Small can be very big (8 Jul, 2014)

Have your say on today's Aardvark Daily column

Re: Small can be very big (8 Jul, 2014)

Postby Anaru » Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:00 am

aardvark_admin wrote:Well Anaru, Tokoroa *could* have been a major hub for international UAV development and training - except that the SWDC, when approached with a view to one overseas company investing a seven-figure sum at the airfield to create just that (along with associated jobs, motel-nights, restaurant meals, etc) - opted instead to keep the facility for 3 or 4 locals and a couple of out-of-district flight schools that pay *nothing* to use the facility.


I know where you're coming from Bruce but at the same time I can see how the council would perceive things; such an opportunity isn't going to make sense unless concise figures are given nor are they going to think it's a great idea when they know that the people who vote for them are going to have little to no understanding of what is involved. If you think about it, a lot of locals would think "what is the point in funding or supporting a bunch of dorks flying their toy planes". The majority perception would be quite primitive and ultimately that is going to matter more to the decision makers who are depending on those with that perception for employment.

As I think I detailed to you in an e-mail a few months back, the only way forward with anything UAV related at the airfield is going to be leasing or obtaining a licence to manage the airfield from the council. If someone offered them $50,000 per annum I think they'd be very interested as it is something simple and makes an awful lot of sense to them, the concept of a commercial lease is easily explained and accepted. On top of that it's even easier perception wise for the general public as instead of seeing that "a bunch of dorks want to fly toy planes" they'll see "someone who wants to lease the airfield for more than it costs the council to maintain and operate".

Since moving here I haven't been that impressed with the council but at the same time can't really say that they're doing anything worse than any other council, in the last week or so there have been a few positive things and commerce wise I think that things will start to pick up. The new logistics hub will be interesting and I've heard rumour that Fonterra (I think?) is setting up a new factory to the south of the town. All in all I think for Tokoroa at least things are starting to look up and I'm quite often bumping into people who have just moved down here, mostly from Auckland like myself.

You just need to accommodate the reality of the town - in Auckland you could pitch to the council for funding of an Opera theatre and probably get a few million for it, down here people would punch you in the head for even suggesting it. Remember, this is a town that currently thinks that those stupidly retarded "talking poles" are a tourist attraction - in reality they're carved dead trees that every drunk on the weekend looks at and thinks "my life would be complete if I put a road cone on top of that".
Anaru
 
Posts: 150
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 3:20 am

Re: Small can be very big (8 Jul, 2014)

Postby aardvark_admin » Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:37 am

The company concerned was a Chinese company and the representation to council was made (for obvious reasons) by someone other than myself.

It all seemed to be going reasonably well until my name was mentioned - at which stage the council seemed to go cold.

The Chinese themselves then went cold on the proposal because they couldn't figure out why a small town like Tokoroa, when presented with an opportunity like this, would not be excited and enthusastic about the proposition. That the SWDC didn't exhibit such an attitude was interpreted as a warning signal by them and they (being the ones with the money) simply decided they'd find somewhere that *was* enthusiastic about their money and opportunities.

To be honest, I can totally understand why they'd take that attitude. This company had dealt with me because for two years in a row they'd come to Tokoroa and looked at the airfield with a view to setting up an operation here. They asked *me* to make the representations to the SWDC on their behalf but I advised them that I was persona non grata in the eyes of the SWDC so another (former SWDC officer) was engaged to make perform that role. That the SWDC were prepared to go cool on such a fantastic offer, simply because my name was mentioned, clearly indicated to the Chinese that these people were not true businesspeople and perhaps were not to be trusted in a deal of this magnitude.

That is the problem with Tokoroa.

And now we have another fantastic opportunity, where hundreds of people from all over the world want to *invest* their own money in the town and come visit, often on a regular basis -- and yet again, perhaps solely because of my involvement, some of the council (and most certainly its bureaucrats) simply can't put the interests of the district ahead of their own petty vendettas and personal dislike of myself.

Why don't they like me? Because I do not think (and the two instances I've cited are just the latest bits of evidence to prove) that they are doing their jobs properly and putting the interests of those who they have been elected (or employed) to serve ahead of their own interests.
aardvark_admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5181
Joined: Wed May 07, 2014 2:10 pm

Re: Small can be very big (8 Jul, 2014)

Postby paulw » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:02 am

I see another NZ tech company takes the money and runs.

"Navman founder's Fusion audio company sold to US"

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/technology/ne ... d=11293344

Why do we even bother in this country because as soon as they do well they sell out and usually move off shore..
paulw
 
Posts: 444
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 8:33 am

Re: Small can be very big (8 Jul, 2014)

Postby aardvark_admin » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:06 am

So true Paul... but I *can* understand why folk do it.

To be honest, I'm seriously thinking of *giving* my SAA work to a Chinese company -- simply because I've had a guts full of fighting the bureaucracy that is supposed to be supporting innovative Kiwi businesses.

Why bang your head against these walls. Perhaps it's time for me to retire and go on the dole!
aardvark_admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5181
Joined: Wed May 07, 2014 2:10 pm

Re: Small can be very big (8 Jul, 2014)

Postby latewings » Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:24 pm

aardvark_admin wrote:So true Paul... but I *can* understand why folk do it.

To be honest, I'm seriously thinking of *giving* my SAA work to a Chinese company -- simply because I've had a guts full of fighting the bureaucracy that is supposed to be supporting innovative Kiwi businesses.

Why bang your head against these walls. Perhaps it's time for me to retire and go on the dole!


Bruce, I see on flightradar24.com that Google are launching a lot of balloons today as part of their loon project. Suggestion: approach Google with your technology. They can only say no.
latewings
 
Posts: 349
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 10:18 am

Previous

Return to Today's column

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests