For what it is worth, the following is my reflection on the last month of iconic events in Tairawhiti that included the tri annual local body elections and the first of the Tuia 250 commemorations.
I have mixed feelings about the results of these proceedings but in the case of the local body elections, accept the results as demonstrably fair.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the outcome of the votes for Council and the Health Board had a predictable ring to them - almost without exception, those candidates with the highest profiles received the most votes. Whether they will be able to deliver on their promises remains to be seen but l wish them the best of luck. They have earned the right to try.
The Tuia 250 commemorations are a different matter entirely, although sadly, just as predictable.
During the last year of the lead up to the event, l repeatedly sought assurances from the organising committee that the stories being promoted to the world would represent a balanced view of our history (colonial or otherwise) including nothing that could be misinterpreted as anything but the unadulterated truth.
l, like the general public, was lead to believe and consequently genuinely hoped that all accounts of events from those distant times would be given equal status in the modern presentations. This we were told was going to be a time for putting the record straight, allowing for justifiable long held grievances concerning mistreatment of ancestors to be acknowledged and re-entered on the timeline of our history in their rightful context.
Most of us with a sense of fair play were encouraged by this affirmation of the organising committee's intent.
Unfortunately, what we got was a deliberate attempt to misrepresent the tragic events of so long ago to the extent that truth became collateral damage of allowing the radical revisionists complete domination of proceedings.
Not only were these partisan warriors allowed free range to say what they liked, even to the extent of telling blatant lies about Cook and his crew but worse - all this claptrap was given the impression of official sanction while knowing that it would do nothing to ensure the future partnerships this community so desperately needs.
In other words, this high-jacking of the events particularly during those organised in Turanganui-a-kiwa can only be seen as a pre-determined act of historical engineering we should all be ashamed of. It should not have happened.
Thankfully, l am not the only one who found this unfortunate rejection of an opportunity to come together in an atmosphere of mutual respect, a tragic outcome.
I note a number of letters to the editor from non Tairawhiti resident readers of the respected Listener magazine who agree almost exclusively that it could have been handled so much better.
It would seem that New Zealanders in general are still able to recognise fraud when it's staring them in the face. Just a pity our local leaders don't appear to share their concerns.
Clive Bibby is a commentator, consultant, farmer and community leader, who lives in Tolaga Bay.