Truth eludes coun­cil ad

South Waikato News - - OPINION -

I can’t be­lieve this coun­cil is mov­ing to its next step in medi­ocrity with the pro­posed clean air by­law.

It takes out a full page ad with an emo­tive cap­tion and an ar­ti­cle full of un-truths.

Dirty and smoky air is not caused by old fires, only by how we main­tain them and by what we burn in them.

We (here in Pu­taruru) have an old Fisher fire, re-bricked about three years ago and fit­ted with a new 10mm thick baf­fle plate. I es­ti­mate the Fisher is about 40 years old and will last an­other 40.

In­ci­den­tally a friend of ours had a new ‘‘clean-burn­ing’’ fire­place in­stalled a few month ago and his baf­fle plate is al­ready warped. So how clean burn­ing is it now?

I chal­lenge any­body from the coun­cil to take emis­sion mea­sure­ments for our fire and see how much dif­fer­ence it re­ally makes.

If all the old fires were re­placed at once with clean burn­ing ones, there would still be pol­lu­tion. It would only drop by a few per­cent­age points.

Yes, they can be re­placed by heat pumps but they run at a far higher cost than gen­er­ally as­sumed. We heat our 115sqm house com­fort­ably and also fire up a chip heater most morn­ings for a cou­ple of hours. Our power bill is about $80 a month. Neigh­bours with a sim­i­lar sized house of sim­i­lar age have a heat pump only and a power bill of about $300 a month. I have heard of far higher ones.

Isn’t it far bet­ter to put up with a few nights of ex­cess emis­sions than with scores of fam­i­lies who can’t af­ford to heat their house?

It is about time this coun­cil worked for the peo­ple who elected it, in­stead of against by tak­ing away one of the few op­por­tu­ni­ties peo­ple have to im­prove things for them­selves.

Fur­ther­more, the coun­cil in this ad fails to ex­plain why any busi­ness would be ham­pered or put off by the ‘‘sta­tus quo’’.

Lastly, this is a prob­lem that slowly will solve it­self, as any fire to be re­placed has to com­ply with the new stan­dards. H Vullings

Pu­taruru grat­i­tude of Arthri­tis New Zealand to the many vol­un­teers, mem­bers, busi­nesses and donors who con­trib­uted to the suc­cess of our re­cent an­nual ap­peal. Your do­na­tions will help us sup­port the 530,000 New Zealan­ders who are liv­ing with arthri­tis.

While Arthri­tis New Zealand is a na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tion, we continue to pro­vide sem­i­nars and clin­ics in com­mu­ni­ties throughout New Zealand. Ad­vice is also avail­able dur­ing busi­ness hours on our toll free line: 0800 663 463.

Do­na­tions are still be­ing counted, so at the time of writ­ing, the to­tal is not avail­able. While our street col­lec­tion has fin­ished, you can still sup­port our work with a $20 do­na­tion by phon­ing 0900 333 20, or you can do­nate through our web­site: www.arth ri­tis.org.nz.

San­dra Kirby Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Arthri­tis New Zealand

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