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Fifty shades of meh

Written By: - Date published: 8:31 am, November 15th, 2019 - 130 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment, farming, global warming, national, Politics, same old national - Tags:

There was a small protest at Parliament yesterday.

The participants were from farming backgrounds and were complaining about the Government’s apparent intention to destroy farming communities throughout the land.

What could they have been referring to?

Collette Devlin filed this backgrounder.  The article contains this passage:

The group … believes farmers are being painted as environmental vandals by the Government and will ask for a fair go on emissions, water regulations, land use changes and mental health.

The group says the Billion Trees Programme is threatening the viability of rural New Zealand and wanted to urge politicians to listen to the farming community, [spokesperson Andy Scott] said.

His message to the politicians was that their current policies were doomed to fail and the blanket planting of pine trees was a failed concept that only kicked the can down the road.

The group was not denying climate change or opposed to the programme but believed it could be done in a more sensible way, he said.

What these more sensible methods are I was not able to ascertain.  Although the organisation’s website has this paper suggesting that the zero carbon goal is nothing more than a feel good project. It also presumes there is a god given right of farmers to continue to farm meat, despite the damage this causes to our climate, our waterways and our landscapes.  And it takes some imagination to think that planting trees has an adverse effect on landscapes and on birds.

It is anticipated that the billion tree programme will result in the forested area of the country increasing from 1.7 million to 2 million hectares over the next nine years.  Farms occupy 12.1 million hectares.  And the least profitable most marginal land is the land most likely to be converted.  This is hardly radical change.

And it has been happening for a while as has the sale of farms to overseas entities. 

This did not stop National from doing a treble somersault with a backward dismount and make it sound like they were opposed to the country’s general climate policy direction.

I mean this is pretty formidable sleight of hand when you think that the country signed up to the Kyoto Protocol as well as the Paris Accord on climate change under National, and that National supported the Zero Carbon Bill becoming law.

Trees should be the least of farmers’ worries.  Climate change should be front and centre of their concerns.  Which is why this group’s world views and goals are hopelessly unrealistic.

130 comments on “Fifty shades of meh ”

  1. Blazer 1

    Muller must have borrowed Bob Katter's hat.

    Handful of grandstanders in swandri's.

    • Dukeofurl 1.1

      Muller seems to have forgotten that Simon and Paula as NZ Climate Change Ministers at the time went to Paris to sign up for NZ

      Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett has welcomed the historic Paris Agreement, which comes into force today.

      “Today is a momentous day internationally in that we have an agreement at scale that climate change is a global problem,” Mrs Bennett says.

      The Paris Agreement formalises the legal framework for all countries to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

      So far 87 countries have ratified the Paris Agreement including New Zealand, which ratified on 5 October, 2016. New Zealand’s ratification helped the agreement cross the threshold for entry of 55 countries representing 55 per cent of global emissions.

  2. observer 2

    A couple of months ago there were over 100,000 climate change protesters, and if media coverage was pro rata this lot should have got about half a second's worth.

    Some of the reporting was lazy, saying "farmers demand this and that". That boorish mob yesterday don't have any mandate to represent farmers. (Sure, most people in rural NZ tend to vote National, but they don't all go around behaving like dicks and waving offensive placards).

  3. esoteric pineapples 3

    A forestry consultant I talked to, said farmers should take advantage of all the different types of forestry assistances available to them at present which will help their farms to increase their profitability as well as help the environment, as this assistance might not be available in future because money will run out or there will be a change of government policty. He said that a lot of farmers actually are taking advantage.

  4. I feel love 4

    "No more pine trees!" has got to be one of the stupidest placards I've ever seen, ha!

    • tc 4.1

      Haven't they already done that in the conversion to dairy.

    • John Clover 4.2

      Surely better would be "Natives not Pine" except that Native grow slower and so take longer to be effective [?] but last longer[?] or perhaps "More Natives Fewer Pines"

    • left_forward 4.3

      At the risk of being the next stupidest thing – I thought that was spot on.

      Why do you want more pines?

      • Sabine 4.3.1

        cause in ten years you cut them down and bingo presto ….profit.

        oh what, you thought that this country is gonna plant a million trees for growing and providing habitat to endangered homeless birds and such? Silly you. The million trees are gonna be planted to be cut down for …..profit.

        But it sure made some feel good about themselves and yei! That is all that matters, kinder gentler bullshit that will amount to fuck all.

    • Ken 4.4

      What are they going to write their protest placards on without trees?

  5. WeTheBleeple 5

    LOL. A pack of incoherent emos posing as 'salt of the earth' types. So hard done by what with other people planting trees seen as a threat to them. Drongos, and dare I say, stupid rednecks.

