Manukau Courier : December 7th 2010
8 MANUKAU COURIER, DECEMBER 7, 2010 NEWS Christmas holidays are just around the corner! Make sure your child has a fun, safe and exciting experience by enrolling them in your local recreation centres holiday programme. Our holiday programmes are affordable, varied and heaps of fun. Were CYFs approved and OSCAR registered so WINZ subsidies may apply. Each Manukau Leisure centre has a timetable of exciting adventures including sports, day trips, outdoor pursuits, and arts n crafts. All activities are supervised by experienced staff and children are grouped with others of similar age to participate in age-appropriate activities. Our structured programme runs from 9am-4pm each day, with complementary before and after hours care 7.30-9am and 4-6pm. Were taking enrolments now. Dont miss out, see your local centre or check out www.manukauleisure.co.nz for a full programme of activities. Bookings are essential. What: Fun holiday programmes at your local rec centre Who: All school kids aged 5 to 13 years When: Friday 17 December 2010 - Friday 28 January 2011 Cost: Varies from $16-$45 per day depending on activity (WINZ subsidies may apply) Te Matariki Clendon Community Centre Manurewa Recreation Centre Palmers Rd, Clendon Frances St, Manurewa Ph 269 0500 Ph 267 4646 Moana-Nui-ã-Kiwa Leisure Centre Allan Brewster Recreation Centre Cnr Mascot and Waddon Pl, Mangere Tavern Lane, Papatoetoe Ph 275 8979 Ph 262 5965 Otara Leisure Centre Cnr Newbury St and Bairds Rd Ph 274 6917 ACTIVE AND ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY PROGRAMMES www.manukauleisure.co.nz Driving home the concerns It was a drive around what are now effectively super Auckland's northern suburbs -- or should that word be ineffectively''? Lots of grass and livestock, old houses obviously loved, others previously loved in the inner city and now beginning a new existence, some of them seemingly fresh off the removal trailers. Idyllic spots, others looking like a film set for a hillbilly comedy. Or the then'' seg- ment of a television then and now paint advertisement. It was a journey of dis- covery revealing places I never knew existed. Like Kanohi, Waiwhiu, Pohuehue and Makarau. And others we knew well and one we had lived in so happily at Wainui. The house we'd moved there those years ago, now massively extended with a spread of terraces going down to the lake, the waterfall and a grove of ancient kauri, look- ing like a million dollars. It was an expedition of nos- talgia -- and realisation. We could have gone east all the way to Orere Point or gone south -- where we once moved another house of dreams -- and found the same spread of open country. And almost certainly gravel roads like the ones we covered on this journey. Which set me wondering yet again. How is the supercity going to cope with all these con- trasts and needs -- the hun- dreds of kilometres of roads desperately needing seal, the little, well-established settle- ments which don't know what a footpath is? And perhaps they'd like new roads before broadband. Obviously those brand-new councillors know all about finance -- they had hardly settled into their seats or got their first pay cheque before they were complaining that their income needed a boost to cover all the work they needed to do. Not a good look from people in new positions some had paid out thousands in adver- tising to win. Didn't they study their job description in advance? Well, the newly defined ratepayers of the not-so- supercity living on gravel roads have got a worry too. They wonder how members and bureaucrats living in high rises on equally high assets will produce a fair div- ision of rating between posh suburbs and rural communi- ties. They worry as all those familiar names in new jobs put the arm on the govern- ment for billions to carve a tunnel below a distant CBD -- and patch up some decrepit building off Queen St so Christmas shoppers and tourists don't have their city vistas marred. They ask: What's all this going to do to our rates? I remember one of those new names telling a group around us that the real test would be when we opened the books''. That was a month ago. Are the books still closed? And when are the rate- payers in unfashionable suburbs and the gravel- roaded communities going to be told the details on the accounts we all share -- some of us very unwillingly. In the mailbag: Unsuspecting public need to be aware of cowboy' buil- ders advertising and not to trust what you read. I engaged a builder to renovate my bathroom, sup- posedly with 35-plus years experience who also did painting and tiling himself. What a disaster. Four weeks down the track I was frustrated at nothing happening fast (he turned up when he felt like it). Then I discovered excess- ive wastage of my expensive tiles part way through the job, so got a qualified' tiler's opinion. After he told me he'd never seen such a poor job, I paid the builder several thou- sand dollars to get rid of him. Then to my further dis- tress a qualified' painter said the same about the hit-and- miss paint job (also pointing out the paint splatters all over my brand new fittings). So after paying the builder for shoddy workmanship (which I have since regret- ted), then extra for a tiler to finish the job and a painter to re-do the paintwork, we are understandably extremely angry at being ripped off. We're also stuck with a new bathroom with most of the tiles being laid incorrectly which couldn't be fixed. So to anybody thinking of renovations be warned: Check out references for the builder's work beforehand and use qualified sub-trades. This whole experience has caused much stress and just leaves a bad taste in your mouth for shoddy tradesmen.'' And a bouquet or three: You make so much sense. I admire your courage and directness in addressing many of the social injustices that continue to plague our society today. It's such a pity our newspapers today are full of poorly written articles, with messages so hidden under a maze of meaningless words and oft-times poorly researched facts' that one loses interest very quickly. The power of your pen gives ordinary New Zealand- ers hope that somebody still makes sense in our society driven by greed, political correctness, and spineless, mediocre liberals, who do more harm than good, in my experience.'' -- Naila Fanene I feel I have to email you and let you know that I cried this morning -- while eating my breakfast -- as I read your column At the minehead, portraits in pain'. It was a heartfelt, emotional and very well- written article and I could visualise all you talked about. These things that happen are so, so sad for so many people aren't they? A very sad day, too, for the nation and particularly the families and friends of the miners in Greymouth as they have their memorial service.'' -- Sue Pearce My sincere thanks for a well-written, thought-pro- voking column -- thoughtful and so touching that I was moved to tears as I read your recounted details of past dis- asters. The pain for those left behind must be enormous. I have nothing but admir- ation and praise for men like Peter Whittall and Superin- tendent Gary Knowles -- who have such responsibility to find answers and yet front the never-ceasing questions from the media -- some repeated over and over again. Then to face the families of the 29 miners trapped and killed by the mine that was their livelihood ..... hope and then disillusionment as the situation worsened. Thank you, Pat, for putting into words what many of us cannot express.'' -- Alma Dawson To contact Pat Booth email firstname.lastname@example.org or write care of this newspaper. All replies are open for publication unless marked.
December 3rd 2010
December 9th 2010