Western Leader : January 27th 2011
3 WESTERN LEADER, JANUARY 27, 2011 NEWS Y-Gymnastics Y-Rhythmic Gymnastics Y-Dance Y-Miniball Y-Soccer Y-Tennis (Spring & Summer terms only) 110117 www.ymcaauckland.org.nz Ph: 0800 YMCA NOW Check our website for the programmes available at your local Y. LOOKING FOR GREAT ACTIVITIES FOR THE KIDS? Y-KIDS TERM PROGRAMMES ENROL ONLINE by 7th February to receive your free gift! Inspiration. Encouragement. Experience. Also at Mt Eden Pakuranga 09 638 9026 09 576 7108 www.davisfunerals.co.nz John Schipper Call John today for a free consultation or a friendly chat on the type of ser vice you would like. We believe in providing a funeral service that is special to you. We will guide and inspire you with sympathy and respect for your loved ones. Henderson 09 835 3557 EYE EXAM* ½ PRICE *Discount applies to full adult exam fee Westgate Optometrists, PH: 831-0202 Westgate Shopping Centre, Massey, opposite ANZ Full Exam fee to be paid if taking prescription away *Other conditions apply. Expires 31.01.11 Please bring this ad with you 3162079AD IN BRIEF Tree rescue A five-year-old girl was trapped 12 metres up a tree in Henderson and had to be rescued by firefighters last week. She was not able to climb down and her mother could not reach her. Glen Eden station officer Brian Marsden says the girl was not distressed and was returned to ground safely. Meet mayor Mayor Len Brown will be in Titirangi Village on February 4 between noon and 1pm to meet residents. Mr Brown says the events, which he's dubbed the Mayor in the Chair sessions, are a good way for him to meet with people and hear their concerns. ''It's important to me to hear about Aucklanders' experiences and issues in their own words,'' he says. ''Some people drop by just to say hi or to tell me what they love about their part of Auckland, others bring concerns they want me to know about. ''We had some great Mayor in the Chair sessions last year, in the sand in Takapuna, in Helensville, and in the rain in Aotea Square.'' Help CABs Citizens Advice Bureau offices want to hear from people who are interested in becoming volunteers. They need computer and research skills and must be able to offer at least four hours a week. Full training is provided. Contact the branches by email: Glen Eden at cab. email@example.com; Henderson at cab.hendr@ xtra.co.nz; Massey at cab. firstname.lastname@example.org or the New Lynn branch at cab. email@example.com. Festival winner Congratulations to Robyn McEwan who won the Western Leader's double pass to the Landsendt Oratia Jungle Festival. Your news If you have a story to share email firstname.lastname@example.org. Jobs at cutback council By STEPHEN FORBES AFTER making more than 1200 job cuts and spending millions on severance packages the Auckland Coun- cil is looking for staff. It is seeking 525 fulltime employees. This includes 32 positions at Watercare and 183 at Auckland Transport. The vacancies include positions ranging from recep- tionists and database administrators to communi- cations and public affairs advisers. Deputy mayor Penny Hulse says the figures are concern- ing. She says Local Govern- ment Minister Rodney Hide and the Auckland Transition Agency were too keen to make staff cuts when the council was formed last year. We had a council built for us by Rodney Hide and I don t think he understood the value of the work our staff do. We now have to rebuild from scratch. It s like we ve washed up after a ship- wreck. Labour s Auckland Issues spokesman Phil Twyford says Mr Hide and the transition agency didn t consider the impact of last year s job cuts. To be left with 525 vacancies just after you have cut 1200 jobs suggests Rod- ney Hide s officials got a bit carried away, he says. The worry for the Auck- land ratepayer is that the real cost may turn out to be millions of dollars in wasted redundancy payments. Mrs Hulse says ratepayers can expect to see more vacancies in the coming months. She says some employees who worked at now-defunct local authorities such as the Waitakere City Council had a salary protec- tion scheme where their pay and conditions were guaran- teed for six months under the new Auckland Council. But with a number of those agreements expiring soon Mrs Hulse says some of them may decide to leave rather than take a pay cut. Mr Hide says the ATA was ultimately responsible for the new council structure. He doesn t believe it made too many redundancies. I am confident that the ATA did its best to ensure adequate staff resources for the new council and that redundancy payments were kept to a minimum, he says. The Auckland Council appears to be operating effectively, the water is still flowing and the rubbish is still being collected. Mr Hide is confident that over time the council will attract the skilled staff it needs to get on with the job. He says existing staff work- ing under fixed-term con- tracts may be able to fill some of these vacant positions. Its was one of the largest, most complex restructures in New Zealand s history. Last year Mr Hide said the estimated cost of the lay-offs would be between $15 million and $20 million. But that didn t include the redundancy costs of the region s council chief executives. 60-year pair in step for anniversary Diamond anniversary: Ellen and Claude Mitchell look through their old photo album ahead of the 60th wedding anniversary. Photo: VANITA PRASAD By VANITA PRASAD More than 60 years ago in the Swanson dance hall Claude Mitchell saw his future wife Ellen from across the room and asked her to dance. The hall no longer exists but Claude and Ellen Mitchell s union has survived the test of time and the couple is celebrating its 60th anniversary today. Making it to the milestone together hasn t been easy. Mr Mitchell has survived bowel cancer and Mrs Mit- chell made it through a stroke and triple bypass sur- gery. Mr Mitchell says it s special to have his wife still with him. Many of our friends have passed on already. Mrs Mitchell thanks their pioneering ancestry for help- ing them survive illness. It s my good old pioneering spirit that has been getting me through. We have a lot of history in west Auckland with my father s people coming to Swanson in 1862, she says. My father had the first car in all of Swanson and that was around 1920. The couple, both aged 84, raised four children including twins. We had our daughter and then for five years there was nothing till we had our last three children within 14 months, she says. Mrs Mitchell says finding out she was having twins was one of the biggest shocks of her life. We survived though. Former policeman Mr Mit- chell says the secret to a long marriage was being honest. The pair married at the old St Michaels Church on Great North Rd and had to borrow £20 for a honeymoon around Rotorua and New Plymouth. I paid it back straight away though, Mr Mitchell says. Since then they have trav- elled to Hong Kong, Japan, Hawaii and Australia.
January 25th 2011
January 28th 2011