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100% Pure takes another hit

Written By: - Date published: 11:22 am, December 18th, 2016 - 85 comments
Categories: Conservation, farming, farming, sustainability, tourism, water - Tags: , , ,

You can only live a lie for so long. By Hamish McNeilly on Stuff this morning:

Lord of the Rings actor says NZ tourists shocked by polluted ‘sewer’ Middle-earth

Tourists are shocked to discover New Zealand’s “Middle-earth” is dirty and polluted, says a Lord of the Rings actor who now leads high-end tours.

His criticisms come on top of a Ministry of Environment report noting water quality is poorer where there are pressures from agricultural and urban land use, and research by Waikato University’s Sandi Ringham that finds the clean, green brand is a sham. …

Johnathan Milne follows up:

Keeping us green and keeping us honest this summer

Lord of the Rings tour guide Bruce Hopkins is sure to get a whole bucketload of cow manure tipped over his head today.

That’s all too often what happens to those who are brave enough, or mad enough, to challenge New Zealand’s international tourism claims to be clean and green

We don’t like it. Just ask Dr Mike Joy. When the Massey University freshwater ecologist told the New York Times that New Zealand’s “picture perfect” 100% Pure brand was a fiction, he was slammed as a “traitor”. Climate change minister Tim Groser called his comment “deeply unhelpful”. Prime Minister John Key accused him of living in a different world from other New Zealanders; a world where the economy ground to a halt to keep the environmentalists happy.

Tourism NZ rejects that: its spokeswoman says “100% Pure” is about the people, landscape and activities, not about our environment or waterways.

With respect, that anonymous spin is, again, cow manure. The truth is tourists come from around the world believing our claim to purity, illustrated with stunning photos of our lakes, fiords and coastlines, to be a promise of cleanliness.

But it’s not just farmers who must take responsibility for the damage; we all must do our share in preserving the most beautiful parts of this country. As we head off on our summer holidays, it’s as simple as cleaning up after ourselves; as treading lightly on our fragile coastlines. …

Good advice. And time to change the government.

85 comments on “100% Pure takes another hit”

  1. Phaedrus 2

    It’s aspirational according to our departed dear leader, i.e., 100% bullshit

  2. BM 3

    I know what the greens want to do, but for the “left” to win it’s going to have to involve Peters, which will sideline the greens.

    What’s Labour and NZ first policy regarding dairy? herd reduction? big tax increases?

      • BM 3.1.1

        How do you think this three way will work?

        Peters big push is going to be in the provincial areas, herd reduction and increased carbon taxes are what the greens want, let’s be honest, these are not policies that are going to win over rural folk.

        For country folk to go with Peters, Peters has to show that these ideas are off the table and won’t see the light of day if he’s in government.

        • weka 3.1.1.1

          Sounds like you don’t want it to work (for NZ to have clean waterways again)

          • saveNZ 3.1.1.1.1

            +1 Weka

          • BM 3.1.1.1.2

            Don’t despair artificial milk will see a massive reduction in the dairy herd in decades to come.

            • weka 3.1.1.1.2.1

              We don’t have decades.

              • Paul

                We have very little time, according to a growing consensus of scientists.
                Indeed the events in the Arctic will create feedback loops that put things out of control.

            • weka 3.1.1.1.2.2

              It’s worth pointing out that if it takes ten years for the cowshit/nitrogen to filter through the ground to start polluting a stream, it’s going to take another ten years for that pollution to cease arriving in the stream and then more time for the ecosystem to recover.

              Anyone who thinks that lab milk is going to save NZ waterways either has no fucking idea what they’re talking about or doesn’t give a shit. I’m guessing the latter for you.

              • Red Hand

                If he didn’t care he would not get involved in the discussion and ask the question below “what’s the left going to do about it?”, which is a fair enough question and has not been answered.

                The only rivers I am familiar with are not polluted, the Waitahanui, Hinemaiaia, Tauranga-Taupo and Tongariro. The other rivers I know less well are also clean, Wairoa, upper Waihou, Waitawheta, Mangatangi and Mangatawhiri catchments.

