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How To Get There 17/11/19

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, November 17th, 2019 - 27 comments
Categories: Deep stuff - Tags:


This post is a place for positive discussion of the future.

An Open Mike for ideas, solutions and the discussion of the possible.

The Big Picture, rather than a snapshot of the day’s goings on. Topics rather than topical.

We’d like to think it’s success will be measured in the quality of comments rather than the quantity.

So have at it!

Let us know what you think …

27 comments on “How To Get There 17/11/19 ”

  1. Robert Guyton 1

    The story of humanity.

    "The people of Areng Valley are descendants of the Chong, known as Khmer daem, or the “original Khmer.” They have lived in this valley and on this land for over six centuries and have viewed this land as sacred. Here, “sacred” refers not only to the spirits that protect these fields and forests but also to the bountiful food this rich land offers. When See and Lat enter the forest, they remind their children to tread lightly; to not speak ill of the forest and spirits; and—when harvesting fruits, leaves, vegetables, mushrooms, and fish—to seek permission before taking, to never take more than one needs, to give babies and new shoots time to grow, to save today in order to harvest more tomorrow. In this way of life, when one abstains, one is rewarded with infinite gifts from the land. By taking less, one is promised more.

    After the Khmer Rouge fell, Cambodia quickly moved toward an open-market economy. An influx of new people also arrived in Areng Valley, interested in exploiting this land for timber and farmland and imparting new market ideas into the Areng way of life: Cut down the trees. Fish the rivers. Take more before someone else grabs it before you. Use pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers to ensure a bigger yield. In this way of life and this way of looking at the world, the land becomes finite. There are no ongoing gifts, no gratitude or respect, only resources to exploit and profit from. When one takes more than is needed, these resources become more and more scarce. By taking more, one is promised less."


    • francesca 1.1

      Great link Robert , thank you!

      • Robert Guyton 1.1.1

        You're welcome, Francesca. Many of the stories on that site are marvellous and poignant and on-topic for those of us thinking about our place in the world, how to attend to our responsibilities and how to get there smiley

        I just now read the piece about the squirrel-hunting Houng; that's a moving story. The one about the Khmer family interested me greatly, having cared for refugee Cambodian orphan children some years ago and listened to their stories about similar ways of living. I sensed a right-connection when listening to the children talking about gathering food each day in the ways described in the story above.

    • weka 1.2

      that is a beautiful description. I just finished writing something about the Green Party Principle of unlimited growth being impossible, but that's really a principle in response to capitalism. Because when we are part of nature, of course growth is infinite. Not growth getting bigger and bigger but the inherent replication in natural systems that by their very nature keep on giving. Gift economies 😉

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    Something cheerful to watch (couple of minutes)

    • francesca 2.1


      Be looking out for that one

    • A 2.2

      Magical stuff! I'd love to know how the heck you filter water…?!

    • lprent 2.3

      Reminds me. I'll be a Jafa in the posterior of NZ for 10 days over xmas (that does sound disgusting). Hopefully there will be decent weather like I had last time we did xmas down there. I am going to need good weather at Xmas as I'm in the UK picking up a project for the first few weeks of December and the forecasts are dismal (and there is damn election on)

      If you're around and haven't done the bug-out to Central – worth catching up for a beer?

      • greywarshark 2.3.1

        Well good luck with the UK visit. Perhaps bring home some political posters to go to the Turnbull library or such as it is a really historic time.

        I was in France when the UK originally wanted in, and France or large areas didn't want them, and brought home a poster Non. It may still be around somewhere if the silverfish haven't eaten it.

        • lprent

          I’m not looking forward to it. I hate travelling – such a colossal waste of time (less so now I can get inflight data). But sometimes you have to be able to eyeball the work on the other side. I just put a very large required minimum value on the work before I’ll get on a plane.

          Invercargill isn’t quite so bad now. Have a direct flight on the way down, and a puddle jumper to ChCh with a very short stopover in ChCh. One family trip had something more like 6 hours as a trip. Not quite enough time to be bothered leaving the airport, and just damn irritating.

          • weka

            One of the best things about Invercargill has been it's art gallery and museum, but they closed it suddenly after a quake report. Not sure if the collections have been rehoused yet. The park next door is wonderful if you're into parks.

            • Graeme

              The Gore art gallery is worth a look as well


              Not what you'd expect in a town like Gore, but the town was once something, go through H&J’s and look at the architecture.

              • weka


                (do they still have John Money's collection?)

