This terrifies me for many reasons, probably the least being the stadium being not built.
But what if, just what if Bev & and the StS wins (temptation to just say Bev, but then I’d be hypercritical as I’m critical of them using Farry as the easy target)?
Here’s a couple of scenario for ya.
1) The Stadium is approved, and construction starts, then by 2010 the StS has the dear old ratepayers in such a frenzy, that they vote out the current council, giving the anti stadium councillors a majority. Of course by that stage it would be more or less impossible to stop. So you have a council that doesn’t want it, and by that very definition will not give it the time and energy it needs to succeed. How would such a development go ahead without critical people actually wanting the stadium to succeed making crucial decisions.
2) The Stadium is/isn’t approved, and above scenario happens, a firm anti stadium council. With such a mindset that development is wrong, but voted in on such a narrow platform, how could council function with any vision. I mean Bev Butler has been on public record describing all manner of opportunity costs associated with this development, not too many have tenuous grasps with reality – what would be her vision and mandate. I mean she’s not actually going to stand for council (dear god no). This council would be so shit scared of making decisions that would upset Witherow enough to put more holes in Council historic doors. We’ve all seen what the StS can do to each other if they don’t tow the line, what the hell would they do to the puppets they put in. Everything would be judged on a Stadium yard stick, and I’m guessing this isn’t a good platform for intelligent and progressive local government.
I mean there were people there today each with their own barrow to push. One sign said save F&P, another wanted the House of Pain retained. Come on, is it local council’s role to save a business. There possibly could be arguments for better business conditions etc, but do we stop there, what about lithographic firms, tap-ware makers, at what line do you stop helping business. We just can’t actually bail them out. Bev told us we were $600m in debt at the moment, how far into pockets do we go to prop up faulty business. I was sad to see F&P go, but then I am ecstatic to see the new Design Institute go ahead and the talk is that the R&D design dept of F&P could be located within the new building. Brilliant. One door shuts, another opens.
Bev also mentioned business leaving due to poor broadband. Not, but never mind. From Monday I start a new job at the Centre for Innovation, and I can tell you for a fact that I will be using one of the fastest internet connections about. I operate a business that is 100% reliant on fast and efficient broadband, and I get it here. To further complicate her claims, I am now very reliant on 3G networks because of my iPhone. All my clients have them, all of the people I work with have them, and the network here in Dunedin is much more efficient and reliable (much less black spots) than the likes of CHCH or Wgtn. Then to further complicate things, the govt has signalled that they are going to be spending over $1B to upgrade broadband nationally. Telecom is doing so here in Dunedin by middle of year. We will have first class broadband connections here. This was a big issue for Bev, I’ve heard her repeat it 3 times. But what would she do, have the council build a network, invest in one, this is all our money for rapidly evolving and incredibly expensive technology? And besides this work is already being done by someone else.
Bev has talked about the opportunity costs, but the resolution of those is outside the mandate of more or less every single local authority in NZ. What would the vision of the StS as a political platform be? Because really at the end of the day, could you honestly see Witherow’s, Butler’s, Oaten’s etc names on ballot sheets to tick come election 2010. No, but then thank god, no.