Updated to KDE3.2. Don't know if this included a new release of kpackage.
On tab I1 enabled the use box and entered
in the text box after having copied a PACKAGES.TXT file to the directory. /var/log/packages - didn't know what it was likely to achieve but seemed a good idea at the time
On tab P2 in the top text box entered
also enabled the use box and entered
in the text box.
kpackage now tells me what pacakages are in the mirrors patches folder that I haven't got installed in my machine.
It's a start.