How To Get There 7/4/19

Written By: - Date published: 6:55 am, April 7th, 2019 - 12 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 …

12 comments on “How To Get There 7/4/19”

  1. WeTheBleeple 1

    Do (virtually) nothing garden.

    The biggest issue for urban gardeners is typically time. The biggest time consumer for maintaining productivity in a garden is weeding. Thus, it stands to reason eliminating the bulk of weeding is desirable.

    One method of weed free gardening I’ve had great success with is using raised garden beds filled with woodchip mulch. The garden surrounds are logs, the garden fill is the chipped up smaller stuff off the tree/s the logs came from. These beds look great as well as perform like troopers.

    You need: unwanted trees, lots of cardboard/newspaper, chainsaw, woodchipper, compost, stable sweepings or manure if you can get it, minerals, plants including trees to replace those cut down, plus extra trees/shrubs for in the garden beds, optional drip irrigation.

    You begin with locating/growing undesirable woody tree species e.g. privet, wattle, unwanted tree… These are cut into logs and the rest chipped into mulch, with larger offcuts/gnarly bits used for firewood/fill for hügelkultur/banana pits, char production…

    Cut and mulch the greenery at your garden site. Add any minerals e.g. gypsum on clays, lime or crushed shells/rockdust type stuff on top of the cut greenery. Lay down cardboard in the shape you want your garden with wide overlaps to block all light and prevent weed penetration. Lay out the log surrounds defining your garden borders over the cardboard. Add stable sweepings/manures if you have them and spread out over the card base interior of the bed. Fill in with woodchips.

    Many advise waiting for several months then planting. The idea is waiting for the chips to start composting. They start immediately if damp… To plant immediately:

    Plant trees, berries etc level with the woodchip level so they are slightly off the ground but their roots are connected to it. To do this cut into the cardboard for trees making a hole to fit the tree rootball. Slightly raising trees is especially useful in clays for any trees that don’t like wet feet. Add minerals around the tree site so exploratory roots find them. Flower and vegetables/small plants, pull back the chips making a hole, use a trowel to jab a slit in the card and add a generous double handful of compost then plant seedlings directly into the compost. Pull chips back to cover. Optional: Lay out drip irrigation close to plants and conceal beneath mulch if desired.

    I use fruit trees, natives, flowers, herbs and vegetables in these beds to create highly productive areas with a beautiful yet clean landscaped look. I did not bother with drip irrigation for most as woodchip holds moisture really well. This summers drought made me rethink irrigation, especially for people who are time poor. Irrigation goes on a timer to make it even easier, and moisture sensors are available if you want to go high tech and avoid overwatering.

    After this, the maintenance required is harvesting food and replacing plants that come out (fill in the gaps and food keeps being produced). Occasionally I pull a stray weed as I collect dinner. Very few. I’ve never had to specifically go out and weed, though next spring I’ll roll my logs surround over, and spend a bit of effort bashing any wannabe kikuyu invasion under them.

    I never spray or fret over critters, mildews etc. I go for lots of variety and hope as more goes in over time pest damage is minimised/balanced out. I get to eat nearly all the stuff that grows, and losing the odd thing is of no real concern except if I might learn something from it.

    These gardens will become more fertile over time and require no additional inputs after establishment of your first plants. Using a bit of compost when planting makes plants establish faster and helps the overall bed over time. Top up mulch every couple of years.

    A garden can save you thousands of dollars annually, but if you don’t pick it, and know how to cook it so it is at least as good as what you are used to… you may go off it and neglect to keep planting the gaps thus maintaining supply. Lots of herbs helps tremendously for taste, but it is cooking (and then preserving) skills that will separate the hobby gardener from the serious saver.

  2. greywarshark 2

    On a large scale learning how to do growing better. Talking about Australia but their drought and heat problems are going to be repeated here. 4mins
    Deceit and greed he says is the problem and we need to ‘grow the pie to share’.

  3. greywarshark 3

    Tagasaste called tree lucerne. Good stock fodder and leguminous – nitrogen fixing.
    (Note Tree crops say proper title is Chamaecytisus proliferus var palmensis.
    Allied species are C. stenopetalus (yellow flowers) and C. Palida (white flowers))

    Growing trees on farms as a mixed crop 28 mins

    A figure of 30% less production when the animals and land is not protected from conditions by trees. And that the trees do not lessen carrying capacity.

