Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 9. 1ts May 1973
An Open Letter to the Food Co-op
An Open Letter to the Food Co-op.
I was very distressed to hear of the developments on the co-operative scene since I went to Christchurch. The way I hear things if I wanted to join the co-operative now I would most likely be not able to, because I'm now one of those persons so dreaded by some of the student body, a worker, I earn money, so I can pay the downtown prices. It was said or so I'm told that next year the university co-op will have to be selective, students only, no workers, and a few token pensioners and others, "because that's what Peter Rendall had in mind". Now I don't mind getting quoted, but to use me as an excuse for a bit of out and out tokenism is a bit much. I totally oppose any token suggestion, the co-operative was started as the Wellington Food Co-operative, not the university co-operative. It was started to give its members a chance to get out and meet their neighbours, to relate a bit more to the people about them, not to provide cheaper food for a relatively privileged class. If you want to exclude anyone from the scheme could I suggest students, who have much more time than anyone else to go and grow their own.
But some people say, that the Co-op is getting too big. Shit hot, now start to reorganize yourselves! in theory you have the best brains in the country at your disposal, and you can't even organize a simple thing like a co-operative. God help the Capitalist world when you lot get loose, it won't have a chance!!! Don't get scared because you're succeeding, apply yourselves.
The Mt Victoria People's Union is setting up on its own, along with others who have a greater stake in the community, to join in the true spirit of a co-op, that of all for one and one for all. It is most regrettable that this situation has come about. Division in this manner is really bad and is the means by which downtown interests will break the co-operative, and thus finish the whole scheme for everyone.
If I might make a suggestion to everybody ... all members of the co-operatives should come together and discuss some of the issues that seem to be coming up. A meeting must be held of not just those who have placed themselves at the top, but all involved, for they affect the whole co-operative idea.
Peter Rendall(Truck Driver and proud to be it!!!!!!!!!!)