Guy Burns condemns the council’s plans for investment gambling

addicted gamblerGuy Burns, Deputy Chair of the Raumati Paraparaumu Community Board, is concerned that the Kapiti Coast District Council is planning to use borrowing to pursue investments in the open financial marketplace.

“I’m concerned loans of up to $30 million dollars will be used to invest in financial markets in the optimistic hope of some return. With KCDC debt levels running at record highs, such investment has the potential to create further debt for ratepayers and higher costs in the long-run.

“Approval for the establishment of two investment funds, to be initially funded by borrowing, was slipped into the recently approved Long Term Plan without public consultation and with very little background briefing information being provided to Councillors.

“I asked Councillors at the Operations and Finance Committee of 16 August 2018 [where a 32-page document advocating this was presented by council staff], if they have fully considered the risk to ratepayers if financial markets crashed. I hope Council will not proceed further with the establishment of the two investment funds.

“At a time when ratepayers are tightening their belts to meet skyrocketing rates bills and increasing living costs, it is disturbing Council is proposing to take risks on the financial market, by borrowing even more money on behalf of ratepayers. It is like a debt-ridden household increasing its mortgage to gamble on speculative markets.

“Back in the mid-1980s, many New Zealanders borrowed to invest in financial markets only to be badly burned by the 1987 share market crash. The world economy is facing uncertain times, domestic business confidence is faltering, and all investments carry risk. I would hate to see the KCDC going down a similar path”.

“KCDC should stick to the provision of core services and reject using further borrowing to carry out risky investments.”

chlorination blamed for spike in hot water cylinder damage

Chlorine is added where a river is the source of drinking water as the catchment area may have creatures that spread giardia, but a simple carbon filter will remove it from drinking water, see an earlier post.

chlorine hwc damage

Christchurch plumbers and property managers are worried about the surge in failing hot water cylinders, and many blame the city’s chlorination regime.

The controversial chemical, which has been added to drinking water since March, may have led to leaks in pipes and cylinders, leaving landlords with a $2,000 replacement bill [that figure is conservative, we know from our own experience. — Eds].

A large number of plumbing faults have been reported by four separate property management firms, while one manufacturer says demand for new cylinders has doubled.

full article on the stuff website

a humpback whale leaps out of the sea

Juneau humpback statue

Sort of — this is a public statue/fountain on the waterfront in Juneau, Alaska.  These migrate over large areas and when we were in Hawaii in May we saw presentations on them where they breed, but a few weeks earlier had gone elsewhere including to Alaskan summer waters — where we saw a few doing this leap, but so fast that we had to make do with this as our photo of that.

The Humpback whales are a Pacific-wide marine creature that were almost hunted out of NZ waters in past decades; they still face that threat in waters near Japan.

DoC’s webpage on them.


There’s more to whitebait than fritters — Conservation blog

The whitebaiting season began yesterday on mainland New Zealand and lasts until 30 November (except on the West Coast of the South Island, where it runs from 1 September to 14 November).

The practice of some whitebaiters near the Waikanae River mouth of driving over the protected reserve to reach it has been condemned on here; hopefully they will heed the prohibition this year.

What is one fish and six fish at the same time? Whitebait are actually the juvenile forms of 6 different native fish species that are migrating back up streams or waterways to develop into adults.

via There’s more to whitebait than fritters — Conservation blog

Peka Peka to Ōtaki ‘Ewy’ to get asphalt surface instead of annoying chip seal

Ewy construction

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has announced that they will use Epoxy Modified Open-Graded Porous Asphalt (EMOGPA) instead of chip seal on the PP2Ō Expressway “in response to growing traffic demands now and into the future.”

In 2013, based on traffic modelling presented, it was determined that chip seal was the most appropriate and cost effective surface for the expressway.

The Mayor says he’s pleased the Transport Agency has made this decision as it will benefit both local community living near the PP2Ō Expressway and motorists.

“As I understand it, EMOGPA is longer-lasting than chip seal and will make for a much smoother driving experience. It drains better and faster during storm events and will help reduce the traffic noise for people living near the expressway.”