Let the chil­dren play – out­doors

Central Otago Mirror - - CENTRAL FEATURES -

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 de­bate

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.