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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Responses to Jane Yee

rjt   #1   12:50 pm Mar 11 2011
It seems clear that there is a current knee-jerk reaction (especially by Brownlie) to clear-fell the inner city and rebuild entirely in new buildings.
I would have thought that some consideration of what exact purpose the inner city is to perform in Christchurch for the future would be the first aspect to settle. No successful redesign can occur without some coherent vision and strategy. Why refill it with offices and retail? What purpose does that achieve?
Retail has very obviously and successfully relocated to the suburbs as parking and infrastructure have failed to cope in the inner city. there is no real reason why office blocks are needed in the inner city when decentralised buildings function just as well and perhaps more safely for the future.
Rather than complete it's transition to a cbd ghetto, perhaps this is a chance to create a more European style 'green heart' with a focus on recreation, tourism, apartment living and socialising for Christchurch. This would allow the use of lower buildings and less intense vertical population, again increasing safety.
While it would be wonderful to preserve the remaining heritage buildings, it is clear that a far higher standard of redevelopment will have to be employed and far more stringent oversight of any repair on surviving heritage buildings than has been the case in the past. It may be that the use of facades or recreating heritage fascias in modern materials will become necessary to achieve this.
As far as the redesign itself goes - I'd have to say that the only architect I'd be interested in having redesign the inner city would be the person/firm who designed the Art Gallery. Two major seismic events and it hasn't even cracked a plate on the glass wall as far as I'm aware. The company who constructed it are also to be acknowledged as outstanding.
PB   #2   12:57 pm Mar 11 2011
Well as horrible as it sounds, leaving NZ sounds like a good idea. I'm a full time worker, I have a degree, I have a decent job and in the current economic situation I can just afford food, petrol etc, but I have nothing extra to give. Today I had to take my cat to the vet and that cleared out my last $100, I literally have $0 in my account until Tuesday (payday). I can't afford tax increases or GST increases. NZers are already struggling, Chch people are struggling even more and let's face it the country literally can not afford the earthquake and I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of people simply leave. This will set back NZ years.
The government will have to do something, what they choose to do will affect the outcome of the next election so they should tread very carefully.
Qtn kiwi   #3   12:58 pm Mar 11 2011
First off it's election year so any politician can't be trusted, especially the Grinner, Key.
Why do heritage buildings have to be repaired all at once or demolished? Why not take the long Term view and rebuild them over time as and when the means are available? If they can keep bodies from families for weeks, perhaps months then why not get it right with the heritage buildings for future generations?
Sarah Auckland   #4   12:59 pm Mar 11 2011
I am 25 and have been listening to talkback since the earthquake as well. I have become quite fond of it, and tend to listen to it online while sitting at my desk at work! Earlier than I expected too...
To answer your questions, I am not sure what the government should do... they need to do something, but that something can't have a massive financial impact on an already struggling middle NZ (those in and out of ChCh). I think the best option I have heard is have the fuel/petrol tax directly to the rebuild!
As for the heritage buildings... I think homes and housing should be the focus, and when there is the time and the money, maybe they can rebuild them.
JeM   #5   01:02 pm Mar 11 2011
My heart breaks for the people of Chch. I think it should be up to the residents to decide. But IF I had a say, I would bust it down and start again. The heritage buildings are broken. It's of course sad, but they are just buildings and NZ isn't really that old. I think we need to part with the past, accept it is lost and start an amazing future. A memorial needed to be held and the date will never suit everyone, it's the way it is. As for how to generate funds, I have no idea. I'd kick all the time wasters off the benefit for a start though as there are some good people in Chch who will be struggling for a real reason, not through laziness like a whole lot of others out there.
Alice2   #6   01:14 pm Mar 11 2011
Save yourself from talkback, Jane. If you want the news & interviews, listen to National Radio.
Well, the timing of the memorial has meant I get a whole week off work. I'm going away Sat - Tue & had taken leave for Wed as well since we get back late on Tue night. Now I've just taken Thursday too & got myself an entire week. For me, it kinda works, but then I'm not a business owner or parent.
Heritage buildings - it would be nice if some could be saved, and I definitely think the Cathedral needs to be rebuilt. Cost wise, it depends on how much ends up being covered by EQC/insurance/re-insurance etc. Ever optimistic, I suspect the additional costs may not be as daunting as they seem right now.
