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Wednesday March 28, 2018


inbrief news Old dahlias sought With the end of the dahlia flowering season, The Heritage Gardeners of the historic Halfway House in Glenside are inviting people to find the oldest known dahlia plants in the Wellington region. Claire Bibby says that there are less than six named varieties of dahlias that predate 1900, mainly due to the two wars. You may have an old dahlia planted by your grandparents or great grandparents, or by the original property owners, perhaps 100 years ago. If so, please let The Heritage Gardeners know. Email or phone 022 186 5714.

Greater Wellington rates Vanessa Kirkham, a member of the parents’ committee for the Karori Plunket Crèche, asks about the future of the facility at the recent “Meet the Mayor” meeting in Karori. PHOTO: Thomas Croskery

Plunket crèche furore heats up By Glenise Dreaver and Thomas Croskery

New Zealand’s newest list MP, Nicola Willis, has had to hit the ground running, with the Plunket creche stoush in Karori hotting up and making national headlines. Nicola, the National Party’s spokesperson for Early Childhood Education. And supports the parents of the Karori Plunket Creche, who have been told that the national Plunket organisation is closing their pre-school crèche and has appropriated $50,000 of their fundraising proceeds. While Plunket nurses and other services will operate out of the buildings, the organisation has announced the closure of the creche without any consultation with the parents involved.

W h ile Nicola says that Plunket is a great organisation and no one wants to damage their long-standing reputation, she also says these community assets were built up by local fundraising. “Parents could therefore rightly have expected that they had a say in their future.” The controversy and lack of communication has, she says, the capacity to really damage Plunket’s reputation. “It just came out of the blue – there were no discussions about possible changes or engagement with parents about the ways that any financial issues could be managed.” She says of the Ka ror i crèche: “The premises could have been opened up to an after school club for example, or they could have hired them out for birthday parties

to generate more revenue.” And while Plunket put out a press release in the case of that centre, claiming that the 14 places were not economic to run there are, she says, far more than fourteen children involved. “That’s 14 full-time places and there are thirty five different families using those places part time. “And there are 19 different nationalities there – it is a most diverse creche, a real cross-section of the community.” A petition at time of going to print had 1790 signatures, including parents and teachers past and present. “None of us want Plunket to be the victim here. But any MP with this happening in their backya rd would want to speak up for their community.”

Plunket, had in 2016, announced that it would be transfer ring community assets and properties into the control of the organisation’s national office in Wellington. While the Karori crèche will close, the Plunket nurse will still work in the building and services for families will still be available. Rachel Skilton is raising a young family in the suburb, and told last week’s Meet the Mayor meeting on the suburb’s future that she has concerns for Karori’s future. “The future of Karori feels to me like it’s turning into a retirement village.” Western Ward councillors Si mon Wool f a nd A ndy Foster urged locals to keep working to save the crèche. “If we lose this, it’s not coming back,” says Simon.

Consultation on the Greater Wellington Regional Council 10 Year Plan and the proposed Revenue and Financing Policy opened this week. The proposals require an annual increase over the next financial year of $2.57 for each month for ratepayers said council chair Chris Laidlaw.   Key drivers include in better public transport and flood protection, beefing up freshwater and biodiversity protection, and fare discounts for public transport users including students, children, blind and disabled people and off-peak travel.  Visit or get a copy of the documents at your local library.  Consultation closes on Sunday April 29.

Plunket pay stoush Reports that senior Plunket managers are paid more than $180,000 annually show just how the “toxic” problem of excessive executive pay has spread from the corporate profit-making board-room to NGOs and the voluntary sector Peter Malcolm, spokesperson for the income equality project Closing the Gap, said this week. He said CEOs in New Zealand now earn 30 to 50 times more than the average wage. Plunket CEO Amanda Malu defended the pay levels, telling Radio New Zealand that the organisation had to compete with the public sector and large corporates in hiring managers.

Greg O’Connor

Double Glazing with German PVC Joinery

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Independent Herald 28-03-18  

Independent Herald 28-03-18

Independent Herald 28-03-18  

Independent Herald 28-03-18