I say that because our region is not the only one that has felt the full force of the climate change induced destructive power and no doubt it won’t be the last.
But because of our position at the most exposed NE part of the North Island, we do appear to be more vulnerable on a more regular basis.
Therefore the whole nation will be interested in our progress towards rehabilitation.
So, here is an update of how the good people of Tairawhiti are copping under extreme pressure. Unfortunately not all our citizens are receptive to the lessons that are obvious but hopefully, over time that will change.
As those of us trying to cope with this repeated weather onslaught wonder how many times we can come back with the energy and spirit required to operate effectively, the people who are in a position to make a real difference to our future prospects are sending mixed messages - few of which are what we need to hear.
On the one hand there are the same old racially and ideologically driven pressure groups demanding they have a dominant role in redesigning how the community survives in the future.
On the other there are those who want to harness what remains of the essential working parts - including the most important ingredient, the people - in order to restructure our economy in a form that protects the environment while allowing the essential industries that are still viable to continue trading.
It must be obvious to anybody looking at the battered bodies of those “who once were warriors” that we have only one realistic option - and it isn’t one that involves capitulation to those whose agenda reeks of self entitlement and/or involves a mortgage on ideas for a better future.
In case you weren’t watching - which is understandable when the destruction of property and matters of the soul occupies every minute of ones waking hours - those who have the power to make it happen appear somewhat disingenuous with their promises of help. What does the record show?
It would be an interesting exercise to add up the total number of government promises offered to this region in the wake of the two cyclones this year alone and compare what has been promised with what has been delivered.
I say that as an admittedly cynical response to what is needed and what is still somewhere on the way. It is a bit like waiting for the cavalry to come over the hill.
We’ve sort of given up waiting for it to arrive. We need to do better.
But what is needed now is not the never ending tour parties of cabinet ministers shedding crocodile tears about our plight - we need HOPE and confidence that our local leaders really do have our back and have a workable plan that will involve all the diverse contributions from those who have something to offer. Because what we need is here already. At least, last time l looked it was.
Alas, the Council’s LTP cupboard is bear and it appears will remain so until someone of vision takes charge.
I know that readers are no doubt becoming sick and tired of hearing this cracked record about the regions future prospects but the truth is we do have many which could halt the downward spiral and put us on a path to prosperity.
However, we need leadership that is inspirational although that will only come when we stop stating the obvious and adopt policies that will provide the rebirth that is essential.
Let’s do it.
Clive Bibby is a commentator, consultant, farmer and community leader, who lives in Tolaga Bay.