    An example of need to take on Natural Sequence Farming shows up halfway on
    in the video. So lots to learn for all of us, farmers and townies too.
    People learning from each other – French and Australians here.
    NZ and Australians? Can we get some more benefit from our neighbours.

    They are selling trees as young logs, eucalypts tall power poles as part of their cycles.
    and radiata softwood, serving paper manufacturing, and thinking carbon sequestration,
    and they refer to faulty carbon system lacking government attention.
    Special timbers forestry expert says that some can be combined with honey production.

    Also thinking of thinnings for various purposes and reduces fire risk.

  4. cleangreen. 4

    24 people have died on our roads during the last single week, the worst statistic NZ has ever seen.

    We have been advocating to Government since 2001 in Napier, since 2001 in support for rail.

    So now we advocate to restore rail passenger and freight throughout all NZ regions, to reverse the skyrocketing road fatalities.

    No to more roads.

    This is not the way forward, as will only bring yet more trucks.

    So we ask the PM Ardern; – please stop this truck madness.

    Private vehicles are seriously over- subsiding all of those private truck freight industries and this must stop.

    More money needs to be reverted towards restoring all NZ provincial rail services, as 24 people have died on our roads during the last single week, the worst statistic NZ has ever seen.

    The cost of private vehicle use is just to high now and Government must act to save lives and rail in NZ.

    This last week’s fatalities was the latest evidence that there is a horrific cost of subsidies spent by private vehicle users given to Government to prop up a failing costly truck freight industry that is killing many on our roads and making roads unsafe and very costly to repair now so stop this ‘un-sustainable truck freight subsidy by the public users of our public roads’.
    Published in “Environmental Science and Policy” Vol 9 (2006) pp 55-66 TRANSPORT COST ANALYSIS: a case study of the total costs of private and public transport in Auckland. Astrid Jakob1 , John L. Craig1 and Gavin Fisher2 1. University of Auckland, School of Geography and Environmental Science, Tamaki Campus, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand 2. National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, 269 Khyber Pass, Newmarket Auckland, New Zealand.

    EXTERNAL COST OF TRANSPORT To estimate the total cost of transport, it is necessary to look at indirect or external costs simultaneously. External costs are not born by the public and private transport users – they are paid by others, generally the society as a whole, but also the environment. These mainly comprise: external accident, air pollution, climate change, external parking, congestion costs and others (Becker, 2002; Litman, 2002). Of all transport related external costs evaluated in the literature, external accident, air pollution and climate change are the three largest (Maddison, 1996), comprising 77% of the overall costs (Becker, 2002). Therefore these three costs are considered in this chapter. One has however to keep in mind that the degree of confidence varies between these three costs. Whereas accident costs, like property damage, can be calculated quite precisely, climate change costs are less certain. For this reason a very conservative approach has been applied which is discussed in more detail throughout this section. The literature suggests several techniques to quantify and monetise external effects of motor vehicle transport such as damage cost method, control or prevention cost method, hedonic compared to contingent valuation method. These methods are described in detail in Bruce (1995), Himmel (1999), Litman (2002). None of these methods can be used to estimate all motor vehicle related external costs without uncertainties. For each impact a different approach according to its nature has therefore been applied and uncertainties stated which has likewise been done in Becker (2001), Litman (2002), Maddison (1996) or Maibach (2002).

    The Hidden Trucking Industry Subsidy
    Sunday, 31 March 2019, 2:07 pm
    Freight trucks cause 99% of wear-and-tear on US roads, but only pay for 35% of the maintenance. This $60B subsidy causes extra congestion and pollution, and taxpayers pay the bill.

    Recap; History of truck subsidies in NZ.

    Private vehicles are wrongly over- subsidising truck freight as far back as 2007 according to a highly respected organisation in NZ called (IPENZ).

    We now see that perhaps we need to request that Central Government now structure both transport infrastructure links in the same manner to avoid distortions in the financial integrity of both modal operations for the next 50yrs as Lawrence rightly suggests we do plan for.

