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"Heritage Plan To Go Ahead!"

Well that is what the Hauraki Herald claimed in its headline last Friday.

It seems to me that it's journalist and editorial team were drawing a very long bow is shouting that outcome of last week's discussion to the District at large.

In fact, I suspect that Leach would have been somewhat chagrined to have seen that headline - especially as he had taken the trouble to call Cameron Massey into his office during the meeting, presumably in order to ensure that he understood just what had gone on in the Chamber.

There was no indication in the report of the acrimony that we had heard expressed - simply a few innocuous quotes from Councillors Connors, Bartley and Wells, together with Sandra Goudie's adamant opposition - but even that was played down. Clearly our local newspaper is more concerned about maintaining the fiction of unity within Leach's Council, and even quoted the smoothing words of Hammond who played along with the Leach line - "This is the kind of branding we are looking for!," and "there is a need for it in the community." 

What would he know about what the District is looking for, and it begs the question as to why he considered it appropriate to interfere in a highly controversial issue of this nature? It appeared highly inappropriate at the time, and may well have served to sway those councillors who had earlier indicated their opposition to it going ahead in any form. 

What we observed on Wednesday was the exercise of a blatant power play by Leach, who has of course been given considerably greater powers under the recent amendments to the LGA. What it additionally showed was that we have bunch of councillors who are nothing more than ciphers when Leach 'cracks the whip.'

I have no opinion one way or the other on this issue other than the belief that the Adam's 'glossy' (paid for out of our rates) is 'lightweight' with an inadequate level of detail needed to make any kind of decision of this nature. It also makes assumptions that indicate 'once over lightly' research, and as Diane Connors indicated - "a fixed recommendation that allows for no alternatives that may well achieve the same, a better, or cheaper outcome that is more representative of the views of our community."

It is a perfect example of a 'snow-job' that has been foisted onto the community by the now all powerful tourism sector, and all the mealy-mouthed talk in the world about "consulting with 'stakeholders'" is so much balderdash. When Leach talks about 'stakeholders', we know from past experience that he means 'industry' (tourism!), and his mates, together with a few pro-forma 'town-hall' meetings that no-one attends because rate-payers know that the outcome has already been decided, and consultation with iwi is simply a joke.

This proposal has more 'hooks' than a long-liner, and we need to be well aware that Council have just given Leach and his unelected mate Brent Page ("I do not read Bill Barclay's blog!") permission to spend a great deal more of our rates to ensure that this proposal proceeds to full adoption. Leach will not muck around - he only has a year to go, so expect some haste as last week's resolution is implemented, including his visit to Wellington along with Page to seek the support of Government and agencies.  

Yes, I think this may well become an election issue, so expect to hear a great deal more on the matter from Sandra Goudie.




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Reader Comments (1)

This has all the hallmarks of the Blueprint--right down to the SNA's
Wasn't that the plan that Leach ridiculed?? Always knew he secretly thought that the Blueprint was an excellent concept. Least Gouldie is consistant!!
Guess what goes round comes round

September 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRed Alert

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