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Wednesday, 2 April 2008

PILLORY OR PILLORY

I have been attacked from many quarters over the Thames-Coromandel initiative, with abusive comments ('insane' is top of the list), a couple of physical threats, violent antagonism, undemocratic 'official' condemnation, and a purulent stream of defamatory lies from Wicked & Weak (aka Waiheke Week). At the low end of the scale are those who say I am just wasting everyone's time and that I don't have a prayer (untrue: I always have a prayer).

It is enough to put anyone in good heart. If that is all the opposition has to throw at what I am doing it must have everything going for it.

The only valid opposing comment is that it would be a long way to go to a Council meeting. True, but if the occasional inconvenience is the price we pay for better local government it is a triflingly small coin.

But what none of the anti brigade see is that I had to do this. I had no choice, first because I made a statutory promise in front of the whole island to do my best for it to the best of my skill and judgement and to uphold, in particular, the Local Government Act 2002 (LGA). Then I found in the LGA that it is the democratic right of every New Zealander unhappy with his council, if he can gather the support on a petition of at least 10% of the affected electorate, to apply to the Local Government Commission to shift to another, better council. TAnd the Local Government Commission is bound in law to make the decision, first and foremost, on good local government.

So once I had established that we would indeed get better local government from Thames-Coromandel District Council than we have been getting, or could ever get, from Auckland City Council, I was duty-bound by my promise and the law to begin a petition, and if I could get 10% support to follow the application through to the end. The question must be put to the Local Government Commission.

That I am doing and I will keep doing it, no matter what the virulent opposition. Come pillory, purulence or perfidy, that in all conscience is what I must do.

Better the external pillory of nasty opposition than the internal one of knowing that the islands could have better governance and that I refused to do anything about it.