Penny’s Piece, June 2015

R_PennyGaylorA huge thank you to Kapiti Coast District Council staff who pitched in, alongside members of our community, to help in many different ways during the flooding this month.

We fared pretty well in Otaki, but there were areas of concern in Te Horo, and staff was deployed to do sandbagging there. I’m glad they were able to help those in need.

It really does sum up the interdependence within a community; how we back one another up when people and property are at risk. And yet again it reminds us of the force of Mother Nature, and that we must always respect it.

The Council has spent a lot of resource focusing on our district’s preparedness, and it has been our Chief Executive who lead the restructure of the Wellington Region’s civil emergency provisions to ensure that when such events occur, every part of our region is ready and able to manage for itself and that the rest of the region are also coordinated to pitch-in, back-up, and relieve if necessary.

It has been a shared service that has been initiated, progressed, implemented, and which was fully tested during the flooding. The need for that particular shared service emerged out of the harsh lessons of the Christchurch earthquakes where the emergencies services of respective local government councils were fractured and disconnected.

So here in the Wellington region our CE and then mayor Jenny Rowan lead the charge to ensure our civil emergency services were completely connected. Thank goodness.

While it might seem we were all distracted by the debate aroundamalgamation, behind the scenes, councils just got on to see how they could do business better by doing business together.

The efforts to work together must continue.

Meanwhile all councils, including KCDC, have been heavily involved in developing their respective Long Term Plans. KCDC had hearings last week for those wishing to speak to their written submissions.

These hearings are always an interesting, eclectic collection of views; positive, negative, build this, stop that, pay for this, build it faster, drop rates, slash services, affordability, buy that, change direction, more user pays, slow down!

And now councillors have to percolate on all three folders of submissions, weighing up all the tensions that the different views bring, and decide what is in our view, in the best interest for the future of Kapiti.