150 years of his­tory set to dis­ap­pear

Franklin County News - - Front Page - By JOHN BROWN – ED­I­TOR

Franklin is dead; long live Franklin.

Well it will be in Oc­to­ber next year if the Gov­ern­ment adopts the rec­om­men­da­tions put for­ward by the Royal Com­mis­sion on Auck­land Gov­er­nance.

To the out­sider, or im­par­tial ob­server, the rec­om­men­da­tions put for­ward by the com­mis­sion seem sen­si­ble – Auck­land is grow­ing, there are too many dif­fer­ent coun­cils, let’s just have one and make the south­ern bound­ary the Waikato River.

As has al­ready been said by var­i­ous com­men­ta­tors, the devil will be in the de­tail. The com­mis­sion­ers have said this plan will re­duce rates and that may be what the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple will care about most.

I can hear many peo­ple say: ‘‘Look they can do what they like, as long as my rates bill comes down.’’

There are gen­uine con­cerns about democ­racy go­ing down the gur­gler though. Sheer weight of num­bers is go­ing to mean that the peo­ple of Franklin, or soon to be Hunua Lo­cal Coun­cil, are go­ing to strug­gle to be heard.

And what of the good peo­ple over the river. Are they happy to be lumped in with Waikato District Coun­cil? They might pre­fer it to be­com­ing a JAFA, al­though its still quite a drive from Port Waikato to the near­est WDC ser­vice cen­tre – Huntly.

But as well as los­ing its voice, Franklin will lose its iden­tity. This is a ma­jor con­cern.

En­ter­prise Franklin De­vel­op­ment Trust has spent thou­sands and thou­sands of dol­lars brand­ing our district, Franklin Coun­try.

Not only has the Franklin Coun­try brand been used to at­tract tourists to the district, but also new busi­ness and new res­i­dents.

Franklin is de­vel­op­ing a rep­u­ta­tion for its com­mu­nity spirit (ask any Auck­lan­der who’s been to a com­mu­nity event in Franklin).

That spirit will not dis­ap­pear with a name change, but why, oh why are we (those of us north of the river) go­ing to be called Hunua? It seems for the po­lit­i­cally cor­rect rea­son of Hunua be­ing a Maori name.

Franklin is made up of Maori, Pakeha, In­dian, Chi­nese, Ton­gan, Fi­jian, English, South African and many more. We’ve just held the awe­some Franklin Mul­ti­cul­tural Fes­ti­val for God’s sake.

We are Franklin. We are proud to be from Franklin, and have been (ac­cord­ing to

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.