Being independent and not concerned about offending advertisers, we can tackle issues that the other media are reluctant to. Geoffrey Churchman
Eyes on the town
By Roger Childs
Meeting Eva and Geoffrey at the The Front Room last week was a pleasure.
The cafe is a beach institution, and the scones are always fresh and the coffee, hot and tasty. It was the perfect setting to chew the fat on community issues and the role of the local fourth estate.
The Churchmans moved to Waikanae early in 2006 and continued their long term interest in local body politics.
They started Waikanae Watch: issues of relevance to Waikanae people, partly because of worries over what was going on in the Kapiti Coast District Council (KCDC).
They had particular concerns about the spending projects and councillor conflict during the Jenny Rowan era. Geoffrey stood for Council in 2015 by-election, and again in 2016.
However, as well as wanting to reflect on local government matters, they also felt that the town, which covers a range of environments from the beach to the hills, needed an independent voice.
Lifestyle and issues
In their own words, they thought it was important for it to be an on-line magazine with plenty of positive posts about the relaxed lifestyle, and the features that draw people to the town: gardens, trees, coastal and low mountain scenery, bush and river walks, and the great beach.
However, like many folk in the area, they have been concerned about political issues affecting Waikanae in particular, and the wider Kapiti Coast. A significant worry has been the lack of consultation on many Council policies.
In recent times they have investigated and commented on
- the wisdom of local sub-divisions near the new expressway
- excessive spending by Council on lawyers and consultants
- the impact of the expressway
- the negative effects of 1080 poison.
Waikanae Watch also picks up on regional, national and international issues from time to time.
Nevertheless, the main focus is on the home town.
Along with pretty photos, the blog features items of local history, local notable people, arts, culture and sports. They include plenty of ideas about how the Waikanae experience can enhanced for both residents and visitors. Geoffrey Churchman
The blog is definitely worth viewing regularly and one of its appealing features is the superb presentation.