web analytics

How To Get There 13/1/19

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, January 13th, 2019 - 153 comments
Categories: Conservation, Deep stuff, Economy, Environment, public transport, sustainability, transport, water - Tags: , ,

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is how-to-get-there-305x240.jpg

153 comments on “How To Get There 13/1/19”

  1. Robert Guyton 1

    We all know where “there” is, don’t we; the “there” we want get to?
    It’s surely better than this “place”, or at least it’s this place but in better condition; perhaps a little less wrecked. Or maybe a lot lees wrecked. Like the question; what would you do if you were a child again, but still with the knowledge you have now? Would you replay your life, make the same decisions, live in the custom you lived the first time around? Most of us would probably declare all manner of better choices we’d make (I’d never eat sugar!) but might find circumstances and habit gently cause us to do pretty much as we did before. Facing a climate-disrupted future, will we only do do much the same as we ever did, despite our understanding of the Big Issues? Is our culture our problem?
    Would it be a useful exercise to present our vision here for “there” as we see it in our imaginations? Perhaps some people are already “there” or you know of a there elsewhere? In the outback of Australia, perhaps, on an isolated island in Japan? In a photograph album that records your great grandparents rural lifestyle, who knows?
    It could be useful and entertaining to share our projections of a”there” we hold dear 🙂
    (Bags we don’t tear the “theres” of other people, providing any are offered, to shreds – that wouldn’t be kind).

    • Dennis Frank 1.1

      My `there’ has been a sustainable society globally since I joined the Greens (prior it was more nebulous, as in peaceful co-evolution). What I share with the left is the equitable dimension of that, and what I share with the right is the enterprise dimension of that.

      My conception of the synthesis became conscious during the ’80s. Until then I was still intent on overthrowing the established order via innovative thinking. Holism was the missing ingredient I hadn’t factored in. To generalise this for others, the way for alternative thinkers to catalyse progress is not merely to use lateral thinking to conjure up options not already in currency, but to apply holistic, integral design-based thinking.

      Which is why I appreciated permaculture when I encountered the concept in ’92 via a friend who did the intro course with Bill Mollison. Holism is consciousness-expanding as philosophy, but of negligible use to change-makers unless they apply it. Thus praxis, in which belief combines with practice to embed in the individual as a discipline which becomes habit.

      So, applied to political economy, the praxis of synthesising the left & right is the most likely to produce the easiest path to sustainability. My bias to to eliminate the negatives of both in the synthesis. Inevitably, this involves antagonising the partisans of the left & right. That’s a side benefit of the process – politics ought to be fun, and poking the dinosaurs is always fun!

      • Robert Guyton 1.1.1

        Too many permaculture consultants, not enough permaculturalists! That was the problem we identified early-on; not sure why so many early-adopters of the permaculture way chose to teach, rather than practice, but that’s changed significantly now, and there is a plethora of on the ground projects run by people using permaculture as a model for their work. This is exciting for me and the movement too, I’m guessing. The national permaculture hui to be held here in the Riverton forest garden in April and I’m really looking forward to hearing from afar, just how advanced the programme is. I meet people from overseas daily here in my garden (they come to see and talk) and their plans for gardens and communities in France, Czech Republic, Japan, Canada, Tonga, Chile etc. are exciting and believable. Already, past visitors have sent us video, photos and accounts of successful projects they’ve begun and developed in their home countries since their visits to NZ. Some of our woofers, for example, are now working in a permaculture-based school in the mountains of Japan, that was started by a wonderful woofer who stayed with us many years ago and learned about permaculture, in it’s early-days form, from us. That’s pretty encouraging, I reckon and now, that experience is compounding and speeding up significantly. There’s a lot happening on the ground!

        • WeTheBleeple

          I’ve only just begun inviting people back in as a lot was destroyed and it took some getting over/recovery for systems and me. Friday’s visitors had paid for some trademe taro plants but also left with gifted banana, kumara and unidentified bulbs, cos they play nice together. They’re off to find coffee and nuts, and to dig a circle, and get their brother in law arborist to drop off some mulch.

          Working examples inspire people. They took one look at the biggest taro (leaves) they’d seen, and the bananas and flowers and coffee and… and were keen to know how. Now, the young couple with a veggie patch are champing at the bit and off home to build a banana circle.

          I talked to another chap who seemed keen on permaculture recently. He just got arrested this morning on his front lawn by armed offenders. Can’t win em all but I think permaculture has huge rehabilitative potential for people as well as the planet.

  2. Ant de Villiers 2

    Idealists, visionaries, humanitarians, altruists : these are needed in high number at this time of planetary turmoil. Many admire the qualities embraced by them yet they cannot be personally evoked at a whim or a wish. There’s an element of consciousness somewhere within the psyche that requires animation. Some seem born with it, for others it follows an “aha” experience, an awakening, or a startling realisation of the integrated nature of all that lives and breathes.

    Equating it with “untold wonder” the drawing of parallels with religious experience is inevitable. Those imprisoned in three-dimensional thinking are quick to dismiss it as delusion or emotional hysteria – a deduction that does little to deter the convinced, least of all the SBNR’s (spiritual but not religious). Some of them openly profess atheism!

    So why bother with the term “spiritual”? Well, for now it seems useful as the polar opposite to “material” and “materialism”, which takes form as our compelling hunger for status, possessions and money. “Spiritual” is an inner world (subjective if you like), where the discovery is made that the mind’s capacity for subtlety and abstraction is without limit and therefore sustainable. Significantly it is not an “inscape” to a fantasy world of inaction but elicits a call to creative solutions aligned with the redemption of our planet.

    Repudiating an anthropomorphic deity, indoctrination of children by zealous parents, wars waged in the name of religion and the host of absurd belief systems based on fear, superstition and narrow-mindedness, SBNR’s hold a mind set open to a universe of limitless possibilities. Many subscribe to agnosticism, a perspective preferred even by much-revered guru of atheists Richard Dawkins. (The God Delusion).

    In a noteworthy address https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCX4vAsRo90 Dawkins draws attention to mystical experiences of scientist and believer alike. He quotes astronomer/mathematician Carl Sagan who pointed to a possible future where an elevated sense of wonder based on fact and discovery sparked the elevated consciousness.

    The time may not be too far off where all the best elements of the world’s faiths – freed from dogma and doctrine experience re-animation and world-wide expression as an emerging way of life.

    • WeTheBleeple 2.1

      Here is a brief by which I help pinpoint a person’s spirit or soul for them. It can be discarded as nonsense I don’t care:

      We all have a committee in our head. For some it is bad. Mine is like having half a dozen trolls in there and no moderator. A nagging parent, a rubbish talker, a critical teacher, a doomsayer…

      But I can observe these ‘voices’. If I hear myself talking nonsense or being overly negative – who is it actually listening? As you notice your own thoughts take control and run away with your mind – who is it noticing this?

      It appears there is an observer. An observer capable of thought – but not lost in it as most of us are.

      This observer, acknowledged, can quiet all the hubbub. This observer, trained, can live calmly amidst chaos (of the mind and the world), lending help where others fail.

      This is not a subconscious side of us, or we would not be able to locate, communicate or inhabit the quiet observer within.

      This is part of us – now, what is it?

      I say spirit.

      • greywarshark 2.1.1

        I don’t go with too much other-mindedness. I have found in some people that I have met that they are up on ways to be spiritual etc. but in their dealings with actual people they are not straight and true. They behave in ways that appear friendly even warm, but their minds are somewhere else. So there is a falsity in them, they retreat to a meditative stance, an internal logic that affirms them in their own actions and thoughts, but that is not what they present.

        Beware the mere appearance of wanting community, of talking about people being together, and try and sort out what this person is behind their perhaps genial mask. I was surprised that as an older person I didn’t recognise these people as what they are – shapeshifters. I’ll quote the inner thinking of one so-called Christian cult below and you will see what I mean. Google keywords ‘nz Christian rat poison’ for more detail, then you could leave ‘nz’ out and get a further dose of debased religious mind control at work. (I am a Christian, and think what Jesus is reported to have said is the base I want to follow.) I go to the Salvation Army services from time to time as being a church of Christian belief, resolve and action.

        In a sermon in 2002….advised followers to “Spoil the Egyptians”, a slogan derived from the bible, meaning “get your hands on worldly people’s money”.
        ….said: “The world is there to take what we want from it, and leave everything we don’t want, spoil the Egyptians as quick and as fast as you can, and leave them alone.”

        I think when trying to make changes for a better world, and join up with other people to do so, we need to look at how they treat others, are they respectful and friendly and generous. Because some people are looking to absorb you and your money and time into building their own dream, not one of a group of valued individuals working together, talking together, and agreeing together after discussion and argument, on the way forward.

        And I will mention TA, not meditatation, but Transactional Analysis which is a dry name for an interesting self-tool to understand and handle your own psychology. To me, it is very useful to sort out the whys of my own thinking and those of others. Thinking is considered as having come from the Parent, the Adult, or the Child, each of them equally important in our personal lives.

        The Child is not babyish, but is where creative thoughts come from, tends to be emotional, and often is behind our own noticeable character.
        The Parent is a combination of all the lessons learned, the injunctions, the authority forming the parameters of our life.
        The Adult is a sort of mediator between the other two, and attempts to find a logical approach in thinking about anything. I would say that in this column we are working with all three aspects, bringing the Adult to the fore, and the Child is constantly present with new ideas, sometimes in its form as ‘The Little Professor’ which I may be presenting in now.

        Transactional Analysis is an excellent tool to use when trying to sort out one’s own thinking and judge it, and when discussing matters with others, and wondering about events in the wider world. Which form would Trump be speaking from for instance?

        And there is something else that TA teaches, and that someone speaking from their Parent is likely to evoke the Child in the other person in a conversation.
        The Adult approach tends to evoke the Adult in the other. So being careful with emotional triggers in discussions is more likely to result in mutually fruitful discussions. I think that TA should be taught to all as a way of raising our ability to make critical appraisals of our ideas and actions. It could be a major part of the Mental Health Wellness program now being unrolled.

        • Ant de Villiers

          “I don’t go with too much other-mindedness. I have found in some people that I have met that they are up on ways to be spiritual etc. but in their dealings with actual people they are not straight and true. ”

          In a world of widespread deception surely true and modern Christians are not exempt. Still cognitive transformation (mind renewal) is as valid today as in Jesus’ time…..

          “Be ye therefore transformed by the renewal of your mind” (St Paul)

          Transcendence, rebirth, awakening, samahdi , enlightenment all point to the renewed and longed for state. TA a valid a worthy tool amongst many.

          • greywarshark

            Yeah I say with a little disrespect. All this thinking and mind reaching for higher things. I suggest that the way forward for changing your mind, is simply trying to think good thoughts, then set some little task for yourself that is going to help the community in some way they want, and do that. Then go back to thinking more good thoughts, reflection, then do and then you keep yourself grounded.

