Localism in Kapiti stymied because of the Mayor

by Geoffrey Churchman

Reproduced below is one of the present Kapiti mayor’s campaign advertisements from last year.

Like all his other promises from both 2016 and 2019, it has proved to be a case of “say something that sounds good to get elected, then ignore it when in office.”

In this case, however, not only has he done nothing to honor his promise, he has actually done the exact opposite.

Last November when Guy Burns of the Paraparaumu-Raumati Community Board proposed a list of areas of council roles where there could and should be devolution of power to the community boards, the Mayor’s response was a typically arrogant and snide rejection with the comment “this is a marathon, not a sprint.”  Or as Sir Humphrey Appleby of Yes, Minister would say, “In due course — in the fullness of time.”  In other words, forget about it.

In June at a council meeting he announced that community boards were being barred from councilor briefings.  How does preventing boards from having access to information empower them?

For elected members with this mayor it’s a case of: “all right you people, be nice and obsequious, smile and nod approval for the things the management put in front of you and you’ll have a pleasant trip.  You’ll get your photo ops, your excursions to events and conventions where you can socialise and be merry.” And of course, we well know what happens when instead they put up opposition.

About half the time of most Community Board meetings is spent on deciding to award small discretionary grants to people — often things like $500 for little Johnny to go to a gymnastics tournament out of town.  In Waikanae many parents are wealthy enough to pay for such themselves, but if it meets the criteria, who’s going to turn down free money?  There should be some central council committee that deals with this; Community Boards should spend their time listening to concerns, gathering evidence and deciding what needs to be done about them; then ensuring the agreed action takes place within a reasonable period.

One problem that the boards have in Kapiti is the automatic appointment of a Ward Councilor to them — that in my view isn’t a good idea. Councilors should have speaking rights, but the result with voting rights is that the Councilor dominates everything out of an inflated sense of prestige and the voting powers they have at the Council table which Community Board members do not have.

Additionally in my view, all Councilors should be District-wide (and fewer of them: 6 rather than 10 would be enough) — Wards should be for the Community Boards only. These changes can be promoted at the next representation review due next year.


Empower_Community_Boards_idx64470993

One of Mayor Gurunathan’s campaign ads last year — in practice he has done the exact opposite.

Labour Party rules out railway electrification to Ōtaki  

double track electrifyNews the Labour Party has ruled out electrifying and double tracking the rail line from Waikanae to Ōtaki will be met with real disappointment by Kapiti locals, National’s Transport spokesperson Chris Bishop and National’s Candidate for Ōtaki Tim Costley say.

“Last night at a Labour Party public meeting, David Parker was asked if Labour supported National’s commitment to double track and electrify the line. He said he spoke to Transport Minister Phil Twyford on the way to the debate and reported it is not Labour Party policy,” Mr Bishop says.

TC“The choice at this election for Ōtaki commuters is clear – back Tim Costley and National who will bring Ōtaki into the Wellington commuter network, or back the Labour Party, who will not,” Mr Bishop says.

National’s commitment to electrification comes from its $31 billion transport infrastructure package, details of which are being progressively announced around the country. The $31 billion is over and above the current Government’s transport spending and is fully costed and budgeted for.

“National’s promise to bring commuter rail to Ōtaki has been widely welcomed in the region and something I’ve been proud to push as the local candidate,” Mr Costley says.

“Electrification will also allow people living in Manakau, Ōtaki and Te Horo to easily travel to Wellington, rather than relying on the once-a-day Capital Connection service from Palmerston North. Many Ōtaki locals drive to Waikanae to jump on the electric train service to Wellington, and the carpark is regularly full.

“In time, I’m keen on electrifying the line to Levin.

“Only a National Government will get Ōtaki moving,” Mr Costley says.


