Random thoughts on Prostate Cancer, Voluntary Euthanasia, Local Shared Ministry, and other miscellaneous interests.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Unitary Council - a Step in the Right Direction?
So the Local Government Commission has decided that the whole of Northland should be one, vast, unitary Council, merging a City, a District and a Region.
I guess it is good to see that the new political leaders of these organisations have already met and say they are willing to work together for the best good of all — whatever that pious generalisation means. And I am pleased to see that the proposal goes some way towards what I consider to be the ideal two-step solution.
With a mixture of modesty and superiority, I suggest again -
1. Merge the sectional interests of all our little country’s Councils and Boards into a single organisation which could take over their roles. Actually, it’s already in place. It’s called the NZ Government. And it, for a country of our size, could do everything our complex system of Councils and Boards does.
2. Return local government to the locals. Reinvent elected voluntary community bodies that represent defined communities with common interests or common boundaries. The present system of wards can link up to seven or eight distinct communities, and consistently creates accusations of sectional interests. By definition, it is not “community”.
The Paihia Community Trust is a model for this view of local government. There may be as many as thirty defined communities under the new Unitary Council. I wonder if it will have thirty or more Community Boards?
Retired Presbyter of Methodist Church of New Zealand. Passionate pioneer in Local Shared Ministry, consultant in small churches, publisher of niche market books, producer of prosumer video, deviser of murder mystery dinners and former private pilot.
I trained for the Methodist Ministry at Trinity Theological College and eventually completed MA, Dip Ed as well.
Bev and I married just before my first appointment in Ngatea where our two children arrived. We went on to Panmure and Taumarunui. Longer terms followed at Dunedin Central Mission and the Theological College. During this time I was also involved as co-founder and second national President of Family Budgeting Services and adviser to the (government) Minister of Social Welfare.
My final four years were part-time, developing the first Presbyterian or Methodist Local Shared Ministry unit in this country and promoting the concept overseas.
Retirement has brought a whole lot more opportunities and challenges. We are now living in our own villa in Hibiscus Coast Residential Village.