Enviromental costs

ImageOpinion writer Bryan Gould was in one sense incomplete in his comment on the government’s “mania for putting a price on everything”. Sometimes very real costs are simply left out.



The report on affordable housing just presented to parliament by the Productivity Commission omitted to ask the very first question which every building must ask. Can the environment afford it?

The super-rich may feel they can afford a gigantic mansion in pristine landscape, but if the environmental cost of architecture is too high it should never be built. It is not only the poor who need to ask if their house is affordable. We all do.

When the first presumption made by the Productivity Commission was anthropocentric, and thus incorrect, the rest of their report may look impressive but it is irrelevant.

Tony Watkins Karaka Bay


First published in the New Zealand Herald 20 April 2012