Take heed, Hawke’s Bay Councillors! It could be contagious.

This particular ‘Dump Council’ campaign is far off in Hamilton. There, it appears some folks have simply had enough. Billboards are going up (you might recall the consternation one billboard created on St Aubyn’s street during the 2010 local body elections!). And check out their ‘Concerned Citizen’ website. This Hamilton protesting makes A Better Hawke’s Bay look like a bunch of polite schoolgirls.

But the virus could be coming to a Council near you!

While dissidents in Hamilton are a bit further along, rumblings are already sounding in Hawke’s Bay (currently about 3.6 on the Richter scale). Especially in Napier precincts, where some big names are contemplating political futures.

Three engines of protest are warming up here in Hawke’s Bay …

1. Folks fed up with the myopia of certain Councils on the need for reorganisation.

2. Folks who think current Councillors are absolutely clueless regarding ratepayers’ intense distress over ‘business as usual’ spending, with commensurate rate increases, in the looming long term plans.

3. Folks who fear the Hawke’s Bay environment will be shafted by the Regional Council’s dam-building and other water policies.

Whether one agrees with all, some or none of these critiques, the political reality is that a ‘perfect storm’ of protest is a-building.

At present, these three constituencies barely overlap and have yet to find each other. However, as the saying goes, ‘politics makes strange bedfellows’, and they do agree on one key starting point … they don’t like many of the incumbents.

Stay tuned!

Tom Belford

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1 Comment

  1. I suggest that one of the problems with existing HBay councils is low turnover. How about adding a call for term limits to the mix? Some new faces, new ideas, new approaches might get things moving. And council candidates should be required to live in the wards they represent. My concern about amalgamation is that the same people would be involved, only fewer of them.

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