Rotary Forum has a question to ask.

We have a rare opportunity: Wellington is what we make it and you can be part of shaping it.

Now in its second successful year, this highly topical community forum asks; what kind of city and region do we want? How should community views be expressed in local government? What are the initiatives by business and communities that will help Wellington become the place we want to live and work in? What can you do to influence it?

This is your chance to hear a top line up of speakers and, just as importantly, to make your own point with a question or two.

But interestingly enough, if you’d like to go along, it’s on a work day, AND it’ll cost you $55. So if you’re not in a flexible job, and if you can’t spare a week’s grocery money, then no shaping the city for you! Apparently extra funds raised will go to St John’s Ambulance which is a good cause, but lowering the price or having staggered pricing in order to ensure a more diverse representation would be a much better idea, we think

I think it could be an interesting day (although I suspect it might be frustrating as hell) but I have to work. So in lieu of a lengthy discussion about the actual issues being raised on the day, here’s the way the trite ‘ista conversation about it went. 

A: (mentioning it) Every single thing about this makes me recoil

B: (won’t be going) but I suggest that this is likely to be a fairly influential gathering in terms of setting opinion in a certain sector of society — it would be good to steer the consensus the right way.

Me: It’s $55 to go along. That right there is a clear sign that our community is not for everyone to enjoy

C: Even I am not white enough or male enough for that crowd.

D: Much the same way Travis Bickle longed for a “real rain” to come and “wash all this scum off the streets”.. those rotary guys really want an earthquake too.

A:  I can’t do it because [redacted] but I’d really like someone to push back on that ‘we’ in the title.

E: rotary is weird – there is the whole elitist white guy thing – but then they do loads of charity work

D: Yeah, they’re nothing if not aware of their own hegemonic power structures.