  6. Stuart Munro. 6

    The messages are incoherent, but not necessarily all wrong.

    There is reasonable concern about the OIO – an organization that is too round-heeled by far – it almost never says no. I'd prefer that it was replaced by a simple notice saying "Never." – and a substantial majority of New Zealanders agree.

    Pine trees have been criticized as being among the worst of possible planting options, creating a kind of forest with relatively poor carbon sequestration options.

    But mixed in with the incoherence is the frankly stupid crap like the C.U.N.T.S. banner – designed to resonate with scumsucking low-lives so protean they might even resort to voting for an utterly corrupt and worthless party like National. Those vermin deserve nothing but contempt.

    • WeTheBleeple 6.1

      If you go along with a group with incoherent, false and plain nasty statements to push, little wonder any message you might have is lost in the furore. This is a Trumpian grab-bag of bullshitters and blithering idiots looking for someone to hate/blame for their own shortcomings. Guaranteed you get a six-pack in those lads and all the racist sexist homophobic fear of others bigotry and similar shit will come pouring out. Guilt by association and all that they get tarred with the same stupid brush. Bet they're really mad about their guns too.

      • Stuart Munro. 6.1.1

        I see them as a more differentiated group. The PR angle of the Trumpians is to persuade people with one or a few of the discontents that they subscribe to all of them – that for example because they are uneasy about climate change regulation, they also hate the coalition.

        I think these things are better teased apart – the concerns that are valid addressed, and only the hardcore wankers subjected to the contempt they have so richly earned.

    • Tabletennis 6.2

      And Pine trees are planted to be copped at some stage – plus it occupies land that can't be used for future generations

      • Pat 6.2.1

        It can be reused….but involves massive expenditure of energy and tech, Rakaia on the Canterbury plains a prime example where woodlots and plantation forest were converted to irrigated dairy pasture…such was the capital increase in land values it was economically viable at the time

        • Pat 6.2.1.1

          A perfect example of a market failure….the same market we are relying on to plant a billion trees in the best locations for the greatest result….we are too dumb (greedy) to learn.

          • Dukeofurl 6.2.1.1.1

            Arent the current plantation sites poor use as sheep and maybe cattle. Prone to slips and summer droughts.

            Dont see the relevance to the Canterbury flat land , as dairy cows requirements are very different to hill country sheep with a low market return ( shearing costs more than the value at auction of the wool)

            • Pat 6.2.1.1.1.1

              the complaint is good flat land in central north island is being converted to plantation forestry…I too have a problem with that, we should be selecting the least productive land land for our carbon sinks, and considering the impact on communities (something we failed to do in the eighties reforms)…but the claim that once land is planted in trees its lost to other production is technically incorrect, although the resources needed to revert it are better spent elsewhere..that is the relevance of Canterbury flat land…that and the demonstration of how the 'market' behaves…and this is a problem that wont be solved by the ‘market’ for that is what has created it

    • The Chairman 6.3

      There is reasonable concern about the OIO – an organization that is too round-heeled by far – it almost never says no.

      Indeed. More so, the bypassing of it.

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/116842839/govt-gives-japaneseowned-forestry-company-free-pass-to-buy-new-zealand-land

      • David Mac 6.3.1

        Who did you vote for and why?

        You can either lie or expose yourself as the biggest sucker who ever drew a breath.

        Hmmm, nah, that won't drop yer dacs. You need only respond "I voted lab/green and I can't begin to tell you how bitterly disappointed I am Dave."

        • David Mac 6.3.1.1

          Aspiring to be Marvin is a false goal.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKd6ZxCEJdI

          • David Mac 6.3.1.1.1

            Ha! Onya Chairman. You remind me of a talk back radio host stimulating a full switchboard at the start of a shift.

            I like you, I think lots of us do, You're a lovable Marvin sort of an arse.

            :Life, don't talk to me about life."

            *Crikey! I see you've now deleted your comment including the list of parties you voted for over the last while. I'll keep it to myself Chairman. I won't tell anyone.

            Click to Edit – 9 minutes and 36 seconds

      • Stuart Munro. 6.3.2

        Yeah – it's a bit like Treasury – a font of excuses for doing things that lack a democratic mandate.

  7. Tiger Mountain 7

    Farmers at Parliament…don’t you just love ’em…Tractor parade through Dargaville yesterday too, half of them seemed to think it is still 1964 and the other half wish it was!
    Image may contain: one or more people and text

    • mac1 7.1

      I see by the placement of the apostrophe in "New Zealander's" that he's only speaking for himself in this autobiographical placard.

