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Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 24th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2018 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at aardvark.co.uk



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Priming the guns of democracy

9 June 2017

As regular readers will know, I have been trying to wake up the local South Waikato District Council to the opportunities on its doorstep for almost a decade now.

Sadly, although they "talk the talk" when it comes to economic development and diversification of the district's economy -- they utterly and completely fail when it comes to actually implementing any effective strategies for following through with action.

My many initiatives to turn the town into a tech-hub for the drone industry (and others) have been rebuffed at every turn, despite the fact that they require no investment of public funds or real input from the council itself. The only real problem is that some small changes are required to allow things to slot into the regulatory framework under which we must all operate.

Unfortunately, despite their claims to be in favour of diversification and new industries, the council actually showed its real hand recently when it said it would be backing the existing diary, forestry and supporting engineering industries. That's diversification?

But now the time for talk and negotiation is over. I'm drawing my sword and am about to wage battle with a group of people who consult but do not listen and whose published statements are, in my honest opinion, riddled with hypocrisy and lies.

Two council meetings ago, I challenged the SWDC to honour its statement that it supports existing businesses and encourages new ones -- or remove it from all official documentation.

Well they've done neither.

And so now it is time to hold them accountable.

Now as one lone voice, they can ignore me. The sound of a tiny sabre rattling on the doors of the council chambers won't cause them to lose sleep at night, nor will it influence their decision and policy-making.

However, this is the 21st century and the concept of being accountable to the public just once every three years is old and stale.

These days we have numerous mechanisms whereby those who promise is one thing and deliver something which falls far short, can be taken to task for their sins.

I have informed the Mayor of the council that I shall be taking the issues and concerns I have to the public and rallying the residents of this town to draw their own sabres.

The tintinnabulation of a single sword can be soothing and melodic -- the intolerable din of hundreds can not be ignored.

Now, I guess, it's down to my ability to reveal the facts and incite the people who have been so disadvantaged by the loss of opportunities to join the fight.

I shall be invoking the full might of social media and also calling in the services of the MSM who still have a place in such battles. One thing I've also found is that by giving so freely of my own time and resources over many years, people are often very willing to reciprocate that effort when called upon to do so.

One thing is for sure... I am not the only lone swordsman battling a bureaucracy that structures itself so as to avoid doing the hard work. Let's hope that this battle, which may well become very public, is incentive to others who are similarly held at arms length and dismissed by indolent politicians and lazy bureaucrats.

Can the little guy force change at a governance and executive level?

I think we're about to find out.

If nothing else comes of this, there will be many lessons to be learned by those who might seek to follow in my footsteps.

Of course I'm always keen to accept tips and insights from readers who may have done a little of this crusading themselves in the past so go to it... in the forums.

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