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Putting democracy to the test

9 May 2017

Over the past week or two, I've been taking some video footage in one of the parks here in Tokoroa.

It's autumn, the leaves are turning a glorious shade of orange and with the sun low in the sky by mid-afternoon, the visuals are great.

Last night I popped up a brief video showing just a couple of minutes of the footage I've captured

Less than 12 hours later it's received some positive comments, both on YouTube and on a local Facebook page. Locals love it, people overseas love it -- and this is just a random collection of footage that I have put no effort into editing.

Now you might think "okay, so what -- you took some video in a park, big deal".

Well it is a big deal, insomuch as I had to get special permission to take this footage because, according to the CEO of the local council, what I was planning to do was just far too dangerous to allow.

You see, you can't fly an evil baby-killing drone in any of the parks and reserves around here because the local council has decided that it is indeed far too dangerous to do so.

Now I know that the local council and its CEO have a pretty tenuous grasp on reality at times, but at no time during the filming thus far, have people run screaming from the sight of my evil drone. In fact, quite the opposite.

The very few people who even noticed that there was a drone operating in the area were intensely curious and came over to chat and ask questions. They were fascinated by the technology and the process of collecting this video.

Likewise, on the local Facebook page there has been not a single comment of concern in respect to privacy or safety. Without exception, all the comments are positive and appreciative of the effort that has been put in as well as impressed by the results that have been produced thus far.

It seems that the local council are (yet again, as with our local airport tower), completely out of touch with the opinions and perspectives of the people they allegedly represent.

Perhaps eventually they will wake up to the fact that democracy involves, not only listening, but taking note of what's being said.

It will be interesting to see how they respond to being shown that once again, *I* was right and they were dead-wrong when it comes to the issues that I champion on behalf of the public. How long before they wake up and realise that they are beginning to look like a small group of grumpy old people who begrudge anyone having fun in their town unless it's entirely on the council's own terms?

I'll be attending a meeting of council this week to make my point in respect to the airfield tower and the issue of flying drones in parks. Right now that bylaw is up for review and the intention on the part of council is to retain the existing ban. Let's see if they really *are* listening and fulfilling their responsibility to represent the wishes of the people.

Hopefully there will be film of that meeting (thanks to RoddyAXN) so I'll post a link to it if/when it becomes available.

Now you, the Aardvark reader, will get a chance to see our wonderful council in action and you can also make a judgment on their commitment to democracy.

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