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Mayor 'Flushed Out' On Climate Change (At Last!)

It seems that Radio NZ's Kate Gudsell is by no means finished with this District. Following her expose on the Richmond Villas debacle yesterday, she has finally 'flushed out' our Mayor on her long suspected climate change-denier position in an excellent interview on this morning's Morning Report. And don't let the refusal to answer Kate's direct and repeated questions on the subject as adequate cover - it is barely more than thin shade for a firmly held belief.

This follows a splendid Public Forum session at Council yesterday when the same group of concerned citizens (about 30) who turned up in December turned up again in Public Forum. They were there on both occasions to request that our Council join with nearly every other council in signing a Declaration on Climate Change that was designed to put pressure on Government to more comprehensively accept its responsibility to work with Councils to deal with the inevitable effects of climate change. To Sandra this is nothing more than a "meaningless political gesture."

And based on yesterday's performance, our entire Council sits stolidly behind rejection of any such gestures, at least for now, and until they can guage any adverse community reaction. While not expressing any views that may 'paint them into a corner' on the issue, it was nevertheless made  perfectly clear that they remain steadfastly 'sceptical.' I believe that its members consider that they represent precisely the views of the majority of the undoubtedly very conservative, and demographically elderly constituency, that votes! In other words, they appear to believe that their best chance of re-election lies in  maintaining this position.

They may well be right, but the irony of only being joined in this position by the bucholic backwater of South Island's West Coast Council appears lost on them. This was abundantly clear during yesterday's meeting when the delegation's submission was accorded  scant attention and even less respect by our Mayor - the matter was not even on the agenda - the December submission was simply ignored, as will apparently this one. The one thing they share with the West Coast councillors is that they are all elderly, white and male (with one exception!).

On the other hand, that remarkably well-informed and impassioned promoter of the contrary view - Alistair Brickell who was also inspired to turn up, was listened to avidly, and apparently uncritically. His colourful graphs and charts were waved during his incoherent presentation, and the questioning from members appeared to reflect their sympathies for his weary, and increasingly isolated position.. I was left in thrall at just what this indicated about the leadership provided by our Council.

Mayor Sandra continues to laud the employment of our new Coastal Engineer - Jan Vanderliet, and 'coastal studies' as the 'be-all and end'all' in this morning's interview as if these  meet all our obligations to combat the effects of climate change. Meanwhile, another presser today announces the expenditure of futher millions of ratepayer dollars on 'stage two' of the Whitianga Town Centre Renewal Project - probably the most 'Canute-like,' and foolhardy venture this Council has ever undertaken.

I trust that repetition of the content of Sandra's interview with Kate Gudsell will continue to be analysed right up until the Election, sufficient to encourage appropriate candidates to oppose Sandra, along with all the other craven crew who claim to represent us, now. 2019 will surely be our last and best chance to effect change for our future.


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Reader Comments (4)

Good on you Bill. I wasn't there this time but it sounds like Sandra knows more than thirty years of focused scientific endeavor. Hold their feet to the fire.

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRowan

So Sandra won't state whether or not she believes in climate change. How disingenuous can our Mayor be to think that a refusal to answer this question does not indicate by default what her underlying opinion is. And we should simply trust that Sandra has this internationally recognised global issue covered because TCDC has: quote Sandra "...employed our own "coastal scientist". Phew, well we can all relax then, Sandra & Jan have this in hand (no pressure Jan). Bill, you might do well by delving a bit further into the strategies being developed by TCDC's coastal engineer that should give us such confidence. Meanwhile, the reputation of Thames and the district as a place to invest is further undermined by our ignorant and increasingly laughable leadership.

February 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTed

Listen to the interview.

February 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRussell

president of Local Government New Zealand, David Cull, contradicted Sandra Goudie’s statements yesterday that the campaign for Council to sign the climate change declaration was “politically charged and driven” and that it committed ratepayers to excessive spending. It is not a binding contract.

February 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

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