  8. weka 8

    Anyone got a piece I can read about the tree planting? I stopped pay attention when I heard Shane Jones was in charge, but if it really is a lot of pine plantation, that's a problem

    • weka 8.1

      This from Ad, looks at some of the farmland to forestry issues.

      The hard change of forestry

      • ianmac 8.2.1

        The native tree problem is one of supply I think. It takes a year or two to incubate native seedlings so there is a lag to the native plantings.

        • Stuart Munro. 8.2.1.1

          I'm not a nativist myself – but I want a bit more diversity than pine. A bit of macro – it's lovely timber. A stand of totara – wonderful stuff, given a bit of time. Some mixed podocarps for the birds. Bit of decorative chestnut. Some blackwood. Lacquer trees for a sustainable craft industry. Sugar maples. Not just radiata – even just staggering harvest dates would be an improvement on that.

          Robert would probably have a more definitive list.

        • weka 8.2.1.2

          "It takes a year or two to incubate native seedlings so there is a lag to the native plantings."

          Worse than other trees?

          This isn't a native vs pine issue necessarily. It's a plantation vs ecological forest issue as much as anything.

          • Dukeofurl 8.2.1.2.1

            O'Connor says 2/3 of the billion trees are natives

            "The Government provides higher grant rates for native species over pine. Two thirds of the trees established through the Fund will be natives."

            https://www.ruralnewsgroup.co.nz/rural-news/rural-opinion/no-threat-to-farming-from-forestry-oconnor

            • weka 8.2.1.2.1.1

              that's the intention, not sure if that will happen. Are they using financial incentive there to try and make that true? So no actual requirement. Fucks sake.

              As above, the issue isn't just about pines vs native, it's about plantation vs forest, regeneration, appropriate land use and so on.

              • Dukeofurl

                Why be against the intention. ?

                The application process could sort out the balance and yes , extra money seems to be provided for native seedlings for all sorts of reasons

                This whole project isnt top of my list in have knowledge of , but I seem to be the only person doing background digging

                'The One Billion Trees Fund is different from previous afforestation funds in that it aims to provide flexible funding to help plant the right tree, in the right place, for the right purpose.'

                https://www.teururakau.govt.nz/funding-and-programmes/forestry/one-billion-trees-programme/one-billion-tree-fund/

                "It is important to note that Te Uru Rākau does not support whole farm conversions. In addition to being assessed for whole-farm conversion risk, large scale projects will also be expected to meet a broad range of the fund's objectives.

      • weka 8.2.2

        thanks Stuart. Such a shame that Jones is in charge of this instead of the Greens.

        • Stuart Munro. 8.2.2.1

          A Sisyphaen task I guess – but of course the Gnats had no-one doing it.

          Instead of enlightened governance we are blown backwards into the future like Klee's Angelus Novus:

          This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet.

        • woodart 8.2.2.2

          get over your dislike of jones and get behind the idea of planting bulk amounts of trees. its a great policy,and moaning about the species planted is childish. as a land stabiliser it is badly needed, and those stupid rednecks would be the first looking for government handouts when there land washes away .

          • stunned mullet 8.2.2.2.1

            ‘their’.. also Jones is the most bombastic onansitic useless prat to have graced parliament in decades and that's saying something.

            I agree with Weka it’s a travesty that the Green’s aren’t up front and foremost with the tree planting rather than Shane Jones. Hopefully he’ll be consigned to the dustbin of history at the next election.

            • Stuart Munro. 8.2.2.2.1.1

              most bombastic onansitic useless prat to have graced parliament in decades

              Gerry must find your lack of faith disturbing.

            • Dukeofurl 8.2.2.2.1.2

              "Green’s aren’t up front and foremost with the tree planting rather than Shane Jones."

              Why . ? The policy, says O' Connor, is for 2/3 natives in the billion trees

          • weka 8.2.2.2.2

            It's not simply a species issue, it's about what works for maximum benefit.

            Jones is focused on using this to create jobs and regional development. He's not particularly ecologically literate (or maybe he doesn't care). The Greens would do both regional development and ecology, because that's their kaupapa.

            There are very good reasons why planting mixed species forests should be central in what NZ does, for CC, stabilisation, biodiversity, and so on.

            • Dukeofurl 8.2.2.2.2.1

              Do you really think he does these things directly? They all go through the new Forestry Agency with its HQ in Rotorua.

              Thats how almost all ministries work, they employ experts on the subject. See Green run Ministries such as Statistics and Land Information where the minister doesnt have much say.

              • weka

                what do you mean by 'these things'?

                I'm confident that if the Greens had been in charge of the tree planting programme it would have been different, because it was pre-election policy, built into their climate policy and integrated across a number of areas. Can't find the NZF policy online because they've taken it off their website, but it would be interesting to compare.