The present Kapiti deputy mayor Janet Holborow is standing on the Labour Party list at number 69. –Eds

our capitalist democracy has been turned into a mafia state

By Chris Hedges

godmotherwebThe ruling elites no longer have legitimacy. They have destroyed our capitalist democracy and replaced it with a mafia state. What the Roman philosopher Cicero called a commonwealth, a res publica, a “public thing” or the “property of a people,” has been transformed into an instrument of naked pillage and repression on behalf of a global corporate oligarchy. We are serfs ruled by obscenely rich, omnipotent masters who loot the U.S. Treasury, pay little or no taxes and have perverted the judiciary, the media and the legislative branches of government to strip us of civil liberties and give them the freedom to commit financial fraud and theft.

The loss of control over our system of rulership, the misuse of all democratic institutions, the electoral process and laws to funnel money upwards into to a handful of oligarchs while stripping us of power, ominously means that the ruling elites can no longer claim the right to have a monopoly on violence. Violence employed by police and security agencies such as the FBI, which have devolved into occupying forces, to protect the exclusive interests of a tiny, ruling criminal class exposes the fiction of the rule of law and the treason of the ruling elites.

Read the rest

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Garden Fence Wars

On a British gardening blog.  Good neighbourliness involves the two neighbours discussing and agreeing this sort of thing before it happens.  In Kapiti a fence over 2.5 metres in height (not on a street frontage) requires council consent — and an addition like this is pretty close to what you could consider an increase in the height of the fence.


You may not be interested in the Fence Wars of our neighbours, but as it was only yesterday that I mentioned it, and there were ‘developments’ today, I thought some of you might be curious. Sometime early this morning (and perhaps under cover of darkness…?!) a trellis was attached to the bare fence posts and covered with fine mesh, the same kind of mesh that had been attached to our boundary (next to the cutting beds and fruit cage) a day or so after I had the audacity to make myself known to the young man living there when he walked past on the other side of the fence…

via For Your Information: Fence Wars — Rambling in the Garden

‘Wai-Kanae Pa’ before 1847

Wai-Kanae Pa

A sketch by John Alexander Gilfillan 1793-1864

“The mouth of the Waikanae River showing a fenced pa (Kenakena) with a large number of buildings. The large building with peaked roof is believed to be the first Maori Missionary church built by Bishop Octavius Hadfield. Kapiti Island is visible in the background…

“According to evidence given in the Native Land Court (Otaki Minute Book 10, Ngarara Hearing. 1890) the Kenakena pa, which stood at the mouth of the Waikanae river, was built by the Ngati Toa chiefs Te Rangihiroa and Te Hiko o te Rangi after the tribe “consolidated their position on the Kapiti coast following their” historic migration from Kawhia. The Ngati Toa later settled Te Ati Awa at Waikanae and it was during this period that the Kenakenapa and surrounding district was associated with Wi Kingi Te Rangitaake (aka Te Whiti).”  (Alexander Turnbull Library collection)

on the Te Moana / Rauparaha intersection issue

Rauparaha and Te Moana

Looking east from Te Moana Road.

from Gerard Rys

From the extensive discussion at the AGM [of the Waikanae Beach Residents Society Inc.] there is a clear consensus that the proposed [KCDC] package of improvements for Te Moana road surfacing and lane marking, together with associated signage, footpath/cycle lane and kerbing works etc, is desirable and should proceed as soon as weather permits between the Expressway exit and as far west as Lavinia Grove only.

There is an equally strong consensus that traffic management at the TeMoana/Rauparaha intersection needs much more genuine consultation with users from all parts of the Beach area who will all be affected by any change, along with comprehensive traffic flow monitoring before any major change is effected. Classifying this as a “safety issue” which we have seen no quantitative evidence for, including meeting the safety provisions on the NZTA website, does not entitle traffic engineers to impose their technical proposals without wider consultation with users and residents: genuine and lasting safety improvements and user compliance will depend on community understanding of the issues and the trade-offs between various interests.

