The state of Waikanae’s Mahara place and the closing and reopening of the town’s library were recurring themes when council candidates spoke at Waikanae’s Baptist church, says reporter Jeremy Smith.
Waikanae ward hopeful, and former KCDC mayor Iridie McCloy said the town centre had been neglected.
And the completion of the Kapiti Expressway, which took away main road traffic, had not helped.
She said Transmission Gully would bring more people to the area and businesses needed them in Waikanae.
Ms McCloy received loud applause when she said money for Waikanae’s centre was a “band-aid scenario”.
The second Waikanae ward contestant, Waikanae community board chair Jocelyn Prvanov said “twenty years living at Waikanae Beach- and ” it is vital to get the full Waikanae library running again.”:
The library is operating from the former Artel shop after toxic mould was found in the premises.
She also said Mahara Place needs extending to encourage vibrancy.
She described the Waikanae library as iconic for the town centre. She noted the number of empty shops and said bringing people into the library would also bring them to the local shops.
McCloy and Prvanov are two of the three candidates for the one ward seat allocated to Waikanae.
The third candidate, councillor Michael Scott sent his apologies.
After the ward candidates put their case, candidates for the five at-large seats- elected from right across Kapiti- had their time to pitch for votes.
Not present was sitting councillor and Waikanae resident Mike Cardiff, who also missed the candidates meeting in Paraparaumu on Friday.
David Scott, convicted of sexual assault while he was a councillor but standing again, also did not attend.
Deputy mayor Janet Holborow – a Paekakariki resident -noted her connections with Waikanae’s Mahara Gallery Trust.
And councillor Angela Buswell traced her family connections with the area.
Nigel Wilson, a former regional councillor representing Kapiti noted what he called a long-term problem with Mahara Place and suggested Waikanae’s new library could be put into some of the empty buildings.
Rob McCann, campaigning on a Labour Party ticket said the closing of the Waikanae library was an awful example of someone taking their eyes off the ball.
Apart from the library the recurring themes as raised from the floor , included KCDC’s debt levels, and rates, the dysfunctional council (Nigel Wilson), the cost of stormwater replacements and the climate emergency voted by the outgoing council.
Mayoral and at-large candidate, Murray Fordyce of Reikorangi prompted some vigorous clapping when he said declaring an emergency should not be an excuse to down tools.
Audience member and Waikanae newcomer from Wellington Sarah Bramwell, talking to KIN’s reporter, decried the high cost of taking rubbish to the transfer centre… three times higher than Wellington and wanted to know why there was no general rubbish collection as distinct from wheelie bins.
‘Sign the Library petition’
After the meeting the Greypower organisers reminded the public to sign the petition to reverse the cuts in the council’s library budget.
Today Greypower will host Kapiti mayoral candidates and would-be regional councillors.
Next week Otaki voters will be able to meet would-be councillors (Tuesday) and mayoral and regional council candidates (Wednesday).. Both meetings are at the Otaki memorial hall at 10am.