Anti Meter Campaign

Kāpiti protesters march in force on Council offices

to demand water meter referendum

By 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.

Three former KCDC councillors, including Tony Jack, a former Finance Committee chairman (left), gathered shortly after 11.30am just south of Media House on Rimu Road.

They filled out submission forms for the Council planning process and made their views plain with dozens of placards held high — and attached to the fence along the paddock adjoining the road.

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.

The leading organiser for ‘Ask Us Now, Jackie Elliott (right) said she was

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.




Our ‘Secret Weapon of Mass Destruction’ has been completed and will be deployed on the day I have the honour of unveiling it to council and the public alike when I make my verbal submission on water meters. I implore all to come and see the short presentation, as it will be a thing of beauty to see, experience and something to tell the grandkids about in the years to come. More on this later when I know the date of the meeting…

It was interesting that a Nelson resident came over to address the crowd before the meeting and march to warn us of his experience with the Nelson metering project. Water is an essential public good that is life giving. Without water there is no food. veggie gardens will disappear. Those who cannot afford water meter charges will be penalised and I am afraid the council will be faced with some powerful court cases as they try to extricate the payments from the poor. In all cases so far, councils have lost at great ratepayer expense.

Hello Kapiti,
We are on track to have a social gathering (hopefully at the same paddock the march started from, it’s our land apparently). A place to feel safe to bring your whole family for a positive get together and sausage sizzle (a big one). If it is possible an appearence by the Water Meter Blues Band even if only brief would be a priceless boon to us all. I for one want to hear this Somebody Done Stole My Water song of their as I sure you do too. The way to deal with our errant council is with love and tenderness. They are after all only acting like naughty children and we don’t want to smack them, but just let them know with love in our meterless hearts that they are straining the parent/child relationship. Anyway not this Saturday but the next is an ideal time according to the ‘signs’ to have the “Sausage Sizzle of Light” to get to know each other and have some fun doing so. When you look at it from a distince, our naughty children have done us a huge favour. In these harsh times for most we do need to come together somewhat and talk, laugh and enjoy each others company. More to come also about our low-tech Secret Weapon’, so keep watching this space which appears to be as the masthead says Truly Independent.

It was a great protest to be a part of!!! The council and mayor are none too bright are they. When they ignored our 7662 odd signatures for a referendum they made many people angry. We must continue on our fight and get as many people as we can to fill out a submission form simply saying that they are against water meters. The petition made people very aware that the water meters are very real and a very large problem for all of us whether we be ratepayers or not. There are after all thousands of us and merely a handful of councilors plus the mayor. We must keep to task and focus on getting those forms in to council. I read this saying today, I dont know who said it first but it is very famous. “EVIL PREVAILS WHEN GOOD MEN AND WOMAN DO NOTHING” This is evil what our council is doing to us all, taking no notice of our democratic rights. Surely there is more to democracy than simply having a vote!!!!!!!!! The people we vote in are supposed to listen to us and not to dictate to us. Have a good watermeterless week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sadly this measure will be pushed through just like all the other “we are listening to you” measures they have pushed through. Keep watching. As soon as they figure
out how to meter the air you breathe, they will do it!

Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have dinner!

Indirectly this Council through their determination to thrust water meters at us are encouraging us to think “Super-City” as this will be the final curtain for this hopelessly inept Council and will resolve the water issue without meters.

I am selling copies of the poster (A4) for a gold coin of either $1 or $2 donation to help fund the fight against this meter menace. Someone needs to up the pace somewhat if anything is to be achieved. I’m quite certain that if every Kapiti residents submitted a council owned form, it would do little to change a mindset bent on acquiring the big bucks for certain ‘project’s. We also need the use of a recording space and help with the production of a few tracks to put on the disc for which you have an early mock-up included in the attachments above. Any help you can provide would I’m sure be greatly appreciated by the community at large.

