Your correspondent Ian Skins describes me as a luddite (Oil Boom? 15/4/13) because I oppose the oil & gas industry rush into Hawkes Bay. To quote Wikipeda “The principal objection of the Luddites was the introduction of new wide-framed automated looms that could be operated by cheaper, relatively low-to-unskilled labour, resulting in unemployment among the skilled textile workers”
The government, and the oil & gas industry claim that exploration will bring highly skilled, high paying jobs to the Hawkes Bay. If this is so, how can I possibly be a luddite? Do I support a low wage, unskilled labour force? Not at all. Do I support fresh thinking around the direction Hawkes Bay should be taking? Yes.
I agree with Mr Skins that the economy of Hawkes Bay needs to be transformed, but believe that the long-term future for Hawkes Bay is in becoming the delicatessen to the world, and not relying on boom and bust cycles created by the exploitation of our natural resources such as oil, gas, and water for the benefit of a few.