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Time for common sense, pragmatism

Opinion Piece

The old adage that “a week is a long time in politics” was never more true than when applied to our beloved Tairawhiti in the middle of two major events that are both competing for our undivided attention — the pandemic and the general election campaign. In fact, the last 24 hours has demonstrated how an even lesser time frame is sufficient for anything to happen when issues of this magnitude collide on our patch.

Sadly, and regrettably, the ingredient (leadership) that could save us from ourselves at a time like this is the one thing that is conspicuous by its absence. As a result, we could all become collateral damage.

It could have and should have been so different.

I suppose l dare to hope that in the coming days those who have been charged with oversight of our security will think again about their collective, appalling response to the Government's offer to pay for the building of a log barging port on the East Cape, realising that they have responsibilities to all of us lesser mortals but, more importantly, to those generations who will inherit this magnificent part of God's Earth.

In a democracy like ours, each generation takes responsibility for and acts as guardian (kaitiaki) of the land and environment that is entrusted to them, irrespective of individual names that are on the title deeds. Consequently, decisions made by those in leadership roles must reflect the best interests of all those who are likely to benefit from or be affected by their actions, right down to those on the lowest rungs of the social ladder and certainly not just those who have an overblown sense of entitlement.

That is why this contemptuous, arrogant, even racist decision of the council to reject Minister Shane Jones's offer must be overturned.

It is simply a misuse of authority that has no place in a modern society which unfortunately suffers from a crippling state of dependency, and will continue to do so as long as these irrational contributions keep being forced upon us.

It is time to say “Enough!” Do the job we elected you to do!

I have worked closely with the Coast iwi community over the past 40 years. I understand what makes them tick, their aspirations, their magnificent culture and their understanding of what needs to happen for businesses to flourish and families to benefit.

This community has all the necessary skills to make things happen, and particularly the all-important ability to recognise a rare opportunity that can be turned to advantage.

So, it is sad for me to stand by and watch “iwi politics” dictate the outcome of a debate that should never have happened.

For the Deputy Mayor, councillors and members of the runanga leadership who agree with his pronouncements to allow this unelected but apparently influential group of selfish isolationists to blackmail the remainder of the Tairawhiti community, it is a betrayal of your office.

They should either return to the negotiating table with the Government, making amends for their lapse in judgement by committing to discussions seeking an outcome that will put our plans for economic development back on track, or resign en masse, allowing others to pick up the pieces while there is still time.

After all, aren't we supposed to be being kind to one another?

Leave a Reply to Lara Cancel reply

  1. Peter Jones says:

    You are a well meaning soul Clive … but you need direction. I will stand for you bro. You may stand for yourself and good on you. But I will represent. Kia ora.

  2. Clive Bibby says:

    I don’t give a rat’s arse about other people’s opinions of me Peter.
    I just enjoy making a contribution that might help stimulate a movement for change. Heaven knows we need it.
    If we don’t stand up and be counted on some of these important issues, we deserve all we get.

    1. Peter Jones says:

      If Advance NZ gets about 10 percent of the party vote, Jennie Brown will be in Parliament Clive. That’s who you should be helping if you want to see change.

  3. Lara says:

    I read the article about the proposed barge port up the coast.
    Personally, I think it is an idea well worth serious consideration.

    1. Taking logging trucks off the roads. Our roads are narrow, winding and dangerous.
    2.Reducing the time that truck drivers have to spend navigating those roads each day.
    3 Providing another port facility up the coast. You know the old saying, build it and they will come. Who knows what types of ingenious things smart coastlines will think up to keep another smaller port busy.
    4. Employing people.
    I understand there are those who object to the idea and that is their prerogative. Disagree by all means but please make both sides of the decisions very clear to all us who are not privy to all the information for or against.
    What was unacceptable, in my opinion, was for Josh Wharehinga as an elected official to call Shane Jones ‘A Knob’. It’s just rude and unnecessary to speak that way. If that is truly what he said about Shane Jones.
    We are not Hicks on the coast and I felt embarrassed to be represented by someone who thinks it is ok to use schoolboy jibes to describe frustration. Do better Josh!