Yet to be convinced on rejuvenation efforts

LETTER

I can’t help but be sceptical at the latest Government/local efforts to rejuvenate our ailing, small but perfectly-formed city.

I have watched our city fall into disrepair for quite some time. More people on the dole, packs of youths just waiting to get into mischief (police noticeably absent!), city buildings standing empty, businesses shutting up shop (perhaps due to landlords expecting higher-than-acceptable rent increases).

Fewer and fewer decent shops are surviving the squeeze from online buying and the might of big overseas/Australian companies hungrily gobbling up all sorts of smaller Kiwi enterprises. More token tourist trinket shops, not a lot of substantial New Zealand wares. Need I say more?

Then when the Maxim Institute put out a report saying small-town New Zealand was becoming nothing more than resthomes for the over 65 year olds, I really saw red! Not so!! Over my dead body, I thought.

So, with the latest news about central government money being poured into the Tairawhiti area, I still have to ask: What took you so long and will it work? Who has the energy and business nous to fix it? Show us your real credentials? I think we are yet to be convinced.

Who will be brave enough to get rid of the rust in our ailing chassis (figuratively speaking) and give the whole area a total repaint, breathe more life and energy into the old girl, crank her up and get her engine running smoothly again?

Don’t continue to fob us off by filling empty CBD buildings with obscure training groups turning out students going nowhere for jobs which don’t exist, or yet another grubby trinket or second-hand shop, so that on the surface it appears we really are up and running and open for business.

It will take real effort to bring Kiwi originality and colour, verve and enterprise back to our town. I’m not sure that government money will be enough. You see, it’s really going to take boldness and vision!

Pat McGuinness

I can’t help but be sceptical at the latest Government/local efforts to rejuvenate our ailing, small but perfectly-formed city.

I have watched our city fall into disrepair for quite some time. More people on the dole, packs of youths just waiting to get into mischief (police noticeably absent!), city buildings standing empty, businesses shutting up shop (perhaps due to landlords expecting higher-than-acceptable rent increases).

Fewer and fewer decent shops are surviving the squeeze from online buying and the might of big overseas/Australian companies hungrily gobbling up all sorts of smaller Kiwi enterprises. More token tourist trinket shops, not a lot of substantial New Zealand wares. Need I say more?

Then when the Maxim Institute put out a report saying small-town New Zealand was becoming nothing more than resthomes for the over 65 year olds, I really saw red! Not so!! Over my dead body, I thought.

So, with the latest news about central government money being poured into the Tairawhiti area, I still have to ask: What took you so long and will it work? Who has the energy and business nous to fix it? Show us your real credentials? I think we are yet to be convinced.

Who will be brave enough to get rid of the rust in our ailing chassis (figuratively speaking) and give the whole area a total repaint, breathe more life and energy into the old girl, crank her up and get her engine running smoothly again?

Don’t continue to fob us off by filling empty CBD buildings with obscure training groups turning out students going nowhere for jobs which don’t exist, or yet another grubby trinket or second-hand shop, so that on the surface it appears we really are up and running and open for business.

It will take real effort to bring Kiwi originality and colour, verve and enterprise back to our town. I’m not sure that government money will be enough. You see, it’s really going to take boldness and vision!

Pat McGuinness

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