Regarding Tony Lester’s abhorrence at a member of the March entering the council building and shouting “Seig Heil”, although it is anything but a general thing to do, it shows that Tony Lester and presumably his other council people have no sense or understanding of the total frustration that the person has with KCDC, and just vented his Germanic Dictatorship salute, as to what, heaven forbid, appears to many, to be fast becoming a Kapiti Dictatorship.

soon enough there will be footpath usage meters, charging you how much you walk. the council always has to find a way to be bloodsuckers dont they!

Yes Tony I’m sure you’re right as always. As to our glorious fighting men who were lost to Hitler’s madness and the untold millions like them, do you think they would back you and your kind who obviously wish to control our lives and financial well being via meters? Is that what they died for, control by the power hungry? My granddaughter will be two years old this coming ANZAC Day (my little Anzac bullet). I fervently hope that you and those like you will not be using that glorious but ultimately tragic day to further your politically perverted mindset onto the other humans around you. But of course we both know the control freaks like you just can’t help yourselves. I will raise her to know you and those like you by instinct and fight you till her last breath.

I can assure you that the person who yelled out Seig Heil does not represent the views of the protesters today. His outburst was absolutely reprehensible.

I was there and agree with Tony Lester that the sieg shout was the wrong thing to do. Of course the fact is that the Lester’s of the world are dictating to the rest of us.
At least a silly shout doesn’t add to your rates bill. Might the misguided one have been making the same point, but just in a more direct manner? What we all need now is for a Saturday protset with sausage sizzle (a big one to feed the 100’s who will arrive) with a bit of light musical entertainment and gold coin donations to bolster the good work…

Kind Regards from Otaki Beach – Chris Watson.

I was at the council offices today to support the council staff. It is fair to say that the demonstration was orderly with most people being given the chance to have their say in a fair and organized manner. However it was not acceptable for one of the marchers to walk into the council offices and yell at the top of his voice Sieg Heil, Seig Heil, Seig Heil. Sadly this undermined any attempt at a protest for me especially on this day of all days as New Zealanders wear our poppies today to mark the courage of our previous generations in fighting the scourge of Nazi Germany.

I hope the organizers of today’s march do not condone this attitude, and if they do then they should take a good hard look at themselves.

Well, very good, that’s what it’s about really, not rolling over and having your tummy tickled. Or more likely getting
hoofed in the nether regions … because water metering is but a step away from privatisation of our water. Look at what happened in Noosa Shire, Q’land: owned by Pepsi Cola now.

It was great to see so many people at today’s “beat up” of the mayor and her council cronies, not only was the crowd so orderly under the circumstances of the occasion, but it was so abundantly clear that the march has clearly shown to council of the unceasing will of the people, that what they are proposing is totally against the will of the people. The continual horn blowing from the passing vehicles also increased the vehement disapproval to council of the complete abhorrence at the thought that council was even contemplating installing water meters against the wishes of the majority of the Kapiti community.
With around 8,000 signatures already calling for a referendum on the water meter situation, it has been so undemocratically shunned by dictatorship of the mayor.
Should the mayor together with her councillors continue with their quest for water meters, the situation must be addressed by the public with civil disobedience, i.e. such as withholding payment of rates, by lodging the appropriate amount, either in an interest bearing bank account, a lawyer’s trust account or in some such form? By doing this the council will be unable to function if it is not receiving its ratepayers contribution’s.
Come on All of the Kapiti Community let us get behind this problem with Council.

I’m sick of hearing about this stupid and tiresome protest. The meter system is a fair one. It’s a management tool, not an attack on people’s grandmothers.

Given the increasingly ominous attacks on our local democracy by super-city campaigners who take for granted that we will roll over to have our tummies tickled, we need to stand together. Let our council govern us, as they were elected to do. In the super-city, who will listen?

You fail to realise there is a difference between being governed and being dictated to !, if your sick of listening to what people in your community want why not stick your fingers in your ears ?! be a good excuse for your current state of ignorance !
At what point did we, the citizens give this council a mandate to IMPLEMENT meters ?.