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Let’s turn up the heat on NCC over woodburners

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:25 pm
by Wilberforce
Let’s turn up the heat on NCC over woodburners

Last updated 16:14 22/04/2014

OPINION: It is time to draw the attention of city ratepayers who would like to use their woodburners this winter to the fact that the Nelson City Council is about to make a critical decision at its meeting on May 8, at which the recommendations of council staff will be presented.

I know from experience that staff recommendations in the past have shown little sympathy to the plight of ratepayers shivering in their homes during a Nelson winter.

All concerned ratepayers, both young and old, should ensure that all councillors are well aware of how many ratepayers are affected by the current highly selective and unfair regulations, which allow some people to use woodburners of any age, but not those ratepayers in other parts of the city who have approved, more modern burners.

I have heard that some councillors are saying that because many ratepayers did not replace their burners by the dates previously set for this, the door should be kept forever closed.

That stance can only be seen as very mean-spirited, totally uncharitable and, in my view, unworthy of any person elected to office to represent the concerns of our economically and socially deprived local people.

We are all caught in the trap of rapidly increasing electricity prices, and there is no end in sight.
The Government has embarked on a nationwide home heating programme, and dry wood is the highly recommended affordable option.

Other councillors are saying that allowing the use of woodburners will see a return to 2001, when, admittedly, there were air pollution problems in two city areas – but only during the winter months.

Have those councillors not been reading this newspaper?

There has been much debate about what makes up air pollution and its effects on health, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) is now stating that although wood smoke is one of the sources of pollution, the major pollutants arise from other sources, including high motor vehicle emissions.

The WHO is also saying that the biggest killer, particularly of older persons during winter, arises from cold, damp living conditions – and we have people in that very situation right here in Nelson.

We were told by many candidates before the last local body elections that they would support an urgent review of the woodburner rules, because people were suffering and something needed to be done.

We have waited six months, which I would suggest can hardly be considered as treating the matter with any great urgency.

It is highly possible that there could be further bureaucratic delays, which will push any decision past this winter.

This cannot be allowed to happen, so it is up to you to stand up and make your views on the matter known right now.

Do not let pass this opportunity to exert some influence on all of our councillors.

Neville Male is president of Nelson Grey Power.

source ... oodburners