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T3 Takeover of Thames Candidate Meeting 

The complete takeover of this meeting on Saturday, 17 September at the Civic Centre (hopefully, the final correction) by the T3 group has been achieved at the expense of the alternative - Totally Thames - a group that better represents Thames business and other local interests. They will be regretting dropping the ball when they see what T3 have come up with. 

Transition Town Thames represents only a small proportion of the town's population and espouses mainly left wing politics,  and environmental views that are extremely divisive - remember its 'peak-oil' campaign? Its influence is slight despite its claims to the contrary, and it is heavily influenced by self-important local identity Mark Skelding who has his own (nowT3's) agenda. 

It is nevertheless a tight little group who would love to be in a position to influence the outcome of the Election, but once this list of 'topics' becomes widely known, they may have difficulty filling the hall. The 'topics' that it wants discussed by all the candidates - having allocated 5 minutes for the mayoral candidates, 4 minutes for Council, and 3 minutes for Board candidates.

There are the three topics in each case which will certainly leave no time for discussion of real issues over which this Council or any other has influence. They cover all the usual concerns of T3 to the exclusion of any other, and while important in their own right, are hardly of importance in terms of the issues facing this Council in particular, and establishing just how the candidates propose to deal with them.

They are nevertheless predictable, mainly ernest, and by comparison with the real issues surounding rates and services, marginally laughable. For example, if they are correct about their prediction of a 3m sea-rise in 35 years, then there is little that this group of candidates are able to respond to, except pray, in which case the election of Pastor Murray Wakelin should be a shoo-in.

Seriously, this list of topics is a joke, and I would suggest that there is little value in any of the candidates attending this gathering simply to take part in the 'bollocks' session likely to result during their limited time on centre stage. They would be better off door-knocking, talking real politics with real people, and leaving this stuff to national politicians of both colours whose task it is. Here, it is a total waste of time, and provides no opportunity to put candidates to the test. Regional Council candidates will be relieved that they have not been invited to attend. 

Here are the topics:

A:  Mayoral Candidates:

 1.  How are you going to communicate issues, options and solutions about climate change to the public?

 2.  What are your thoughts and plans on youth unemployment, and in particular joining the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs to help with employment of youth in Thames?

 3.  What is your view about potential amalgamation of local councils into a unitary authority?

 B:  Candidates for Thames Ward Councillor, and Thames Community Board:

 1.  How could a successful more balanced economy (including affordable housing) be achieved in Thames – especially as part of a strategy to keep youth in Thames?

 2.  Given that there are now estimates of a 3m. sea level rise in the next 35 years, what do you see as the role of the district council/community board in mitigation of and adaptation to climate change?

 3. We believe communication is key between elected representatives and the public.  How will you empower and work with the community?

Fortunately their is an elderly buffer of eligible voters in this Ward who will see through this nonsense. Unfortunately, because of the self-importance of this tight little T3 group, they will not have the opportunity to really get to hear the candidates as public speakers on issues that concern them. Pity!





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Reader Comments (6)

With so much at stake Bill, I'm not laughing that much.
Is this the best we can do?

September 9, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRussell

Reads like a rather half-informed and misinformed post, certainly in regard to the 'Meet the Candidates' session arranged by the Transition Town Thames group.

As I see from the posters of this event, it will be held at the Civic Centre this coming Saturday September 23d, starting with morning tea at 9:30, followed by a public meeting which will allow the candidates to state their major reasons for running, and then go to a Q&A session which will give all attendees an opportunity to raise the issues they see/feel as important in the region.

PS Mark Skelding is, in fact, out of the country at this time - attending a family function in Canada. And the notion that Transition Town Thames follows his personal 'agenda' is really quite laughable and completely absurd. A very 'strange' notion for any informed journalist to state !!

September 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAyran Dreger

Well that is interesting. All my information came from that well known man about town - Tim Grove in an email that went to each candidate. Perhaps Tim exceeded his authority - who would know?

