It has been eight months since my last post which is (in Social Media terms) about as long as they took to build the pyramids. I have accumulated so many interesting bits of information that the task of compiling and sending them has become massive, so I have decided just to do them a bit at a time. No more long, glamorous posts covering the history and psyche of an entire country. Now it is going to be bite-sized snippets but more frequently (at least every 4 months).
So let me begin with an Ode to the Auckland City Council – yes I’m serious and mostly sober. Now unlike many other city councils in the world this one works hard for the people who pay rates. Things happen promptly and properly.
I have already sung the praises of the library services but I’ve added a new verse to my praise – look what they’ve done now…
Rubbish is collected weekly, recycling is collected bi-weekly and “inorganics” is collected annually. Inorganics is a politically correct term for junk: any old furniture, equipment, fittings or toys are stacked on the pavement around November and then there is a mad and very amusing rush of bargain hunters who swoop through the streets looking for TVs that they think they can fix or for couches which are in slightly better condition than theirs. There is an amazing swapping ritual that involves someone (let’s say they’re looking for a “new” couch) picking one up, but then driving further until they see a better one. Then they offload the one they have and pick up the better one, but they keep driving looking for something better. This means that what you put out on your front lawn one evening could be completely different to the pile you see there the nest day. But eventually the council comes along with a massive truck and picks up all the junk and removes it. This is a very symbiotic process.
Unfortunately Karen got into the mood of the event and came home with some “interesting” finds which are now neatly stacked in the corner of our garage waiting for the next inorganics day…
The City Council also does random acts of kindness, such as the “Movies in the Park” events throughout the city in summer. At various public places they show the latest movies on the side of a building on an erected screen in a park – totally free of charge just to get people out and together. They have music in the parks too.
And finally there’s the City Councillors. Mine is called Dick Quax (look at his web-page here if you don’t believe me). Not only is he very active, but he sends me an e-mail at least once a month. Each e-mail contains his contact details and he encourages people to use it. Do you know who your city councillor is?
To take things to the next level our MP (Maurice Williamson) not only advertises as rigorously as Dick Quax but he sponsors events – like Jule’s concert in the cathedral.