HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 451 : 18 March 2009

Back to the land

Recession Ignites ‘Back to the Land’ lifestyle making it a sustainable lifeline during hard economic times.

It has become noticeable as you drive around Rarotonga that Cook Islanders are resorting back to the land as a means of generating extra cash. The presence of the side of the road entrepreneur in the villages around Rarotonga is a clear indicator that times are economically hard and people are looking at alternative ways of generating if not supplementing their incomes.
When you go into the supermarkets, the spending patterns of people have also changed, indicating that cash flows are either purposefully reduced or have become constrained. You just need to take a closer look at the state of the shopping trolley; shoppers are becoming very selective of what they will buy. As for luxury items they have gone to the bottom of the shopping list and now becoming a monthly; if not bi-monthly treat.
Food exchanges are now occurring at a more frequent rate amongst friends and family. People are exchanging their avocadoes for eggs or lemons for mangoes. Some are even exchanging cash for produce, perhaps indicating that the cost to purchase at the supermarkets is unaffordable.
The make up and status of the working family has also changed. We are now seeing young children and teenagers on the side of the road assisting Mum and Dad, when perhaps they should be doing homework.
The financial disposition created by the recession is having a detrimental impact on the families, the education of our children and even on the social order of the community, which inevitably leads to crime.
These changing patterns are perhaps indicative of the need for better planning and policy processes for government to note rather than focusing on infrastructure priorities. The needs of our people are being ignored. Maybe our government needs to reshuffle its priorities, given the unnecessary predicaments forced upon families.

Herald Issue 446 11 February
- ‘I wanted to finish 3 years ago’ - Sam Pera Jnr?
- Government hangs Ruaau out to dry
- Flies reach epidemic level in Arorangi
- Economic Summits – Talking the Talk or Walking the Talk
- Parliament: Deregistration, Fuel farm and OIA amendment

Herald Issue 445 04 February
- Ball now in Fiji’s court
- Calls for Alternate Dispute Resolution
- Calls for Alternate Dispute Resolution
- $1.8m water project on track
- Undervaluing our own Consultants!

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