K   #7   01:22 pm Mar 11 2011
I don't believe high income earners should be taxed more, why should a small percentage of New Zealand pay for this? The same with putting interest back on student loans, again a small percentage of the country is hit with the bill.
I feel tremendously sorry for all residents of Christchurch, and I'm sure New Zealand AS A WHOLE would be willing to help in any way to help rebuild one of our fantastic cities, but it has to be something everyone pays for equally, not just some people. Unfortunately I have no ideas. Well just one, those supermarkets charging exorbitant amounts for food - make them pay more tax!! Our food bills will keep rising regardless, so make them pass on their profits! We get ripped off so badly when it comes to groceries, the government should take it off them!
I have no issues with the memorial being held next Friday, it's been a month, and the recovery is almost complete, what better time to remember those that were lost. I have no doubt the people complaining about this date would also complain if John Key waited for "too long" to hold a memorial.
I love talkback too Jane, I feel as though I've joined the ranks of the oldies well before my time. Thanks to my Japanese import car with no band expander!
Blair   #8   01:28 pm Mar 11 2011
they could sell a few cars
whats the point of 'nz' history if next to noone knows or cares about it apart from business interest, i know this, in school - nup, tv - nup, books - where, count it down to enthusiasists(i've found most history from brochures) or maoridom for that matter, i didn't even know about the lyttelton timeball station till the earthquake and i'll hear cynics say cah how could you not, cause you didn't tell me about it dur. NZ is full of history and its hidden hidden hidden but its all around us, we should be thankful 'we're so young', that it hasn't been built on yet and forget the shame like a rugby game, geez talk about wallowing or being boring, there are tales to tell and songs to sing, hop 2, oh theres heaps of classic nz books too.
its odd it happened so hardcore central etc and not in other areas but anyway, its hard to move some and the rest go to oz, i find cantabs odd, they're so nz/great thing! but because they were a big town they will bag other towns even in charity, yep, nicest people in general thoough, even if a litle conservative presbytarian, the entertainment comes from all the pale tourists.
this is the media being behind the 8 ball, repeat repeat miss the markk, not new'z and if i see one more t-shirt being sold as a memento, meh do wat ya do specially if it heals but beuracraps are total full of it.
oh and its seems the new architecture proper like building survived rather well, advised to be like melbourne and add diversity wothout the malls, welll.
oh and have you seen the roads, joke, hey lets create a mousetrap, i think people do good work don't get me wrong but hands are always tied, a means to an end or kittyhawking.
Leon   #9   01:34 pm Mar 11 2011
I was going to have a small rant about talkback radio as a concept. But then I realised that in a way, blog comments here are much like talkback radio.
But, I guess at least here, the people who reply are at least limited to those people who can use a computer and write. Whereas talkback radio is anyone with a phone and the ability to make noises. Which might reduce the knuckle dragger ratio.
As to rebuilding Christhchurch, and getting the money for it, well that's going to be a belly button opinion poll. Everyone will have one.
The main thing I will be keeping in mind is that you can trust a politician as far as you could throw a bowling ball nailed to a tree. Also that whatever they do decide on, they will change their mind, and run at least 100% over budget. But they will manage to pay themselves large amounts in consultancy fees along the way, whilst achieving very little to nothing on the way.
Ben   #10   01:36 pm Mar 11 2011
I take nothing away from the suffering of the people of Christchurch but I do take issue with this constantly repeated mantra that Christchurch is (was) a beautiful city and that all these 'heritage' buildings are worth preserving. I travel to Chch frequently and have always felt Christchurch was an ugly city (Cashel Stree Mall had to be the ugliest shopping centre in Christendom) with little of architectural merit. Just because a building is 100 years old makes it neither beautiful nor worthy of preservation. They just happened to be the buildings erected by the colonial settlers to remind them of home; colonial kitsch. Even the Cathedral is a poor imitation of an English Cathedral
The most attractive building in Christchurch in my view is the art gallery. So rather than try and recreate the past the challenge should be to create something new and beautiful that reflects New Zeland today, not NZ 100 years ago.
My apologies if this offends some residents of Christchurch.
