Christchurch Council completely off its core business

Apparently all the roads, sewage and infrastructure problems in Christchurch are totally fixed and there is nothing else to do.

Because now the council wants to work on making our children healthier.

The Christchurch City Council is considering taking on fast food outlets by offering more healthy options such as tap water and fruit from edible gardens.

The steps are seen as a way to tackle what it is calling food deserts – places where it is difficult to find anything but junk food to eat.

The draft Healthy Food Action Plan talks about creating an oasis of healthy options in the city’s food deserts as a way to combat the influence of fast food.

The proposal is a compromise solution, following calls from the community for a by-law to be used to prevent outlets selling junk food setting up near schools – something the council said it could not do.

Councillor Aaron Keown, an advocate of the plan, said the measures could be as simple as making land available for community groups to plant fruit trees and vegetables.

“Kids given the option will grab fruit off a tree, I think we all did it when we were younger, probably even got in trouble for it now and then. Well we’re going to take the opposite approach and make sure those fruit trees are growing in a lot of neighbourhoods and people can steal fruit from the tree whenever they want.”

The plan also looks at re-purposing the old tea-rooms at the Botanic Gardens – once the place to get a custard square and a pie – as a place where people could be taught how to grow their own food and how to cook it.

“A lot of people would have seen some of the work that [UK chef] Jamie Oliver’s done when he’s gone in to low-decile schools and taught the children about what they’re eating and about food and it changes them dramatically.

“There were schools with hundreds of children and none of them obese. That’s a clear example of what some good education and motivation can do in a community.”

Mr Keown said the initiative would be paid for within existing budgets

I’m not saying these are bad ideas or goals that aren’t laudable.   I’m saying a city council has no business worrying about the health and diet of the children living in the city.  There are parents, families, medical clinics and over-all government policies that take care of that.

And this whole “would be paid for within existing budgets” is a standard way of not telling rate payers what the money is being taken from.  It can’t be spent twice.

When things like this happen I feel there is no need for a rates rise.  People at council clearly have enough money for vanity projects.



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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.