            Transcendence, rebirth, awakening, samahdi , enlightenment all point to the renewed and longed for state. That’s taking time out of the real world, good up to a point, but the spirit needs practical application when you come back to earth. You say ‘TA a valid a worthy tool amongst many.’ It can’t be compared to the other things you mention because TA is a working tool for being in life and understanding yourself and others while you are there. People who want rebirth, they aren’t fully here, their minds are fixed on some possible new way for after some change done through some ritual.

            High-minded people can get high on being a little bit out of this world. I think one of the highest things you can think, is looking for the good in people, and if they don’t look mad or bad, making some communication, a greeting, a hello; just acknowledging them, wishing them a gooday, can be a vitalising thing to people who are poor in spirit that day.

            You might even give them some money if they are begging. I never give much, but they have a need and I try not to just pass them by. It keeps you in touch with the ground where you stand, and not up in the pure high consciousness that’s only in reach if you give up your temporal being and when you die. If they are buskers playing music, then they are giving to you a glimpse of your higher mind, reward them for that. Encourage buskers, they use their higher mind to produce the music which feeds into yours, so reward them please. More sweet music and sweet people of strength, that’s what we need in this world.

            • Ant de Villiers

              ‘Transcendence, rebirth, awakening, samahdi , enlightenment all point to the renewed and longed for state’

              “That’s taking time out of the real world, good up to a point, but the spirit needs practical application when you come back to earth.”

              Agreed; You may have missed it in my original post…”Significantly it is not an “inscape” to a fantasy world of inaction but elicits a call to creative solutions aligned with the redemption of our planet.”

              This is mirrored in Christianity “faith without works is dead.”

              • greywarshark

                Ant de V
                Yes i see your point. But I have rejected it a while ago.

                ”Significantly it is not an “inscape” to a fantasy world of inaction but elicits a call to creative solutions aligned with the redemption of our planet.” (Grand words that ring out but what do they result in close up to the people’s needs?)

                This is mirrored in Christianity “faith without works is dead.”

                The problem is as I see it, that worrying about the planet becomes a general thing, and can set aside worrying about people and animals and sentient beings,. So not just worrying and tut-tutting but doing something,; getting your hands busy serving the needs is the thing. Thinking green can be an alibi for not being there on an everyday level. People have needs all the time and yet when it’s a disaster; there is loving concern. A ‘Sunday’ type of concern.

                And faith without works is dead has been argued about by Christianity.
                Amongst the Quakers in early America, there was a rift between those who believed it was the Christian way to do things to help which would prove them good Christians and send them heaven wise. The other side decided that all that was needed was to believe in Christ. And I think someone had worked out that there were the Chosen and whatever the others did, they might not get to Heaven.

                So a certain Christianity approach, more like the activist Lloyd Geering, who thought and did, and didn’t rely on the Bible for instruction but for direction. That is probably what is best. Find your own way, and learn about what others are doing and thinking, but forge ahead with good works because you think they are right and because the people want them.

        • WeTheBleeple

          Yep the corporate commandeering of mindfulness sucks. Like science they take something great and bastardize it for selfish purpose.

          Plenty of flakes and fakes align their agendas with teachings of all religious/spiritual inclination I’m not keen to hang my hat on any of them.

          Maybe The Earth is my church.

          My post was to seed the idea to the uninitiated in the concept of meditative thought (the bible recommends meditation repeatedly btw). The idea that the incessant chatter in their heads is not the actual driver, or doesn’t have to be the driver anymore. This is a revelation to many.

          It is so easy to spot this ‘other world’ hidden in plain sight when one points out ‘TA’s committee (thoughts)’, can be observed, thus, are not all there is of your consciousness in the conscious world.

          • Robert Guyton

            There is, incidentally, a significant difference between Western and Eastern “ways” of meditating, one being “mind emptying” and the other being “thought following”; the former using methods to still the chattering mind and the latter encouraging contemplation of an idea with the aim of achieving clarity or inspiration. Or some such. A very simplistic explanation, sorry.

    • Robert Guyton 2.2

      “Idealists, visionaries, humanitarians, altruists : these are needed in high number at this time of planetary turmoil.”
      Shivers of fear run up and down the spines of those who don’t share your view, Ant, when these people you describe express themselves because, I think, those fearful folk sense the fragility of the tower they’ve/we’ve built and how easily the words of the “Idealists, visionaries, humanitarians, altruists” sweep such edifices aside/bring them tumbling down.
      I hear a great deal about the need for the “spiritual” element in approaching our shared future and believe the materially-focussed will struggle with the spiritually, in our communities and in ourselves, more and more as the pressure comes on.

    • Dennis Frank 2.3

      As someone who adopted the spiritual but not religious path as a sixties teenager, I agree. Going beyond that as a hippie, I realised my spirituality derived from a personal connection to nature. In the counter-culture, this gnosis became a prevalent strand, so I knew I was part of that zeitgeist. Hawken’s book The Magic of Findhorn was influential, but for those of us brainwashed by science the devas as nature spirits was a bridge too far!

      Still, visitors there testified to the enormous vegetables produced on previously arid land, so a subtle dimension of reality was indicated. Since then, ecospirituality was coined as a meme in the eighties or nineties to make the notion more acceptable in acadaemia. David Tacey’s The Spirituality Revolution is the best exploration of this topic I have discovered in the new millennium.

      • Ant de Villiers 2.3.1

        The ecospirituality of Findhorn has expanded enormously since its inception in 1962. (I spent a happy fortnight there in ’77 collecting sea-weed for their compost bins!) https://www.ecovillagefindhorn.com/

        Teilhard de Chardin (The Phenomenon of Man) coined the term “noosphere” (a thinking layer surrounding the earth), and how its intensification would result in a transformative break-through to a universally altered level of consciousness. Published in 1955 (and immediately banned by the Catholic Church) He could not have envisioned the Net and its astonishing potential to empower the quantum shift he envisioned.

        It is my feeling (or hope) that intensification of online activity will lead to satiation with forms, format, games, high-intensity content, and the endless horizontal comment that defines forums. That will open the way for the exploration of the less tangible we vaguely term “spirit.”

        • Dennis Frank

          I like your attitude. There’s also this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_mind

          Reminds me of the song Jim Morrison sang about it (1970, the Doors Absolutely Live).
          I was doing time
          In the universal mind
          I was feeling fine
          I was turning keys
          I was setting people free
          I was doing all right

          as many of us were back then, spaced out… 😎

          And google links to relevant TED talks. Sheldrake talks about it here: https://www.gaia.com/video/morphic-fields-and-universal-mind-rupert-sheldrake

        • Robert Guyton

          Like the soup of imaginal cells of a cocooned-caterpillar suddenly forming themselves into butterfly?

          • Ant de Villiers

            Sure. de Chardin described the filling by a species of a niche to reach saturation, at which point the potential for a breakthrough is heightened. Some will seek out new habitats where the adapted will survive and where conditions may favour mutations formerly disadvantaged. He traced the same principle step by step upwards to the gaining of sentiency, sensitivity, -finally reflective and analytical thought. Who can doubt the pooling of the widest range of perspectives online is bringing analytical thought to saturation point?

  3. Robert Guyton 3

    Are glass or tunnel houses a useful technology in a world where climate and weather conditions have changed/are changing? I hope so, at least, I hope the 20 metre second hand tkunnelhouse we’re in the final stages of constructing hasn’t been a wasted project, as it took a lot of effort!

    • WeTheBleeple 3.1

      I made a greenhouse years ago to house a pond/aquaponic system. After dismantling the aquaponics (big white elephant everyone oohed and aahed over) I only really use the greenhouse as a shed. But we are almost sub-tropical here. Just considering an outdoor nursery area.

      Provided your trees take the brunt of the wind you can get really good temp differentials in winter with the poly tunnels. Chickens and or compost provide extra winter heating if required.

    • Cinny 3.2

      A 20m tunnel house… that sounds epic.

      Dad built his tunnel house from old shower doors among other things, it’s been going strong for about 8 years now. Tunnel houses are excellent.

      Another approach is growing under ground level, a ‘walipini’. Haven’t tried it or come across any who have, but it sounds like a fantastic way to get around cold temperatures.


      PS Robert…. I read an article of yours that was published in this weeks ‘Leader’ a local paper published by stuff. It was titled “Sticking Together”, awesome work, well done Mr Guyton.

      • Robert Guyton 3.2.1

        Hi, Cinny – Yeah, this tunnelhouse is going to be really something; it’s big alright, bought dissembled from Christchurch and trucked down south to be refurbished and rebuilt by my sons and me, slowly, to the point where now we’re ready to pull on the plastic and get growing. It’s going to serve many purposes, one of the first being growing food for the permaculture hui in April and also as the dining room for that event! It’ll house some of the heritage grape vines I was given by a kind, elderly grape enthusiast from Central Otago, as well as as many other heat-loving fruiting vines, shrubs etc. that we can fit in there, which should be quite a few! At present, we are building the southern wall, using macrocarpa boards, to shelter the structure from the prevailing wind but also to give us an opportunity to be creative; we are thinking nest sites for swallows, Mason bees, insects and arachnids of all sorts. Plus, I want to paint a huge Eye of Horus on the outside to keep the neighbours guessing (not really:-)
        Your link to the underground greenhouses is very interesting. I love digging holes and have already dug a wine cellar-now-a-grotto, so I’ll put the idea to my team.
        Thanks for the note about the article – they pop up all over, always to my surprise. I can’t remember what “Sticking together” was about, but Stuff may have retitled something of mine. Right now, I’m writing (when I’m not commenting here) about the swarms of ladybirds that I’ve been amongst over the past few days. Maybe you’ll read all about it in your local rag 🙂

        • Dennis Frank

          ” I want to paint a huge Eye of Horus on the outside to keep the neighbours guessing”

          To liven them up a little more, you could enclose it in a triangle to suggest a pyramid. That design has been known to resonate effectively. Very neighbourly of you. in the spirit of Bob Marley’s `lively up yourself’, extending to the community via design… 😎

          • Robert Guyton

            They’re already quite lively as a result of my wild gardening ways; creative tension, I call it. They may use other expressions. Every now and again the local council indicates that they too are feeling lively and creatively tense, but my wife is charming and these things soon pass 🙂

        • Cinny

          Robert, the article was about plants that hook on to us and hitch a ride, like Cleavers.

          You mentioned in the piece about making cleaver soup, made me smile as it’s one of the go to plants for a hedgerow witch, having both medicinal and magical qualities.

          The sticky plant that drives me nuts around here are the hooks on the stems of the punga fronds. Only an issue when up the ladder pruning any dead leaves, small price to pay for the shade they give and the housing they provide for the birds.