Jane Yee   #11   01:37 pm Mar 11 2011
Alice2 #6 - National has had a lot of air time in my car as well, just mixing it up
Confused   #12   01:48 pm Mar 11 2011
Whilst I think reflecting on our heritage is important, in the future the fact the Christchuch was so badly damaged will be a huge part of the city's history. I believe that older building that can be saved should be, but with the extreme costs involved in repairing the whole city, spending disproportionate amounts on saving buildings needs to be balanced with the costs of starting again.
Many cities have come out of major disasters and have become something really special as a result. If it is not possible to save all the buildings imagine building the first truely eco city in the world, sustainable practises, well thought out public transport, parking buildings that generate thier own power (saw a doco on it once). A safe, modern city of world class standards would be great for NZ, make a place that the locals and the rest of NZ can really be proud of.
dragonzflame   #13   01:49 pm Mar 11 2011
Well, I don't listen to talkback, and I don't feel I'm qualified to have much of an opinion on Christchurch as I've only visited it once, but still, you asked, Jane.
I think that there's a lot of knee-jerk 'let's bulldoze the dangerous buildings and re-erect shiny new EQ-safe ones in their place as soon as we can so we can get back to business' but IMO that's the wrong way to go about it. I get it, but I don't think it's right. What will then happen is that there'll be a heap of ugly, cheap-looking, soulless buildings that add nothing to the city, and in effect turn it into an unappealing concrete wilderness. I think it's important to keep whatever heritage they can - go ahead and bulldoze if they're genuinely unsafe, but it would be good to retain what can be retained, even if it's just facades.
Right after the first quake in September I commented on Twitter to the effect that 'a glorious art deco city arose from the rubble of Napier in 1931 - I shudder to think what'll happen to Chch.' Prove me wrong, politicians and developers! the silver lining to this dark, dark cloud is that Christchurch has a fantastic opportunity to use some imagination and build what's quite literally the city of the future, a vibrant, modern city that will make NZ proud. It would be such a pity to see it squandered for the sake of politics. The government will be acutely aware that how they handle this will make or break the election (especially what happens with the RWC in Chch), so I wait with bated breath to see what will happen.
FSD   #14   01:50 pm Mar 11 2011
Those saying they would leave the go where? Natural disasters are everywhere, and if it's not natural disasters, it's man made terrorism, or general dissent. Leaving the country is another knee jerk reaction.
I'm all for heritage buildings being rebuilt, to modern EQ standards.
Calina   #15   01:51 pm Mar 11 2011
As a former Chch resident who will miss the beautiful city centre, I have to say I won't miss the awful Colombo St tacky shops and the disgrace that the street was on the city landscape. All the shops had moved out to the malls and as sad as the earthquake was it is time to re-create the city centre into something that works. Don't know how... Make a it a place where people enjoy going and it's not just a place for tourists and the city office workers. We need to look at the bigger picture and let some of the heritage go...
ruthie029   #16   02:13 pm Mar 11 2011
Even before the earthquake, I thought as a nation we are in the financial poop. And now even more so. All political parties need to make an agreement and a pledge that none of their election promises are going to relate to things like tax cuts, interest free student loans etc etc- this is part of the reason we are where we are. The politicians need to harden up and p^$# some people off. We are not in the financial position to give interest free student loans, We are living longer healthier(ish) and therefore we should raise the retirement age to 67, we shouldn't have tax cuts and maybe an increase. THis is the fairest thing to do rather than taking money from areas that are already struglling and putting them elsewhere. All of us need to get our head out of the sands and stop whinging
Christo   #17   02:14 pm Mar 11 2011
To my way of thinking the "heritage" buildings have limited nostalgia value to a few. If they can't be fixed so be it. The city is it's people and their welfare in the future is the most important issue. The rebuild of Christchurch will be funded by a variety of ways and it will create a period of growth in some sectors. It won't have an impact on the average NZ person's income. The impact will be felt in the new attitudes we will need to adopt in the way we build sub-divisions and CBDs in the future and how the compliance makers follow through and enforce the rules. We call it the leaky home syndrome. The rules were there but the *scum (*sharks, crooks & usual morons) chose to ignore in the name of greed. I feel positive about CHCH future,there are precedents we can work off, Napier, San Fran, Tokyo etc. The trick will be to keep the *scum out of doing the same thing over again. And remember, every dollar spent on the rebuild will increase the value x 2. Memorial - yep we need this, it's part of the healing process.
