10 months ago

Selwyn Times: May 24, 2016

8 Tuesday

8 Tuesday May 24 2016 your local Views SELWYN TIMES Something on your mind? Email in 150 words or less. Facebook us on Assisting families into their own homes Home ownership is important because it brings security to individuals and their families. That’s why the Government has a wide-ranging programme aimed at improving housing supply and affordability. As part of this programme, last April the Government doubled the level of financial support available for first-home buyers through the KiwiSaver HomeStart scheme. Recently, I have been contacted by some Selwyn families, thanking me for the Government’s HomeStart programme. These families have told me that their dream of owning their own brand new home in Selwyn was previously out of reach but that being able to access their KiwiSaver funds for a deposit has enabled them to do just that. Between April 1 last year and March 31 this year, 110 properties have been purchased in Selwyn using HomeStart grants worth a total of $1.21 million. The same scenario is playing out around the country, with the figures showing that in its first year the scheme has helped 11,943 people into their Amy Adams Selwyn MP first home, with grants totalling $55.6 million. And to make the scheme even stronger, the Government has decided to alter one aspect of the KiwiSaver home buyer programme in respect of secondchance home-buyers. The change being made from July aims to better help mid-life, middle-income New Zealanders who have been through a separation or business failure and are struggling to get back into home ownership by enabling them to access their KiwiSaver funds. The way the current scheme works is that it limits KiwiSaver withdrawals to first home buyers and people who have previously owned property but have low assets and earnings. The asset limit is 20 per cent of the house price caps of $550,000, $450,000 and $350,000, and the income limit is $120,000 for a couple and $80,000 for an individual. The income limits are being removed on July 1, 2016, meaning a second-chance homeowner with few assets will be able to access their KiwiSaver funds to buy a home regardless of how high their income is. Other steps that the Government has taken to help make home ownership more affordable include rolling out housing accords to release more land for development. One such accord was signed here in Selwyn by my colleague Dr Nick Smith, Minister for Building and Housing, and Selwyn Mayor Kelvin Coe last December. With mortgage interest rates at their lowest levels in half a century and these additional changes to the KiwiSaver HomeStart scheme, there will be even more opportunities for people to buy their own home in Selwyn. Readers replied to an article in last weeks Selwyn Times regarding blood test services being removed from Lincoln Claire Wratten, of Lincoln – Blood tests are a vital part of the general practitioners’ armoury. The earlier medical problems can be diagnosed, the better the outcome for both patient and the health service. To offer blood tests only if the patient can get to Southern Community Laboratories in Hornby, serves only the relatively fit (who can walk the distance from the bus stop or drive). This leaves the more vulnerable patients without the service that Southern Community Laboratories contracted to do. Lincoln Community Care has offered a venue in Lincoln; it is the Southern Community Laboratories moral duty to sign a contract to allow this service to stay in Lincoln. Margaret Cole, of Lincoln – It is beyond belief that the Southern Community Laboratories blood testing in Lincoln is being withdrawn. Surely the people requiring this service have a health concern and being asked to travel to Hornby is too much. Also please tell me how you can travel to Hornby by bus from Lincoln? There is no direct bus service to Hornby from Lincoln as far as I know. A M Ferguson, of Lincoln – I would like to add my voice to the complaints about the withdrawal of the testing service from Lincoln. I’ve lived here for years and always admired the medical care provided, but sadly cannot say that now. We need solid services including blood tests, especially with the huge local population increase. I realise Southern Community Labs are a business firm and would have thought this increase made sound business sense. Personally I can bus to Riccarton but would have to risk my driving to get to Hornby. Lynda Gowers – Moving the service to Hornby is unacceptable. Some people don’t have transport and there is no bus service to Hornby. Even some older people who do have transport are stressed about having to make the journey to Witham St. Blood testing needs to be re-instated somewhere in Lincoln for all patients. LIQUID LAUNDROMATS 47 Carmen road, Hornby gasoline alley site CnR CaRMen RoaD & WateRloo RoaD 7 DAYS: 7am-7pm WASH & DRY ALL YOUR LAUNDRY IN ABOUT 1 HOUR $4.00 WaSH $4.00 dry Wash 2 Mink Blankets, Duvets or Woolrests for only $10 DRY UP TO 4 LOADS IN ONLY 20 MINUTES! $4 SAvE TIME & ELEcTRIcITY • Fast Dryers • Sports Gear • Duvets • Mink Blankets • Bedding • Washers • Domestic Laundry Other Locations: 345 Stanmore Road, Richmond 289 Colombo Street, Sydenham fabric house making European fabric affordable Wholesale prices direct to the public 140 Colombo Street Beckenham, Christchurch Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm, Sat: 10am-4pm Phone (03) 365 0172 NEW SELECTION OF LINEN AND SHEERS IN STORE NOW

