People in Napier have FAR too much time on their hands.

The evidence is in the incredible amount of psychic energy expended on Marineland, and whether it should — Kelly in requiem — remain closed or open.

It pains me to even spend time writing on the subject. But I confess to being totally mystified by this obsession on the part of hard core Marinelanders.

Obviously they don’t live in the real world, where there are real problems. They appear to have gotten stuck in some forty-year-old time warp. They’re ruled by nostalgia … maybe this correlates somehow with their local fixation on Art Deco, suspenders and vintage cars.

Don’t get me wrong. Art deco, vintage cars, nostalgia — and fond memories of Kelly — they all have their place. But taken to extreme, they consign Napier to becoming a city mired in the past, instead of looking to the future.

If these obsessive Marinelanders need some real issues to worry about, I can suggest some:

  • Worry about who’s going to pay the bill if 100% of the woodburners in Napier need to be replaced to meet new clean air standards.
  • Worry about the accessibility of public health services in the community.
  • Worry about whether Napier ratepayers will be required to cough up $3 million for a sports park over in Hastings.
  • Worry about whether Mayor Arnott can raise millions more to build a new museum and art gallery.
  • Gosh, it would even be more productive to worry about where to put up tsunami warning signs!

Anything else … just get over it. Anyone who thinks Marineland is a world-class tourist attraction, including Tourism Industry Association chief Tim Cossar, must think the world ends in Wairoa or Waipukurau.

God save Napier if its future viability depends on Marineland!


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1 Comment

  1. Good one Tom.

    Is Hastings any different? Our council, on discovering it had over-rated us, found itself in the invidious situation of having to spend over $1million of our money. So, what do they do? Wrong! They neither pay off debt nor give us a refund, they spend it on bottomless pits called Splash Planet or a sports ground that none of the sports think is important enough to raise funds themselves.

    One of the problems with councils and governments is that when they get these hair-brained projects going, most of the money goes into the bureaucracy to oversee the thing. Of every dollar collected only a relatively small part actually gets to its destination.

    Never the less, it must be a great burden for our councils having to keep thinking up more and more ways they can spend our money. They must be so much better at spending it than we are.

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