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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: , ,

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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

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    The Coalition Government has approved $206 million in essential upgrades at Ōhakea Air Base.  Defence Minister Ron Mark said the money would be spent on improving old infrastructure. He said safety issues would be addressed, as well as upgrades to taxiways, accommodation and fresh, storm and waste water systems. "This ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Attributable to the Rt Hon Winston Peters
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First “I am not persisting with this case just for myself, but for all people who have had their privacy breached. Privacy of information is a cornerstone of our country’s democracy. Without it our society truly faces a bleak future. We now ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Major boost in support for caregivers and children
    Hon Tracey Martin, Minister for Children A major increase in funding and availability of support will improve the incomes and reduce the pressure on 14,000 caregivers looking after more than 22,000 children. Children’s Minister Tracey Martin says that caregivers – all those looking after someone else’s children both in and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Forestry Minister Shane Jones moves to protect sawmills
    Forestry Minister Shane Jones has introduced a Bill to Parliament that he says will "force more transparency, integrity and respect" for the domestic wood-processing sector through the registration of log traders and practice standards. The Forests (Regulation of Log Traders and Forestry Advisers) Amendment Bill had its first reading in ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Great Walks bookings open next week
    This summer presents a great opportunity for New Zealanders to get out into nature with bookings on Great Walks for 2020/21 set to open next week, says Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage.  Bookings for the Great Walks will open between 9 and 11 June, excluding Milford and Routeburn tracks which ...
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    19 hours ago
  • Ministerial Diary April 2020
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    1 day ago
  • Govt extends support schemes for businesses
    Extra 40,000 businesses to be eligible for wage subsidy extension Small business cashflow support application period extended The Government is today announcing further support for businesses that continue to be affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic, as the broader economy becomes one of the most open in the world following ...
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    1 day ago
  • Five new Super Hercules to join Air Force fleet
    The Coalition Government has confirmed five Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Super Hercules transport aircraft will be purchased to replace the existing fleet, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today.  “Last year, Cabinet selected these aircraft as the preferred option to replace the current Hercules fleet. Procurement of the Super Hercules has been ...
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    1 day ago
  • Wairarapa Moana seeks international recognition as vital wetland
    The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage is celebrating World Environment Day with an announcement of a major step towards Wairarapa Moana being recognised as an internationally significant wetland. “Wairarapa Moana is an ecosystem of 10,000 hectares of wetland and open water that provides a home for indigenous fish, birds and ...
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    2 days ago
  • New public housing sets standard for future
    New public housing that will save tenants money in energy bills, and provide warmer, healthier and more comfortable homes, is setting the standard for the Government’s future public housing programme, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. Dr Woods opened the new Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities complex, which has a ...
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    2 days ago
  • First Police wing to complete training post lockdown
    A new-look Police graduation ceremony to take account of COVID19 health rules has marked the completion of training for 57 new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash attended this afternoon's ceremony, where officers of Recruit Wing 337 were formally sworn in at the Royal New Zealand Police College without the normal support of ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government makes further inroads on predatory lenders
    Mobile traders and truck shops must adhere to responsible lending requirements Interest rate cap on high-cost loans Lenders prohibited from offering further credit to an applicant who has taken two high-cost loans in the past 90 days The Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Kris Faafoi, has signalled an end ...
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    2 days ago
  • New survey shows wage subsidy a “lifeline” for businesses, saved jobs
    94% of firms say wage subsidy had positive impact on cashflow 62% of firms say support helped to manage non-wage costs like rent A survey of business that have received the Government’s wage subsidy show it has played a significant role in saving jobs, and freed up cash flow to ...
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    2 days ago
  • Tax changes support economic recovery
    New legislation introduced to Parliament today will support growth and assist businesses on the road to economic recovery, said Revenue Minister Stuart Nash. “The Taxation (Annual Rates for 2020-21, Feasibility Expenditure, and Remedial Matters) Bill proposes that businesses can get tax deductions for ‘feasibility expenditure’ on new investments,” said Mr ...
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    2 days ago
  • $4.6 million financial relief for professional sports
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has welcomed the first release of funds from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package announced as part of Budget 2020. Sport NZ has announced that $4.6 million in funding will go to the Wellington Phoenix, NZ Warriors, Super Rugby teams and the ANZ Premiership ...
