Council, please stop
The Lakefront Redevelopment hearings on October 8 were initially restricted to Council's seven proposed amendments to "policy"; the Rotorua Townships Reserve Management Plan 2006.
The first amendment is to expand the number and footprint of commercial operators and buildings.
The second is to give prominence in management planning to Te Arawa (based on an unsettled Treaty claim), specified in the third, fourth and fifth amendments as consulting Ngati Whakaue and Pukeroa Oruawhata Trust over building placements and configurations, and the restyling of paths, roads, paved surfaces, park furniture and structures.
The sixth, seventh and eighth amendments are to remove the Soundshell and Scout Hall, relocate noise control provisions into the District Plan and reformat the document.
The eight submitters, however, insisted on other 'policy' issues. The operational consequences of the amendments. Protecting current operators' businesses. Reconciling waka amo, family, elderly, therapeutic and other affordable local needs with commercial tourism. The need for more not less parking and better public amenities. Anticipating extreme weather events and silting. Respecting Memorial Drive and commemorative trees. With the council as a trustee for three 'stakeholders' – the Lake, the environment and future generations.
In my view, the policy process has been biased by the council's co-governance commitments, leaving the public interest, especially environmentalism, far behind.
The panel lacked legitimacy by including an unelected person and excluding elected councillors.
So few submissions constituted a near boycott.
The design will impinge on our natural environment. Our community really wants the Museum reopened.
Please Council, stop.
It's all about the process ...
Today this has become a mantra: "Why did you sell Meth?" -"I was going through a life-process", or "Can you explain why you didn't investigate the Minister earlier?"- "We are going through a process".
Or maybe: "China has bought up 30 per cent of our dairy capacity" - "Oh, let's go through a process to understand why".
Years ago it was 'We'll form a committee ...' but that's not sexy enough today.
No, the mysterious 'process' will solve our problems and leave nobody to blame.
Even the All Blacks aren't safe from their own, peculiar 'processes': I recall a loosie just last week saying his 'processes' helped him to remain focused.
Is it because we don't want to be nailed down, to be shown to be somehow lacking, that we refer to the ever-present, all-consuming 'process'?
Can you imagine Buck (Shelford) saying, in response to a question about how a certain injury felt: 'I trusted my processes to get me through'?