So it’s finally over. “Berties Buses” are no more. Sold off for a paltry $1,250,000 less than the whole sorry saga cost Napier ratepayers.
But, as the MTG saga showed, there will never be any accountability, responsibility or blame taken within Napier City Council, will there? No-one has ever done anything wrong at NCC – “It’s because we have got one or two extremely vocal critics who are stirring the thing up” says Mayor Dalton.
Well, Bill, I’ll happily take credit for being one of those critics – Because you know what? I was right!
I said the buses were a silly idea back in 2011 when they were dreamed up. Their construction, delivery and resulting repairs were a farce in 2012 and in the (2013-14) year they were in operation, virtually no-one used them! – “The poor drivers must be beside themselves – because no-one else is!”
And yet, just as Mayor Dalton’s predecessor pointed the finger of blame for problems with her museum at those capable enough of seeing and reacting to problems much quicker than she and her council could, Mr Dalton blames the critics?
Am I happy the buses are gone? No! Because they were such an elongated, obvious waste of money from the outset – they should never have been allowed to go ahead!
Rather than once again pandering to fly/cruise-by-night tourists, imagine what $1.3 – $2 million could have done for developing projects and initiatives for Napier’s youth, who get blatantly ignored, or community development, or even encouraging economic development in the city!
These are projects and people that call Napier home ALL YEAR ROUND – Not just in cruise season, not just during the holidays, EVERY SINGLE DAY OF THE YEAR – Napier projects and funds for Napier people!
Rather than trying to develop Napier into a city embracing the future and evolving into a new technological and business powerhouse, the council long ago shackled itself to the past by clinging to historically-based tourism as the city’s saviour and in doing so indentured its economy and people into tourist servitude.
I’ll keep critiquing gaping faults like the Deco Buses because I love my city! I want to see it succeed. I don’t want to see it waste its time, money, people and resources on follies like these buses.
Napier deserves better!