unjustified attacks by the Mainstream Media on Corrections Department staff prompts yet another Jacinda knee-jerk reaction

In the middle of last week, Patrick Gower of Newshub went into one of his many sensationalist meltdowns on his favourite subject of “right wing extremists” after a letter from a Russian (presumably a fan) made it to Brenton Tarrant in Auckland’s Paremoremo prison and he sent a reply which was put on the 4chan website.

You can watch Gower’s over-the-top reaction here

But it was not only Patrick Gower, the rest of Jacinda’s sycophantic Mainstream Media chimed in, attacking the Corrections Department staff who run the country’s prisons.

This wasn’t the first time those who have the tough job of dealing with the country’s crims while they are incarcerated have been on the receiving end of the MSM and politicians: earlier this year the provision of flavoured slushy ice machines to make their job more tolerable in summer heat was attacked, starting with the National Party leader Simon Bridges.  Was a $1 million cost spread over all the prisons worthy of such attack?  They were for frontline workers on average pay, not boss bureaucrats on huge salaries.

Now the mail censors at these institutions have been laid into; and quite unfairly.  The letter which made it to 4chan is shown below so readers can decide for themselves if it justified these diatribes — any reasonable person will have a hard time correlating it with Gower’s description and must conclude that he and his ilk are obsessive and ridiculous.

But the Dear Leader once again has reacted the way she usually does: she’s announced she’s going to swiftly pass another law to increase censorship, presumably so that anything remotely “right wing” in correspondence is excised. Neither this case, nor the situation generally, justifies anything of the kind; the prison censor’s decision to pass this example was fine as is the existing law. Leave well alone, Jacinda.

Tarrant letter


council candidate Iride McCloy condemns the Waikanae library saga

Iride A McCloyIride McCloy, council candidate for the Waikanae ward, says Kapiti residents are once again being used to reduce budget deficits. “As a Waikanae resident I am appalled at the neglect by council that Waikanae is continuing to experience.”

“Our present Mayor and councillors have spent considerable amounts on other localities on the Kapiti Coast, but Waikanae has largely been omitted.”

The Waikanae Library is the prime amenity of our Town Centre. “But it was not considered worthy of fixing, a completely erroneous attitude.”

“Adding insult to injury is the reduction of funds for library books which for many folks, particularly the elderly, are their back-bone to relaxation, learning, and sharing of information. The library is also a meeting place. All this shows that the present council has no heart for the welfare of the Kapiti community.”

She says the stance taken by KCDC on housing is another big indicator of a Council that has not connected to needs of the community, and its health and well-being. It also concerns her that this Council is pushing through important matters a few months prior to a new council being formed.

She asks, “Whose agenda is being used in these instances?”

Library woes — a big Kapiti election issue

girl student with-books

At least 16 years of leaks and months of staff health concerns preceded the closure of a Kapiti Coast Library because of a dangerous mould. Dominion Post, 21 February 2019 

The value of libraries

by Roger Childs

Libraries are key social and cultural hubs in all communities and the reduction of these facilities and their resources is a major issue. The fiasco involving the Waikanae Library is a cause for major Council shame. The budget for magazine purchases was cut some years ago, and now the budget for new books has been slashed.

Many readers will have seen Christchurch’s new TURANGA library which is a great source of civic pride in the garden city. The Council there decided that building a new library following the destruction of the earthquakes was a high priority — but what value does the KCDC place on libraries? 

Toxic resources

Mould, leaks and contaminated books had been issues at the ‘old’ Waikanae Library for over a decade, but why was nothing done?  Staff made numerous complaints. Where were the engineers, health experts and building inspectors? What advocacy over the problems was done by Waikanae Ward Councillor Michael Scott and the Waikanae Community Board?

Of major concern were the health risks of toxic mould, which can cause cancer, and infants and the elderly are particularly vulnerable. How many borrowers have handled contaminated books and magazines in recent years?

