In the past I had very little to do with Napier City Council. My focus was ,more on what was happening over at the Hawkes Bay Regional Council. However of late there have been some minor issues come up which has led me to have a bit to do with NCC.
Whilst I won’t go into the details here what I wanted to comment on is the culture that seems to be taking root at NCC. A very positive culture. Even just walking into the building itself has a very positive vibe, but what is obvious from observing the councillors in action is that they are a team. It is so different from what is evident just across the road at HBRC.
I think a lot of this emulates from the Mayor, Bill Dalton. I had some doubts about Bill given he was a stockbroker but it just goes to show you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. If you don’t follow his blog (http://www.dalton.net.nz/) I recommend you do.
One of the classic quotes comes from his piece A Business Friendly Hawkes Bay “What is the role of local government in economic growth? Should local government be putting ratepayers money at risk by entering into business arrangements? How can local government influence population growth? To me the answer to all those questions is simple. The role of local government is to create an environment that people want to live in and that businesses can thrive in.” There is a world of difference between creating an environment business can thrive in and local government risking our ratepayer dollars in a business.
But if there was one thing that really made me enthusiastic about Bill it is his understanding of what consultation means. In his eyes you go out to debate the issue/s with the public, then you come up with the solution. This brings everyone along for the ride and not just those whose point of view ‘wins’.
Thanks Bill, your efforts have been appreciated and although we may not agree with each other all the time at least I know we can always agree to disagree.