Life with The Patels

Shirish Patel and his daughter Pal Vasant  (obviously a threat to public safety) !

KIN asks the KCDC — Why are you picking on the little guys?

By Alan Tristram; photos by Helen Tristram

Harry Busch, main character for one of my favourite detective authors, says this about life: “Everyone matters, or no-one does.”

Street scene near the Patels Four Square store

Unfortunately this doesn’t seem to apply for our Council officials– and Mayor K Gurunathan — or they’d be treating the Patel Family better.

The Patels who run the Raumati Beach Four Square have been ordered to remove a firewood pallet from outside their shop. But it seems all other shops in the area with items outside have been left alone. Where’s the justice in this?

Today we asked the KCDC six questions:

  • 1. Why exactly was this action ( a ban on the firewood display outside) taken by the KCDC.
  • 2. Why isn’t similar action being taken against other businesses with items on the footpaths?
  • 3. Why doesn’t the KCDC have a policy for all businesses that is fair and equitable.
  • 4. The Patels have a wide footpath outside their shop. Across the road, within 100 metres of the Patels, there is a mower shop with potentially dangerous machines covering a much greater percentage of a narrower footpath. What action has the KCDC taken against this shop.
  • 5. Various items of street furniture, and road signs, abound in this area. What is the KCDC doing about this?
  • 6. Outside the pub, on the western side, a large metal road sign has been lying on the footpath for many days. This is not easily seen by the elderly, especially at night. What action has the Council taken about this?

Mayor’s explanation

We raised this with Kapiti’s Mayor (see below).

Guru needs to front up with fair answers to six fair questions !

The Patels understood he’d promised to visit them on Monday, but he hasn’t shown up yet. However, the Mayor now says:

‘Firstly I did not make a promise to meet on Monday. I said I will meet with staff on the matter. Yesterday I texted the owner that I will arrange for him to meet staff in my office . That is now being arranged.’

KIN understands the Council staff think  this is a ‘public safety’ issue. Obviously many little old ladies’ lives are in peril every time they totter past the firewood pallet on the capacious pavement outside the Patels.

But then they can nimbly avoid the pavement furniture that litters the rest of Raumati Beach– and the machinery on a narrower stretch of road just near by.

Open for business ?

KIN asks, is the Kapiti Coast District Council really ‘Opened for Business’ and closed for the Patels?



There are just no words to describe this treatment of the Patel team.

As for the Mayor, in my view there are “Leaders” and there are “Inspectors”. Quite often I have found folks who are in senior management type positions consider themselves to be leaders. But there actions are just those of “inspectors”, even if given their roll they are the “head inspector” The Mayor on this issue and a number of others recently shows absolutely none of the traits of a good leader But does make an average ” Head Inspector”! Actually in this specific case it will be interesting to see how he is able to interpret the rules that came up with the requirement to remove the wood display!

The other option of course, if my assumption is incorrect, and he is a real “Leader” after all, he will immediately advise the Patel’s and all the other shopkeepers “go for it all Raumati shopkeepers, get your displays out there and keep up the Bon Vivance of the village. All the folks who shop there, young and old, are “big people” they will figure out how to get around the displays.

Guru as a leader please just don’t forget to remind, very nicely, your safety inspector just who is actually running things…….or else you can say “read my lips”. That’s what “leaders” do!

Cheers Tony Fraei