                To get people on side I suggest focusing on the truly polluted rivers, rather than implying that it’s all New Zealand rivers.

                • weka

                  If he didn’t care he would not get involved in the discussion and ask the question below “what’s the left going to do about it?”, which is a fair enough question and has not been answered.

                  Coming from BM, I take the question as trolling. A better question is what righties like him want to see happen in NZ. I think he’s pretty much answered that – he doesn’t like the pollution but he’s not willing for anything meaningful to be done about it. This is why he’s happy to frame the conversation as what’s the left going to do and then go on to talk about how the left won’t form govt anyway. It’s bullshit framing.

                • weka

                  The only rivers I am familiar with are not polluted, the Waitahanui, Hinemaiaia, Tauranga-Taupo and Tongariro. The other rivers I know less well are also clean, Wairoa, upper Waihou, Waitawheta, Mangatangi and Mangatawhiri catchments.

                  I live in the South Island and there are rivers here that aren’t polluted, but I suspect what you mean is the only rivers you are familiar with don’t appear to be polluted.

                  “To get people on side I suggest focusing on the truly polluted rivers, rather than implying that it’s all New Zealand rivers.”

                  straw man (who is saying all rivers are polluted?), and distraction (‘truly’ polluted, lol), so again the bullshit framing.

                  edited.

                  • Red Hand

                    That’s exactly what I mean and no way do I want to be responsible for bullshit framing.

                    “truly polluted ” is imprecise. How about focusing on the waterways that freshwater ecologists and other informed people say have lost most of the organisms that used to live in them due to human activities ?

                    Clean up and restore the damaged rivers and make sure the undamaged rivers are protected.

                    How do you do this and maintain the jobs that contribute to the damage ? I have not read any policies that look like they could realistically achieve this because of economic and political factors, so I accept that a minority of NZ rivers are going to stay damaged for generations, but regulate and enforce to stop further damage.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      How do you do this and maintain the jobs that contribute to the damage ?

                      Why would we want to maintain them?

                      Dropping direct agricultural jobs from the present ~7% of the population to ~2% and shifting the freed up population to something else seems a reasonable action to protect the environment that we rely upon for our lifes.

                • Ab

                  Judging from those rivers you are a trout fisher. I know those rivers too and the reason for being familiar with them is exactly because they ARE clean and hold populations of fish. So as long as you can have access to those clean rivers you don’t really care about anywhere or anyone else. Charming.

              • simbit

                Can evidently take up to 70 years in some catchments (Taupo), 30 years here in Ellesmere.

            • Paul 3.1.1.1.2.3

              Are you remotely concerned at the state or our environment?

        • KJT 3.1.1.2

          Herd reduction, reducing reliance on imported feed, and sustainable practices, are what farmers need to do if they want to continue farming. I think most long term farmers realise that.
          The Greens are happy to help farmers transition, if need be.

          The ones who just want to take their capital gains and run, of course………

    • Cinny 3.2

      Fencing off rivers would be a good start… JS How about a bit of sustainable farming, why not go organic? .

      Farming for want of massive wealth does not create true farmers, it’s about the love of the land and the nurture of the animals. And this is where it all went wrong, the white gold rush and way too many bad intentions for self greed, yeah Judith you fit in that box nicely don’t you? BM sounds like you are in that box as well.

      If you’ve ever lived or worked on a farm you would know when the cattle strays into the creek or whatever, it takes a crap. Farmers fence off waterways if they are on well water, to protect their families health, they know it’s not good.

      Bigger the farm, bigger the cattle head count, bigger the profits, bigger the area of fencing required, don’t have a big farm if you can’t afford to fence it, especially the waterways, a river is not a fence.

    • reason 3.3

      What we do know is that BMs arsehole is both smarter and more honest than its owner …

      Get your disco pants and maybe a gimp mask to go with that drink of nationals river water ….

      Put on a show and call it ‘right direction’ … an arsed-hole speaks the truth to a gimp

  3. tricldrown 4

    Bullshitting Monetarist.
    Dirty Dairying is getting away with massive long-term environmental damage.
    Any other industry would be shut down told to comply fined and pay for the clean up.
    Subsidized pollution.
    For votes.

