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How To Get There 31/3/19

Written By: - Date published: 6:57 am, March 31st, 2019 - 54 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 …

54 comments on “How To Get There 31/3/19”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Taranaki 2050 is a workshop program designed to crowd-source a provincial strategy for transition out of fossil-fuel dependency and other unsustainable aspects of the regional economy such as over-reliance on dairy-farming. Initiated by the governing coalition plus Greens, it has been created by the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment and implemented here by Venture Taranaki.

    Social-justice framing has been applied: “We have established a Just Transitions Unit to help share and coordinate the work of transitioning New Zealand to a low emissions economy.” https://www.mbie.govt.nz/business-and-employment/economic-development/just-transition/

    “A “just transition” is a partnership approach between government, unions, Iwi and business to to make sure the people, businesses, communities, and regions who are most effected by a transition are given opportunities to change as the world does. In Taranaki’s case, this means our whānau, communities and businesses need to build a plan together that will enable the sustainable and resilient growth for our entire region.” http://about.taranaki.info/Taranaki2050/What-is-a-just-transition.aspx

    “We have created Working Groups and Exploration Groups which will bring together the ideas, knowledge, experience and innovation from individuals, community groups, businesses, workers and the next generation in a collaborative plan for the future of Taranaki.” On that page ten such groups are listed – with documentation linked for six of those. http://about.taranaki.info/Taranaki2050/Working-and-Exploration-Groups.aspx

    Casting the net widely for attendees didn’t really work: most I spoke to were from either businesses or community-liaison organisations. The only other permaculturist there was Fiona Young, who got me involved half-way through the process – I attended three workshops. Unfortunately neither of us are able to attend this year’s permaculture hui.

    A three-stage process operated as follows. The first workshop for each topic did a preliminary brainstorming of what was required, identifying goals and the best ways to achieve them. The second workshop processed the key themes that emerged from the first, exploring them so as to articulate them more coherently and focus on priorities. The third workshop took the condensed output of the second and refined it into a form suitable for submission to the regional conference in May and integration into the overall plan likely to be adopted there.

    As an example, this web page for those who chose to attend Innovation, Research and Development also enabled participants to brief themselves from home, and contribute to the co-design format: http://about.taranaki.info/Taranaki2050/Working-and-Exploration-Groups/Innovation-R-and-D.aspx

    Session 3 of that topic, we were given a different paper for each table (about half a dozen of those & that many people at each), and the topic I chose was “Develop an innovation ecosystem” so I shifted to that table when we were told to choose our preference. It listed 15 key points and themes, condensed from prior individual contributions (http://about.taranaki.info/Taranaki2050/Work-Group-Files/Create-and-develop-ideas-(1).pdf).

    Of these, three priorities were evident, already well-articulated:
    1. Create an environment that rewards collaboration rather than individual initiatives
    2. An environment where taking action and doing something, rather than just talking about it, is encouraged; need to overcome complacency and get results.
    3. Create a culture of innovation where diversity of ideas are welcomed, a safe environment, incentivise risk-taking, remove barriers to testing ideas.

    Another priority was evident but poorly-drafted so I’ll just give you the best bit: Develop an innovation ecosystem that encompasses a physical location, access to funding, people and talent. Session 3 refined this into the concept of an organising hub & network – and it then emerged as the leading priority.

    On the back of the page, we were given cues to start the conversation. Here’s one: “What does a strong innovation system look like, and why is it important to have one in Taranaki? What actions can or should be prioritised to build this innovation ecosystem?”

    The teamwork I saw was effective: tasks were achieved in relatively small time-frames, the process seemed consistently rapid and efficient. However there were instances of group reps failing to follow instructions when reporting findings to the plenary. Asked to report the three main priorities identified by the group, one woman rambled through at least a dozen. When asked to pitch their voice to the room so everyone could hear, most failed to even try, so we only heard about half of what they said. To err is human, and fortunately the process was designed to capture the key points on paper, collected by one of the organisers after each time-slot, to ensure all were compiled and integrated into the eventual plan.

    That will be considered during a provincial conference in May. It may be refined somewhat then, but if adopted it will be used by our government to guide their regional development policy for Taranaki. I hope to be part of the establishment and operation of a regional hub and network, which the plan is likely to signal is the best way to put government policy into effect.

