Ask Us First

2500 Anti-water Meter Signatures in 15 Days

(By Jackie Elliott)
Not having organised a petition before, I had no idea what I was in for: But its really rewarding and I think everyone appreciates that they are part of a strong community effort here and that their signature is important.

I ask the public to promise me  “If Council ignores your name, don’t vote them back in”.

 If it wasn’t for the poor hourly rate, and shocking hours, I would do this all the time.

It’s demanding though and I am yet to get to a railway station platform at 5.45am, but the team are enjoying being out there on the streets.

It is quite addictive, and if I am ever down with all the correspondence, I pop the kids in the car and go talk to the locals for an hour. They are such a great pick me up! I take two petition boards now; there’s no point in making people wait to sign.

Our time is filled with thumbs up and hugs from the public. Some want a big chat about their gripes with Council, about their experiences with water meters in other towns and countries, some about how hard it is to put food on the table without this extra bill.

Weekend markets
We do extrra campaigning at the weekend markets. We’re noisy, so I am sure the other stall holders are grateful when we leave. And we’ve decided to continue the petition right through October and into November.

We have had interesting but minimal reactions from Council — a campaigner’s billboard was taken down on Kapiti Rd by Council staff. It was on private land too, and we were a bit cheesed, but he has got it back.

There’s been no other response from Council, except for those atrociously expensive newspaper advertisements; the Councillors are surprisingly quiet.

Meanwhile, the CEO has packed off out of the country; and our Community Board Chair in Otaki has declined my offer to sign the petition.

Some of our best supporters have been the anti water-meter campaigners from Nelson (our CEO Pat Dougherty was employed there for the past 24yrs)P.

They are being very helpful with our campaign and one even came to Paraparaumu  for a meeting with me to recount Nelson’s experiences — we had lunch complete with a glass of Nelson water and a glass of Kapiti’s town supply water.

My visitor, Rick,was impressed with the taste of our water.

I pointed out that,once the bores are open ,it’s a different story. However,I said, “It is free for now, so enjoy it while you can!”