As a preliminary rebuttal to the amassed wealth and self entitlement of A Bitter Hawke’s Bay and in anticipation of their recent submission of a reorganisation proposal, the lobby group, Hawke’s Bay – Dedicated and Democratic (HBDAD) has been set up by a number of local (predominately) Napier figures who dissent from the typical ABHB dogma that ‘singular and bigger is better’ when it comes to local governance.
Let’s dispose of the mockery up front. As acronyms go, this one does not inspire confidence. Instead of a group focused on saving the region from sleep walking into amalgamation the name conjures up a group of old timers forming a rear guard action to fend off the advances of a superior foe. Captain Bill (Mainwaring) Dalton and Private Michelle Pyke humming the tune to “Who do you think you are kidding Mr Yule… if you think old Napier’s done…”, while Corporal (Ian Dick) Jones is running around shouting “Don’t Panic” and “They don’t like it up em”, and Private Peter Twigg Frazer is complaining that “we’re all DOOOMED”.
The basis for HBDAD appears to be to ensure that any amalgamation proposal goes to a referendum, but herein lies the problem. At their recent supporter meeting, ABHB propagandist Tom Belford stated that they expect and support a referendum on their proposal, indeed, he went on to say;
The principle source of opposition… is in Napier, and that’s most likely where an effort will be made to launch this thing. As far as I’m concerned if A Better Hawke’s Bay can generate more names on that petition than DAD, then more power to us, our team is bigger and we’ll win the referendum.
So it appears that both these organisations are merrily walking down Marine Parade hand in hand, jointly extolling the virtues and necessity of a region wide vote on this issue, even if it is a somewhat strained relationship.
HBDAD seem to have made great efforts not to be the “petty parochial” Napier based dissenters to amalgamation, and rightly so, but they have missed a great opportunity to set themselves up as a credible opposition to ABHB. What we need is a clear and alternate view on what will make the region better. ABHB’s con job of asking people if they would like the region to be better (who was likely to say, “no, actually I would like things to be worse”), has been miraculously transformed into a list of people who, supposedly, all believe that the only way to improve the region is the ABHB amalgamation proposal. It isn’t! In fact, in my opinion, the ABHB proposal will take the region backwards on so many levels (and oddly enough, ABHB are silent on all of these aspects).
Just today, Stephen Joyce and Gerry Brownlee have announced that the Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) will join forces with the local authorities of Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay to study the region’s economic potential over the next 30 years. Surely ABHB have all the answers already, after all, they claim their amalgamation proposal will create 5000 jobs (which would be a damn sight better than the National government has managed in the whole country over the last four years). Of course, this study is just a means of fobbing off this region while our transport infrastructure falls into disrepair and beyond redemption, but I am willing to wait for this report before we move forward with amalgamation!
It pains me to do this, but David Cameron (yes, I know, a British Conservative PM) made a very relevant comment over the weekend. He was discussing the upcoming referendum on Scotland gaining independence from the UK, although his words strike a chord in the HB amalgamation debate:
We want you to scrutinise, challenge and form your own opinion. This must not be a leap in the dark, but a decision made in the light of day.
David Cameron, Scotland on Sunday
What we need articulated is a clear vision for the region that puts people and democracy at the forefront, and builds economic development, environmental protection and social cohesion around that. This is what will highlight the failings and assumptions inherent in the ABHB proposal. It’s not enough to just call for a vote, you have to win the vote, and so far HBDAD are not in that game!
I’ll support HBDAD, but I want them to do more, much more, and if they won’t, I’ll find someone who will.
- National – Building A Factless Future
- Born To Rule
- The Church and Human Rights – an awkward love story
- In Memory of A Star
- In the Name of the Market: Neoliberalism, New Zealand’s Electricity Sector, and NZPower
- Williamson isn’t entirely wrong on 3D printers
- Ashes to Ashes, Rust to Rust – The Iron Lady Is No More!
- With ‘Friends’ Like Eddie, Who Needs WhaleOil?
- Power to the People – What next for Labour and Asset Sales?
- The demise of an icon? [U]
- Education: A Narrative of Anxiety
- New Kid on the Blog
- Lies, Dam Lies, and Dodgy Statistics
- The Politics of Race (continued)
- The Politics of Race
- Johnny Johnston on Williamson isn’t entirely wrong on 3D printers
- Erice Fairbrother on The Church and Human Rights – an awkward love story
- Chris Richardson on In the Name of the Market: Neoliberalism, New Zealand’s Electricity Sector, and NZPower
- kiwi300 on In the Name of the Market: Neoliberalism, New Zealand’s Electricity Sector, and NZPower
- Colin Jackson on The Church and Human Rights – an awkward love story
- The Daily Blog Watch Wednesday 8 April « The Daily Blog on Born To Rule
- G Lander on The Church and Human Rights – an awkward love story
- Richard Davis on The Church and Human Rights – an awkward love story
- Chris Richardson on Will Key Stand Down At The End Of 2013?
- Zac on Will Key Stand Down At The End Of 2013?