Kapi-Mana News : January 29th 2013
TUESDAY, JANUARY 29, 2013 PORIRUA CITY & TAWA www.kapimananews.co.nz INSIDE: OPINION 10 | EYE ON CRIME 15 | WEEKLY WORKOUT 22 | CLASSIFIED 46 | SPORT 52 Bupa alarms residents By ANDREA O'NEIL Council approves wing A David and Goliath-type battle to prevent an extension to Whitby Rest Home and Hospital has been lost by the self-described Davids'', those living in the shadow of the planned building. The rest home, run by Tauranga-based company Bupa, has been granted approval by Porirua City Council to build a 29-bed hospital wing on 4 and 4a Observatory Close. The new building will vary in height between 4.8 and 7.95m, and will measure 920sqm. Staff numbers will increase from 22 to 35. The project fails to meet cri- teria for suburban developments in Porirua's District Plan, so its merits were considered at a judicial hearing last November, and approval was granted last week. The hearing panel chairwoman, city councillor Sue Dow, acknow- ledges that under the District Plan Bupa should have to provide 177 car parks for a building of the size it was planning. It will pro- vide 21. The rest home's buildings will also exceed its maximum site allowance by 3242sqm. But the panel was satisfied the visual impact on the building would have minor effects on its residential neighbours, especially once plants were in place to soften its appearance. Also, providing beds for older members of the community was a positive effect of the project, the panel said. The project received five objec- tions from neighbours who were concerned about the project's size and appearance, the lack of park- ing and increased traffic, noise during construction and the effect on property values. Three objectors are considering an appeal to the Environment Court. Plumber Neville Glennie, who built his house with wife Joyce four years ago, said their retire- ment plans have been ruined by the extension. We're going to lose money on our property,'' he said. I retire in five years. I bought this land as an investment for myself, to sell in five years and move into a smaller house. That's kind of ruined now because of this eyesore next to us.'' The new building will loom above their back garden, destroy- ing their privacy, Mr Glennie said. It's just going to be so over- bearing. If they down-sized it quite a lot we'd be happy with it.'' Objectors were given just five days to prepare for November's hearing, and lacked the money and expertise to take on Bupa, Mr Glennie said. We were like the little boys against all these people from Tau- ranga with all these solicitors and engineers. We're just average peo- ple, we haven't got experts. Nor- mal people like us haven't got a dog's show against these people, they've got so much money.'' Fellow Antipodes Ln resident Mike Fox is furious a building which breaches so many District Plan rules has been allowed. He built his house four years ago on the understanding there would be houses on neighbouring sections. I don't believe the District Plan provides any protection to the residents of Porirua City,'' he said. They've bent all the rules to allow this.'' Bupa declined to comment to Kapi-Mana News until the three- week appeal period finishes. BACK TO SCHOOL BUDGET Back to school: Sarah Dow's children Ixca, 9, Zaqueo, 3, and In ˜aki, 5, enjoy the last of the summer sun. Having three boys at school does not mean breaking the bank, Ms Dow said. By ANDREA O'NEIL Stationery costs vary: a Titahi Bay School pupil needs stationery worth $33 to $42, depending on their class, while a Russell School year 1, 2 or 3 pupil pays $19.65. High school stationery costs substantially more: A Bishop Viard College year 9 student will pay $255. Voluntary school fees vary hugely: Titahi Bay School students pay $40 a year, while Adventure School pupils pay $220. Porirua College students pay $30 a year, while Tawa College students pay $290. A basic uniform for Porirua College students costs $283, excluding shoes. A year 9 Mana College boy will pay $564 for a basic uniform and PE shirt, excluding shoes. It is a time of year when parents feel the pinch on their wallets -- back to school week. But single mother-of-four Sarah Dow said it's not necessary to break the bank when the children go back to school. Ms Dow has three sons at Titahi Bay School and one at Titahi Bay Preschool. School fees come to $60 for the family and she spent $75 on stationery this year for the three school-age boys. ''I think there's an economy of scale when you've got three kids at school.'' The biggest expenses for the family are shoes and trousers, and after-school activities. The boys go through a pair of shoes each every two to four weeks, no matter if she spends $9 or $100 on them, she said. She pays $340 a term for the three oldest boys' swimming lessons and pays about $100 a term for each child's tennis lessons and Nippers surf lifesaving classes. ''Living next to the beach I think it's a necessity that my kids can swim.'' Another strain on the wallet is school fundraising -- parents often contribute groceries to raffles and then buy the tickets, or sponsor their children for activities such as triathlons. Ms Dow saves money by re-using last year's exercise books if they're only half- written in, and baking rather than buying treats for lunches. For childcare she relies on a strong network of families in Titahi Bay. It's all new for Erick Life as a Kiwi: Erick Cardona Espinosa will be on the bus every morning this week, on his way to class at Bishop Viard College. By KRIS DANDO A wide-eyed Erick Cardona Espinosa will walk through the gates at Bishop Viard College for the first time this week. The 12-year-old Colombian and his fam- ily have been in New Zealand since Novem- ber, after three years as refugees in Ecuador. They left their homeland to escape the civil war and violence that has torn Colombia apart. Erick told Kapi-Mana News he was ner- vous about his first days at Viard, especially as the family arrived in Porirua too late last year to get acquainted with his new school. Last week he had no books, no stationery, no uniform and only a vague idea of what comprised a Kiwi day at school. In Colombia, the school day starts at 7am and finishes early in the afternoon. Learning English, making new friends and playing football were high on Erick's list of priorities, and he was keen to get stuck into subjects like maths, IT, music and art. I will have to pay a lot of attention and learn as fast as I can.'' Porirua has a strong Colombian com- munity -- 35 families in all -- so an immedi- ate support network was available to Erick's family. Many of the Colombian chil- dren attend Viard, which is used to taking refugee students. Kapi-Mana News wishes to thank Gab- rielle Peralta Montane from Porirua Refu- gee Services for translating during our interview with Erick and his family.
January 22nd 2013
February 5th 2013