Bag the bag
FROM PAGE 7 interference. It takes the political will of the government of the day and popular support to do so. If New Zealand can find a way to better manage its economic and political relationship with the PRC, it could become a model to other Western states.”
The topic of China’s expanding influence activities have rarely been raised publicly in New Zealand, so where is the popular support for the Far North District Council to be wading into cosy relationships with Chinese interests, especially with inward investment, and apparently with eyes wide shut?
The address by Consul-General Xu Erwen at the May Waitangi trade and investment forum included the statements: ”We care so much about how to bring more benefits and opportunities to this part of New Zealand, through winwin co-operations and communication between China and Northland.” And, “The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by President Xi Jinping five years ago, is also an important measure of China’s reform and opening up .This initiative is about to build up an important platform to practise building a community of shared future for mankind.”
On ‘win-win’ the China and the Age of Strategic Rivalry report is more sanguine, in asserting that beyond the propaganda campaign, the sleek videos and the polished diplomatic narrative, which project an image of “win-win co-operation” and goodwill for the broader region’s economic development, China’s real objectives are to enhance China’s own economic power by opening new markets for Chinese state-owned enterprises, broadening their global footprint and reducing China’s most pressing strategic vulnerabilities.
On the basis of the new report, the coterie of Far North councillors and staff who are pushing the China relationship might wish to reflect on their current advocacy, as if that turns into a bogey it will be at forgone opportunities more beneficial to the wider Far North community. ROSS FORBES
Kerikeri The story of a pilot whale dying because of a stomach full of 85 plastic bags is a sad reflection on a modern-day throw-away society.
The whale basically died of starvation, as it couldn’t consume any food with a clogged stomach — a situation that would be met with screams of condemnation if it had happened in any aquarium but has become little more than a newspaper space filler in this case.
The same situation occurs in many oceans and waterways — so polluted that you could almost walk over it but not swim in it. The provision of safe, clean water is a basic human right, although not always a reality.
Plastic is a wonder of science but its time as a common grocery bag must be stopped. All people must stop using them and legislators need to ban them — now.
It’s time to bag the plastic bag. DENNIS FITZGERALD