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    3 days ago
  • Critical support for strategic tourism assets
    An iconic New Zealand tourism attraction and the country’s 31 Regional Tourism Organisations are the first recipients of support from the $400 million Tourism Sector Recovery Plan, to help position the sector for recovery from COVID-19, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. The plan includes a Strategic Tourism Assets Protection ...
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    3 days ago
  • Supporting Kiwi businesses to resolve commercial rent disputes
    The Government will legislate to ensure businesses that suffered as a result of the COVID-19 response will get help to resolve disputes over commercial rent issues, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. A temporary amendment to the Property Law Act will insert a clause in commercial leases requiring a fair ...
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    3 days ago
  • Prompt payments to SMEs even more urgent
    The Minister for Small Business says new data from Xero highlights the urgency of prompt payment practices to small and medium enterprises as we move into economic recovery. Last month Government ministers wrote to significant private enterprises and the banking industry to request they join efforts by government agencies to ...
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    3 days ago
  • Free period products in schools to combat poverty
    Young people in Waikato will be the first to have free access to period products in schools in another step to support children and young people in poverty,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.  During term 3, the Ministry of Education will begin providing free period products to schools following the ...
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    3 days ago
  • Response to charges in New Plymouth
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash has issued the following statement in response to charges filed against three Police officers this morning in the New Plymouth District Court. “Any incident involving a loss of life in Police custody is taken very seriously. The charges today reflect the gravity of the ...
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    3 days ago
  • Govt boosts innovation, R&D for economic rebuild
    $196 million for Crown Research Institutes $150 million for R&D loan scheme $33 million for Māori research and development opportunities $12 million for the Nationally Significant Collections and Databases $10 million to help maintain in-house capability at Callaghan Innovation New Zealand’s entrepreneurs, innovators and crown researchers will benefit from a ...
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    3 days ago
  • Temporary changes to NCEA and University Entrance this year
    Further temporary changes to NCEA and University Entrance (UE) will support senior secondary school students whose teaching and learning have been disrupted by COVID-19. “The wellbeing of students and teachers is a priority. As we are all aware, COVID-19 has created massive disruption to the school system, and the Government ...
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    4 days ago
  • Extended terms for the directors of the Racing Industry Transition Agency
    Minister for Racing Winston Peters today announced that the terms for the directors of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) have been extended to 30 June 2021. Due to the COVID-19 crisis the transition period has been extended to ensure that the Racing Industry Bill can complete its progress through ...
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    4 days ago
  • Healthy Homes Standards statement of compliance deadline extended
    The deadline for landlords to include detailed information in their tenancy agreements about how their property meets the Healthy Homes Standards, so tenants can see the home they are renting is compliant, has been extended from 1 July 2020 to 1 December 2020.  The Healthy Homes Standards became law on 1 July 2019. The Standards are ...
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    4 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission board appointments announced
    Justice Minister Andrew Little today announced details of further appointments to the Criminal Cases Review Commission. “I am pleased to announce Paula Rose QSO OStJ as Deputy Chief Commissioner for a term of five years commencing on 15 June 2020,” said Andrew Little. “I am also pleased to announce the ...
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    4 days ago
  • Release of initial list of supported training to aid COVID-19 recovery
    The Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF) will pay costs of learners of all ages to undertake vocational education and training The fund will target support for areas of study and training that will give learners better employment prospects as New Zealand recovers from COVID-19 Apprentices working in all industries ...
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    4 days ago
  • Emission trading reforms another step to meeting climate targets
    The Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will finally start to cut New Zealand’s greenhouse gas pollution as it was originally intended to, because of changes announced today by the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw. The changes include a limit on the total emissions allowed within the ETS, rules to ensure ...
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    5 days ago
  • Queen’s Birthday Honours highlights Pacific leadership capability in Aotearoa
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List provides an abundance of examples that Pacific people’s leadership capability is unquestionable in Aotearoa. “The work and the individuals we acknowledge this year highlights the kind of visionary examples and dedicated community leadership that we need ...
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    5 days ago
  • Govt backing horticulture to succeed
    The Government is backing a new $27 million project aimed at boosting sustainable horticulture production and New Zealand’s COVID-19 recovery efforts, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our economy. During and ...
