New Kāpiti Protest Group To Fight Huge Library Book Cuts

Kāpiti Independent says a powerful new protest group will form soon on the Coast to fight the KCDC’s slashing of the Libraries’ book budget.

Shelves in the ‘Democracy of Knowledge’ could be halved

In an unprecedented and unannounced move, the District Council decided to almost halve the libraries’ book budget.

This means the libraries will lose $191,500 of books and materials in the coming year.

The new group plan to make the Library cuts a major issue in the forthcoming elections.

Candidates will face tough questions

The Independent understands all candidates will be asked to promise to restore the full budget as soon as possible after the election.

So far not one councillor, or Mayor K Gurunathan, have explained adequately why they allowed the cuts to go through, says KIN.

( we invite them to do so now)

After we broke the story, Mayor K Gurunathan was asked to provide a full explanation. After a full day’s delay he sent a 30-word email —

Kapiti’s Mayor K Gurunathan — evasive reply

The budget for the 2019/20 year for the purchase of new books was cut from $402k to $211k. It was done through the Annual Plan process to reduce capital expenditure.’

The Kāpiti Independent says its been told the new group will apply a ‘white-hot blowtorch’ to the issue, and has been told all avenues will be explored to reverse the decision.

Hello, yes I agree, that is why the Mayor and Deputy Mayor promptly answered your questions here on K.I.N. and I followed up with further information in support of them in a comment 3 times longer than normally allowed. My request last Thursday to council staff and the table was they rescind the book budget cut, as the newly opened Waikanae Pop-Up library is 50% an operational service centre and 50% library facility. Would they support the funding for it to be 50% from an operational budget and only 50% being from the library materials budget, The rest (approx $90k) being held in surplus for future library material purchases as there is no way the council can buy more books, they will just get out of date while sitting unpacked in storage.
This was not supported so did not go to the vote, as they said – there was no surplus, it had been spent on the Pop-Up library already. but you can hear the full discussion if you did not see it on the livestream video feed at the time. I am interested in your comments on the proposal.

Councillor Elliott, do you have the documentation that you made any attempt to put the issue on the agenda…in other words can you prove it!

The below has been sent to both ‘official’ outlets but that means little so hoping Alan will kindly print it here just in case..

Dear Editor,
In these days of incompetence and neglect a very sick animal on Rimu Road needs our help. It has overdosed on a most dangerous substance called power. It seems this drug has deformed the mind of of this poor soul to the degree that it believes it can get away with anything.
Every time a swimmer enters the $25,000,000 pool it costs ratepayers $9 in a subsidy. You may have heard of the Waikanae library mess? It appears now that library staff are being blamed for this instead of where the blame really lies which is on the top floor of Rimu Road. Evading responsibility has been risen to an art form by this animal and this time they have outdone themselves by making revenge book funding cuts because of their neglect. With the highest library membership in New Zealand, an already underfunded service gets $5.09 in new books per user yearly. Remember that at the polls and as you drive past the pool and many other expensive sports facilities we have plenty of funds for.

Sincerely, Joanne Birch, , Otaki

People, please wise up to these bullies. They do not even have the courage to face up to their own proposal in any way considered fair. There is only one thing left that the voting public can reasonably do. Vote these greedy fools out of office. No if’s, buts or maybe’s. They have shown over many years their contempt for ratepayers and their needs. Can you still not see this? A word of advice to this new group being formed. Do not become a one trick pony. The district needs a staunch fair minded and very strong new residents association and there is no better time than now to do so. A second point is that if this comes to pass, make it that no one from said association will stand for council. That has never worked as the water con lady has well proved (see comment above).

I would encourage you to get a copy of the audio recordings of last Thursday’s Operations and Finance meeting at council. Although I was unable to get the issue on this agenda or the previous weeks council meeting as the Chairs did not accept it, I took steps to ensure there was a robust discussion and a request made by the Mayor to the C.E. to explain if the budget cut would be made elsewhere. Anyone protesting should listen to this to at least hear the facts and be well informed.
Here is a summary –
$211k worth of new materials incl books will be purchased in this financial year and $211 (approx 17,000 books) wont be. But over next year a large portion of this years order will arrive, it is not here yet. Most will not be able to fit on our shelves (Staff are yet to confirm how many metres of permanent book shelving was lost when the 2 storey Waikanae Library was closed) and will go packed into atmospherically controlled storage where 20,000 books (a glut in purchased stock) currently sits unpacked. So the public will still be supplied the same amount this year, staff can just open some of the pallets of boxes in storage, stack them to the roof and council will have less storage space to pay for .

Hello Cr Elliott
The public awaits a full explanation from the Council;and should not have to go searching for audio recordings. This is no way to communicate with the public!
Are you now saying the reason for the cut in the budget for books and materials is the lack of shelving space in one library?
Editor

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