There is no mention of the venue in the information that I was able to access that indicated that the meeting was set for 17 September - the program that I outlined in my post was clearly set out in the accompanying Program Outline. Perhaps they have changed, and decided to change the venue, the date and the program - that is their prerogative, but hardly sufficient grounds for the accusations above.

Despite the commenters protestations, T3 have an agenda and they are entitled to promote it. It does not mean that they should be permitted to dominate and determine the agenda for the interrogation of candidates in this election.

Mark Skelding's absence is irrelevant - he has always, and if I am not mistaken (prove me wrong!) continues to exercise a strong influence over the agenda of T3 and this denial does nothing to alter that impression - the topics in the 'Program' are easily recognisable to anyone who has read Mark's material in the past.It is like a 'broken record'

The list of "Big Picture Topics" posed to candidates remains slanted, irrelevant to the concerns of most voters, and a product of the fevered minds of those who produced it. They are frankly risible

And for the information of Ayran Dreger (whoever he/she is - though interestingly someone of this name was associated with Bert Potter's Centrepoint Community according to NZH article dated 30 June 2000), I am not a journalist - funny how that emerges whenever we get close to the truth. I am a blogger, and I stand or fall by the normal rules that apply to those who seriously undertake that function. If you wish, you may complain to the Press Council that exercises a degree of control over the manner in which bloggers operate if they are members, which I am.

September 12, 2016 | Registered CommenterBill Barclay

Thank you Bill for your compliment! While I have become involved in some community endeavours, as a fairly recent 'returnee' to Thames I don't think of myself as being very well known. Anyway, thanks again!

In regard to the date for the 'Meet the Candidates' meeting, I have just noticed that your initial post, together with Ayran's comment, may result in some further confusion. As one of the team that has planned the meeting, and as we are now 'counting down' to Saturday, I take the following liberty to try and put the record straight as soon as possible!

The meeting is to be held this coming Saturday, 17 September. No other date for the meeting has ever been out in the public arena, or has been advised to the Candidates! (While Ayran correctly says 'this coming Saturday', the accompanying date he gives of 'September 23' is not correct - apart from the 23rd being a Friday!) I say again, the meeting is this coming Saturday. It is not going to be postponed!.

In regard to the venue, when arrangements for the meeting were being firmed-up by the T3 team in early August, the Conference Room at the Civic Centre was favoured. Accordingly, on 12 August, an application was made to TCDC for the necessary booking for the Conference Room. When this venue was confirmed as being available, an invitation to the Candidates was made by e-mail, dated 21 August. An attachment to that e-mail covered some preliminary information concerning the proposed meeting, including that the Conference Room would be the venue. The article in the Sept. 2 edition of the Hauraki Herald (HH) regarding the proposed meeting, the items in the 'What's On' column of the HH of Sept 2 and Sept 9, and all other advertising for the meeting (posters etc.), have correctly stated the venue to be the Civic Centre - as well as the date being 17 September. There has never been any change.

I am sorry that the date and venue were not clear from the information you were able to access. Your information was clearly incomplete. It is unfortunate that your Blog has resulted in the confusion. I infer that you knew that I was one of the team planning the meeting, so I am also sorry that you did feel you know me well enough to have given me a call before going 'to print'.

Thanks, Tim.

September 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTim

Don't worry Tim, Bill is prone to getting his facts wrong at times BUT......I do concur with Bill's view of the proposed questions being very narrow and of little relevance to the core roles of Council. Just shows you can't get it wrong all the time Bill.

September 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge

Thanks George - I am far from perfect, but do the best I can with limited resources. On this occasion generalized criticism is not helpful - I have re-read the above and cannot see where I missed anything, or conveyed incorrect information from that which I had been provided. Even Tim appears to recognize that, so perhaps you would care to elucidate.

September 14, 2016 | Registered CommenterBill Barclay

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