Geoff   #18   02:35 pm Mar 11 2011
Is it just me, or is someone missing the point of a memorial day? I would have thought that it would be better to be on the anniversary of the event rather than some date randomly plucked out of the ar$e of a politician.
Are all the builders, linespeople, drainlayers, clean up crews etc all going to take a day off work when there is still so much to be done to get the city functional again?
Jana   #19   02:37 pm Mar 11 2011
well this topic is serious & i rarely like thinking about things like this! I agree with a lot of the others that the people & the homes should be fixed first. I don't know if it is a good idea to build back in the centre of the city.... maybe a new look of buildings would be a good symbol of starting afresh. I don't know how the government will generate money - I am getting really sick of being paid crap & spending so much on petrol & food......but I love NZ & don't want to leave! I want to stay & see Chch rebuild & get past this!
Arthur   #20   03:06 pm Mar 11 2011
I don't listen to talkback radio. I named it whingeback years ago. Too many twerps with their brains idling.
# 10, "The most attractive building in Christchurch in my view is the art gallery"- puke. It is modernist vision of a nightmare.
Of course number 10 just about sums up what Chch will become if the tasteless barbarians get to erect tasteless, modern architectural attrocities everywhere; a city with the atractiveness of a Dali painting and the long history and heritageof an i-pad. Something as dire as Canberra; cringe.
As to what the Govt must/can do is a dilemma. The country cannot afford anything of large expenditure as after the 2008 crash NZers had to face the fact our economy was based largely on air in some sectors. Since then Chch has had two expensive earthquakes and a major source of export income has disappeared with the Pike River closure. My feeling is modern standard buildings built to look heritage where appropriate. Warsaw did it in the old town after WW2. This will have to be when money is available, not break the bank. The cathedral must be recreated even if the spire is wooden. One thing is sure, many tourists will not come to a city with no historical character. You can find concrete, glass and plastic anywhere. The other dilemma is location. It turns out building on an old river flat was not a good idea. It is possible, as bad and bad taste as it sounds to Cantabrians, that there is no returning to anything like the old Chch. Many are leaving or have left already.
Karlos   #21   03:09 pm Mar 11 2011
I'm the same - I don't think I've ever listened to so much talkback in my life. The radio definitely proved it's still a valuable communication medium in the 'modern' world.
@ PB #2 - I don't blame people who want to leave ChCh and/or NZ, especially those who have just been through the same hardship back in September, or those who lost loved ones this time. But I'm 100% staying right where I am. I feel like I owe it to Christchurch and NZ to stay and help in any way I can. This is ChCh's (and probably NZ's) most challenging time ever and I wouldn't feel right just turning my back and walking away to chase a higher wage overseas.
C Lee   #22   03:31 pm Mar 11 2011
Knock the old buildings down. Life vs. Builings it is no contest. In fact criminal charge should be considered on some these "heritage" buildings that were plainly unsafe. They should have been knocked down years ago.
Barbados   #23   03:41 pm Mar 11 2011
@JeM #5 I totally agree with you! I think we have an opportunity in Chch to develop some beautiful earthquake-safe buildings. We should be embracing the challenge of creating new buildings that can withstand earthquakes. With a great engineering school, Christchurch definitely has the ability to do so
Fraser The Amazer   #24   03:45 pm Mar 11 2011
Whoah is it weighty issues friday now?
I agree that some of the heritage buildings need to be retained the Cathedral is pretty iconic however any rebuilds will obviosult have to be up to current EQ standards.
Also they could bowl over a few blocks and build the biggest westfield in the country and a nice park.
Paul Moss   #25   03:52 pm Mar 11 2011
Sorry everyone but I think Christchurch has now become a major earthquake zone. The data from the earthquake centers show before 22 February most activity was towards the southern alps, now most tremors are centered around Lyttelton and surrounding areas. I would be looking at getting peoples homes and lives sorted as priority then worry about the CBD. Rebuild later put in parks in the central CBD until a later date. If Christchurch is to be habitable then the old sewerage infrastructure needs to be redone.
KaiserSose   #26   04:04 pm Mar 11 2011
I feel sorry for Chch but I don't want to have to pay to fix it.
I am a good person, I claim no benefits, have a mortgage, pay my taxes, commit no crimes, but I ive week to week on the average wage, there is nothing left at the end of each week for anything else.