    • Pat 8.3

      Who owns the land and the incentive are a key factor in its use…especially in a world awash with QE and poor returns

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/116661441/new-zealands-biggest-50-landowners-revealed

  9. michelle 9

    Now if ever there was a group of privileged people in our country this is them.

    People are sick and tired of some of our farmers ,note i say some.

    I went to the march against cyfs/ot with about the same amount of people who were much better behaved they were more respectful and humble and showed humility even though the state are treating some of them like shit and taking their kids. Many of us Maori protesting have taken our lead from our Parihaka whanau who practise peacefulness , humility, humbleness and respect.

  10. ianmac 10

    Yesterday in QT O'conner did a pretty good job of putting up facts in response to the plaintive Muller questions.

    "Question 12 – Todd Muller to the Minister of Agriculture

    Does he stand by all his statements in his opinion piece titled “No threat to farming from forestry” in the Rural News on 13 November 2019?"

    A 15 minute segment with Labour Green questions to support Damian's line.

    • aj 10.1

      Yesterday in QT O'conner did a pretty good job of putting up facts in response to the plaintive Muller questions.

      Yes, QT made Muller and the farmer's group look pretty thick. I notice in the coverage of the protest on TV1 News last night, there was a lack of balance, which would have been achieved by taking one of several short sections of this QT segment, where the government skewered the opposition with facts.

      In particular when O'Conner invited Tod Muller to promote as his party's policy, what Muller was obliquely suggesting. That the government should stop (regulate) the process of a willing seller to a willing buyer, to prevent farms being converted to forestry.

      • ianmac 10.1.1

        And he pointed out that a National Government in the 90s planted far more pines and did so without any restriction on foreign ownership.

        • aj 10.1.1.1

          It was a complete win against all points Muller put forward, but so far very little of this has been reported in the media. Why am I surprised.

          • ianmac 10.1.1.1.1

            On National Radio at lunchtime today they gave a good segment to 50 Shades of green, repeated the Rednecks from Shane Jones and the only rebuttal was "The Government rejects the claims." Balanced?

        • Pat 10.1.1.2

          Although a lot of trees planted in 90s that will be considerably less land used than for the billion trees programme should it reach its target

    • So good to see Labour and Green MPs tag-teaming against Todd Muller and, in the process, making him look like an entitled and misinformed fool.

    • Cinny 10.3

      Dang!!! So from 2002 – 2013 under the prior government ☠️ 800,000 hectares of land was transferred from dry stock (beef 🐑 sheep) and forestry into dairying 🐄. Wow!!!!!

      Damien asks…..'Where were the protesters then?' ⛳ lololoool

      Thanks for posting the link Ianmac.

  11. David 11

    I can’t get my small brain around this.

    We have a Labour lead government that wants to plant exotic trees as fast as we can and a Labour dominated Council in Auckland wanting to clear fell exotic trees as fast as it can?

    • mickysavage 11.1

      That is a decision by the Maunga authority and they are planting many more native trees than the number of trees that are being felled.

      And it is not a Labour dominated Council.

      • Dukeofurl 11.1.1

        The small brain part was more important then it seemed at first

        • weka 11.1.1.1

          Put it this way then. We have progressives calling for the planting of millions of trees, including lots of pine, and we have progressives (usually the same ones) calling for the poisoning and removal of lots of pines. From a climate and ecological perspective its daft as.

    • Pingau 11.2

      The Maunga authority want to remove some exotic trees that are either recognised as a pest species in Auckland or are prone to tree fall/splitting.

      Not clear felling.

      Not-all-exotics 😉.

      • weka 11.2.1

        which are the pest species?

        • Pingau 11.2.1.1

          From one main-stream report the pest species are monkey apple and olives. I may have heard it on RNZ yesterday or Wednesday.

          Scoop have this article
          https://m.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK1911/S00316/owairaka-mount-albert-trees.htm

          • weka 11.2.1.1.1

            thanks, it's been hard to find specifics like that.

            Regenerative people are pointing to the value of exotics, including in restoring native ecosystems. I can't comment on the Ōwairaka land as I don't know it, but the discussion I have seen on twitter suggests a poor general understanding of why exotics are also valuable ecologically and a political/social position of native/good vs exoctic/bad.

            • Pingau 11.2.1.1.1.1

              There does seem to be a gross simplication regarding tree species (and plants in general) – regarding exotics, it very much depends on both the individual species AND on where they are growing.

              Some exotics are definately a pest plant whether agricultural or ecological or human health. Some exotics are only a pest when they are located in a place that is hard to get to and have native plant communities that are easily invaded (such as Pinus radiata in a very few locations but P. contorta is the real problem, or Tasmanian Blackwood).

