By Alan Tristram
Kapiti Councillor K Gurunathan has finally responded to KIN’s appeals on behalf of the long-suffering Patels of the Raumati Beach Four Square dairy.
The hard-working Patels have no short-term parking for their patrons because the Kapiti Coast District Council has put two — repeat two — large disabled parking places right outside their entrance — and 60-minute parking down the rest of Margaret Road, effectively depriving them of all short stay-parking for their customers.
Some weeks ago we asked Cr Gurunathan for a statement on this KCDC botch-up. Here, at long last, is his reply:
Cr Gur4unathan thanks Kapiti Independent
By Cr K Gurunathan
‘Thanks to Kapiti Independent News for putting me on the spot. I would have expected nothing less. Firstly, welcome to an insight into the wheels of bureaucracy. They work very slowly through a process. It’s worse when action is expected during the Christmas and holiday break. It’s the nature of the beast. This was explained to the Patels.
Secondly, in your tex inviting me to respond you stated why should the Patel’s “be burdened” by having two parking lots reserved for the disabled outside his business. Wrong choice of words on your part. Serving members of the disabled community is a privilege never a burden. That is a mark of civilised communities. I agree however that this privilege should be shared amongst the other businesses.
Despite being the holiday season, staff had responded to my alert and had visited the site and measured the size of the lots and agreed that it was over sized. The process problem is not as simple as a paint job. This is especially so in cases which involve the rights of our community with disabilities. People who are already facing a range of everyday discrimination. While the Patels have a point, the matter has to go before the Paraparaumu Raumati Community Board via a staff report. I expect staff to have consulted with the advisory group representing our community with disabilities.
It’s worth mentioning that what the Patel’s are facing is not unique. A competing corner dairy on nearby Matatua Rd has complained about excessive use of the parking space fronting his retail outlet by nearby cafe patrons. I have also alerted staff about a problem faced by an electronic repair shop on Milne Drive. Staff from other businesses permanently park outside their shop.
Their clients include many elderly who are forced to carry their heavy electronic goods. Then along Kapiti Rd by Arko Place, fronting the Pacific Radiology, local businesses are cursing council for a narrow road design and parking congestion.
Yet another sore point is around the Aotea laboratory along Rimu Rd. People already stressed with health concerns, especially elderly citizens, face a chronic lack of parking. During week days the kerb and even the berm between the pohutukawa trees are taken up by cars belonging to rail commuters.
I don’t mean to make the Patel’s molehill problem into a mountain but it’s the tip of an iceberg. Paraparaumu is growing and the growth, from a transport perspective, continues to be a car-dominated one. We are beginning to see an increasing parking problem and council has yet to fund a comprehensive study to understand this problem. I suspect any study could throw up a solution that no politician would champion – parking meters.