Let the children play – outdoors
Most of us who choose to live, work and play in Central Otago do so because we appreciate there is something special about the place. Sadly though, the pace and 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 than three 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 collapsed. 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 heritage.
Graye Shattky lives in the landscape near St Bathans.
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 amatter 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