    Perhaps we can begin tolling roads for commercial freight companies due to the high freight carrying and high road wear?

    The toll can be adjusted to the wear and repair costs generated so thereby self funding our roads?

    Private vehicles then can their costs of their wear of the roads by using the IPENZ estimated costs in their road use costing report.

    The last IPENZ report shows that of both road & rail costing of contributions from each transport mode;

    Rail pays 77% of their total cost of maintaining the rail.

    Private road users pay 66% of their cost of maintaining the roads.

    Truck transport pays 54% of their cost of maintaining the roads.

    These figures may change as the demographics change over time.

    Either both modes use equal cost structural mechanisms such as the” Pot” of funding or we find another type of similar equal funding vehicle for both modes.

    The attached IPENZ review warns that careful consideration must be made when deciding closure of rail as often it is not later reversible.

    2.4 RAIL

    IPENZ is supportive of the Government’s Turnaround Plan for KiwiRail to upgrade rail infrastructure and rolling stock to help increase New Zealand’s economic productivity and growth. IPENZ also recognizes that elements of the network are uneconomic and may need to be closed. The decisions to close particular lines need to be taken with care – these decisions are often irreversible, and closure can erode wider network profitability. Line closures also impact on other components of the supply chain such as ports. Page 6 of 8


    Question 57. Should decisions on investments in ports and in the associated infrastructure links to ports be left to the judgements of the individual suppliers of the separate components? Or would some sort of overall strategic plan provide useful guidance and some assurance that complementary investments will happen?

    The major regional councils undertake multimodal transportation modelling and planning and these play a major part in designing the transport networks in metropolitan areas. This modelling includes specific localised freight analyses. Modelling is a sophisticated planning tool that uses a range of criteria to design and future proof (through scenario testing) a desirable and integrated transport network. Through this process the network can be designed to seek to achieve a range of objectives including those enabling regional economic growth, the efficient use of public capital, affordability, improving accessibility, and minimising environmental impacts.

    Therefore a regional transport plan that recognises the freight supply chain’s interdependent components, developed in an inclusive way, can provide a context for development by both public and private infrastructure providers, and are a valuable tool for assisting with commercial investment decision making.

    Similarly the Ministry of Transport undertook the National Freight Demands Study in 2008. This provided valuable information on existing and future freight demands.

    Thus information and analysis by public agencies can be very useful for the private sector.

    An interesting suggestion in the 2004 Infrastructure Stocktake recommended to Cabinet the concept of “facilitated discussions” between by central government, local government and private sector and infrastructure users and providers. This could be effective in bringing together the common issues – freight infrastructure development is driven by similar growth demands.

    4.1.1 Pricing.

    Many argue that if the prices are right (including externalities and the cost of capital), this will drive economically efficient outcomes. Each of the transport modes have different environmental impacts – noise, water quality, air quality and pricing mechanisms could capture these differences. The Ministry of Transport undertook the Page 7 of 8

    Surface Transport Costs and Charges study in 2007 but this did not extend to sea transport. In theory pricing would place all transport modes on a level playing field. The Productivity Commission should consider whether improving pricing signals is feasible across all modes in the medium term. It seems that there is increasing acceptance of toll roads, but any form of congestion pricing or road network pricing would appear to be some years away.

    4.1.2 Neutrality of public funding

    Roads and rail are often competing modes for the freight business and this raises the problematic issue of the different government support for road and rail to meet the demands of the growing “freight task”. Recognising the issues with implementing pricing mechanisms, the Commission must consider whether Government (and local government) funding mechanisms are neutral and do not favour one mode over the other.

    Further, commercial disciplines, investment decision making and financial reporting mechanisms (including balance sheets) are not applicable to the roading network. As a result of this and the acknowledged difficult funding allocation issues, there are inevitably cross subsidies between light vehicles and freight transport

    So then this question arises; – ‘can their higher costs given to Government of their wear of the roads (being far less than truck transport) since 2007 now be used to fund rail instead’?

    The IPENZ (Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand) estimated costs in their ‘road use costing report’ suggested this in 2007.

