Posted by: Matthew | May 4, 2010

Smoke-sensitive people are being actively discriminated against

Some people, like me are smoke -sensitive. Mine came about through overexposure to lots of woodsmoke. I now find it hard to be anywhere where there is smoke. It makes me wheezy, nauseous, and anxious. This severely limits where I can be, and where I can live.

Because of bad laws, selfish and ignorant neighbours, unresponsive councils and evil industry lobby groups, otherwise called the NZHHA and the AHHA, this means I can’t really live in any town or suburb where someone might burn wood (and I’m scared of the threat of new woodburners being installed next to me). This means a lot of economic and social opportunities are out of reach for me. I’ve had to go live in a rural zone, but then I have suffered from a surprising and heart-breaking amount of laissez-faire burn offs and a district council that tells me “rural people have a right to burn off”. They might as well tell me I have no right to exist.

(As an aside I don’t think that I am only getting an expected amount of smoke that I am oversensitive to, I think I have really, really, been unlucky with both the frequency and intensity of smoky burning I have been forced to endure, and I picked a really shit district, in Kapiti, in which to live, with a really backwards council.)

I feel victimised, and I feel discriminated against. Shouldn’t  my right to breathe unmolested trump people’s right to burn off rubbish? They have other options. I don’t. The way the burn off permit system is run, and then inadequately policed, has completely failed me.

I was in Palmerston North the other day, and drove down Milverton Avenue and thought what a lovely street. Then I wound down my window, and I thought pity I couldn’t live there. It is such a gamble for me. I move, I get smoked out. I move, I get smoked out. It’s costing me a fortune. I know I am being discriminated against.

Couldn’t people like me just have like one town where we could live? Our own little ghetto?

All I smell is the smoke. All I see is people and council not helping. All I feel is the injustice.

If we can’t get a complete ban on woodburners and burning off, then we need a veto scheme. We, the smoke sensitive, need to be protected from wood smoke. If we are not, then we are being discriminated against.

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