Sunday, December 27, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Manners Mall Next Stop The Environment Court
In the process of weighing up all the issues, the rules of consultation excluded a substantial group of citizens. Neither the e-petition nor the two facebook groups (one with a membership of 4737 and the other with 596) were excluded from the formal process on the grounds that they were not in possession of all the information that Council had in the consultation. I reminded Council that regardless of the rules such a body of opinion should not be ignored. The people had spoken loudly and overwhelmed those who participated in the formal process. Their exclusion will do nothing to build confidence in a system that has only minority support. Let’s face it Council hasn’t had a majority mandate from those eligible to vote for many years. One thing we do know is that cynicism is well established across all ages in the population. With elite agendas often running counter to public opinion, faith in local government won’t be growing any day soon. Given the way elected representative ignore public opinion you can understand the lack of enthusiasm on the part of the voters. It’s not that Council isn’t aware of the issue. It took a public meeting with over two thousand citizens attending to call a halt to Variation 17 on the waterfront. Some people are saying, with justification, that Variation 11 has replaced variation 17. Waterfront Watch is going to the Environment Court.
While the formal submission process on the revocation of Manners Mall might have been finely balanced between those for and those against there was a flood of opposition by way of the e-partition and the Facebook social networking site. When the silent majority stir the Council excludes them. We have had workshops where the new ways of networking, and expressing opinions have been discussed. However the old power paradigm still dominates outcomes. Elites and minorities continue to rule us and public opinion continues to express itself in letters to the editor supervised by gatekeepers. When this happens activists and the disgruntled are apt to take more extreme actions. This we have seen lately.
What we have lost in Manners Mall with Council’s latest decision is the loss of pedestrian friendly open space with a raft of activity that goes with such a space. The Mall provides a valuable place for the residents of Manners Street who live in the high rise apartments. It has one of the highest pedestrian counts in the City with small businesses making their living off the foot traffic. Gone will be 30 years of sense of place and heritage. It will be replaced with a higher carbon footprint at a cost of $11.5 million and more cars. Who said the City had aspirations of carbon neutrality?
Thursday, December 10, 2009
MANNERS MALL OPENED TO BUSES AT $11.5M
WELLINGTON CITY COUNCIL DEBT END 2010 $287m
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
WATER THE NEXT RATEPAYER RIP-OFF?
The history of privatisation of public assets has been a concern of the Wellington Residents Coalition since its inception over 12 years ago.
With the sale of Wellington's electricity supply network (originally the MED and later put into a Local Authority Trading Enterprise called Capital Power) a coalition of concerned residents was formed. Despite a promise from the Mayor that the Council's fifty one percent would not be sold a sale later took place and the citizens of Wellington lost control of this core service.
Water is also a core service and its supply has gone through a similar process to the electricity network. Water supply was once delivered and maintained by the regional and local councils. It has now been put into a Council owned trust called Capacity which contracts its maintenance out to the profit sector. With the introduction of water meters there is nothing to stop treating water as a commodity to be sold by the metered unit. This would allow the profit takers to ramp up the price and take a necessity of life out of the reach of many people.
With this in mind the water petition now has over 10,500 signatures and reads reads:
We the undersigned recognise that water is a necessity of life, and therefore a basic human right - not a commodity to be traded for commercial interests.
Accordingly, we call on our elected representatives in local, regional and national government to:
* reject water metering as a method of domestic water management
* promote and subsidise alternative technologies that enable the collection and use of rainwater and greywater
* support publicly-controlled, not-for-profit management and conservation of our water resources.
37 Havelock Street
Friday, December 04, 2009
Wellington is facing rising sea levels
At the Wellington City Council Strategy and Policy Committee briefing of December 1 we were shown a computer model of the areas of
Recently I was in
Page 8 of the report should ring alarm bells.
What are the flooding scenarios for the