Kapi-Mana News : January 3rd 2012
10 KAPI-MANA NEWS, JANUARY 3, 2012 OPINION • Garden Equipment • Generators & Pumps • Diggers • Scaffolding • Tracked Barrows • Trucks • Car Trailer • Concrete Equipment • Augers and more... HIRE www.am-hire.co.nz PH 04 237 0308 6 Makaro St, Porirua (OFF RAIHA STREET) To Prosser St HIRE 4021037AB Official thanks for a good job Lined up: Police officers stand in formation during the Kapiti-Mana area annual Pay Parade, recognising their service throughout the year. By KAROLINE TUCKEY Kapiti-Mana police were recognised for their contribution to a reduction in reported crime, and their work in Canterbury and during the Rugby World Cup, during their annual Pay Par- ade recently. The ceremony, held at the Porirua Club, originates from fortnightly parades held for staff inspection, after which pay packets were issued. An inspection is still carried out at the annual event, which is held to recognise the work done by the officers throughout the year, as well as the cooperation of other community organis- ations they work with. Wellington District Commander Mike Rus- batch congratulated Kapiti-Mana police for a drop in crime in the area, in particular a drop in victim-based crime''. In the next 12 months, he said he hoped to see more pressure on gangs, drug-related crime and alcohol-related offending. Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett also thanked the assembled police for their work in the com- munity. You improve our communities and make us feel safer.'' During the ceremony, 27 officers were recognised with awards, including three for 14 years' service, and four for 21 years' service. Exploring our parks Never visited a regional park? Greater Wellington Regional Council has released its Great Outdoors summer events pro- gramme, which includes activities featuring some of the most spec- tacular landscapes in the region. This year we're running the Summer Sampler -- a series of short walks in regional parks that are great for families and suitable for most fitness levels. They're guided by Greater Wellington's park rangers and are a great taster for all that our parks have to offer,'' says Greater Welling- ton's Social and Cultural Wellbeing Committee chairman Nigel Wilson. There are plenty of events on offer for regular regional park visitors, too. I highly recommend booking a place on Explore Baring Head, to discover Greater Wellin- gton's newest addition to its regional park network. Another exciting new event is Hikoi Ki Whitireia -- Whitireia History Walk, which uncovers the rich his- tory of this important site.'' View the full programme and book at gw.govt.nz/events. Testing the relationship TALKING POLITICS GORDON CAMPBELL Honeymoon over for Key Mr Right or a brief fling? Three years into any relation- ship, the early romantic excite- ment has either been replaced by a deeper contentment, or by a What was I thinking?'' sense of regret. During the next 12 months, the New Zealand public will have plenty of opportunities to decide whether it really has found Mr Right -- or to conclude that its love affair with the National-led Gov- ernment was essentially a fling, to get over a previous relationship that ended badly. During 2012, the tone and con- tent of the Government's policy agenda are set to change quite markedly. To date, Prime Minister John Key and his media team have skil- fully pursued a soft-line, centrist form of conservatism that has gone out of its way to co-opt the Left's traditional language of sharing and caring. That's one reason why Labour's attempts to scare the public about Key (and attack him for his wealth) have fizzled so badly. However, in 2012 the process of welfare reform and the partial sale of state assets won't fit comfortably with the soft-line message. All very well to claim that wel- fare reform is about creating a work ethic, but you have to ensure the work is available. Besides, households in poor and middle-income New Zealand alike are already finding it hard enough to find a job, without having an influx of beneficiaries competing with them for the scarce work available and undercutting their own wages and conditions. The partial asset sales agenda seems almost as detached from current realities. For one thing, the global econ- omy is still in poor shape and could turn worse next year, if France (and its beleaguered bank- ing system) becomes the next domino to fall in the eurozone. External conditions will mean that the public will get a some- what lower price for the energy assets next year than their genu- ine worth should deliver. A few local investors will ben- efit from that lower entry price but most of the public will lack the funds to invest and the ability to pay the higher power prices that further privatisation will bring in its wake. In one sense at least, this 2012 scenario of welfare reform and partial asset sales will be a side- show. Neither policy will address the basic problem currently facing every developed country in the world -- namely, the lack of econ- omic growth sufficient to generate enough high-paying jobs to sus- tain the middle class, which is fast becoming an endangered species. After all, governments do exist for other reasons than merely to ensure that the books eventually get balanced. They also need to be agents of economic growth -- and right now the policy cupboard in New Zea- land seems virtually bare on that score. The unknown ingredient in all this during 2012 will be Labour's untried and unassuming David Shearer -- and as yet, not even the colleagues who voted for him as leader know how he will perform under fire. Shearer may have his work cut out. If middle-income earners con- tinue to struggle for survival while the Government continues to seem bereft of solutions, the resulting conditions of insecurity and resentment will suit Winston Peters down to the ground. So hang on to your hats in 2012, because it looks like a very bumpy ride ahead.
December 27th 2011
January 10th 2012