Kapi-Mana News : January 24th 2012
8 KAPI-MANA NEWS, JANUARY 24, 2012 OPINION APARTMENTS GO ON SHOW AT SUMMERSET AT AOTEA Apartments and care apartments open to view Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th January, 1pm -- 5pm Come along to this showcase of the very best in retirement village apartments, and see the great life that awaits you at Summerset at Aotea. Take a good look around our brand new 2 bedroom apartment designed for easy, independent living, and our purpose-designed care apartment within our much admired Main Building. We'll not only show you these top quality, spacious apartments, we'll also show 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. You ll nd us at 15 Aotea Drive, Aotea. LETTERS EKERS' WEEK Applaud Mr Right Editor, Do we really have to go through another year with this gloomy Gordon Campbell extolling failed socialist policy? Let s call him Mr Wrong and applaud Mr Right for a change. Is he really deaf to the problems of such countries as Greece who have borrowed and borrowed and then borrowed again, for that is just what Labour intended to do in order to support their mates in the unions. Only today s DominionPost editorial highlighted the unions sabotage of the Port of Auckland with their destructive strikes and also revealed the average wage of a wharfie was over $91,000 a year -- and still they strike for more! Further on, in his article, he goes on to welfare reform and jobs; one would think New Zealand had 50 per cent unemployed instead of only 8 per cent-- which means that 92 per cent were in employment -- not bad considering the world economy is suffering a serious depression, in fact, the most serious since the great depression of the thirties. Of course Labour attempts to scare the public fizzled badly, they were groundless and the attacks on Mr Key and his personal wealth were nothing more than a jealous reaction by those who had failed. Finally, he says that David Shearer is an unknown; not so. Whilst he stated that change was necessary at the opening of Parliament speech, he then went on to enunciate tired old socialist policies, all of which are known, have failed and there is little appetite for more amongst the electorates. A R SAMPSON, Whitby. Arena missed Editor, The commentary [KMN, Jan 3] on the proposed 3 per cent cap on rates over the first years of the 2012-22 Long Term Plan makes for some sober reading. According to PCC s unspecified plans it is intended to cut costs by $2.7m next year and by $1.4m in each of the two following years. Nowhere in the report is there any mention of the Te Rauparaha Arena and its associates which are costing the ratepayers an increasing bundle year on year. The voices of the original ratepayer opponents to the construction of the arena pointed out that the cost of construction would be as nothing compared to the increasing cost to ratepayers of running the facility year on year. According to the latest PCC annual report the ratepayers contribution to the indoor recreation budget for year 2010/11 advanced from $2.8m to an actual $3.8m, which in total amounts to about 9 per cent of rates revenue. So, how come indoor recreation doesn t figure in the capping exercise? Perhaps it s too embarrassing to warrant a mention.JOHN WATSON, Titahi Bay. Cuts possible Editor, Rates don t need to be capped. Councillors and executive spending on non-core items is what needs to be capped. And fewer managers, on lower salaries with no perks. Here are some ideas to help reduce rates and increase the amount of money available for key services like water, sewerage, stormwater, rubbish, roads, footpaths, libraries, sports grounds, parks, playgrounds and high profile local events. -- Renegotiate the contract for the tip management, so if the volume of rubbish handled reduces (as it has, as a result of the economic downturn and/or re- cycling initiatives), the fee paid goes down. At present it can only go up, not down. -- Sell all non-core property, including all CBD assets and the two residential properties recently purchased in Plimmerton. -- Obtain repayment of all loan, and cancellation of guarantees to Smartlinx and other similar entities. -- Dispose of all non-core businesses and activities. -- Immediately cease funding all trusts and other quasi-related entities. -- Stop spending money, including experts reports, on the CBD re-development, performing arts centre and new head office. -- Why does rubbish collection face the same 10 per cent cut as sister-city relations? Everyone benefits from rubbish collection. Only councillors, senior management and their partners benefit from sister-city relations. Sister-city relations budget should be cut by 100 per cent. -- Reduce the number of managers. There are too many managers, with too few responsibilities. -- Management bonuses should only be paid for exceptional, not average performance. Exceptional means maintaining or improving customer service while reducing costs. I have many more ideas to save money but, sorry to be cynical, I expect there will be nothing creative in the rate capping exercise. No tough management decisions made. No re-alignment of salaries and perks to the private sector. No protection of infrastructure and core activates from cuts. No new joint council cost-saving initiatives. But feel free to surprise me in a good way. ANDREW WELLUM, Camborne. (Abridged) Tough choices Editor, Your correspondent Rose Hudson from Karori slammed me and the Porirua City Council last week for failing to make the Performing Arts Centre happen. I am sure Mrs Hudson is aware that all councils face extremely tight financial circumstances. It means we have to make tough choices. People won t always agree with the choices we make, but I hope at least they can appreciate why we need to make them. I would love a Performing Arts Centre in Porirua, but here is the context. The council s insurance bill has jumped by $1.2 million in a year and we will be further delivering on our commitment to replace sewerage and stormwater networks. Other costs are rising. So while investing $13m on a performing arts facility won t affect residents of Karori like Mrs Hudson, it will certainly have an impact on Porirua ratepayers on whose behalf the council needs to make these decisions. Porirua residents will be able to have their say on the priorities of the council when we start the conversation on the city s Long Term Plan in the next few weeks. NICK LEGGETT, Mayor of Porirua City. READER RESPONSES: Loud television ads MICHAEL FOX: Great article about the sound levels and you are exactly right. They are all set at levels to annoy. They end up having the exact opposite effect to what they are intended to do. Most people I know just mute the ads so the advertiser misses out. If they were set at normal levels people would be inclined to leave the remote alone and the advertising message would have more chance of survival. See if you can get your article into the daily metropolitan papers as I see your message gaining traction. Whilst you re at it you might care to mention why we have to be subjected to ad onslaughts every eight minutes when other civilised countries work on 15 minutes. These other countries also have a free to air channel that is ad free and in Australia all sports matches of significance must be shown on free to air. MARIA MILLER: I agree with you totally. The TV ads are still too loud. In our household we constantly grab the remote and put the ads on mute. Now if I was an advertiser paying big bucks for my advertisement on television I would be concerned that I wasn t getting value for my money if viewers were muting during my ads. Visual is important, however so is audio. Also maybe the broadcasters should review the frequency of ads -- there are too many during programming. NZ should have a non-commercial channel like many other countries do. (Abridged) ALAN WICKENS: No noisy inane ads and no repetitive promos in our home. The answer has been in our hands for years -- the remote control button. It is used with every programme break. So much can be achieved without the ads; a drink, a walk outside, another few paragraphs in a book. While advertisers persist in screaming at us we ignore them.
January 17th 2012
January 31st 2012