CHRIS PERLEY

The Hastings Mail - - FRONT PAGE -

Green Party can­di­date

The time has passed when we treat things in si­los and fo­cus on symp­toms while the root causes are ig­nored.

Our chal­lenges are all re­lated, and we have to get to the root. We need a vi­sion for the fu­ture of Hawke’s Bay that does ex­actly that.

Our so­cial crises in hous­ing, home­less­ness, poverty, child mor­tal­ity, inequal­ity and low wages are di­rectly linked to our eco­nomic ap­proach that fo­cuses on cheap wages, and the bulk pro­duc­tion of low-value com­modi­ties based on treat­ing land and wa­ter as cheap ‘‘re­sources’’ to take and pol­lute, for the ben­e­fit of a few.

Those so­cial prob­lems lead to a poorer lo­cal econ­omy as tal­ent is sup­pressed, an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iour is en­cour­aged, more costs to health and crime are cre­ated, and less money flows around our lo­cal econ­omy.

The very same fo­cus that de­grades our land and wa­ter re­duces our eco­nomic op­tions, forc­ing us to pro­duce com­modi­ties whose prices con­tinue to fall; the op­po­site of the high­value en­ter­prises we need to en­cour­age. The so­lu­tions are sim­ple. Re­fo­cus on build­ing value in our land­scapes, and in our peo­ple and our com­mer­cial en­ter­prises will pros­per. Each feeds the other. I will con­tinue to work to­ward that change.

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