              There is also a time lag between a newly introduced species becoming established and it becoming a pest – this can be many decades. There is some work by Phillip Hulme that is the subject of a recent Stuff article.

              But of course there are many exotics that can easily be controlled and have cultural or practical value.

              Euan Mason (School of Forestry University of Canterbury) has made an argument for the use of Pinus radiata for carbon sequestration at a relatively fast rate and then allowing native forest to regenerate through it – that is by not harvesting the pine so retaining as much carbon on site as possible. At least that's my understanding.

              • weka

                Thanks for the Mason reference.

                Re placement, with wilding pines there is also the issue of native ecologies that need protection vs farmed land that could be used to reforest to mixed species. It's a symptom of our confused thinking over CC that we are spending all this money and effort to plant plantation pine because of CC at the same time as we spend will this money and effort to kill wilding pines.

                The most obvious example of the value of exotics is the use of gorse at Hinewai to work with succession in native restoration. That mainstream orgs like DOC and regional councils still see gorse as a pest rather than assessing it at each site speaks hugely to our problems with CC. The same thinking.

              • Robert Guyton

                "Euan Mason (School of Forestry University of Canterbury) has made an argument for the use of Pinus radiata for carbon sequestration at a relatively fast rate and then allowing native forest to regenerate through it – that is by not harvesting the pine so retaining as much carbon on site as possible."

                I make the same argument

      • Dukeofurl 11.2.2

        The plan I looked at for Owairaka showed locations for every tree, all exotics were to be removed.

        The ones you describe would mean a smaller number. And natives can be subject to splitting too- pohutukawa etc.

        The trees for removal seem to be 3 categories, weed species, safety ( might be rather than actual threat) and 'inappropriate exotics' ( their words)

        Owaraika has 350 trees for removal

        • weka 11.2.2.1

          do you have a link and page reference? I found it hard to find this the other day.

        • Pingau 11.2.2.2

          I can't find that document as I am very unfamiliar with Auckland Council but the Scoop article says that a lot of Owairaka is under Watercare management and no exotics on Watercare land will be removed.

          The safety aspect seems mainly to refer to Eucalypts which are known to "throw" large branches.

          I'd love to see the full list which should be in an appendix along with the plan that shows the location of every tree.

          I'd also love to know what the "inappropriate exotics" are – possibly plants that cause a nuisance (e.g. damage to structures, or attract rats … who knows) or that people have an allergic response to?

          • Dukeofurl 11.2.2.2.1

            The watercare sites are underground concrete water reservoirs, they dont have trees over them, Its just grassed ground so isnt relevant.Th overall control and operation on the Mountain isnt with Watercare

            The Owairaka plans of all existing trees are at the mountain it self.

            • weka 11.2.2.2.1.1

              "The Owairaka plans of all existing trees are at the mountain it self."

              What does that mean?

  12. adam 12

    Sheesh ask farmers to smarten up their processes, then a group of them let out their inner two year old, to be manipulated by corporate interests.

    • Dukeofurl 12.1

      Its Nationals 2 part stategy

      1) Top level, they ratified Paris Accord and all Mps voted for Zero Carbon Bill which implements it.

      2) Grass roots level. Sand in the gears over each and every step to actually progress the above agreements with specific MPs who might be said to be 'corporate farmer/processor' affiliated who get on the local podiums to push a different message to the leadership

    • Gabby 12.2

      I figured somewhere in the background someone is pretty determined to get taxpayer funded irrigation.

  13. bwaghorn 13

    You’re wrong about the least profitable marginal land getting bought . Its land with good access to ports etc that is being converted .

    While these protesters are mostly nat friendly useful idiots they have a valid point.

    The trees subsidizes are seeing blanket planting of good land . A far better approach is getting farmers to retire a section of there farms in to trees . Pines wont always be the best tree for the job for many reasons .

    O'connor's speech to them made me think that the government is listening, I hope they change the settings . I'd hate to be forced to vote national.

    As I was forced to vote top last time due to the wedgeing of rural nz by the left last election.

    • weka 13.1

      I tend to agree. Not that the farmers aren't also self-interested here, but there are rural issues that are often not well understood by urban people and we need a better debate on this.

      Shane Jones and reactionary farmers aren't the people who should be leading this, but lefties need to be more lateral in their thinking too.

    • Dukeofurl 13.2

      "wrong about the least profitable marginal land getting bought . Its land with good access to ports etc that is being converted . "

      really . We only know about the land that is being sold to foreigners

      "This land on hills somewhere north of Tiraumea, which is somewhere north of Masterton, used to be a 735-hectare sheep and cattle farm. Then in May, its New Zealand owner sold it for $3.35 million to a Singapore-based

      [Not near ports at all, my topo map puts it halfway between Ekatahuna and the coast]

      Irishman called Hugh Lane-Spollen.