  2. patricia bremner 2

    Thank you Dennis, an interesting read.
    Has any of this been published for community consumption elsewhere?
    It would be very interesting to read future progress reports.

    • Dennis Frank 2.1

      Not as far as I know, Patricia. I hope to be able to report updates on how the situation evolves. The conference in May costs $300 – but if I get an invitation there’s a good chance I’ll attend.

      • greywarshark 2.1.1

        A real bite sized epistle. Think I’ll read it while eating my lunch.
        Thanks Dennis.

  3. Robert Guyton 3

    “How to get there” – the title of an interactive talk, attracting a lively audience of 60 under the shelter of a marquee at the Riverton Harvest festival yesterday; locals, out-of-the-regioners, a Maltese couple, Swiss, Germans, French, Maori, Flemish; all sorts from all over. I faciitated the hour-and-a-half discussion, introducing the idea then standing back while the ideas flew about the tent; it was exciting, fun and valuable, by all accounts, and much ground was covered. Our local GP led the charge of the pessimists, but made little ground against the tide of positivity that emanated from the rest of the audience. We only finished because the space was needed by the next speaker (preserving old-fashioned fruits with modern methods) and the discussion relocated to various points around the festival; on the grass in front of the tents and gazebos of the stall holders; massage, plants-for-sale, food, food and food, in the hall, amongst the apple displays, cider-press (spun all day, both days, that did!)
    This morning, over breakfast and as I write, the talk continues, with some of the crew joining us for food at the start of the day; talking firstly about the cèilidh of the night before; the old hall was full to bursting with dancers; babes-in-arms to pensioners; the musicians played, the floor boomed under the shoes, boots and bare feet… getting carried away now 🙂
    Today, the festival continues; and now, there’s a knock on the door and a party has arrived for a forest garden tour – gotta go!

    • Sabine 3.1

      I might have to come next year when you hold your shinding again. You do that every year, don’t you?

      me i shall dig out potatoes today and prepare some winter veggies for planting.

  4. It’s a bit grey round my way so I’ve canned golf and I’m going to do a pre-winter spruce up of the garden. I’m building a tunnel house in a couple of weeks, so if anyone has any links to useful guides or plans, I’d be most grateful. It’ll be 4m by 2.75m. Looking at pvc piping and wooden framing for the doors and internal supports.

    On a completed unrelated matter, I found this article quite compelling. It has implications for our understanding of consciousness, both in humans and the wider animal kingdom. Certainly makes me glad I’m a vegetarian.

    http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20190326-are-we-close-to-solving-the-puzzle-of-consciousness

  5. Dennis Frank 5

    Posted to Ecosophia: “For anyone interested in the styrofoam-eating worms that came up in a previous discussion here, I have a thread at Permies (a permaculture forum) detailing the project here, with photographs:

    https://permies.com/t/103412/critters/Superworms-bioremediation-polystyrene-ideas-extending

    The short version: I have the worms, they are eating the styrofoam, it’s neat, discussion is progressing on evaluating the end product for safety and possible methods of further remediating what the worms produce to make it increasingly benign.”

    I await the clamour from compassionate lefties: “Ugh, how could you possibly want to subject worms to such a tasteless diet?” “Did you conduct a focus group to find out if the worms want to do that?” “Obviously racist behaviour. Be ashamed!”

    • greywarshark 5.1

      Interesting about the styrofoam. But hope this doesn’t result in a supertoxicworm.

      I thought of flatworms that get a bad press from the UK as having come from NZ and eat their worms. Maybe they are voracious enough to be given a job in the styrofoam line. But whether it would be a good idea to have large numbers of them to act as a breeding and spreading site is another matter.
      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalists/ken-thompson/9080122/New-Zealand-flatworms-should-we-worry.html

      Through their large surface compared to their volume they can exchange gases like carbon dioxide, oxygen and ammonia across bodies. Flatworms can adapt to many conditions, which makes them able to adapt to an enormous variety of habitats. They play important roles for healthy streams, ponds, and lakes.

