Horowhenua Mail : May 19th 2011
6 THURSDAY, MAY 19, 2011 OPINION 84 Oxford Street Levin Ph: 06 368 5585 Stockists of Fastening, Safety and Transport Products Call and see your local distributor for products,sizes and prices NO MORE DRIVEWAY OR CARPARK POTHOLES Just fill them with EZ Street Maintenance Bitumen Mix and Compact • Visit our stores and receive FREE gifts throughout the year by buying selected Beer, RTD's, Spirits or Wine • Receive AA Rewards throughout our stores • No Trade Sales • Specials valid whilst stocks last WITH 164 OUTLETS THROUGHOUT NZ The Liquor Centre Group NEW ZEALAND'S LARGEST LIQUOR CHAIN $22.99 Specials valid until 31 May 2011. All specials may not be available in some stores. Above specials only available at Liquor Centre Stores detailed below: $9.99 $21.99 $36.99 $24.99 Mainstream 15's (Lion Red, Waikato, Speights) Carlsberg 15s Riverstone Range $9.99 $12.49 Open House Range Jagermeister 700ml Gilbeys Gin 1L $31.99 Jim Beam 1125ml 37.5% $39.99 Smirnoff 1L $31.99 $33.99 Teachers Scotch Whisky 1L Woodstock 8% 4Yr Old 12pk Envy 8% 250ml Cans 6 pk FREE gift with purchase Levin L.C. Mako Rd, Levin Shanks should not be disregarded TALKING POLITICS GORDON CAMPBELL By some estimates, Ohariu is one of the three most marginal seats in the country. Electorate deals are common- place. Last election, National s John Key publicly urged Ohariu voters to split their vote in favour of United Future leader Peter Dunne, and not to vote locally for National s candidate (and list MP) Katrina Shanks. That couldn t have been pleas- ant -- to be out asking locals for their vote, while your party leader was telling them to pick someone else to represent them. At the time, Shanks could see the rationale. It was a totally different scen- ario in 2008, she explains. National was desperate about getting on to the government benches and having Dunne, a coalition partner of the Labour Government, come across to join them was seen as a fantastic endorsement of the Opposition and marked a loss of faith in Labour. In the end, Dunne squeaked home over Labour s Charles Chauvel by 1006 votes, with Shanks in third place. Times have changed. In Novem- ber, does Shanks plan on running a two ticks campaign for National? Ever the dutiful caucus mem- ber, she tries to evade the ques- tion: I believe the voters of Ohariu will make that decision themselves. Plainly, she doesn t want to be the person to deliver Dunne the bad news that all deals with National may be off -- not while there is still legislative business to be done in the House. Yet the reality is that Dunne s support in the electorate is headed downwards, and no other MPs come in on his coat-tails. If the Greens (who got 2665 electorate votes last time) choose to focus this time only on the party vote, wouldn t all this create a compelling argument for sup- porting National on both fronts to keep Chauvel out? That could well be the case, Shanks con- cedes. Shanks is not a high-profile MP. In 2010 the Transtasman business service gave her a scathing 3/10 rating, and commented: Showed early promise but hasn t lived up to it. Must do more than ask patsy questions and make the occasional forgettable speech. Was that fair? That s their per- ception of who I am, Shanks says gamely. And I suppose in politics, per- ception is a big thing. My biggest fault -- personal fault -- would most probably be that I don t go after the limelight. I just quietly work behind the scenes. That s who I am. That s what I do. Maybe I don t get seen as much as other people do. If her contribution is largely invisible to the naked eye, what does she count as her single biggest achievement since entering Parliament? The maternity policy she devel- oped with Health Minister Tony Ryall in 2008, she says. I advocated it in my policy, put it out there, and got the mandate from New Zealand to basically get another $100 million into maternity [care]. Despite her mediocre national image, she still won 10,000 elec- torate votes in Ohariu last time, regardless of the deal with Dunne. It will be a tight contest in November, she predicts. Her natural ability at playing the earnest underdog could well make her a more formidable opponent than Beltway insiders perceive her to be. EKERS' VIEW Expressway long overdue I can sympathise with the residents who will be affected by the expressway, but consultation, careful planning and consider- ation will prevail. The expressway is much needed and long overdue to solve the congestion problems especially on State Highway 1 to the Kapiti Coast. Coming home to Levin there is constant bottleneck anditcantakeuptoanhourto clear. Our MP Nathan Guy is working hard behind the scenes, holding meetings and listening to the concerns of those who will be affected ensuring the best possible outcome for everyone. Elaine Cradock Levin Attitude change 'materialistic' When the original Sandhills Motorway was tabled it was rejected by locals and subse- quently shelved. At that time not even the link road was in the wind. Another bridge over the river with connecting local roads seemed to be the only other option considered. Today, a situation exists that goes against those ideals, so one has to ask why the attitudes have changed from consideration for the unique characteristics of Kapiti to ones of speed and convenience, and pandered to by government. I would suggest it has a lot to do with an influx of residents over recent years with materialistic aspirations; not to mention a number of philistines who have at last found a voice. We have also heard political rhetoric from the ministers concerned, a lot of which has holes in it. They also seem unable to recognise the consequences of their road policies, such as the inevitable increase in vehicle numbers in a small country that already has too many, degraded environments and the displacement of families and enterprises. Are more four lane highways really necessary? Has the population increased so significantly as to warrant them and can the country afford the luxury, especially considering the state of the economy? A change in perception by many people and politicians alike would, I believe, go a long way to maintaining not only Kapiti s image but that of the country. Why repeat mistakes of other countries? David Bush Waikanae Beach How prepared are they? In response to your article (Reprimand for councillor Hunt, May 12). When Mayor Brendan Duffy publicly censured Cr Anne Hunt for enlisting the professional opinion of the existing emergency response experts, I was taken aback. She claimed that concerns over our lack of preparedness to cope with a civil disaster were brought to her attention by members of her community and as the elected representative for that ward, decided to act on it. Well, that sounded fine to me but the mayor forbade her to organise a meeting and quickly threw together a presentation (at the Foxton Community Board) which gave the impression that things were just fine and dandy. Perhaps our mayor was perfectly satisfied that in case of a tsunami (for instance) the official response was that some dear old soul (who apparently had no fear for their own life at the time) was to drive around Foxton Beach township with a megaphone, no doubt covering as many streets as possible before the first wave hit. What really took the cake was when the mayor instructed his entire council to ignore any of the concerns raised by all the emergency management authorities who attended the meeting and accused Cr Hunt of setting up an alternate organisation. Unfortunately, it seems that we the people will only ever know how well prepared they are after the event. Bryan Ten Have Levin LETTERS RULES We welcome your letters to the editor but they must contain the writer's name, address and phone number.We reserve the right to edit for brevity or sense. Send to: Editor, The Horowhenua Mail and Kapiti Observer, Box 110, Paraparaumu, fax 298 2073 or email email@example.com.
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