Home' The Mirror Queenstown Lakes : January 30th 2013 Contents 4
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28 APRIL OR GO
Let the children
play -- outdoors
Most of us
work and play in
Central Otago do so
appreciate there is
about the place.
Sadly though, the
distractions of everyday life often
obscure those things we value,
until something reminds us how
fortunate we are.
To see the mountains, fields, trees
and water amongst which we live,
through the eyes and imagination
of an 8-year-old grand-daughter
has been a privilege and reward.
Sharing her experiences of
swimming with the ducks in the
pond, tubing down the river,
sliding down slippery tussock
slopes, constructing a castle of
hay bales, brings back one's own
memories of never-ending ,
impromptu summer adventures
of our own devising.
Without knowing, this child was
building an understanding,
appreciation and connection with
the natural world as a foundation
for her future.
There is no substitute for outdoor
play, not least because what takes
place is unscripted.
Yet despite the
majority of Kiwi
children living less
kilometres from a
park or play area,
the 2011 New
Zealand State of
Play Report reveals
that 50 per cent of
children don't play
every day and that 47 per cent of
their free time is spent indoors
plugged in to technology.
For many reasons, including
parents' fear of traffic and
strangers, the engagement of
many children with nature has
We should be concerned that this
will harm our children's health,
hamper their academic success
and leave them ill-prepared for
the opportunities and challenges
of a rapidly changing world.
By ensuring that our children and
grandchildren maintain their
connection with Central Otago's
landscapes, water and wildlife, we
provide for their wellbeing and
also ensure that future
generations will act to preserve
and protect their precious
Graye Shattky lives in the
landscape near St Bathans.
Rant or rave -- have your say
Water in many countries in the
world is owned by international
corporations which make a lot of
money controlling and selling it.
Auckland has a council-owned
business called Watercare. The
Government can quite easily
change the Local Government Act
to force councils to privatise their
water departments. If this
happens it is only a matter of time
until the Government forces the
sale of these. Thirty years ago
would we have thought that our
power generators and lines and
retailers would be sold off? Would
we have thought that our
Government would sell the BNZ or
our railway? The list goes on. The
reason for this is so the
Government can collect more
taxes then claim that the price
rises are out of their control. The
only way to stop our water going
the same way is by public
pressure. I m prepared to roll my
sleeves up Tony, what about you?
Stu Millis, Alexandra
Hear hear Mr Millis
The people of Alexandra in the
high finance wage bracket will pay
the water bill which is put in their
letterbox and will put the sprinkler
on no trouble, to have nice green
outside verges which the council
owns. Myself and others in the
lower bracket cannot afford to do
that because the benefit we
receive only enables us to meet
the budget within the two weeks
payment we receive. So no way
are we about to please the council.
I shall be watering inside my
property -- particularly the flower
bed. The answer to Mayor Tony
Lepper I think should have been
put into a more sustainable
paragraph for the community to
understand clearly. Good on Stu
Millis for a sensible paragraph.
Also, he has through the years
done fantastic work to help the
community. Let s keep up the
good views of our people.
Moairi Edge, Alexandra
Mayor Tony Lepper s reply to Stu
Millis letter in last week s Mirror
Tony said most ratepayers will pay
less for water this year than last
year. Yes, some will by opting to
not water the council-owned grass
verges and to minimise water
costs on their own sections.
Most will choose to save money on
their rates and if they can save
$100 a year then they will. That s
human nature. What this will mean
is Alexandra looking more like a
desert and council ratepayer
income for water being reduced
on an annual basis.
The council will soon realise this
and to balance their books on
water use they will do one of two
things: 1) Increase the current
annual fee for ratepayers; or 2)
Implement a set amount fee for
ratepayers as done in the past and
dispense with the current water
Geoff Jones, Alexandra
Thank you for the opportunity to
reply to these letters. Mr Millis
knows that I will not stand back
and let the Government privatise
and sell off water supplies. Since
taking office I have taken every
opportunity to let those in
Wellington know who I am and
what the people of Central Otago
think. I have already rolled up my
sleeves and told this Government
how it can make significant
improvements but thanks for the
offer of help. I agree with Moairi
and Geoff that some people will
choose to make further savings
now that we have given them the
choice. You are right, that is
human nature and many people do
struggle on fixed or low incomes.
During the debate on this issue
these views were well represented
and listened to. My point was that
if you used water wisely in the
past and continued to use it in the
same way in the future, you would
pay less. In the past, low water
users paid the same as high users.
We think the cost of water to the
average ratepayer will go down.
I also agree that community
debate is a good thing and some of
that needs to be directed to the
community boards who control
spending on water and the
watering of verges.
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