Letters : Balance needed

Balance needed

Colin King's reply to Alison Parr [letters, Express, October 10] gives rise to concern.

He makes the case for economic development over sustainable environmental considerations.

A visiting United States professor, an international expert on the effects of demographic growth on the natural resources of countries, reminded us on National Radio that, "wherever man has set foot on a land, he has set about using and altering its natural resources".

He stated New Zealand might just sustain a population of 5 million people. Above that "you will alter your country beyond recognition".

He stated "economic growth" was an artificial concept devised by economists. The correct concept was "sustainable growth" - sustainable for 50, 100 or 200 years. Thus, we are the guardians of our future.

The problem is that the degradation is slow and incremental. The decision-makers at any one time only look back so far. Those of us who have lived for more than three-quarters of a century, however, know what New Zealand was like in our youth. As a boy living on Forsyth Island, I knew what abundance of fish there was in our seas, but no longer. The bays of Forsyth area, then uncluttered, are now filled by mussel farms.

We well know the effects of the dairy-industry explosion on our land and rivers, the downsides of forestry, of wilding pine proliferation - and so the story goes on.

There is a balance to be had.

The same professor said all major civilisations that have failed have done so through the over-exploitation of their natural resources. Perhaps it is a long bow for New Zealand, but we have one foot on that ladder.



Theatre cost

I hear Auckland is building a new 600-seat theatre. Blenheim, which is not even the size or population of some Auckland suburbs, is also going for a 600-seat theatre.

The cost of the Auckland theatre amazes me - $35 million. Is the theatre trust here sure they haven't got the price of Blenheim Theatre wrong? Is there something missing? Ours is not half the price.

One thing in Auckland, if it goes belly up, they have Prime Minister John Key and Mayor Len Brown to pull them up. We have only Colin King and Alistair Sowman - hardly a fair comparison.

OK, sorry, we also have the ratepayers.



Our problem

Child abuse has always been unacceptable in communities unless it becomes an art form.

Media have worked diligently to make it an art form. They have succeeded with violence generally.

Industry-backed media, cinema and TV management have engineered the acceptance of cruelty and violence to such an art form that the public has become so saturated with blood, guts and totally degrading acted, manufactured and recorded real violence that many of our youth find it OK to buy into copycat violent activities.

We champion war and war heroes, award gongs to the super successful greedies and salary increases of obscene amounts to CEOs doing mediocre jobs.

Is it any wonder those less able, those poor and those whose amusement is violence on the screen are inured and accept that abuse is OK?

We are all our children's, brothers' and sisters' keepers. Abuse of all children is our problem.

Agencies need to be restricted to dealings with financial support, medical educational and such like. They need, through community action, to be made largely redundant.

We adults need to stop blaming others and ask, "Where was I when this was going on? How may I have helped prevent it? From here on, how may my involvement be more positive?"

Punishment is rarely the answer. A listening ear, shoulder to cry on and supporting words can do wonders and with young families, young mothers and single-parent families, will go a long way to fixing this degrading problem.



The Marlborough Express