The Mayor dithers on risky loans for investment scheme

News that the Auditor-General, Greg Schollum is expressing concern regarding Kapiti Coast District Council’s borrowing-for-investments plan comes as no surprise to Guy Burns, Deputy Chair of the Raumati Paraparaumu Community Board.

“The Mayor’s current change of direction, in not supporting the plan, seems to put him at loggerheads with some of his Councillors who have been outspoken enthusiasts of the risky scheme. I hope they follow the Mayor and change their minds,” he says.

“The Auditor-General calls the plan ‘unusual’. It is highly unusual, risky and unacceptable. The plan is flawed and has been met with disbelief by many ratepayers. Using loans to invest is counter-intuitive to most Kiwis and goes against what ratepayers find acceptable.

“I call on Councillors to reverse their decision to establish a borrowing-for-investment scheme.”

Ngaio Road gets cycle-laned

As is obvious from this photo taken this afternoon, the existing footpath and most of the grass berm, and the trees on it, are being removed along the south side of Ngaio Road — to be replaced with a wide strip of concrete.

The objective it seems is to create a “shared path” for both pedestrians and cyclists.

The council says it sent residents in the street a “consultation letter outlining the pros and cons of a number of possible options” and that “the responses received from residents informed [its] preferred option, which [it is] now building.”

Although we’ve not seen the letter, we doubt one of the options was “leave things like they are.” 

Book review — Gate Pa and Te Ranga: the full story

Putting the Battle of Gate Pa in context

by Roger Childs

It (Gate Pa) was one of the big ones.  –Cliff Simmons

The Battles of Gate Pa and Te Ranga were late contests, followed by a peace that deserves a more prominent place in our memories. —John McLean and John Robinson

Next year is the 155th anniversary of the Battle of Gate Pa near Tauranga. Was  it a significant battle, part of a series of engagements, or just a minor contest, ending in defeat for the Maori participants? Opinions differ. Waikanae historian, John Robinson and Tross Publisher and historian John Mclean decided to set the record straight and head off another planned book on the topic.

Their book Gate Pa and Te Ranga: The Full Story came out two months before Victory at Gate Pa? by Buddy Mikaere and Cliff Simmons.  Many historians over recent decades, both Maori and non-Maori, have been anxious to find victories by the indigenous people over the Crown forces in the 19thcentury. For a number of writers, Gate Pa was one of the great successes. However, it wasn’t  a clear-cut Maori victory.

Certainly the defenders of Gate Pa did repel an attack by government forces, but the latter held their ground and captured the pa the following day after the Ngaiterangi had abandoned it overnight. Is this the way victors in battle behave – give up their fortified positions and withdraw?

Essentially Gate Pa saw a brave showing by the defending Maori in repelling a poorly managed assault on a well constructed pa, but the claims of a victory cannot be substantiated. In fact Gate Pa was one of a series of engagements involving the Ngaiterangi and their allies who supported the rebel kingites, against government forces and friendly Maori forces (kupapa.) Ultimately it ended two months later in a decisive victory for crown forces at Te Ranga.

In an interview in November 2017, Buddy Mikaere made clear what the approach to Victory at Gate Pa? would be. He spoke of an “invasion” of the Tauranga area by government forces and went on to say … the machinations of settler land greed and colonial politics and confidently riding on the back of relatively easy victories in the Waikato fighting, they [the colonial government] thought this was the way to go.

The two Johns put the lie to these claims in their highly readable, thoroughly researched and well constructed analysis of the background to the fighting; what happened before and after Gate Pa; and the significance of the lasting peace that followed. 

They provide detail on the 18 battles from 1820 to 1840 fought between local tribes in the Bay of Plenty area. Most involved the Ngaiterangi. There is also background on the kingite rebellion and how some East Coast / Bay of Plenty Maori, like the Ngaiterangi, supported the rebels. Warriors from these tribes arrived by canoe at Otaramakau in April 1864.

There followed a series of engagements – Tarua, Maketu, GatePa and Te Ranga. The authors correctly put Gate Pa in the context of one of a number of contests at the time. They emphasize that the outcome was ultimately positive for all concerned. Reconciliation and forgiveness were the way ahead for all – former rebels, friendlies and settlers.