    The last IPENZ report shows that of both road & rail costing of contributions from each transport mode;
    Rail pays 77% of their total cost of maintaining the rail.
    Private road users pay 66% of their cost of maintaining the roads.
    Truck transport pays 54% of their cost of maintaining the roads.
    These figures may change as the demographics change over time.
    Either both modes use equal cost structural mechanisms such as the” Pot” of funding or we find another type of similar equal funding vehicle for both modes.
    The attached IPENZ review warns that careful consideration must be made when deciding closure of rail as often it is not later reversible.

    Government must review the statements below made clear by IPENZ in 2005 to the Clark Government of the importance of our rail system.

    Government must work with cabinet to resolve these issues now of overuse of public funding of only roads, roads, and more roads just for freight trucks.

    ‘As the NZ Government offers a subsidy to buy an electric car’ why not also for ‘Electric locomotives’ also?

    We hope Government will include our input here in your plans for finishing the Zero Carbon Bill and use the EY report here also.

  5. Would be interesting to see some accurate cost/benefit analysis on trucks vs rail including the costs of road deaths ?

    Obviously our rail networks require some upgrades to be able to compete with trucking however heavy trucks are chewing up our poorly built roads these days ?

    • greywarshark 5.1

      The road deaths are becoming to horrific proportions just recently. We should be alarmed. Roads are jammed with injudicious tourism, Chinese apparently preferring self-drive rather than tours run by their own people, for their own people, and not getting much chance to mingle and absorb the New Zealandishness! Then there are more trucks, more super-trucks, and cycling is becoming a major sport with more on the roads as well as off.

      Then there is the cellphone/texting saga. The demands of the economy caused by bringing in a long hours, low wage, diminishing real wages, sky-aimed housing costs (now attached to NZ rockets so can go even higher – till we don’t call the builder but – Rocket Man) situation, means that people are forced by economic necessity and habit to be on call, informed, all the time.

      Helping them to install appropriate technology to handle those messages through an app in their car that comes on when they slip their cellphone into a holder in the car would be the answer to lessened road crashes. IDEA HERE. Would someone notice and initiate a techno fix starting Now. We are so fucking slow, so full of talk, and have so much to do with a backlog to catch up on that isn’t going away, unless large numbers of us are wiped out and then the numerous small fixes won’t be needed. Problem gone – fix redundant.

  6. gsays 6

    I have been getting excited, planning and gathering resources for making charcoal in a retort.
    As explained in this clip, the term collier was taken and given to coal miners in the 1550’s. These folk are earning it back.

    The potential to collect, clean and reuse the woodgases is exciting too.

  7. greywarshark 7

    Note – the site went down about 1.30 pm Sunday and was out till late night- early morning Monday. So that explains why we didn’t get many commenters here. The aim is always to have something of value to learn about that helps for coping practically or to think about new ways of doing readying for a greener future for everyone, and what we would need to change to achieve that.

  8. WeTheBleeple 8

    The do (virtually) nothing garden MKII

    This is Robert’s area of expertise, but he’s having a hootenanny/hui.

    A food forest is the ultimate system but it can take considerable time, up front effort, and knowledge. Once established, however, you’re laughing insofar as food security goes.

    I am slowly building/prepping a food forest out back. Being in an urban setting my front yard efforts are also diverse, but more aesthetic as described above (1.0).

    Here’s an Aussie master on the subject.

  9. cleangreen 9


    Our roads are just goat tracks, not designed for big trucks and all other traffic you discuss on 5.1.

    “The road deaths are becoming to horrific proportions just recently. We should be alarmed.”

    I discussed this with Tony Friedlander the retired National MP from New Plymouth when he was in 2001 the President of the “Road transport forum” and he said “Ken we need our own dedicated four lane road for trucks”

    So 18 years later with three times the number of trucks on our single lane each way roads this is what we have got now.

    It was bound to happen this way since they took most freight off rail and out it on our public roads.

    Minister of transport has a big job putting it back on rail again now.

  10. greywarshark 10

    How To Get There… and like where you have got to means that there must be some love person to person as well as to the birds animals soil etc. Not authoritarianism but following the strong leadership of individual hearts and souls working together with time for laughter and passing rude remarks about each other in a non PC way!

    Here’s a song with a bit of love in it for trotting out when people feel down.
    Carole King You’ve Got a Friend.

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