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Worzels World - Following the money

 

The Kaipara District is, in global terms, extremely wealthy. This small population possesses greater resources and easier access to them than any similar sized group in the world.

Real wealth depends in its entirety on fresh water and sunshine. Large amounts of both, coupled with sustainable land management practises, equals life and prosperity. The absence of one or more of these brings famine, starvation and death. In the world today there is no shortage of starvation and death but there is a shortage of such things as milk, meat, fruit, vegetables, and timber – essential ingredients for a warm, dry, well fed existence. The very stuff we have in abundance here. So what happens to the great wealth of the Kaipara?

The fat of the Kaipara land is shipped far and wide to the very ends of the earth. And what do we get in return for supplying the world with its most essential needs? And how do we spend the wealth that this land generates? Where does the money go? I cannot know the full answer unless each reader contacts me with their own list, but I can name a few. Taking 37 percent off the top is Central Government and the monstrous public service that pass laws preventing me from buying fish from local fisherman, mutton from local farmers, or a quart of fresh milk from a neighbours vat. We also purchase stuff manufactured in China, oranges from Australia and Californian grapes, professional services, contractors and consultants are invariably sourced from outside the district. There are legions milking the Kaipara cow who supply little or no goods or services of any real value.

While attending recent court hearings I considered the cost of words legal. They say that talk is cheap but this maxim falls flat, face down, at the courthouse door. During a boring passage, of which there are many, I occupied my mind by calculating the number of pigs a man would have to rear to pay for the day’s legal representatives to ply their courtroom craft. The numbers were staggering. At current market rates the cost of a day’s argument in a courtroom costs in access of 20,000 weaner pigs.

Those in the lower socio-economic group, which is most of us, can often be heard complaining about the high price of food. By comparison though food is ridiculously cheap. The analogy need not stop with pork roasts and barristers. It costs more than 150 prime head of beef cattle to keep the humblest back bench MP seated in Parliament. Yet we hear of children attending school without breakfast. If any fisherman, on a cold and stormy night at sea, has calculated how many tons of snapper it costs to pay the salary of a MAF inspector he has not told me the results. But I can tell you that a minor public service or council employee comes in at around 3,800 cubic meters of firewood per annum. Cut and dried, and none of your rubbish pine either. Yet I am told there are pensioners who cannot afford heating? No ruthless medieval Baron ever squeezed a tenth as much from his peasants.

Yep, we sure get a lot of unnecessary rubbish in return for our production of valuable, essential, goods and services. In so many ways our wealth is siphoned off and yet we are told we must pay global prices for goods produced by our friends and neighbours. Is this a good deal? Can we re-negotiate?

New Zealanders have been increasingly subjected to ever more intrusive and costly legislation. A veritable army of surrogate police from GCSB staff to OSH and dairy shed inspectors are employed to monitor our every move. Often it is a case of those who have never done it, dictating to those who do it, how it should be done. The productive amongst us are then forced to pay them for their dictates. After conducting a cost benefit analysis on these dubious services, I have come to the conclusion that the cost is too high, the benefit low or non-existent.

There is a long list of so-called services that I do not want, that I do not need. They are funded from tax taken from my earnings. These services often waste my time, complicate my life and divert me from more important, more productive and certainly more enjoyable tasks. Adding insult to injury, agencies such as the NZTA often try to charge me another fee for complying with their madness.

Institutionalised hypocrisy, dishonesty and lawlessness is tolerated and ignored while non-compliance to needless regulation by individuals is punished, often severely and usually by way of extracting even more revenue. Invariably it is taken from the productive to be channelled into the pockets of those who produce nothing of any practical use or to further fill bottomless government coffers.

Consequently I'd like to thank government and the legion of public servants for past attendances. However I no longer require any of the services you currently provide. Please send my money back.

■ prof_worzel@hotmail.com





 
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