Leadership is often keeping your head while those about you are losing their's.
Another one; (S)He who excuses them self, too often accuses them self.
For three in a row, one of the decisions that a Mayor has to sometimes consider, is when to call a State of Emergency, in the face of a looming disaster.
As I allowed yesterday, the first term Mayor of The Selwyn District Council would have been under considerable pressure and some of his "staff" somewhat struggling to cope as normally the big decisions in the "Riverstone Clad Wolfs Lair" in Rolly would equate to how many ginger nuts to put out for morning tea. Much of their experience of rural fires comes from stubble and hedge fires as the big country is so often under DoC control while lesser fires are primarily attacked by local fire stations manned entirely by volunteers.
M's 'full of excuses and obfuscation' Dalzeil, with her very expensive, if shown to be possibly lacking in real talent, general staff, did not have that excuse available, Five years ago the CHCH City rural fire outfit under Mitchell had an unplanned two day exercise when a wild fire from lightning, ignited the SW corner of a two thousand acre patch of gorse named Hinewai. A block controlled by a botanist, Hugh Wilson, who believes gorse, one of the more formidable rural fire fuel sources, can form cover for regenerating the native forests that once covered Banks Peninsula. A remarkable chap Hugh as the now seventy year old, eschews motor vehicles, preferring to ride his bike to Akaroa and even the City, but his somewhat unique view has his two thousand acres almost totally devoid of any thing resembling an internal fire break, not even a bulldozed fence line that can give firefighters a small hope of a defence line. So two thirds of Hugh's dream world went up in smoke with only the lower slopes and the valley floor escaping as the fire died in overnight dew on greener less combustible live growth. All the area burned was only slowed by a fleet of choppers that would have totaled a large debt payable, while in spite of untold thousands of dollars spent on two days of aerial assault, a cost I have so far been unable to ascertain. One certain fact, the unproductive, if appealing to many, dream of Mr Wilson would have very little cash to contribute and possibly no insurance available.
In another minor change to the rules of war, somehow Hiniwai seems exempt from the bullying and badgering other land holders have to face from ECan over maintaining clear strips inside boundaries as a minimum in noxious weed control.
Of course there was never any suggestion of The Hinewai Fire reaching the status of requiring a State of Emergency as almost entirely covering the valley between Stony Baÿ Rd and Long Baÿ Rd, natural fire breaks were available east and West with well managed farm pastures on the boundary at sea level and to a lesser extent on the Harbour side of the crater rim. Tactically and management wise the fire abounded with learning opportunities, so why five years later The City seemed reluctant to become involved as an adjunct to Selwyn DC in this fire is a reasonable line of inquiry.
So M's Mayor of The City, pee or get off the pot and cease with the defence of as yet un-laid charges, all the minister was saying was his office had concerns about information flow and the tactical response from those prosecuting the front line. Not the 'soldiers' or even the company and battalion commanders but the gold braid adorned shiny suits who sit around sipping lattes in air conditioned offices while many of the troops under fire have another real job that they only want to get back to quick smart. No body wants to be fighting fast moving unpredictable wild fires.
So I respectfully suggest Ms Mayor a few minutes reviewing some of the footage of your predecessor, now Sir Bob Parker, as he dealt with fronting as the leader in the aftermath of the earthquakes and you might pick up on a few pointers to real leadership skills. Your screechy ott response to what are genuine calls for an understanding of what went wrong and it is conceivable that there were some of those that exist prima facie, to be answered at a later date.
For now just be a leader and not the chief defendant. If there is a hole stop digging.