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The Speech From The Throne

Written By: - Date published: 7:35 am, November 27th, 2020 - 21 comments

I’m sure one needs a particular depth of political nerdiness to give a flying fig about such things, but since I am one of those, these are my highlights from the speech from the throne to Parliament this week.

Regenerative economies: $100,000 growing permaculture kale

Written By: - Date published: 6:05 am, October 11th, 2020 - 56 comments

A Thames couple are showing how to make a living from small scale market gardening, and leading the way in regenerative horticulture.

The Greens on urban farming

Written By: - Date published: 6:05 am, September 24th, 2020 - 25 comments

This is exactly the kind of approach the Green Party would like to encourage – it’s strategic, it’s intergenerational and it recognises the interconnectedness of our people, the environment and local communities.

Greenpeace on the Green Party’s Farm for the Future policy

Written By: - Date published: 9:21 am, September 15th, 2020 - 58 comments

“Wildfires are burning across the world and our rivers and lakes have been pushed to the brink. This is no time for half measures. Phasing out the use of PKE is exactly the kind of bold and transformational policy that is needed to deal with the climate and freshwater crises.”

What is this regenerative agriculture thing anyway?

Written By: - Date published: 11:42 am, September 13th, 2020 - 32 comments

Given the state of New Zealand land and water, changing how we do farming should be a strong political topic for the left this year. The Greens and Greenpeace are campaigning for a shift to regenerative agriculture, so it’s timely to look at what that is.

If National wins the hope for clean water and swimmable rivers will be gone by lunchtime

Written By: - Date published: 8:03 am, August 27th, 2020 - 40 comments

National has promised that if it gains power rules designed to improve water quality in our streams and rivers will be “gone by lunchtime.

The fragility of our food supply

Written By: - Date published: 11:11 am, August 6th, 2020 - 98 comments

As climate, ecological, pandemic and neoliberal pressures put our food security at risk, we can take heart from the many people who have been developing and practicing sustainable and resilient food growing.

The politics of gun control

Written By: - Date published: 7:47 am, March 9th, 2020 - 180 comments

National and NZ First are frustrating the passage of the Arms Legislation Bill by raising issues that may appeal to extremists but will not make the country a safer place after the Christchurch massacre.

Happy cows and land restoration

Written By: - Date published: 7:10 am, March 1st, 2020 - 12 comments

The point here isn’t to go ‘boo vegans’, it’s to point starkly to the problems with the current food and environment debate, and show case the pathways beyond the meat/no meat binary.

Federated Farmers launches petition against its business model

Written By: - Date published: 9:20 am, January 19th, 2020 - 157 comments

Federated Farmers has started a petition against an educational resource that teaches about climate change and activism because it does not present their industry in a sufficiently positive way.

The Government’s Economic Development Plan

Written By: - Date published: 7:35 am, September 30th, 2019 - 15 comments

Last week the government launched its Economic Development Plan, arguably late but with lots of useful initiatives.

Fonterra, again

Written By: - Date published: 9:15 am, September 29th, 2019 - 24 comments

Why New Zealand – and its government – need to engage much harder about Fonterra.

The NZIER Report on dairying and fresh water

Written By: - Date published: 8:47 am, September 20th, 2019 - 19 comments

“New Zealand does not face stark choices between having a dairy sector versus having clean waterways. Experience shows that, by focusing on profits, not production, farms can increase their economic returns and reduce their impact on the environment.”

Fonterra failure and Government failure

Written By: - Date published: 7:38 am, August 19th, 2019 - 95 comments

Fonterra is dragging New Zealand down, faster and faster.  What is this Government going to do?

Police – ignoring their job in Southland

Written By: - Date published: 8:57 am, August 12th, 2019 - 49 comments

“Allegations of trespassing and intimidation as Southland winter grazing protest escalates” yesterday. The reporter completely missed the most important salient point – the police don’t seem to be doing their job. Leaving a pissed lynch mob of farmers trying to force people out of their house to ‘talk’ to them is pretty clearly an act of intimidation. And that doesn’t even cover the original idiot farmer who is alleged to have rammed someone’s car.