    • BM 4.1

      So what’s the left going to do about it?

      • saveNZ 4.1.1

        @BM – get rid of National next election.

      • WILD KATIPO 4.1.2

        Pass a few basic legislative acts for a start. As Cinny has already suggested, – FENCING is probably one of the no – brainer , most fundamental first port of calls.

        BM wouldn’t understand that because he has no brain.

        Another thing BM hasn’t a clue about is enforcement of regulations – and that means govt dept inspectors who are not sold out to corporate interests to regularly monitor farming practice’s – with hefty fines for non compliance as well.

        And lets start making a few of these neo liberal politicians and ideologues comply with the usual rant about ‘personal responsibility ‘ handed down to the rest of us when it suits them – and we could also expand that to include ‘ corporate responsibility ‘ as well.

        That’ll make em scream bloody blue murder – I can hear the screams from here.

        Something else the far right wing neo liberal free marketer dunderhead abhors – hence Pike River.

    • saveNZ 4.2

      Most farmers want a 100% pure NZ, and don’t want dirty dairy. It is actually people in the council, Fed farmers and Natz politicians that are the ones paving the way for dirty dairying. If the farmers were told to clean up and actually helped to do it by their member groups – they would in most cases.

      The trick with rural folk is to make it about common sense. Not policy papers, not complicated policy. Just make it simple. We don’t want shit in the water, so let’s fence the waterways off and make sure the effluent is contained. The Greens and Labour messages should be similar to NZ First on this – stop making the issues into divisions of rural vs city folks. Most of them want the same thing – 100% pure NZ. But it has to be practical.

      Fonterra and the government should have already done research into solving a lot of environmental issues. But what have they done, fired the scientists, stole public water for private hands and stolen democracy by putting in their own cronies to force on decisions

      Not good for most farmers as well as not good for city folk and not good for exports and not good for tourism – in short what the hell are the Natz doing environmental damage for – stupidity, ideology – who knows?

      • Rosemary McDonald 4.2.1

        “Most farmers want a 100% pure NZ, and don’t want dirty dairy. It is actually people in the council, Fed farmers and Natz politicians that are the ones paving the way for dirty dairying. If the farmers were told to clean up and actually helped to do it by their member groups – they would in most cases.”

        All of them…but you missed out these guys….

        http://www.ballance.co.nz/Our-CoOp/Our-Community/News/2016/Spring/Ballance-scholarships-open-door-to-bright-futures-in-agribusiness

        …and their mates…

        http://www.ravensdown.co.nz/in-the-community/hugh-williams-scholarship

        Long after the shit has washed away, the damage done by excessive artificial nutrient use will go on, and on and on….http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/287590/farming-damaging-environment-report

        http://files.ecan.govt.nz/public/south-canterbury-streams/research/sccs-research-managing-catchment-nutrient-loads.pdf

        • Macro 4.2.1.1

          Exactly Lake Eire is North America is now a cess pit. The water is so full of phosphates and nitrogen, washed off the high intensive farms of Canada and the Northern US, that it has become unsafe for the people of major cities (such as Toledo and Cleveland) who have used this water for their water supply, to drink.

      • BM 4.2.2

        Riparian margins aren’t really going to help that much, the main problem is there are just too many cows per hectare.

        Unfortunately, riparian margins can only lock up so much nutrient runoff and at these higher stocking rates, they quickly reach a point where they can no longer absorb excessive nutrients.

        Because farmland is so expensive farmers have had to up their stocking rates to make their farms a viable business,
        The only way to improve things is to cut stock numbers.

        It’s going to be mighty difficult to persuade farmers to basically, go broke.

        • weka 4.2.2.1

          still arguing against change BM?

          • BM 4.2.2.1.1

            I’m not a great fan of Dairy, it’s cruel, it destroys the environment and has a terrible work culture.

            But it helps pay the bills, without dairy, there would be a fuck load of people doing it very very hard in NZ.

            • Paul 4.2.2.1.1.1

              So destroying the environment is worth a short term benefit?

