BOP Regional Councillor
It’s a worrying time for people affected or potentially affected by Mt Tongariro.
Ditto here in the Bay with White Island and no doubt from time to time in Auckland which sits atop 50 volcanoes. All reminders that Mother Nature can be both fickle and fierce.
Local government is charged with Civil Defence responsibilities and here in the Bay we have a capable and competent Bay-wide organisation that we see in action with flood and other hazard events. It runs mostly under the radar but demonstrates its capability when the need arises. It is an example of a local government planning and service delivery operation that works well. Lessons could be learned from this as local government itself prepares for a good old shake up.
Somehow, somewhere, we really do need to see ourselves as part of the Bay of Plenty region – a region with many attributes, issues and opportunities. The only way to harness the full might of our potential is to step back from trying to guard the present realms and look at what would be best for the Bay of Plenty. That’s how Auckland now operates - it’s how the other metropolitans will operate and regional power and strength will be a key driver of the nation’s future. This doesn’t mean that there won’t be local democracy - but we have the opportunity to grow a unique, healthy, inclusive, region. Let’s learn from what works well.