Local historian Anthony Dreaver has attended one of the first election meetings –and come away convinced ‘we need to do democracy better.’
In his letter to the Editor, he says: ‘Well, it was an interesting morning.
We went to Paekakariki Hall to hear the district-wide candidates (most of whom turned up) and the Paekakariki/Raumati Ward candidates. All organised by Grey Power – good on them.
Gulf between the rates-focused and futurists
First thing that stood out was a gulf between those who just promised to keep the rates down and those who’ve noticed that Transmission Gulley will overturn the District as we know it, and want to prepare for the future.
Much still to discuss
We all ought to have paid more attention to the long-term plan. But why haven’t we had a series of public forums to consider the future: what must we change and what must we protect? Apologies if I missed them! I think there’s still a lot to talk about.
Second thing was to realise that we were outsiders. The talk was mainly about Paekakariki, although one or two people murmured that they were from Raumati.
Where exactly are the Ward boundaries?
Again my ignorance showed. Where were the ward boundaries? Back home I checked the election website but, strangely, it didn’t show this vital information.
On the phone, a helpful council officer told me to go to KCDC website and click on ‘Maps/ Map Viewer GIS’. Who knew how to do that? Or that the voting wards are very different from the Community Board boundaries, especially for Raumati.
A missed opportunity
Yes, I knew that once, but I’d forgotten and I expect this is true for a high proportion of the Raumati South/Beach people affected. Most of you have now missed the chance to meet your ward candidates.
Finally, do we get enough information about what Council does?
My respect to Kapiti News and others for their free service, but I don’t think so.
Read Papers Past reports of Hutt County Council meetings from 1890 to find a word for word account of what went on in Paraparaumu. Not any more. Only when someone misbehaves or is outraged.
We need to do democracy better.’