SELWYN TIMES Tuesday May 24 2016 9 Something on your mind? Email in 150 words or less. Facebook us on your local Views Readers respond to an article about freedom campers at Coes Ford Kate Davey – As I understand it, freedom campers are those who have fully equipped vans such as washing facilities (shower) and toilet. Anyone who does not have these facilities is not a freedom camper – they are freeloaders who expect the New Zealand ratepayers to subsidise their holiday. The purpose of places, such as Chamberlains Ford, is to provide amenities for picnickers, day-trippers or possibly as a one-night stopover for travellers. It is not intended as a free camp ground for prolonged stays which is what is happening. Try stopping at some of these places for a picnic and find out just how unwelcome you can be made to feel! John Key is incorrect in saying that this category of tourist spend many, many dollars. By their own admission, some interviewed “campers” have stated they are on tight/very low budgets that do not include campground charges, restaurants or even tourist attractions. They also said they sneak proper showers at available camps (where they will not get caught). All of which impacts on the providers of these services, particularly campgrounds. Oh yes, they are contributing handsomely to the tourism coffers. An interesting exercise would be to find out their actual spend, as opposed to the extra councils are paying for toilets, rubbish removal and general maintenance in these areas. Otherwise all ratepayers will be paying dearly for the pleasure of having such freeloaders in New Zealand. We cannot freedom camp in their country so why is it permissible for them to do it here? Simple solution – ban all “freedom campers” who do not have fully-equipped vehicles. They could display a certificate, or similar, to prove this. Everyone else (after a night) gets fined, towed, or clamped, until the fine is paid. I am sure there would be a surfeit of companies willing to do this and it only takes a few fines to get the message across. Sandra Foote, of Leeston – Can I just say thank you for freedom campers because without them Coes Ford may not have had the upgrade that it so badly needed. Our family camps down there long weekends, short weekends just whenever we can get away and it is great to see the improvements. Previously, the rubbish bins were quite often overflowing and the toilets – well let’s not go there and this was well before it became really popular with the freedom campers. Also I get sick of the freedom campers getting such a bagging from people. We have meet some wonderful people of all ages, its great to talk to them and find out where they are from, why did they pick New Zealand, where are they off to after this and of course to hear how beautiful our country is. If some people took just 10 minutes to say hello I’m sure they will see them through different eyes. They also spend money in the community which must be a good thing. A reader responds to an article about dogs in Selwyn Samantha James, of Leeston – I do a lot of walking around Leeston township and the greater area and have always been impressed at the dog owners. The ones I see have their dogs on leads with a couple of dogs with muzzles. When I have asked if their dogs bite, the owners have said no, it’s just in case as they would not like anyone to get hurt. To be honest there are a couple of dogs that rush to the gate barking their heads off. It gives me a fright but as long as they are behind locked gates I feel safe. I would like to see maybe an article in the paper from the council dog control on how to react to a dog if it is not on a lead and wandering. Also does the council go to the local schools and talk to the children on a regular basis, maybe this could be a priority. Trial the world’s first tiny hearing aid that outperforms normal hearing* A new almost invisible German engineered hearing aid enables wearers to understand speech in difficult listening situations even better than those with normal hearing.* This world first advancement is a complete revolution in audiological engineering and delivers a perfect balance of rich, natural sound quality and audibility. Completely disappears WANTED: 15 people to trial new hearing aid technology. Call 356 2324 to book now. Please hurry – appointments are filling up fast. *Clinically proven - for full details visit Merivale Hearing Clinic 24b Church Lane, Merivale. Call: 356 2324 Greg Foote, MNZAS Audiologist Terrace Downs Sunday Buffet Make your Sunday extra special with the Sunday buffet. Come and enjoy a delicious menu of classic and International flavours, accompanied by live music. Every Sunday 12:30pm Adults $45pp, Kids u12 only $20 BooK ToDAy: 03 317 9375 oR visit Phone 03 318 6943 Terrace Downs Resort | Coleridge Road, Windwhistle, Canterbury