We asked the three candidates — Peter Bollman, Penny Gaylor and Nigel Wilson — these same questions. The Politics in the Paekakariki-Raumati Ward Facebook page also gave its candidates questionnaire to them.
- Do you support either a) a commuter diesel railcar train service between Waikanae and Palmerston North to connect with a few of the electric multiple units to/from Waikanae? – or b) extension of the electric multiple units with electrification to Otaki?
Actually I support both of those. We are currently investigating the options for a diesel engine that would use the Matangi carriages for a service north from Waikanae. I fully support electrification through to Otaki. At present the government has said they are not interested at all and as they are the primary funding partner it has gone no further. A change of view from the government or a change of government and electrification to Otaki gets back on the table.
- Do you support or oppose the extension of the M2PP Expressway from Peka Peka to Otaki?
The money would be much better spent on providing fast, efficient public transport. Double tracking with a dedicated rail freight line makes sense.
- Do you agree that new bus stops in the Kapiti area be furnished with creative, artistic bus shelters rather than the stock form?
Yes I do. And there needs to be a lot more of them. The key is figuring out who pays. The present cost per bus shelter is about $25,000 and there are many regulations that need to be met including full disability access. I put a proposal to all of the councils in the region about a specific targeted rate for building more bus shelters and all have agreed so we are now down to sorting out the details. There are over 3000 bus stops in the region and calls for a lot more and most do not have shelters.
- What is your stance on the use of poison drops by the GWRC?
I presume this is a reference to 1080. GW uses 1080 on about 10% of its land, in mainly inaccessible areas as a method of possum control. As people are aware possums spreading bovine Tb to cattle and deer; spreadi giardia and cryptosporidium to people through water supplies; eat eggs and chicks of our native birds; strip native forest, killing trees and cause soil erosion.
1080 has been very effective at controlling possums, rats and stoats. Native forest and birds flourish with pests at low numbers. It is biodegradable and doesn’t stay in water or soil.
However there are also drawbacks of using aerial 1080 in that 1080 baits and poisoned possum carcasses are lethal to dogs. Many people have strong views against its use.
- Do you think public bicycle hire (free or otherwise) and electric vehicle charging points (free or otherwise) are a matter for the GWRC or the local councils?
If there are not entrepreneurs doing this then yes I think Councils can have a role. We are currently encouraging someone to set a public bicycle hire service for the new cycleway through Queen Elizabeth Park. Electric vehicle charging stations are going to flourish in coming years. GWRC is moving as rapidly as possible to a fully electric bus fleet and electric cars are here already and will become available in far greater numbers and at a lot less cost than they are now.
- Do you think there should be webcams in Kapiti and if so where?
I am a bit ambivalent about webcams (assuming this is cctv). At public places like railway stations and open plazas they have been very useful. However, there are downsides regarding citizen privacy as well. Many businesses already have cctv in place. I like this picture and there is a caption that says “1984 was not supposed to be used as an instruction manual”
- What is your stance on feeding bore water into the Waikanae River from the recharge system opened last year?
I think it is a poorly thought out, highly experimental scheme which could end up costing Kapiti tens of millions. The bore water itself (another very expensive failed experiment) is already known to be pretty dodgy so feeding it back into the river is of dubious value. Readers may have noticed that through the entire election campaign none of the candidates (primarily current Mayor, Councillors and community board members – have mentioned the recharge scheme at all – not a single mention anywhere. They know it is an incredibly expensive experiment and they have no idea if it will work or not. The maximum testing so far has been limited to 20%.
- Your feelings about the ‘Super City’ concept dropped last year?
I think the whole debate was very poorly handled. The Local Government Commission had an agenda and drove it hard without there being much in the way of genuine public discussion about the merits and downsides of amalgamation. Lots of the politicians freaked out thinking they would be unemployed and immediately went to extreme views. Similarly many adherents of a Super City overstated the benefits without much evidence. So I was very disappointed an intelligent, reasoned debate was not had. In any event the concept of a Super City for this region is toast. Discussions are taking place about shared services which is helpful. I believe the whole region and its constituent parts would gain significantly from have a comprehensive spatial plan.
The concept was dropped, and should stay that way. There can be efficiencies driven out of shared services without the need for a ‘super city’.
1. Do you support either a) a commuter diesel railcar train service between Waikanae and Palmerston North to connect with a few of the electric multiple units to/from Waikanae? – or b) extension of the electric multiple units with electrification to Otaki?
