Kapiti Observer : January 10th 2013
6 KAPITI OBSERVER, JANUARY 10, 2013 OPINION Delivered to 25,261 homes in Pukerua Bay, Paekakariki, Raumati, Paraparaumu, Waikanae, Te Horo and Otaki Find us at: www.kapitiobserver.co.nz www.facebook.com/kapitiobserver Ph: 298 5019 Fax: 298 2073 PO Box 110 Paraparaumu Media House 159 Rimu Rd Paraparaumu Manager/ Advertising Manager Gay Elliot email@example.com Editor Randall Walker firstname.lastname@example.org For News: Joel Maxwell email@example.com Ben Strang firstname.lastname@example.org Talia Carlisle email@example.com Classified Advertising Photo Orders Karen Newell firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 298 5019 4672276AD For Advertising Russell Woodley email@example.com Tonia Wright firstname.lastname@example.org 4530981AI ITS SUMMER! TIME FOR BEACH BBQS & THE WEDDING SEASON Shop 5, cnr Dunstan and Arthur Streets, Otaki Phone: 06 364 7464 Web: www.skintechkapiti.co.nz If you are a regular at Skintech Kapiti, you will already know what all the fuss is about. If not... then its time to experience this award winning beauty therapy clinic for yourself. Look Great... Feel Great. Book your summer skin care treatments today 4747320AA YOUR NO 1 CONTACT FOR PROFESSIONAL INSURANCE SERVICE AND ADVICE ON THE KAPITI COAST AND OTAKI ALL ENQUIRIES WELCOME AND TREATED CONFIDENTIALLY WE OFFER SPECIALLY DESIGNED "PACKAGES" TAILORED TO YOUR INDIVIDUAL NEEDS - INCLUDING: • Trade Contractors • Rural Lifestyle Block and Farm • Motels, Holiday Parks & B&Bs • Restaurant and Cafe • Retail Operator • Private House, Contents & Car • Private & Commercial Travel PHONE RICHARD ANDREWES, AON NEW ZEALAND DDI: (04) 296 9012 MOB 027 422 2397 E: email@example.com FAX: (04) 902 5045 LETTERS RULES We welcome your letters to the editor but they must contain the writer's name, address and phone number. Pseudonyms are not accepted. Letters longer than 200 words, or submitted to multiple publications, are unlikely to be printed. We reserve the right to edit for brevity or sense. Send to: Editor, Kapiti Observer, Box 110 Paraparaumu, fax 298 2073 or email editor@kapiti- observer.co.nz. Crossing a work in progress I write in reply to the uninformed G Hutchings (Letters, December 20). I am one of those parents who has spent many long hours getting the Otaki underpass in situ and it annoys me to hear you call it a white elephant. The fact is we have campaigned for the state highway crossing to be upgraded after the underpass was in situ because NZTA has refused, after many months of meetings and emails, to give us a ramp. Therefore anyone in a wheelchair, pushing a pram, and a lot of children with bicycles are unable to use the underpass. We are still campaigning for a ramp, something we believe will make our children safer, and something this community has been asking for for nearly 30 years. Yes children still cross the highway, but until we have a ramp we cannot block off this death trap waiting to happen. We were also promised by NZTA that speed flashing signals'' would be installed within two to three months to further slow traffic for safety -- that was in August. Children, like adults, are inherently lazy. Do you really think they would walk all the way down County Rd. Please don't insult the efforts of some well meaning mothers with your ignorance. If you have a better way to get anything from NZTA we welcome your expertise. Until then we will continue to chip away at them as we have for the last 12 months. Shelly Warwick Otaki No drought of consultants With KCDC's penchant for spending ratepayer money on consultants, it was probably not surprising to read of yet another consultant engaged to facilitate a workshop (Pool to open earlier again, December 17). Surely with the number of council employees having the title manager'' and the CEO receiving a substantial salary because he is doing a good job'' there must be the expertise to organise the aquatic centre opening. But then I note that the community services group manager stated the importance of having robust discussion'' between councillors, the mayor, council staff and external parties. Finally, an admission that it takes independent facilitators to provide robust discussion between council and external parties. There is one potential problem for the opening that has not been taken into account. If we have a drought this summer, there may not be enough water to fill the new pool for the March opening. I have asked the CEO about the contingency plans in the event of drought. His reply was to assure me that there will not be a problem as the pool will be filled over