      "Lane-Spollen to purchase Waihua Station, a 1037ha sheep and beef farm near Wairoa.

      "Te Au Station, a 711ha coastal station north of Mahia peninsula whose previous owners farmed the property for 23 years.

      This is terrible hill country even for sheep farming. Dry during summer and slips during winter rains.

      And this one

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/114985904/sir-michael-fay-sells-wairarapa-station-to-foreign-forestry-group

      "Charteris said one of Fay's companies would continue to lease the property while 1300ha of pinus radiata was planted, adding to 1400ha already there.Another buyer would be sought for the 600ha that would be kept for sheep and beef farming."

      The prime land will remain for cattle etc

      • bwaghorn 13.2.1

        I believe they are short of cherry pickers this season , you seem qualified.

        Both would under 3 hours to a port ,which believe me is a short haul for logs.

        • Sabine 13.2.1.1

          and still all these guys could have sold their farms to someone who want to farm but no htey sold for the highest, captial gains tax free profit to someone who has not got our best interst at heart but is profit driven, and again ,considering the cost they had to pay for hte land who can fault them.

          So maybe the issue is not overseas buyers, but NZ sellers that give no shite about the country, the land, the farm but only their bottom line, untaxed of course, right?

          • solkta 13.2.1.1.1

            I don't think they could legally object if an offer at or above the asking price came in from a foreigner. You have a contract with the real estate agent to sell for that price. They would sue you. Likewise at an auction you can't stop foreigners from participating.

            • Sabine 13.2.1.1.1.1

              That is not the point i made 🙂

              The point i made is simply that i can either get all the money in the world for an asset that i own, take that money and give away the keys and be happy with the money. But then once sold i do not get to whinge of what happens to that asset that i sold.

              If they wanted these farms to stay farms they should have sold under 'tender' to someone who would continue to farming.

              But then you can't regulate greed and that is what is going on here. On one side you have young people here in NZ that can't afford a farm not even if they offered money, an arm a leg and a firstborn, on the other side you have rich corporations / shell companies etc bying up good farm land to plant …..trees for logging.

              But i guess its easier to complain about foreigners buying up all that land and doing nothing with it then complaining about rich farmers that will sell to the highest bidder their own kids be damned. But hey, i guess they deserve a lifestyle as a millionaire 🙂

              • solkta

                But then once sold i do not get to whinge of what happens to that asset that i sold.

                If they wanted these farms to stay farms they should have sold under 'tender' to someone who would continue to farming.

                Oh, i wasn't aware that there was any information to suggest that the farms that have been sold to foresters were owned by these protesting farmers??

                • Sabine

                  I am not aware that any of these guys did not protest the selling of hte land from their farmers mates to foreigners (see the placard of the guy in the picture to the left – cause it is farmers doing the selling, not the government) , and that they did not complain about hte planting of trees on what was previously farming land (bloke with the placard to the right) .

                  but i note your concern.

                  • solkta

                    I can't make sense of what you say. You think they were friends of theirs?

                    • Sabine

                      i think they can't complain about land being sold and trees being planted when it is farmers who sell the land to the highest bidder (and that would be overseas investors rather then say the young fullah and his missus from down the road) who then plant trees in order to recoup their expenses. (which the two guys in this picture do)

                      It is farmers that sell farmland generally. Its a bit like that guy in the middle with the placard that tells people should rather walk then blame farmers. So maybe they should blame their farmers mates/collegues that sell NZ to the highest bidder who then don't farm according to their ideas.

          • bwaghorn 13.2.1.1.3

            I like to trot that line out when I run in to a real moaner . But it is wrong that foreigners can get a subsidie to buy up land to offset emmisions . Offsetting achieves nothing but possibly buy a little time .

    • Robert Guyton 13.3

      " A far better approach is getting farmers to retire a section of there farms in to trees "

      Yes, but are farmers offering to do this? If not, why not?

      • bwaghorn 13.3.1

        Instead of offering subsidies to foreign dukes so they can offset their lifestyle maybe they could target it at farmers.

        • Robert Guyton 13.3.1.1

          Farmers should be subsidised to plant trees? They won't do it because they are natural environmentalists who want to do their bit to avoid climate disaster? What gives?

          • bwaghorn 13.3.1.1.1

            The place I'm one just planted 300 natives in a newly fenced off wetland ,

            But keep up the bs . Your acolytes will gobble it up.

