Easter elbows way into holiday season
My prediction of two months ago has materialised. Before the end of January, shops were selling ‘‘Easter’’ eggs and hot cross buns. And Easter is late this year – April 20.
So we are faced with three months of Easter fare before it even comes into season.
New Zealand society generally prides itself on its secular nature.
Woe betide anyone who advances religious reasons for or against an issue, for instance.
And while we have always observed such Christian festivals as Christmas and Easter, more and more they are being eroded by the urge to render them no different to any other days.
Let the shops be open every day, regardless. Don’t allow any acknowledgement of the origins of these festivals. Let’s have advertisements on the television every day of the year, instead of getting 21⁄ days off each 52 weeks.
If the advocates of such thinking prevail, we might as well not have a holiday, but just keep on working.
So why label the chocolate eggs and spicy buns on sale at the moment ‘‘ Easter’’ eggs, and ‘‘hot cross’’ buns?
Chocolate eggs are chocolate eggs, no matter what season they are sold. You can make spicy buns, minus the crosses, any time of year.
Are the labels just to enable the vendors to put a premium on the price?
Last month I reminded readers this is election year.
But another issue is likely to take our attention before that – the decision of the Local Government Commission about local government arrangements in the Wellington region.
How will they vote? I hear Hawkes Bay is facing a similar situation and many there are vehemently against regional amalgamation.
In our area, however, it seems that the future of our local government structure doesn’t even engage many of us.
The turnout at the meetings last year was low. Maybe it’s time to start really thinking about the implications of various options.
What scares me are the capital projects being considered by Wellington City Council.
Wellington seems to want to be top dog and have the reins of power and most of the funding.
Given the millions of dollars such schemes will require, is Wellington alone prepared to carry the debt? Or is it banking on the fact that the Government seems to like the prospect of a Wellington super-city?
The other issue that engages most home-owners is the size of our rates.
For too long, the assessment of rates has been tied to Quotable NZ’s fictitious property valuations.
When I read of the huge rises in house prices over the country, I think the local bodies must be rubbing their hands with glee at the thought of the increased rates take.
It’s surely time for a change in the way our rates are assessed.
To this end, we have invited Mike Reid, principal policy adviser to Local Government NZ, to address us.
He spoke to our Grey Power zone meeting last year and was very enlightening on various options of rating that would reduce the burden on property owners.
He is worth hearing, so come along – and bring a friend.