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Today's Board Meeting 

The acoustics in the Chamber are so bad that it is almost impossible to hear anyone on this current Board – they all appear to come from silent society for whom the raising of voices is a sin. Add to that Chair Connor’s laryngitis and you can understand the difficulty of being present away from the table and trying to decipher what is going on.

It has been my impression for some time that preserving this state of affairs, both at Council and the Board is deliberate, and designed to maintain ‘the secrets.’ Modern wireless amplification appears beyond the wit of staff, and the needs of those present – so ‘maintain the secret’ is the order of the day, in the manner of the Masons, to which organisation I suspect quite a number belong.

As a result, I can only give a brief outline of what occurred today.

In the first place, April Chang attended and gave a splendid and audible presentation reminding members of their responsibilities and obligations as Board members, and the manner in which their proposal to erect non-fluoridated water points in the town was both an abrogation of that responsibility in the light of the result of the Referendum, and the Bill before Parliament to move responsibility for fluoride to Health Boards.

The proposal to withdraw the previous motion subsequently passed, but with the clear and definite opposition of Chair Connors. Her complete devotion to the anti-fluoride cause has been obvious from the start, and today’s meeting merely confirmed that. She has surrendered for the present, but along with her cohort, will live to fight another day for the cause – that much is clear.

On the Mercury Bay erosion issue, the Board agreed with the proposal to fund the immediate repairs ($363,000) on a District basis, on the understanding that any permanent change of policy for the LTP will require further consideration and consultation.

This is probably all that could have been expected in the circumstances. It was interesting that Chair Connors conflated the current Ruamahunga slip as evidence that we would be better off with District funding, until it was pointed out to her that the slip was entirely a TNZ responsibility, being on a state highway, but it shows the level of understanding that exists around the table – even at the top!.

If I have that wrong, then I undertake to withdraw same – it was so dammed difficult to hear  her, and everyone else around the table, that I could not guarantee absolutely that I had it correct. There was so much bumph talked about this and other matters that I could not wait to escape the room. Initially, they were a tentative bunch, and perhaps naïve, but now they have just become excruciatingly boring.


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