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Thursday December 13, 2018

inbrief news Ngā Taonga relocating to safer site Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision’s Wellington office will be moving in May 2019 from its current location in Taranaki Street to the National Library building on Molesworth Street due to earthquake risk. “The move from Taranaki Street is the culmination of a great deal of research, planning and negotiation made necessary by the reclassification of our premises as earthquake prone in 2014,” Chief Executive Rebecca Elvy says. Ahead of the move, the ground floor space at Taranaki Street will retain its building reception function but the café service and cinema will not reopen after the Christmas and New Year break.

ACC levy changes ‘backward step’ The NZ Automobile Association is disappointed with the announcement by the Government to end ACC’s Vehicle Risk Rating scheme. “Scrapping Vehicle Risk Rating is a backward step at a time when a rising road toll is demanding more action to improve road safety,” says AA principal advisor – regulations Mark Stockdale. He says much more needs to be done to promote vehicle safety to Kiwis. The move will see the annual motor vehicle levy for the 38 percent of cars currently in the safest band rise $28 – more than double the ACC levy their drivers currently pay.

App offers free background checks A new app for property owners allows users to conduct free background checks through the mobile application. Proper is connected to three national databases with over 10 years of records. After gaining the tenant’s approval, owners only need to input the tenant’s full name, date of birth, email address, and mobile number to conduct a search. They will then receive reports through email detailing tenancy tribunal history, court fines, police history, media, and social media presence. The free feature of the app is an important gain for owners feeling uneasy about the current reforms being made to renting, Proper CEO Aaron Yee says.

Waiting game as Kilbirnie booze ban on cards By Jamie Adams

Kilbirnie residents will have to wait until the middle of next year before they know if they will finally get a much-desired public liquor ban in their shopping precinct. Last Thursday Wellington City Council, in its city strategy committee meeting, agreed to an amendment to a proposed modification of the current liquor ban area. They agreed to a motion from eastern ward councillor Simon Marsh to consult with the community about creating an alcohol ban area within the Kilbirnie business area. That area would be bordered by Mahora Street, Coutts Street, Childers Terrace, Evans Bay Parade and Rongotai Road. Council officers will report back by June 30, 2019 after which councillors will decide. Councillors also agreed to a “comprehensive range of initiatives seeking to manage alcoholrelated issues in the Kilbirnie community”, such as an increase in Local Hosts and improved

access to tenancy services for those living on the streets. Kilbirnie Business Network manager Gary Holmes was pleased councillors were finally taking a stance after years of lobbying by local businesses and residents. “We will put in a strong submission through the consultation process,” Gary says. “We are confident the council will make the right decision.” Gary says the problem of alcohol-related crime in Kilbirnie is as bad as ever and it was important the ban area extended beyond Bay Road. “We are getting regular reports of businesses getting broken windows, even on [Evans Bay] Parade. “In Auckland most suburban centres have 24/7 liquor bans in place and there’s been no issues.” Bernard O’Shaughnessy, a selfdescribed “agitator”, has been a vocal critic of council inaction on the issue. Several councillors had previously opposed implementing a ban on the grounds that it would not work, as the people

Bernard O’Shaughnessy points out what he says are two big contributors to Kilbirnie’s ongoing public drinking problem due to their sales of alcohol until as late as 11pm. PHOTO: Jamie Adams

who drank in public in Kilbirnie were often homeless alcoholics who would either ignore a ban or take the problem elsewhere. Bernard says a local business survey showed 85 percent of operators believed the drinking problem among beggars has become worse over 2017/18. “A ban allows normal good people to go about their legit business and pleasure in a responsible manner, showing respect to the free unmolested safe passage of others.” He believes Kilbirnie’s situation is made worse by the fact

there are two supermarkets in close proximity to Bay Road where liquor is readily available to vagrants. Countdown’s licensed hours in Kilbirnie are 7am to 11pm while Pak’nSave across the road sells alcohol from 7am to 10pm. A Countdown spokesperson says it takes its responsibilities as a retailer “really seriously”, and it has strict procedures in place for selling alcohol in its stores. Pak’Save Kilbirnie owner Dean Galt would not comment on Bernard’s claims, but is supportive of public liquor ban.

More counters to show bike trip numbers Additional electronic counters and improved online data will help show how Wellington City travel patterns change over time as more paths, lanes and other changes are made to make it safer and easier for more people to make some trips by bike, a Councillor says. Wellington City Council installed electronic counters on eight key routes earlier this year, including Evans Bay Parade and the airport subway. It has just installed counters in another 11 locations, including

Seatoun Tunnel, Cobham Drive’s bike and footpaths (near Miramar cutting) and Crawford Road’s bike lanes. Data collected is also being more comprehensively displayed on the Council website Wellington City Council’s Portfolio Leader for Walking and Cycling, Councillor Sarah Free, says it is early days yet. “Over time, the Council wants to be able to track how the numbers change as safer facilities for people on bikes are developed, the population

grows, and the city eventually has a connected cycle network. “The counters will give us year-round 24/7 counts, showing seasonal variations, and what’s happening at different times of the day on different routes. “We regularly get asked for this information so we are keen to make it readily available and easy to understand,” says Sarah. She says we can expect to see more people – and different types of people – biking once

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more safe routes are in place. “At the moment most of our counters are on the road in lanes shared with general traffic but we are seeing an increase in the number of trips made by bike. We expect this to increase even more once there is a better and safer bike infrastructure in place.” Sarah says the city’s population is expected to grow to 280,000 people by 2043 so the Council needs to plan for the equivalent of five to six suburbs the size of Karori over the next 25 years.


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