Horowhenua Mail : September 22nd 2011
6 THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2011 OPINION DO MORE FOR LESS QUALCUT PETROL CHAINSAW 42CC DEAL $179 ICON PETROL LAWNMOWER $329 DEAL 299 KAPITI OWNED AND OPERATED SEASONAL JOB VACANCIES AVAILABLE! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for details BUY RIGHT PRESSURE SPRAYER 5 LITRES DEAL $1375 ICON CORDLESS SCREWDRIVER PACK 9.98 L8 OFFERS VALID UNTIL SUNDAY 25 SEPTEMBER. ONLY WHILE STOCKS LAST LAVENDER 1 LITRE POT $6.25 DEAL FOR $1150 ONGAS BOTTLE SWAP AQUADECK WATERBASED DECKING OIL $76.98 DEAL 2 FOR $122 TUI VEGGIE MIX 40 LITRE + 25% EXTRA DEAL $1398 GAZEBO 2.4M X 2.4M DEAL $3998 OUTDOOR BRAZIER DEAL $99 3899890AJ $49 DEA $ $ LAVENDER 1 2 EKERS' VIEW Call off the witch hunt In response to your article (Council guns aimed at Hunt workload cost, September 15). This is the umpteenth time that Councillor Hunt has had to defend herself against false accusations from her own (so called) colleagues. Only this time they are also out to get any of us that dare to associate with her. In each and every case she has cited council s complete and utter disregard for transparency to their employer (the ratepayer) for her actions -- and funded her own defence. It is the council itself that decides to enlist the lawyers so we can t blame her for that. She was punished for insisting on ratepayer approval before spending all those extra millions on their new council building. And again before they secretly attempted (then publicly denied) to purchase and demolish an historical Foxton hotel in order to transform the town s main recreational park into high density housing . Don t forget the alleged leaking of the Te Awahou plans that she got from a public meeting (of all places). Even the media retracted (and apologised for) their inaccurate coverage of that incident (but council didn t). Recently she called for a public meeting after being alerted to the extreme exposure of her ward to a civil defence emergency. She was punished by her peers and then they went and did it themselves (only this time they stole the glory). If Cr Good and his mates are really all that concerned about their legal costs, then they should take a lesson from their failures and start supporting the one person among them that actually has the ratepayer s best interest at heart. You can t just go evicting someone from council buildings because you don t want to hear their message then transfer all the relevant meetings in town to that venue without getting found out. We are the ones paying so call off the witch hunt lads. As history tells us this will only come back and bite you on your arse. Bryan Ten Have Vice chairman Horowhenua District Ratepayers and Residents Association Legal costs waste of ratepayer funds It would appear that Horowhenua District Council chief executive David Ward has indicated to individual councillors that Cr Anne Hunt and her associates have a high expectancy regarding the seeking of information within the council s policy areas as well as the availability or non- availability of council meeting minutes and agendas. As an elected councillor, Anne Hunt has every right to expect an open HDC administration and open governance with regard to her role around the council table and within the Kere Kere Ward. Legal costs incurred by the HDC in dealing with an elected councillor would seem an unnecessary waste of ratepayer funds. Ratepayers must wonder when the Anne Hunt Witch Hunt is going to cease, she reportedly had procedural difficulties during the previous council s term with regular mayoral disagreements, it seems it s no different with the current council -- such is progress in a democratic society. Bill Stirling Levin Why is there an 'undeserving poor'? TALKING POLITICS GORDON CAMPBELL Given how the Rugby World Cup is dominating the news agenda, it was either brave or foolhardy for the Child Poverty Action Group to release its child poverty report on the first working day after the World Cup opening ceremony. The conclusions of the report are disturbing. One in five New Zealand chil- dren live in poverty, with sub- sequent effects on their health, educational achievement, and pro- ductivity -- to the point where early and effective intervention could add some $2 billion to $4 billion to the nation s gross dom- estic product and up to $1b to New Zealand tax revenues. Moreover, the current situation is being perpetuated by the policy emphasis on paid work as the only effective way out of poverty. During a recession, though, work opportunities compatible with good parenting practices are few and far between. Such an emphasis, the report concluded, was therefore bound to fail. The reaction from Social Devel- opment Minister Paula Bennett was hardly her finest hour. At first, she declined to com- ment, saying she hadn t read the report -- although it had been released under embargo the day before precisely to give the media and politicians time to read the executive summary at least. Bennett s reading pace suggests she may need remedial help from Education Minister Anne Tolley s national standards policy. When Bennett finally got around to commenting, she dis- missed the report as a political document and a rehash of work the authors have done before. Child poverty? Yawn. She d heard it all before. Just as predictably, Labour leader Phil Goff sniped away at the Key Government s reluctance to raise the minimum wage sig- nificantly, or to support early childcare education and adequate funding for childcare. In addition, the Child Poverty Action Group report urged free childcare for all children under six and better funding for lower decile schools. Yet the report s main rec- ommendation -- that Working for Families tax credits should be made available to beneficiary fam- ilies as well -- is opposed by Labour and National alike. In fact, it was the Clark Government s decision to offer its Working for Families programme only to those families in paid work that first rationalised a discrimi- nation against beneficiary famil- ies -- a discrimination the Key Government has been more than happy to perpetuate. In that sense, Labour and National seem to be agreed about lending a helping hand only to the children of the deserving poor (ie where parents are in paid work) while denying the same assistance to the apparently undeserving children whose families rely on benefits as their main source of income. This distinction -- as the Child Poverty Action Group argues -- is perpetuating extreme hardship among the very families most in need. So long as Labour continues to present itself as the champion of only that segment of the poor who are in paid work, it can hardly be a convincing opponent of the next round of welfare reform that National is promising will be a hallmark of its second term. Regardless, Labour does not seem willing to offer family tax credits to the taxpayers receiving a benefit. This makes little sense. During boom times, beneficiary numbers decline sharply as people readily take up the work avail- able. Under current economic con- ditions, however, to insist on dis- criminating against beneficiary families seems wilfully blind to the hardship currently facing many New Zealand parents, and their innocent children.
September 15th 2011
September 29th 2011