RUBBISH bag and recycling collection is up for discussion and we are again told the council is "considering" surveying the "community" on this subject.

If the council were to follow the community's views — and, historically, their record on this is poor — there are issues that need consideration before we give our views, as some carefully crafted statements have been made by those interested in establishing a ratepayer-funded recycling collection.

These I view as attempts to fudge the difference between the existing user-paid rubbish collection and the proposed ratepayer-paid recycling collection. Rubbish collection is an essential council core activity; a recycling collection is not.

Further, not all our "community" are ratepayers. Central government offices, renters, tourists and visitors pay no rates, and a ratepayer-paid recycling collection used by these non-ratepayer "community" members would be fully paid for by ratepayers.


Accordingly, any new activity undertaken by the council must be at the lowest possible cost for the ratepayers who receive the service and at a full cost recovery from non-ratepayers who may use it.

I specifically mention "ratepayers who are to receive the service that was also never available.

Finally, it was only three months ago that the Chronicle reported the council's intention of a "household survey to test support" for rubbish and recycling collection which would have only the council-preferred option. As I said at the time, a survey containing only a "preferred option" is not a survey. It is a "take it or leave it" ultimatum, similar to Henry Ford's 1909 model T offer: "You can have any colour as long as it is black."

If the council does carry out the "survey" I hope it is not an ultimatum of "you can have any choice as long as it is this one."


Smell the coffee

Winston Peters tells the nurses: "That's the best we can do" — yet he can spend billions on new planes and donations but not on our nurses.

Shame on you, Winston; smell the coffee, Mr Peters.

Foxton Beach

Sharing the wealth

In a way, you could say that whenever Labour and, in this case, two other parties with a social conscience are voted into power, all hell lets loose.

Perhaps it's because they listen to the disenfranchised, tend to respect fellow humans and still have a sense of what is fair.

Teachers, Government employees and nurses are threatening strike action if their cries for decent remuneration and conditions are not adequately met. And then there is the case for all workers to earn a living wage, graphically illustrated by a recent Sunday programme on TVNZ where those interviewed were earning the minimum wage of $16.75 per hour and spending a lot of it on rent.

Most teachers and nurses earn more than the living wage $20.55 per hour, but the hours they work and the responsibilities they shoulder merit much more.

And then we look at the gross salaries of some CEOs and senior managers who earn many millions per annum.

How can that be realistic, and is their work as vital as nursing people back into health or teaching our future generations?

When will we New Zealanders (many of us pride ourselves on being community-minded with a sense of fairness) get a grip on what it means to really share and be equal?
I'd say it's the fat-cat salary earners who need a metaphorical stomach stapling and a change of mindset.

Let's see private enterprise lead by example instead of leaving it all up to the Government.

Bastia Hill

Prescription costs

I read with interest — and some emotion — the doctors' concerns about people not getting their prescribed medicine.

However I feel they have omitted one vital issue — have their patients the money to get their prescriptions?

As a budget adviser for many years, I get upset when I find a prescription hasn't been collected due to no money. This is my "pet hate" and so I try to assist them.

Most of the time they are reluctant to accept my help, but are very grateful.

Recently I talked to a group of Otago students doing their doctor studies and I said: "You have done an amazing job as a doctor but perhaps remember your patients may not be able to get their medications." They admitted they hadn't given this any thought.

Some readers may say people spend their money in the wrong way — is there a right or wrong way? Please don't judge others until you have walked in their shoes.


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