If you love Tauranga VOTE

pallet-pavilionNote on mental calendar:

Post local election 2013 form by Wednesday 9 October OR take it to Tauranga City Council on Saturday 12 October.

I’m pretty good at voting national elections.
I’m pretty bad at voting local.
Truth be known I’ve only voted the one brilliant time – to vote, a certain Auckland mayor partial to the motorway, out. He got in that year anyway in case you were wondering.

Small Auckland interlude (you may wish to skip)…

That reminds me. We house-and-cat-sat a couple of talking burmese in Grey Lynn for a week during August and I was struck by the dizzying or should I say satisfying array of restaurants and cafes on offer. For date night with husband and friends we chose Ima as a tribute to Ottolenghi. For girl night with two bfs we dined in Ortolana (under her glasshouse fairy light splendour) followed by a 90-minute-waiting-list-wait for Milse. Here we delighted in a garden like collection of desserts. Splendid. A colour palette full enough to portrait.
That inner city suburb with her burmese residents and good looking neighbours continues to delight. With the 1 and 3 year old we soaked up Francis Street Reserve, eating Mamata caramel walnut slice and a phoenix lemonade. We double buggy-ed down with the Noah cousin to Farro Fresh. We pumped up Richmond Rd to the Unbakery (brainchild of Megan May from Tauranga and partner Jeremy)  for the chocolate peppermint slice I became addicted to from the morning tea the morning before. We Ponsonby Food-courted for pad thai. Another 4.45pm as the drizzle misted, husband surrendered to Burger Fuel where we ate under the screened basketball and the swear-covered rap hits. Happiness. The window shopping for adornments for Matua dazzled. The tried on summer dresses made dreams. The week was a sensation.

Alas, during my bf fix we compared parking tales.It was talked with gusto – Auckland must do something about it’s local transport. Bf one and I would have been happy to jump on a ???? to Ortolana. Instead bf one jacked up a carpark with her old boss and bf two used her well patronized work carpark a taxi ride away.

paris dinner in whiteAotearoa’s biggest city has grown up and looks and behaves with artistry and parades an air of composure we can be proud of on an international ambassadorial level. She has fashion weeks, antique theatres, grand gardens, flashy waterfronts, Britomart, Ponsonby Central, french markets, westcoast beaches and gentle oceans with award-winning cafes and ice-cream parlours on their edges. BUT we need to ‘get people’ around. We need to keep the city and her people moving. The flow, people, the flow. Where is it? There is a plan?

Back to the Bay…

I’m going to vote locally this year and not with tactics in mind this time.
I opened my orange, black and white letterboxed-envelope today.
‘Tis rumoured we’ll be able to vote online next election.
I got daunted by all the names and the frequency, and number of boxes I can tick.
I don’t have answers for this (yet?) I’m hoping some-kind-informed-one will tell me where to locate concise and punchy details about the handfuls of names I can vote for on my jaffa coloured form.
I was told about Innovote (but couldn’t go).
And at 5.30pm on Wednesday 2 October when I’m feeding and watering dependents The Edge is hosting Vote of Die 2013 the grilling of Bay candidates. Will it be live-streamed?
I have decided it’s ka pai if I only vote for one of the categories out of the 4? or was it 5?
I say you could vote (even for 1 person this year) too.
I say pick someone you’ve met or listened to rather than picking someone from their sign or name.
What I am going to do is…

Vote for a generation this 2013.

better blockSome wise woman at Innovote suggested we need to think on the city we want to live in. What we want it to look like? Feel like? Offer? Provide? Rather than merely absorbing what these ‘politicians’ are touting.

Is it common perception that our-people-who-have-lived-half-a-century-and-more are the leading voters during local elections? Why is this? Is it because their mates are standing and so they know more of the names and a) feel less overwhelmed but the hefty list and/or b) genuinely want to see their friends in power? Is it because they’re a ‘sector’ that has ‘spare time’ to research and decode  who to vote for? Is it because they really care about the cost of rates /council expenditure now a lot of ‘them’ are approaching the conclusion of ‘their’ earning years? Is it because we get more righteous and conservative the older we get? Or do we get less? Is that that we are merely interested? Is it that with age we receive respect for our knowledge and therefore believe the systems and ideas we value, matter and make a difference? Is it we become more reliant on others, therefore support any community concept such as a council?  Perhaps we are more comfortable with the fallible and realise it’s necessary to have faith in a source of power and choose (vote for) who we want to ‘get things done’? Whatever the reasons it seems there are generations within our community who care to vote and do it. Perhaps because of this expressed commitment councilors listen to these generations and their needs and concerns above other ‘sectors’ of our ‘poor-voting’ community.

Someone close to me currently refuses to vote (nationally). He believes unless you have complete confidence in someone and their values then you shouldn’t vote for them. He offers you should just create the world you want to live in and not rely on someone else to do that for you. Another close-human believes it’s sinful not to exercise your right to choose (vote). She suggests give your community, your land, a portion of your time and energy to make a choice. Some in the world don’t have it.

I surmised (and I told our current mayor at TedX Tauranga) ‘twould be intriguing if an election was ‘abandoned’ considered null and void if there wasn’t fair representation of the different generations within the cast votes. An Italian friend suggested voting could simply be made compulsory as it is elsewhere and a fine given if you didn’t vote. I’d love to see statistics of how many people and from what age clusters, vote, in local elections.  I’d love to be privy to how people make their candidate decision. I once read we’re born with our political persuasion. Many of us vote the same party our parents support. Perhaps, I feel more comfortable voting for a party, hanging on to a certain set of promised ideals rather than investing hope, promise in a person.

DSC_6126My conversation-circles talk community a fair bit. We talk about the city, the space, the environment we want to live in. We talk about the events and activities we want to be a part of. We’re interested in connecting. In sharing.

We talk collaborative consumption, community gardens, continued learning, festivals, cafes and restaurants, natural spaces to be with family, food markets, free events to gather around, having fun, being with people, free music in the parks, fresh locally grown produce.

We talk of meetings with Dr Kagayama about ‘For the Love of Cities’, films called Human Scale that investigate the effect of town planning on the behaviour and happiness of humans. We read about Better Blocks with acoustic pianos, sofas, libraries and potted tall trees put temporarily into concrete jungles. We write about Kinfolk Events, Craftahontas and TedX talks in Tauranga. We support talk of secret-location-events. We orchestrate free outdoor cinema nights.

We decide we’re not going to wait for or expect our council to provide these opportunities, this environment, this action for us. We will invite this and deliver this ourselves. We will invite others to ‘do’ too.

We also karanga:
Okay councils you’re not producing these events BUT let you support these things. Let not councils handbrake creative action. Let councils embrace generosity of spirit, abundance of creativity, and liberated vision.

This is my wish this election.

So, whilst I’m not voting for what someone says they will do, I am voting for my generational voice.

I resolve there are a bunch of people with a pile of power in this bay of plenty and I’m gonna do my best to find some inclination, some energy, some time to educate myself (even if only a little) to develop a researched opinion, of who to give my confidence to.

What do you care about? How do you wanna see our city, our region, be? If you love Tauranga – vote.

Let us teach ourselves and others that politics can be not only the art of the possible, especially if this means the art of speculation, calculation, intrigue, secret deals, and pragmatic manoeuvring, but that it can even be the art of the impossible, namely, the art of improving ourselves and the world – Vaclav Havel.

Post local election 2013 form by Wednesday 9 October OR take it to Tauranga City Council on Saturday 12 October. Your vote can be posted/taken in anytime from… now.

I love reading your comments, kia ora for taking the time to share your thoughts

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