Focus on the Land
Fuel price pressure
Monday, August 27, 2012
THE price of petrol is at an all-time high and people in the district are feeling the pinch.
Gisborne Budget Advisory Service manager Lynda Markie said record high petrol prices were putting extra pressure on Gisborne’s most vulnerable residents.
Most budget advisory service clients are living from week-to-week and “only just making it” to the next pay day.
Ms Markie said people’s incomes had remained static but the rising cost of petrol meant it was getting “harder and harder” to manage expenses.
“People were already choosing between their bills and food, and now they are choosing between food and petrol.
“Fuel and food are vulnerable when income is not going up, but expenses are.”
A client told Ms Markie she had to borrow pocket money from her daughter to top up the fuel tank so she could buy groceries.
Ms Markie’s advice is to prioritise the basics of rent, power and food.
Transport, medical costs and school costs were still important but “slightly secondary” to having “a roof over your head and food in your stomach”, she said.
“We can’t live in our car, not in a healthy way anyway.”
East Coast residents and businesses were also feeling the pinch, said Te Puia Springs Store manager Rachael Bellamy.
“Everyone up here is used to high petrol prices but every time it goes up, we’re all like, ‘here we go again’,” she said.
“But what makes it really tough is that we have to pay cartage.
“It’s hard for our customers and it’s also hard on us because we try to keep the prices down.
“But we can only charge what has come from above.
“Hopefully this doesn’t last too long.”
A Waikura Valley resident has to travel an hour to the nearest petrol pump at Te Araroa.
“Just getting our kids to school is tough because we travel half an hour to get to Hicks Bay and then they catch a bus to Te Araroa.”
03:18 p.m. Monday, Aug 27, 2012
My proposed rail loop through to Motu and around the coast to Gisborne is looking better, but harder to achieve every day.
People in outlying areas need a reliable "slow boat to China" style service that they can count on to maintain social contact and move stock and produce for trade.
Building such a line would provide much-needed jobs if old style construction techniques were used on purpose to cut the costs associated with the hi-tech, hi-wage, hi-borrow styles which are currently dividing New Zealand society.
Low-tech rail is our future. No other system of mass transport is even remotely sustainable if petrol prices rise above current levels.
08:19 p.m. Monday, Aug 27, 2012
The hardest hit are those who fall just above the cut-off for any benefit or subsidy to help their families. The government deems us as earning enough to comfortably live, yet we are living from pay cheque to pay cheque as well. We have two incomes but with rising living costs, paying our mortgage and all our insurances there is nothing left. Thankfully we have a healthy, happy family but there may be a day when things change and we just couldn't afford it.
11:10 a.m. Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012
It's a pity the media restrict coverage to handwringing. The finite nature of fossil fuels is arguably the most urgent issue of our time — yet politicians, aided and abetted by the media, refuse to face up to it.
Leadership consists in having the courage and integrity to tell people what they need to hear, rather than currying favor by telling them what they want to hear. In other words, our 'leaders' are really closet followers of public whims.
As Gandhi is reputed to have said: "When the people lead, the leaders will follow."
07:09 p.m. Sunday, Sep 02, 2012
I hear you loud and clear Hard Worker.
D W Fouhy
06:54 p.m. Thursday, Sep 06, 2012
Re cost of petrol, when I was a child growing up in the 1960s if we wanted to get anywhere we walked or if lucky enough to have a pushbike we rode! I used to run behind the bus to town to save money - until a friend suggested I run behind a taxi and save more money, but I found I couldn't run that fast.
The point is, if you are physically able, go back to the old method and walk!
Our grandparents must be amused when reading about our hard times and think we don't know we are alive!
Stop snivelling and get on with it!
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