In 1983 I first proposed that the country should adopt a ‘‘clean and green’’ image for the multiple value benefits – to the economy, ecology, ethics and aesthetics, which would accrue to the nation, particularly were it true.
That was in discussions with then-Minister for the Environment Dr Ian Shearer. He knew what the total or holistic environment is all about. Even then we were talking of climate change and the need for a precautionary scientific approach to ensuring New Zealand’s future.
The ‘‘clean and green’’ expression took 10 years of market theory madness before it emerged out in the public domain, curiously under a National government again, with Simon Upton as minister – who turned it into the mistruth it is today.
In an attempt to get real meaning back into being clean and green, and with a deep aversion to most politicians at any level, I turn my eye towards some current local body issues.
Firstly, it is great to see Gary Simpson back replacing Roger Blakeley as PCC’s chief executive. At least Gary is imbued with the philosophy and history of why we have passive parks and the need for more given population increases, more entering the older aged bracket, and the need to concern ourselves with both ecological health and social welfare.
All of which can be achieved if tackled holistically but we have few candidates, if any, who might measure up.
Any candidate for local body elections who has signalled changing Aotea Lagoon into an aerial skate park should not be voted for.
Secondly, any candidate who does not recognise the value to Porirua of the proposal for the National Co-ordinative Centre for the National Arboretum to be located here in Porirua needs their head read. That proposal has been around for 25 years now and the concept is well-developed.
Do not pretend you do not know about it, Jenny Brash. Your Transmission Gully fixation and constant manipulation of facts to suit yourself has become very wearying. Transmission Gully goes right through the best site and is on a historical liquefaction area said to have experienced the greatest uplift, of more than three metres, in the 1855 earthquake. Those candidates who supported the gully route should not be voted for.
Thirdly, any political candidate who thinks they can trade off Pukerua Bay and its future, as they have done in the past, by saying that they did not know about this new by-pass option or make an excuse about not knowing the expressway’s actual route, how cheap it could be, and the multiple value benefits for Pukerua and Porirua, including saving Muri Station, should not be voted for.
Finally, could candidates let us all know how much Porirua ratepayers have to cough out in the future for maintaining Centennial Highway as a scenic local road when Transmission Gully goes through? Presently we are overloaded with political disingenuousness.
Having scrutinised past voting patterns, utterings and junk mail blurbs across this limited spectrum of issues I have not yet found anyone to vote for. – DR TONY JACKMAN,
Pukerua Bay. (Letter abridged)