In this series exposing and discussing aspects of corruption in the King Country, I have shown lies and deception relating to Ruapehu District Council’s dodgy Lotto application (that I correctly called “fatally flawed, ill advised & amateurish”) and I’ve given commentary that corruption is normal within Western-style politics. I now get practical, giving advice to those seeking to fight corruption – the example I use here is the local War Memorial Hall, an RDC target for demolition that some fighters wish to save.
It’s a hard ask trying to achieve good in a corrupt world. It’s hard taking on those in power when they seem to have it and you don’t. But the battlefield is the mind, and (as Jew once taught me when he applied this principle to his countries ongoing success in battles) the war is usually always won by the party who wants to win it the most. My Jewish mate put it like this, “The other guys [the Arabs] are just playing. We’ve got no option, we HAVE to win or we’re all gone!” with a bit more flowery language I might add.
The RDC intends to demolish the Taumarunui War Memorial Hall. It’s rarely used now, costs the Council and sits on prime land on the main street alongside a local Marae, again hardly ever used, some roses and the local cop shop.
It also has an asbestos roof and two asbestos gable ends. Apparently Council has secured an ungodly quote to upgrade it or fix it and there is something sneaky going on behind the scenes. Some people smell a rat. Others want to save it – for practical, moral or social reasons, it matters not to me why, but they do. The RDC could easily slip their contractor mates in and suddenly it would no longer be there . . . I suspect that the nod has already been given but this is immaterial too given the thrust of this post.
There are several strands to this subject:
- The Hall itself – why it will cost so much to fix?
- RDC’s secrecy and backroom deals – wassup?
- The politics of achieving a given purpose – how do you ‘win’ against the authorities (TPTB);
- The future – what would you do with it and how it could be managed?
1. The Hall
Something is up. Asbestos is a problem and can be expensive to get rid of – agreed. I’d estimate around the $100k to clean up this building, most certainly not $500k bandied around by some. But if I had a problem such as a white elephant, and I was a typical politician I’d be getting a huge quote for fixing it from a ‘friendly’ quotation supplier and using that as an excuse to get rid of it. I smell a rat here. There is a hidden agenda for sure!
2. RDC Secrecy
Whenever things go secret, I want to know why. Yes there is such a thing as commercial sensitivity but in my experience concerned citizens should most definitely be asking deep and meaningful questions here. Did they already make decisions and on what basis were they made? Where was the secrecy and for what reasons?
People with an agenda will need to define what success looks like. Is simply saving the hall the goal, or is it to get it being used, either for what it was intended or something else? What about holding the leaders to account – is that important? I have supported one singer for her stance to save the hall but a singing session once a week or even once a month doesn’t cut the mustard for me. I understand that 170 guys lost their lives in a scrap a couple of generations ago and the Hall was built in their memory at the time, but this is 2019 after all. What does success look like for these activists?
4. The Future
A hundred people could come up with a hundred different uses for the Hall if committees or councils were in control. Still nothing would happen and the Council would eventually smash the place down no matter. Nothing is achieved with out leadership – in war, in business, in community. Somebody who has vision can turn anything around and make it happen. Even a child with the balls to do it, who shares their vision and who is enabled can make it nowadays.
The people who currently control the information control the events that will unfold. There are three components to this as far as I can see. The RDC Mayor, Don Cameron; RDC’s CEO, Clive Manley; and the RDC Council. My read of this situation is that it will be Clive Manley who is the mover and shaker, with Don Cameron hanging off his coat-tails looking to get political gain (or probably to avoid political embarrassment more like it). I don’t see how the RDC council can exercise leadership in this matter.
Knowing what I know about Clive, I’d expect dishonesty and secrecy to be involved somewhere, somehow. Stories will change depending on the whim, the recipient or the way he sees it unfolding. Information will be held close to his chest, thus he will likely engineer things so that he only has one quote for a solution and then presents that to Council, not the three quotes that would (or should) be normal. I’d expect Council to be kept in the dark somewhat with time pressures put on their decision-making, the usual political tricks.
Based on past experiences, I’d expect the Mayor to gloss over problems or irregularities and attempts at placating upset people. All this should be expected, and then when things get hot expect the lashing out to occur.
Achieving a purposes requires leadership, a strong vision and the skills to unite. The only way to fight bureaucracy and win is to play the game hard and fast – you have to play for keeps, giving those in power clear reason to see things your way. Those opposing the demolition of the Taumarunui War Memorial Hall play politics themselves but they do not have the power. They are ‘dreamers’ lacking effective leadership.
There is a possibility that some Maori may protest and delay the inevitable, but they too are not united (why would they want a hall that would cost money to do up and run when they don’t ever use the marae it’s situated on?) so the RDC will most likely get their way despite the complaining or bleating.
Sad, but reality methinks . . . Smile, people! The sun will shine after the fog and frost lifts.
King Country Corruption Series
- King Country Corruption 1. TMT Scandal Deepens
- King Country Corruption 2. A Flawed Lotto Application
- King Country Corruption 3. Report on Flawed RDC Lotto Application
- King Country Corruption 4. Behind The Scenes
- King Country Corruption 5. The Solution
- King Country Corruption 6. The Consequences
- King Country Corruption 7. Suing Taumarunui Museum Trust
- King Country Corruption 8. Media Bias
- King Country Corruption 9. The Church
- King Country Corruption 10. The Psychiatric
- King Country Corruption 11. Why they Lie
- King Country Corruption 12. Advice for Fighters