OPINION: We're getting some relief at the petrol pump – finally.
While most of us wince as the dollars rack up when we're filling up, at least there will be a few extra dollars in our pockets once we hang up the fuel nozzle.
At the moment, about 22 cents a litre has been wiped off the price over the past month or so, with service stations selling 91 octane for about $1.969 a litre. These are significant savings and will be welcomed by everyone who feels the pain of paying through the nose for an essential item.
The relief will most likely be temporary because of the driving factors behind fuel prices.
As a country, we have very little influence over the pricing of fuel and are at the whims of currency and commodity markets.
The price could just as easily rise quickly as it has dropped over the past few weeks.
It must be a nightmare to run a business that relies so heavily on fuel, especially when it comes to budgeting and charging clients.
New Zealand does produce some of its own petroleum, but we need to be doing more.
The reality is that alternative fuel sources, while improving, are in no position to replace petrol and diesel fuels in this country, or any, for that matter.
That area is making great progress, but we need to become less reliant on overseas imports and develop our own resources better.
This may fly in the face of what some environmentalists believe, but the transition from fossil fuels to newer technologies isn't going to be as quick as a baton change in a relay race.
It will be an incremental move towards solar, biofuel and other ideas that haven't even been thought of yet.
We also need to up our supply of fuels so we're not held to ransom to keep our country ticking along.
We'd all like to think we don't need the big oil suppliers, but we do.
Any moves to lessen that need should be explored before it's too late for our economy and ourselves.
ONE MORE THING...
It's a tough job running a school, but outgoing Palmerston North Boys' High rector Tim O'Connor has managed to do so for a decade and leaves behind him a legacy of excellence. Top school managers often have to make hard, sometimes unpopular, decisions for the welfare of their schools and it's an at-times thankless task to juggle all of the requirements. Mr O'Connor's appointment to lead Auckland Grammar is a real achievement and honour for any educator and he deserves plenty of thanks for his service to his school and the community.
- Manawatu Standard
If you had a choice, which would you prefer on Christmas day?Related story: Sun takes a Christmas holiday