      It sounds as if you are getting defensive DF. The people who respond that way have their fears and might want to approach things in a different way to you. When they are as dogmatic as you, then it’s stalemate for a while. What is the sticking point – the bone of contention?

      • Dennis Frank 5.1.1

        Nope, not defensive. Attack. Target the syndromes that produce the sociopathic behaviour (not those who exhibit them). Provide examples to illuminate how they produce inappropriate attitudes…

        • greywarshark 5.1.1.1

          I don’t think you really catch on to what I am thinking DF. My idea is to form a respecting lot of individuals that form a collaborative group that looks for answers and finds out why they disagree, what are the points of disagreement and why. You have been really annoying some people with your dictating attitudes. So you have something to learn not that you are right and everyone else is wrong and attacking the others because they don’t fall into line.

          We all are keen for progress and good change, or so I thought. I wonder sometimes. But we have to band together, we need supportive groups trying to understand each other and work together on the same line and purpose, listening to others, learning, explaining where things could be done differently. Not sharp edged, flint minded people attacking people in the group they profess to be part of.

          Fractious little shits having a go at each other isn’t going to help us prepare for the future or form a fairer, stronger, resilient community with goodwill to each other and all doing what we can with our personal skills. And people who want to take pot-shots and damn each other and take up our precious time and space on the blog TS can go and get stuffed. Being thoughtful and fair etc doesn’t mean letting toxic smarmies and snakes into the midst and being kind to them, listening and trying to help them, put them right. They will break the zeitgeist of the group and are no better than the French spies that invaded Greenpeace; the government undercover spies that were befriended by NZ activists like the Elses (I think).

          • Dennis Frank 5.1.1.1.1

            “My idea is to form a respecting lot of individuals that form a collaborative group that looks for answers and finds out why they disagree, what are the points of disagreement and why.”

            Good idea. If you proceed to doing so, let me know – better still, announce it here as a project.

            “You have been really annoying some people with your dictating attitudes.” Really? I thought they were annoyed with me pointing out the truth about their behaviour. Can’t believe any would misread me as would-be dictator.

            As regards “the zeitgeist of the group”, I agree that it is important. I see it as a model supporting our current govt: centrists forming consensus with leftists. Therefore I must continue to point it out when leftists oppose that praxis.

            Like I said, I criticise the stances, not the person. When those who become abusive in response (instead of acknowledging their error), and start playing the man instead of the ball, I will naturally become more critical. To solve that problem, you will need to stop their abuse, and get them to agree to an ethos of fair play. Good luck with that! 🙄

            • greywarshark 5.1.1.1.1.1

              What about your behaviour? I think they were suggesting that you were OTT. You can tell me off for interfering. I carry the thought that we are at the end of a cycle of humanity. Don’t you understand that – while you go on with your intermnable arguments holding fast to your banner Knight who can’t be downed?

              • Dennis Frank

                If I’d done anything inappropriate, a moderator would have said so. Bullies whining about having their misbehaviour punished is hardly something I’m likely to be concerned about, is it?

                I don’t see your comments as interference, btw. I get that you are coming from a perception of moral equivalence. My response is to point out that it has no basis in reality.

                The whole point of a moral stance is that it arises due to a communal necessity – someone has to apply the corrective force. As I’ve explained previously several times, negative feedback is what stabilises natural systems (ecosystems). Criticism is how humans do it. If the feedback cycle is not closed, due to cowardice, things spiral into chaos…

      • Dennis Frank 5.1.2

        Interesting, the kiwi flatworm invading the UK. Looks like I encounter the Aussie cuzzie as often, in my gardening. Tempting to support whoever calls out “squashing NZ flatworms” as racism, eh? 😎

  6. Pat 6

    Pines may be more of a hinderance than a help…..disturbing research in Canada re methane

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday/audio/2018688891/calling-home-jim-salinger-in-the-us

  7. Dennis Frank 7

    “When we use chemical fertilizers, we injure the microbial life that sustains plants, and then become increasingly dependent on an arsenal of toxic substances. Teaming with Microbes offers an alternative to this vicious circle, and details how to garden in a way that strengthens, rather than destroys, the soil food web.”

