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Transport was top of the list for spending

Tuesday 11 May 2005

Transport was top of the list for environmental spending in a game played by hundreds of people at a Mount event last week. Water quality and the coast followed but heritage trailed way behind.

More than 600 people had a go at the “enviro-dollar” game run by Environment Bay of Plenty during the three-day Bay of Plenty Times Home Show. Every player was given $60 in pretend money and asked to spend it on the environment. With only six $10 notes, and 12 areas of council activity, they had to make some fairly tough choices.

“Players had to think quite carefully before they made their decisions,” explains Bruce Fraser, Environment Bay of Plenty’s group manager community relations. “They didn’t have enough money to go around. They couldn’t afford to pay for everything and knew some areas would have to miss out. As a regional council, these are the sorts of choices we have to make too – but for real.”

Mr Fraser says the game was fun and not at all scientific. However, it threw up some interesting results, which would probably be different if the game was being played in Rotorua or the eastern Bay of Plenty. The largest amount of money ($4840) was put into transport, though water ($4550) and the coast ($4400) were not too far behind. The Rotorua lakes received a good share ($3530), especially considering most players lived in the western Bay of Plenty. Waste ($3510) and regional parks ($3250) also raked in the dollars. Civil defence, at $2960, was next in line

After that, in order, came environmental education, biodiversity and air. Heritage ($1320) and community initiatives ($1300) trailed behind.

The results of the game will be presented at Environment Bay of Plenty’s next finance and corporate services committee meeting.

Environment Bay of Plenty’s display took up the whole mezzanine floor of the Mount Action Centre. In one half, staff created a garden, coastal and marine environment to highlight the council’s work with land management, pest control, coast care and navigation and safety. The other half featured the game and a children’s area.


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