          Love the Eye of Horus idea, do it, do it 🙂

          Your tunnel house sounds amazing, the grape vines, wows, will make such a beautiful outdoor room. Swallow nests in the macrocarpa wall would look magnificent. Nature is the best buzz on the planet.

          • Robert Guyton

            Hi Cinny – thanks for the reminder and also for mentioning hedgerow witchery; I’d always puzzled over the line in the “O Brother Where Art Though” song that says, “In the highways and the hedges, I’ll be somewhere a’workin’ for my Lord” – do you know it? Three young girls (Ulysses/George Clooney’s daughters) sing it – the hedges?? I used to think, till I put 2&2 together… I met a hedge witch here in my garden recently, she was/is Irish and very clever about plants and their ways. I’ve done a lot of reading about such things and have grown a big “hedgerow” that I call a forest garden in which any hedge witch would be happy, I reckon 🙂 I grow everything here for the making of this and that and lament the dearth of hedges here in our new, “raw” countryside. I’m promoting the planting of hedgerows, for multiple reasons, not the least of witch is to provide habitat from witch to forage 🙂

            • Dennis Frank

              “O Brother Where Art Though” song – delete gh? I suspect the hedgerow thing was from Britain, where it was functionally similar to the wildlife corridor design in permaculture. An ecosystem, even if created by farmers originally, which evolves subsequently on a trajectory of its own. So small animals would use them for travel through farmland to avoid predators. Outlaws sleeping under hedges was probably part of it too…

  4. WeTheBleeple 4

    Here’s part of where we need to go. A community that comes together to solve the common problem.

    Warning: will inspire.

    • Pat 4.1

      indeed inspirational….but one only has to squint a little to see the much derided irrigation schemes in NZ. There may be however one critical difference and not knowing the social/economic structure of the featured community I am unsure if the logic holds.

      • Robert Guyton 4.1.1

        From the comments made by some of those involved, about the beauty of Mother Earth and so on, I suspect the people aren’t planning to use the presence of water to fire up any environmentally destructive, designed to make them rich, projects, such as might be the case here in New Zealand, where irrigation schemes have been pressed for 🙂

        • Pat

          and that may be the critical difference….although it may be instructive to revisit the scheme in a decade or two and see if it remains so.

          • WeTheBleeple

            Isn’t it incredible though, the energy in this project just snowballs. The villagers are in and government sees this and they join in and industry is inspired and donates machines and… big job, done.

            Large scale dams contribute to water problems. Watershed management is a whole new level. It restores streams, springs and aquifers via groundwater flow. It begins in the top of the catchment, not the valley.

            (Water) abundance for all is entirely possible.

            • Robert Guyton

              “It begins in the top of the catchment, not the valley.”
              And it is multifaceted, not monolithic (like the Clyde dam 🙂

            • Pat

              it certainly does appear impressive, and both more effective and faster than the government projects…..its progress will be well worth watching

  5. Andre 5

    I suppose since I opened my yap and suggested a “What is your “there”?” discussion I’m now obliged to blab my “there”. Sorry.

    I want a world that values understanding, reason, knowledge, and nuance. It seems to me that belief without strong evidence lies at the base of many of the things we humans have done badly and outright wrong over our history.

    I want a world that values freedom for people to pursue their happiness so long as that pursuit does not cause non-consensual harm to others (either individually or collectively). This leads into the idea that one of the roles of government is to define and manage where one person’s freedoms end and other people’s freedoms begin. We have also developed ourselves into a situation where it is difficult for many of us to live our lives without causing harm to our collective well-being. It is a role of government to try to change behaviour and societal structures so reduce that collective harm as much as possible.

    I value diversity, in all things. To be trite, the only constant is change. Diversity is one of the strongest tools we have to manage change and use it in pursuit of happiness. That diversity is in our wonderful heritage of different places, peoples, ecosystems … and in the endless creativity of people using understanding, reason and knowledge to create new diversity. I’m appalled when I see the destruction of diversity, whether it’s the expansion of monoculture over areas previously host to diverse ecosystems and people or the destruction of scientific trials by people motivated by blind faith spouting about imaginary risks that are ignoring or even promoting much greater risks, or the smothering of smaller cultures (such as the Americanisation driven by TV that seemed to be happening so strongly in the 80s that at least in some ways seems to be reversing).

    Vague verbal diarrhea I know, but get much more specific and I’ll go on forever …

    • Robert Guyton 5.1

      “I value diversity, in all things.”
      I rate diversity most highly also. It’s the stimulus for opportunity and a buffer against mistakes. If the concept is kept front-of-mind whenever decisions are being made/plans formulated, chances of a good outcome are greatly increased – don’t put all your eggs, it is said, in one basket. Vary both the contained and the containers.
      Thanks, Andre.

      • Andre 5.1.1

        Probably if we got into the nitty-gritty of what diversity really is and what paths we should follow to increase diversity we would find strong differences of opinion. But that’s diversity too, and a good thing.

        • Dennis Frank

          The best imagery for this is flowers in a garden. Analogy to the diversity of humans. The wild is even better as context. So the political stance of `the right way’ is like one species declaring itself better than the others. Health of an ecosystem derives from the integrity provided by the interconnections between organisms. So the right way is to acknowledge organic context as matrix, of which all others are an integral part…

          • greywarshark

            The organic thinking about plants being together in a pattern is exemplified by companion planting in which one can protect another against insects that would decimate or spoil them. So one species can be better than another, for one aspect of its effects.

            Also there are plants that put out something from their roots that discourage other plants from growing nearby. This allows it to grow faster without competition for the available nutrients.

            Can we see an analogy for these behaviours amongst people, and find a way to incorporate various diversities of human behaviour into particular groups?
            We could help people as they grow up to find their favoured pursuits, their particular, peculiar strengths and abilities, and develop those with inputs into the mesh of their community, enabling them to weave into and widen the community’s interests with a view to making it stronger and wiser.

            Using Transactional Analysis, I believe that I am presenting this from my Adult with a touch of the creative Child.

    • Dennis Frank 5.2

      “I want a world that values understanding, reason, knowledge, and nuance.” I agree with two out of four. I find reason too blunt a tool to rate highly. I used it to graduate with a BSc in physics (despite losing faith in that subject halfway thro my first year). I’d replace reason with intuition. Much more reliable, and much more likely to catalyse personal progress, in my experience!

      I’d replace knowledge with wisdom. No point in knowing stuff if you aren’t wise enough to apply that knowledge appropriately, to make your actions effective, eh?

  6. WeTheBleeple 6

    “organic context as matrix”

    Profoundly wise.

  7. The Chairman 7

    Worth a look

    • Pat 7.1

      Prescient….but the solution is based on the false assumption that there are sufficient resources and no environmental impact with the conversion and distribution of those resources….but it is thinking in the right direction IMO.

      • The Chairman 7.1.1

        It is based on the carrying capacity of the earth’s resources and our ability to extend and enhance that through the application of science and technology. Mitigating the disruption thus environmental impact going forward. Moreover, it aims to eliminate vast waste of resources such as those poured into the global military industrial complex.

        It highlights how current structures can’t deliver and how they are in fact counterproductive to improvement.

        So yes, it is thinking in the right direction and provides plenty of food for thought, thus perhaps it is something we can build and improve upon.

        • Pat

          making the necessities (perhaps bare) available free may be doable but the claim that super production of anything desired for all ignores the reality of resource use…even with repurposing and recycling and the elimination of waste for unwanted (e.g. military), not to mention the neat sidestep on the carrying capacity figure…..and that leads to a couple of other problems conveniently avoided by promising such.

          Namely the requirement for work and its allocation and decision making

          • The Chairman

            Production would take an holistic approach, thus take into account the earths capacity to do so.

            Though the super production of anything desired for all is unrealistic at this stage, taking a resource based approach (opposed to our current monetary approach) would reduce the current scarcity many in the world face. Potentially providing the necessities as you say.

            With the necessities provided, work will be viewed and valued from a totally different perspective. Problem solving and the desire to further improve our world is to be instilled through education, thus what is hoped to be valued going forward.

            As for the carrying capacity figure, one would think that would vary as things develop and evolve.

            Overall, The Venus Project may not be perfect but there is a lot there that we can discuss (hence, perhaps improve) work with, and of course, build upon.

            • Pat

              K…but by promising everyone everything the requirement to determine what is provided and how is avoided….and that is the key to its success or failure.

              It is not dissimilar to the ongoing debate here already where some accept that in order to mitigate CC the west must accept a reduced lifestyle (in aggregate) whereas the developing world needs assistance to improve its living standard….and we know how divisive that debate is

      • Pat 7.2.1

        “In short: the people who wanted to elevate humanity above greed, pettiness, and the lust for power ultimately succumbed to it themselves.[10] Despite all their talk about eliminating money and private property, Fresco and Joseph both ultimately wanted to control the movement, and rather than compromise and arrive at decisions about how the movement’s resources would be allocated, they both tried to make arbitrary decisions about its direction.”


        • Draco T Bastard

          So we should just throw his ideas away because he failed to live up to his ideals?

          Or are the ideas worth holding onto anyway?

          • Pat

            bit of both I guess….as noted above there are elements which could form a workable solution but the package as it is presented is deeply flawed….which is not surprising as it is a human construct.

            A new model of rationing is critical IMO and it offered that.

  8. Dennis Frank 8

    Just a preliminary explanation of magic (a view from a dilettante averse to occult exploration). There’s two ways of framing the topic: illusion and transformation. I disregard the former and focus on the latter.

    Those of us who became adept at personal transformation can be dismissed as narcissists, even when we are exemplars of individualism. The trick to avoid that is to shift into the learning curve of social transformation. Provided one adopts the ethic of care, which leads to the path of stewardship, any artistry or expertise can then be directed into service. If we work for the benefit of all, our primadonna tendencies can be forgiven, because they become less relevant, and, at worst, a minor irritant in the grand scheme of things.

    • Robert Guyton 8.1

      ” any artistry or expertise can then be directed into service.”
      Yes. A photographer, say, for a popular magazine might chose subjects, frame them consciously so as to tell a story that serves and submit those without caption, for publication; the images can serve both the magazine’s kaupapa and that of social transformation.That way, the magic is performed and transformation, subtle perhaps, is effected. Any plaudits for the photographer can be channelled into attracting more work and opportunities for more of the same 🙂

  9. Ad 9

    I dont have much utopian capacity anymore.

    I generally assign myself to large scale public transport projects and help get them going. Its as optimistic as I get.

    My ‘there’ isnt stable, but I generally feel relaxed with smart people who work within very broken structures, can harness long term public and private capital, and are prepared to tilt whole suburbs, networks and cities into energy-efficient lives.

    If one can do that with minimal harm, corruption, delay, and cost blowout, and gain a few friends, youre doing ok.

