Kapiti Observer : May 19th 2011
Solid support for meters By JOEL MAXWELL Most councillors agree There is near-unanimous political will around the council table to introduce water metering in Kapiti. A Kapiti Observer survey of all councillors asking their position on meters revealed only one with mixed feelings'' about user-pays for water as a vote looms on the plan. Strong supporters include vet- eran councillor Diane Ammund- sen who was keen to see a user- pays system introduced in Kapiti. She was joined by first-time councillor Tony Lester who said he was strongly in favour'' of metering, and was the councillor who first raised the idea during annual plan discussions. Hilary Wooding was another happy to state her support for metering -- particularly as a way of making people more aware of the value of water in Kapiti. Waikanae ward councillor Tony Lloyd was the only one with serious concerns about the proposed metering. He has mixed feelings'' after concerns raised with him about metering and had asked for more information from council staff about costings. And I need to have an answer on those before I'm really even prepared to discuss them any further.'' Next week councillors will hear submissions on the proposed change to the long-term plan, introducing a water meter charge. If councillors accept the change, with a vote set for June following the hearings, then meters could be installed from July next year and be in place by September 2013. Charging would start from July 2014. Meanwhile, most councillors rejected the suggestion that metering would open the door to privatisation of the water supply. K Gurunathan said the problem had been resolved for him with proposed changes that would make privatisation more difficult after metering than it is now. We're heading to a regime where it's harder to privatise because it would be highly politicised, and the issue is put through a more rigorous demo- cratic process.'' Hearings for submitters on introducing a water meter charge, and the draft annual plan, run from Tuesday to Thursday next week. The council will consider the submission at the start of June with a final vote set for later in the month. Mayor Jenny Rowan was unavailable for comment. Your community partner for more than 60 years THURSDAY, MAY 19, 2011 IN BRIEF Residents speak out over losses, page 3 Why is she paying for parking? page 5 Third time lucky for kiwi parents, page 7 INSIDE Kicked when down Three teenagers have been arrested in relation to an assault on Friday night where a man was kicked in the head and body while he lay unconscious on the pavement outside Monteith's Brewery Bar at Kapiti Lights. Constable Ariki Vertongen said a 17-year-old Paraparaumu man and two 18-year-old Wellington men were arrested after the incident at about 11.30pm. The 34-year-old victim was treated by ambulance staff and interviewed by police after the attack. The teenagers were remanded on bail to reappear in Porirua District Court on May 24. Cheeky sights Motorists on State Highway 1 saw more than stars on Saturday night after two men were arrested for ''mooning'' cars near Paraparaumu Railway Station. Constable Jason McFarlane said police spoke to a 21-year-old man and a 27-year-old man at midnight on Sunday morning after reports they had been exposing their bottoms to passing vehicles. One of the men was also found urinating on a wall as police arrived. They were charged with indecent behaviour. Editorial (04) 298 5019 -- Advertising (04) 298 5019 -- Fax (04) 298 2073 -- firstname.lastname@example.org They're off: Runners get started in the year 7 boys' race of Tuesday's interschool cross country at Waikanae Park. Hundreds gallop across paddocks More than 800 primary school children competed in the annual cross country at Waikanae Park on Tuesday. Rain leading up to the race meant it was shifted onto the pony club fields on Park Ave, leading to a change in course, organiser Peter Ellis said. I actually flipped the course this year to go the other way so that the kids were running into the wind while going through the trees, and had it behind their back on the finish straight,'' he said. Year 4 to year 8 students took part in the event, with the older students completing two laps of the 1km course and the younger children 1.5 laps. For the first time this year there was the Ellis Trophy for the school with the most runners finishing in the top five for each age group. Raumati Beach School claimed the trophy with 34 points, ahead of Waikanae on 24, Kenakena on 21 and Paekakariki on 19. All schools from Paekakariki through to Otaki took part. Hundreds of parents and teachers were at the event, with Mr Ellis saying it was the best turnout of support he had seen. COUNCILLOR COMMENTS Diane Ammundsen: Believes water supply should be user pays. Water is a precious com- modity . . . people don't appreci- ate what they don't pay for.'' Roger Booth: I think the balance of argument over the whole thing means it's a sen- sible thing to do.'' Believes there are two water issues facing Kapiti -- conserving water, and ensuring a long- term supply, both of which would be helped by metering. Tony Lester: Strongly in favour of meters, but says there is still a lot of education, plan- ning and answering community questions left to do. He supports meters for conser- vation, and cost avoidance and cost delay'' aspects that could help ease rate increases. Mike Cardiff: I think, prin- cipally, it's a good idea. But there needs to be quite a bit more discussion.'' Says there are still details missing in plan- ning process, but if meters can cut costs in the planned river recharge scheme, that's good. Penny Gaylor: I'm favouring it, but I'm absolutely like everybody else keeping an open mind.'' Points to a strong commitment by the councillors to put the water metering issue into the annual plan process. Peter Ellis: I don't have any problem with water meters . . . a lot of the older people, people in two-person households, will find they're using a lot less water than what they're paying for now.'' Has already asked the council to put a water meter on his house so he can keep track of his water use even before the proposed scheme kicks in. K Gurunathan: Is comfort- able'' with water metering, since he considers the issue of privatisation is dealt with. Still wants to see the charging for- mula to have his concerns about equity dealt with. Ross Church: I think they're a pretty positive option because I like the fairness aspect [of people paying for their level of consumption].'' Hilary Wooding: Is a strong supporter of water metering, with water being a precious commodity that shouldn't be used willy-nilly''. The idea that if you put in water meters, you're going for privatisation, is really misleading information.'' Tony Lloyd: Has mixed feelings . . . I'm swinging still.'' Council-led education, on its own, has not necessarily boosted water conservation.
May 16th 2011
May 23rd 2011