    “You’ll discover that healthy soil is teeming with life—not just earthworms and insects, but a staggering multitude of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms. This must-have guide is for everyone, from those devoted to organic gardening techniques to weekend gardeners who simply want to grow healthy plants without resorting to chemicals.

    Haven’t read it, but 353 Amazon reviewers produced a rating of 4.5 stars out of a possible 5, so it must be rather good! https://www.amazon.com/Teaming-Microbes-Organic-Gardeners-Revised/dp/1604691131

    • greywarshark 7.1

      This is Australian Peter Andrews expounding on the value of deep-rooted weeds to the advancement of shallow-rooted grass pasture.

      Why spray and kill all weeds.

  8. greywarshark 8

    It will be good to see little summaries of the high points of discussion on how to get there after your get-together Robert. I guess you have a blog/newsletter where people will give feedback. Good ideas and well-put thoughts can be like butterflies and float off.

    After talk what is the plan for this, and this, and this, all the different lines of approach, and some will combine to produce a new way of achieving something that we can all adopt usefully. I am questioning people who are happy with the status quo – are they making room for new ideas that wisll help ordinary people?
    Just proceeding with BAU is not satisfacory, unless it has been scrutinised to see if it is fit for ordinary people and fauna and flora, and if not how can it be changed or ameliorated.

    There are so many changes we need to make to prepare for our future with a small f. It may be small but it is there, not for all of us, but we can try and enjoy what we have before we are taken a bit earlier than we had thought,
    and while we are living we can be trying to live collaboratively – I think that is the word for How to get there. What do others think?

  9. Ad 9

    Learnt how to make 4 cheeses last Saturday.

    Part of Auckland EcoFest

  10. Grant 10

    I always drop into this corner of TS every Sunday. A very calm and positive place full of interesting stuff that’s right out of my field of knowledge. I’ve been a lifelong home gardener having been lucky enough to have always had access to a patch of soil which could be worked up into a more or less productive veggie patch. One of the first investments we made when first married in our early twenties was the basic gardening tools which nearly forty years later are polished by use to a fine silky sheen. But our gardening has always been based on lore handed down by grandparents when I was young fortified by old copies of the Yates Gardening guide.

    I find the things Robert and WtB talk about fascinating, but I have a failure of imagination when I try to place them in the context of the various crises we see bearing down on us over the course of the next generation or so. I keep hoping that people who’ve been able to project their imaginations into the future will share what they think it should look like as a cohesive interlinked working model.

    I can’t imagine how we will ‘get there’ without deciding which forms of Governance we choose to reject or accept. How do we make these choices given that presumably the political compass will always be as diverse as it is now. Will we even be given the chance to contribute to the direction taken, or will it simply be handed down from on high by the political and corporate establishment? What economic model will be adopted? How do we decide what technologies are desirable and safe to keep pursuing and which are detrimental and should be dropped like a hot potato. How do large urban populations fit into the scheme? Are they going to be ‘encouraged’ to become more engaged with food production? How? What type of housing is the best? What materials, build quality, ownership models etc?

    I keep thinking it always comes back to politics at some level. How do we govern ourselves in a way which allows recognition of individual autonomy but guarantees the security of the collective and preservation of the environment we depend on? I’m an amateur history buff so I incline to the view that choices we make for the future should be informed to some extent by what our past can tell us. In other words, understand ‘How We Got Here’ in order to understand ‘How To Get There’.

    • greywarshark 10.1

      I think there has to be more input and action stemming from informed and caring individuals that pushes and supports good politics. At the same time as being aware, informed and active politically we will be looking at the needs we have for health, food supply, collaborative action, protection of environment and a people’s economy which has limits on capital accretion and defence against rabid capitalists.