A recent report has rightly condemned the Council and their predecessors for dereliction of their responsibilities.  (See Salima Padamsey’s article of 13 August)

Library users will suffer to pay for the debacle

The book budget was cut from $402,427 in the precious financial year to the current $211,073, the council’s Group Manager, James Jefferson, said in a statement on Tuesday. –-Kapiti Observer, 9 August  2019

As Waikanae people know, the Waikanae Library has been closed for several months and a small pop-up library has opened in Mahara Place. To pay for this, the book budget for all four Kapiti libraries has been slashed.  But successive Councils were the ones who were negligent, so why should library users suffer?

One present councilor has observed that there is not the room in the Paraparaumu Library for a lot more books, but one wonders when she last visited it.

A big issue for voters

Voters have the opportunity in October to choose Kapiti’s Mayor, Councillors, their local Community Board, the Greater Regional Wellington Council Kapiti Representative and the Hospital Board. The first three of these have been in office while the library problems have mounted.

Among other issues, their appalling stewardship of the libraries should be a key consideration of who should be elected / unseated this year.

Kapiti Historical Society — August 2019 Newsletter

In this issue–

  • The Society’s programme – Kapiti history and more
  • Feedback on Larry Keim’s talk last month
  • The August session – Mike Alexander on conservation in South Kapiti
  • The programme for the rest of the year
  • Further down the track
  • Suggestions and help
  • A varied programme

The Society is based in Kapiti, so logically we have most sessions based on a local theme or topic. Six of our nine talks so far have been, and this month we shift to the environment and the changing scene in the South Kapiti area.

The session is on Tuesday 27 August at 7.30 pm

Down the track we will be offering plenty of variety:

  • Visiting the Western Front
  • Coastlands 50 Years in the making
  • Sailors’ Salty Language
  • The Hadfield legacy

We have over sixty people on the mailing list, but we haven’t seen a number of you — so come along and bring your friends!

Thanks to our July speaker: Larry Kime

US Marines KapitiLarry spoke to an audience of about 30 about the U.S. Marines’ love of New Zealand. He set the friendly invasion in context with an explanation of what was happening in the Pacific in late 1941 and early 1942.

Then he elaborated on how there were some mixed feelings among New Zealanders about the newcomers and even some minor clashes in Wellington and Auckland. However, the vast majority of local people, especially women, were very happy to see them here in our hour of need and acceptance of their presence grew. Many New Zealand women married Marines.

The talk generated some interesting questions and plenty of discussion over supper.

Next Talk – Mike Alexander

A History of Environmental Conservation in South Kapiti

Tuesday 27 August at 7.30pm
Kapiti Uniting Church
10 Weka Road
Raumati Beach
Gold coin koha. Thanks

Enter via the main door of the church at the top of the driveway off Weka Road.


Mike will be looking at how the environment has changed through time in the areas which now include Queen Elizabeth Park, Whareroa and the Maungakotukutuku Valley.

He will also set the importance of conservation in the context of the world’s current environmental problems.

The next four months

SEPTEMBER – Waikanae resident, and former NZ Army Engineer, Howard Chamberlain on his visit to the Western Front.

OCTOBER – Paraparaumu Beach resident, and former Commander of HMNZS Canterbury, John Granville on “Sailors’ Salty Language”.

NOVEMBER – A talk on Coastlands as it celebrates 50 years of operation. (To be confirmed.)

DECEMBER – David Hadfield on an aspect of the Hadfield family story.

2020 – some possibilities for sessions: 

  • The Kapiti Coast Museum (Allan Carley)
  • Paraparaumu’s First Retirement Village – Seven Oaks (Wendy Houston)
  • The history of Paraparaumu airport
  • Long term service on the Kapiti Coast District Council
  • Gallipoli – Myth and Reality
  • Kapiti’s Changing Coastline
  • Key Kapiti figures in the early-mid 19th century

We would like to explore for 2020 the possibility of a group effort to bring together and present information on major historical events and personalities, with a particular emphasis on Kapiti personalities whose actions impacted on the national stage.

Three such, who knew one another, and helped establish peace here, are Tamihana Te Rauparaha of Otaki, Wiremu Kingi of Waikanae and Rev. Octavius Hadfield (who was brought to Kapiti by Tamihana and came to support Wiremu in his actions at Waitara, which Tamihana condemned).  Tamihana was an early supporter of the King movement before becoming strongly opposed; Wiremu was initially opposed to the Waikato kingites before welcoming their support.

