“It’s too expensive.” “It’s too fast.” “There’s nothing in it for business.” Bah humbug, Murray!
Here’s the reality …
1. Not unhealthy enough? To get a full sense of the full health impact of poorly heated homes with dirty air, read Elizabeth Sisson’s article elsewhere in this Digest. Forget the fact that poor people are sick, Murray … think about the lost worker productivity, as described by the Business Council for Sustainable Development. Broaden your cost-benefit perspective!
2. Too fast? As Murray noted, the new air standard was promulgated back in 2004. HBRC has sat on its hands till late in the game, now complaining it needs more time. Meanwhile, 30 of 39 regional councils in NZ are on track to fully comply by the 2013 deadline. HBRC’s stance, not becoming of you, Murray, is “let them stay sick seven extra years.”
3. Too expensive? Think of it as a business opportunity, Murray … an $11 million infrastructure investment. How many jobs would be created and sustained by manufacturing the required higher efficiency woodburners (as you know, Murray, the leading manufacturers are right here in Hawke’s Bay), or solar heating systems, or heat pumps, and then installing them. Plus insulating the homes. Probably employ more craftsmen this way than spending $11 million on roadbuilding. I can think of plenty of things in our Councils’ budgets that I’d rather NOT spend money on than improving the health of our poorest residents.
4. More expensive energy? Even the National-led Government is committed to getting 90% of our electricity from renewable sources, Murray. And if we insulate the homes properly, we can keep consumption levels down. We should happily trade clean electricity for unhealthy air.
Just take a deep breathe, Murray!