Petition Launched to Save Libraries’ Budget

The new Kapiti readers group ROBB — Restore Our Books Budget — has just launched a people’s petition to save the libraries’ book budget.

Shelves in the ‘Democracy of Knowledge’

And it says the budget cuts will be a major issue in the Kapiti local body election.

The Kapiti Coast Council slashed the budget by $192,000, or nearly 50 percent, in its annual plan.

So the Petition is calling for an immediate reversal of the funding cut, proper funding for new library acquisitions, and a commitment to increase funding levels to the equivalent of Wellington in three years.

Headed ‘41,000 Library Members Robbed,’ the Petition says the KCDC has cut the books and materials budget from $402,500 to $211,000.

It says:” There was no consultation. There was no warning.’

The new budget allocates just $5.10 per year per library member, when Wellington spends $25.90 per member.

The chair of ROBB, Christopher Ruthe, says that during the local body elections the group will be targeting the politicians who approved the cuts.

” I think the answer goes without saying. And while I respect that he probably has more questions than room, it seems to me that there is something at least slightly wrong with that…”.

‘Slightly wrong?’ I believe you are being a bit generous to Dave with that comment. I haven’t seen yesterdays paper but when you do correlate his questions with my one and tell me how it shapes up against the ‘Official media version’?

@Chris Walker – I think the answer goes without saying. And while I respect that he probably has more questions than room, it seems to me that there is something at least slightly wrong with that…

Why don’t you email all the candidates? During election period surely they should take the time to respond.

Hi Henry,
I’m sure the few of us who still hope to see a wee little bit of actual democracy breaking out behind the ‘Iron Curtain’ would be appreciative of that well overdue question being asked and hopefully answered honestly. I would do it myself but being in the same room as these people after having a meal (within the last 5 days) is not good for my indigestion.

This is a conversation I recently had with one of the media outlets and I will let the public decide how good or bad the answer is that I got:

Hi David,
I take it you will be running the question the candidates thing and wondered if you would ask this one?

1. Do you believe and will you vote for public speaking time to be restored to the beginning of all public meetings and the original five minutes time frame?

It’s a fair question that council watchers would like answered. A council that makes you wait three hours to not listen to complaints isn’t much of a democratic institution is it?
David Haxton (Kapiti News Editor),
Thanks we’ve got an election supplement coming out but won’t have room for that question.
Hi David,
Well then I’ll be interested to read whether the questions being asked are more worthy that that one or not. CW

Tut tut Henry, if the lady wishes to talk about any subject who are we to stop her? She obviously feels quite guilty about it so let her go dude. Over half the electorate have an interest about this why not?

If you are going to another meeting you could do us all a favour by asking this question?

“Do you believe that public speaking time should be restored to the beginning of all public meetings and also be restored to the original five minutes timeframe and will you vote accordingly? “

Hi Chris,

“Re the Waikanae park thing, being that the $4,000,000 is coming from all of us and not just the parks future users don’t we all have a right to a say?” – Well I do see the argument for that. However, I would hope that the $4m represents the part of the Council budget set aside for Waikanae’s growth in particular. For example, I would assume that a certain amount is devoted to urban development in each district and so technically this would represent primarily Waikanae ratepayer money. (But then again, maybe I am giving the Council too much credit for planning in that, as you mention many things are still waiting to be done throughout the district) Overall, though I definitely agree with your sentiment, it seems like the people we employ with our money should be doing a bit better.

Hello Councillor Elliot,

Thank you for that information. It is good to hear. But ultimately success is all that ratapayers care about, not actual commitment or any of the tough things that go on behind the table. However, on the other hand if you were able to magically find a pot of gold to fund the books, the ratepayers would be guaranteed to re-elect you, and probably not even ask where the money came from.

Any how, you are in a tough situation, maybe better luck next time by getting out and starting the petition yourself? Also can we please stop talking about this issue at every election debate. I hope your mayoral campaign goes well.


Hi Henry,
Re the Waikanae park thing, being that the $4,000,000 is coming from all of us and not just the parks future users don’t we all have a right to a say?

Meetings: Personally I’ve had enough of listening to bullshit ramblings of these folks having done so for some years now. I don’t believe these people are evil as such but power does turn people into something else it seems. I’ve had dealings with different ones over the years and all I can say is they are so wrapped in their own things that they don’t have the room for yours. It always helps your cause if you can get on with them as humans and that is my failing. I just cannot bring myself to bend the knee to what are in essence employees. My bad as the young folk like to term it.

