Bianca On Leadership



By Bianca Begovich

For me, a leader is someone who inspires and motivates.  A leader is someone who does what they do, not for the recognition or the reward, but simply because it is right.

In my life, I have people that inspire me to be a better mother, to be a better environmentalist, to be more active in my community, to work harder and to appreciate more of the simple things in life. 

I am active in my community.  Over the years I have been involved in several community groups.

I have seen many people who give up their free time to make Kapiti a great place to be.  I have seen countless individuals in similar groups throughout the region from tree-planting organisations, to youth support groups to people who simply help and mentor other members of our community.

The true leaders

For me, these are the true leaders of our Kapiti region.

As I bike around the District, I have watched with amusement as the local election billboards go up.

Who are these people?  There are a mixture of names and faces.  There are those incumbents who remain innocuous figures until they re-emerge at election time to remind you who they are.

There are those who stay in the public eye but seem to change their opinions more often than Oracle changes tack.  There are the new names which no-one has ever heard of.  And then there are the very few who have actually contributed to our community.

I am not going to use this forum to discuss the merits or otherwise of the people who have put their name forward for election.  Anyone can Google the names of potential candidates or read about them in the local newspapers.

But what I will say is that it is difficult to find actual tangible goals for our community.  I am not interested in rhetoric such as ‘community-building’ or ‘reduce debt’ or ‘supporting locals’.

What are you actually going to do?

I want to know what are you actually going to do for the community and how are you going to do it?

I’d also like to point out that several potential candidates have recently shown up at some of the groups that I am involved in.  While I appreciate that they may be genuinely interested in the causes, I have to ask – where have you been for the last three years?

For me, there is only a select group that will be getting my vote this year.  They are the ones that I have seen out in the community cleaning up our beaches or supporting community fundraisers or helping local businesses or attending community meetings and events.

They are the people who have shown up and stood up for Kapiti, not because they are paid to or because they are hoping to gain a political seat, but because it is the very core of who they are and what they believe in.




The issue about candidates making statements on matters that may be the topic of Hearings occurred because of the DPD being at the Hearing Stage and if elected, people may be commissioners having to make the decisions on issues which they had already made comments without getting all the facts. This could cause questions of bias to arise, or comments of having already made a judgement before hearing the evidence.
As a Chair of a Council Planning Committee for years I told members of the Hearing Committees not to make a public statement regarding a planning matter until all the evidence had been before them to allow for a decision to be made with an open mind and on all information available.
That was accepted and so the accusation of bias could never be made, and there were few, if any, Appeals regarding the Hearing Committee decisions.

Hi Prue, You raise some very good points, especially on the issue of trying to gag candidates bringing up key matters that may be in the district plan. Would you like to send me a feature article on the local body elections which we can post on the Home Page? Best wishes Roger Childs

Sure – I agree that community involvement is very important – that participation and doing stuff in a range of activities is a prerequisite to standing for office. But I also care about what people think and believe generally and on important current community concerns and politics (like the shape of local government in the region, the PDP, etc) And that they are able to state their views on all the issues raised by questioners at meetings so that electors are informed. Hence the statement made by Pat Dougherty and endorsed slightly less strongly by Tamsin Evans in a letter to the local paper warning against this seems to me to be absolutely ridiculous and amount to threats to candidates and to democracy. I have not seen any similar statements made by officials in other Councils or at previous elections here. It would completely undermine democracy and make the whole election process pointless (and no doubt reduce the percentage voting further) – the whole point of elections is to inform electors so that they can vote for people whose viewpoints on issues and ways of dealing with them are most in line with their own perspectives. If they have to play a dead bat, the whole process is pointless. Maybe candidates might be wise not to say they would NEVER vote for a, b or c (though I find even that dubious) because of Section 82 – sure they should always listen with an open mind once elected. But the statements by these top officials are a real worry and to me, just one more example of my impression that they wield too much power relative to elected officials.