Anti-change brigade does a disservice


Change is nature’s evolution.

Continual improvements provide for nature’s survival and truth is always found when observing nature – this is Darwinism at its finest.

When observing projects around our region’s growth, these are put forward to enhance both economic and social growth key to our region’s survival. Think irrigation schemes, the Oamaru Opera House redevelopment, Harbour plans, a floating hotel, Oamaru Hospital, town revitalisation and the town pool.

All of these projects have been met with shout downs, today mostly via poorly-managed platforms that are open and uncensored, which is then taken as community gospel.

Why are people so resistant to change?

The “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” phrase leads to a nil-improvement outcome which, sadly, is currently happening to our main street and CBD.

Just take a look at how many empty retail shops there are – this is not solely due to Covid-19.

This is the evolution of consumer behaviour. We need to evolve with this change, a new mixed-use CBD model and improve our central townscape – highlight even more our fantastic heritage buildings.

Social media is full of anti-change. The minute something new is proposed we hear loudly from a noisy minority.

We must listen to more of the community.

We need strong civic leadership to get out and speak to more people on the street and hear from the region, rather than sit and watch social media channels as their gauge.

We can move forward while respecting our past.

Change is natural – let’s embrace it for our future generations.

And to the anti-change brigade – take a deep breath, let people speak and put forward ideas.

Because to stop improving is to stop living.

And if you do disagree, rather than shout abuse, how about you put forward your own ideas for change – constructively.

  • Simon Berry is the managing director of Whitestone Cheese and an elected member of the Oamaru Business Collective committee.