Friday, October 8, 2010

muppets....the bad kind

My time in sunny Northland draws to a close tomorrow, and I trip my way down the coast via some case study sites to the rather more familiar territory of Auckland. The driving, map-checking, filling in forms has all become routine now and I for once can claim to be up to date with much-loathed paperwork (shock horror). Tomorrow is a momentous day however, for more than just the fact that I go from birthplace to what is my true hometown of North Shore City.

Tomorrow marks the end of local body elections...votes are due at midday at your local library (vote...some people would die for that right) and the new mayor/councillors of all the districts and the new 'super' city of Auckland will become known. Some will be no surprise, while others will no doubt engender community chants and hollers alike.

The past few days have, among many other things, illustrated to me the great importance of having a 'no-muppet' rule in local body politics. They really do have enormous control over our daily lives...illustrated in one particular instance where an un-named incumbant politician committed lock, stock and two smoking bean-counters to a large infrastructure project. The finances, the practical resource capacity and the consent/appreciation of iwi were noticeably absent...but on he went, missing only a kilt and a sword.

The outcome was, without going in to al that much detail, that precious little environmental mitigation could be demanded from the orchestrator of the actual project. The costs and benefits barely fell even, and any mention of offsetting of the potentially serious adverse environmental and cultural effects fell on deaf ears. The gateway tests of the relevant legislation somewhat overthrown by a dictatorial attitude and a pocket full of clipped responses.

No muppets rule...jolly good idea methinks...

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