cars, carpets, lawns and gardens are damaged by masses of residual stones generated by the tar and chip seal -- for several kilometres each side of the work -- and the additional noise generated by this extremely coarse material impacts on the quiet enjoyment of our properties. Peter Bailey, the general manager responsible for road maintenance, is totally unsympathetic. His main concern is achieving the maximum metres of resealing for his budget dollars and he wheels out the standard excuse of having to charge higher rates if they use better surfaces. As if we don t pay high enough rates already in this suburb to justify acceptable roading surfaces. Let us hope that PCC is consistent in using these Third World materials when it comes to resealing the roads outside residences of our councillors and those executives responsible so they are more sympathetic of our complaints. PETE JENKINS, Whitby. Council infrastructure portfolio holder Anita Baker responds: This is the third time the council is responding to Mr Jenkins letters on this subject. Personally I think our roads in Whitby are good. We have had some issues around the lake but these have been fixed. In the end this comes down to affordable and acceptable levels of service. The council could use hot- mix surfacing but this costs a lot more money (and Mr Jenkins is not correct that developers are required by the council to use hot- mix). The council continually has to decide where ratepayers money is best spent. Some, like Mr Jenkins, would like more expensive roads -- others do not agree. We are now reviewing the city s Long Term Plan so if residents agree that more money should be spent on roads, then this is a good time to have your voice heard. Leave well alone Editor, I note the public notice concerning an aerial spray programme planned for mid- December over 12 hectares [29.65 acres] of Whitireia Park where a fire in February 2010 has left gorse to grow in its wake. While I am no industrial chemist and therefore cannot comment on the actual toxicity of the herbicide metsulfuron, I am of a generation that remembers the reassurances given to the public about the safety of earlier herbicide products sprayed in huge quantities around our countryside and communities, and so I feel this exercise may put the health of others at risk for little or no good purpose. With experience of life in rural areas, I can say that there is likely no real need to spray the gorse, as just leaving it alone will provide cover for native species to regenerate underneath, and in time they will come to overgrow the gorse, which will succumb naturally. This effect can be observed behind Elsdon camp and in other locations around the Porirua region. All that Mother Nature may need from our council in this instance is some faith in Father Time rather than human intervention with helicopters and herbicides. PETE CATE, Paraparaumu. Greater Wellington Regional Council biodiversity implementation team leader Alison Davis responds: The biggest problem presented by the gorse vigorously re-sprouting in the burnt areas at Whitireia Park is the increased fire risk that it will present. It takes 20-30 years for less fire- prone native plants to emerge from under the gorse -- and if there are more fires in the meantime, regeneration could take much longer and the fire risk could remain for decades. So by controlling the regrowth of the gorse, we can establish native plants more quickly and reduce the fire risk. The herbicide that will be used -- metsulfuron -- is of low toxicity to humans and land-based animals and when mixed with water in accordance with label instructions presents negligible risk to humans and land-based animals situated outside the designated spray area. The sites that will be sprayed are all more than 300 metres from residential areas and spraying will be kept well back from sensitive areas such as the coast and watercourses. We ll reduce the risk of unwanted spray drift by only spraying in suitable weather conditions. Exclusion thoughts Editor, I read today that PCC had spent an unbudgeted $850,000 in part to save possibly millions in relocating a sewerage pump station at Whitby and thought perhaps I could make Councillor Murrell happy by writing positively on the matter. But then I wondered why it was necessary to have the discussion with the public excluded. Perhaps it was because mention would be made of the council employee who approved the placement of the pump station on private land in the first place, instead of on a reserve contribution, which wouldn t have caused a potential issue? BRIAN COLLINS, Papakowhai. PCC chief executive Gary Simpson responds: The council consid- eration of the purchase decision involved commercial discussions which need to be undertaken out of a public forum in order to safeguard the interests of residents in ensuring the best purchase price is achieved. The pump station that Mr Collins refers to was built on the then Whitby Golf Course land during the time when the Hutt County Council was the local authority some 30 years ago. The golf course was planned to be part of Whitby indefinitely, although its development potential as housing land was protected in the District Plan and that is the use the land is being currently converted to by a subsequent owner of the land. While the golf course remained the site of the pump station was reasonable, being discreet and close to the main arterial network taking sewerage to the treatment plant at Titahi Bay. With the change of land use to housing the pump station needed to be in council ownership and the price paid reflected the developed value of the adjacent land. Reserve contributions are taken to pur- chase or develop recreation assets rather than sewerage pump stations and the very fine reserve network in Whitby is testament to the quality of the work done by the developers and the council in Whitby over many years. Porirua solutions Editor, The TV3 documentary on poverty and children is the most damning report on social wellbeing in Porirua I have seen in 41 years of living in Porirua. Using Porirua as a case study, the report states that the children living in poverty in New Zealand are the second worst in the Organisation for Economic Co- operation and Development, with only Turkey being at the bottom. Swedish paediatricians observed that in Porirua they found diseases among children which had been eliminated in Sweden for more than 100 years. We need to consider our own responsibility. Not only have we voted for policies which ignore the plight of children, we have allowed our local authorities to wash their hands of any responsibility to respond to child poverty in Porirua. The children portrayed in the documentary are our children. Their suffering calls for our love and concern. Do we need to have a city-based conference which brings together parents and care givers, local social service providers, and the national agencies for health, housing, education and ethnic affairs? We need Porirua solutions for Porirua people. Abridged DON BORRIE, Titahi Bay.
November 29th 2011
December 13th 2011