One question that deserves attention is why Tamihana Te Rauparaha returned from attacks on South Island tribes with his father, the warrior chief Te Rauparaha, to become a Christian – in a remarkable cultural change.  What were the key influences on him as he grew up?

Suggestions and assistance

If anyone has ideas for particular speakers and topics, let us know. Also if people would like to assist with the overall organisation – present speakers, do votes of thanks, help with suppers etc .. – we would be delighted to hear from you.

We will probably have an organisational meeting at the end of the year to set things up for 2020.

Roger Childs and John Robinson

Coordinators, Kapiti Historical Society

Margaret Stevenson-Wright is part of our team these council elections

Margaret Stevenson-WrightLike Geoffrey this time, Margaret is running for a seat on the Waikanae Community Board, which she also did in 2016.

She says: “I was born in Central Wellington and throughout a grandparental upbringing enjoyed freedom to voice opinions within a mutual understanding that opinions voiced had to have a basis in substance rather than speculation and carried with them accountability.

“My family has had a presence on the Kapiti Coast since the 1930s. I recall many a school holiday perched high in a pine tree endlessly sketching Kapiti Island or sitting in the dampest part of my uncle’s boat as we traced the coastline and circled the Island.

“I have lived in Waikanae for six years – drawn by the richness of cultural history, talented artisans and bird rich land and seascapes.

“Recreation-wise, I am a former competitive pistol shooter and currently poised to dust off my croquet mallet and rediscover the joys of golf croquet.  I enjoy playing a lively game of 500 with a skilled group of locals among whom I am the novice.

“As an active environmentalist and a lifelong ‘four legs and a heartbeat person’ – I am actively committed to the welfare of sentient creatures.

“While living in Northern Germany I worked for four years on a U.S. Special Forces base (Army, Airforce, Navy and Marines) where I held the liaison role with the local city leaders in a place the size of Wellington. I then spent two years in the United States within the management team of a War Veterans Hospital.

“These early roles and latter senior roles within Central Government Agencies and the Tertiary Sector, honed my commitment to consultation, collaboration, advocacy and evidence-based decision making — attributes critical to those privileged to be elected to Community Boards and to participatory decision making.”

local politics activist Dale Evans

Dale Evans 2

Dale at a café on 4 July. (supplied)

With the council election campaign now underway, we had lunch with Dale Evans to get his take on the state of affairs in local politics.

Dale, born in 1947, was at one point on the Paraparaumu-Raumati Community Board, but is best known for his visual protests against the council, the most publicized of which was when he showed up to a council meeting in 2008 wearing a KKK outfit followed by his removing the hood to reveal his face blackened. This was done to object to “hoody day” promoted by then mayor Jenny Rowan with posters of her wearing one. Dale contended, as most would, that hoodies are worn to obstruct views of faces for dubious reasons and are a no-no when driving a car.  It worked, as the promotion was abandoned. Another protest over the airport runway extension in Wellington saw him putting an airplane on a car and having it towed around Wellington.

In Kapiti, taunting Jenny Rowan, followed by Mayor Church, was regularly done — including by billboards and banners with satirical slogans, the most memorable of which, in reference to Jenny Rowan, was “Kapiti needs a dam, not a dike.”

He says he was a friend of Mayor Guru, but isn’t now; a consequence of Guru not keeping his election promises.

Dale also paid for a weekly advertisement in the Kapiti News entitled “Dale’s Caring Column” listing what he considered to be bad decisions by councilors and encouraging people not for vote for the councilors who made them.  But the present Kapiti News editor, David Haxton, declined its continuation this last triennium. Dale took it to the Media Council, but it sided with David Haxton: a newspaper is deemed to be a private business and not a public utility, even if it is distributed free.

He was also responsible for the visual protest against the bizarre Political Correctness culture that the KCDC has when in 2017 he placed female mannequins on the street outside the Council HQ carrying satirical statements around their necks.  It prompted a reaction inside: a purple-haired woman came out and screamed at him, followed by Mayor Guru’s PA, Sue George who told that person to be quiet and go back inside.  David Scott also came out and told Dale to take his mannequins away as they weren’t helpful to him.  Nevertheless, the then council boss Dougherty and Ms Accomplice seized upon them to falsely accuse David Scott of being responsible. The falsehood was recently repeated by a certain local Stuff reporter.

