Kapi-Mana News : March 5th 2013
10 KAPI-MANA NEWS, MARCH 5, 2013 OPINION LETTERS EKERS' WEEK Lights too slow Editor, There appears to have been a significant change in the timing of the traffic lights at the junction of Mana Esplanade and Acheron Rd. Main road traffic now waits a significant interval, while no further vehicles emerge from the side roads. Another complication for southbound traffic at this intersection is the commencement of the clearway just past the junction. It took two changes of the lights for me to get through the junction at 2.45pm today, a typical Monday. I was stuck in the single line of traffic stretching north around the curve in the highway. The final irony was that although the clearway was not operating, for once there were no cars parked all the way to the Paremata Bridge. Often the delays serve the interests of just two to three parked cars. I only just made my 2.45pm medical appointment. How much longer do we have to put up with the under-utilisation of a four lane main road -- and the dangerous temptation to pass on the left, in the interests of saving time? KEN RAE, Camborne. Claiming your rights Editor, I d like to clarify a few points for Jim Gyton [KMN Letters, Feb 19]. Firstly, a private citizen is an oxymoron because a citizen is an artificial person that owes their allegiance to the Queen and has duties and obligations or benefits and privileges. Once again, a resident is another type of artificial person that has different duties and obligations or benefits and privileges, like paying rates, and not chopping trees. To have rights and freedoms you must be a flesh and blood human, unfortunately you won t find reference to a human in many council acts and statutes. Rights and freedoms are afforded only to those who claim them. Have you claimed yours? CRAIG SIMPSON, Porirua. Manners Editor, With reference to last week s report in the Kapi-Mana News of the council meeting concerning the changes at Porirua Whanau Centre. Although I might disagree with what Liz Kelly has to say, at least I have the decency to respect her opinion. I note that Ken Douglas has stated that he has lost any respect for Liz Kelly and that she has denigrated the role of deputy mayor. What does he think of the mayor when he tells Liz Kelly you are not involved, so shut your mouth ? I take it that he agrees. It is disgusting that the mayor, the so-called first citizen, to pass this comment to any person and should apologise to Liz Kelly. Perhaps he should seek counselling advice to enable him to address people in the correct manner, to respect their opinions and to uphold the dignity of the office of mayor. BOB ASHFORD, Titahi Bay. Different view Editor, This letter is in response to the page 1 article [KMN, February 19]. I wish to draw concern to some untrue facts. It reports that Ken Douglas says Liz Kelly has lost my respect and has denigrated the role of deputy mayor . I attended this meeting and and the quote is false. I recall Ken Douglas saying he was ashamed and embarrassed of the denigration of Ngati Toa and they have always been strong supporters of the Whanau Centre. He said the CEO (Liz Kelly) is a decent of Ngati Toa, and as a consequence, he s withdrawing his support for her as deputy mayor. I feel shocked that a white male New Zealander with no affiliation to Ngati Toa would have the audacity and confidence to make such a remark, let alone to the deputy mayor Liz Kelly who is proudly from Ngati Toa. When did an outsider looking in, who does not understand the values and traditional practices of a Maori culture, have a right to speak of Ngati Toa in this context? If there is anyone who should be embarrassed it should be Mr Douglas. Secondly, the comment made by Mayor Leggett you re not involved, so shut your mouth is also incorrect. I remember Mr Leggett only saying shut your mouth to Ms Kelly and Mr Douglas adding you re not involved as Ms Kelly protested a point of order during Litea Ah Hoi s speech. I thought Porirua City was a white ribbon city, clearly not if this behaviour is acceptable in our very own council chambers. Furthermore, the Pacific communities who were present at the council meeting were also not mentioned in this article, but played a significant role in this meeting as well as in the Porirua community as a whole and deserve to be acknowledged. These community leaders were Laumemea Anitele a Laumemea, Rev Tom Etuata and Sam Samuels. They did an excellent job expressing support for the Whanau Centre, the new name, staff and board. FA'AEAFALE'UPOLU SAMUELU, Cannons Creek. (Letter abridged) We stand by our report of the meeting -- Editor. Happiness is evident Porirua fared respectably in the latest Quality of Life survey, which suggests we are a pretty happy, low-stress lot, in touch with our fellow residents. Our feeling of a sense of community with others in our neighbourhood -- 63 per cent -- rated higher than any of the other five cities surveyed. Lower Hutt was next best on 55 per cent. Of course, given the other cities in the survey were metropolitan hubs -- Wellington, Auckland, Dunedin, Christchurch -- it would have been a con- cern if Porirua and the Hutt had not performed well in this category. Smaller cities, closer ties. Sense of community is more prevalent among residents aged over 50 and under 25, highest among Asian/Indian residents (78 per cent) and lowest, but still solid, among Europeans (60 per cent). Interestingly, the less money people earn, the more connected to their community they appear to be; 83 per cent of those with a household income between $20,000 and $40,000 felt connected to their community, compared to just 55 per cent of households earning $70,000 to $100,000. Porirua mayor Nick Leggett trumpeted the posi- tive community score in defence against the not-so- impressive numbers concerning residents pride in the city, which limped in at 52 per cent, ahead of only Lower Hutt (49 per cent) and a derelict Christ- church (33 per cent). Though the six-city average was only 58 per cent -- buoyed by Wellingtonians cult-like devotion to the wind (86 per cent) -- Porirua residents ambiv- alence to their surroundings appears to correlate with some inflated perceptions of crime. Despite the Kapiti-Mana police district being reported to have the lowest crime rates in the region, Porirua was in the top three in all but one perceived crime category. Skewed perceptions of Porirua are coming just as freely from within the city as from the media and naysayers outside it. And the cultural disparity in some of the findings suggest that though we may be well-connected to others in our neighbourhood, ties with people a few neighbourhoods over could do with some work. Take the much-maligned central business dis- trict where 42 per cent of residents feel safe at night. This drops to about a third among northern ward folk and Europeans, whereas eastern ward residents and Pacific people feel much safer in the city after dark (59 and 65 per cent respectively). Matthew Dallas, editor.
February 26th 2013
March 12th 2013