reminder that council Long Term Plan submissions close next Monday evening

Reichskanzlei 2You may think that they won’t listen to you, and there’s good reason to think that, but it’s like voting in the elections — if you do nothing, they will take that as a signal that you don’t care what they do to you and your community.

The “consultation” document is downloadable here

You can indicate that you wish to speak to your submission, and if you do you will be contacted and offered a date and time. “At this stage we intend to hold submission hearings during the week starting 14 May 2018.”

The Council will meet to consider all submissions in June and it is anticipated that the Council will adopt the final 2018/38 Long term plan on 28 June.

Tauranga subdivision saga has lessons

bellavista

The Bella Vista Homes subdivision in Tauranga has been a local issue there for a few months, but has now made the national news following the announcement by the Tauranga City Council that all 21 properties in the former development at The Lakes have been deemed dangerous and cannot be occupied.

According to this article on the stuff website:

Building compliance expert Rose McLaughlan has catalogued issues across all of the properties and concluded that none of the buildings were code compliant. That was despite some having had Code Compliance Certificates issued.

McLaughlan said many of the defects may not be easily fixed, due to the nature of the soil and problems associated with uncontrolled fill and sub-surface erosion.

McLaughlan said remediating the land and repairing some foundations and slabs, may be virtually impossible.

The lesson for councils is that they need to careful about what they approve as anything that is subsequently found to have faults makes them liable.  The bill for Tauranga City Council is going to be big.

The other lesson is for those looking at buying in new developments: check out the developers. They will invariably be limited liability companies, so check out the directors and shareholders. The construction industry is plagued with collapses, from the biggest (such as Fletchers’ woes) to the smallest.

If the terrain they are building on requires a lot more work than originally expected, can they cover the extra cost?  You can’t help wondering about some of the ones you see happening now in Kapiti.

‘drop the economic development arm of Kapiti Coast District Council’

Guy BurnsGuy Burns, Deputy Chair of the Raumati Paraparaumu Community Board is urging Councillors to drop the economic development arm of Kapiti Coast District Council.

 “We have entered the silly season when rates raise their ugly head. Currently Council are considering introducing a commercial targeted rate for economic development, which will further increase costs for businesses.

 “History shows that Council is ineffective and wasteful when attempting economic development. For example, $1.5 million was loaned to Otaki’s Clean Tech Park in 2012; within a couple of years Clean Tech was wound up at a great cost to ratepayers.

 “Kapiti Coast District Council’s current economic development activities seem to consist of developing a website, grants, and coordinating and reporting on economic matters. Such things are best left for businesses and private enterprise to organise and develop. The best way Council can facilitate economic growth is to reduce red-tape and cumbersome compliance requirements.

 “The Long Term Plan is currently being developed. KCDC has budgeted over 5 million dollars a year for economic development. I urge Councillors to disestablish the economic development arm of Council and put the money instead towards lower rates.”

Steam trip to and on the Whanganui River this Sunday

Steam Inc wang-arrival“Travel with Steam Incorporated North from Kapiti via Palmerston North to the river city of Whanganui enjoying a full day of steam travel.  Departs Paekakariki at 7.20am, arrives back at 8.30pm.

“The train will be hauled by one of our coal fired steam locos.  It will comprise our fleet of classic red carriages. There is a buffet counter selling sandwiches, sausages, hamburgers, drinks and snacks.  You are welcome to bring your own food along.

Waimarie and train

“There will be 2.5 hours in Whanganui.  Optional tours available include a short river cruise on the Waimarie Paddle Steamer, a longer cruise on the river boat Wairua or a city sightseeing tour.

“Return train fare from Kapiti stations Adult $149, Child $109.  Also picks up at Paraparaumu, Waikanae, Otaki, Levin, Palmerston North and Feilding.”

The pick-up stop in Waikanae is 7:45 am; return at 8:05 pm.

Steam Inc. website for bookings

KCDC wants to sell off more assets

Reichskanzlei 2

We’ve now heard that from two separate, reliable sources.  On 26 February we noted that a vacant section in Weggery Drive, Waikanae, was going to be sold off and observed, “There doesn’t seem to be anything potentially controversial about it.”

However, the latest proposals are much more extensive and clearly are potentially controversial from the fact that they are getting “hush, hush, top secret” treatment from the KCDC bureaucratic elite.  They are obligated to tell the councillors their plans, but they don’t want the Ratepayers who fund their existence to know.