Whenever you need something done it’s, “We don’t have the money for that”. This council have yet to furnish Otaki Beach children with a decently provided for playground because a lot of equipment that was taken away a couple of years ago. This stuff only has a legal lifespan of 10 years. That’s all good if replaced which it ain’t been. The wooden pirate ship is alright but what we had was better and because of well whatever the problem is we are stuck with a 3rd rate playground. I say this as the voter who originally got the borough and then district council to create the thing. I think you will find that we here at Otak beach have been waiting a bit longer than the Waikers and then some. I did the thing for my kids and here we are with those fellas own children and not a lot has changed.

Hello Chris, I appreciate your response, and you make very good points. Unfortunately the removal of one bad set of leader will inevitably result in a rash replacement so we can only hope for the best. At the same time I definitely do agree it is nice to see voters caring enough to actually give some effort and engage with the government instead of sitting back and watching in peace while it crashes and burns.

As to the Waikanae park funding I do agree with your outlook, but would of course as an elected representative aim to seek more formal consultation with the Waikanae residents so that they do not feel they are getting a doubly short stick out of this whole library affair.

And yes I can fully sympathize with your moans because I myself am of similar tendency when it comes to Council activities.

However, among all else I watch the candidates speak at the election events and hear the many promises by the candidates around coastal erosion, population growth and future infrastructure. But repeated and repeated they keep telling us “Kapiti can’t do it alone” and “we need a strong liason with gov.” And I wonder who really believes we can get all the things Kapiti needs without paying for it? Who really believed that Mexico was going to pay for the border wall?

There are a number of statements made in this story that I corrected in a comment over a week ago.
It is and always was a temporary budget reallocation and will be reinstated next financial year, It funded the Waikanae Pop-up library fitout. The Wellington book budget is $2.47 million per anum.Kapiti residents already to access to the entire Wgtn library stock andother libraries with the smart-card. I have already tried 3 times to get the budget re-allocation decision back to the table and through public discussion, is not supported by any other council members.
K.I.N. Editors –
a) You have removed my comment so the public are not aware of the facts.
b) Kapiti Independent have amended the wording of the third aim, to align with the facts. Previously the article noted the petition asked for a book budget in Kapiti of $2.47 million per annum.
c) Petition organisers who have appeared at public election meetings have been given the opportunity to ask questions about the temporary reallocation of half the book budget to another part of the libraroes budget, but have refused to ask anything, because they fear the public hearing the very real common sense answers.
Come on Kapiti Independent News, this story lacks any balance or fact and you are misleading the public
Thanks for your suggestion Henry, yes it has been discussed but with a considerable temporary shelf space reduction in Waikanae, and over 10,000 books on the current annual order still to arrive, as well as those unpacked in storage, there simply wont be enough room for all the excess book stock. This petition is all about publicity for the petition organisers,

I think Jackie you’ve got it wrong re removing a comment.

Send it again and I’ll put it on the Front Page if you like. Best wishes, Alan Tristram

Hi Henry, you as usual makes some very good points. You will I hope forgive any slights made by me as to being human and having hormoans. These sometimes get lose and cause some havoc.

“Firstly, 24 years of misrepresentation do not justify either for or against restoring the budget to the books rather it illustrates that books are not Council’s biggest issue and people need to stop acting like it is”. The 24 years thing is how long council knew there was a problem at the Waikanae library that they for some unknown reason chose not to fix properly. Should book readers just let these power junkies get on with it and not bother? Ripping off book funds to fix something that council screwed up is what they intend and should not be allowed by those who will not only pay for but not receive. The shelf room that doesn’t exist for books already purchased is a bit of a mental twist as the room doesn’t exist because of said council inaction in the first place.

As to the Waikanae park funding, being that there are 4 million dollars being borrowed against all of our future rates, I think all ratepayers have a right to a say. I believe not all Waikanaers are in favour of filling said park with the crap council wants in the 1st place. It certainly is not an overwhelming consensus but when is it ever?

We are on the same page when it comes to politicians and so you yourself are doing no less than me and Birchy to create mirrors and smokies. You and me are never going to be able to ‘clean out the swamp’ as some Amorican idiot terms it. But even a petition is a bit more of something than the average voter will ever do so give these people a bit of credit.

Most of this puss goes back to 1986 when some dolt in Wellytown who basically turned councils into bigger entities and made them non shareholding corporations who have since like central government screwed most of us royally. Some have done rather well out of this thievery though. It all comes down to the personalities who rule or would rule and the fact that because they are able to con voters they then believe that we the people require their leadership. Personally they can stick their ship.

