How local is local?
Russell Bell (April 22) urges us to "buy local" and so we should. As he says, we should "support the businesses which provide goods, services and employment and make our collective lives better".
Being responsible consumers is a good start. But how local, or at least New Zealand-wide, are our businesses when it comes to their own sources of supply? What economists call their "derived demand".
Can we expect bakeries to always use local eggs, supermarkets to stock only Kiwi-grown frozen peas, butcheries to avoid any imported meat? I was shocked to learn from recent correspondence with NZ Pork that over 60 per cent of pork products retailed here is from overseas. However, requests to Government for country-of-origin labelling is consistently refused.
But how local is local? Can we expect for our businesses to bank local – with New Zealand-owned banks? Our district council too? Time for our councillors to set an example by demanding from Parliament the right to borrow local - from our own Reserve Bank, instead of from the foreign-controlled debt markets.
With no interest to pay on borrowings, rates could come down. Result? More to spend locally. Very good, indeed, for our local economy.
HEATHER MARION SMITH
Chair link to Nelson
It's unclear as to why Whanganui Regional Museum archivist Sandi Black chose to highlight Horatio Nelson (Chronicle, April 20).
She mentioned the ubiquity of his memorialised name, and of course we have our own Trafalgar Square. Or perhaps the two prints accompanying the article are held by the museum, but it doesn't say.
But she could have mentioned a much closer connection tucked away somewhere in the museum as we speak.
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It is a chair carved from the timbers of HMS Temeraire, which played a major part in the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar where Vice-Admiral Nelson met his end.
In 1838 the ship was retired to John Beatson's breaking yard on the Thames, who subsequently fashioned a dozen fine chairs from some of its sturdy oak timbers.
Two of the chairs passed to John's brother, William, who later emigrated to New Zealand. One of William's daughters later married Samuel Drew, founder of our museum and present resting place for one of those original chairs.
No doubt a hotshot modern forensic scientist could extract from the chair a whiff of the same cannon smoke that swirled around Nelson's ears as he outmanoeuvred the French and Spanish in his most famous victory.
I write regarding Anzac Day and the magnificent Durie Hill War Memorial Tower which has the tribute plaque honouring the 513 people from Whanganui and district who sacrificed their lives in WWI.
This tower is such a symbol of significance and I will always remember proudly running up its many stairs either for training or for Masters Games events.
It is a tower that stands tall, like we all will do on Anzac morning throughout New Zealand to show respect to all those humble heroes who bravely served their country.
(Whanganui is the first special place that I proudly wore my father's WWII medals on Anzac Day in 2008.)
WENDY JOY BAKER