Horowhenua Mail : January 19th 2012
6 THURSDAY, JANUARY 19, 2012 OPINION SHOP 3 COASTLANDS. PHONE 04 297 2022 MASSIVE LEATHER/FASHION BAG and WALLET CLEARANCE SALE 5 DAYS ONLY SALE STARTS FRI 20th LABELS ON SALE INCLUDE JAG, BOCELLI, DIANA FERRARI, BEBA, DAVID LAWRENCE and FIORELLI 4313906AA 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, Horowhenua Mail and Kapiti Observer, Box 110 Paraparaumu, fax 298 2073 or email editor@kapiti- observer.co.nz Plenty of rock in Dunedin The previous occasion that the North Island required rock for a motorway, it was supplied by Palmers' Quarry of Dunedin, being transported initially by truck to Port Chalmers, then by barge. Six years ago when I last visited Dunedin, there was ample second grade rock available for this job. Very sorry, Bos O'Sullivan (Letters, January 12) because my final position before retirement was quarry office person. Barry E Barker Levin Liquefaction could affect rates Those who live on or near the Horowhenua coast it's time to get your head out of the sand before the sand comes up to meet you. This issue is so real that Horizons Regional Council quite rightly is considering having an emergency fund rate put on our present regional rates to cover an earthquake disaster in our region. The Horowhenua district has been identified as having a high liquefaction risk area -- similar to Christchurch -- plus two major fault lines running through it. So it's time to act before it is too late. Our district council is currently rating us on land value and it is possible that your Quotable Value land value has recently been decreased. If you think your rates will go down think again. Our district council is currently holding a rates review and it is possible that they could change the system to capital value, which could alter the rates demand for your property. Let your voice be heard by attending the rates review meeting which has been proposed to be held on Tuesday January 31 at 7pm in the council chambers, Oxford St, Levin. David Thomson Horowhenua District Ratepayers and Residents Association Degrees of sportsmanship Paraparaumu Cricket Club captain Adrian Riley, last week stated that the decision to give out first drop batsmen Guy Borren for obstructing fielders ran against the spirit of the game and suggested that the Kapiti Old Boys team were unsportsmanlike ('Just not cricket' ruling, January 12). The Paraparaumu captain and his team have conveniently forgotten about their mankad'' attempt on a Kapiti batsmen during the first innings of the game. The mankad'' (run out at the non-strikers end) is as low as you can get so perhaps people in glass houses should not be throwing stones. Darryl Franks Paraparaumu Need a bridge and need it now Over recent months State Highway 1 has been blocked to traffic many times because of motor car incidents. This has caused a lot of frustration to many people. The incidents highlight how vulnerable this area is with only one road north over the Waikanae River. What we require now is another vehicular bridge over the river and you would have an immediate by-pass from Poplar Ave in the south, through to Peka Peka Rd in the north, in fact if there was a notional road from Peka Peka to Te Hapua, you could go through to Te Horo Beach Rd. No more consultations, use logic and do it now. Red Capewell Paraparaumu The views of 'hollow' people It seems to me that a number of bigots, not confined to one viewpoint, have persisted throughout the letter writing saga over the expressway; and most of us will know who they are. I call them the hollow men and women. It was therefore a pleasure to read Ross Church's letter (Letters, January 16) setting out his reasons for supporting the project even if I believe he misses the point of some opposing views, and like many politicians avoids the bigger picture. I enjoyed his letter that much more simply because I recalled another letter, years back, with two signatories, one of which was his, outlining a number of reasons not to build a motorway through the Sandhills route. This appears to prove most, if not exactly all, in the Kapiti region are human -- even councillors. David Bush Waikanae Beach Shearer's chance to take a stand TALKING POLITICS GORDON CAMPBELL Between mid-January and the opening of Parliament in early February, Labour has a narrow window of oppor- tunity to define what the party stands for under its new leader, David Shearer. After that, the Government's normal round of parliamentary business will set the political agenda. By default, Shearer will then be at risk of becoming known to the public for what he opposes, rather than what he stands for. Being perceived as negative never worked very well for Shearer's predecessor. To date, Shearer has projected little more than a desire to be liked, and a willingness to travel everywhere to listen to everyone. That approach may work for the Prime Minister, but it won't do for the current Leader of the Oppo- sition, who is still an unknown quantity even to many who voted for Labour at the last election. By mid-January, there were already stirrings of unease about Labour's silence on the Ports of Auckland dispute. On welfare reform, the only sign of life has been Trevor Mallard's recent advocacy online of an article by a British Labour poli- tician proposing to tone down the Left's opposition to such reforms. What we can also expect to see is Labour backing off from a few of the populist moves it made pre- election, such as removing GST from fruit and vegetables and extending in-work tax credits to beneficiaries. At the time, Labour didn't seem to believe wholeheartedly in those policies, which were more about guarding its flank against the Greens than any lasting commit- ment. Reportedly, Labour is gearing up to focus on the economy this year, and on the lack of jobs being generated under the current econ- omic settings. It's very early days. Yet the talk of re-positioning'' Labour seems to entail surrendering its tentative recent steps to the left, and moving back towards the cen- tre. If so, there would be very little about the Shearer era that would surprise Phil Goff. Theoretically, Labour would thus be doing the same thing National does so successfully. Time and again, the Govern- ment uses the Act Party and Maori Party as cover for some of its more unpopular policies while treading a centrist line itself. Similarly, Labour may hope to leave the Greens to carry the fight for unionists and beneficiaries, without offending the wider pub- lic.In practice though, that course would be a path to irrelevance. Labour cannot simply become the party of jobs, while ducking for cover on everything else. If Shearer tries to avoid offend- ing the mythical centre, there will be plenty of contenders -- Winston Peters for one, Russel Norman for another -- willing to lead the charge on behalf of the working poor and the beneficiaries who have hitherto looked to Labour. Luckily, the public's patience never proves everlasting. The two major parties cannot expect to get away forever with being blank slates with likeable leaders, on to whom voters are invited to project their desires. Sooner or later, both have to stand up and show their true colours. Any goodwill to Shearer will evaporate if he fails to step up on the contentious, divisive issues as well as the easy ones. While the country has been on holiday, it has been willing to let Shearer take his time. But the clock is ticking.
January 12th 2012
January 26th 2012