It's not my habit to praise councils.

In fact, I am more likely to shame them. To my chagrin I've been guilty of rubbishing Taranaki's four councils (NPDC, STDC, SDC and the TRC) on several occasions during the last 20 years.

In hindsight, with the begetting of wisdom (which for me is still coming) I regret this.
I excuse myself by arguing I am not the only broadcaster to do this. But that doesn't make it right.

Why do broadcasters sometimes take a cheap shot at councils? Councils generally don't sue. Often they turn the other cheek. There's also a false perception that council officers are overpaid, enjoy unprecedented job security, and plenty of glide time.

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This of course is absolute nonsense.

During the last 10 years I have done lots of emceeing in Stratford. It's mostly been on the weekend and invariably it has been organised (and staffed) by the Stratford District Council. Summer Nights, the Concerts in King Edward Park comes to mind. I have been amazed and impressed with how hard the SDC staff work to make this event run like clockwork. Not forgetting this happens during their own time. This is servant leadership. I speak with authority because I have emceed this successful concert series for nine out of 10 years. And there's never been a hitch.

Kate Whareatu and her team deserve praise. Take a bow. As an aside, I thought it was terrific that for the 10-year celebration all of the featured artists were from Taranaki. The Slacks got the loudest applause--they were great, but I was immensely proud of the youthful Dance Project.

I have also emceed the Stratford A and P Show twice now, and again, I was impressed with the SDC staff and their willingness to help out at the event.

Bryan presents the Hokonui Breakfast Show every weekday morning. Listen to Hokonui in Stratford on 88.2FM and catch Ilona Hanne being interviewed by Bryan Vickery every Monday and Wednesday at 8.05am.