Home' Papakura Courier : May 25th 2011 Contents 3
PAPAKURA COURIER, MAY 25, 2011
YOUR RATES RISE
AT A GLANCE
BIG ticks could be in store for
the wish-lists of southern
local boards in the wake of
$81 million in savings found
by the Auckland Council.
Mayor Len Brown says the
savings have cut the pro-
jected base rates rise to 3.7
percent and given wiggle
room to include more com-
munity projects in the
2011-12 annual plan.
Councillors start meeting
today to decide which local
board projects will make the
cut. And Mr Brown has
made it pretty clear they ll
need to be disciplined about
extra spending. There s a
little bit of wiggle room from
3.7 percent up to 3.9 percent
but not much.
A 3.9 percent rates rise
would be reasonable, well
under the rate of inflation,
and would allow the council
to deliver about 95 percent of
what s in the long-term plan
for that year, Mr Brown says.
It s a welcome signal for
Manurewa Local Board chair-
man Daniel Newman and his
part Peter Skelton, who are
worried local board priorities
will be squeezed out.
Money for quake-stricken
Christchurch, the extra Rug-
by World Cup games, water-
front theatres and the St
James upgrade have fuelled
That s giving away a lot of
money that s supposed to be
allocated for local priorities,
Mr Skelton says.
Mr Newman says the bid
for millions of dollars in extra
funding by the council s
events company ATEED has
been a flashpoint for local
There is growing concern
about queue-jumping where
fashionable arts projects in
central Auckland appear to
be getting priority over the
needs of local communities as
articulated by local boards,
he says. But Mr Brown says
there will be no queue-
jumping for the 2011-12
The only extra regional
spending will be $3.9 million
for ATEED and some seed
money for a cruise ship ter-
minal with the rest left for
the long-term plan. The extra
ATEED spending isn t
queue-jumping, it s my
vision , Mr Brown says.
Local boards have done a
superb job of presenting
their wish-lists for the annual
plan: Most of their requests
are relatively small amounts
of money in the context of a
$3 billion budget.
The revised 2011-12 budget
provides for a $1.5 million
discretionary fund and $6
million in capital spending to
share among the 21 local
Local boards will also get a
lot of discretionary funding
that s still being re-allocated
from legacy council budgets,
Mr Brown says.
The $81 million in
$4.5m in interest costs
$18m from council-
$10m in cost
$11.5m in consultants'
The council's governing
body is due to approve
the 2011-12 annual plan
and rates on June 28.
Go to www.auckland
council.govt.nz for more
Penpals for life: After 65 years of marriage, Theo and Myrtle Thomas reminisce over the love letters he never knew she had kept
all these years.
Photo: HINERANGI VAIMOSO
Married 65 years and still in love
By HINERANGI VAIMOSO
It took me two days and I had
him. And we only went out
Six months after he started writing to
her, Theo Thomas finally got to lay
eyes on his future wife.
It was a bitterly cold day in Octo-
ber, 1945. I was waiting at the train
station thinking What am I actually
doing here , he says.
And then this train pulls up.
There s only person who gets off that
train and it s a lady. The lady got
closer and closer and as soon as she
got close enough, I fell madly in love.
And I still am today.
After months of being together only
in spirit and just two days of being
together in the flesh, the pair were
I had seen pictures of him before he
came back and I thought, yeah, he s
great, Myrtle Thomas says with a
It took me two days and I had him.
And we only went out the once.
She had me all right, Mr Thomas
says with a returning smile.
Within another six months the pair
were married near Myrtle s hometown
of Clinton in Southland.
The couple moved into their Shirley
Ave home in Papakura in 1973 and
will celebrate 65 years of marriage this
Theo was just 19 when he was serv-
ing with the Royal New Zealand Air
Force in the Solomon Islands during
World War Two.
He d heard stories from his friend
George about his younger cousin Myr-
tle, who would write regularly.
In such a time of turmoil, receiving
letters gave light relief to soldiers liv-
ing abroad so he spent weeks
buttering up George for permission to
write to Myrtle.
Theo, a Bay of Islands boy orig-
inally, arrived back from the war
before George, but George had encour-
aged him to head down to Southland
for a visit with his family.
Across the road lived Myrtle and
after their one date on his arrival,
Theo followed Myrtle s father out to
collect coal for the fire and asked for
her hand in marriage.
The war changed people. You came
back wanting to make the most of life,
so we did.
The couple married in Gore on May
29, 1946. They brought up six children
in their Papakura home and now boast
10 grandchildren and five great-
grandchildren, with another one on
Both say their large, close-knit fam-
ily played an important role in keeping
them as solid and as in love as they
were 65 years ago.
We ve grown together, learned as
we ve gone along and we ve had for-
giveness in our hearts, which is what
all couples need, Theo says.
The pair hopes to celebrate this
year s milestone with a night out in a
plush hotel in the city.
We might stay up all night and
spend all our money on the pokies,
We ll have a great old time, his
Links Archive May 18th 2011 June 1st 2011 Navigation Previous Page Next Page