Neighbourhood Support Boosted in Kapiti

Community safety in Kapiti will get a boost with the police working closely with Neighbourhood Support and the Council to increase the effectiveness of Neighbourhood Support Groups.

Mayor K Gurunathan says he recently met Kelsey Scarr the Community Adviser of Neighbourhood Support NZ, and Cheryl Watson the National Support Manager of Community Patrols.

Kapiti’s Mayor K Gurunathan

Key meeting held in Paraparaumu

The meeting at the Police Call Centre in Paraparaumu was attended by Kapi Mana Police Commander;p Inspector Tracey Thompson, Manager Community Services; and Mental Health Inspector Rob Sum.

Also attending were Coordinator Community Policing, Senior Sergeant Alasdair MacMillan, and Sergeant Channel Chapman.

Neighbourhood Support is a nationwide community-led movement that brings people and neighbourhoods together to create safe and resilient communities.

Community safety after the March 15 attack

The Mayor says that following the March 15 Christchurch terror attack there is an increased awareness of community safety.

The flower memorial to the terror victims in Christchurch

‘Add to this the government’s repeated messaging on civil emergency resilience and preparedness, the potential role of NSGs in meeting these challenges is a no-brainer,’ he says.

Funding problems

And the Mayor says: ‘I’m aware that ASK, the Neighbourhood Support coordinator for the area of Kapiti south of Otaki, had recently withdrawn from its role citing funding problems.

All options open’

‘So the meeting at the Police Call Centre identified the need for a more dynamic approach. This includes a review to explore the best delivery model to develop and expand Kapiti’s share of NSGs. All options are open.

‘There are a number of delivery models including the use of an incorporated society like in Waitakere, the use of a multi-services umbrella organisation as in Masterton , or as in the case of Hastings where NSGs are coordinated by the local council.’

Councillor Elliot should front up and confess whether she voted for the contestable funding process.Interesting choice of description… that it’s the Mayor’s council i.e Cr Elliot is not part of this council.

So the police have told the current mayor that he needs a ‘more dynamic approach’. We’ve been noticing the absence of that for 3 years. He will have in his words ‘an exploratory review’ an extremely political response of ‘do nothing’. Where did the extremely well used police kiosk at the beach disappear too?’ Why are police services gradually being moved to Porirua? How was ASK disenfranchised? We need services here now.. Nathan Guy’s decision of resignation is a good example to some other current community leaders.

This is an interesting and poor response your worship, to the reality. Which is – When council goes along with a proposal from management to withdraw funding for all groups that provide community services like this, and makes the groups apply in a contestable funding process for a pool of funding that has been reduced and is no longer sufficient to provide for all. This is exactly what happened in June 2018. Every single service and national programme provided to Kapiti communities was put at risk while the theory was tested. 6 groups, including A.S.K. did not meet criteria for funding. They were assisted to amalgamate, Outcome unknown and every programme at risk during the process. THIS IS THE RESULT. Please face up to the real social cost to our residents of the decisions of your council as Mayor. Please do not try and redress the reality as you have in this story, A.S.K Kapiti are a vital service that Kapiti benefited from. They continue to provide vital services like the Health Shuttle service taking Kapiti residents to their hospital appointments. While meth addiction is a visible threat to the safety of our residents, while our residents private homes are burgled with increasing regularity in broad daylight and during the dark of night, our residents need the effective delivery of Neighbourhood Watch more than ever.


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