James’ Piece February 2016

Community Board Chair, JAMES COOTES  364 3234 | 0274 572 346 | james.cootes@kapiti.govt.nz
Community Board Chair, JAMES COOTES 364 3234 | 0274 572 346 | james.cootes@kapiti.govt.nz

What an awesome summer we are having. For me its usually a fairly busy time of the year in the hospitality industry but we managed to get away for the weekend and spend some time with the family. I always find it interesting when I go away now, as this job has drawn different things to my attention. Now I find myself looking at town signage, walkways, playgrounds etc and how other towns or Councils do things.

Some like Taupo or Tauranga for example have much bigger budgets than KCDC as Taupo for example is a popular tourist spot with plenty of high value housing and a therefor a higher level of rates collected. Likewise Tauranga has a Port which helps generate additional income for it’s Council and as it is also a popular holiday spot house values and rates collected are generally higher. However it doesn’t always take large amounts of money to make a district, town or community special愦灭※ although I will say it certainly helps.

This brings me to the little town of Gordonton which is on SH1B about 10 minutes North of Hamilton and boast of a population of 951! We stopped here to use the restroom and stretch our legs. What intrigued me was upon using the restroom (which wasn’t unappealing but in the same way wasn’t the most modern of toilets) was that someone had taken the time to pop a vase of fresh flowers in the toilet cubicle. You could tell as the toilets smelt fresh and lovely but not only that it showed that someone cared enough to take the time to do it. They were probably just from their garden but that didn’t matter it was the act that stood out to me.

It highlighted to me that you don’t need to be a big budget Council to make a difference. I also write this at a time when across our district community facilities have been vandalized as you would have no doubt seen reported. These are paid for by YOU the ratepayer and so it’s a shame when a few spoil it for the many and the costs to repair would be better spent on new amenities. It was also a shame to read people justifying the actions by saying it’s a result of bored youth. Does that really justify willful damage of someone else’s property? Would we allow that behavior on our property or our Marae?

We all play a part in making this community what it is not just the council. We are currently planning upgrades to the Tasman Rd reserve, Hauratai Park and the Te Horo Beach playground. Significant spending to enhance social wellbeing. Lets be a community that has pride in our town, takes responsibility for it and does those little things that make a difference. I know some already do and to those I say THANKYOU. But we are all responsible in making Ōtaki special愦灭※ a town that stands out愦灭※ be one of those people!

Hei konā rā — James Cootes