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Article – Lawrence Kirby

26 Jun 2023, 1:47 PM

Published Kāpiti Observer 17 May 2023

A ‘Thai hot’ Massaman Curry describes my current life, if the saying ‘variety is the spice of life’ is to be believed. Briefings, workshops, more briefings, more workshops, public forums, Council meetings, emails, phone calls, texts, committee meetings, church and conversations about climate change, housing, leadership, politics, pipes, water, reservoirs, trees, traffic, food, flooding, faith, and football – variety exemplified.

Animated conversations and strong opinions rattled around my table on the deck of the Otaihanga Boating Club, a couple of weeks ago, as about 80 people joined the Coastal Advisory Panel to discuss coastal erosion, sea level rise and climate change. Kāpiti is special and its people are passionate about protecting and enhancing that specialness. We face some extraordinary challenges over the coming years, but I’m convinced that we have the people and passion to enable us to overcome those challenges. I’ll enjoy listening to what many of you want to contribute to this conversation.

This last month has seen the publication of our plan for the next year which stays pretty much the course set out in Council’s Long Term Plan 2021-24. As there are no significant changes, we’re keeping you informed about what to expect from us as we move forward. The next 12 months are where we’ll be looking to you to inform and communicate with us about our next Long Term Plan 2024-27. Check out the video that my fellow Councillors and I have created about this work.

Warm, dry housing came to front of mind last week as the cold southerly whistled around my house. Kāpiti has on going challenges and opportunities in the housing area. We need more social and affordable housing that gives people the basis from which to thrive in the other areas of their lives. Council hopes to launch an Affordable Housing Entity. My hope is that this will be a community-led and informed initiative where Council helps facilitate the best and most experienced people in the housing space create an entity that delivers the quality outcomes this community deserves. 

Meeting brilliant, beautiful people all around the District has inspired me about the brightness of our future. Often, I hear the difficult, challenging stories of people’s lives. They are easy to find and can be heart-breaking but I’ve also discovered there are many more stories that echo a different sentiment. A sentiment of hope, beauty, love, community and family all placed in the spectacular scenery and environment of Kāpiti. Thanks for sharing your stories with me.

By the way, in case you’re wondering, I love ‘Thai hot’ Massaman curry.