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Monday, 22 April 2019 12:00 pm

Street poll: Wellington has a heart, and so should councils

400pximageWCCWellington has a heart judging by the results of a street poll about the coming council elections.

Homelessness, housing and social issues were the most common responses when people were asked about the issues most important to them in the elections.

HUGO MoKateneFor example Retiree Mervyn Johnston (67), Te Aro, is bothered about the numbers of people sleeping rough. “People sleeping all over the streets. You go up to the night shelter and it’s only half full. There’s no need for that.”
The age of homeless people concerns student Mo Katene (20), left, of Te Aro. “I’ve got a problem the level of homelessness in TOM Vicky StruthersWellington and how it is getting younger and younger.”

Wellington student Vicky Struthers (23), right, says not enough is being done for the homeless. “They do have a homeless shelter but I don’t think many people are aware of it. Especially in the cold weather there are a lot of people hanging around the street at the moment.”

This Friday, August 12, is the closing date for both candidate nominations, and for voters being registered on the electoral roll.

The NewsWire team asked people if they would be voting and the re ason for their choice, and the major issue for them in the election.

Of the 120 people questioned, 67% (87)said they would, 25% (32) said they would not and 8% were undecided.

In Wellington the proposed airport extension has been the focus of news coverage as an election issue (LINK), but it received few comments.

Kateni Bevan and Cara MarshallVarious transport issues, however, were raised as issued, including the student fares, the Basin Flyover, parking and weekend congestion.

For example student Ella Horrobin (24) Karori, says both mouldy housing and public transport fares are an issue. “Fairer fares would be nice for students.”

Roading needs to be dealt with for the future, says Whitby technical delivery manager Bevan Marshall (33), pictured left with his wife Cara. “We need to start thinking about how we can move because all that’s going to happen is town is going to get backed up with traffic.”

HUGO ChrisMeatesBasin Reserve traffic was raised by several people, including retiree Michael Camp (74) of Roseneath. “Ever since they got rid of the flyover [plan] around the Basin Reserve, there’s a terrible mess there and it’s never going to be solved until they do something about it.”

Other comments included:

Chris Meates (31) right, Porirua, student, will be voting. “I’d just like to know what’s going to be happening over the next five to
10 years. Being able to grow Porirua as a city and continue to drop its negative image, it’s just carried a stigma with it over the last 30-40 years.”

Paris Tuimanufili (26) left, Paramata, manager is not going to vote. “I feel like my single input isn’t going to change the output of the election. I’ve never been a voter. There are more important things to take care of.” He feels the most important issue is
homelessness: “Even I struggle to pay for things. The young people who get dragged into that lifestyle break my heart.”

ANDREWKaylaHunterKayla Hunter (28) right, Khandallah, student, is going to vote. You can’t whinge if you can’t vote. The biggest issue the fact that “people voting for familiar faces and not considering policy”.

Tim Curtis (54) Lower Hutt, sales is going to vote. “I believe we need a new mayor and I like the policy of one of them which is the four lanes to the airport.”

SHAR Gregory FortuinGregory Fortuin (62) left, Whitby, national director, Education and Employment  is going to vote “to participate in the democratic process”. The most important issue for him is leadership. “Leadership being, people who can get stuff done well.”

Lynne Johnston (60+) South Otago, academic manager is going to vote. “It’s an obligation as a good citizen. Also I want to have a say in what happens.” The most important issue is the wise spending of available funds.

SHAR William DelaneyWilliam Delaney (26) right, Upper Hutt, delivery specialist for Chorus is going to vote. The major issues for him are traffic and drainage in the Hutt: “We tend to flood whenever it rains”.

Summer Fox (21) a customer service representative will not be voting in the local elections. “I’m more concerned about the national elections. It’s more important to me just who’s in charge overall.” Social issues are important to her but “on a national level rather than just in the community”.

Maggie Hough (57) left, Wellington, receROSALIE Maggie Houghptionist, says rates are an important issue, plus urban density development of Wellington’s housing.  “I think it’s really important that we get the right housing in the right places, because there’s an element of distrust in what the council will allow, with the rules that they’ve set in place, so if there’s too much urban density then there isn’t social structure around it.”

