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Ed Said - Who wants to be in charge?


dadWe, generally speaking, have an opinion on all things; should Dan Carter be in the Rugby World Cup team,should the Government put $Millions into the next America’s Cup Challenge, should David Bain be compensated, or the situation in Syria or the Gaza strip, but we seem to be somewhat ambivalent when it comes to politics that concern our wellbeing.

I refer here to the upcoming by-election in Northland brought about by a sudden resignation. Though this is National politics it is, or should be, a matter of local concern. The ruling National Party have put forward five candidates. The choice of who will stand will be made on 28 February. One of the five is a local from Maungaturoto but were he not chosen in favour of another from, for example, the Far North, would we than feel somewhat abandoned? The fact is said representative may not have the empathy for Kaipara or rather Mangawhai as has recently been the case and then would Mangawhai-ians then be seen as a bunch of whingers?

We actually take our direction, such as it is, from several quarters. National Government, The Kaipara District Council, Whangarei Regional Council and, thanks to weird and wonderful boundary changes, much of Mangawhai falls under the jurisdiction of the Auckland Super City Council making major decisions difficult to get concensus upon or to activate with any urgency so we must give some thanks to those who keep beating at the governmental door on major issues despite the fact that many are not pleased with the outcome.

There are two other moves afoot. One to retain the Commissioners after their tenure is up to save unnecessary expense of electing a short-term Council, and others who want the Commissioners out and the opportunity to elect a new Council for Kaipara. On the back of events of the past five years who would be prepared to stand for Council? Who would now be qualified to stand? Who would dedicate their time and effort for a monetary return now considered a pittance given the responsibility of the job, and invariably endure the same treatment meted out to the Commissioners over the past two years?

By-elections traditionally don’t inspire much interest from voters and this one is unlikely to be any different. However add to the mix the likelihood or at least the possibility of a Unitary Authority governing Northland in the not-too-distant future, the almost inevitable boundary changes which will simply give a more even spread of poverty and hardship over the north, plus the conundrum of long-term control of Mangawhai’s ( or is that Kaipara’s ) debt and the ambivalence of the majority is understandable through these intricacies.

I’ll probably join the majority and stick to cryptic crosswords. They, too, can take considerable time and deep thought but at least they can be solved.

Just my humble opinion.

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