Although not present when the resolution to name Morrell St was taken, I — as part of the council "collective" — must own that decision. That is the way our local democracy works.
When made aware by this newspaper of the decision, I was somewhat dumbfounded. It is a decision that so easily complements the "pale, male, stale" criticism we have already endured. While critics may claim my views result from hindsight, my action would have been to argue and vote for Te Repo. Whanganui could have acknowledged the outstanding contribution of Joan Morrell in another apt way.
Council missed a real opportunity to endorse the partnership it is genuinely building with iwi in other endeavours. Iwi have a millennium of history in our district. Embracing this whenever possible will assist in building a better, more inclusive, community.
With the choice sitting uncomfortably, I sought the views of my council colleagues in bringing forward a motion seeking to revoke the decision. From the responses I have received, there is clearly very little appetite for this (7 to 2).
There is, however, strong support for council to reconsider its anachronistic and confusing street-naming policy. If we get this right, as we must, Whanganui can proudly look forward to another Leading Edge point of difference as one of New Zealand's true multicultural places with strong deference to its iwi presence.
Whanganui District councillor
Jay Kuten continues the criticism, (Chronicle, January 10) instituted by a self-aggrieved Ken Mair against Rob Vinsen.
I have no support for Jay's opinion that, "At a minimum, Rob Vinsen needs to apologise to the iwi and to the city ... ", nor do I see anything of substance in Jay's comment that causes me to agree that the "council needs to revisit its processes and its flawed decision-making".
What I do clearly see is the header of his column: "Small abrasions can grow quickly to great wounds". With this I can concur, as it is too often the continual picking at minor scratches and scabs that causes the previously insignificant to fester and then develop to a level where surgery or even amputation becomes necessary.
So my advice to Jay and any acolytes he may have is to stop picking at this insignificant scab.
Enough is enough
The ongoing antics of Ken Mair and Tupoho have forced me to write.
I will never forget the words scribbled on the wall of the toilets in Moutoa Gardens by the radical from Auckland before he attempted to blow up the Wanganui Computer Centre.
The words were: "We have maintained a silence closely resembling stupidity", and this is what the majority of Wanganui people are doing with Mr Mair's outbursts.
Who does he think he is, telling the people of this city what should happen? Who is he to say Wanganui should only be spelt with an "H" in it?
Who is he to say no immigrants should come to Wanganui before his people are cared for? There are many Europeans in Wanganui who need assistance also.
Wake up, people of Wanganui. Enough is enough.
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