I want better rail services for our rapidly growing district. The extension of electrification to Otaki is absolutely in my line of sight, and I’ve been advocating for this as a District councillor to GWRC on behalf of the Otaki community for several years through formal submissions and informal discussions. That Regional Council hasn’t seen fit to put it in to its future planning is one of the many, many reasons I’m running for GWRC.
Electrification needs to be secured in to the long term plans, in the meantime and for the foreseeable future, we need to secure services in to and out of Otaki.
It’s not just about the workforce of Otaki wanting to travel south to work; to attract businesses to Otaki (where there is plenty of industrial land) we need to provide public transport to assist the workforce north in to Otaki. As for option ‘a’, as the KCDC delegate to the Capital Connection multi-agency discussions, I’ve been privy to many discussions over several years and know that our northerly neighbours are very keen to retain public transport connectivity, and I am keen to continue working with them to advocate for outcomes that enable as many communities as possible to travel on the safety and convenience of a rail service.
2. Do you support or oppose the extension of the M2PP Expressway from Peka Peka to Otaki?
The communities of Otaki and Te Horo never opposed that next part of the Expressway.
That was due to the fact that there had been the expectation it would happen, and the designation in place since the early 1990s. When the PP2O part was first announced, as a then Community Board member, I issued a challenge to NZTA for them to front up with $1 million to help the Otaki community manage the impact of the bypass on the community. It was audacious, unheard of, completely pie in the sky, but guess what, after a great deal of support from KCDC and the Otaki Community Board we negotiated an unprecedented deal with NZTA and they are fronting up money (matched by KCDC) to promote Otaki as a destination. That’s a $300,000 investment. It pays to speak up for what you want.
3. Do you agree that new bus stops in the Kapiti area be furnished with creative, artistic bus shelters rather than the stock form?
We are bursting with creative people, aside from meeting structural and safety requirements, why wouldn’t we want to express our unique flare and personality. If we’ve met, you’ll notice I’m pretty keen on bright colours myself – hence my fushia pink election signs.
4. What is your stance on the use of poison drops by the GWRC?
As I have answered to other communities on this topic, I believe it’s time for GWRC to consult with the community as to the views of people on how to manage the hugely important topic of pest and weed management. And that conversation needs to happen in conjunction with KCDC.
5. Do you think public bicycle hire (free or otherwise) and electric vehicle charging points (free or otherwise) are a matter for the GWRC or the local councils?
As I’ve been saying throughout my campaign we have to stop the culture between councils of competition, and bring about a culture of collaboration between Regional and District councils. This topic is one where that different approach would best serve achieving a good outcome for Kapiti. It’s in the interests of both councils, but ultimately, and more importantly it’s in the interest of the Kapiti Coast communities to get on with it.
6. Do you think there should be webcams in Kapiti and if so where?
Unless there is a particular public safety reason, or high priority for public information, I don’t want to unnecessarily add costs to ratepayers.
Convince me if there is high public demand and benefit and then I’ll happily advocate for them.
7. What is your stance on feeding bore water into the Waikanae River from the recharge system opened last year?
As the resource consenting authority GWRC has given the river recharge scheme it’s highest rating and longest possible term, so I support the view that recharging water from the aquifer is a good solution to ensuring Kapiti has a reliable water supply. I note that Kapiti was the only area in the Wellington Region that didn’t have to impose water restrictions last summer.
8. Your feelings about the ‘Super City’ concept dropped last year?
Like most people, I have lost count of how many rounds we were taken through, by the current elected GWRC representation, on the amalgamation issue, and we have nothing to show for it, except the bills and the damaged relationships between various councils as everyone took to their bunkers to fend off others. As I’ve been saying, I want to contribute to changing the culture of GWRC from one of competition to one of collaboration.
That is why when there were discussions last triennium I was the councillor that went with Mayor Jenny Rowan in to those multi-council amalgamation talks, and this term the councillor who went with the current Mayor Ross Church for multi-council talks on re-configuring our region wide transport network.
As a point of clarification, webcams are cameras intended to provide scenic pictures of an area on either an official or unofficial (fairly rare) website to show general conditions. They are thus different from security cameras which are intended to get identifiable pictures of people who may have been responsible for crimes in the vicinity. — [Eds]