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    6 days ago
  • Applications open for forestry scholarships
    Applications have opened for 2021 Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau – Forestry Scholarships, which will support more Māori and women to pursue careers in forestry science, says Forestry Minister Shane Jones. “I’m delighted Te Uru Rākau is offering Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau – Forestry Scholarships for the third year running. These ...
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    6 days ago
  • Excellent service to nature recognised
    The Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List once again highlights the dedication by many to looking after our native plants and wildlife, including incredible work to restore the populations of critically endangered birds says Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. Anne Richardson of Hororata has been made an Officer of the New ...
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    6 days ago
  • Wetlands and waterways gain from 1BT funding
    The Government will invest $10 million from the One Billion Trees Fund for large-scale planting to provide jobs in communities and improve the environment, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Forestry Minister Shane Jones have announced. New, more flexible funding criteria for applications will help up to 10 catchment groups plant ...
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    7 days ago
  • New fund for women now open
    Organisations that support women are invited to apply to a new $1,000,000 fund as part of the Government’s COVID-19 response. “We know women, and organisations that support women, have been affected by COVID-19. This new money will ensure funding for groups that support women and women’s rights,” said Minister for ...
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    7 days ago
  • Govt supports King Country farmers to lift freshwater quality
    Healthier waterways are front and centre in a new project involving more than 300 King Country sheep, beef and dairy farmers. The Government is investing $844,000 in King Country River Care, a group that helps farmers to lift freshwater quality and farming practice, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “Yesterday ...
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    1 week ago
  • Libraries to help with jobs and community recovery
    A major funding package for libraries will allow them to play a far greater role in supporting their communities and people seeking jobs as part of the economic recovery from COVID-19. “Budget 2020 contains over $60 million of funding to protect library services and to protect jobs,” says Internal Affairs ...
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    1 week ago
  • Support for arts and music sector recovery
    A jobseekers programme for the creative sector and four new funds have been set up by the Government to help our arts and music industry recover from the blow of COVID-19. Thousands of jobs will be supported through today’s $175 million package in a crucial economic boost to support the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Legislative changes to support the wellbeing of veterans and their families
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has welcomed the First Reading of a Bill that will make legislative changes to further improve the veterans’ support system.  The Veterans’ Support Amendment Bill No 2, which will amend the Veterans’ Support Act 2014, passed First Reading today. The bill addresses a number of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Christ Church Cathedral – Order in Council
    Views sought on Order in Council to help fast track the reinstatement of the Christ Church Cathedral  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Hon Poto Williams, will be seeking public written comment, following Cabinet approving the drafting of an Order in Council aimed at fast-tracking the reinstatement of the ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealanders’ human rights better protected in new Bill
    The law setting out New Zealanders’ basic civil and human rights is today one step towards being strengthened following the first reading of a Bill that requires Parliament to take action if a court says a statute undermines those rights. At present, a senior court can issue a ‘declaration of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Deep concern at Hong Kong national security legislation
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong. “New Zealand shares the international community’s significant and long-standing stake in Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability,” Mr Peters said. “New Zealand ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government invests in New Zealand’s cultural recovery
    Thousands of artists and creatives at hundreds of cultural and heritage organisations have been given much-needed support to recover from the impact of COVID-19, Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern announced today. “The cultural sector was amongst the worst hit by the global pandemic,” Jacinda ...
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    1 week ago
  • Better protection for New Zealand assets during COVID-19 crisis
    Key New Zealand assets will be better protected from being sold to overseas owners in a way contrary to the national interest, with the passage of the Overseas Investment (Urgent Measures) Bill. The Bill, which passed its third reading in Parliament today, also cuts unnecessary red tape to help attract ...
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    1 week ago
  • Cleaning up our rivers and lakes
    Setting higher health standards at swimming spots Requiring urban waterways to be cleaned up and new protections for urban streams Putting controls on higher-risk farm practices such as winter grazing and feed lots Setting stricter controls on nitrogen pollution and new bottom lines on other measures of waterway health Ensuring ...
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    1 week ago
  • Record year for diversity on Govt boards
    The Government is on the verge of reaching its target of state sector boards and committees made up of at least 50 percent women, says Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter and Minister for Ethnic Communities Jenny Salesa. For the first time, the Government stocktake measures the number of Māori, ...
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    1 week ago