Otago Daily Times
Looking for fair solution to fixing Aurora mistakes
THE customers of a power company are not transformers and poles. They are people, and fairness to these people is paramount.
On this basis, ‘‘user pays’’ requires that new customers pay for the costs they impose on a system. However, neglect of maintenance is not imposed by the customers. In our case, it is the fault of Aurora.
In an ideal world, fairness to customers would require that neglect be shared around so that it affected each customer equally — not lumped in a way that is going to cause greater stress for some customers. Obviously it doesn’t, and hasn’t, worked this way.
Aurora, then, has to raise money to correct its mistakes. Firstly, it could obtain funds from the owners of Aurora — where the buck stops. Secondly, it can increase charges to all customers equally. To do otherwise would be like a council charging the fixing of a neglected pothole to the adjacent house.
There is talk of the raised costs including new assets. It then has to be clear just what is new, why it is new, what customers require the new, and that it is not the replacement of a wornout old.
IT has become apparent that the public appetite for hard results on cannabis has diminished during the referendum period.
Strong support for reform, although not crossing the line, has shown police that there are other ways to spend precious taxpayer money.
The decision by the police to axe their national cannabis operations, without political interference, points to the growing awareness that cannabis should be approached in a health manner and that current tactics in the war on drugs are failing.
For 20 years, governments have spent money on operations that have diverted police resources away from frontline operations, and that have been ineffective in stopping the supply of a socially acceptable drug like alcohol and tobacco. I look forward to seeing the evolution of policing cannabis in a postreferendum environment.