              • KJT

                I would argue that, if we hadn’t been so successful sful with primary produce we would have had to develop an economy.

                Oil producing nations have the same problem as oil demand drops. Lack of depth in their economy.
                For example Saudi Arabia. Propped up by the US, paying for their major source of employment, the military.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I would argue that, if we hadn’t been so successful sful with primary produce we would have had to develop an economy.

                  Exactly.

                  Basically, we decided to cheat by doing things the easy way and now we’re up shit creek without a paddle. Give the RWNJs much longer and we won’t have a boat either as they would have sold it.

                  • Draco – while it’s fun to bag the” RWNJs” for this, BM’s question, what will the Left do about it, isn’t being answered. I suspect there’s little real difference between political parties around this question and that’s because it’s not at all easy to solve. From what I see, each party will just fiddle with the details and not even begin to address the root cause. Proposing recalibrations to agricultural practice is all I see on offer from politicians. We have to go much deeper than that. In that light, I find myself siding with BM in this thread 🙁

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      what will the Left do about it, isn’t being answered.

                      I’ve given plenty of answers.

                      I suspect there’s little real difference between political parties around this question and that’s because it’s not at all easy to solve.

                      Actually, it is easy to solve but the political parties don’t want to accept that capitalism has to be done away with.

                      From what I see, each party will just fiddle with the details and not even begin to address the root cause.

                      True.

                      Proposing recalibrations to agricultural practice is all I see on offer from politicians.

                      True again.

                      But what are the people demanding?

                      I think you’ll find that the answer to that question is far different to what the politicians are offering.

                    • Draco – I agree with you on each point you make. Do you see a way forward and what actions do you believe are necessary?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      There’s a way forward.

                      1. Limits on income
                      2. Limits on ownership
                      3. Sovereign monetary system
                      4. Strict regulations for farming
                      5. Massive investment in R&D
                      6. Full tracking of the nations resources
                      7. Devolution of government from parliament to the people – parliament would then write the laws that implement the policies the people have decided upon
                      8. A written constitution that limits government

                • KJT is correct, imo. In fact,on a global/historical scale, what he says, goes. Had agriculture not taken hold the way it did, we would all (humans and other-than-human organisms) would be in a very different space. However, that’s not what happened. Having bought into agriculture and its attendant civilizing effect, we find ourselves in a “position”, a perilous one that’s very difficult to extricate ourselves from.

            • Muttonbird 4.2.2.1.1.2

              Rubbish. That land could be put to much better use. Housing the huge number of failed National MPs for one.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2.2.1.1.3

              Are you taking the piss, arsehole? Dairying is the reason people are doing it very very hard.

            • weka 4.2.2.1.1.4

              “But it helps pay the bills, without dairy, there would be a fuck load of people doing it very very hard in NZ.”

              TINA? Really? You think NZers are so stupid they couldn’t come up with other ways to make a living?

              • Draco T Bastard

                Yes, the RWNJs really are that stupid.

                They haven’t worked out yet that if we didn’t import anything then we wouldn’t have those bills that they’re so concerned with paying.

              • Red Hand

                I’m not stupid, but I lack courage and drive (she’ll be right) and I’m very suspicious of people who don’t fit in (“fit in or fuck off”). The country has always expected everything to be handed to it and specializes in passive aggression (we lost thousands of men in fighting beside you against the Huns so you owe us a living) we are the international paragon of moral virtue (Kate Sheppard, Mururoa, exemplary Race Relations, Clean Green Environment etc etc ). I wish the dairy boom would slowly fade and the cockies move to town and get a fuck’n life !

                • greywarshark

                  Red Hand at 6.12 pm You said what many thinking people are thinking.

                  And BM at 12.57pm – Really good points. Why don’t you put in more joined up ideas that we can pick out the cherries from instead of your usual yahboo stuff? We can do with some more reasoned stuff that adds to the debate and tones down some of the heights of lefty theorising and posturing.

              • BM

                TINA? Really?

                At the moment, yes.

                This may come as a bit of a shock for left wing people such as yourself, you can’t just create new profitable business/products just like that.

