to demand water meter referendumBy Alan Tristram, Editor
A large group of Kāpiti citizens have marched through the centre of Paraparaumu in a demonstration against the Kāpiti District Council’s policy on water meters.
I counted 145 citizens taking part in the march along the footpath on Rimu Road — and estimate that later about 200 protesters gathered at Kāpiti Lights. (The Council puts the figure in the actual march at 126).
A cross section of local people took part in the peaceful and orderly protest to urge the KCDC to change its present policy and allow a public referendum on water meters.
They were given continuing supported from many motorists and truck drivers who hooted their support as they drove past.
The placards, posters and badges all made the point that these people have lost faith — at least for the present — in Mayor Jenny Rowan, CEO Pat Dougherty, and the KCDC councillors.
Water meters provided the focus, but most of the marchers were clearly unhappy with the recent $44,000 pay rise for the CEO, a smaller rise for the Mayor, and costly over-runs for council projects like the rebuild of the KCDC Headquarters — all against a background of steadily rising rates at a time of financial hardship for many.
As the marchers walked past the future KCDC HQ on Rimu Road a stereo blared out the former hit song “Hey Big Spender, Spend a Little Time With Me!” The protest didn’t seem to go down too well with some of the construction workers on the site.
thrilled with the turnout and they way people had peacefully made their views known.
She said: “I want lots more to sign the submission forms (for a referendum) now — we’ve only got 24 days left to do so.”
Because of the lack of space in the temporary KCDC offices, protesters were asked to go in one by one to drop off their submission forms.
A council officer said more than 50 did this, but many were handing in wads of forms filled out by others.