So Council is now proposing another Garden Place
makeover? Hot on the heels of putting out the idea of turning
Garden Place into a shared space with roads through it and
carparks, an idea which was heavily opposed by the public,
they’re now promoting the same thing again? This time though
the idea is being put forward by private property developers.
Nevertheless the ratepayers will be the ones forking out for
another concrete covered revamp with even less green space.
What is most interesting is that Council has seen
fit to promote these private citizens plans so widely,
spending ratepayers money on communications staffers
time to prepare social media posts and press releases.
After Council overwhelmingly heard that there was no appetite
for another GP redesign or roads through the middle, the public
may have been mistaken in thinking the matter was put to
bed. It appears HCC is particularly keen to make this happen,
thankfully judging by the latest public response, Hamiltonians
have not yet got tired of saying No to things they don’t want.
As other developing cities around the world have started
adding more places where its safe to walk, it seems like a
‘Back to the Future’ move by Council to be moving the other
way. In 2015 alone they were talking about fning people
parking in the Ward Lane/Caro Street shared road. This never
came to fruition though and now the poles have reversed.
As the whims of Council change, we can only hope that more
consultants are not fowin in from overseas or Auckland at the
public expense to drip yet more concrete over poor Garden Place.
If they want to make it more family friendly, surely a destination
playground and having the library open would be better.
Originally published in the September edition of the Western Community Newspaper.
I gave up my daily habit of checking Stuff.co.nz and the NZ Herald sites a while back. Between coverage of Entertainment news and Crime reporting and cross-over ‘stories’ on reality TV and its ‘stars’ it just didn’t seem like there was any actual news.
I was comforted by the fact that if there was some, you know, news in the newspapers, someone else would link to it and save me the trouble of seeing more Kardashians than child poverty reporting. Of seeing more The Block stars than people from my block and the real issues people are dealing with.
Anyway, I wondered how NZ news sites were covering the US primaries, after seeing a story from The Guardian showing Donald Trump has received more media coverage than all the Republican candidates put together.
Surely our bastions of kiwi journalism (No not RNZ) wouldn’t be as bad as Fox News, CNN, CBS etc.
I used a simple metric, it’s called Ctrl-F (or Command F for you Applets). On the home page of each website, where a huge number of kiwis go to digest what the site has chosen to show them, you hit find, and type in the word, and see how many times it appears.
The first time I tried it, just after the Super Tuesday primaries, my hope in NZ news editing was, unsurprisingly intact! That is the complete and utter lack of hope, which has been evident ever since the lead up to the last election.
Mentions on the home page:
Have checked back a few times since then and seen similar flows of numbers. Today for instance:
No I didn’t miss anyone out in today’s ones. We seem to have a higher Republican coverage slant. No mention of Sanders historic and game changing Michigan primary win. Unfortunate.
Many Kiwi’s would assume Trump is on the way to becoming the next American President, based on their ‘headline only, quick glance’ consumption of news becoming more and more prevalent.
It’s a worry.
The most pertinent essay for the NZ left in a long time
by Daphne Lawless. For Fightback’s upcoming magazine issue on neoliberalism.
If you had told a socialist or a radical of a few decades ago that Marxist socialists would not only be defending the Union Jack-emblazoned New Zealand flag – a remnant of the British Empire, known as the “Butcher’s Apron” because of all the blood spilled on it, the flag of the colonialist, capitalist state – but marching behind it on demonstrations, they would undoubtedly think that you’d gone crazy. As recently as 2005, the “Defend Our Flag” movement was the preserve of conservatives like the Returned Services Association or the fascist National Front.
And yet, on the marches against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) signing on 4th February, Union Jacks were plentiful. On Facebook, socialists and radicals were calling supporters of Kyle Lockwood’s alternative flag, to be voted on in a referendum in March, “traitors”. How did this…
View original post 5,315 more words
Councillors Macpherson and Gallagher put forward an amendment:
“That Council will equitably fund cycle facilities, at least commensurate with the proportion of cyclists in relation to other transport modes, and will lobby Central Government to restore the same level of partnership funding as currently applying to motor vehicle facilities.”
Those for the Amendment:
Councillors Gallagher, Macpherson, and Wilson
Those against the Amendment:
Mayor Hardaker, Councillors Chesterman, Yeung, Forsyth,Pascoe, O’Leary, King, Green, Mallett, and Tooman
The Amendment was declared lost.
Here is my email sent to the appropriate HCC addresses. I have also made an Official Information Act request for the feedback which supposedly led to this decision. Personally I doubt this feedback exists, except in some ephemeral anecdotal form in a certain Mayor’s head. Here’s this mornings complaint:
I am writing to make a formal complaint about the current Submission processes surrounding the 10 Year Plan and Hamilton City Councils ongoing submissions procedures.
Hamilton City Council must offer the option to submitters of presenting an oral submission to full council within the council chambers as it has always done.
The only chance for oral presentations during the submission period for the Hamilton 10 Year Plan has been through ‘Community Engagement Meetings’, a very informal space where public talk over you and you talk to a few councillors and a few staff. This is unacceptable. It is not an appropriate forum to give a full submission to reach all councillors, appropriate staff whilst being heard by the public gallery and any attendant press.
Council has stated that due to changes in local government legislation, the Council is able to use different ways to hear people’s views on proposals. You’ve stated you are able, not that you are required. Many other councils in NZ are continuing to have formal oral submissions heard and have also added community meetings to their process, thereby strengthening democratic engagement and offering more avenues of participation. Not less.
The contention from Council that you have had feedback in the past that the hearings process is very formal and people would like opportunities to share their views with councillors in a less formal setting” is wonderful and I’m glad some people can now happily attend a community engagement meeting. Conversely many people find the formal oral submissions in the chamber extremely important, and wish for this to continue.
Thankyou for hearing this complaint and I look forward to your reply,
Will keep you updated by updating this post, on both the OIA and the complaint.
Hi Paul, we’ve been friends for 3 years now. In fact this is our third FB friend anniversary. We don’t catch up enough to be sure, and its a real shame, maybe we should have had more chats.
Reading about your attacks on cycling infrastructure has lead me to doubt our friendship. I had thought to run away from this relationship, but perhaps instead I started to think, I should stick around and have a conversation around it.
Why exactly are you against it? What part of the cost/benefit analysis doesn’t seem overwhelmingly positive to you?
Very interested to hear your answers and open up this line of dialogue 🙂