The Press - - Operspective -

ECan re­form

ECan chair­man Steve Lown­des (an elected mem­ber, not one of Nick Smith’s orig­i­nal com­mis­sioner goon squad like his de­parted pre­de­ces­sor) is prob­a­bly cor­rect in say­ing that an elected ECan be­fore 2019 is un­likely, given the need for prepa­ra­tions such as the draw­ing of con­stituency bound­aries and the req­ui­site as­so­ci­ated public con­sul­ta­tion.

But in the in­terim the Gov­ern­ment can still act to start dis­man­tling the re­gional dic­ta­tor­ship im­posed in 2010. In par­tic­u­lar, it can – and in this writer’s view it should – re­peal the leg­isla­tive pro­vi­sion whereby ECan de­ci­sions can­not be ap­pealed to the En­vi­ron­ment Court on en­vi­ron­men­tal grounds but only to the High Court on points of law.

Se­condly, if the Gov­ern­ment opts to re­place com­mis­sioner Bed­ford (and there is a case for not do­ing so), it has an op­por­tu­nity to make an ap­point­ment that will re­flect a greater em­pha­sis on en­vi­ron­men­tal values than ECan has shown since 2010.

Peter Tuf­fley


Mona Vale fails

On Novem­ber 13, I went with a friend and a Ja­panese vis­i­tor to Mona Vale hop­ing to en­joy a clas­sic Christchurch ex­pe­ri­ence of tea on the lawn by the river. We ar­rived at 3.55pm and were greeted by a sign say­ing: ‘‘Sum­mer Hours, Mon­day - Fri­day, 9am - Late Af­ter­noon’’. We tried to or­der tea and cakes but were told that the kitchen closed at 3pm and that noth­ing was avail­able.

Since when has 3pm been ‘‘late af­ter­noon’’? Christchurch pro­motes it­self as a tourist des­ti­na­tion but on this oc­ca­sion Mona Vale fell well short of any ac­cept­able def­i­ni­tion of ‘‘pro­vid­ing ser­vice to tourists’’.

Roger Clark


Teacher re­spect

A school prin­ci­pal says that the rea­son teach­ers are leav­ing is that they need higher pay and less work (don’t we all). She missed out longer hol­i­days. No, I think the rea­son they only last a short time is the kids they have to teach. Too many of them are undis­ci­plined, rude and lack­ing in parental guid­ance.

Also in some cases, if the teach­ers pre­sented them­selves a lit­tle bet­ter then per­haps they would get the re­spect we used to ac­cord our teach­ers, but that’s the old days.

R Lu­cas


Free trade farce

Was Chris Trot­ter (Nov 11) im­ply­ing that we shouldn’t have de­clared our na­tion nu­clear-free? He gave the im­pres­sion that we are a tiny, help­less coun­try that must con­cur with the world’s pow­er­ful sec­tors. The ar­ti­cle makes the ex­tra­or­di­nary pre­dic­tion that ‘‘if we say no to the TPP we will drift un­der the in­flu­ence of China and Rus­sia’’. How would a de­ci­sion to pro­tect our sovereignty, in­crease the op­por­tu­ni­ties for lo­cal busi­nesses and man­u­fac­tur­ing, pro­tect work­ers’ rights and en­sure that Phar­mac is in con­trol of our medicines cause our help­less ‘‘drift’’?

Two ma­jor prob­lems that haven’t re­ceived much at­ten­tion about ‘‘free’’ trade deals are: The need for rec­i­proc­ity and the lack of con­trol over the health and safety of the providers of the goods. Pro­mot­ers of the TPP and many in the me­dia seem to im­ply that trade didn’t ex­ist prior to the rel­a­tively re­cent ‘‘free-trade’’ deals.

Marie Ven­ning


Pay­ing the price

In re­ply to Keith Moyes’ letter last

week about famers price goug­ing and the knock on ef­fects. Harry Tru­man (for­mer US Pres­i­dent) com­mented that farm­ers are the only busi­nesses that buy re­tail, sell whole­sale and pay the freight both ways. Saudi Ara­bia has cho­sen not to tax fuel be­cause their gov­ern­ment roy­al­ties on oil are enough for their fi­nance depart­ment to run the coun­try. We are not in this po­si­tion, but­ter is not taxed in new Zealand ex­cept for GST. Farm­ers are price tak­ers and not price set­ters, these are set

fur­ther down the sup­ply chain.

I would sug­gest that Mr Moyes looks at the price farm­ers re­ceive and the price charged in his lo­cal su­per­mar­ket/dairy for milk or bread. I think he will find that farm­ers re­ceive only a small pro­por­tion of the fi­nal price after pro­cess­ing, dis­tri­bu­tion and re­tail mar­gin. That some prod­ucts are sold as ‘‘loss lead­ers’’ is not a farmer is­sue.

Michael Salvesen Pres­i­dent, Fed­er­ated Farm­ers Mid Canterbury

"Farm­ers are price tak­ers and not price set­ters, these are set fur­ther down the sup­ply chain."

Michael Salvesen, Fed­er­ated Farm­ers

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