A interim solution for that intersection discussed at the AGM might take the form of a low cost small painted roundabout (the WBRSI would gladly pay for a tin of yellow paint), possibly slightly mounded, with Give Way signs on all three entry points, as are employed effectively at several high traffic volume intersections in Wellington City which WBRSI members have photographed and observed. This solution is significantly more cost effective than the [KCDC] suggested $900,000 for such changes suggested to members. An interim solution along these lines would give time for consultation and traffic monitoring more likely to “future proof” management of traffic patterns which are changing in the face of residential development to the north and major State Highway developments. We note that the currently proposed KCDC solution is also likely to have consequential impacts along Te Moana Road at the Health Centre and at the Te Moana/Tutere Road turnoff.


This proposal seems very sensible. —Eds

More excellent Super Rugby

Crusaders wrap up the championship

By Roger Childs

Crusaders 2020 championsThe weekend’s matches provided great first hand entertainment for crowds of 21,000 in Wellington and 17,000 in Christchurch, not to mention the hundreds of thousands watching on screen within New Zealand and around the world. The Hurricanes needed to beat the Chiefs on Saturday night to keep their championship hopes alive, but if the Crusaders prevailed over the Highlanders on Sunday the title was theirs. In the end, both home teams won, but the Christchurch-based franchise had to make a comeback in the last quarter of the match to hold off a strong challenge from the southerners.

Hurricanes far too strong

Hurricanes v Chiefs August 2020The Hurricanes started superbly at the Cake Tin with powerful running, few mistakes and great support play.  Early on they were out to 12-3 after two excellent tries to Peter-Umaga Jensen, one of the finds of the season. TJ Perenara had an excellent game from half back, with quick accurate passing, judicious kicking and determined running.  Once again, Jordie Barrett demonstrated his all-round skills at full back and was always a danger for the Chiefs with his hard running and long, well-timed passing. Overall the Hurricanes forwards had the ascendancy with locks Blackwell and Scrafton featuring prominently in the tight and taking the ball up in mid field.  Loosies Ardie Savea and Du’Plessis Karifi tackled hard and were impressive with ball in hand. The Chiefs tried hard but they didn’t have the range of skills, the intensity or the consistency to represent a real threat. Losing skipper Sam Cane in the first half didn’t help.  

It’s been a miserable tournament for the Chiefs losing all eight matches, while the Hurricanes made it five wins in row on Saturday and will be seeking another in their final game in Dunedin next weekend.

Super skills in the southern derby

Crusaders v Chiefs August 2020The visitors held the lead until the last quarter on a beautiful afternoon in Christchurch. Led by inspirational hooker Elliot Dixon and mercurial half back Aaron Smith, the Highlanders were deservedly ahead after 60 minutes and pushed the lead out to 22-14 at one point. However a characteristic storming finish from the Crusaders including two tries to left winger George Bridge and another to Braydon Ennor got the team home by 32-22. Having a man in the sin bin for half of the final quarter didn’t help the Highlanders cause, but they never stopped attacking. Aaron Smith just missed touching down behind the posts late in game, a score which could have taken the score to 29-32, but it wasn’t to be.

The forward battle was an even contest, with Shannon Frizell outstanding for the visitors and scored the first try, while Codie Taylor was dangerous with ball in hand for the home team. Both backlines were impressive on attack, with plenty of line breaks, speedy attacking and pinpoint passing, but there were lapses on defence. Aaron Smith fired out long, speedy passes to get his backs away and both first-fives were excellent – Richie Mo’unga for the home team was always dangerous with his speed in the open and excellent support play, while Josh Ioane with tricky running was often able to break the line and link up with supporting players.

It was an exciting match which ebbed and flowed up and down the field, and while eight tries were scored, many promising attacks were thwarted by desperate tackling, forward turn-overs, and penalties against players leaving their feet in rucks. 

The Crusaders were not at their best and once again it was a few moments of brilliance which got them home. However, it was enough for them to retain their Super Rugby title. They meet the Blues in Auckland next weekend and will be keen to show that they are worthy champions.

debate on the forthcoming legalising cannabis referendum

Two current MPs, one from National and the other from the Greens with opposite viewpoints discuss it on Newshub.

Both make valid points and this is not an easy issue.  However, your editors lean towards the libertarian stance that people should be able to decide these things for themselves and if alcohol is legal, then so should another drug with different, but largely equivalent adverse affects.