Kiwi humility seen at awards
I interviewed mayor Neil Volzke recently about some of the positive developments in the district.
I was struck by his modesty and almost “no-thrills” approach to the mayoralty. In my opinion, he’s an experienced and most effective civic leader. Neil made a comment to the effect, “That the Stratford District Council didn’t need to make the news, or win awards to prove they were doing a good job.” Yes, there’s something to be said for quiet modesty and competence.
As an expatriate Aussie (who became a NZ citizen in 2007) I reckon that Australians are more direct than Kiwis. We are also not backward in telling you how good we are. Unsurprisingly most Kiwis admire the reticent modesty and super achievements of the late Sir Edmund Hillary and his modern equivalent Richie McCaw.
Speaking of modesty, that was evident in spades at the Stratford Press Romeo Awards. It was a stunningly successful evening. I was amazed and bemused though by the brevity (and almost discomfiture) of some of the winners’ speeches. Most of the winners deflected the kudos with comments like, “Stratford is a great place to live and this award is really a reflection on what an amazing community we have.”
Initially I thought this was admirable, and illustrative of Central Taranaki modesty. However, in retrospect, it would have been good to hear a little more from the winners. Because after all, they were nominated because they offered outstanding customer service.
However, at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter, because the winners were deservedly feted and portrayed as retail rockstars in the Stratford Press.
And as an aside, Winston Peters is universally regarded as an outstanding Minister of Racing, however, his commissioned report recommending the sale of the Stratford Racing Club, and a raft of others across the country, including Hawera, will surely generate plenty of controversy and acrimony.