            • Robert Guyton 13.3.1.1.1.1

              Will do, though I've yet to meet my acolytes. I only managed 50 native trees today, but did provide a further 100 to my two urbanite neighbours who are planting their creekside (Hebe salisifolia and Griselina littoralis). Good to hear about your wetland project. Forests growing nearby to industrial sites such as Fonterra's Edendale powder plant could supply woody biomass to power the boilers presently chewing through tonnes and tonnes of dirty coal every day and night. Pine forests could provide such material; pruning and slash that could save big industry from the trap they've set themselves, energy-needs-wise. We need creative thinkers to the fore here, not reactionary yobs bearing crude signs.

              • Graeme

                There's probably enough forestry waste produced in Southland to make a sizeable dent in Edendale's coal consumption. Cost, motivation and inertia the obstacle.

                Many sawmills were totally powered by wood waste, even drying kilns. Whataroa an example

                • Robert Guyton

                  Agreed, Graeme; I think they're obfuscating, buying time so they can keep burning coal as long as possible. Fonterra have committed to changes, but just not yet, for a while longer, when they are able to…

                  • greywarshark

                    Fonterra seem to be copying St Augustine who wanted to make changes in his life but wasn't quite ready. He said – “Lord, make me chaste, but not yet”.

                    Fonterra need to stop dithering. No-one is asking them to be pure and zero emissions, or no-one should be. What is important is to be looking at alternatives such as what Robert refers to, growing their own trees and getting carbon credits for them I presume, then chopping them down and burning them and they will have to allow drying time.

                    They may be able to incorporate timber in their business and send the straight and heartwood for it and get good dollars for that, and burn the rest. Then get more carbon credits for replanting.

                    Keep the cycle going and have mixed plantations so they don't get hit by that bug they have in North America which is pretty bad for pine. It's not beyond this big organisation to diversify and nut out the most effective way of making a clean buck.

                  • Graeme

                    Well it appears that Fontera are actually doing it, and have some wood firing already at Brightwater, along with a commitment to move away from coal as boilers come up for replacement.

                    https://www.fonterra.com/nz/en/our-stories/articles/fonterra-closes-door-early-on-coal.html

                    At our Brightwater site near Nelson we are co-firing our boiler with wood biomass. This will reduce emissions by 25%, the equivalent of taking 530 cars off the road. At Te Awamutu we recently trialled wood pellets. There are a few kinks to be ironed out, such as keeping them dry, but we’re encouraged by the results.

                    I've had a little exposure to auto feeding wood pellets as coal replacement in a very small boiler and it's not quite straight forward as a direct replacement. In this case the owner ended up replacing the whole boiler. Initial motivation was the difficulty in getting coal at their scale.

              • Bruce

                I've mentioned before the Hikurangi dairy factory had wood chip fired boiler in the early 80's, was not the most reliable, but in 30yrs I'm sure if there was the will by now it wood would have become the norm.

          • Jim 13.3.1.1.2

            Bureaucracy gets in the way. I tried to retire half a hectare of Dairy land into a wetland. The local council sent the application up to the regional council because their is 25 hectares of watercourse upstream of my property that could be affected. This meant resource consents and studies at my cost. Got too expensive and difficult. So it’s still dairy land!

          • John Clover 13.3.1.1.3

            Farmers are of course red-neck National supporters so obviously will not be encouraged by a Labour govt. Such is the short minded system we have instead of both working for the good of the country… one might wish a pox on the lot of them BUT …..

    • Paul Campbell 13.4

      Seems to me that the farmers have a very easy way to stop their farms from being converted to forestry … simply sell don't them to people who want them to convert them to forests. It's not townies who are selling farms to forest owners, it's other farmers, they're picketing the wrong people, they should be picketing each other.

      The thing is, if the govt passed a law saying they couldn't sell their farms to the highest bidder they'd be back marching in the streets yelling about the "terrible socialist govt" taking away their farms.

      I think the whole forestry thing is a red herring, the actual number of forestry conversions are pretty small, I think this is just a way to draw public attention away from their greenhouse emissions and rivers full of poo – they continue to externalise their pollution and continue expect that the rest of us will pay to clean up after them

  14. Ad 14

    Labour can afford the protest because there's not a sine vote they will lose.

    Same with the Greens, even though NZFirst faced the protesters for a Green Party carbon sink policy.

    NZFirst are vulnerable on it.

    Jones needs to encourage the businesses and contractors he's put the $3b into to start calling out counter-support.

    Great to see a political animal fronting up.

  15. Karol121 15

    How about plant trees, and hope for the best?

    cool

    Maybe reduce farming to an idealized manageable and sustainable level which wont harm or hurt anyone or anything.

    Do we need fresh milk and meat when we can import meat produce and dairy produce too (including milk powder ), from China or elsewhere?