Dale is a descendant of the Evans Drapers of Wellington on his father’s side and Prestons liquor on his mother’s side: she owned the Grand Hotel on Willis Street along with her younger sister and brother, this was one of the many Wellington buildings that was demolished in the 1980s.  He grew up in Eastbourne, but has lived in Paraparaumu Beach for many years. A childhood accident which affected his jaw was later substantially rectified by using parts of two ribs to replace parts of the jawbone. Like many seniors, he also doesn’t walk very well. He’s softly spoken; although says when he has talked about issues in council around the table they have told him he either talks too loudly or too softly. He believes in Karma; he likes to help those who need it.

So, his thoughts of the present council?  Not surprisingly, his opinion is a poor one: they are not interested in being accountable and the majority including Guru are basically there to massage their own egos.  He thinks all sitting councilors should be replaced by fresh blood.

He’s regularly submitted Official Information requests to the council about various matters and promises to share them with both us and Nigel Wilson of KC News.

cultural Sunday — 3. Library Friends session on a new book about the Expressway

Peatby Jennifer Ramshaw

An invitation

Friends of Kapiti District Libraries invite you to hear Lynn Jenner speak at 

  • Paraparaumu Library meeting room 
  • 2 pm, Sunday 18 August.

Refreshments will be served.  Entry by Koha.

Our Land and the Expressway

The Kapiti Expressway passes near Lynn Jenner’s house. She wonders: 

  • How did it come to be built? 
  • What will be its impact on the local environment? 

Readers say that her book Peat (Otago University Press) is ‘haunting, fearless, and utterly compelling’. See more: https://www.otago.ac.nz/press/books/otago714791.html

Please forward this invitation to everyone you think will be interested. We hope to see you there. 


cultural Sunday — 2. latest Kapiti poetry news – plenty happening!

By Gill Ward and Elizabeth Coleman

The wonderful Trish Harris

Trish HarrisWasn’t it a delight to be present when Trish Harris was our guest for July? We were spell-bound. What more can we say than these two comments from notable poets, referring to “My Wide White Bed” from which Trish read: Glenn Colquhoun describes the collection as a “poetic memoir”, showing “how crucial imagination is to being well”. 

 Jenny Bornholdt says: “With a sharp eye and an ear alert to language and tone, Trish Harris gives us this sequence of brave, often funny poems, detailing a lengthy stay in hospital. We feel the mood of the ward, sense the fear underlying the casual comment, rejoice in the kindness of staff and wish the tea lady could get a break. The reader is left with a sense of a time and place, and an experience deeply felt.”

Open Mic sessions – a plea!

As usual, our Open Mic session was well-supported, and included a wonderful variety of styles and themes. We do not want to put anyone off – we are a welcoming bunch of poetry-lovers — but PLEASE, don’t read anything over one page long. (We know you’re sick of hearing this, but we need to remind poets that we want everyone to have an opportunity to share, without compromising the guest slot and to leave enough of an ‘interval’ so that people can order drinks or snacks. Although we ‘tip’ the café, they provide the café and their staff – after hours – to us for free).

Kate CampKate Camp featuring later in the month

As fitting finale to National poetry week we have Kate Camp as our August guest poet. 

Poets to the People Robert Harris Café, 4- 6 pm Sunday, 25 August

The posters are up around Kapiti now with some information about Kate but here is her bio:

A wild, imaginative energy flares throughout the collection. Kate Camp is a fearless writer. Judges’ comments, New Zealand Book Awards.

Kate Camp is a Wellington-born poet, author of six collections of poetry from Victoria University Press: Unfamiliar Legends of the Stars (1998), Realia (2001), Beauty Sleep (2005), The Mirror of Simple Annihilated Souls (2010), Snow White’s Coffin (2013), and The internet of things (2017). 

Unfamiliar Legends of the Stars, won the NZSA Jessie Mackay Award for Best First Book of Poetry in 1999. The Mirror of Simple Annihilated Souls won the 2011 New Post Book Award for Poetry. Snow White’s Coffin was shortlisted for the award in 2013, and The internet of things longlisted in 2018. 

