Respected community leader Betty van Gaalen casts an eye over likely issues in the upcoming elections.

Respected community leader Betty van Gaalen casts an eye over likely issues in the upcoming elections.

Election Fever is almost upon us…already a couple of pamphlets have appeared in the mail boxes.

There’s been some preliminary skirmishing bringing a rebuke from Mayor Rowan asking the candidates to play fair and not indulge in ‘personality politics’.

With several new people having the courage to stand for KCDC, as well as some of the current councillors, it is timely to focus on the important issues, not the people and personalities.

The Water Supply issue has been around for some while. At an historic, moving meeting, where the 5 Iwi Chairpersons and supporters were present, the first step was taken to confirm the river recharge option as the top water supply solution. More work and investigation will be carried out into the testing and modelling of this option.

Council also moved to buy land for a dam as a back-up should there be any problems encountered.

The Aquatic Centre has been an issue since 2004. This may also be on the way to resolution. On September 16th the Aquatic Centre Trust will present designs and plans to KCDC that may begin the process for a Centre to be built. Perhaps not as grandiose as first thought, but a Centre for those who enjoy their water sports.

The new Waikanae Railway Station, parking, the Elizabeth Street level crossing, and the chaos that can eventuate when the new double tracking and trains are in frequent use are issues yet to be sorted out with Greater Wellington Regional Council, Ontrack, KiwiRail and the NZTA.

What is happening about the local bridge across the Waikanae River? This is still an issue as the Proposed Motorway is years away. And of course, the Motorway itself looms large as an issue with many people opposing its construction.

Affordability of ‘Choosing Futures’ the Long Term Council Community Plan and Outcomes on which the rating structure and activities are based needs to be examined for sustainability. Many elderly people and those on fixed incomes are already struggling to pay increased rates; the proposals in the LTCCP could bring a 65% increase over the next 5 years. This is not just an issue for older residents but for young families paying off mortgages, power, petrol and fuel, and food increases.

There’s much to think about and we need dedicated, committed, and financially-aware people who are prepared to work both together, to unite our communities, and towards sustainable solutions for the many activities in the LTCCP.

The Annual Plan and the Long Term Council Community Plan is required reading for all those standing for public office in Kāpiti.

Betty van Gaalen served 27 years in Local Government at Local, County, Regional, City, and National level (3 years Urban Transport Council- fore runner to NZTA)

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