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Hoadley Reveals All

Wyn Hoadley dropped  a clanger into today's Community Board meeting that will bring a smile to the face of quite a few staff around Council, but as they say in all the good books - believe it when you see it!

Wyn casually indicated that she had no intention of standing at the next election, and that by then she would have achieved all that she intended to achieve when she stood in 2010. She sounded sincere, but ....... I will leave you to ponder the matter.

I may have been a little hard on Wyn on occasion, but mostly for good reason. Most seem to consider her a pain in the butt, and that would be putting it kindly.

There are two matters however for which she dererves full credit. The first was her move to have the the power of 'General Competence' removed from the 'community empowerment' model that was discussed and agreed on at the 18 April Council Meeting. This power was developed by the Clark Government with the object of shedding a few more functions onto councils, but grossly misused by councils delving into commercial ventures for which they are totally ill-equipped. Incorporation of this power into the draft plan was a clear indication of the naivety of those responsible, and they remained very quiet when Wyn raised objections that saw it removed.

The second matter arose in a hilarious burst of rhetoric this morning when she kicked the whole idea of 'charettes' into touch. This method of communicating with the public was originally raised at the formation meeting of Destination Thames by architect John Sinclair. Nobody knew what he was talking about at the time, but Ross Pennington, who is the Acting Area Manager latched onto it and used it ad infinitum today, until Wyn lost her cool calling it "asinine" and "daft", amongst other things. Pennington was promptly put in his place when he gave every indication of taking over the running of Destination Thames, now to be known at the Thames Focus Group - whew! - that took all of two meetings to decide. 

Strat, who was the original proponent of this sideshow, and who arranged for $25,000 in funding in the TYP, was again absent and so unable to defend his 'baby'.  $11,500 of this is to pay for the 'Asset Mapping' exercise being undertaken by Dr Donna Semmer from Wintec.  Wyn took the oportunity to totally rubbish the whole idea of another local group duplicating District Planning Review Committee (of which she is a member) functions. She backed up Peter French (Chair) in this regard, and after David Hammond came in and stated that the Group had a very limited time window to get anything into the District Plan, I formed the the very distinct impression that it will have a very limited and totally undistinguished life.

Its motley collection of members nominated by Strat at the outset must be wondering what the hell they let themselves into. I can't see John Sinclair wasting his time on it much longer, particularly as he and Mark Skelding seem to be talking about totally different objectives - Skelding on social issues, and Sinclair on town centres. It all seems to go over Mark Bridgeman's head, and the very idea of Bruce Oliver and Errol Kingsbury sitting and pontificating on the totally obscure objectives of the group leaves one gasping. What on earth it is all about is anyone's guess - just don't ask Strat. Morrie Dunwoodie and Rex Simpson are the other members - perhaps they can throw some light on it. Talk about the road to hell being paved with good intentions!

One had the the impression at the outset that the whole deal was agreed to by Leach as a sop to Strat to keep him quiet - I don't think he thought for a moment that it would have any effect whatsoever, and all I can say is thank heaven it is not costing any more than it is - any attempt to pay its members should be resisted at all costs.

In the meantime, is it farewell to the Member for Castor Bay? And what is it I wonder that she plans to achieve before she departs? Naturally, when one considers Wyn's long political tail, one cannot help but wonder whether this is not simply an attempt to secure an early draft - "No Wyn, don't go, we can't do without you!".

Yeah right!




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