                Takes a hell of a lot of work, luck and deep pockets to bring new products onto the market successfully.

                • Red Hand

                  “deep pockets” All that money that could support NZ startups spent on Mercs, BMWs, “investment” property, overseas trips, tax avoidance advice and private school fees. You sicken me.

                • Deep pockets , eh?

                  Kaingaroa state forest… what era did that start up in BM?

                  Hydro schemes ?

                  Seems for some reason our forefathers didnt seem as cringing as we are now… and admittedly , we need to develop more ‘ value added’ products in these times – computer componentry perhaps?

                  Oh wait- we cant because we are all cashless because of neo liberalism and the big boys who already are invested in those industry’s don’t want any added competition…

                  And just because Japan can import its raw materials and convert it into product for the export market ,…well,.. we are not Japanese – just New Zealanders who need ‘ foreign expertise ‘ on how to do anything including clean a toilet seat these days , it seems…

        • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2.2.2

          Re: riparian margins: says who? Anyone who takes your word for it is an idiot.

          It’s going to be difficult to continually subsidise polluters, whether you think they’re too big to fail or not.

        • saveNZ 4.2.2.3

          Actually BM it is the opposite – various forces are trying to convert uneconomic property into dairy when the land and the location are inappropriate. Stop that number 1.

          Number 2, farmers are becoming broke by increasing their landholdings when interest rates will start rising, increased supplementary feed such as palm kernel when there is drought or overstocking. Reducing their stock levels will reduce the need for supplementary feed and bankruptcy during drought.

          Farm land prices are being driven up by immigration, overseas land sales and farm asset sales promoted by the National government and some councils.

          Better and more environmental pastural practises with scientific and organic principals should be trialled immediately to see what works the best.

          More cross and diversification of farm land should be encouraged. Such as Bees + dairy + tourism + horticulture

          When we were involved in world solving climate change talks, NZ was supposed to take a scientific approach to reducing emissions – what happened?? Who decided to fire the scientists and instead just buy fake credits?

          • greywarshark 4.2.2.3.1

            Important points save nz. Farming becomes unprofitable when people take advantage of high prices to exit from their unit and sell it on with a load of paid-out profit on it. This needs to produce an accepted percentage of return but on a higher base of investment than before which the farm has to be squeezed to meet.

            A drop in prices, a drop in land values, and the bubble bursts. If people sell to an overseas investor then the profits either flow out of the country, or are used to gain bigger landholdings, so whichever alienates NZ profit or land.

        • Macro 4.2.2.4

          That is certainly true BM. So what is required is a government capable of thinking outside the square. What we have at the moment is a government incapable of any thought whatsoever!
          There are ways and means for farmers to work within the boundaries of the environment and make a profit. The reason many are in debt up to their eyeballs, and can see no way out, other to constantly increase production, is because that is what they have been encouraged to do – by both this govt and the previous one. This was, and is now becoming clearly evident, an unsustainable approach to farming.
          Shifting to sustainable practices, reducing stocking rates, moving from 2 milkings per day to one, etc, not only reduces stress on the livestock, but also stress on the farmer.
          NZ thinks that it is a major producer of dairy product – but in the scheme of things world wide we are a relatively minor player. India’s milk production is way in excess of ours. 146 million tonnes of milk compared to NZ’s 21.5 million tonnes.
          So essentially that means that NZ must always be a price taker – not a price setter.
          Maybe we, and our farmers, need to take a step back, and think of other ways we can use our land.

          • KJT 4.2.2.4.1

            New Zealand is a minor producer, but we are the worlds biggest dairy exporter.

            Prices dropped because we got too greedy and basically flooded the market.

            • Macro 4.2.2.4.1.1

              “Prices dropped because we got too greedy and basically flooded the market.”….. With a cheap and dirty product.
              What I am saying above – we need to rethink what we produce and how we produce it.

            • Draco T Bastard 4.2.2.4.1.2

              Actually, it wasn’t us that flooded the market but other nations after they ramped up their dairy production because of the high profits. The thing is that they didn’t have to ramp up by much to flood us out of the market.

