City Soap­box

Hamilton News - - Front Page -

I have been heart­ened by strong com­mu­nity sup­port for Hamil­ton’s An­zac Day com­mem­o­ra­tions in re­cent years.

As ex­pected (and helped by stun­ning weather) large crowds at­tended both the Dawn Ser­vice and Civic Cer­e­mony at the Ceno­taph last Wed­nes­day.

It was lovely to see many lo­cal schools rep­re­sented at the civic cer­e­mony (es­pe­cially as the day fell dur­ing the school hol­i­days) with pupils lay­ing wreaths. Con­grat­u­la­tions to Ni­cholas Good­man of Hamil­ton Boys’ High School for an ex­cel­lent address on the sig­nif­i­cance of An­zac Day, es­pe­cially to to­day’s young peo­ple.

Beau­ti­ful sing­ing by the Waikato River­tones Cho­rus and Mighty River Har­mony, and play­ing by Hamil­ton’s City Brass Band and Cale­do­nian So­ci­ety Pipe Band, fur­ther en­hanced the oc­ca­sion. Hamil­ton City Brass also pre­sented an ex­cel­lent An­zac Re­mem­brance con­cert at Southwell School on 22 April. We are very for­tu­nate to have such tal­ented mu­si­cians in our city and their con­certs are al­ways su­perb.

Later this year we will mark the cen­te­nary of the ar­mistice which brought an end to World War I on 11 Novem­ber 1918. What a great day that must have been — but how tragic that the peace was shat­tered again just 21 years later.

David Ben­nett and I warmly in­vite you to meet National’s new Leader Si­mon Bridges at a public meet­ing at Cafe´ Agora next Thurs­day at 11am.

Si­mon has made a very good start as Leader, and Govern­ment min­is­ters seem de­ter­mined to hand him lots of op­por­tu­ni­ties to at­tack their de­ci­sions and per­for­mance.

Sadly (and for all the cur­rent Govern­ment’s blus­ter about “sup­port­ing the re­gions”) they are reg­u­larly mak­ing de­ci­sions that are a sig­nif­i­cant at­tack on re­gional economies. It’s clear that the Waikato will be par­tic­u­larly hard hit.

The an­nounce­ments in­clude the can­cel­la­tion of ma­jor ir­ri­ga­tion schemes and a re­fusal to con­tinue fund­ing the Ru­ral Health Al­liance.

Vi­tal Waikato roading projects are un­der threat, in­clud­ing the ex­ten­sion of the Waikato Ex­press­way to Ti­rau and to the Kaimai ranges, and the cru­cial South­ern Links project seems to be off the ta­ble again.

The ces­sa­tion of oil and gas ex­plo­ration (with­out in­dus­try con­sul­ta­tion) is a body blow to Taranaki — and it won’t se­cure the en­vi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fits it is in­tended to achieve. Labour’s de­ter­mi­na­tion to bring agri­cul­ture into New Zealand’s Emis­sions Trad­ing Scheme be­fore we have the tech­nol­ogy avail­able to re­duce emis­sions with­out culling stock will amount to an un­fair tax on farm­ers and our vi­tal pri­mary sec­tor ex­ports.

The Min­is­ter of Health is un­en­thu­si­as­tic about the Waikato Med­i­cal School pro­posal. I sup­port that project strongly, not least be­cause it’s based on a proven in­ter­na­tional model that would help to over­come the sig­nif­i­cant prob­lem of at­tract­ing GP ser­vices to hard-tostaff ru­ral and pro­vin­cial cen­tres in Waikato and neigh­bour­ing re­gions.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.