Brian Easton on methane

Written By: - Date published: 9:14 am, July 18th, 2019 - 4 comments

Brian Easton has put up a interesting post at Pundit which looks at how we should measure and constrain in our methane emissions. My initial impression is that his approach defeats the purpose of trying to reduce the effects of climate change over the coming century.

The hard change of forestry

Written By: - Date published: 10:41 am, May 18th, 2019 - 98 comments

Forestry is forcing an important tilting point between mitigating climate change and land use, and it’s going to affect the viability of some North Island towns.

Zero carbon bill – let the battle commence

Written By: - Date published: 8:21 am, May 9th, 2019 - 102 comments

The Zero Carbon bill is already being attacked by farming groups who are clearly concerned at the implications for their industry.  And National is already showing signs that it will play politics with the issue.

Westland Dairy sale

Written By: - Date published: 12:08 pm, March 20th, 2019 - 30 comments

Westland Dairy has done a deal to sell out to Yili industrial Group of Mongolia. This company is the third largest dairy company in New Zealand.

New Zealand needs a Government that understands climate change

Written By: - Date published: 9:58 am, January 10th, 2019 - 47 comments

In an opinion piece in Stuff National Spokesperson on climate change Todd Muller has cast doubt on National agreeing to a political consensus on climate change.

No sense, nonsense and a dearth of common sense.

Written By: - Date published: 9:46 am, November 29th, 2018 - 23 comments

We wouldn’t tie a rope to a heavy load and then push on the rope with the expectation of achieving anything, right? So why is the Guardian’s Environment Editor entreating that we do just that? Is he merely stupid? Or is there something more cynical at play?

What does it take for bosses not to get their bonus?

Written By: - Date published: 11:26 am, September 13th, 2018 - 17 comments

Why is it that all risk lies with the shareholders? Why does poor performance by a company not result in CEO and top management bonuses being clawed back?

Fonterra’s loss

Written By: - Date published: 9:35 am, September 13th, 2018 - 67 comments

Fonterra has just reported an after tax loss of $196 million for the 2018 year. It’s never had an annual loss in its history.

No Waimea dam

Written By: - Date published: 2:35 pm, August 17th, 2018 - 26 comments

With the change in Government and ever increasing costs of construction it appears that the Waimea dam project in Tasman District is going to be scuppered.

Steaming cow poo.

Written By: - Date published: 11:57 am, June 2nd, 2018 - 54 comments

Avoiding meat and dairy is ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on Earth according to a Guardian headline.

Yeah. No it’s not.

It’s Time for a Cost-Benefit Analysis of Dairy Farming

Written By: - Date published: 7:42 am, May 29th, 2018 - 166 comments

Not just, ‘we’ve got to make the good outweigh the bad’. I mean: why should dairy farming exist here?

Bio-fuels.

Written By: - Date published: 2:15 pm, February 11th, 2018 - 35 comments

Biofuels and fossil. The difference?

Fonterra a failure in concept and in practice

Written By: - Date published: 6:10 pm, February 9th, 2018 - 109 comments

New Zealanders 17 years ago accepted the idea of a national dairy monopoly on the condition it would deliver outstanding returns. The cost has been high — filthy and unswimmable rivers. Now it turns out the result has been a financial fiasco – the whole thing is literally bullshit, or more correctly, cowshit.

The Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership

Written By: - Date published: 8:53 am, January 25th, 2018 - 137 comments

The positive aspects of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership.

Labour and rural voters

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, November 6th, 2017 - 94 comments

In recent years Labour has allowed National to dominate rural politics. Maybe it is time for Labour to think about reaching out to rural voters and suggest to them that a progressive vote is in their interests.

Overseas land sales, Landcorp land sales, and the environment

Written By: - Date published: 6:28 am, October 27th, 2017 - 194 comments

Our land needs threefold protection.

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