      Representative democracy has not served us, and the results are all around us so many that we have assimilated them and that weakens society. But shoulder to shoulder democracy is different; the old style made us lazy and now we are unhappy and scapegoats are chosen to throw rude remarks or heavier things at. And we moan because the pollies can’t fix anything now, because we didn’t ensure they did it in the 1980’s. Together is the way, and try to see each others’ viewpoint and allow good arguments to persuade. Build participatory style.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Participatory_democracy
      participatory democracy tends to advocate more involved forms of citizen participation and greater political representation than traditional representative democracy.
      Participatory democracy strives to create opportunities for all members of a population to make meaningful contributions to decision-making, and seeks to broaden the range of people who have access to such opportunities.

      and

      .A direct democracy or pure democracy is a form of government wherein the citizens have a direct say in the formulation of laws and issues that affect them while a representative democracy is a form of government wherein its citizens vote for or elect a representative to represent them in Congress or the Senate.
      https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-difference-between-representative-democracy-and-direct-democracy

    • Dennis Frank 10.2

      “How do we govern ourselves in a way which allows recognition of individual autonomy but guarantees the security of the collective and preservation of the environment we depend on?”

      A combination of stakeholder design plus consensus decision-making is my answer. If the issue is regional, everyone in the region must be able to participate in the brainstorming of the solution. Equal opportunity. Problem-solvers will come to the fore. Some will be authentic, others will be pretenders.

      The trick then is to organise those with a propensity for problem-solving, and a track record of success, into a task-force. Then you need someone with facilitation skills to conduct the process so as to ensure that teamwork prevails.

      Human groups self-select leaders, so I’d be inclined to instruct the group to suss out who the likeliest contenders are as they pull together and engage their process.

      The facilitator ought to call a session for the purpose of allowing the contenders to present their skills and track record of success as leader in various prior contexts, plus how they would exercise leadership in the current context.

      Once enough working sessions have taken place for participants to get a sense of who the natural leaders are, and how they function, the facilitator ought to call a session to select an interim leader, specifying that the selection is conditional on group approval of subsequent performance.

      Contenders not selected but recognised by participants as showing leadership potential should then be deemed an advisory support group for the interim leader.
      If at any point this support group decides the interim leader has lost their confidence, they ought to call a session for stakeholders to endorse a change.

      Preferably the support group has already formed a consensus as to who ought to take over the leadership, so it can recommend this to the plenary. If not, there would have to be a plenary vote after various contenders tell the plenary why they are the best replacement.

      By this point, participants will have confidence in the mutual basis of their endeavour, and their operational psychodynamics ought to have become collaboration. If niggles persist, this is a suitable time to direct the natural problem-solvers in the group to form a sub-group to identify the solution via consensus to eliminate each and every niggle.

      This stakeholder design constitutes a prototype for regional governance, to be applied from the start – any subsequent organisation will emerge from the collaboration past this point. So regard this as a recipe or plan for getting under way on a sound basis – not as an end-product. It is intended as a model of participatory democracy, to eliminate the inertial binding effect that traditional representative democracy always has on the thinking of people.

      • Grant 10.2.1

        How big is a region? Do you start at the level of local neighborhood and scale up as you go? Is it even possible to scale up the kind of participatory democratic system GWS and yourself are suggesting? Even here on TS there are a range of views ranging from essentially anarchist through to what some call Statist. Do you envisage a bottom up type of participatory democracy that ends with a State Government or a bunch of loosely federated regional / local co-operatives and the end of the Nation State as we know it? Or a top down State Govt. that organises people into ever smaller sub-groups who deal with projects within their scope at the local or regional level?

        • Dennis Frank 10.2.1.1

          The way we conceived it 30 years ago was local then regional. Since then the concept of the bioregion has emerged as predominant in Green thinking – probably due to the natural synergies that emerge, plus the blending with traditional regional economies.

          I differ in discounting local democracy. I’ve seen no evidence of folks wanting to do it. Traditional local communities have been displaced by non-local communities during the past two centuries – associations, etc – so there’s little common-interest basis evident. If I was wrong, neighbourhood watch groups would have persisted past the end of the ’80s.

          Yes, it is possible to scale up. I sent in a submission to govt a few years ago suggesting that parliament’s unused upper chamber be used for consensus decision-making between parties. The basic idea was to run collaboration in parallel with competition. Multi-tasking presumes MPs can be multi-skilled – I can see why conventional opinion would have dismissed my optimism!

