Local News, Piha Opinion

Sir Bob Harvey responds re Library

4 Comments 20 January 2016

Sir Bob Harvey responds re Piha Library

Piha LibraryOn 19th of December Village Voice published a letter from Yvonne Dufaur regarding ‘Who Built the Piha Community Library”.   Now Sir Bob Harvey, former Waitakere City Mayor, responds.

“I am so proud of Yvonne Dufaur and her courage in speaking out after almost a decade of stress over the Piha library.

Yvonne is held in the highest regard in this country.  She is a woman of huge intelligence, a great grasp of history and a truly great New Zealander.  I thank her for deciding to set out the facts regarding this ongoing  wretched jihad by the Piha R.& R against this wonderful community facility.

I would vouch that there is not a community in the whole of New Zealand where a local ratepayer group has waged such a long and protracted battle against a group of dedicated volunteers whose only crime is a love of books and the desire to share them with other readers.

I do have history with this project, as the former mayor of Waitakere City.  Along with my council we committed the funding to establish this library and in so doing it was necessary for the funding stream to go to a trust.  That trust brought together a group of local women who had  knowledge of libraries and book purchase.

None of us knew that it would bring the wrath of the local residents and ratepayers, who felt that the library should be in their fold.  If there is any major issue it should be against the former Waitakere Council, not the committee and volunteers who have been relentlessly bullied and attacked for continuing to run this valuable resource.

I tried in the final years of Waitakere City, to assist, and was close to achieving resolution ,when the mediator declined to work in such a hostile and unhelpful environment.

Believe me, I can understand the middle East conflicts more readily than I can understand this futile, angry and ongoing dispute.

I am fearlessly joining Yvonne in her resolve  to lay out clearly the situation that created the library, and hopefully  the R.&R. and the good people of Piha will demand that hostilities cease forthwith.  The many people who weekly staff the library offering both young and old the joy of reading and the pleasure of books should be able to carry out their duties without fear of harassment and threatening behaviour.

Can someone look in the mirror and ask a simple question: “Why are we dong this?”

Enough please, Piha”

Sir Bob Harvey

Who Build the Piha Community Library  19th December 2015

Your Comments

4 Comments so far

  1. Jake says:

    The Local R&R are way out of line on this. Perhaps a new and truly representative local community group should be established as the entrenched R&R leadership are not fit for purpose.

    • Previous R&R committee member says:

      They are always out of line. Unfortunately the same people manage to weasel their way in year after year. It has been like that for decades. When someone unbiased and focused on the community gets in they are bullied while there by the old school committee members and soon forced out or get so fed up they leave.
      People who don’t even live in Piha or own property there somehow manage to get on the committee and yet kick up a stink if they think anyone else is doing the same. Some horrible bitter people in the old school group that never interact with the community and have no knowledge of community views because they are not interested in what anyone else thinks.

  2. Jessie says:

    Thank you Bob for spelling out so clearly the sorry story of the attacks by Piha R&R on our Community library. Sadly, the dispute has gone on so long that newer R&R Committee members believe the fiction created by longstanding members to be true. It would be helpful if they would carry out their own research by talking to Library Trust members who were there from the beginning.

  3. Sally says:

    I well recall the fundraising for the new library. We donated. The piha residents and ratepayers were not a part of it at all. Looking at old photographs they were not at the opening ceremony. Are they on LSD or something?

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