              For NZ to remain dependent upon exporting food is rather idiotic as every country in the world is quite capable of feeding themselves.

        • mauī 4.2.2.5

          I mostly agree with you for once. You’re sounding a tincy bit like Dr Joy which is concerning too.

        • WILD KATIPO 4.2.2.6

          You can thank your glorious free market endorsed by your neo liberal cronies for that , BM .

          There was a time in this country where there were govt subsidy’s and incentives for farmers to be able to comply without running them to the wall or going broke. And while that money might have came from the taxpayer , we all benefited from a relatively healthy environment and an unstressed major industry.

          Any arguments to the contrary only need be directed at the ‘ TO BIG TO FAIL’ hypocrisy evident during , and after , the global credit crunch.

  4. saveNZ 5

    P.S. Heard from multiple people that Fonterra management is now officially shit! Fonterra are making stupid decisions and have become completely impractical. The management are like a council creaming (literally) the profits while being out of touch and having zero interest in real practical projects that help dairy on a practical level like tankers, let alone the environment. In many cases the projects Fonterra are implementing are making things less efficient than 10 years ago!

    • tc 5.1

      They’ve been shit for quite sometime, high returns mask a lot of defects and old boys lining each other’s pockets.

  5. Poission 7

    unemployed middle earth actor, should visit middle island to see Medea in all her glory.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Hillier#/media/File:Lake_Hillier_2_Middle_Island_Recherche_Archipelago_NR_IV-2011.JPG

  6. mosa 8

    Lets change from a government talking shit and doing jack-shit to one that will get shit done.

  7. Draco T Bastard 10

    Wonder if we can book the government for false advertising on this.

    • Bob 10.1

      Nope, New Zealand is 100% pure New Zealand, the good and the bad. It doesn’t say 100% clean environment New Zealand, you are just projecting that.
      It’s a play on words, clever marketing, which is probably why it has been our slogan for so long.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1

        No, that would be you making up BS to defend the indefensible.

        The adverts clearly show NZ as being environmentally clean and that is just not the case.

  8. bugsolutely 11

    Having on meal per week of insect protein can save over 1/2 million liters of water per year and create very little green house gas, change your preconceptions.

  9. Adrian 12

    Anybody that quotes French tourists as being “shocked” at the cleanliness, or lack of, of our rivers loses all credibility.
    I love France but I wouldn’t put my toe into even a bloody puddle over there or anywhere in Europe for that matter.
    The gorgeous canals are so full of human shit it’s laughable and none of the canal boats big or small have holding tanks because there is nowhere to offload them.
    I think he’s grandstanding.
    Our practice is better than almost anywhere else in the world even though we’ve still got a way to go.

  10. greywarshark 13

    @Adrain replies
    1 They do it too..
    2 I love France, (some of my best friends are French? )
    3 Our practice is better than almost anywhere else in the world even though we’ve still got a way to go.

    This is the puerile chat that passes for thinking amongst a majority in NZ.
    The point is that –
    1 We are a long way from France and Europe, and what they do is interesting but here is where our heart, home and wages are, and France has other countries around it, and a much bigger population (of people) than we have of cows.
    2 If we want tourists to travel all the way down here we must have some features that catch their fancy, are interesting, worthwhile, intriguing etc
    3 After promoting and advertising at great cost, and catching tourists’ interest, they expect us to have what we say we have, here and now, not be selling what we used to have before rampant careless greed went for broke and gave the rest of us the fingers.
    4 Tourism is vital to this country which has been denuded of other business opportunities since we decided to go global and cheap and a warehouse for remaindered product.
    5 Your quoted comment has two qualifications in it that negate the meaning of the whole sentence.
    Query – where do you get the cheek to put comment on this blog which means next to nothing?

  11. millsy 14

    The only way to do this is to pay farmers not to pollute.

  12. Grant Henderson 15

    Rachel Stewart has also commented accurately in the NZ Herald on 28 December 2016 (“Who will stand up to dairying?”).

    She should in fact have asked “Who will stand up to dirty dairying?”.

    Certainly not the National government, which is completely cowed by Federated Farmers.

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