    • Dennis Frank 9.1

      That’s good. That combination of regeneration and efficiency is very Green. Your inclusion with a focus on public transport reminds me of a couple of young guys in the GP in the early nineties, Don & Darren, who were very big on it and went into the Alliance with it (I bailed out), and their initiative still powers Greens transport policy even though they seem to be no longer in the GP. I admit to struggling with the notion that old-fashioned socialism could be integrated like that – nothing radical there, I thought – but eventually accepted it and road-clogging by cars & trucks has proved them right since then.

      • Ad 9.1.1

        Its mostly Labour.

        Social Democrats wrestle public policy and public and private capital. Its not comfortable but its necessary. Not particularly heroic either; i get paid.

        • Dennis Frank

          Yeah, I could tell you were Labour. Any endeavour that makes social democracy work according to plan is worthwhile, paid or unpaid. Part of how to get there.

    • greywarshark 9.2

      I dislike utopian ideas also Ad. Practicality seems to be your aim, so as to meet future needs, and that will take us a long way. Add kindness into the mix which brings in caring thought for other living beings and I think we would all be on the track of surviving and able to make changes, both practical and moral, for a better,
      sustainable world, as we go.

      • Ad 9.2.1

        I did a PhD on kinds of utopian idealism and expression in the late 1970s. I’m not unfamiar.
        utopian ideals give people collective motivation.

        but the results of the 20th century’s utopian ideologies should have put paid to them as anything more useful than that.

  10. Dennis Frank 10

    So the way to see how techniques of social transformation can have magical effect is to use examples. A teachable moment can be activated via presenting such working examples in a group context. It’s a shareable gnosis.

    There’s a good compilation of examples in “Join the Club: How Peer Pressure Can Transform the World” (2011) by this woman: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tina_Rosenberg

    Organising takes time, so the other focus must be on rapid catalysis. Working examples of this are hard to find, but the theoretical basis is much stronger. Popularised via The Tipping Point, the best-seller that made Malcom Gladwell famous, the idea is to trigger the shift when the group has been set up ready.

    Chaos theory emerged in the late eighties, alerting us to the inherent unpredictability of complex systems. The science showed that they have different steady states available, and can be triggered into a rapid shift between them. Ecosystems, human groups, and human society, are relevant examples. The butterfly effect emerged as the metaphor showing that triggering can result from a tiny influence, when conditions are right, because the system is stable but near a trigger point.

    When the Stones sang “war, children, is just a shot away” in Gimme Shelter (1969) they were sending that message. It was the assassination of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire that triggered WWI. The treaty framework used by European states to lock peace into permanency made multinational war possible!

    • Robert Guyton 10.1

      Oh, I like these ideas, Dennis!
      “the idea is to trigger the shift when the group has been set up ready.”
      When someone has realised this before others do, there’s much they can achieve by “doing their thing” with verve and sharing the experience with others, who may scratch their heads, or shake them, but it doesn’t matter, so long as the “originator” stays chirpy – it’s that joie de vivre that attracts and allows those who don’t yet “get it” to stay supportive until they do: the tipping point you describe. And, as you say, “examples”; there’s nothing so influential/convincing/inspiring as an actual example of what’s being talked-about, especially one that’s stood the test of time. With the “forest garden” phenomenon, I’m seeing that “when conditions are right” effect now and it’s very exciting/satisfying to be Roy Rogers’ horse, or at least a fly on his flank, at this point of time.

      • WeTheBleeple 10.1.1

        Absolutely the time is right. (Many) people are very receptive to new/old ways of doing things.

        On staying chirpy… I really try. When I’m having a bad day the garden is the best place for me. We do the best with what we got.

        Gardens for all the nutters!

  11. Janet 11

    To get to your “Tipping Point” more public education is needed. Most people in NZ understand the need for recycling but little more. Tipping towards The Big Picture is going to take a lot more than that and the individual needs this information in his finger tips so that each can start working out his role in the wave that is needed to TIP the world back on its feet.

    • Dennis Frank 11.1

      Yes, it helps. I’ve seen a few media stories featuring school classes doing green projects in recent years. Since I’m normally critical (due to the 19th century syllabus being recycled ad nauseum) it’s nice to be able to cite something positive happening there.

      Thing is, Janet, resilience teaching for adults is a hell of a lot more necessary! Even if only voluntarist. I’d like to see community organisations getting on board. Transition towns were a good idea , but the concept was driven by peak oil theory which has since been invalidated by fracking, so it didn’t become sufficiently contagious.

      Necessity is the mother of invention. That suggests folks will adhere to the status quo until it no longer works for them. Consequently originators and early-adopters are where the action currently is: small groups, seeding…

  12. Janet 12

    Yes Dennis , but this has been going on for decades. I too , discovered Bill Mollison’s Permaculture “Bible” in the early 1990’s. I developed my current block with much of his theories in mind. My son is almost 100 % sustainable on his farm – an early adopter- but we are both still looked at side ways and cynically by the usual kiwi farmers around each of us.
    I am not particularly thinking of the farmers I am thinking of all people. A message that explains why we need to look at our individual lifestyles and a list of points that will help identify if there are changes that can be made that would benefit our shared environment. Just the “measuring our footprint” stuff really.
    First wake the people, Touch base with them, Get them on board by seeing how they can help save the world a little . Some will become even more interested and proactive and then your wave starts because you are there waiting to help everyone catch it ! Hopefully it becomes a tidal wave quickly!

  13. Sabine 13

    i would like to see community investments in the form of community ovens for baking etc, i would like community gardens and i would like to see a cohabitation plan that brings our elderlies back into the community rather then seperate them from us – and us from ‘them’ when our age comes.
    i would like to see more community minded spaces, Plazas if you like with benches and out door seating of kinds, a square on which to hold a village ball – family friendly, a market on several days a week, so that we as people can start to talk and exist among generations again. I believe that a lot of our societal malaise comes from the fact that somehow despite all the gadgetery in the world we are as lonely as we have ever been.
    In the meantime i know i am day dreaming, reading an article where people took a saw to Joshua Tree Park to cut down Joshua Trees to go four wheel ‘riding’.

    How do we get there? No clue to be honest. How do you tell people to not cut down a tree so they can go four wheel riding.

    • Robert Guyton 13.1

      Sabine – those things you would like to see are mine also and are quite doable, imo. In our village there are several young people who bake wonderful bread and for whom a n oven to share would bring a chance to earn a living , or part thereof, develop a worthwhile and much appreciated by others business, work with others of similar interest, serve their community, improve the health of many living here, strengthen the community-within a community that yearns for good food and company and cohesion; working together of worthwhile industry and so on. Curiously, the newly-established “Menz shed” has begun to show signs of being a facility where such physical projects as building a bread oven can be realised. Your bench idea has already been put to them and enthusiastically received.

      • Sabine 13.1.1

        In the old bavaria of the time the oven was shared among the women to babe bread for home. It was build in town, the women pulled a straw to see with whom they would share the bake day, brought the wood, the prepared breads and baked.
        No ‘earning a living’ involved. In certain places in spain the local town baker would for a coin bake the bread that women prepare at home. Why? it is more economic to build one oven, to collect wood for one oven rather then fire up our little individual ovens all at once.
        I get bread from a lady whose husband has build her an oven in he back yard. Every two weeks i get good bread made from flower that comes form the South Island. But when ever they sell their property the oven will be lost to the community.

        I like the Marae system, that would be a decent place to start and build a loval community oven for baking bread. I just can’t see pakeha to agree to such a point where they could learn to share a resource. Or maybe i am just not surrounded by people that could.

        • Robert Guyton

          I see what you mean, Sabine. Our community forest garden is so close to the centre of town you could throw a peach stone from the chemist and have it grow there (though they don’t sell peaches at the chemist … yet!) and will be the ideal spot for a bread oven. Benches too and an iron pot for soup-making 🙂 I want to erect a tent, perhaps from permanent materials, where travellers can stay – I read one can have a tent on the lawn and invite people to stay without needing to consult the local council). They might like to pick leaves for a community-soup or collect driftwood from the beach to fire the bread oven, who knows?
          Us Pakeha like to do those sorts of things 🙂

          • Sabine

            nope that is a bit to extreme for my taste.

            But think of it. We are talking about future planning with diminished resources.

            So does it make sense we all fire up an oven to bake bread? Nope not really, does it now?

            But community ovens that are only fired up a few days a week?



            consider as well that i think that Marae living is something we should emulate, as it does allow for inter generational living, and thus sharing of resources why should we not look at it and revive what was a very old tradition that literally just stopped in the 60’s in many parts of europe, prescisely with the arrival of the single serve oven run by electricity.

            And yes, the last heat of hte oven would be put to good use if you were to put in your pot of soup stock. But then a walk in chimney with a bit hook is better as a friend of mine has in his very old house in France. 🙂

  14. Pat 14

    Having watched both The Chairmans and WTB’s video offerings (which were both very interesting) a thought about sustainable communities occured and is one I put out there for solutions.

    A community is sensible and develops a model that is sustainable and successful….and this being so it is likely to be a highly desirable place to live….what does that community do when that popularity threatens its sustainability?

    • Sabine 14.1

      hopefully it teaches other communities to reach the same standard.

      but more realistic would be what does the community do when its leader decides that it is now a good time to make money on that popularity an the community be damned.
      Like cutting down trees to go offroading. As that really is our issue, who do we stop people from cutting down the last trees in their communities and thus rendering their community to unsustainable / dead status.

      • Pat 14.1.1

        “but more realistic would be what does the community do when its leader decides that it is now a good time to make money on that popularity an the community be damned”

        that could be considered the same question, although with the added element of ‘do successful sustainable communities have a leader?’

        • Sabine

          another question that needs to be asked then is ‘ is my community sustainable, successful and desirable at the cost of another community/ies be less sustainable and healthy.’.

          And maybe by adjusting our success, needs/wants etc other countries might not be such that people want to leave to live elsewhere rather then stay at home making a life there.

          And would we get our community to implement the adjustments in our comforts and ‘taken for granted activities and lifestyle’. Because currently most people want to migrate because there are is the only a few places where such desirable places are and we can’t say that our success does not come at the detriment of other communities around the planet.

          • Pat

            To be truly sustainable it cannot come at the expense of other communities….but crucially it must also impose limits (unpopular) and that has implications for all manner of things not least of which, freedom of movement and freedom to procreate to name but two ……that will be difficult to sell.

      • WeTheBleeple 14.1.2

        Tree choppers?

        This is partly an educational problem, partly a legal problem where people can tread on commons.

        Ecology and the ecosystem services need to be taught as a fundamental at school so people know how it all works and ties together. Law needs to protect the commons from ecological vandalism. Together these might change things as we can enforce the law with understanding in the community despite what nonsense exploiters try.

