Kapiti Observer : November 21st 2011
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I suppose when it comes to Labour, I've been brought up as a supporter with my family and so, once again, I've always been quite keen on what they've done, and I've been a supporter of their MPs in the area. Haven't really thought too much about National, to be honest.'' What, for you, is the biggest election issue nationally? And locally? Personally for me, because I work as a teacher aide, National Standards are a big thing for me. I completely oppose National Standards, I don't like them at all. I think what we're doing [with stan- dards] is for our young people, we're just immediately expect- ing them to achieve on a level set by Government. It's not strength-based at all, it's just like this is the level you need to achieve at, and if you're not then you don't meet the requirements of our society'. Ultimately that's what National Standards are say- ing... Obviously locally [as an issue], we all know it: the expressway. I think it's quite a strong message which Labour are saying. If they get into government there will be no expressway. And I think that's going to push a lot of people in this district. I think a lot of people are going to be thinking about that and thinking I'm so anti this expressway, and if I vote for Labour and they get in, then there isn't going to be an expressway'. It's that simple.'' A referendum on the nation's voting system will be held at the same time as the election. Do you think New Zealand should stick with MMP and, if not, which of the four other systems would you choose? I'm probably the worst per- son to talk to -- I just don't know much about the whole referendum . . . as a young person I don't know much about it, and I don't think other young people know much about it either. So I've seen all the promotional stuff about it but from what I can make out, is that young people don't know . . . there's obvi- ously politically driven young people in Kapiti who will know about it . . .'' If you could bring in one piece of legislation, what would it be? I think it's about the jus- tice system. I think we need to toughen up on criminal stuff . . .Ijustdon'tlikethefact that people can offend, go to court and get quite a minimal sentencing, really, or the act. I think drink driving we have stepped up big on, that's got quite serious in New Zealand, but there's plenty of other stuffthatgoeson. . .Iknow that National are saying this [too], which probably contra- dicts what I've already said, [about voting preferences] . . . but I just don't think we're strict enough on the whole criminal sentencing thing, and giving them more time . . . and more support for the victims, really.'' Enrolment help Eligible voters who have not received an EasyVote pack by today need to enrol to vote in Saturday's general election, says chief electoral officer Robert Peden. The packs, sent out last week, include information about where to vote, the candidates for each electorate, political party lists, how to vote in advance if people cannot get to a polling place on election day and information about the referendum on New Zealand's voting system. If not enrolled, Freetext your name and address to 3676, go to elections.org.nz, visit any PostShop or call 0800 36 76 56. US troops' tragedy to be marked By JOEL MAXWELL Plans to mark the 70-year anniversary of Kapiti's friendly invasion'', including the return of a sur- vivor of a Paekakariki wartime tragedy, were out- lined in a report to councillors on Thursday. Kapiti United States Marines Trust member Allie Webber said the Kapiti celebrations would launch on what is US Memorial Day, May 28. She said the event will be based in Queen Eliz- abeth Park and is likely to include US veterans from the three camps that hosted US armed forces during World War 2. The trust hopes to open a new memorial for 10 sailors who died on the coast during a training exercise at Paekakariki. It's a great opportunity to build a profile for our marines' history and to foster relationships between New Zealand and American citizens,'' Ms Webber said. We're using the 70th anniversary to try and get a signage project that will tell people the history of this land and what happened here. Certainly our experience is that there's a huge number of Kapiti people, young and old, who have some sort of story to tell.'' From 1942 to 1944, more than 15,000 US troops were stationed at three Kapiti camps: Camp Rus- sell at Queen Elizabeth Park; Camp Mackay at Whareroa Farm; Camp Paekakariki in the village. In May, a first-person account from US signal- man Frank Zalot Jr, of the training tragedy that claimed 10 lives, was shared with a Memorial Day gathering at Queen Elizabeth Park. Mr Zalot gave a harrowing written account of the 1943 landing exercise that went wrong in a deadly combination of freezing sea temperatures, cold rain, gale force winds and the geography of the Paekakariki beach. While Mr Zalot, now 86, couldn't make it to this year's event, Ms Webber said he planned to return to the village next year as part of the Memorial Day commemorations. The trust was established in 2009 after a grant from the US Embassy.
November 17th 2011
November 24th 2011