Henny Penny, Cocky Locky, and friends are collectively in charge of how things run in the Dunedin City Council and have everything under control.
It is hard to imagine that such a major statement by a Mayor of any city as: “we need to talk about the end-game for a significant area of our city’ would be received so passively by the population. But that is exactly what happened after the Mayoral declaration that South Dunedin would be meekly conceded to the forces of climate change.
As a statement it was so contradictory to current Council investments in the development of the warehouse precinct below the Exchange (which sits on the same reclaimed harbour as South Dunedin), the cycleway that circuits the whole reclaimed area through South Dunedin and the Sports facilities at Logan Park (formerly Lake Logan) including the Stadium, that it simply shows him as being unable to think logically from one related subject to another. Of this being no more that Dunedin’s own version of Henny Penny convincing Cocky Locky and friends that ‘the sky is falling’.
People have not taken to the streets in panic at this mayoral announcement; they have not swamped the newspaper columns; they, or any that even bothered, simply shook their heads and wondered how did it come to this, that we have got a Cocky Locky for our mayor. That must be terribly disappointing to the Mayor who is presumably trying to use this announcement as a P.R. stunt to persuade the population, before the next election, that he has relevance.
But even worse than being a Henny Penny/ Cocky Locky re-run, is the sheer meekness of the statement. If indeed nature is a genuine, imminent threat to human habitation of South Dunedin, then this is the biggest challenge Dunedin has faced since it was established as a city. This is the primary focus of the next election. This is a ‘cometh the hour, cometh the man’ moment. This is a time, if it is true, that we need leadership, bravery, vision, determination. We got meekness and concession.
What was he thinking that, out of the blue, he would just announce in a newspaper article that, ‘by the way, residents, we need to talk about abandoning south Dunedin’. Where are the climatic reports? the flood-response analysis? the engineering reports ? Will the stadium be underwater before we have paid for it? Will it be converted to an indoor water sports stadium?
The announcement of this impending crisis should have provided a link to the DCC website which contains all the supporting research and reports that led up to it. The people must be informed.
So lets see some facts about this impending climatic doom, Mr Mayor, or we may just think that the flood happened because you forgot to make sure someone would sweep up the autumn leaves before we got a decent rainfall.
Was the flood no more indicative of the end of South Dunedin than a falling nut was Penny Penny’s falling sky?