        Successful models spread. Information, expertise, supervision, propagules…

        Innovations everywhere. Turnkey systems required.

    • Janet 14.2

      If a community became so successful that it’s popularity threatened it’s sustainability it would then assist a new community to set up , surely. The problem that always arises within these communal situations finally, is either the divergence of settlers attitudes from the overall plan or over the “power and control.” Find one that works well and get them to tell us how they did it and why it works well.

  15. greywarshark 15

    One of the problems we have in our society is that we consider we have worked and earned what we are given – wages, pensions, and that we owe nothing to anyone for that. So we receive output as part of belonging to a society, but we are not expected (because it hasn’t been a cultural practice), to have input into our society as a natural way of being.

    It is all about making your own way, being a self-made man or woman, doing this through paid work, being judged by how well you dress, how well your house looks. And that is more important than anything. So going through the motions of pleasing society and yourself and family, looking good, paying your bills, not needing charity, that is the object and results in a judgmental way of thinking that not wanting charity oneself, then giving your own time to charity (or societal work of some sort) is an imposition. Let them do things for themselves instead of expecting others to lay out the red carpet for them!!

    Mixing together, setting some time aside for volunteering, that is regarded as an extra, a hobby, and often volunteers are there for the social side rather than the actual helping society aspect. The retired accountant who decides he hates accountancy and so doesn’t want to help some little organisation with their books, but doesn’t do anything else for society is an example or many middle class people. The retired successful businessman who drives his expensive vehicle looking down on others and criticising the poorer people around him is another. The business-savvy or university-trained women who have worked hard to get where they are, they may do something because it’s good for their image. Otherwise do they give something back to society – or do they plan holidays, or choose expensive clothes from the weekend magazines?

    Loneliness is a very likely condition for older people, they have had children who are only occasionally seen in the flesh, their friends have died, society is harder and colder. But they have opportunities to reach out, starting with asking at the Citizens Advice Bureau, reading the free local paper and building up a network of outlets for assistance, a few friends, a regular meeting, outing. It is the fact that they have never been in a society that includes input into society as part of the natural form of society that is the reason they suddenly feel really alone. The intermeshed attitude has not been embedded while they were young and doing their adult things, and now they are old it shows up starkly and they sit and feel sad and sorry. And there are opportunities out there, outside their own little box of a mind. But they don’t know how to make the change and find the connection from being self-centred to being part of a community friendly-centred.

    So a new zeitgeist is needed, and space to be community in. If you have volunteers, encourage them by holding a Christmas party for them, give them a good time, understand how often the people who get out and volunteer are the poorer people, so give them some travel vouchers, or a grocery voucher now and then. Let’s all join together, There’s laughter in the air. (Theme song from the 1974 Commonwealth Games held in Christchurch. It was reissued in 2011 and shows the poor broken earthquake-damaged city when it was vital for everyone to help each other, have input where possible.) To prepare for times to come, we need to start inputting now, not wait for disaster.

  16. David Mac 16

    I live in hope of a contentment renaissance. I believe to be content with our lot is what most of us seek. We live in a world where our sense of contentment is conditioned to seek satisfaction in things. Ensuites, cars and shoes. I’m hopeful that we will come to terms with the very minor role things play in a contented life.

    “Nice, jet, yacht and necklace, are we happy yet?”

    • Janet 16.1

      I agree. To be content life must be in a balance. Too much work makes Jack a dull boy.
      A 3 or 4 day week would be a nice life balance if you are an employee. Leaves time for creative pursuits, physical activities growing your own food, sitting on the verandah sniffing the roses with your mate over a cuppa, time and adventures with the kids, and so on. UBI would be the first step in this direction.

      • David Mac 16.1.1

        I wonder if an intrinsic part of feeling content is to make a living doing something we’d do even if we weren’t paid to do it. Every pursuit has shitty bits, hobby or job. But overall, we just dig doing it.

        I suspect Robert G would delight in making a reasonable living selling his produce to locals from a stand at the bottom of his drive. He’d get a kick out of sharing even if it wasn’t paying his rates. You talk about adventures with your kids, what if 3 other kids came and that was your well paid job? Rather than a UBI, I’d like to see us all filling our days with something useful that we loved doing. There lives a sense a contentment.

        • Janet

          I believe that UBI would free a lot of self motivated people into doing and finally making a business out of what they LIKE doing. Instead the young are on a treadmill to earn money, money, money , to stay afloat. To do this they have to be employed as self-employed also requires money to set up.

          • David Mac

            Most of us don’t have what it takes to make a business take off Janet.

            I like reading the one in a million stories. Michael Dell made $2000 trading baseball cards on Ebay and as a 19 year old formed Dell Computers. For a few years Dell Computers sold more computers in the world than anybody else.

            But yeah, Mike Dell is one grain of sand on the beach.

            I think you and your kids taking a couple of kids for a camping long weekend should be a government funded position. A couple of kids that have never slept under canvas, swum in a river or smoked an eel. The Fabulous Camp Mothers should be a govt funded role.

            There’s a task for each and all of us.

            • Sabine


              • David Mac

                My Dad would delight in sitting behind the non-fiction enquiry desk at a library. He would pay to do that job. In a perfect world his half shift would be topping up his pension.

                What do you love doing Sabine? What job would you do even if there was no pay?

                • David Mac

                  I want to be Bono

                  • greywarshark

                    People contributing to society doing things that have been agreed to be useful, sometimes with argument on this point and evidence,
                    and the hours worked should go to a rise in the UBI or pension.

                    Do something useful get reward.

                    People finding time to work in a community garden, picked up in a van so travel together, work and get taken to shopping area on way home so can have 15 mins shopping. Then the group have the opportunity to go to an outdoor recreation camp with their children, or their children go and be supervised by group member. (Parent might have to work the weekend of the camp.)

                    Work – reward. Something nice at the end to motivate you.

                    Kindness, opportunity, enjoyment, opens doors, isn’t too hard to do, doesn’t require fancy clothes that match others who have better-off parents. Low-key, someone take guitar and they all sing Ten Guitars. Small stress, big pleasure, and recognition that you don’t have to be perfect.

                    I remember a story of a school camp run by some naice up-tight middle class teachers. One of the boys pulled his pants down and mooned at someone. He was treated as a pervert, put in a separate room, locked in, and driven back to town as a disgraceful person and that would pass on to his family. For some rudey kids fun. (The teacher i think, has a son who has Obsessive Cleaning Disorder, and has to wash his hands all the time.)

                    Just some things that come to mind that would start to lift our society of strugglers. Let them decide and run their own courses and projects, with help, when they have built up enough nous.
                    Keep the middle class women out of it. They are cold people, full of rules of etiquette, and have difficulty coping with people who just want to live, do reasonably well, and not be classed as failures.
                    Was it Ivan Illich who said that schools as they are run now are places to go so you can find out whether you are worthwhile and a likely success, or not!

                • Sabine

                  cooking, knitting, embroidering, baking, reading stories, go forage for food………………..being my witchy little self. Must be careful tho, a lot of mine got burned on the stake.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Baking! Reading stories!!
                    Witch! Witch!!
                    Bakeries and libraries – full of witches!
                    I knew it!
                    The crow-people are everywhere
                    (even in the hedges!)

        • Robert Guyton

          Hi David – funny that you should mention kids – grandchildren, in my case – they arrived mid-day and my blogging opportunities shrank to near zero 🙂 We had fun though; checking out a funky new henhouse that a neighbour has just finished building, visiting a muddy wallow on the farm next door, hijacking the trolley of the kid’s along the street, away on holiday they are, and generally roaming but I wouldn’t do it for money; the things I really enjoy I do because I can gift the time and effort they take: child-minding, growing trees, blogging 🙂 I do like trading though, or rather giving and sometimes receiving as though there was no connection between the two. We all have to earn somehow but your idea of “us all filling our days with something useful that we loved doing” is something to strive for and support others achieving. It’s amazing how some tasks that would be deeply unpleasant to some people can be a pleasure to the person who chooses to do them in order to get where they want to be; I really enjoy pulling convolvulus from my hazels because I think of it as harvesting rather than weeding; every handful increases my mulch-wealth. I wake up in the morning thinking, yes! Another opportunity to harvest and there’s still some convolvulus left, praise Pan 🙂
          A Universal Happiness Index is something to aspire to.

          • greywarshark

            Convulvulus humming – that would be an out-of-this-world experience.

            • Robert Guyton

              It’s the local version of the Ringing Cedars 🙂

              • greywarshark

                You enigmatic person Robert. Of course i had to look that up.
                Here ’tis:
                Anastasia (The Ringing Cedars of Russia, #1) by Vladimir Megré

                Rating: 3.8 – ‎1,576 votes
                (The Ringing Cedars of Russia #1) … “ANASTASIA”, the first book of the Ringing Cedars Series, tells the story of entrepreneur Vladimir Megre’s trade trip to the Siberian taiga in 1995, where he witnessed incredible spiritual phenomena connected with sacred ‘ringing cedar’ trees.

  17. McFlock 17

    For me, “there” is a vector, not a point. It’s a direction to travel in, not a place to get to and stay at. Society should progress towards easier, longer, and more fulfilling lives for its people and future generations.

    So this means better work conditions, social welfare, and healthcare to ease and extend lives. Egalitarianism, education, arts, and yes “identity” liberation for fulfillment. And we need to work towards sustainability for these things to apply for future generations.

    • Dennis Frank 17.1

      I’m one of those people who joined the Greens to save the world. However I was different inasmuch as I intended to save it from the political left & right, both of whom were intent on destroying nature.

      Now that’s no longer obviously true, plus I’m lots older & mellower, achieving the goal is no longer the urgent priority it was for me. So I find myself agreeing with your vector framing. Fits with the old notion that the journey is more important than the destination, and also with my adoption of praxis a couple of years ago as the best way to get there.

      Trajectory is a similar concept I’ve used (like you use vector), to express the view that as long as we’re headed in the right direction & advancing, we show others the way, so the rate of progress need not be a fixation…

      • McFlock 17.1.1

        Thing is, the entire concept of a goal is absurd, because time marches on. It’s not about the journey, it’s the fact that tomorrow is always another day. Even in an “ideal” society.

        And to me, pretending to be outside of the left/right dichotomy is just shorthand for not wanting to really admit where one is. It’s usually the step before previously left wing commenters here start to embrace authoritarian regimes and social conservatism.

        • solkta

          There is left, right, and confused.

          • Dennis Frank

            Left right out is better. Not captive to any false belief system. Free as a bird. High-flying lifestyles become available… 😎

        • Robert Guyton

          Is it anything more than oscillating (wobbly-wobbling) in a way that draws those with a similar cadence closer (“those” being all beings, rock, scissors, paper).

