Some say that as many as a thousand people have moved into Kerikeri and its surrounds in the last year. Accurate figures are hard to get until after the next census but the 'Sold' signs have sprouted everywhere in the last couple of years.
Every 1000 means seven or eight hundred cars. You may have noticed that it has become more of a challenge trying to park in Kerikeri.
Many of the newcomers, welcome as they are, will have come from Auckland. They will possibly have money in their back pockets from their big property sale there. They are likely to be at a stage in life where they will not use that money to start a business and employ anyone. Yet they will want everything.
They won't be able to understand why there is no hospital in Kerikeri. Or why the council won't race to fix the pothole in their road. Or why some roads will never be sealed. Or why they can't see a doctor on a Sunday afternoon.
I'm one of those people. I've been here four and a half years.
Yes, I understand that the ratepayer base here is very low and the money has to stretch a very long way. I understand, too, that the medical-related problems are not council concerns.
But I find the general mood in and around Kerikeri worryingly negative. Much of the reason for this sheets back to council, the problems people have dealing with council, and the slowness of council officers and processes.
There is likely to be a council by-election near the end of the year, when Willow-Jean Prime leaves council to take her list seat in Parliament.
I intend to stand.
I hope to help prepare council for the possible future ratepayer revolution it faces in Kerikeri, and to come up with a few solutions.