Petanque in Buckle Street this Saturday

Pétanque

Living Streets Aotearoa are planning to play petanque in Buckle Street this Saturday 2 July at 1pm, reclaiming the area for people instead of cars. According to Ellen Blake from Living Streets:

Come to Buckle Street opposite the Carillion and play petanque for our community. Reclaim this ugly road space and turn it into a fun area for an hour or two with other Living Streets members and supporters. Bring your petanque set or join a team to protest the RONS being imposed on us as far as the airport. Weather permitting of course!

Sounds like fun – see you there!

Compassion costs $6 per day

Notable Mt Victoria identity and lifetime MVRA member Richard Giese died at the Rita Angus retirement village in Kilbrinie in February. He was 85.

In itself, this would be a sad but unremarkable death at the end of a long and productive life – but at the coroner’s inquest into his death this week, it was revealed that his body remained undiscovered at the retirement village for 12 days.

The operators of the retirement village – Ryman Healthcare – noted that making sure 85-year olds were safe in their units was an extra-cost option:

Susan Bowness, North Island regional manager for Ryman Healthcare, which runs Rita Angus and 22 other villages, said residents were able to request daily checks, for a fee of $6 a day.

According to their financial results for the half-year ending 30 September 2010:

We are delighted to report to you on a very successful first six months of the financial year. The profits and dividends are up substantially … The realised profit for the six months was $36.1 million, up 25% on the same period last year – and a new record for the company.

Perhaps one of the reasons that Ryman is so profitable is because basic human compassion is charged at $2,190 per annum. To state the obvious, having someone to make sure you’re OK is one of the reasons people move into retirement villages, and to discover that this is only done on receipt of a cheque would come as quite a surprise to anyone that had read one of Ryman’s brochures.

It’s all very well for Ryman to wax eloquent about “community” and style itself as operating “villages”, but in real communities and villages residents who have had heart attacks don’t remain undiscovered for 12 days. Perhaps Ryman needs to take a look at its corporate conscience and decide what kind of business it’s really running.

Consultation to start on Basin Reserve flyover on 2 July

The NZ Transport Agency has announced that consultation will start on the Basin Reserve flyover and a second Mt Victoria tunnel on Saturday 2 July. As expected, the options are being limited to a flyover and a tunnel that totally demolishes Paterson Street, rather than including the more enlightened options from The Architecture Centre.

The Save The Basin Reserve campaign has more information (including the media release) here.