Kapi-Mana News : February 26th 2013
11 KAPI-MANA NEWS, FEBRUARY 26, 2013 OPINION 4756096AA MILLION DOLLAR GIVE AWAY FUJITSU'S 0800COZYCOOL (0800 269926) | www.grabagrant.co.nz We've got the best HEAT PUMP prices Call now for a FREE quote certificate inearlychildhoodeducation andoutofschoolcare(Oscar) FREEtrainingfor16 & 17 year olds* Child 9090 Chauvel eyes next challenge TALKING POLITICS GORDON CAMPBELL Labour MP Charles Chauvel leaves Parliament on March 11 for a job with the United Nations Development Programme. For eight years, Chauvel has been a strong voice on poverty and climate change, and his exit leaves Labour with no obvious alternative as shadow attorney- general. Ask him for his main achievement though and he'll cite a narrow defeat instead -- namely, the voting down of his attempt to regulate the loan shark industry that preys upon the likes of Pori- rua and South Auckland people. The need for reform hasn't van- ished. If anything, loan sharking has only got worse, he said, since his bill was defeated. The folk at the bottom of the heap have been hit much harder by the recession as it has deepened. But also, the [loan sharking] sector has got more sophisticated. Contracts are now being offered,'' he said, in full know- ledge that repayments can't be met, so the new contracts have systematically set about increas- ing the trespass and seizure powers of the repo agents.'' Does that not underline the impotence of an MP's job -- where huge effort is applied even to win only the smallest of victories? You've put your finger on a wider problem. There is a discon- nection between what people expect their elected representa- tives to do and see as common sense and practical solutions, and what we're able to do.'' Also, officials always give mini- sters reasons not to act. Even if I were a minister I couldn't say I'd be able to break the log jam on this [loan shark] issue.'' Getting the bill drafted and a debate started in the media and community, he said, may be the best you can do. Job satisfaction wasn't entirely absent, though. While I failed on the loan shark issue, I didn't on the [mur- der] provocation issue -- the gay panic' defence. I drafted it, Lianne Dalziel moved it and there was such an outcry after a couple of horrific murders that the Govern- ment was pressured to act.'' Being an MP therefore, is not always an exercise in impotent good intentions. You just have to pick your bat- tles and form your alliances as best you can.'' Chauvel applies the same posi- tive logic to Ohariu, where he reduced a Peter Dunne majority of 8000 to only 1006 at present. Boundary changes may, he believes, help Labour next time. There's been so much new housing in Ohariu -- particularly in the northern suburbs -- that the western hills will probably go into the Hutt electorates and I'd say there's some chance that the Khandallah end might head towards Wellington Central.'' Cause for cautious optimism, again. Chauvel may well need the same silver linings playbook in his new job, too. He'll be helping to train officials in newly emerged democracies to establish the likes of an independent electoral com- mission and a free press in the wake of colonisers and dictators who may have destroyed the nor- mal foundation of civil society. To make democracy sustain- able, you not only need officials who are freely and fairly elected but who are committed to building and honouring the ideal of inde- pendence.'' It sounds like an uphill struggle again, although with some grounds for hope. Chauvel's first United Nations assignment is in Quito, Ecuador, on March 27. LETTERS LETTERS GUIDE The Kapi-Mana News welcomes letters from readers. Letters will be published at the editor's discretion. Please keep correspondence to 250 words or less. We reserve the right to edit for brevity and sense. Pen names are not acceptable. If you feel there is a good reason you can't put your name to your letter, phone the editor. For identification, not publication, please include an address, not a box number and if possible a daytime contact phone number. Send letters to The Editor, PO Box 50 012, Porirua, phone 237 8118, or email email@example.com. Destined to fail Editor, The Porirua city centre will not be converted into a vibrant, commercial place by the cosmetic proposals to open up access to the Porirua Stream. The promised benefits are likely to be as ineffective as the canopies have been. The Gully motorway will effectively eliminate passing clientele from State Highway 1. It will also allow leakage of present users, especially those living in Whitby but also in Porirua East, to competing facilities in Johnsonville, soon to be upgraded, Tawa interchange (the new Countdown) and Kapiti (diverse shopping areas, warmer beaches). The council now needs to decide if it will allow new