Peter Ellis talks with Roger Childs
When I first stood for council back in the 1990s the Kapiti area was like a 1960s town. Now it is developing into a modern city. Peter Ellis
Part of the local scene
- participating in running, cycling, duathlons and triathlons
- organising events from horse races to triathlons
- coaching athletes and refereeing rugby
- featuring as a sports radio announcer
- coordinating primary school sport
- heading Sport Kapiti for many years
- encouraging people from children to the elderly to get out and exercise.
Now in his early seventies Peter is still an active multi-sporter. In 2012 he was first Kiwi home in his age group at the World Triathlon Championships in Auckland and this year was second in the New Zealand Duathlon Championships 70-74 group. He is a life member of the Kapiti Running and Tri Club.
Caught in the tide for change
Peter Ellis was swept out of office along with Mayor Jenny Rowan and respected councillors Roger Booth and Tony Lester. Peter describes the results as interesting. He puts the election outcome down to people voting for one ticket (Kapiti Coastal Ratepayers United) and a number of issues, some of which, he feels, were misunderstood.
- Water issues. Water meters, in his view, will help conserve district supplies and the Waikanae River recharge scheme will allow KCDC to take more water out of the river than previously. But clearly a lot of people are not happy with water meters in particular.
- The new council building. More needed to be done to the building than was first thought and some of the essential alterations were only apparent once the gutting of the old building was done.
- The ramp for disabled people in the new Aquatic Centre. According to Peter, the Council wanted to wait and see what the needs were once the pool was operational.
- The district plan. He points out that it is a draft and there is a two year process. Workshops were set up to discuss it but few people attended.
- Coastal hazard lines. He didn’t think that this was a big one for the election. Council acted on the scientific advice they were given and things might even get worse.
- People voting on a particular issue. Obviously there were a lot people against water meters who signed the petition which was not acted on.
Peter feels that the Council made some hard decisions and often got bad press.
An effective council
Peter Ellis was not going to stand this time, but because he felt the existing council was working very well, threw his hat in the ring again. We had a lot of vigorous discussion and argued the issues through, then got on with it to make things happen.
When asked about the achievements of the 2010-2013 council he listed
- The Aquatic Centre: 27,000 visits in the first month
- The Hockey Turf stadium
- The purchase of land for new parks south of the Waikanae River
- The upgrades to Paraparaumu Beach and Raumati Beach
- The skateboard park and Marine Gardens
- Stimulating business development round the airport
- By cooperating on the expressway, council has been able to get significant concessions from NZTA
- Purchase of land for a future dam in the Maungakotukutuku Valley
- The new council building which complements the Library and Aquatic Centre
- Development of a lot of new walkways and cycleways
- Ensuring that the Kapiti area will not have future water supply problems.
The last three years have been the best, in his view, for getting things done and improving the facilities of the district.
Pride in being part of the decision making over the years
Looking back over 18 years Peter is pleased to have had a hand in transforming the Kapiti area. In addition to the developments mentioned above, there has been
- the building of the Paraparaumu Library
- the introduction of kerbside recycling
- the combining of the waste water systems for Waikanae and Paraparaumu and converting the Waikanae Beach sewage ponds into lakes
- the walking bridge over the Waikanae River
- approving the airport development
- ensuring that the expressway will be beneficial for the area.
Where to now?
Peter Ellis won’t be putting his feet up watching television and reading sports books. He will still be running and biking the roads and tracks around the district, organising primary school sport, following local sport and maybe spending more time on home improvements like extending the deck.