Jaded encumbents need pushed

One of the most disappointing things about the campaign for me has been the negativity and defeatism of some incumbents. Current mayor Dave Cull is guilty – in forums he has said that pushing politicians is pointless and has also said there was no point in pursuing business related to oil/gas.

His political reluctance may be due to being overawed by Government ministers or not knowing how to go about it, but on oil/gas he seems conflicted, he opposes drilling so we can’t expect him to be enthusiastic about chasing business related to the industry.

There was more incumbent defeatism at a health forum on Thursday.

Health boards have little influence over the health of the population, and representatives who think they will change things fail to realise the Minister of Health is in charge, Southern District Health Board candidate Richard Thomson told a forum in Dunedin yesterday.

Those thinking that in Don Quixote fashion they would shake up the system soon discover if they do not do as they are told, the minister will simply do it anyway, the veteran health board member and former chairman said.

I commented on this at ODT online:

Bollocks. That is not the attitude that kept Neurology in Dunedin. People stood up and demanded. It worked. It doesn’t always work, but it will never work if you give up without trying.

It’s not easy, but people don’t vote for easy, they vote for people to do the hard stuff.

Council and the DHB need people who are prepared to do the hard work. That’s how you can succeed.

A Southern District Health Board candidate, John Chambers, also commented.

Like Pete George I was somewhat surprised by the cynicism and negativity in the comments made by Richard Thomson, a long standing board member. Around New Zealand and internationally there is ample evidence  that the members of health and hospital boards are very influential in steering the direction of health expenditure. That is why I am standing and, if elected, I intend to make a difference.

The DHB and council needs fresh enthusiastic determined people to push out or inspire and push jaded incumbents.