Elaine (68) and Harold Franklin (78) Upper Hutt, retired both feel strongly about keeping the rates down, as it affects their disposable income. Mr Franklin also says: “A count-down at the crossing lights would be more useful, so we know whether to step off or not if it’s already on green, especially as you get older.”

Richard Nottage (77), Roseneath, retired, will be voting: “In my view I think the council has been, they say in the media it’s been dysfunctional. It’s not driving issues I think are important, and I think there are some controversial ones like the extension to the airport runway and so on. Some of them have been on the council too long.”

Libby Schumer (42), Kilbirnie, developer, considers the biggest issues to be traffic and the airport runway extension.

LAURAGuyNewtonNell Husband (45) Melrose, internal communications adviser: “The most important issue for me is the delivery of core services. You know, that all the things that keep a city ticking are done efficiently and as well as possible. Maintaining Wellington as a great place to live. Rubbish collection, recycling collection, I’d like to see us have an organic waste collection, the drains, the roads, all of that stuff is what I care about.”

Guy Newton (23) right, Melrose, architectural graduate: “It probably comes down to mostly stuff that deals with architecture. The wider public environment and stuff. So you know how there was that overbridge around the Basin and all that jazz.”

Rachel Hooper (25), Christchurch, civil servant. “Rates is a big one, like how much rates will be, but also what is going to be done with roads and development and ensuring that there’s no waste of water and things like that.”

NgaireAnne Gerrard-Papumi, froJacob OliverBrownem Lower Hutt she believes the council needs to work towards funding children’s parks. She thinks the roads are being pulled up too often.

Oliver Browne (18) left, Newlands, student, wants to have a say on who becomes what in Wellington. “There always seem to be an issue with the traffic in Wellington”.

Paul Skinley (57) Newtown, manager, cares about the city. “I think that there is issue with the parks and recreation, the infer structure of the city and also in the tourism aspect as well.” He says that we also need to hold more festivals to try and draw in more tourists.

DANNY Nic RoserNic Roser (27) right, Kingston, student, thinks the increased price of housing is something that needs to be addressed.

Jason Niedermeyer (42), Lower Hutt, sales, is concerned about closing times in Courtney Place. “Public transport and liquor licences are an issue.”

CHRISKellyMartinKelly Martin (50) left, Wanganui, Salvation Army employment manager, says councils need to be more fiscally responsible. “Rates are horrific, especially if you live in the country and you don’t get any services”

Lou Maguire (48) Roslyn (Otago), teacher, wants unity between the local government and the national government. “A bit more co-operation happening between the two.”

David Parsons (57) Tawa, internal auditor, wants to have a say. “I’d like to make sure a Tawa representative is one of the two people elected.”

Valerie Jackson (78) Wellington city, retired, sees transport as an issue. “We need stronger leadership and to flesh some new blood.”

SARAH Jill JonesBruce Taylor (66) Ngaio, project manager said believes in exercising his right to vote. “Also I’m interested in who represents us on the council.” He sees the important issues as the state of the environment, especially water quality, as well as the national housing shortage, the lack of availability for homebuyers as well as homelessness.  He’s also concerned about general social issues.

Jill Jones (70+) right, Crofton Downs, retired, disapproves of a runway extension because it is “too risky and we don’t need a third international airport.” She wants the council to be sensible with the cycle ways.

Rick Findlatter (39), Newtown, website technician: “Stimulating the tech industry in wellington would be great. Traffic is a bit of an issue in Newtown, they need to sort out traffic between the Basin [Reserve] and the southern suburbs.”

Rochelle Westbury (27) Throndon, accountant: “I guess warmer houses would help, and transport. Not sure if this is local government but I would like them to look at Earthquake seismic issues. I’m dealing with an earthquake prone building.”

Voting documents will be delivered between September 16 and 21, and postal voting will be open from September 16 to October 8, when voting closes at noon.

The NewsWire team is: Dan Mageean, Jacob Faifai, Blair Mockett, Tom Headland, Hugo Huntington, Shar Davis, Chris Visser, Angela Reid, Rosalie Stonyer-Linn, Margot Neas, Sarah Walsh, Kateni Sau, Andrew Dawson, Patrick French, James Malthus, Abe Leach, Salli Muyoma, Mervin Johnson, Laura Keown, Ireland Hendry-Tennent, Amy McEwen, Jade Winton-Lowe.

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