          State government strikes me as too formalised or prescriptive. Things need to evolve organically. Mental reference to the provincial governance structure we discarded in the late colonial era is a better option, but I’d prefer any perimeter of common interest in any region to emerge via discussion of stakeholders. In that organic sense of communal self-organising, the Green notion of bottom-up rather than top-down comes into play…

          • Grant 10.2.1.1.1

            So what process can be used to get States to devolve power to ‘bioregions’? A bit like asking turkeys to vote for Xmas isn’t it? Aren’t we stuck with Nation States just because most people are too lazy or frightened to imagine anything else and the establishments bolstering the State are too powerful to challenge successfully?

            • Dennis Frank 10.2.1.1.1.1

              Currently, yes. Shift happens via causal pressure. Trade dependency maintains the status quo – shifting focus to the resilience of bioregions can only come from a general loss of confidence in future viability of trading globally.

              Recall that a decade back peak oil theory & the gfc inclined many to assume global system collapse was imminent. I had to keep reminding folks that it was merely the likeliest trigger coincidence in a sequence of several such periods we’d lived through in recent decades in which the system always proved it has inherent resilience sufficient to withstand perturbations even of sufficient magnitude to threaten stability.

              There’s a digression into general systems theory & the science of complexity at this point which I will avoid! I tend to see us as dancing on the edge, pulled by the attractor of business as usual on one side, and the attractor of necessity of transformation to provide resilience & sustainability on the other. Past and future.

              But to answer your first question: as the report I posted first up this morning here shows, our govt is not just already signalling the way, it is providing the process in my bioregion. Appropriate top-down politics is as rare as a unicorn in your local bush – but maybe not for much longer!

              • Grant

                In the end Nation States are all about the projection of power. The power projected can take different forms but finally it usually comes down to military force. I can’t see the various power blocs made up of groupings of Nation States willingly dissolving themselves in favour of small scale local governance. I also can’t see most citizens of those States wanting them to do so if there isn’t some clearly spelled out system for guaranteeing the physical safety, security and future autonomy of local governance. A few minor States like NZ might head down that track to some as yet undefined extent, but it’s hard to see the trend becoming widespread enough to bring about a sea-change in the way humans organise.

                • Dennis Frank

                  Yes, an accurate representation of the status quo. But what if devolution catches on? Scotland has been considering independence quite a few years. Catalonia, not quite as long. There’s even a political movement for the independence of Texas I’ve seen reports about.

                  As long as globalisation remains the ruling paradigm, time will prove you right, in general. However Brexit & Trump are oft-cited as evidence that the elites behind globalisation are losing impetus, or their grip, or both.

                  Once a political paradigm shift kicks in, devolution will accelerate as a trend. The less growth in the capitalist system, the more credible it will seem as an alternative to usher in resilience economics…

                  • Grant

                    Thanks for engaging Dennis. Doesn’t look as though anyone else wants to join in so I’ll bow out again and let them get on with whatever. 🙂

        • greywarshark 10.2.1.2

          Perhaps things can be either – divided into major top-down with consultation or smaller bottom-up with opportunity to tap into specialised help from State.

      • greywarshark 10.2.2

        Sussing out people as leaders. I think a sheet with grid with required information to tick off, then a bio – what are their interests, is there a religious requirement preventing work on on day of the week, part of the year?
        Background, family commitments, are they away regularly?

        These aren’t invasive, they are relevant for a leader, who may have charisma or good knowledge but no good if they aren’t around when the group forays out. Then someone opportunistic who was not elected can take over and be good or a giant mass of patronising defensiveness and passive-aggression.

        • Dennis Frank 10.2.2.1

          Also worth noting is how the All Blacks have trended with leadership. The old model of one at a time has vanished. Now they use several in a pool, and shift between them as necessary in response to injuries or need for time out. Also have a small group of seniors in the team for consultation during the game when the captain feels the need…

  11. greywarshark 11

    What you can do in just a few …hours,

    • BM 11.1

      And hundreds/thousands of dollars worth of power tools.

      • joe90 11.1.1

        Dude used a cheap compound saw, jig saw, sander, glue and a couple of rubber bands. Hardly going to break the bank.

        • BM 11.1.1.1

          Metabo is not a cheap brand.

          It’s a step or two above Makita and DeWalt.

            • BM 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Minimum $300 -$350 for the cheapest gear to build that wooden nutcracker with what’s shown in that vid.

              Which is why I wrote hundreds/thousands of dollars.

