Western Leader : March 8th 2011
www.westernleader.co.nz Tuesday, March 8, 2011 4 AA Our office is now open for 2011, wishing you a prosperous New Year Ralph Hendricks 836 9310 Avondale New Lynn Green Bay Blockhouse Bay Te Atatu Swanson/Ranui Hobsonville Massey Lincoln Rd/Lincoln North Glendene Henderson Central Motoring Education & Features Consultant Titirangi Glen Eden Shannon Jones 836 9300 Charles Pierard 836 9302 Katrina Larsen 836 9306 Supercity job cuts estimate way out By STEPHEN FORBES The total bill for redundan- cies across Auckland s former councils has topped $27.6 million -- at least $7 million higher than the estimated cost. The Auckland Transition Agency, which was overseeing the amalgama- tions, estimated last Sept- ember that the payouts would cost between $15 and $20 million. But new figures released by the Auckland Council show the real cost is much higher -- 435 people were made redundant during the merger. Waitakere City Council topped the list, spending more than $8.4 million on redundancy payments for 91 employees. Local Government Minister Rodney Hide hasn t seen the latest figures but says the estimates on redundancy costs were as accurate as he could get at the time. Those numbers were pro- vided by the individual councils, he says. The individual councils may have got their numbers wrong or there may have been more people made redundant than expected. Labour s Auckland issues spokesman MP Phil Twyford says the figures Mr Hide pro- vided last year were inaccur- ate. He put pressure on officials to cut jobs so he could trumpet the cost savings but it has had the opposite effect, he says. The problem is he asked them to cut too deep. The council still has hun- dreds of staff vacancies to fill. Auckland deputy mayor Penny Hulse says the Waita- kere council topped the payout list because its figures were accurate. We added all the real costs in. When people are made redundant they are paid sick leave and we included that in the total. Corban centenarian Happy day: Around 400 friends and family members celebrated the 100th birthday of Helena Ataya, nee Corban. By NICOLA MURPHY Eventful life: Helena Ataya aged 26. FEW people have lived on the same road for 100 years. It s one of the interesting facts that make centenarian Helena Ataya a special lady. Around 400 friends and family members celebrated the Henderson resident s 100th birthday last month. They gathered at Corban Estate Homestead on Great North Rd where Mrs Ataya grew up and spent most of her life. She is the last surviving second generation member of the Corban family that founded the large wine- making business. Waitakere s first mayor Assid Corban, now a Henderson-Massey Local Board member, is her nephew. Helena Jameli Corban was born on February 28, 1911, the youngest of 10 children. Her parents, Assid and Najibie Corban, had their first two children in Lebanon and then moved to New Zea- land where they had eight more. Mrs Ataya spent a happy childhood at the homestead and attended Henderson Pri- mary School. She remembers racing to school with her siblings when they heard a morning train thunder past -- a sign they were running late. I can still see the teachers walking up the road, she says. Mrs Ataya left school aged 14 to work in the family busi- ness. She also took a sec- retarial course along with Jean Batten in the mid- 1920s, worked at a lodge in Auckland city and manned one of the Corbans shops in Fort St. Mrs Ataya returned to help out at the Corban homestead in Henderson where she met her future husband George. Her youngest son, Paul, says his father had started working at Corbans and bumped into his mother. A photo fell out of his wallet and she picked it up and asked who it belonged to. He said: The photo and the owner of it are yours , Mr Ataya says. The pair married in 1941 and had five children who grew up at the mill cottage near the Corban homestead. George died in 1997. Mrs Ataya now has eight grandchildren and two great- grandchildren. Mr Ataya says she is in fairly good health after surviving breast cancer in 2002 and skin cancer last year. His mother enjoyed travel- ling in later life, including a trip to Lebanon to meet many of her relatives for the first time. Mr Ataya says Najibie Cor- ban was illiterate so her daughter Helena wrote to the family in Lebanon on her behalf. So when she went to Lebanon she wasn t a stranger, he says. Her secret to a long life is simple: The Lord, she says. Mr Ataya says the Corban- Ataya family is closeknit. Mum instilled deeply in us our roots and where we came from. Mrs Ataya lives with her daughter Janice, also on Great North Rd.
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