A Word from Tim Cadogan, Central Otago District Mayor


Aim to bring pragmatism to Three Waters debate

Last week I was labelled a communist and a Nazi on the same day.

Two million dead at Stalingrad points to the unlikeliness of one person embodying both ideologies, but there you go.

The communist label was the result of my being appointed to the working group on Three Waters governance.

I think the logic was the writer’s belief that the current Government is communist and, therefore, I must be communist too.

However, I am on the group to try to influence change in what the Government has put forward, whereas were I a card-carrying, cloth cap-wearing believer, why would I be putting the effort in rather than just agreeing with what the Government is proposing?

I’m not a communist, I’m a pragmatist.

The Government has made it plain it will push these unpopular reforms through.

As mayor, I had an opportunity to have a voice on some of the crucial aspects of the final outcome and it is an opportunity I have taken as I believe some southern pragmatism will go a long way in the discussions to come.

And pragmatic we must be, given the Government’s intention.

The situation is not much different from how Cromwell found itself in the days of the planning of the Clyde Dam.

Back in the early 1980s, the Muldoon government decided to build a high dam at Clyde.

For a while it seemed that the dam would be stopped by the High Court following an appeal by landowners.

The government, however, overturned this decision by passing the Clutha Development (Clyde Dam) Empowering Act 1982.

I didn’t live here when all this happened, but I am told by those who did that there was a point where the forces in opposition realised that the dam was going to be built come hell or, literally, high water.

The discussions then turned to how to make the best out of what was going to happen, and Cromwell is still reaping rewards from the outcome of those discussions today.

I don’t know whether my participation in the working group will make any significant difference to the Three Waters outcome, but I am willing to put the time and effort in to trying.

And apparently, I am a Nazi for encouraging people to get vaccinated.

I struggle to see how encouraging people to look after their health puts me on the same mantle as a gang of criminals who sent millions to their death, but each to their own.