              It’s a bit like gardening, everyone says grow your own veggies, they’re so cheap, but don’t take into account the cost of materials and the tools required.

              • Dennis Frank

                Actually, the real killer is time one must spend to produce satisfactorily, and also on maintenance of one’s garden & systems. But I only learned that via the doing. Cost of tools – even power tools – is nothing compared to the cost of one’s valuable time. Depends what else one wants or needs to do, of course. No problem if one is just a gardener!

              • greywarshark

                BM
                Are you a nut-cracker or a ball-breaker. You haven’t got much to add except criticism and actually that is a minus.

  12. greywarshark 12

    Perhaps our children can learn better methods of thinking if we can get an education system that isn’t embedded in the 1970s with technology shutters to be worn by each child at school, like a racehorse on the race course. We need different courses for different horses, really, or Shetlands or Fallabellas – I like those
    little ones.

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018685503/playground-plato-the-benefits-of-teaching-kids-philosophy

    Perhaps we can get the thinking process going with the sorts that would do this to little animals that are unlikely to harm anybody.
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/110691857/miniature-horse-stabbed-41-times-dies

  13. Exkiwiforces 13

    Found this rather interesting article from the ABC’s rural news site.
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-31/climate-change-when-human-nature-leads-to-rejection-of-science/10952244

    As you know or didn’t know, that Northern Part of the Northern Territory is very close to having the Driest Wet Season on record unless we get 20-30mm of rain. This yr it’s the first time I’ve able to get round my bush block mowing the fire breaks, usually I would only 3/4 quarters of it done as I have anywhere between ankle to knee deep water and signs of feral pigs, buffalo and cattle, but none this yr. Heck even the inshore Fishing has been very poor as well, with very temperatures and a lack of run off from the flood plains. To get a good feed of fish we now have to go offshore 12- 50km plus and a mate asked me last night “How’s the Barra Fishing going.? I reply with “I’ve got more chance of catching a boatload of Refugees than catching a Barra atm as all my Fishing is offshore as the inshore Fishing is very poor atm with no run off.

    My local Fire Captain said yesterday, he is looking to start road side burning in the next 2-3 weeks if the rain doesn’t come soon, which is a 1-2 mths earlier than planned.

  14. Dennis Frank 14

    A beekeeper in Vermont posted this to Ecosophia: “If you are a beginner in organic home food production might I suggest you take a look at Brett Markham’s books.”

    “The two we find most helpful are, “Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre” and the follow-up, “Maximizing Your Mini Farm”. They cover the basics very well, are well illustrated, and very practical. We still refer to them often even though we’ve been at this for quite a long time and we have 10 acres – there’s no reason to use more land than necessary.”

    “Another classic is John Jeavon’s “How to Grow More Vegetables (than you ever thought possible on less land and with less water than you can imagine)”. Really excellent information about using limited growing space efficiently for organic food production and building healthy soil.”

    “Two other books we use to build homestead stuff we need are “DIY Projects for the Self-Sufficient Homeowner” by Betsy Matheson (Creative Publishing International) and “Practical Projects for Self-Sufficiency” by Chris Peterson and Philip Schmidt (Cool Springs Press).”

    “Some of these books include information on keeping bees, but if you want to do that I’d recommend looking around for a local beekeepers association or beginning classes at a local extension office. You can certainly try to fly by the seat of your pants, but with mites causing so much devastation it’s worth your while to have a little experienced help on hand at the start.”

    “Bees and equipment are not cheap so some advice will stack the deck in your favor. (Please don’t buy used beehives or frames to save money unless you are absolutely sure that the previous owner’s bees never had Foulbrood. The spores can survive in the wooden ware for decades.)”

  15. greywarshark 15

    On Mulloon Institute calendar – Natural Sequence Farming educators. In NSW near Bungendore, NSW Australia.
    https://themullooninstitute.org/events

    Bungendore Harvest Festival 26 – 28 April
    Fri, Apr 26, 2019 8:30 AM Sun, Apr 28, 2019 4:00 PM
    Please visit Southern Farmers website for further information:

    Natural Sequence Farming – 4 day training course
    Mon, Apr 29, 2019 9:00 AM Thu, May 2, 2019 4:30 PM
    Join Stuart and Peter Andrews from Tarwyn Park Training for a hands-on workshop on redesigning your farm for maximum productivity and enhanced landscape function, while also minimising costs.

