Was zum teufel! After several irate letters were aired regarding the mysterious choice of the Sri Chinmoy cult statue (no, this is not of a New Zealand citizen, nor of anyone who commands our respect who has lived and worked in New Zealand), the Taupo¯ District Council took rapid action and installed it in the Tongariro South Domain before the protests became a critical mass.
This rapid installation reminds me of certain past corporate restructuring plans which had to be carried out by stealth so that the people that they affected had no opportunity to react.
Our elected members (well, the six members who voted quickly for this edifice) were elected to serve the people of Taupo¯ and to be sensitive and attentive to their interests. As it has turned out, these council members were not, and pursued their own interests. They have made many thousands of local folk angry by their inconsideration. One of the important aspects of management training is for the instructor to convey to the attendees the importance of communicating to and keeping in touch with the people that they serve. If council members are not able to do this, then retraining courses are available.
As many historians will advise: Those who fail to heed the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them. The first item of agenda for the conquering US Army upon entering Baghdad was to remove the statue of Saddam Hussein, as it represented something which was repugnant to the citizens.
In the US, some liberal groups have been putting pressure on local councils to remove historical statues of civil war Confederate leaders, whom they consider to have been fighting to support slavery. They have been successful in having some removed. The council could redeem themselves from this bungle by: 1. Removing this edifice from the park, and in so doing, maintain Taupo¯’s green and beautiful image. 2. Send the statue to a foundry to be turned into bronze medals for children who come in third place in our many Taupo¯ sports. The medals could have a New Zealand image, of something we like and respect. 3. Attend a presentation which emphasises the importance of maintaining New Zealand cultural values. 4. Attend a management refresher course with the emphasis on consultation with their local population.
If council has no response, then the elections are coming where we will be able to appoint new councillors who are able to represent local people using consultation as a new management tool.
J R LOUISSON (ABRIDGED)