In a move that shocked his fellow Councillors, Tim Gilbertson yesterday resigned from the Regional Council. In a meandering resignation soliloquy, here’s what Gilbertson had to say …

I can no longer pretend that I’m making a contribution on behalf of my CHB constituency to the conduct of the region’s governance. I had thought I might make it through a full three year term, but today’s point of order over who had the first right of reply on the amendment to the amendment pushed me over the edge.

I am happy to leave those matters to Eileen and Christine.

I have never really believed in the mission of the Regional Council and its ridiculous emphasis on protecting the environment. What nonsense! Time after time I have asked Council staff to produce just one dead body — from right here in Hawke’s Bay — as proof that people actually perish from sooty air or polluted water or contaminated soil … and not once has this evidence been produced.

And with the single possible exception of spending millions and millions of dollars in my district to harvest water — the best idea to hit Hawke’s Bay since refrigeration — I have yet to discover a Regional Council program that is worth spending a ratepayer dime on.

So for me to continue the charade of being a Regional Councillor is a burden I can no longer bear …

It’s like asking a vegetarian to be a butcher.

An atheist to be a pastor.

A drug dealer to be a babysitter.

Or in my case, an anarchist to be an elected official.

I apologize for deceiving the good citizens of Central Hawke’s Bay, who I might have inadvertently led to believe I was representing them as their Regional Councillor. Any reading of the proceedings of the Council will put that illusion to rest. I was just having fun.

I’ve now decided that the more honourable path would be to deride the Regional Council from the outside, rather than from within. Hopefully, I will be able to continue in my role as a columnist for BayBuzz Digest, although I suspect even they might find me over the edge.

I will also be available for hire as a salesman for super-phosphates, or as a lobbyist for water harvesting and irrigation. I hope in my lifetime to see the day when I can tramp down the middle of the Tukituki for its full length without getting my boots wet.

Naturally, I’ve thought about whether I would miss anything about being a Regional Councillor. Other than getting paid for marking time, and those terrific free lunches on Council meeting days, I can’t think of anything.”

I must confess that I am gutted to see Tim go. He was the Oscar Wilde of the Regional Council. A true wit and entertainer. But in these tough economic times, even Tim recognizes that his ratepayers deserve to get their hard-earned money’s worth.

Don’t worry Tim, there will always be a place for you at BayBuzz.

Tom Belford

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10 Comments

  1. What a scarey expose of the Regional Council's goings on! All the best Tim – I am also gutted to see you go.

  2. 'The soliloquy of a clown.'

    I cannot think of any memorable contribution from Tim, nor does his epitaph stimulate further or additional recall.

    The Hawkes Bay is facing many real issues and the renditions deriving from a naive 'wannabe wordsmith' don't offer much in addressing these.

    The above valedictary speech reflects both a lack of knowledge and an obvious indifference to acquiring such knowledge before looking for a stage.

    'I have never really believed in the mission of the Regional Council and its ridiculous emphasis on protecting the environment. What nonsense! Time after time I have asked Council staff to produce just one dead body — from right here in Hawke’s Bay — as proof that people actually perish from sooty air or polluted water or contaminated soil … and not once has this evidence been produced.'

    With this offering though, I minimally agree. PM10s at the site of the council's air quality monitor do not support the need to reduce such emissions in this area. Observation would indicate this not to be the case in Flaxmere however.

    The issue in Hawkes Bay is with PM2.5 emissions (CASx, SO2, H2S, Nx, and ensuing ozones).

    In this respect, if you want the evidence: A&E admissions for respiratory and cardiovascular issues; air ambulance flights to Wellington Hospital, and perchance mortality rates, particularly in the last week of July and the first two weeks of August … especially if it is wet will almost certainly indicate such.

    You need a little knowledge to be able to look in the right areas and to be able to ask the right questions … puns and other such, and a shallow analysis will, or should have, little impact on eventualities.

    It is entirely proper that this philosophy of 'all the world is a stage' should exclude his presence on the Regional Council, or any other forums looking at seriously addressing issues that impact on the Hawkes Bay and its residents.

  3. Hmmmm…curiouser and curiouser and beware of the Ides of March?

    my secret squirrel agent down in the Bay tells me that maybe Cnr. Tim may not have said ( shock,horror) the lofty words ascribed to him here on the Bay Buzz and that action may be pending.

    Has that tome of international repute , Hawkes Bay Yesterday, covered this story of Tim's resignation?

    apparently not, according to the squirrel…so what could this mean?

    Batman..the commissioner wants you..NOW !!!!!!!!!

  4. 'Twell may be a spoof … but where there exits some basis in reality, and indeed there are some … & the ides, I believe, are fifteen days into the month of March, so perhaps a tad premature there Rob?

  5. As per advice from Liz, spoof confirmed. Amazing how people can get sucked in – and the confusion is widespread! Very witty and entertaining Baybuzz, but a grossly unfair distortion of Cr . Gilbertsons views and contribution. I know he can take a joke but an explanation and apology is deserved.in my view.

  6. You need to explain. Or Tim Gilbertson should fall on his sword and resign before the Ides of March.

  7. Tom you have stepped into the dark lands with this satire. Felling the young kauri before it is fully mature contravenes the laws of the forest. Is this the woodfeller flexing the biceps of his ego ("There, look what I can do!") or is this the log merchant scoring a few political dollars? The forest rejuvenates mostly successfully when the strong wood is left intact and the electoral storm is allowed to ravage the old trees that have served their purpose. Sunlight shines on delicate seedlings when the gnarled trees have gone and new ideas can prosper.

  8. In New Zealand "April Fools Day" is only on 1st April, unlike USA (where Tom comes from) where it appears to be year round. Try doing this sort of thing on 1 April Tom, or you will lose any credibility you may have had.

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