    A Water Conference about Australian situation – would be interesting to be observer and learn and share.
    OzWater 2019 Conference
    Tuesday, May 7, 2019 5:00 PM
    Thursday, May 9, 2019 6:00 PM
    https://themullooninstitute.org/events/2019/5/7/ozwater-2019-conference
    Ozwater is the Australian Water Association’s international water conference and trade exhibition.
    Returning in 2019 to the Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre, thousands of water professionals from across Australia and internationally will unite in one of the world’s most liveable cities to share ideas on the future of water in Australia. For more information please go to: http://www.ozwater.org/

    Landscape Resilience Forum
    Thursday, May 30, 2019
    9:00 AM 4:00 PM
    Local stories about building landscape resilience to climate change
    Event hosted by Upper Shoalhaven Landcare.
    Discover how local rural communities and farmers are helping build the landscape’s resilience to climate change. Forum speakers are experienced, ‘hands on’ locals who will explore ways that farmers can successfully managing their farms in a changing climate.

  16. greywarshark 16

    Compost easy peasy

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  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
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    1 day ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
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    2 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
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    2 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
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    2 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
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    3 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
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    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
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    3 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
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    3 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    4 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
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    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
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    4 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
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    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
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    4 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    4 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
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    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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    4 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
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    5 days ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
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    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
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    6 days ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
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    6 days ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
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    7 days ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
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    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
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    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
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    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
    JOINT MINISTERIAL STATEMENT BY SINGAPORE AND NEW ZEALAND AFFIRMING COMMITMENT TO ENSURING SUPPLY CHAIN CONNECTIVITY AMIDST THE COVID-19 SITUATION  The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis.  As part of our collective response to combat COVID-19, Singapore and New Zealand are committed to maintaining open and connected supply chains. We ...
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    1 week ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
    Travel restrictions, closing our border to almost all travelers came into force from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020 (NZDT).  All airlines were informed of these restrictions before they came into force. Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says “The transit of passengers between Australia and New Zealand has been agreed upon and ...
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    1 week ago
  • $100 million to redeploy workers
    The Government has allocated $100 million to help redeploy workers affected by the economic impact of COVID-19, with the hard-hit region of Gisborne-Tairāwhiti to be the first helped, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford, Forestry and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today. Phil Twyford ...
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    1 week ago
  • More support for wood processing
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is ramping up support for Tairāwhiti’s wood processing sector to bolster the region’s economy at a time of heightened uncertainty, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Following earlier announcements today of a regional support package for Tairāwhiti, Minister Jones has also announced a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt steps in to protect Air New Zealand
    The Coalition Government has stepped in to protect Air New Zealand with a significant financial deal that protects essential routes and allows the company to keep operating. The Government and Air New Zealand have agreed a debt funding agreement through commercial 24-month loan facilities of up to $900 million*. The ...
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    1 week ago
  • Stronger border measures to protect NZers from COVID-19
    The Government has taken further measures to protect New Zealanders from the COVID-19 virus, effectively stopping all people from boarding a plane to New Zealand from 11:59pm today, except for returning New Zealanders, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.  New Zealanders’ partners, legal guardians or any dependent children travelling with ...
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    1 week ago
  • Action on indoor gatherings and events to protect public health
    The Government has reinforced its commitment to protecting the health of New Zealanders from COVID-19 through the cancellation of indoor events with more than 100 people.  “Protecting the health of New Zealanders is our number one priority, and that means we need to reduce the risks associated with large gatherings,” ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealanders advised not to travel overseas
    The New Zealand Government is advising New Zealanders not to travel overseas due to COVID-19, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced. “We are raising our travel advice to the highest level: do not travel,” Mr Peters said. “This is the first time the New Zealand Government has advised New Zealanders ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt announces aviation relief package
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today outlined the first tranche of the $600 million aviation sector relief package announced earlier this week as part of the Government’s $12.1 billion COVID-19 economic response. The initial part of the aviation package aims to secure the operators of New Zealand’s aviation security system, and ...
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    1 week ago