So what could be next? The council’s Social Housing as happened in Horowhenua?  The reticulated water supply?

The first would upset quite a few people, but the second would cause a major uproar.  Nevertheless, it was the real reason for the Dougherty+Rowan water meters: they make privatisation further down the track a whole lot easier.

Any councillor who votes for that shouldn’t expect to be re-elected so it probably wont happen before October next year, but it’s another reason why the water meters must go.

never mind chlorine gas in Syria, what about fluoride in the water here? An incident last week not far from here

Fluoride-PoisonSome may have seen this news item last week:-

Palmerston North City Council (PNCC) and Public Health Services of MidCentral Health (PHS) advise of a recent incident relating to the fluoride dosing system at Longburn.

During routine monitoring at 1 pm, Tuesday 3 April, elevated fluoride levels were detected in the Longburn community water supply. Laboratory testing confirmed the elevated levels at 8.7 mg/L, which is above the target level of 0.7 – 1.0 mg/L. On notification, the dosing system was immediately switched off. Samples were taken, followed by a complete flushing of the entire Longburn network.

Twelve times the acceptable dosage in the drinking water?  What if it had been even more than that?  Oops.  At least the Palmerston North City Council admitted the incident occurred, 8 days later.  Would the KCDC have done that or covered it up?

Fluoride salts are toxic, and in fact a lot more toxic than chlorine which Theresa May and her allies used as an excuse to bomb Syria and the Russians last Friday.

The Food & Drug Administration in the United States now requires that all fluoride toothpastes sold in the U.S. bear the following poison warning:

“WARNING: Keep out of reach of children under 6 years of age. If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, seek professional help or contact a poison control center immediately.”

The FDA warning is necessary because relatively small doses of fluoride can induce symptoms of acute fluoride toxicity (i.e., poisoning). Early symptoms of fluoride poisoning include gastrointestinal pain, nausea, vomiting, and headaches. The minimum dose that can produce these symptoms is estimated to be 0.1 to 0.3 mg/kg of fluoride (i.e., 0.1 to 0.3 milligrams of fluoride for every kilogram of bodyweight).

Our view on fluoride was stated at the time of the 2015 Waikanae ward Council by-election: consuming it should be a matter of personal choice and not imposed on people through the water tap.

Kapiti stormwater issues ‘extensive and expensive to resolve’

waikanae_stormwater

This is the reply to an e-mail that we sent Cr James Cootes at his invitation on how the problem of street and watercourse flooding in Waikanae (and elsewhere) every time there is a significant deluge is being addressed.


As I am sure you are aware the physical works to address the issues are in the vicinity of $246 million+

What we are asking is, do you want us to address these issues over the 60 years as previously planned or would you prefer us to address them over a 45 year period? 60 years = “old approach” and 45 years = “new approach” as you’ve referred to.

There is a programmed schedule of works with a site specific hierarchy to address the $246 million worth of works. In some instances works have to be done downstream before we can resolve a particular issues upstream as the Act requires us to not make changes that have an adverse effect to properties downstream. E.g.: We could put in a larger culvert that solves flooding on a particular property but then shifts that issue further downstream flooding 2 or 3 other properties. Hence why we are not allowed to do that.

I’m assuming there would also be a schedule of upgrades and renewals budgeted over the 20 years and that also there would be a mixture of plastic, concrete and asbestos pipes across the district included in that.

With regards to the significant development at Maypole (and others), two areas that KCDC have led the way a bit is in new developments requiring rain water tanks, grey water systems and to have hydraulic neutrality. This helps alleviate the pressure from new developments. As you’re also aware Development Contributions also assist and I have raised the question that the DC contribution is apportioned correctly and was given the assurance that we have it at the right level of contribution.

NSW government to plant 5 million trees to increase Sydney’s tree canopy to 40% by 2030

NSW premier

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the government would spend $38.7 million over the next four years on its “Five Million Trees” initiative, as part of its plan to boost Sydney’s existing tree canopy from 16 per cent to 40 per cent by 2030.

Under the program the government will plant as many as 400,000 native trees each year until 2030 and will give away another 15,000 trees to people building homes in new land release areas in western Sydney.

While Ms Berejiklian trumpeted the policy as a first for any Australian state government, dozens of councils across the country have also implemented canopy policies and targets.

Full article on the Sydney Morning Herald website.