Much has happened since I last posted in 2015.
On the personal level I nursed my partner until his death in November 2016. And it has taken since then to regain some equilibrium…but many experiences have helped along the way!!
From my “Hobbitlearning” title, it will be understood that education is a driving force in my life. I loved teaching. I loved being a school principal just as much: same but different and equally creative. So I was thrilled to be asked by current Minister of Education to serve on the Guardians of the Education Conversation for the last two years. new Zealanders as users of the education system needed to share their reaction to what they experienced and it has been my delight to hear, watch, read all those reactions and then to check that the reforms proposed meet and measure up to those conversations. The reforms will take a while to settle in, but the work has been begun.
One of the sad things to observe has been the mistrust between public and government, such as teachers wanting to retain the competitive model because they did not want to cede power to a collaborative system where state agencies might have a role. Rebuilding trust in a collaborative state system , rather than a competitive system is going to be an enormous task.
But in these intervening years, I have had two more grandchildren born, and my commitment to environmental improvement has become more urgent. So I stood for the Otago Regional Council, and won a seat and then was elected Chair of the Council. And now my work begins. I want to improve public transportation so as we reduce carbon emissions. I must work to clean up our lakes and rivers and restore wetlands. I want to restore and protect our biodiversity in Otago, New Zealand. There are other goals, but these are my main ones for the next three years.
I will try to blog on here weekly over the next three years to share what we as a Council have accomplished, the problems we face, and ask for ways ahead. So this is a move from major comment on education to local response to climate change, to water and to biodiversity.
I will welcome comment.