Please don't take any more from me, who can least afford it.
martin   #27   04:33 pm Mar 11 2011
To Ben #10
I'm not from Canterbury, and not a fan of flat cities, but I do absolutely love the Cathedral, and the square. The old buildings in CHCH do appeal to many many of us. To me those old churchs and villas are the most attractive thing about CHCH along with the southern alps view mid winter.
kiwigirl   #28   05:05 pm Mar 11 2011
@ 16 I certainly object to making students pay interest on their student loans. Are you going to make the students affected by the earthquake pat multiple times over because first they're hit by the quake and then pay interest on loans? When the current policy makers were at university they barely paid a thing. Most had debts of less than $1000 that were quickly paid off. Nowadays it can be decades for a current student repays a student loan. so thats part of their income ogne straight away, how are they going to be able to afford things like families or homes if you add interest? They'll spend the rest of their life paying it back! aS for financing the rebuild, I'm no financial expert but they say Rome wasn't built in a day. We need to take rebuilding Christchurch one step at a time. I like the idea of turning the CBD into an area of apartments and greenery - let us truely earn "garden city" Let us not look at the mountain of work and financing ahead of us and let it swamp us, but start climbing the mountain one step at a time, eyes on the track. First step - recover all bodies, 2) assess what is safe and what is not 3) Plan what we need to do depending on the results of 2.
ruthie029   #29   07:17 pm Mar 11 2011
@#28- If we had the money that would be great but we are I think borrowing billions a week to pay for our debts! I went to varsity when I was charged interest even while I was studying ( I would suggest charging interest once you have graduated). I did n't have an allowance but ok I did work from the age of 15 onwards part time(was taxed) to cover future varsity costs and I worked through varsity and passed all my papers because I knew that I couldn't afford to fail any papers. I paid my loan off by 2007 (11 years later). And it was a great feeling. And hitting the Chch students twice- ok so when we cut pre school funding the Chch preschools will get hit twice, when we cut funding to elder care, the Chch elderly will get hit twice, reduce funding to health the Chch sick will get hit twice...... you can say that for all demographics but the money needs to come from somewhere (shall we just borrow more??). Too many elections have been won on the promises of tax cuts, student loans etc etc and yet we get more in debt. Re. Chch rebuilding - NZ is great for knee jerk reactions. Let the emotion calm down, let the crews recover the lost, let the actual businesses of Chch rebuild and then take a balanced, educated, well thought out look at how to approach the rebuild.
Nick   #30   07:22 pm Mar 11 2011
Knock most of the heritage over, most of it is an eye-sore and struggled to stay up during the earthquake. Alot of areas were turning into slums, and were stifling economic growth. A recent area had a bunch of old heritage buildings with struggling shops demolished replaced with a sharp new shopping centre with self contained parking. The whole area has now revived, with those same shops returning and booming especailly for the fact the shops were pushed back from the street verge to create parking. Now do this to the likes of Sydenham and alike and bam u can have a whole new revived region.
Im a born and bred chch person, and not a heritage fan I'd admit. Keep a few key buildings I admit, however get rid of the rest.
peachey   #31   07:24 pm Mar 11 2011
Interest free student loans haven't been around for very long. Not too long ago students started paying interest the day they took the loan even though they were still studying. I don't see what's wrong with charging interest once they're in work. Quite a few students have taken those interest free loans even though they didn't need them, because it was free money...charging interest once they're in employment will at least mean some of those students should pay the money back immediately.
I know someone whose parents paid for her study but she took the loan and invested it while studying, that's not the purpose of the loan.
Nosmo   #32   07:37 pm Mar 11 2011
@Ben #10 - Your views will not offend most Chch folk, many of whom actually agree with Mr. Brownlee. While I mostly agree with you, many of the older buildings, now damaged, were old in a crappy way, not old in an interesting way, and frankly restoring the former is simply crazy. I would favour an historic quadrant, from Herefod Street/Manchester Street corner, across to Rolleston Ave (Arts Centre + Museum) up to Kilmore Street/Manchester Street corner, as these buidings tend to be the more interesting and unique, and not as badly damaged. As for the rest of the 'heritage buildings' - knock 'em down and start new. Good to note though, that of the 166 dead, 142 were killed in two buildings, neither of which were old. In the other 130 building collapses in central Chch, 24 people were killed, and to be honest if those people had 'ducked and covered' rather than try to run into the street, many more would have survived. Not anyone's fault, just the damn 'flight or fight' instinct kicking in, in an unfortunate way. The Heritage buldings are not anywhere near as unsafe as they are being portrayed, but still there are a bunch of cruddy, low-rent structures that the town would be best shot of, and something more eco-friendly and modern, be built in it's place.