(Unfortunately this is a long message because it attempts to respond to both Mr. Walker and Mrs. Birch)

Hello Chris Walker, I definitely do appreciate you taking time to share your thoughts on this. However, I believe the ROBB group is the party which is approaching this issue the wrong way round.

Firstly, 24 years of misrepresentation do not justify either for or against restoring the budget to the books rather it illustrates that books are not Council’s biggest issue and people need to stop acting like it is.

While the ROBB petition circulates I will highlight that I believe the ROBB are approaching an overall issue in Council with a very myopic focus. As I mentioned earlier the real problem is the mismanagement of Council assets resulting in this money being reallocated in the first place. The real problem is the lack of representation and deceit of Council attempting to hide their planning. The real problem is not that we do not have enough books.

I would like to thank Chris Walker for his suggestions as to where the funding should come, I will be interested to hear how the Waikanae residents respond.

As for “ratepayers being in the Council’s pocket” I will not proceed to insult your position and would hope you will also note disparage mine. Furthermore, it is important to note that someone who understands the fiscal limitations of an ill-managed Council is not necessarily more incorrect than someone who polarizes and politicizes a minute issue.

Likely this controversial debate will distract from the candidates who truly will support our interests and will instead highlight and place in the forefront people who are quick to slur hate speech about their opponents failing policy. Your ranting and railing may well be acting as smoke and mirrors for the next crooked politician who will be sitting around our council, perpetuating not solving the overall issue.

In closing I will address Joanne Birch: I have a simple solution for all parties involved. Understand that it is easy for people to claim they will restore the book budget, it is hard for people to create a lasting change and transparency in Council culture. Please do not get the two confused when voting.

(Also if you do really care about having *new* books, why not petition Council to sell the 22,000 books currently in storage, and use that money?)

I’m sure those of us who do care about books would like to hear Mr Tilney’s well thought out solution. Go to a meeting and wait three hours to converse with the problem children who are the cause of it all perhaps? Something tells me the mayor would be fingering the video kill switch so the rest of the sheep don’t get any big ideas.

He is 101% correct in his thoughts regarding us having absolutely no kind of control over these expensive miscreants in any measurable way. What solution can he come up with being that he says we ain’t? Of course he doesn’t have to do anything but bothering to be involved on this subject via this site I’m sure we are all waiting for some pearls of wisdom in this regard. If he has none then why say anything? If you aren’t helping then you may be a hindering.

No ones asking Henry to sign if he sees it as a waste of time. What is it he cares enough about to do something about one wonders?

Hi Henry, I believe you’re looking at this the wrong way round. These so called representatives and the well paid office flunkies did not and have not done the job we have been overpaying to do for around 24 years. Yeah only 24 years now.

“This entire book cuts issue is just a case of people distracting from the real problem: our elected representatives don’t care what we think, they make decisions without consulting us, and they compensate for their failures in sly underhanded ways hoping we won’t notice.” Not distracting. That would be us not doing anything and we are doing something. Does this not fall in with what you have said here?

Since this is a problem of their own making then let them cough up some of the millions they are going to waste on a pet project they want. That Waikanae park some people want left alone for one. They are going to spend $4,000,000 of our money on it so let’s take $200,000 of our money from that one for a start. Whatever goes down we the people are going to pay in the end.

Funny ain’t it that most of these people who are in the line of fire over this complete fubar do not have the guts to come on here and try to defend the indefensible. Very wise of them. Why should any ratepayer have a problem with this unless they happen to be in the council’s pocket. And if they are well…

I understand the fact that ratepayers are annoyed at not being consulted. But who realistically thinks that Council can pull $192,000 dollars out of the air? I believe the former is a major election issue; the latter is just a group of people who care too much about books (and not enough about asset and infrastructure management).

Now if the people signing this petition have a clear solution for Council such as: “Raise rates 1 extra percent,” or “Cut funding to the Paekakariki sea wall,” that I would actually respect. However, in the absence a proposed solution, this is a pointless petition and if followed by Council will inevitably aggravate other members of the public who care about the current place the money has been devoted.

(Also as a side note, who really is surprised that in compensating for the Waikanae Library failure Council needs to reallocate funding? To be honest, of the entire Waikanae Library fiasco, the fact that Council funded it through library book cuts actually makes sense.)

This entire book cuts issue is just a case of people distracting from the real problem: our elected representatives don’t care what we think, they make decisions without consulting us, and they compensate for their failures in sly underhanded ways hoping we won’t notice.

Please correct my al (should be all) misspelling and delete the address bar comment as I see it is probably not needed if the address is highlighted etc?


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