‘We Need To Do Democracy Better’– Historian Anthony Dreaver

Local historian Anthony Dreaver has attended one of the first election meetings –and come away convinced ‘we need to do democracy better.’

Anthony Dreaver

In his letter to the Editor, he says: ‘Well, it was an interesting morning.

We went to Paekakariki Hall to hear the district-wide candidates (most of whom turned up) and the Paekakariki/Raumati Ward candidates. All organised by Grey Power – good on them.

Gulf between the rates-focused and futurists

First thing that stood out was a gulf between those who just promised to keep the rates down and those who’ve noticed that Transmission Gulley will overturn the District as we know it, and want to prepare for the future.

Earth-moving on Transmission Gully, which will change our District forever

Much still to discuss

We all ought to have paid more attention to the long-term plan. But why haven’t we had a series of public forums to consider the future: what must we change and what must we protect? Apologies if I missed them!  I think there’s still a lot to talk about.

Second thing was to realise that we were outsiders. The talk was mainly about Paekakariki, although one or two people murmured that they were from Raumati.

Paekakariki– a little jewel on the Coast

Where exactly are the Ward boundaries?

Again my ignorance showed.  Where were the ward boundaries? Back home I checked the election website but, strangely, it didn’t show this vital information.

On the phone, a helpful council officer told me to go to KCDC website and click on ‘Maps/ Map Viewer GIS’. Who knew how to do that?  Or that the voting wards are very different from the Community Board boundaries, especially for Raumati.

A missed opportunity

Yes, I knew that once, but I’d forgotten and I expect this is true for a high proportion of the Raumati South/Beach people affected. Most of you have now missed the chance to meet your ward candidates. 

Finally, do we get enough information about what Council does?

KCDC HQ in Paraparaumu — more
informtion needed

My respect to Kapiti News and others for their free service, but I don’t think so.

Read Papers Past reports of Hutt County Council meetings from 1890 to find a word for word account of what went on in Paraparaumu. Not any more. Only when someone misbehaves or is outraged.

We need to do democracy better.’

Johnny and Henry, thanks for two useful tools. Bede, still leaves you with a problem of how to meet Raumati voters; Porirua City organised candidate meetings but here it seems to be left to Grey Power. Andrew, sneering is cheap, but as a substitute for debate it’s a cop-out.
‘We’ need to do better means ‘we’. Council needs to communicate better, press needs to report better and we voters, me included, need to wake up to the looming changes.

I’ll consider myself historically told off. Personally I blame it all on the massive amounts of nitrate run off and polluted food generally but being the historian you’d know more about that than I do. There is such a thing as being too dry . But then politics in general being the desert it is…

Anthony, I have two shops in Raumati Beach Village, so I am in regular contact with Raumati residents but I don’t intend merely to rest on that as the only way to reach people.
I agree that Raumati needs a candidates meeting so people can come along and see and hear from us.
I’m happy to attend one if someone is willing to organise it – weekends or evenings make it easier for people to attend.
And before anyone asks, my view is that they should not be organised by those who are standing as there is a strong risk of bias.

Andrew Noone, That is a bit unnecessary isn’t it. Feel free to make yourself a cup of tea and park yourself up in front of your computer any Thursday from 10am onwards and watch the real-time livestream of the council meetings. Council have been live streaming them for about five years, for your benefit and that’s the way they like it!

Hi Johnny. Still selling plenty of greatest hits CDs? I would personally rather watch paint dry than politicians who have problems representing those who pay their wages. I take it you know the he mayor has a kill switch in case he deems there is something he doesn’t want the public to see? Once you’ve seen one meeting, you’ve seen them all. Going by the nature of your stance on here you must be a true believer. I feel a bit sorry for those who cannot tell the difference between good governance and bad but keep up with your meeting minutes reading. It seems to keep you out of trouble if nothing else. Have you thought of standing yourself? I think you would be a good fit with the present team.

Yesterday’s meeting had a strong focus on Paekakariki, because that’s where it was held.
Would be great to see one organised for Raumati as well.

Mr. Dreaver will probably know that your average voter does not really have any interest in this subject which is just how politicians like things.


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