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New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 24th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

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Doing my bit

6 October 2017

Your daily dose is a bit late today because I've been out doing my bit for the community. The local Lions club helps a local business perform a stocktake at this time of the year so a small group of community-spirited people get together and donate several hours of their time to the stocktake -- in return for which the business makes a nice donation to their coffers. That money is then distributed to worthy projects and groups in the district.

It is so refreshing to see people giving so freely to help others and it restores one's faith in humanity.

That's just what I needed after a week of lunacy from our local council and I'll explain why.

On Thursday evening I went to a public meeting held by council as part of their consultation over the long term plan (LTP).

Call me a cynic but I found it strange that I had only heard of this meeting just a few short hours before it was due to be held -- as had the very few other members of the public who turned up.

When I walked in the door to the meeting room I could see that the council were pretty sure nobody was coming -- there were barely enough chairs for the staff and councilors themselves, let alone any pesky members of the public who might have found out about this meeting.

In the end there were over a dozen council from council's executive and governance and just six members of the public. Well played SWDC.

I had to laugh at the irony of a council that keeps saying that I am just one person and therefore my suggestions and inputs are of little importance -- yet the Mayor told the half-dozen residents that their opinions were very important and they would be given careful consideration.

So apparently the threshold, the critical-mass of people required before an opinion or suggestion has any weight is around six -- out of 14,000.

After the meeting I spoke with the deputy Mayor about the airfield situation and the lunacy of telling hundreds of people not to bother coming to this town for a week in summer.

He would not believe that my motives for doing this were unselfish. He could not get his head around the fact that I wanted the community and businesses of the district to benefit from my efforts in a way that I personally would not. He refused to accept that my goal was to put money into other people's pockets and not my own.

He repeatedly said "you are only doing this for yourself, your own interests, you're making money out of this".

I guess the next thing he'll be doing is to have the Lions and Rotary clubs declared as "gangs" here in the South Waikato -- after all, it seems (according to his mindset) that *anyone* would do things for others without expecting a huge financial benefit for themselves.

You know, I hate it when people choose to judge others by their own shoddy moral and ethical standards.

I've heard this line from others as well. Another councilor swears back and blue that the event I was trying to organise was a "commercial venture". How does that work?

*I* am paying for all the costs, the direct revenues were to be dispersed to local charities and community groups and local businesses would be keeping the profits they made.

Once again... how sad is it that some folk are so jaded that they can't, for a single moment, believe that others are prepared to be selfless in a way that they could never be?

Ah well, I guess these people's words and actions say far more about their own sorry outlook on the world than I could ever convey.

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