Some weeks ago I missed an event which was an anniversary of something I was deeply involved with when I was mayor. The fact I was not invited was neither here nor there. I knew that lots of people, inside and outside the council, had played a large part in the creation of what was being celebrated and should have been invited. I was temporarily annoyed and then moved on.
I guess my concern was that one very important function of the bureaucracy of a town, or city, is to remember those who went before in that society. It requires an institution which just doesn’t think about this year. It thinks about history. When there is an event they must think about, they must remember, e.g., the women who ran netball in Hagley Park for girls for decades when new facilities are opened. Or somebody who ran the voluntary library in a suburb when a new library is being opened. It’s a function of the city administration to remember the history of the city. This is not a political function it’s an administrative one.
It’s essential for a thoughtful bureaucracy to be in touch with those who pay their salaries. Even those who are retired. When I was at the Council, we had people who would remind us of who was essential to invite to events. Often just to thank them. Dave Adamson performed this superbly when I was there.
Who performs this role now?
I had written something at the time but decided to delete it. Until I read Saturday’s paper.
Whoever decided to stop funding our Wizard should have his meagre stipend taken out of their excessive salary package and the Wizard have his money reinstated. This man has put Christchurch on the map right around the world. He’s a reflection of the quirky side of this city. Is this a quality that our council now wants to deny?
I have had a chance to look carefully at CCC’’s finances and there’s a heap of spending which should be removed before our Wizard’s stipend. He’s the City’s mascot. When I moved about the world as mayor everywhere we went they knew we had a Wizard.
My challenge to the mayor and councillors, get the Wizard’s stipend back. I bet the first you knew about it was when you opened the Press on Saturday morning. This was an insensitive bureaucratic blunder.
I’ll give you a test. Name the person who promoted this stupid decision and ask somebody overseas if they have heard of them. Then ask if they have heard of our Wizard and I know what the answer will be.
I’m happy to add my name to a petition for this to be reinstated. Who’s up for that?
It makes me wonder if we now have too many people at CCC who don’t essentially understand local government in New Zealand.