This is an excellent account of what really happened, told concisely. It also provides very useful Appendices on what key figures said at the time and lists of the casualties on both sides. There is also a useful chapter entitled Correcting some myths, and the book includes a number of appropriate maps, sketches and other illustrations. Some of the maps could have been larger.

Thoroughly recommended.

Gate Pa and Te Ranga: The Full Story by John McLean and John Robinson: 
169 pages including 16 pages of maps/photos in A5 format, softcover. (Available from Paper Plus for $30 or can be ordered off the Tross Publishing website.)

KCDC policy about staff commenting on matters involving the council on social media

Above is the response we received today asking what policy it has.  The short answer is that there is a staff Code of Conduct, but no policy about commenting on social media — however, one is coming.

There has been a lot of suspicion about whether those defending council decisions and actions (on Facebook particularly) are council staff members or in their immediate families.

Big concern about the health risks of the 5th Generation — 5G — cellular technology coming soon

“Professor of public health of the University of California Berkeley, Dr. Joel Moscowitz says that MM W’s could pose a very real danger. He told the Daily Mail Online that the deployment of 5G cellular technology is a massive experiment on all health of all species.

This is extremely frightening and should be of high concern to the public. The laundry list of medical issues in every single category is simply, unbelievable.”

From prepforthat.com

You want fast wireless service. Enhanced wireless data speeds are premium services that stand to make Wireless companies billions (and already do). The newest technological enhancement to improved wireless data speeds is 5G. The installation of 5G cell towers is not only going to improve speed, but it is also likely to have a detrimental effect on our public health. Wireless companies have already installed up to 300,000 new 5G antennas.

That’s right, 5G is coming whether we like it or not and health risks are going to tag along with these faster data experiences.

And the 5G health risks war is already making its face known. Local citizens are writing their lawmakers to express their concerns over 5G cell towers. 5G tower waves are being linked to cancer, immune system compromises, and numerous other health issues.

5G is a new technology that offers an infinite data broadcast capability and has an unrestricted calling. The technology uses an untapped bandwidth and is known as MMW. It is between 30 GHz and 300 GHz.

5G, like its predecessors 3G and 4G, allow us to stay connected virtually anywhere. That connectivity between us and our online ventures is constantly challenged by more and more people coming online as well as more modern, capable devices.

More

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s concern about Facebook and Google

“With Google and Facebook transforming the way consumers communicate, access news and view advertising online, it is critical that governments and regulators consider the potential issues created by the concentration of market power and the broader impacts of digital platforms.

“The preliminary report, published today, contains 11 preliminary recommendations and eight areas for further analysis as the inquiry continues.

“The ACCC has reached the view that Google has substantial market power in online search, search advertising and news referral, and Facebook has substantial market power in markets for social media, display advertising and online news referral.

“The report outlines the ACCC’s concerns regarding the market power held by these key platforms, including their impact on Australian businesses and, in particular, on the ability of media businesses to monetise their content. The report also outlines concerns regarding the extent to which consumers’ data is collected and used to enable targeted advertising.”

Full article

the Neptune rail tunnel in Pukerua Bay

The photo by Mark Cole shows a northbound freight train emerging from this short 59-metre tunnel in 1975, close to what is now the boundary between the KCDC and the Porirua City Council.

It’s the northernmost of the 5 tunnels in the Pukerua Bay section (originally there were 6 but one was later bypassed).

The tunnels have presented operational problems for decades, mainly because, unlike the rest of the railway between Wellington and Waikanae, they are single track and trains in either direction often have to wait until they can enter this section.  If there was double track it would certainly shave at least a couple of minutes off commuter train journey times. But double tracking the tunnels would be expensive.

Another problem before 1967 was that the floors of the tunnels were too high to allow clearance for the diesel locomotives that the railways were steadily putting into service to replace steam.  This necessitated all trains (except the units) being hauled by electric locomotives between Paekakariki and Wellington until 1967.

Incidentally, the locomotive is a Dx class diesel from 1972, and their unique orange/yellow livery was nicknamed ‘clockwork orange.’