    Also local and regional fisheries. Take one long hard look at the damage to the environment, the result of those dirty, messy, fuel greedy fishing vessels raping our seas.

    While we're at it. Let's get rid of those damn Air New Zealand aircraft chewing up all of that Jet A 1 fuel that is so damaging to the environment.

    Has anyone looked at the opportunities that might exist for converting cruise liners and merchant freight shipping vessels to wind sail power?

    Is it about time that as a god zone nation and ambassadors to the world, we embraced fully supporting the notion of us converting to bikes and using human driven Thailand "tuk-tuk" taxis for the transport of tourists, and to growing/producing vegetables to both consume and develop?

    What has happened to our spirit?

    Why could we not sacrifice just a little to prove to the world how tough, resilient and caring we are with regard to all of this?

    YES WE CAN, K1W1.

    Surely, the possibilities are limitless.

    I stopped making omelettes recently after admitting to myself that I was harming the egg shells. I WOKE UP!

    • Stuart Munro. 15.1

      I'm all for more sustainable shipping – but there are some speedbumps to the changeover.

      https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/aug/16/shipping-emissions-low-carbon-wind-power-climate-change

      But yes, we need to rebuild our shipping capacity. No sign of realization of that at a political level of course – Treasury makes all the decisions nowadays – not public interest.

    • Jim 15.2

      “Do we need fresh milk and meat when we can import meat produce and dairy produce too (including milk powder ), from China or elsewhere?”

      Id be a little horrified at having to consume milk or meat from China.

      Seems I trust NZ made a little more.

    • Robert Guyton 15.3

      Karol's yanking our chain.

    • Gabby 15.5

      Are you looking into selfcomposting karolol?

      [lprent: I’d strongly suggest that you do not want to go down this path. Netx time I see it I’ll just assume that you’d advocating violence and I’ll assume that you’d want the net version of it performed on you. It isn’t humour – it is just a fuckwit posturing, and I’ll start treating you as someone for our compost heap – the spam folder. ]

      • Robert Guyton 15.5.1

        I was reading very recently about alternatives to burials or cremation for the mortal remains of the recently deceased and composting looks a bright possibility. It's already being done in some parts and I'm a great supporter of the shift in focus. So I guess it could be said that I am "looking into selfcomposting" and so didn't find Gabby's comment alarming at all, though lprent will have reasons; perhaps following a pattern or something, to make the call above and I'm certainly not challenging a moderator's judgement; I did like the reference to The Standard's spam folder as being a compost heap. Composting must come to the fore in our behaviours in the material world; there's enormous power in those organisms that reduce our left-overs to viable, vital soil. If we don't see the drastic need for all humanure to be composted soon, we're going to poison our environment and thus ourselves, with our own waste.

        • weka 15.5.1.1

          There's a pretty tight line around implied violence or encouraging self-harm towards other commenters. From my pov it's because everyone has different boundaries on that and it becomes hard to stop things escalating or the culture in the commentariat becoming more tolerant of that abuse once it gets going. Once it becomes a norm not only is it anti-social here, but then people start doing things like making death threats against politicians and shit just goes badly from there. Better for moderation to err well on the side of caution.

        • Incognito 15.5.1.2

          Gabby’s main contribution here is their ‘witty one-liners’ and acting like the site’s ‘jester’. Sometimes, this can back-fire and Gabby has been banned before for crossing the line.

      • Karol121 15.5.2

        Actually. That's a thought Gabby, and no offence taken, that's for sure.

        wink

        I recall an old movie with a dystopian theme close to it; "Soylent Green".

        Set in to the futuristic era of severe food shortages, the state is maintaining that it is producing food from seaweed, but as the film progresses further down the track, it becomes apparent that the food is being produced from street protesters and demonstrators who are being "scooped up” by front end loaders and taken away for processing, to feed the hungry masses.

        Bon appetit

  16. Ken 16

    It wasn't very long ago that people were expressing alarm at the amount of marginal, erosion prone land that was getting converted from forestry to dairy.

  17. Marcus Morris 17

    IMO the rabble rousing that occurred around the country yesterday was merely a predictable sequel to that idiotic protest that took place outside Morrinsville a couple of years ago. Remember the wally with the placard that read "Pretty Little Communist". Both exercises, then and now, were motivated purely by politics. There is a lot of rubbish being spouted on Face Book at the moment and my retort to some has been that perhaps they should read the statement put out by Damian O'Connor last week. It seemed to cover all the points the agitators were trying to make.

  18. Matt 18

    It would be great to learn where this lot came from. They seem to be a rent-a-mob. Aare they the same lot that turned up a Morrinsville before the election – or the ones that did the fart tax stunt. We need to hear a bit more about them and who drives them around.

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