        • Dennis Frank

          Well, for me it was not a pretence. It was a life-saving strategy. And it worked. Like I’ve told you a few times before, a third of folks in most western countries now self-identify as neither left nor right. Polls have been proving that new reality exists for years.

          So the real pretence that’s actually happening is partisans denying that the three-way split exists. Denial of reality is a pathology. Not a terminal affliction, I suspect. One that is chosen, and those who so choose can always shift to acceptance of reality. What’s so good about the delusion anyway??

          • bwaghorn

            The whole left right bullshit is just tribalism which we should have left in the caves thousands of years ago . Evidence based decisions is what is needed.

            • solkta

              But needed for what? Without some philosophy there is no clear objective. You could have evidence based decisions for:

              1. creating a more competitive society
              2. creating a more caring society

              but which to choose?

              • greywarshark

                Which to choose? What are the basic ways of sizing each one up?

                What have we now? A – a competitive society.

                Is the competitive society working to provide a stable society that yet can take on innovative pilots of new ideas, and enable new ideas to be adopted with proper legal pathways regularly monitored, to follow? A – society is unstable at present, slow to start new ideas and slow to respond to innovative ideas wanted by the people, and slow to enable
                proper legal pathways for actions that are reliably checked.

                A brief study appears to show that the competitive society doesn’t work to fulfil our needs and enable us to move forward and make improvements that will aid us now and into the future.

                Is a caring society is the opposite to a competitive society? It would offer advantages, but would need critical monitoring to limit what people could reasonably expect. If people could just ask and receive, without competing in a pluralist way, then demand would often rise beyond supply, and the distribution of benefits would become uneven. So some sort of rationing would be needed to stand in for the competitive one that seems more disinterested.

                I come back to my simple line. Kindness and practicality would have to go together as a base idea, which would not be base!

            • Dennis Frank

              Sensible, when possible, I agree. Problem is, we always get situations when evidence is either lacking, or arguable. So human nature kicks in. 🙄

            • Sabine

              until the evidence does not support your/or any other theories and then its back to left right? right?

              • bwaghorn

                Both sides in this country claim to want a fairer society and follow their own beliefs to make it happen ,we should be looking over the fence at every other country and seeing what works and what doesn’t regardless of who put various programs in place .

                • solkta

                  Works to achieve what?

                  • bwaghorn

                    A society that allows personal freedom while leaving none behind . One that allows the go getters to reap a few more rewards so we can have the advances they bring , and enough governance to direct them down life enhancing channels.
                    One the helps people better their lives without shackling them to a mentality of being owed something for nothing .
                    Health happiness and a planet that’s livable for all its creatures (even act voters)

                    • solkta

                      Nact policy is based on leaving people behind. This they see as the natural order of things. And the planet, that is just resources.

                    • Sabine

                      Currently in our society – NZ/England/US/ etc the white world if you so like, we have all the personal freedoms our ancestors could possibly think of.
                      we can vote or not
                      we can marry or not – all of us not just the heterosexual ones
                      we can love whom we want and how we want – and not only the heterosexual only in marriage ways
                      we can go to school and univeristy – all of us not just the children of aristocracy
                      we can choose where to work and what work to do – no more bound to the master who apprenticed us
                      we can choose where we want to live and how – no longer owned by a Lord of the manor who was the Landlord
                      we can choose to travel – in relative safety compared to times past – even women, even without a chaperone
                      we can choose to go to a doctor if we are ill and not die at the hand of a doctor who did not wash their hands after an autopsy before working on you (mandatory handwashing, i guess these doctors did loose some persona freedoms)

                      and guess what, pretty much all of these achievements are due to radicals, socialists, unionists and other assorted troublemakers of the socalled left.

                      Please define go gettors? If you have a slice of bread and i kill you in order to steal your slice of bread, am I a go gettor that should be allowed to keep the bread and kill the next person for the next time i am hungry, or should i be send to prison for murderer?

                      so would you rather the widowed mother of John Key or Paula Bennett teenage single mother of one, had to resort to prostitution, house cleaning, taking in clothes to mend, etc etc rather then have access to a state house, widowers benefits, single parent benefits, study allowances etc so as to prevent them from being shackled to a mentality of being owed something for nothing?

                  • bwaghorn

                    You asked for my hopy wishy stuff and you answered it with more tribalism.

                    • solkta

                      Yes because the different political parties have different underlying philosophical bases that view the world and people and the relationships between them in very different ways. Nact policy has been very effective in making this country how they want it to be. It has worked. From a left wing perspective it has been a disaster.

                      What you call “tribalism” others call thinking and feeling.

                • Sabine

                  yes, and one side has a track record of getting there, and the other side has a track record of destroying every thing that makes life easier for the many while promoting tax cuts for the few.

                  🙂 choose your side.

                  • bwaghorn

                    You go far enough left and you end up being very like those on the far right . Ed proved that the other day.

                    • Sabine

                      I have no use for Ed. None what so ever.

                      It still stands tho that the so called right never did anything for the unwashed poor masses.

                      Not in NZ nor elsewhere.

                      If you have any rights, even the right to vote you do not owe this to someone on the right but to someone on the left.

                      The Magna Carta was not written by the Kind and his enablers. The Magna Carta was written by men seeking rights to life and liberty.

                    • KJT

                      The Magna Charta was about rights for landowners.

                      But then there is the “Charter of the Forest”.

          • McFlock

            Self identification, or self delusion?

            The dichotomy is simply a function of social conservatism and economic liberalism and the extremes of both: the self vs the rest, how much you want traditional power structures to be reinforced or destroyed.

            The ones who think they’re above it all simply want other people controlled, but can’t bring themselves to admit it.

            • Dennis Frank

              Well, you & I have acquired that analytic view of the situation, but most others have not. With them, it seems to be just tribalism. Certain behaviours and beliefs of the left & right tribes alienated them so much they couldn’t join either lot. That’s how I became politically independent long ago too.

              The analytic view allows us to evaluate harm-causing social institutions, so as to figure out how to redesign them to eliminate harm. I agree traditional power structures are a suitable target for reform. I agree that those who want to control others are problem individuals. Plenty of them are leftists.

              • McFlock

                Bit harsh on the majority, there.

                As for “plenty of them are leftists”, sure. But preserving the traditional power structures requires control of others, whereas that’s something the left need to keep reminding themselves is a bad thing even if it looks easier to do it just a little bit. The dictatorship of the proletariat is not a path to utopia, whatever Marx said.

                • Marx, and in more detail, Lenin have said that the dictatorship of the proletariat is a step on the path, not an outcome in its own right. It’s arguable that the failings of the USSR and China were both a result of stalling at that stage and not pushing on to communism.

                  • McFlock

                    Yeah, but they were wrong. It’s the dodge that makes Marxism a pseudoscience: oh, country X became a dystopian police state? It wasn’t marxism, then, it was a failed dictatorship of the proletariat that couldn’t achieve the endgame. Communist theory becomes impossible to disprove.

                    Alienation cannot be eliminated via oppression. A dictatorship, by its very essence, is an alienation of the leadership from the populace, otherwise it would be a democratically supported leadership and not a dictatorship.

                    The DotP is just a fudge that everyone will eventually support the truly popular state if we bully them into it first, but at the moment nobody would vote for us because we’ve been horribly slandered by capitalists.

                    • Well, to be fair to Marx and Lenin, what they envisaged after the DotP was no state at all. ie a self regulating and cooperative community that didn’t require top down management. A bit like this very post, in fact 😉

                    • solkta

                      Of course when Marx was writing it was not conceivable that working class people would have gained the vote by reform. Working class men in Britain did not get the vote until immediately after WW1 and only as a response to the Russian revolution and a possible repeat of that in Britain.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, Marx & Engels (& Luxemburg) did consider the idea of democratic reform vs revolution, but argued that elites would not willingly give up their power therefore revolution was the only option.

                      But the entire dialectic “tool” is also bunk, in my opinion, so Marx’ projections are based on a terminally flawed methodology, anyway – his real value is in describing and documenting the catastrophic failure of capitalism.

                  • solkta

                    It was supposed to “whittle away”.

                  • KJT

                    They were born out of the destruction of democracy, by Authoritarian Government.

                    The desire of many on the left, to tell those of us in the Lumpen proletariat, how to live our lives, because we are “too thick’ to know what is good for us”, does not fill me full of joy, any more than the same desire from the right.

                    The “academic left” has frittered away our hard won gains, to the right.

                • Dennis Frank

                  Yes, I agree. Which is why I think Corbyn will make a good PM. I could be wrong, but he seems the old-fashioned gentleman. Not a control-freak bone in his body. His leadership style is under-stated, but it has started to seem durable. No evident vulnerability. Attacks on him seem not to stick (reminder of the Reagan teflon factor).

  18. Jenny - How to get there? 18

    I had been thinking of how to make local food movements like community gardens more sustainable, long term.

    As I may have mentioned before I volunteer at a struggling community garden in a very low decile, high crime area of Papakura, where many of the residents are in desperate situations. We have found it difficult to get local residents enthused about the community garden. Many are not in stable work or housing and have to move often, so there is a high turnover of residents.

    Our particular local community garden was started as an initiative of the Papakura police.

    One Saturday morning two police officers in full uniform knocked on our door. (Not an unusual occurrance in our neighborhood). Wondering what current local crime or disaster,had brought them to our door. We were surprised when they announced that they were there because they had heard that we were involved in a community gardening project in nearby (more affluent) Rosehill.

    We have been going for several years now and despite distributing our surplus to the surrounding families for free, and letting them know that if they help out they can have even more, there has been little response, most of the work has fallen on a small loyal few, (some who even com from outside our community.)
    There have been some gains, the police told me that the previously empty lot where our garden is now situated used to be a high crime spot, where people took drugs and dumped rubbish, now its not. According to the police the garden has lessened crime in the area. And also, after a few years and now that the garden is more established the council have put in a couple of picnic tables creating a more pleasant atmosphere.

    In conversation with a senior consultant to the Auckland City Council, who lives near us in Drury, and sometimes volunteers in our gardening group. I was informed by him, that the ACC was concerned with youth unemployment in the city, and are considering funding young people into work gangs and training. [hopefully on the living wage]. Part of this training was to fund (some of them) to get their full commercial drivers licence.

    I suggested to him that maybe the council could go one step further and assign one these young people with a work van, to drive these young people around the city and pay to help out at struggling community gardens like ours.

    He seemed a bit skeptical of the idea. And I don’t think it went any further.

    To make community gardens like this sustainable in the long term will need the engagement of all of society not just those with a bit more resources and life choices. This is why the fight for sustainability must also be a fight for social justice and against inequality.

    Another idea I had, to try and make our garden, (and ones like it), more attractive to the lower paid, and housing insecure, (for want of a better word) precariat, is a bylaw that orders local supermarkets to reserve at least one small part of their vegetable section to locally grown vegetables. Hopefully this would provide us with an income stream to pay local young people to work in the garden.

