Kiosk saved – victory for campaigner

Community campaigner Dale Evans enjoyed a significant victory this week when the Kāpiti Coast District Council formally voted to have the Kiosk at Maclean Park, Paraparaumu Beach, fully restored.

After the building sustained damage from a fire last November, KCDC staff had recommended it be demolished. However the Paraparaumu/Raumati Community Board called for public consultation and Mr Evans began a petition.

“I attended the Saturday morning market at Paraparaumu Beach for several weeks and gave people the opportunity to sign the petition to save the Kiosk. The response was huge and over 1400 people signed the petition to have the building saved,” says Mr Evans who presented the petition to mayor Ross Church at this week’s Council meeting.

Several speakers also urged Council to save the building, including the very persuasive case made by John Hayes who spoke of the enormous effort put in by volunteers over the years and their willingness to continue.

Not all councillors spoke in favour of saving the Kiosk, including Crs Ammundsen and Cardiff who did not favour saving the kiosk but at decision time there were no votes against.

The motion put by Crs Gurunathan and Elliott was:

Staff are to get three quotes to start work immediately on restoring the kiosk to being a safe and useable facility allowing community policing to resume immediately, and then wider consultation is undertaken about other uses for the kiosk and ideas for the park.

At the conclusion of the meeting Mr Evans was warmly congratulated for his efforts in saving what has become an iconic building in Kāpiti.

The full transcript of Mr Evans’ speech to Council is below.

I am Dale Evans and I am here today to formally present to Kāpiti Mayor Ross Church this public petition calling on Council to save the Kiosk at Maclean Park.

As you know I have spent 6 weekends in a row discussing the future of the Kiosk with residents and over one thousand four hundred members of the community have already signed a petition to save it.

This is a huge public response for such a local issue and the message from the community is loud and clear: Save our Kiosk.

There has also been a very positive response from businesses in the area.

I and many others were appalled at Council’s lack of consultation with the community and especially the volunteers who have given up thousands of hours to serve their community.

There have been a very small number who don’t want the Kiosk for personal reasons but they are vastly outnumbered by those who want to maintain this public asset.

When KCDC staff decided they wanted to remove THE KIOSK building which strategically overlooks Maclean Park, especially the children’s playground and skate park, they hoped the community board would help them do it.

However, at the recent community board meeting a motion was passed recommending that council starts work immediately on restoring the Kiosk to being a safe and usable facility.

As you know the building is used as a Police base manned by Grey Power volunteers. Surveillance cameras will not deter vandalism, drug activity, assaults, fights etc. Whereas people being present offers a sense of security for the children, and families who use the facilities there.

Referring to page 159 of today’s order paper:

10. It Says: New Zealand Police have been consulted to obtain their view on the future of the building they said “They would continue to use the building for their community volunteers if it was available.”

The Kiosk could also be used for other facilities such as ticketing for Kāpiti Island, Information centre, Community events etc.

The Volunteers want to stay where they are and need your support to ensure the safety of the children, parents and public at the Park.

You have before you today a recommendation to save the Kiosk (b) and the Community urges you to listen to them and support that recommendation.

I would like to acknowledge the many people who assisted me with the gathering of signatures supporting this petition.

I have been happy to put my time, energy and money into saving this community icon. I now urge councillors to do the same.

The petition reads: I support keeping the KIOSK where it is overlooking Maclean Park, Paraparaumu Beach; keeping Volunteers and Police presence for safety for all that use Maclean Park.

I present this petition on behalf of the one thousand four hundred people who have duly signed it.