a few days. Little wonder we pay so much for consultants. Helene Donaldson Paraparaumu Coastlands could do with more seats In the short time I have moved to Paraparaumu I have found it a pleasant area to live, the local populace and the weather contributing to my assessment. What perturbs me though is, given the fact Coastlands shopping centre and surrounding car parks are well patronised, particularly by our senior citizens, that there is an absence of trees or shrubs to afford some shade in these otherwise barren areas. Also, considering the over abundance of elderly shoppers, there appears to be a dire shortage of public benches or seating facilities outside and within Coastlands shopping mall complex, other than the food court areas, which creates a situation whereby shoppers have to buy food from the outlets that provide the existing seating, whether hungry or not, or remain on their feet so those who have purchased a burger or curry can eat their meal sitting down. Can Kapiti council suggest to the powers that control the Coastlands operation, the wisdom of addressing this problem in the near future. Ron Blair Paraparaumu Winston Peters back in spotlight TALKING POLITICS GORDON CAMPBELL David Shearer's untested abilities were a prime focus of political coverage last year, but during 2013 the spotlight will undoubtedly shift on to a far more familiar figure in the political arena. On current polling, NZ First leader Winston Peters looks set to become the kingmaker after the 2014 election. As a consequence, Peters' plans and allegiances will be the subject of endless specu- lation throughout this year. The likely scenario? All year, Labour and the Greens are being set up to wear any odium from being associated with Peters, who -- as in 1996 -- is just as likely to find any number of compelling reasons during the post-election negotiations to take affront, switch sides and join a National-led coalition arrange- ment. No-one should be surprised at such an outcome, given there are few obvious advantages for Peters as the third wheel in a centre-left government. During 2013, therefore, any Peters v National conflicts are best viewed as merely token play fights. As a consequence though, National can afford to allow its poll support to dwindle into the low 40s this year, and still hope to head the next government. The challenge for the centre-left will be to make a realistic assess- ment of Peters' intentions early in 2013 and act accordingly, and not rely on him to make up the numbers in any Labour-led gov- ernment. In the short term, the first pol- itical event of 2013 will be the likely appointment of Agriculture Minister David Carter as the Speaker. Nick Smith is tipped to return to Cabinet as Carter's replace- ment in the subsequent reshuffle, but the fate of Education Minister Hekia Parata will be the public's prime concern. Prime Minister John Key may well conclude that Parata could hardly have a worse year in edu- cation this time around, and retain her in her current post. If not, a job switch with Social Development Minister Paula Ben- nett looms as another solution for Key's most pressing management problem -- what the heck to do with Hekia? The Electoral Commission's MMP reforms will almost cer- tainly result in the government embracing a 4 per cent MMP threshold. The only question will be whether this kicks in at the 2014 election, or not until 2017. Choosing a 2014 start date could look self-serving, given the Key government would benefit immediately from the way a 4 per cent threshold would help to propel the Conservatives into Parliament. Talking of thresholds, the anti- asset sale campaigners now claim to have gathered the roughly 300,000 valid signatures needed to hold a non-binding referendum later this year on the govern- ment's partial asset sales pro- gramme -- which also faces a Supreme Court challenge at the end of this month. The programme is likely to pro- ceed, despite both tests. With its foundation leadership on the way out, the Maori Party will struggle in 2013 to emulate the Greens' transition to new lead- ership. The Greens have problems of their own. Having being bullied by the Clark government, the Greens will be unwilling to repeat that experience, but as yet, they have proved unable to reach the 15 to 20 per cent poll ratings they need to bargain effectively for power in any Labour--led administration. Finally, if Key does decide to retire shortly after the next elec- tion, 2013 should be the year that the tyres are firmly kicked on Judith Collins as his likely suc- cessor.
January 3rd 2013
January 14th 2013