Kerflumpy   #33   04:41 am Mar 12 2011
Blair #8 Um... what??
Barbados   #34   07:08 am Mar 12 2011
I'm currently studying and about to move on to Honours and most likely Masters, if I come out with less than 80,000 debt I'll be surprised. If there was interest on this It's quite probable I would not be able to afford to but a house - maybe ever. Surely if it leaves me struggling that nullifies the point of getting an education to become a well qualified and contributing citizen? I would probably either not bother with higher education or go overseas as soon as I was finished. If I'm going to have to pay interest anyway there is no reason to stay here and earn about half of what I could overseas...
Simon   #35   07:52 am Mar 12 2011
K: the people complaining as u put it, are the people who live in chch, us, your letter makes it sound the problem is nearly over as it's been a month. From actual business owners, yes, the people responsible for jobs, it a universal no to this holiday so soon. You may be ready but you don't live here.
Bert Meinders   #36   10:06 am Mar 12 2011
Before making any irreversible decisions about the architectural future of Christchurch, it woud make good sense to have a look at other cities which have been devastated, such as Kobe, Arnhem, Rotterdam (according to a German newspaper, 31/5/1940 the inner city was blown up and set on fire by Dutch saboteurs, presumably to discredit the German pilots who were overhead at the time), Warsaw, Coventry... It would be a good opportunity to put key infrastructure where it is needed now rather than simply where it was put a century ago or more. There needs to be consensus, and there needs to be a clear plan, to prevent the nightmare scenario of cheap and vulgar suburban mall and other large format retail architecture becoming dominant. Don't let the city fall into the hands of the C+ average Architecture graduates.
David   #37   01:20 pm Mar 12 2011
Ah, talk back - The redneck internet!
Allan   #38   01:58 pm Mar 12 2011
Raising money for the re-building of Christchurch is going to take a lot of thought and carefull consideration particularly when you wonder just how much of it is worth re-building.
That leads on to the "Heritage" part of the equation. Let's face it - many of those old buildings were just that - old buildings. They have proved to be death traps because we didn't care enough about them to have done something to preserve them. They are gone now and, personally, I say "good riddance." To look at your heritage in this city (Christchurch), there are few places better than the museum and a couple of on-line websites, where folk have spent their time and energies to preserve a record of "What it was like" rather than to preserve actual artifacts too large to be housed and protected. An example would be here where some folk have invested a great deal of time to produce a record of our heritage. It is a pity that the site has been apparently abandoned after 2009, but the work is significant all the same. They deal in photographs and drawings/sketches to provide their record of our "heritage" and history of the city and surrounds. Right now, if you use Google's "Earth" and "Streetview", you can visit just about any place in the city, as it was pre quake(s). It seems that the most up-to-date images were taken in 2010. That controversial effort to provide the views of streets and cities around the world may have actually provided us with the most complete photographic record of our city ever undertaken. There, in their archives, is your heritage. A "point in time" view of the city before it was destroyed. Perhaps we should spend some money on an approach to Google to obtain those, now very precious, images for preservation in a form that will allow our decendants to view their heritage and the way it was.
Syrus   #39   03:15 pm Mar 12 2011
@ Peachy would love to know how she managed that one? As your student loan costs go straight to your provider. Only thing you could do that with would be the 'living loan' which is $160 a week. You are an idiot if you go into debt for 'investments'.
george   #40   04:12 pm Mar 12 2011
Anniversaries should be for good times most disasters. When 9/11 is 10 years old that will be even bigger. Let the bad stuf rest and get on with the positive of the future. Most talkback is old people moaning so I don't lsten to is
Caitlin   #41   06:15 pm Mar 12 2011
@ Blair #8 - are you on drugs?
To the person who suggested we use all the tax from petrol towards the rebuild - what does that solve? That doesn't create more money, it just re-directs it. And as for taking more tax from the supermarkets because they 'charge extortionate prices for food' - supermarkets actually have a very small profit margin, and the high prices are because of high cost of production.

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