Best of life hap­pens in the en­vi­ron­ment

The Timaru Herald - - COMMENT&OPINION -

Elec­tion time al­ways leaves me dis­ap­pointed and dis­cour­aged. Too much bick­er­ing and strate­gic moves like it’s a board game.

Where’s the fo­cus on the en­vi­ron­ment? Tax rates don’t worry me, that’s the Gov­ern­ment’s in­come to do its work. I’m more con­cerned about how it spends that money. Will it ben­e­fit me, my neigh­bour, pro­tect the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment long-term?

I don’t think about tax ev­ery day, I do think about the en­vi­ron­ment ev­ery day.

It’s more than wa­ter qual­ity. What about plas­tic pol­lu­tion, air pol­lu­tion, na­tive forests, birds and an­i­mals, ocean and sea life, over-fish­ing, oil rigs, oil ex­plo­ration that deaf­ens whales, coal mines, fracking, re­vers­ing cli­mate change trends, cli­mate change ef­fects, sea level rise and big­ger storms, are we ready?

Maybe I shouldn’t ex­pect any of this from the Gov­ern­ment? We can do this our­selves, right?

I spent my child­hood think­ing be up­graded in sim­i­lar fash­ion to meet their re­quired spec­i­fi­ca­tion then that is all that is re­quired. Af­ter all, is ECan go­ing to come and retest my burner? I think not!

The man­u­fac­turer guar­an­tees log burner spares for 15 years af­ter the last date of man­u­fac­ture. Hav­ing such spares avail­able could con­ceiv­ably ex­tend the burner’s life to a max­i­mum of 30 years. As long as those ap­proved spares are used, the burner’s in­tegrity will be kept. So where does the ECan 15-year ex­piry date fit now?

The ECan test­ing regime must have in­cluded the burning du­ra­tion to meet the orig­i­nal ap­proval. Can ECan please ex­plain how the man­u­fac­turer can claim the Macken­zie R10000 burner (26.4kw) has a burn time of 12 hours (us­ing clean, dry wood) yet all that can be re­alised is three hours or so? Why the huge dif­fer­ence?

I re­main very sus­pi­cious of ECan’s test­ing - en­lighten me please. peo­ple do peo­ple things and money came from the bank. As a young adult I learned that the world was driven by com­merce. Now I think

I look for­ward to some an­swers and look for­ward to hear­ing the Min­is­ter of En­vi­ron­ment’s con­tri­bu­tion at the pub­lic meet­ing 19th Septem­ber 2017 at the Ti­maru RSA, 10am. Ron Heney Ti­maru En­vi­ron­ment Can­ter­bury di­rec­tor of air qual­ity Kather­ine Trought re­sponds:

Com­po­nents of a wood­burner can cer­tainly be fixed or re­placed if they are bro­ken. How­ever, this will not ex­tend the over­all life­span of the wood­burner. If the burner is more than 15 years old it can­not be used. This is be­cause re­plac­ing parts of ex­ist­ing wood­burn­ers does not help the com­mu­nity move to­wards cleaner-burning tech­nol­ogy, such as ul­tra-low emis­sion burn­ers.

Ti­maru’s win­ter air pol­lu­tion is im­prov­ing but we still have a long way to go to meet na­tional stan­dards and this will in­volve a my younger opin­ion was bet­ter.

We’re be­com­ing a na­tion that’s more self-in­ter­ested and less com­mu­nity-minded. We spend too much time try­ing to make more money and spend more money.

Big­ger houses, wider TVs, taller fences, longer com­mutes, newer phones, stuff the sell­ers con­vince us we ab­so­lutely must have.

I think we need to spend more time get­ting to know our neigh­bours and act­ing like gre­gar­i­ous hu­mans. Like do­ing stuff to­gether, look­ing af­ter one an­other, eat­ing to­gether, shar­ing tools, toys and back­yard pro­duce.

Spend time see­ing our amaz­ing coun­try­side. Do stuff that needs to be done like vol­un­teer for am­bu­lance ser­vices, civil de­fence, fire­fight­ing and rais­ing good kids or car­ing for el­derly and sick peo­ple. This is where life hap­pens. We only have one life – make it a legacy not a bank bal­ance. Ti­maru com­bi­na­tion of bet­ter tech­nol­ogy and burning tech­niques. We will con­tinue to sup­port both ap­proaches to reach our goal of healthy air for ev­ery­one in Ti­maru. The stan­dards and process for wood­burner test­ing are set out in the Na­tional En­vi­ron­men­tal Stan­dards for Air Qual­ity and avail­able from the Min­istry for the En­vi­ron­ment. Tech­ni­cal ques­tions re­lat­ing to wood­burner use are best di­rected to the New Zealand Home Heat­ing As­so­ci­a­tion. Ques­tions re­lat­ing to the man­u­fac­tur­ing process are best di­rected to the man­u­fac­turer or sup­plier.

Our spe­cialised staff can help one-on-one if wood­burner users are hav­ing prob­lems with their burning tech­nique. Many fac­tors, in­clud­ing wood type, dry­ness and how and when wood is added, play a role. con­tains valu­able in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing how to ap­ply for a fi­nan­cial sub­sidy for up­grad­ing to a low-emis­sion burner be­fore Oc­to­ber 31, 2017.

Rid­ers en­joy South Can­ter­bury’s open spa­ces. Cor­re­spon­dent Kirsten Wil­son urges read­ers to en­joy the coun­try­side.

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