Hi everyone and happy New Year,

Despite radio ads every 15 mins telling us not to use our water sprinklers Masterton loses 5 million litres of water per day from a leaky system. Our critical water infrastructure is not up to standard- not surprising given many of our water pipes are 130 years old and made from asbestos.

If you have not read the full story, you can catch up by clicking here.

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This is hardly a news flash- it is something that has been known for a long time albeit one that is rarely talked about in the newspapers because it bores people to death. So well done to Illya for making this a headline.

It is also a problem that- for a long time- has been raised by some councillors at MDC and thoroughly avoided by the others.

It is a shame that no one will be held to account over this. The problem is not going to go away and a future council will either choose or be compelled by central government to  address the issue decisively. There is no doubt this will cost a fortune and I believe it is grossly unfair on future generations to have it saddled on us. All the councillors will be in rest homes or 6 feet under by then and not in a position to answer for their historical failures.

The problem is, local politicians are all too frequently a group who are at worst narcissists, sycophants and toadies and at best single issue advocates who manage to get elected and only focus on whatever project inspires them- completely ignoring or showing indifference to their broad responsibilities and duties as district councillors. The people who should be local politicians are too busy and/or couldn’t imagine anything worse than being trapped in a meeting room with your stock standard councillor.

Decades pass, elections continue- usually electing people 50 shades of the same colour.  A poverty in “boring” and expensive critical infrastructure investment becomes apparent while superfluous legacy and pet projects get all the attention, all the debate and all the new spending. Death by a thousand cuts.

Add to the mix Mayor’s with agendas and left leaning beliefs, CEO’s with strong academic backgrounds and not so much experience running such large budgets or for that matter towns, and you get into unsustainable territory.

I went through seven years of MDC annual reports to look for trends in spending that are difficult to recognise. The data is not often presented like this which is quite startling when graphed out:

                                                                                                     You can download the above as a PDF by clicking here and hitting the download button: Screen Shot 2018-01-18 at 4.11.08 PM

Pim Borren appears to be growing the bureaucracy substantially. Unmeasurable social programs have tripled.  One hundred and thirty year old critical infrastructure is flat lining. It should be the opposite.

If I had more time I’d love to look into the money black-hole that is Connecting Communities. We’ll see.

I’ve been quiet for the last year- it takes too much time to keep the blog updated. Better to store all the dirt for election year and make for a fizzling 3 months of electioneering..

..I’ve had to write this one up though… Pim crashing his way through the week in the Media without Sam there to help is too entertaining!

Cheers everyone!

Theus

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