Kapiti Observer : September 22nd 2011
6 THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2011 OPINION DO MORE FOR LESS QUALCUT PETROL CHAINSAW 42CC DEAL $179 ICON PETROL LAWNMOWER $329 DEAL 299 KAPITI OWNED AND OPERATED SEASONAL JOB VACANCIES AVAILABLE! Email: email@example.com for details BUY RIGHT PRESSURE SPRAYER 5 LITRES DEAL $1375 ICON CORDLESS SCREWDRIVER PACK 9.98 L8 OFFERS VALID UNTIL SUNDAY 25 SEPTEMBER. ONLY WHILE STOCKS LAST LAVENDER 1 LITRE POT $6.25 DEAL FOR $1150 ONGAS BOTTLE SWAP AQUADECK WATERBASED DECKING OIL $76.98 DEAL 2 FOR $122 TUI VEGGIE MIX 40 LITRE + 25% EXTRA DEAL $1398 GAZEBO 2.4M X 2.4M DEAL $3998 OUTDOOR BRAZIER DEAL $99 3899890AJ $49 DEA $ $ LAVENDER 1 2 EKERS' VIEW Don't mess with wide footpaths I fear the Otaki township roading redesign debacle Chris Walker describes (Letters, September 15) is about to be duplicated in Raumati village as has already been done in Maclean St, Paraparaumu Beach. We are left with nasty, narrow streets forcing traffic closer together and leaving cyclists with nowhere to go. Delivery trucks have no choice but to double park and this becomes even more dangerous. Plantings take up more space and obstruct visibility. Parking bays reduce available parking spaces and make the ones created harder to get into. This is not good design. I love our wide open streets for the beachy rural feel they create. Why mess with that? Our footpaths are wide enough. I just wish they weren t so liberally decorated with chewing gum and ancient food residue. I m over playing dodge the splodge and having requests for cleaning ignored all year. Perhaps our new footpaths will be kept cleaner. Lynn Chapman Raumati Beach Dam it if it's so precious When driving around Paraparaumu you see the lovely signs telling us Our Water is Precious . What a laugh -- as if we didn t know. During July and August and at other times we witness millions of litres of free water, from the sky, being allowed to flow out to sea. Many countries would give their right arm to have our terrain and rainfall. As long as I can remember various councils have allowed our water to escape and no storage committed to. Now they have the audacity to tell us Our Water is Precious . Again, and at what cost, we have numerous reviews and meetings with ideas from experts on how to save water -- whilst we watch the millions of litres of our precious water flow out to sea -- just store it. Harry Collins Paraparaumu Meter debate quite simple These days we seem to be continually bombarded by messages from Jenny Rowan telling us that the subject of water meters is a highly complex matter. In return I have a message for Jenny Rowan. It is not at all complex and is so simple that it should be understood in its entirety by any reasonably intelligent child, let alone a politician. Here it is, once and for all -- we the ratepayers do not want water meters! Hugh Parsons Raumati South Suffering part of Christian heritage While I do respect the Rev John Murray s view on voluntary euthanasia (Crime or compassion?, September 12), I wonder about his knowledge and education in the Christian faith. When you take Christ as an example in everyday life, suffering -- including a natural death -- is part of the Christian heritage. Perhaps his God is a different God from the one I believe in. Otherwise I cannot understand his position. M A Westerbeke Waikanae Why is there an 'undeserving poor'? TALKING POLITICS GORDON CAMPBELL Given how the Rugby World Cup is dominating the news agenda, it was either brave or foolhardy for the Child Poverty Action Group to release its child poverty report on the first working day after the World Cup opening ceremony. The conclusions of the report are disturbing. One in five New Zealand chil- dren live in poverty, with sub- sequent effects on their health, educational achievement, and pro- ductivity -- to the point where early and effective intervention could add some $2 billion to $4 billion to the nation s gross dom- estic product and up to $1b to New Zealand tax revenues. Moreover, the current situation is being perpetuated by the policy emphasis on paid work as the only effective way out of poverty. During a recession, though, work opportunities compatible with good parenting practices are few and far between. Such an emphasis, the report concluded, was therefore bound to fail. The reaction from Social Devel- opment Minister Paula Bennett was hardly her finest hour. At first, she declined to com- ment, saying she hadn t read the report -- although it had been released under embargo the day before precisely to give the media and politicians time to read the executive summary at least. Bennett s reading pace suggests she may need remedial help from Education Minister Anne Tolley s national standards policy. When Bennett finally got around to commenting, she dis- missed the report as a political document and a rehash of work the authors have done before. Child poverty? Yawn. She d heard it all before. Just as predictably, Labour leader Phil Goff sniped away at the Key Government s reluctance to raise the minimum wage sig- nificantly, or to support early childcare education and adequate funding for childcare. In addition, the Child Poverty Action Group report urged free childcare for all children under six and better funding for lower decile schools. Yet the report s main recom- mendation -- that Working for Families tax credits should be made available to beneficiary fam- ilies as well -- is opposed by Labour and National alike. In fact, it was the Clark Government s decision to offer its Working for Families programme only to those families in paid work that first rationalised a discrimi- nation against beneficiary famil- ies, which the Key Government has been more than happy to per- petuate. In that sense, Labour and National seem to be agreed about lending a helping hand only to the children of the deserving poor (in other words, where parents are in paid work), while denying the same assistance to the apparently undeserving children whose famil- ies rely on benefits as their main source of income. This distinction -- as the Child Poverty Action Group argues -- is perpetuating extreme hardship among the very families most in need. So long as Labour continues to present itself as the champion of only that segment of the poor who are in paid work, it can hardly be a convincing opponent of the next round of welfare reform that National is promising will be a hallmark of its second term. Regardless, Labour does not seem willing to offer family tax credits to the taxpayers receiving a benefit. This makes little sense. During boom times, beneficiary numbers decline sharply as people readily take up the work avail- able. Under current economic con- ditions, however, to insist on dis- criminating against beneficiary families seems wilfully blind to the hardship currently facing many New Zealand parents, and their innocent children.
September 19th 2011
September 26th 2011