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Ed Said - From circus to serious


dadThe MRRA was the first cab off the rank in terms of electoral ‘Meet the Candidates’ meetings, and according to many who attended they should be awarded an ‘A’ – for Abysmal.

Though the MRRA sponsored the meeting, please believe this was in no way representative of the vast majority of residents and ratepayers of Mangawhai. In operatic terms if it wasn’t seen as a comedy it could only be a tragedy.

In short, the three things they have championed for years – communication, organisation and transparency – were all sadly missing. This was a golden opportunity for the MRRA to demonstrate a learning from the past in highlighting the wrongs of previous Councils and to lay a platform for a brighter future for Kaipara, but it just didn’t happen.

Several potential attendees were also otherwise engaged in traditional Father’s Day activities which wasn’t helped by the 1.30pm time slot, but a cuppa and casual chat with candidates after the meeting could have been advantageous to all.

To make an informed choice we need information and this, with four Mayoral candidates, two Regional Council nominees and eight Otamatea hopefuls, can only happen when a meeting is run in a businesslike manner under relatively strict guidelines.

Some candidates are happy to admit they are ‘not politicians’ yet simply by standing this is exactly the thing to which they aspire. Certainly aspirants can learn or be moulded to some degree to fit a situation but should at least collectively have some knowledge of technology, business, education, banking and/or finance and know the difference between management and governance of a multi-million dollar business.

Politics is a game, but it’s a professional game, just like professional rugby. Having a tussle and a romp with the guys and a few beers on a Saturday afternoon is one thing but in the professional arena one must know the rudiments of scrummaging, the intricacies of winning lineouts and the subtleties of turning over possession at rucks and mauls because if you don’t have the ball you can’t score points.

Moving on – quickly – the ‘Meet the Candidates’ train was back on track last week beginning at Paparoa on Monday and continuing through to Maungaturoto, Kaiwaka then Mangawhai Thursday night. Generally these meetings were organised, controlled and informative but it’s not easy for candidates to introduce themselves and expound their abilities and ideals in three minutes.

Otamatea is in the somewhat enviable position of having eight candidates from which voters must elect just three, though as one who attended all four meetings there is, in my opinion, a distinct line between those who are capable and those who are not.

Voting papers are in the post. Do you vote now or later? With your head or with your heart? We still have over a fortnight until polling closes.

In the meantime, give that big hand on your clock a nudge forward on the 25th or you’ll be left behind.

Just my opinion.



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