150 years of history set to disappear
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