The March 13 edition of the Bay of Plenty Times highlights the paradox of climate change.
Page two features presentations by top property developers arguing for greater access to greenfield sites, most of which are quite distant from the city. Such housing is very expensive to service and support and promotes the automobile culture that clogs our motorways.
There seems to be little interest in more efficient in-fill housing, nor concern about the long-term sustainability of the developments, especially their impact on climate change.
In contrast, on page 12, the paper celebrates James Renwick, one of our notable climate scientists, winning an award for science communication.
His major frustration was the difficulty in getting issues of climate change to our decision makers, especially our politicians.
Perhaps we need to introduce James Renwick to our developers. (Abridged)
Elms and cultural heritage
The Elms Foundation owns and operates The Elms Te Papa Tauranga as an essential part of New Zealand's national cultural heritage being one of New Zealand"s oldest heritage sites.
Home to significant collections and category one listed heritage buildings, this tranquil setting is visited by thousands of people each year and remains at the centre of Tauranga's identity.
It was originally purchased from local iwi by Rev Brown in the 1830s. In other words, it has a history which has reflected Māori and European lifestyles since the formation of the Church Mission Society.
The new pavilion will enable more iwi input to this historical site and is an entrance welcomed by the Elms Foundation who, however, now apparently remain in limbo on its future.
The latest purchase in 2012 was funded by the Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust's $790,000, the Tauranga City Council's $400,000 and The Elms' $100,000. It meant The Elms had secured nearly all its boundary from the threat of commercial developments.
Why would the council give away land it has purchased (with ratepayer money) for the future development of The Elms and then agree to pay a rental?
Not only is this letting down the foundation and the residents of Tauranga but is providing the possibility of yet another future commercial enterprise and certainly yet another controlling input under Treaty auspices. The council should now complete its ownership transfer for the purpose it was intended.
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