    None of these things will be achievable without some sort of political pressure. What form that might take I don’t know, Maybe we will run  a ticket in the local body election. Would that be enough to win the changes I envision? Probably not.

    Postscript: The police have not taken much interest in the garden apart from its initial start up, but they did relate to me a funny anecdote; Late one dark night, while patrolling the vacant lot where our garden is, a new recruit noticed a figure standing in the garden, and asked his fellow officers, “Should I go over and talk to them?, they said, “You do that”, knowing full well it was a scarecrow we had dressed up and erected there.

    • WeTheBleeple 18.1

      I think you identified the problem clearly, no housing stability. I’ve never put down a garden unless I felt I was going to be there a while. Half the time I wasn’t even aware of what was in the yard when life was transient – head down, or full of booze. It’s a tough one all right. Gardening is a vote for the future, it’s not easy if you can’t see one.

      • Dennis Frank 18.1.1

        Gardening for me is also a praxis, and a connection to Gaia. However much of my life I’ve been too busy to do it, so I empathise with others in being captive to earning a living, being in transit, etc. At the moment my main problem is intensity of the sun – shading threatened plants, frequent watering & mulching. Soil here is so friable water retention is hard.

        • Robert Guyton

          I’d love to discuss gardening in depth on this blog sometime. I’ve learned, as have many others I’m sure, that there’s a great deal more to “it” than is initially apparent and that putting yourself into close proximity with plants, caring for them and being cared for by them, is one of life’s most powerful spiritual experiences. I watched a video on Findhorn today (while the youngest grandchild napped) and was reminded of some of the stories that came out of that community when it was in its infancy. Much has been learned since then and I’m keen to float some of those ideas with others who know or sense that there’s good to be found in the garden 🙂

        • WeTheBleeple

          Sorry if it’s obvious to you. Clay will really help water retention, as will biochar.

          Sandy loams burn through mulch without clay as the humic clay crumb is not formed and the organic matter just get’s processed via the food web none/little of it winds up long term as humus.

          Mixing clay in sand is very difficult. Worms will do it for you over time. They’ll readily mix char for you too they like it and breed like crazy around it.

          • Dennis Frank

            Thanks. I had been doing the clay mix-in thing. Problem is, the clay here in NP is the opposite of the clay in Ak. The latter is even worse than glue – try & dig it and the spade only penetrates a couple of inches no matter how much wham you put behind it. Even tho it’s wet!!

            This clay here is absolutely fabulous from a working perspective. Spade goes right in all the way no problem. Grab a handful and it breaks up without any effort. Powdering it by rubbing lumps in a sieve is easy. Problem is not enough of it. Topsoil mostly. I doing some levelling & landscaping & finding pockets here & there so will just continue that for now.

            As regards biochar, I haven’t ventured into practical application due to lack of time & an instructor, so I haven’t yet learnt the technique of manufacture. Will the next permaculture hui have a demonstration? Would be good.

            And yes, I do have the habit of spreading worms via compost & worm-farm into the soil to add to those already there. I’m also using them to break down my two huge pohutukawa stumps down the back. The axe just bounces off even when I sharpen it. I don’t keep trying to chainsaw them – mainly because they even slow that down enough to make you give up. Built compost piles around them & on top goes the fresh lawn clippings. Rain does the acceleration but in the dry months I hose it a bit as well. Only the second year currently, so maybe next year I might take a look & see how well it’s working…

            • Robert Guyton

              I would like to see demonstrated, the “scooped bowl” method for making biochar from twigs and small branches that I’ve watched on youtube but not seen close enough to feel the heat. It looks perfect for my needs. I hope there is someone at the hui with experience in doing this; I’ll scoop the dish in my ground and provide the twigs 🙂 I’m not keen on a “stove” of any sort for this purpose, having seen and been inspired by this elegant process – can’t find it again though!

              • Dennis Frank

                Yes, that sounds good Robert. Put in an advisory note to the organisers or a request on the website perhaps (unless WTB wants to volunteer)…

                • WeTheBleeple

                  I have a BBQ that cooks dinner and makes char from garden prunings. Be jealous, be very jealous, damn I can invent!

                  But it’s a prototype recently damaged in a storm. Basically an old copper concrete surround with a small steel chamber in the center for making the char.

                  I’d love an engineer and a company with vision to take this on, cleanest BBQ in the world.

                  Celebrating some rain right now. I don’t like to water but as you go weeks with none directed to the tropicals it gets scary.

                  Made a pasta sauce last night from kumara greens courgette, garlic, tomatoes and herbs (tons of basil)… easily rivals a meat dish in taste I’d dare say it’s tastier than an average restaurant. I spent 50c on pasta! Thing is, i’d run out of onions so cooked without them – it was better. Wonder how many times I spoil garlic with onion flavour because of what I’ve been told to do.

                  A huge part of how I get to eat my own food is the cooking. Google is an absolute boon in this regard. Get random veg growing now, enter in google search, hit search for recipes.

                  That messy clay sounds a right PITA. I got lucky in Taranaki maybe a good rain season? I was organic then but hadn’t heard of permaculture. I put down a garden there it was spectacular.

                  You are from NP? I think I might know you/you me from the White Hart. They called me Bastard: I hung with Nivek, & Greenlees & Nutty.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    No, that wouldn’t have been me, WTB. Only retired back here two years ago after most of my life in Ak. Heard about the White Hart as a rock venue years ago but that seems no longer a happening thing. Seems quiet & respectable now when I walk past. Haven’t been inside.

                    I cook for myself and often get results better than most restaurants too, real cheap. A tip: have spring onions growing all year round (by letting them seed). The ones that keep producing side-shoots. Both the green tops & white trunk (sliced thin) go well in stir-fry or omelette.

                    When I do salmon, I fry sliced mushrooms separately, toss in both parts of the sliced spring onion just long enough to half-cook, then add coconut cream & use the combination as a sauce over the fillet.

                    I have herb Robert & parsley in the freezer in plastic bags, the leaves rendered into tiny bits with a nifty little high-speed whizzing-blade machine, which I add to the sauce in the cooking stage, plus lemon-pepper seasoning. I also have frozen lemons in the freezer for grating into casseroles. A friend of mine has been doing that since the seventies, but I only adopted the habit a few years ago. I had no idea lemon is so valuable for health. You don’t usually add enough to be taste-evident. Herb Robert is the essential cancer preventative.

                    • WeTheBleeple

                      Ahhh, pity. That Dennis was quite the gentleman drinker hehe. You know, the quiet one in the corner who had the best tales. 😀

                      Herb Robert – I thought it was a typo but you said it twice. I’m investigating already…

                      …Helps prevent stone formation. Now that’s a useful herb considering the number of high oxalate greens I like. (the kumara leaves are very low incidentally, why I tried them, and turns out they’re very good).

                      Yep – the amassing of herbs elevates the kitchen considerably. When you can liberally apply all manner of things as they come free… those condiments I do need to buy get to be top notch, even when on a student budget. So it raises the whole game.

                      I love me spring onions but only get the leaf portion for a couple of months till rust sets in. I don’t mind I work around it.

                      Same with garlic here. People waste lots of resources on the correct types etc and get poor-middling crops or else have to resort to spraying etc which kinda defeats the homegrown purpose… But you can get a bag of the cheap stuff that sprouts for 2 bucks. Hundreds of cloves sprouting the start of spring. Poke cloves in the soil in all the corners of all the garden beds. By new years they’re dying off and you got large single, round, single serve cloves ~ 3-4 x the size of what you put in. These are delicious, and can be harvested whenever and left in the ground as you can easily locate a feed (the corners) and they will sprout later, and grow into entire bulbs. Thus you create perennial garlic patches.

                      A tip I learned for lemons is to grow them away from the asshole who uses roundup.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Herb Robert proliferates here 🙂
                      Herb Robin (Little Herb Robert) too. I favour wild onion as they spread easily and love to inhabit the deeper shade beneath the plum trees.

                  • greywarshark

                    The White Hart in NP – was in the Snug Bar some months ago on a short visit. Great place, lots of atmosphere – see that hotel goes back to 1886. And across the road is the Art Gallery Govett-Brewster – Len Lye – saw Bludgeon there in the Film Festival.

                    • WeTheBleeple

                      Started my performing in Govett-Brewster. I lost a bet and as I lost the bet I had to read poetry. So I read poetry and discovered they had free wine. So, I read poetry every month.

                      Hark the calling, footsteps inbound
                      With a fixated need, with a wish, with a spell
                      through the Hell ridden streets, to engorge, to devour
                      In the beat of the blackness
                      In the heat of my lust
                      Into the dust
                      I ran.

                      Typical teenage angst… 😉

                    • greywarshark

                      That’s heavy man. My latest poetry connection was looking at a reproduction book of one from early 1900s with beautiful drawings of fair faerie women and nature etc. They were in love with their soulful or stirring poetry then, and could write them long enough to be short story size.

                      Just talking to someone today about poetry and how I had to do something physical instead in my overgrown garden. He told me that reminded him of William Blake who apparently wouldn’t cut any plant and just let them grow. That presents a problem, as I haven’t the reason that I am occupied writing poetry, though I attempt some well-worded comments, so think I will have to attend to the garden.

                      Sorry Robert this is off topic – but plant related!

          • Robert Guyton

            When I was making seedballs en masse I ground dry clay between two bricks to create a very fine powder that is easy to sprinkle into sandy soil. Lumps aren’t ideal. For big jobs, it wouldn’t be difficult to make a grinder using two stone “plates” and a windmill, I imagine 🙂 Seedballs (clay and fine compost and seed) using a quick-growing annual, say crimson clover or radish or blue lupin, cast about in a sandy-soiled garden does several useful things. They sprout following rains.

    • greywarshark 18.2

      To get an idea of the sort of people that Jenny has been trying to help – the poor and pushed around. Radionz in September 2018 put up a video series on the difficulties of parents under the present harsh regime.


    • Robert Guyton 18.3

      Jenny – would it be feasible to grow, rather than the usual vegetables, more “weedy”, self-managing types, such as seabeets and rockets, self-sowing lamb’s quarters and perennial sorrels and lovage and so on, making a “wild” garden for foraging from? It would mean far, far less work and nothing would get stolen. The challenge would then be showing how to use those extra-nutritious foods to those who really need it. A move away from the ordinary garden annuals and the ordinary garden “look” would solve a lot of problems community gardens in tough areas face. Even if the garden was styled a “soup garden”, like a soup kitchen for the self-motivated, growing vegetables that combine to make wonderful soups; you could even grow nettles 🙂

      • greywarshark 18.3.1

        I’ve got some thick cardboard boxes and am going to drop in some loose twigs and then some of the compost from my bin, mixed with anything i can find around and then plant some seeds in some better packaged compost and use them to get growing while I deal with clearing the mess of weeds mostly grass clumps, convolvulous and oxalis.

