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Season's Greetings

A very happy Christmas and New Year to all readers of this blog,

It has been a momentous year all round in this District after six years of heavy-handed rule by the previous Mayor.

I regarded it as critical to effect a real change at that level - not just a passing of the baton! I sincerely believed in Sandra Goudie's candidacy having watched he performance over three years, and accordingly threw my wholehearted support in her direction. There is no need to deny bias in a 'commentary' blog of this nature. Everyone generally knows where I stand on issues, and I felt very strongly about this one.

I don't believe that anyone who supported Sandra has, or will have any reason to regret their decision. To date, she has shown exemplary understanding, attitude and concern in all manner of areas that have been neglected for far too long. There aere few sectors of the community that have not felt our exuberant Mayor's presence since the Election. 

There will some areas where some, and certainly I, will disagree with Sandra over the next three years- she has a strong commitment to land rights for instance that may bring her into conflict with some who prefer stronger controls on development, but this will be tempered - of that I have no doubt. Sandra is one politician who understands political sentiment, and is capable of 'rounding the corners.'

I believe that is determined to see the implementation of the Hauraki Settlement accords during her term of office, if only the terms can be finally agreed by all concerned. The members of the twelve iwi Hauraki Collective deserve nothing less, and it would be a wonderful achievement if it could be put in place during this term.

The other issues that must be faced relate to economic development projects that have been implemented without adequate consultation, and concern for consequential issues arising. The removal of the Economic Development Committee was a long overdue move towards bringing oversight of these matters back 'in-house.'  There is an urgent need for Council commitments to projects such as the Whitianga Medical Centre, and Coromandel Harbour Projects to be re-visited, and thoroughly investigated. The tendency for vested interests to be able to 'pull strings' to obtein advantage must stop, and Mayor Goudie is just the person to make sure this happens. 

In time, I expect to see our new Mayor turn her attention to infrastructure maintenance isues that were deliberately put on the 'back-burner' by the previous administration - storm-water, and roads & bridges in particular. Anyone traversing the Peninsula over that last wet season will understand the deficiencies in those areas. 

Thre are many other matters which could be high-lighted in this summary, but best left until the New Year.

I look forward to having all readers return in 2017 - I don't propose any change to the blog, but will continue to write about a range of issues as the need arises. 

Have a very Happy Christmas.




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