Wednesday June 14, 2017
Bring your own meals motion defeated Wainuiomata Councillor Campbell Barry’s motion asking that elected members bring their own meal to full Hutt City Council and committee meetings or pay for the catering out of their own pocket was unsuccessful on Monday night. The vote was
7 – 6 with Mayor Ray Wallace having a casting vote. Mr Barry hoped fellow councillors who voted in support of a living wage policy, on the basis of it being administered in a ‘cost effective approach’, would likewise take the same approach on council meals.
“It will be interesting to see if Councillors who voted for a Living Wage “only when it is the most cost effective way to do business” will be consistent when looking at themselves,” he wrote on Facebook prior to the motion. He also said before the
meeting that he has noticed that there was a bit less to eat during breaks in council business. “There has been a noticeable change in what’s being provided prior to meetings since I put the motion. I suspect tonight’s catering might be quite light!”
Safety concerns raised Lower Hutt residents are calling for increased safety measures after a boy broke his leg when he was hit by a car. The four-year-old boy was hit by a SUV in Connolly Street about 10 days ago. The vehicle slowed down but didn’t stop. The street has three childcare centres. On an online Lower Hutt Community Notice Board Jaci Gilbertson said she wanted judder bars, a pedestrian crossing and speed cameras on the street.
Good in the Hood
ABOVE: MPs Carmel Sepuloni and Kris Fa’afoi along with Labour candidate Ginny Andersen listen to concerns raised by local Pacific Islanders. LEFT: Pacific Island leaders with MPs after their meeting.
Pacific leaders and ministers engage with political leaders By Dave Crampton
Pacific Island leaders got to meet with two Labour members of parliament instead of the planned one member last week to discuss leadership and social concerns such as housing, education and health. Mana MP Kris Fa’afoi and Kelston MP Carmel Sepuloni - also Labour’s whips and Pacific Islanders – met with the leaders at short notice in the Wainuiomata Library meeting room last week. Jenny Salesa – who holds associate portfolios of housing, education and health, was initially set to meet, but suffered a bereavement. After a welcome from Gabriel
Tupou - a member of both the Wainiomata Community Board and the Hutt City Council’s Arts and Cultural Advisory Group - MPs and Pacific leaders informally shared and discussed concerns while the two parliamentarians addressed locally raised concerns on the three key issues. Gabriel accurately and succinctly summed up the key issues as they relate to the Wainuiomata community. “Health is a ‘big’ issue, housing is ‘huge’, and education is a ‘biggie’,” he said. After Hutt South Labour candidate Ginny Andersen (who is fluent in Maori) – introduced the MPs, Carmel Sepuloni primarily outlined political concerns
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with education, such as early childhood education, in which there was no budgeted increase for the sector last month, whereas Fa’afoi covered housing, as there are similar issues in both the Porirua basin and in Wainuiomata. “Fifty percent of our Pacific Island kids are deemed to be living in poverty,” Ms Sepuloni said. “We still want to see an increase in the number of [Pacific Islanders] who go to university – but the cost of tertiary education is one of the biggest barriers.” Church minister Toa Lotu welcomed the opportunity to engage with Pacific Island politicians. “I think it’s important to raise our views – MP’s are here for our people. How are they to
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represent our issues if we don’t have meetings?” Mr Fa’afoi said the relaxed informal discussion, while quite different to addressing meetings, was an ideal forum for the local Pacific community to engage with politicians. “That’s the Pacific way – and a good opportunity for them to air their concerns,” he said. Ms Sepuloni agreed. “It’s much more engaging – it’s very important to listen to what they have to say. We are talking about things that really matter to them.” Gabriel said it was a good way to get Pacific leaders together “to talk about issues and just to have fellowship” – and hopes it won’t be the last such occasion.
Local voters throughout the Hutt Valley have determined what needs will be addressed in their community with Z Energy’s Good in the Hood funding-and healthcare came out on top. During May customers voted for how $24,000 of funding should be split between the 24 local groups supported at the six Z stations in the Hutt Valley. The group that received the most votes across Lower Hutt was the Blind Foundation. They received 35% of the votes at Z Petone . Other high polling groups included Foster Hope, Hutt City Emergency Response Unit and Sweet Louise. The cheque presentations will take place tomorrow.
One in five Hutt youth are unemployed Youth unemployment among Lower Hutt’s 18–24 year olds has reached 20 per cent, a lot higher than the national average of 14.9 per cent. YOUth Inspire manager Alison Black said the cost of getting a drivers licence - a barrier to youth employment - means for many young people growing up in deprived areas like Wainuiomata, that is simply not an option. Roughly 70 per cent of entry level jobs require a licence. At a recent YOUth Inspire breakfast, Hutt City Council General Manager Matt Reid called for a youth employment strategy involving businesses, educators and training providers. YOUth Inspire was set up in Wainuiomata three years ago as part of the Mayors Taskforce.
Published on Jun 13, 2017