Thursday May 31, 2018
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Southgate to remain in Southern Ward, subject to approval Continued from page 1. The Act requires that all wards must have no more than a 10 percent difference in voting population between wards. This decision would give the Southern Ward +14.23 percent more people and the Eastern Ward -13.97 percent fewer. A Representation Review for the 2019 and 2022 local body elections had initially recommended that Southgate be transferred to the Eastern Ward so that Southern can include all of Brooklyn, part of which is currently in the Lambton Ward. The proposal was made because the Eastern Ward, with three councillors, has too few people per councillor. The Southern Ward currently has two as it has the lowest population of any ward in Wellington. Rongotai MP Paul Eagle led a publicity drive about the
matter, distributing letters to all residents encouraging them to have their say. That led to 52 submissions to the council, including 33 from the Southern Ward, with 82 percent of them opposed to the idea. Gerald Bryan and Valerie Hagan-Pratt are two such opponents. Gerald has lived in Southgate for about 30 years and Valerie 22 years. While Gerald accepts that being developed along a ridge makes its allegiance conflicted, Southgate was developed as an extension of Island Bay, reflected by the several roads and paths that connect to it. By contrast, Houghton Bay Road is Southgate’s only connection to the east. Both point out that as Southgate has no commercial centre it is also socially and economically connected to Island Bay.
“It has the schools, a community centre, supermarket, library,” Gerald says. “Even a butcher’s shop — Kilbirnie doesn’t have that,” Valerie says. Paul, a former Southern Ward councillor, got involved due to his personal connection to the area – he and his family lived on Southgate’s Buckley Road for 15 years. “My house was the second to last on the street before the Southern Ward boundary,” Paul says. He notes the irony that while the proposal would have united Brooklyn it would effectively have split Island Bay. He believes a better solution to the problem of representation is to have single-member wards, which had been considered in the past. “It’s a pity it was pre-determined to have multi-member
Old metro trains destined for scrapheap Fifty old commuter train carriages are taking a road trip to Wellington’s Southern Landfill over the next few weeks. The carriages, each about 20 metres long and weighing about 25 tonnes, are being delivered by truck to the landfill where they are to be scrapped. Angus Gabara, Metlink’s Manager of Rail Operations, says the organisation has been trying to sell the old carriages for reuse for years. “Initially they were sold to a South African buyer, who took a first lot of 16 units (32 cars) to be reused in service in Africa. But the deal for the remaining 26 units officially fell through in late 2017.” The Hungarian-built Ganz Mavag trains ran on Wellington’s commuter lines from
the early 1980s until they were replaced by a second order of Matangi trains in 2016. The remaining carriages have been stripped by local company Macaulay Metals. The bogies and motors and other recoverable scrap will be separated from the units but the car body itself contains asbestos within the walls, making much of the scrap unsalvagable. “Asbestos is contained in the anti-drum coating and will remain undisturbed during the dismantling and transport to the Southern Landfill.” The carriages will then be crushed and buried. “Burying the carriages is the least expensive and safest way to dispose of the carriages because of the asbestos issue.”
A Ganz Mavag train is transported from the Lower Hutt railyards, bound for the Southern Landfill. PHOTO: Supplied
Disposal will be environmentally safe as the area where the carriages will be dumped has a layered cap to prevent the leaching of chemicals.
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wards. Single-member would mean there’s more accountability.” Councillors Andy Foster and Brian Dawson voted against allowing the LGC to decide on the fate of Southgate. While Andy supports Southgate remaining in the Southern Ward, he offered an alternative proposal of increasing the number of councillors in the city to 16, which would allow the Southern Ward to include Brooklyn while retaining Southgate. It would also ensure the voting numbers of within each ward would be relatively even. Paul says he would have supported such a proposal. While Andy’s proposal was rejected, he is pleased another review will be on the table in three years’ time instead of six. The LGC is expected to make its ruling by January next year.
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The whole operation is expected to take around a month to complete. One carriage has been given to the National Railway Museum in Christchurch.
Cook Strait News 31-05-18