residential and commercial developments where the Gully motorway and SH58 intersect, both to capture eastern suburb residents' spending and to encourage population growth. The market can then determine how to deal with the existing centre. Alternatively, the council could promote a large marina development on the Porirua arm of the harbour, in reasonable proximity to the city centre, to encourage central growth. M J WILLIAMS, Tawa. History tells us Editor, With the 2013 Festival of the Elements behind us, and Creekfest on March 9, it is interesting to reflect on previous community festivals in the greater Porirua basin. Between 1970 and 1984 Porirua Community Arts Council's predecessor, The Mana Arts Festival, presented month-long festivals throughout the basin every two years. Its aim was to highlight local talent and welcome contributions from everyone living in this diverse multicultural city. Funding came from many community groups and businesses including Todd Motors and several breweries as well as Tawa Borough Council, Hutt County Council and Porirua City Council which was considering building a 600-seat theatre at that time. Each Christmas the Porirua mayor hosted a function for all the Mana Arts Festival volunteers in recognition of the work they had done during that year. The festivals always included joint music and drama productions from theatre groups in Tawa, Porirua/Titahi Bay, Mana and Pukerua Bay. These productions were designed to travel around the region, playing for a week in local theatres. There were major school productions, multicultural concerts, floral art, rock operas, jazz concerts, folk dancing, sight- seeing tours to historical sites and major visual arts displays and lectures throughout the area. Alex Lindsay and Norman Gadd performed at the 1974 festival, and two years later the full New Zealand Symphony Orchestra played for a special schools' concert at the old rec centre. The Mana Arts Festivals opened up Porirua City as a major multicultural centre where the arts were celebrated and there was something for everyone, a tradition that paved the way for the multicultural festivals we come together to enjoy ROSE HUDSON, Karori. It's a raid Editor, First of all, I would like to acknowledge the fantastic job our local fire fighters do in keeping our community safe and helping to save lives. We are very lucky to have such dedicated people willing to risk their lives daily. One must question though, in this day and age of pagers, mobile phones and text messaging whether it is really necessary to wake the Titahi Bay population with the deafening sound of the air raid'' siren at 5.30am on a Saturday morning (February 16)? It is also very imposing on the retailers that try to operate businesses in Whitehouse Rd right beside the fire station. I've witnessed a business owner stop and wait for the siren to finish not once but twice, before they could continue to serve their customers. While the siren may have been an integral part of the fire station's communications back in the day, New Zealand has had mobile technology for more than 25 years. Perhaps it's time to invest in a new system? TOHERANGI HOLLOWAY, Titahi Bay. Backing supporters Editor, I would like to add my comments to the article headlined: Change of carer shocks clients [Kapi-Mana News, February 12]. This was poor timing by Enliven to re-zone support workers just before Christmas. One of my clients said she did not even have a chance to say goodbye or give gifts to two other support workers who assisted her. You build a bond with your client which takes as much as five visits before there is trust. When this happens your clients rely on you, more than their family in some cases. One of the problems I have had with Enliven is trying to get more funds for petrol allowance which has not increased in four years. When you factor in insurance, running costs, WOF and registration, maintenance and depreciation, you find you are out of pocket and this can reduce your hourly rate by 50 cents to a dollar depending on the CC rating of your vehicle. On top of that, we are using our mobile phones to contact the office and client. We are not reimbursed, adding more expense to the support workers (I would personally be happy to break even). I believe our union is trying to improve our position with regard to wages and petrol allowance. It should never have come to this. These matters need to be attended to urgently as these support workers do an extraordinary job and should be receiving better attention as some are earning not much more than the minimum wage. If Enliven or Capital Health do not have the funds then we need the Government to come to their assistance, as our precious senior clients need our utmost attention. NAME WITHHELD, Porirua.
February 19th 2013
March 5th 2013