Sunday, November 13, 2011

New Zealand General Election November 2011

This letter was published in an abridged form in the New Zealand Herald November 14 2011.
There are issues that sit under the election radar which have not attracted the media attention they should. They relate to bio security and the management of three recent major disasters; the Christchurch Earthquake, the Pyke River Mining Tragedy and The shipwrecked Rena. These issues have all been raised at election meetings and forums with little reporting. Politicians have largely avoided questions regarding to these issues by referencing commissions of inquiry or refusing to comment.

How well prepared are we to respond to another emergency? This is a legitimate public concern.

The management of our recent disasters indicates a loss of institutional knowledge and infrastructure. Does this mean that our major export industries, agriculture, aquaculture and tourism, are also vulnerable? Daily we get news of a worsening global economic situation. Do we still control what we can by maintaining our existing knowledge and improving our reduced infrastructure? Our valuable exports are all at risk if we don’t have the capacity to respond quickly if another disaster were to strike. All people want to know is what steps being taken to rebuild capacity and are things getting better.

Piece of mind is a wonderful thing.