Great letter from Geoff Vause ('Big challenge, big vision, small bites', Northland Age February 7), although I struggle with flying fresh organic Hokianga produce to the markets of Europe and the US, an idea that's contra-indicated when one is also talking lower emissions, sustainability and 'eat locally' farmers' market or grow-your-own food.
Certainly organic horticulture, but why not supply the local, district, regional and national markets first, and add value before exporting second?
The fresh thinking nowadays is about lessening our reliance on export markets and overseas investment. About making it happen here to benefit everyone who calls here home.'
My plan B (PLant A Native Biofuel) scheme to manufacture biofuel from noxious exotic vegetation and pestilent weeds harvested while rehabilitating road reserve and private land could become a sustainable local industry for nearly every town in the Far North, Northland and Aotearoa New Zealand — selling biofuel, firewood and other products — to improve and beautify the environment and strengthen self-sufficiency in local economies while also creating employment, skills training and career pathways.
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True regional development.
Many other people will have visionary ideas too, ones which are not about planting more export pine trees, growing an already saturated honey-producer market or attracting more tourists.
Every "small bite" helps. The Provincial Growth Fund should be soliciting ideas from the general public as well as vested interest groups and, most importantly, incubating the best such ideas and nurturing them to fruition, especially in neglected provincial communities.