In 2015, the Far North District Council adopted the vision ‘He Whenua Rangatira – a District of Sustainable Prosperity and Well-being’. This vision is supported by a set of key values and outlines expectations for 2050.
Over the past month, I have experienced and thus contemplated a number of issues and challenges; many of which have been present for a long while. These include gender inequity, our ‘lost’ youth and - of course, at the heart of much of it - a deep-set anger - that is showing its ugly head more and more often.
Anger is often referred to as a secondary emotion; something we resort to if feeling vulnerable due to attack, disrespect, betrayal, loss, etc. These words certainly go some way to identifying why we are where we are.
I have wondered what it will take to truly realise the potential of our vision and the necessity of needing to achieve this for now and future generations.
I recognise that for this district, and the amazing and diverse communities within it, moving forward will continue to be a battle if we do not find common purpose, articulate it, believe in it and hold it at our heart.
Some will say that this is an impossible task. I do not believe so.
I believe we are capable and we are extraordinary – each and every one of us. I believe that we all have the capacity to forgive, to heal and to move forward in unity. I believe that we all want our children to feel valued and to lead successful lives.
So, I have come to the realisation that the only way we may find common purpose is to firmly focus on our children.
And this is where vision becomes important. If we are to hold our children at the heart of our decision making, surely we would begin to make better decisions, better choices? And without this clarity of knowing where we are going, how will we choose which road to take?
I recognise that vision is often seen as a fluffy word that struggles to find a place in our day to day lives. I also recognise that many believe Council has some way to go
in delivering core infrastructure and this is what we need to concentrate on (and Council is).
Prudent decision-making around clear strategy to develop sound council infrastructure and facilities is a must in supporting this district to flourish. However, I believe without clarity of purpose we will continue to wander and wonder.
I am unashamedly big picture. I hold a firm view that the Far North, the tail of the fish, can become a trail-blazer, to show the way a district can work together and realise its potential.
We are all in this together. We all want for better. So, please, let’s take responsibility and all do our bit – for the sake of our children.