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Mahurangi Action’s last glossy gasp

by 16 Jul 2009Regional governance0 comments

Mahurangi Magazine, January 2007

Light Relief: The Mahurangi Magazine possibly provided some relief from Auckland governance gloom and doom. publisher Mahurangi Action

It’s always a challenge, to make a submission stand out.

Particularly when committee members are facing the last batch of submitters for the week, on the Auckland governance legislation.

Late of a Friday afternoon, they could be excused if their minds were beginning to wander, and dread yet another lecture from some submitter incensed at the perceived arrogance or ignorance of the government, or regional/district council—or soul otherwise deeply despondent at the prospect of John Banks also becoming their mayor.

The last thing committee members expected was to be thumbing through the cheerful pages of the Mahurangi Magazine.

Being somewhat short on uplifting rhetoric, the editor judged that the pictures in the glossy were the best way to convey the flavour of a group that ‘travels hopefully’, towards the future and, not least of all, the region’s new governance arrangements.

Often at hearings, questions are asked about the mandate of a submitter. The bandying about of the first and last glossy Mahurangi Magazine potentially provided the opportunity to say Mahurangi Action averages fewer than 200 financial members but has a mailing list of more than 400. And that up to 100 per day visit the online magazine, provided an article of interest has just been notified.

(And that, appropriately, Auckland governance issues draw about the smallest response, and the Mahurangi Regatta the greatest!)

However, after the last submitter had spoken, chairman John Carter profusely thanked the final batch of four and promptly declared the hearing closed—correctly judging that his fellow committee members were of like mind regarding dispensing with the usual sprinkling of more-or-less attentive questions.

But the opportunity had successfully been taken to correct the last sentence in the submission, where Mahurangi Action urges that the Mahurangi catchment be included in the Auckland Council territory:

The Mahurangi catchment, of course, is currently included in the Auckland Council territory.

And those committee members unfamiliar with the extent of the catchment learned that its northern extent is the Tamahunga Range—for State Highway 1 travellers, the Dome.

Size, of membership and bank account, also helped when:

  • publishing Ron Locker’s Jade River: A history of the Mahurangi
  • defending public foreshore access at Jamieson Bay
  • throwing the Mahurangi Regatta Ball—grand finale of Warkworth’s 150th celebrations
  • initiating the open-ground indigenous plant project
  • persuading councils of the need for a Mahurangi plan.

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