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Don’t pollute our food

Opinion Piece

Re: Decided in field of public opinion, May 9 column.

While I don’t always agree with everything Clive Bibby writes, in my opinion he is spot on with his latest utterings on introducing partly-treated human sewage into the Gisborne food chain. Good article.

Clive has said what lots of ratepayers are now concerned about (not just Maori). This method of irrigating or soil-enriching food production for human consumption could have long-term, serious consequences for Gisborne.

It would also put paid to the slogan being promoted around town, “Buy local”.

From my perspective, the potential long-term effect on tourism, which I have been involved in for many years, is not good.

Apart from running a high-yield lodge where top-class local food and Gisborne chardonnays helped bring tourists from all over the world, I was involved locally, nationally and internationally in other large-scale, high-yield tourism projects.

When I first took out the contract to bring cruise ships into Gisborne, after establishing it was possible and initially targeting ships already coming to NZ — Seabourn, Princess line etc through Cruise NZ — I was planning, before I got the sack, to bring other international cruise lines, looking for new destinations, to Gisborne (Cruise NZ only handles a small percentage of the world’s cruise ships) following my marketing strategy “In the footsteps of Cook”. They then would naturally come to Gisborne first.

The end result, where the big money could be earned: The opportunity to providore the boats with wine, food etc for the rest of their time while they continue to cruise NZ and Australian waters.

If, and that is a big if, any new entrepreneurial Gisborne tourism entity in the future decides to continue this original tourism marketing strategy, targeting not only other cruise lines, they could forget it if in its wisdom the GDC goes ahead with contaminating our food source (it would not only apply to fruit and vegetables) with partly-treated human sewage.

It really is time for a change of sitting councillors. Not some of them, but all of them.

Frank Murphy, Motu