              • weka

                I see that they do. No mention if his problematic history on the website.

              • lprent

                When I was down in Dunedin for and after doing my MBA (1985-8), I wound up spending a reasonable amount of time doing work travel including Oamaru, Gore, Balclutha, central Otago, etc.

                Apart from central, the thing I tend to notice since is shrinkage and tourists on my visits back down there.

                • Graeme

                  Shrinkage is in line with the reduced labour demands in agriculture, and centralisation of retail and services, but the economy is still there in Southland.

                  In Central there's expansion, huge expansion, but it's debatable whether there's an economy to support that expansion. The cash is coming from tourism, short and long term visitors.

                  • lprent

                    The population drop pretty much coincides with the shift from mixed farming with its requirements for a diverse support system (including farm workers and seasonal workers – but also the suppliers) to more mechanised monocultures (with the reduced labour and far bigger pollution footprint).

                    Central was already starting to be a major overseas tourist location (instead of a just crib area for locals) when I was in Dunedin. I spend several years working for Businessworld (later Computerland) down there while I waited for my partner to complete her degrees. Virtually all of the new business was coming from central from the developments for overseas tourists.

                    Overseas tourism in NZ as an industry is larger now than dairy, and far far more profitable to the country by wide margins (if nothing else in the employment alone). It has managed this continuously since then despite some significiant spikes in aircraft kerosene prices and international slowdowns in air travel. And it started from a far lower base than dairy did over the whole country.

                    A major centre of that has been in that Central Otago region.

                    Incidentally, It is of high enough profit margin values worldwide that I rather suspect it will be one of the first industries to manage to go fully green on its fuel supply. Large plant efficiencies.

                    I'd take a bet that it will do it well before dairy – which is a a very commodity industry the way it is practiced in NZ.

                    That isn’t to say that I’d want NZ to become a monoculture tourist economy. But even in a diverse economy like we’re so slowly becoming, you help the where you get the best bang for nation’s capital. Rather than letting the aussie banks skim the speculative profits of increasing land prices, we get a better return about increasing employment rather than making it shrink.

            • Robert Guyton

              I used to be the "education officer" at the Southland Museum & Art Gallery. I could tell you a tale or two…for one thing, tuatara are muscular and quick and if they don't like you, watch out!

          • lprent

            It is a nice park. A bit flat though.

            But I'm a native central Aucklander – most of our parks are semi-vertical because they are usually gullies or volcanic. I kind of expect that parks are there to see if you need more exercise. The park in Invercargill just makes me want to add some houses or livestock…. 😈

            I did enjoy the Invercargill museum. Compact rather than the small mountain that is the the War Memorial Museum here. Auckland museum is designed like our parks. Sits on a old caldera and replicates the volcanic dome that it lost about 50k years ago. And it encouraging for developing leg muscles.

      • Robert Guyton 2.3.2

        I'd like that very much, lprent! Sorry about the delay in answering; I've been in transit and ensconcing myself in an hotel in Oamaru. I've had some notable adventures today; for one, offering a ride to what turned out to be a, I think, coked-up fundamentalist who ranted without pause from Palmerston to Oamaru; we parted as friends, I'm relieved to say, but there were moments; his evil laugh was…disturbing…and now I've shared a back-seat with the Mayor of the Chatham Islands; a lovely woman named "Monique"; Ngati Mutunga and I'm glad she told me before I went all Michael King on her smiley But wait, there's more, but it's late and tomorrow's fun-filled day at the local bodies zone meeting and I'm sure I'll have more experiences to relate (I sat beside the ex-CEO of the Highlanders at dinner; lovely chap; we crossed swords smiley

        Consequently, I wasn't posting on HTGT today but tomorrow's another day…

        • greywarshark

          Robert, I hope your not posting wasn't because of a sword slash injury?

          It seems to me that meaningful discussion and action for NZ is going to come from the meetings, frank and full discussions, and collaboration that local bodies and the forward, and backwards, thinking that the elected people of mature years can add to the questioning younger councillors. Young adults getting into politics are in two main groups I think. Either they haven't yet understood that we have to change direction to what they expected after their schooling and parental input, or if they are troubled ones who can see things wrong and require changing, haven't yet understood the dynamics of the past and the sort of moves required to change society's compass course.

          We have adopted machine-like thinking too often at present and need instead moves to make definite, firm change to human-like thinking using imaginative ways with practical outcomes. These would look at and then go beyond idealistic theory to the useful and achievable outcome, and avoid ending up with the hard, demanding, controlling and punitive imposition that both wings of political thought can devolve to.