        Cardboard boxes seem a great way to have a cheap container that will break down over time. Could be braced with horizontal twine, or vertical at each end so providing a handle so you can lift the thing a little.

  19. greywarshark 19

    I put this in Open Mike for 12/1/2019. I thought it should also go in here for later consideration.

    Mixed-use skyscrapers
    Mixed-use skyscrapers were proposed and built by architect Ken Yeang.[6] Yeang proposes that instead of hermetically sealed mass-produced agriculture, plant life should be cultivated within open air, mixed-use skyscrapers for climate control and consumption. This version of vertical farming is based upon personal or community use rather than the wholesale production and distribution that aspires to feed an entire city.


  20. greywarshark 20

    This is interesting about having connection in social change collaboration

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Things to know about Whakaari/White Island
    Brad Scott, GNS Science VolcanologistThis post was originally published by GeoNet. Following the 9 December devastating eruption at Whakaari/White Island we have put together some information about the island. New Zealand’s most active volcano Whakaari/White Island is currently New Zealand’s most active volcano, it has been since an eruptive episode ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 hours ago
  • Status quo supports status quo
    The Justice Committee has reported back on its Inquiry into the 2017 General Election and 2016 Local Elections, with a host of recommendations about how to improve our electoral systems. Some of their recommendations are already incorporate din the Electoral Amendment Bill currently before Parliament, but there's also a recommendation ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 hours ago
  • The Greens abandon NeoLiberalism
    Back in 2017, in order to make themselves "electable" in the eyes of rich people who oppose everything they stand for, the Greens signed up for NeoLiberalism, adopting a restrictive set of "Budget Responsibility Rules" which basicly prevented them from using government to make things better. Now, they're finally abandoning ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 hours ago
  • Lying about a failed war
    Since invading in 2001, the US has consistently claimed that their war in Afghanistan has been going well, even when it continued year after year after year. Of course, they were lying, and thanks to the Washington Post and the US Freedom of Information Act, we get to see just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 hours ago
  • Artificial Intelligence and You
    How should we think about artificial intelligence and the implications that it has for our work and leisure? There are many articles on artificial intelligence and its potential impacts on jobs, and the ethics of applications. These are important topics, but I want to focus on some less discussed aspects, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 hours ago
  • Statistical manipulation to get publishable results
    I love data. It’s amazing the sort of “discoveries” I can make given a data set and computer statistical package. It’s just so easy to search for relationships and test their statistical significance. Maybe relationships which ...
    8 hours ago
  • More lies on the Twitter (Dan Hodges edition)
    The other big story concerning Leeds Hospital is Boris Johnson's bizzare behaviour at Leeds Hospital, where he was confronted by a journalist and challenged about a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia who was left sleeping on the floor, rather than getting  abed like a sick kid would in ...
    10 hours ago
  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    11 hours ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 days ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    3 days ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    4 days ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    5 days ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    5 days ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    5 days ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    5 days ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    1 week ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    1 week ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    1 week ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
    I wrote this review a couple of years ago when I was still in the process of getting my head around the politics of transgenderism, and specifically the claim that intersex conditions lend support to the notion that sex is ‘socially constructed’. Since writing this review I have come across ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
    Two weeks ago, Malaysian-owned oil company Tamarind declared it was insolvent and went into administration after a failed offshore drilling campaign. Tamarind apparently specialises in buying oil fields at the end of their life and trying to squeeze out the last few drops of pollution. But part of their scam ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How much does flying contribute to climate change?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much does our use of air travel contribute to the ...
    SciBlogsBy Shaun Hendy
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The task before us
    Two weeks ago, the Zero Carbon Act became law. Right this moment, the Climate Change Commisison will be working on its initial budgets for 2022-25 and 2026-2030, and the UN has just given them a very clear steer:Countries must make an unprecedented effort to cut their levels of greenhouse gases ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2309) Mr. Spock
    Minor planet/asteroid (2309) Mr. Spock is named not for the character in Star Trek, but for a cat that was itself imperturbable, logical, intelligent and had pointed ears In a preceding blog post I introduced one of my favourite asteroids, (2472) Bradman, and also mentioned (6581) Sobers amongst a few ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles deaths and antivax misinformation
    Today the death toll from measles in Samoa rose to 32. All but four of the dead were less than 5 years old. Absolutely terrible, heartbreaking, news. That statistic alone should be enough to give the lie to the common claim by antivaccination activists plague enthusiasts that “measles is a ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia: the state murder of Dilan Cruz
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh It is late here in Bogotá, almost 11.30pm on Monday the 25th of November as I write this. The day began full of hope with yet more massive marches throughout the country, a mix of the International Day of Non-Violence Against Women and the National Strike. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-fluoride propagandists appear not to read the articles they promote
    Anti-fluoride activists are rubbing their hands in glee over what they claim is “yet another study” showing fluoride harms the brains of children. But their promotion relies on IQ relationships which the paper’s authors acknowledge disappearing when outliers or other factors are considered. And they completely ignore other relationships ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The rise and collapse of classical political economy
    The feature below is the conclusion of A History of Economic Thought, whose author was a leading Marxist economist in Russia in the early 20th century, Isaac Ilyich Rubin.  The book arose from a course he ran at Moscow University following the Russian Revolution.  First published in Russian in 1929, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2472) Bradman
    There are many thousands of asteroids with formal names, some humdrum but other more noteworthy (depending on your predilections). One of my favourites, the name of which I was involved in suggesting, is (2472) Bradman, named for the Australian cricketing great.  As a minor planet (synonym: asteroid) spotter, I have ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Some cheap soundbites i thought up while reading about the underwhelming Conservative manifesto
    Tory manifesto: big on austerity, low on promise, non-existent on delivery. The Tories: the party so big on ambition they couldn't be arsed writing a manifesto. MLK: "I have a dream!"BJ: "I'll just have a nap." Labour: Broadband!Tories: Narrow minds! Labour have hope, dreams and ambition. The Tories will save ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles vaccination required to travel to islands and Phillipines
    The Ministry of Health has announced that “people under the age of 50 travelling from New Zealand to Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji” are now on the list of national priorities for MMR vaccination. Given the outbreaks of measles in Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji, the Ministry of Health is ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Giving the finger to Beijing
    Hong Kong has been protesting for six months for, demanding democracy, human rights, and an end to police violence. Today, they went to the polls in district council elections - a low-level of government with virtually no power, similar to community boards in New Zealand. But while the positions themselves ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia’s national strike
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On Friday 22nd of November a curfew came into effect and troops were deployed on the streets, here in Bogota. It was the first time since September 1977 that a curfew had been imposed on the city. The decision was a cynical pre-planned ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost for ethnic communities
    Ethnic communities will be able to plan and deliver more community initiatives thanks to an increase in Government funding, Minister for Ethnic Communities Hon Jenny Salesa said today. “Ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand is a place we can all be proud to call home has been a key priority of our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
    Healthier waterways, better productivity and farmer wellbeing are front and centre in a new project involving more than 1000 Southland farmers and growers. Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor today announced that the Thriving Southland Change and Innovation Project is the first region-wide extension programme supported by the $229 million Sustainable ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Flood of support for Top of the South catchment
    Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Government funding support Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage announced in Canvastown today. “Every New Zealander should be able to swim in their local river without getting sick, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
    The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider making changes to local electoral legislation before the 2022 elections to fix the problems that have arisen where elections are settled by a coin toss.  The Minister says the recount process in the Murupara- Galatea ward at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ to Join IMO Convention to Reduce Ship Emissions
    New Zealand will sign up to new international maritime regulations to reduce ship emissions and lift air quality around ports and harbours, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Subject to completion of the Parliamentary treaty examination process, New Zealand will sign up to Annex VI of MARPOL, an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bill to empower urban development projects
    New legislation to transform our urban areas and create sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities will tomorrow be introduced to Parliament, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said. “The Urban Development Bill gives Kāinga Ora-Homes and Communities the tools it needs to partner with councils, communities, mana whenua and private developers to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Early Learning Action Plan to kickstart long term change
    Today’s launch of He taonga te Tamaiti: Every child a taonga: The Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029 provides the foundation for long-lasting changes to early learning, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.   “Early learning will be one of the Government’s top education priorities going into 2020,” Chris Hipkins said.   ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Climate change lens on major Government decisions
    Major decisions made by the Government will now be considered under a climate change lens, Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. “Cabinet routinely considers the effects of its decisions on human rights, the Treaty of Waitangi, rural communities, the disability community, and gender – now climate change will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Tertiary Education Commission Board announced
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced the appointment of Māori education specialist Dr Wayne Ngata and Business NZ head Kirk Hope to the Board of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). Dr Alastair MacCormick has been reappointed for another term. “Wayne Ngata, Kirk Hope and Alastair MacCormick bring a great deal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Next phase of Pike River recovery underway in time for Christmas
    The next phase of the Pike River Re-entry project is underway, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little says. “Fresh air will be pumped into the Pike River Mine drift this week, following acceptance of the plan for re-entry beyond the 170m barrier by New Zealand’s independent health and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Insurance contracts to become easier to understand and fairer for consumers
    New Zealand consumers will have greater certainty about their insurance cover when they need to make claims as a result of proposed government changes. “Insurance is vitally important in supporting consumers and businesses to be financially resilient when unexpected events happen,” Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Kris Faafoi said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • A new opportunity for Ngāpuhi collective and regional negotiations
    The Crown is providing an opportunity for the hapu of Ngāpuhi to rebuild its framework from the ground up for collective negotiations to deal with its historical Treaty claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little and Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The Crown is also ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Referendums Framework Bill passes third reading
    A Bill enabling referendums to be held with the 2020 General Election has passed its third reading. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Act is important for upholding the integrity of New Zealand’s electoral process. “The Government has committed to holding a referendum on legalising recreational cannabis at the next ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Referendums website and initial cannabis Bill launched
    The first release of public information on the two referendums to be held at next year’s General Election was made today with an informative new Government website going live. Additionally, the draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill has been released, showing the strict controls on cannabis that will apply if ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to ban foreign donations
    The Government is taking action to protect New Zealand from foreign interference in our elections by banning foreign donations to political parties and candidates, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Legislation will be introduced to Parliament this afternoon and passed under urgency. “There’s no need for anyone other than New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Governments and tech converge to strengthen joint response to online terror events
    Governments and tech companies are holding a two-day workshop, hosted by YouTube/Google in Wellington, to test the Christchurch Call Shared Crisis Response Protocol. The workshop aims to refine and strengthen the response in the event of a terrorist attack with online implications. Companies, governments, civil society experts and NGOs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago