Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Judy McDonald responds

As coordinator of Living Streets Hamilton, I'd like to note that absolutely NOBODY funds Living Streets Hamilton.  We are a voluntary body: there used to be some small government funding of the parent organisation, Living Streets Aotearoa, but that was stopped by the policies of the present National government, whose focus is on road-building rather than sustainable transport of any form.

I cannot imagine how a bunch of locals who would like to encourage walking for fitness, fun and environmentally positive effects could be in any way likely to achieve global domination.  It would be wonderful if we could, mind you, but it's not on our agenda.  At the moment we'd be happy with safe walking routes to the CBD and around the suburbs, and we're trying to organise our next set of Sunday afternoon strolls to introduce people to the more picturesque parts of Hamilton.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

From worm farms to world domination

Last year at the Long Term Plan hearings two submitters asked Council to stop funding pedestrian advocacy group, Living Streets.  They saw this group as part of a UN international conspiracy for world domination, views apparently sourced from the US Republican Tea Party and Fox News.   For the record, Council does not fund Living Streets which recently organised Sunday afternoon walks which attracted hundreds of people.

It was disappointing to have a recent article in the "Waikato Times" on Council's sustainability initiatives treat the submitter's views as credible and to be asked, as chair of Council's sustainability working group,  if I am part of the conspiracy they see.  If I were, I doubt that I would admit to it. If I am unwittingly so, I am clearly a dupe of dark forces beyond my ken.

I welcome robust discussion on the environmental and sustainability issues we face and am glad to debate the challenges and options we face.   We live in a world with increasing numbers of people consuming more of our finite resources.  These are global issues where business as usual or blind optimism seem an inadequate response. We should take a long term view rather than operate on short-term self interest.  

Local government needs to be part of changing the way we live so that we all might have a better future.  

Councillor profile

Daphne is in her third term on Council.

A deputation of civic leaders (and a large cheque) have persuaded her not to stand for Council again at the next election.

An arts advocate, she is solely responsible for the expensive pile of tasteless metal junk masquerading as public art in Garden Place.

She has been responsible for numerous hare-brained and ill-fated schemes ostensibly advancing the cause of sustainable transport which are yet to bring any identifiable benefit to the city.

Air brushing and extensive plastic surgery have failed to mask her advancing years and mental decline.  At best well intentioned but generally regarded as inept, ineffective and ill-suited to political life, she will no doubt continue her incoherent rants on social media  -  once she remembers the password.

Daphne comes from a large and exemplary family, none of whom wish to be named in view of her murky past, dodgy dealings and excessive use of poorly-chosen, randomly-selected, cliche-ridden hyphenated language which she would be well-advised to avoid like the plague.