  3. greywarshark 3

    I like this woman and she is a powerful speaker for pepping you up and getting you on the way to doing something that you have had on hold for a while. Barbara Sher. Next year perhaps we should have a dose of her every Sunday? (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31AYBZfy7jk (4 mins)

    It will be a time for doing what Gareth did, getting out and being seen, and remembering he says not one of those he spoke to would consider voting Green! (See full interview.)

    Coaching yourself to deal with barriers and it could help someone doing cold canvassing – can you turn people that you meet who are negative to the left to positive?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MoNwk-USN (7 mins)

    Note weka's comment on voting patterns at https://thestandard.org.nz/green-mp-gareth-hughes-speaking-bold-truth-ahead-of-his-retirement-at-next-election/#comment-1667095 – and the decision that the word 'transitional' is the one appropriate for this difficult first term, rather than 'transformational'.

    (TS could do with an icon of a fairy godmother complete with wand. Good snappy use would be made of that to throw at one another's excessive expectations!)

    I guess that talking about getting behind the left government is appropriate for now and next year's How to Get There ATPT. Do you agree Robert? We certainly will be motoring in the opposite direction from There if we get the RW. I might try getting the feel of There that I want for next year with this link to Bali Hai.


  4. Exkiwiforces 4

    Well I’m finally sitting down have beer after another hectic hot day (38.5deg’s and humidity nudging around the high 50’s around half one this afternoon) in rural on the post hole auger with 5 holes to go. At one stage I thought I was mining business with the iron ore and some other types of minerals.

    It’s been about 18mths since we brought our house 5 acre block, we have busy planting 30 plus trees, shrubs both native and exotic. We have removed 5 trees of some type pine tree and one Bunyip tree as the wife wanted it gone as she hated handing the dead leaves/ branches as needed to use a pair of wiring gloves.

    So far our solar power system is now paying for itself which is outstanding after less than 6mths of being install. Our plan for next yr once this round of planting completed is to establish the chook pen once I convert one of the existing sheds and finally put in a vegetable and fruits garden. But I have to carefully knock down a massive shelter as we want to recycle it for our bush block IOT use it protect our 4wd wagons and boat from hash sun.

    • greywarshark 4.1

      What is your scheme for shading your veg and fruit garden ex kiwi? Plantings of trees branching out over the veg garden shades and conserves moisture a lot. I remember Wendy Campbell Purdie showing this to the government of Morocco in the 1950s, when she turned an army depot area in the desert into tree and veg space.

      • Exkiwiforces 4.1.1

        Once the wife and I have finish fixing up the front gardens and planted 15 or so native trees down the driveway and along the front fence. There is small garden that is or was full with white ants and termite nests. I'm hoping my treatment method has worked it wonders as it did to the rest of the gardens, then we will clean the dead decaying rubbish and plant a number of trees to provide shade for the vegs.

        I have a number of fibreglass poles left over from some tents mossie domes etc from work which provide some shade for the short to medium term, but the sun seems destroy the shade cloth a lot quicker than down sth.

        I'll be recycling a lot of roofing iron for rise veg'e beds as the soil is or shit and plant a number of citrus, mango, pineapples, bananas and avocado trees once we have burnt a heap of rubbish that we can't use for anything.

        Anyway that’s the plan atm

        • greywarshark

          Sounds like good ideas that we should all be thinking about following.

          What talk is there in Oz about setting up a sort of ring around houses that would have less inflammable material gardens all around with low growing green fleshy plants? And what could be done to limit burning embers from landing on houses and starting them burning? There is always someone looking at different practices in a practical way, sounds like you are one of them.

          People hose sides of houses, put water in gutters at present. What if houses had long sloping roofs so that leaves could slide to knee height extra wide gutters and be regularly swept clean, and the material be buried so as not to have piles of dry leaves etc around as a hazard. The embers would slide down when there were fires and be contained in the water-filled gutters which would be virtual water troughs. So a simple design would have high V long-run roofing in an A-profile. The walls could be concrete, and the windows have steel shutters and not have wooden frames. Maybe that would stop combustion.

          I bet there are practical minds thinking hard out there. It would be interesting to know what ideas are coming to light.

        • greywarshark

          I meant 'less flammable' green ground cover – getting mixed up there.

          What did you do about getting rid of white ants and termite nests? We have all coloured ants here, going for diversity! And some of them are pestiferous. Do you have good ways of dealing with them to keep up our sleeves for when needed?

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