Camp’s poems have appeared in journals in New Zealand and internationally and in anthologies including Essential New Zealand Poems; 121 New Zealand Poems; New Zealand Love Poems and The Best of Best New Zealand Poems.

Camp was appointed Writer in Residence at Waikato University in 2002. In 2011 she received the Creative New Zealand Berlin Writers Residency and in 2017 received the Katherine Mnasfield Menton Fellowship. 

Essays and memoir writing have appeared in journals including The Griffith Review, Sport, North and South and Women of Letters. The essay “I wet my pants” was a finalist in the Landfall essay competition in 2018. 

Camp is also known as the voice of “Kate’s Klassics” – discussions of classic literature with Radio New Zealand’s Kim Hill. She has broadcast the regular segment since 2001. 

So there you see it – Kate comes with a pretty solid c.v. We are fortunate!

As a tribute to National Poetry Day the Paraparaumu Library is hosting an early evening poetry event.

Open Mic Poetry Night

Join us to celebrate Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day!

Friday 23 August 2019, Paraparaumu Library, 5.30 – 6.30 pm

Poetry 1We will mark the day with an open mic session, where anyone is welcome to read their poems to a live audience, and hear poems read aloud from other poets

This will be followed by an announcement of the Kāpiti Coast District Libraries 7th Annual poetry competition  “If you’re a poet we want to know it!” 

Prize winners, and presentation of prizes. The winning poems will be read aloud also.

“Peat chronicles the expressway build

Lynn JennerFurther to that news the Friends of the Library are also holding an event on Sunday 18 August at 2 pm in the Paraparaumu Library meeting room, this is to introduce Lynn Jenner’s new book Peat. 

This book starts out as Lynn Jenner’s study of the Kapiti Expressway, built between 2013 and 2017 and passing, at its nearest point, about a kilometre from her own house. She decides to create a kind of archive of the construction of this so-called Road of National Significance. 

How did it come to be built? She presents us with poems and essays and links to Charles Brasch in this thoughtful and timely volume. Lynn will talk about her intriguing book to an audience who is intimately involved in the whole process of seeing our expressway evolve.

Check out Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day! Lots and lots of events and competitions.

cultural Sunday — 1. Waikanae Music Society concert

If people running around charging at each other, butting heads, trying to pass the ball and kicking it elsewhere isn’t your thing (we’re not talking about the council elections 🙂 ) then here’s the first of three rather more cultural posts:

This afternoon at 2:30 pm, Memorial Hall


Levansa Trio with Lev Sivkov (cello)
“…Lev Sivkov’s cello sound has a graininess, a density, a weight. He deploys a broad spectrum of colours and emotions, he makes his instrument sing in a rare way, his intonation is never found lacking, Yes, he is a phenomenon.” (ConcertoNet.com.)

Debussy: Sonata for violin and piano in G minor
Grieg: Andante con moto (for violin, cello & piano) in C minor
Myaskovsky:  Sonata No 2, Opus 81, for cello and piano
Beethoven: Piano Trio, Opus 97 “Archduke”

The brilliant young Russian cellist Lev Sivkov will be visiting New Zealand to play concertos with regional orchestras and while he is here will give some chamber music concerts with recently appointed Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra Concertmaster Andrew Beer and the highly respected pianist Sarah Watkins. Combining their musical talents to form the Levansa Trio, they will be playing an attractive programme of works by Debussy, Grieg, Duparc and Beethoven.

Lev Sivkov has won numerous awards, most notably in 2015 when he won the prestigious Naumburg International Cello Competition, described by the New York Times as “the most prestigious of them all.”

He played his debut recital in the Weill Music Room, Carnegie Hall, in 2016. Since then he has been in demand as a recitalist and soloist and has also been appointed as Principal Cellist of the Zürich Opera.

Violinist Andrew Beer has come to New Zealand from L’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal. His recent recital and chamber music appearances include Edinburgh Festival, Aspen Festival and Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall.

Sarah Watkins, well known as a member of NZTrio, has been described as a ‘national treasure’. She has enjoyed an impressive career as chamber musician, collaborative partner and recording artist.

(from the Waikanae Music Society website which has info and ticket details.)