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Let’s green the red zone

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, May 22nd, 2017 - 91 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment, Social issues, sustainability - Tags:

Climate change and our increasing numbers of cows means that New Zealand needs to plant trees, lots of trees.

And Christchurch has a major issue with land in the red zone that that is not suitable for building on and needs to have some use for it.  And there are flooding issues which trees and native bush are very good at addressing.

So what better solution would there be than to plant native forest in the red zone?  Green Christchurch, make it a better place to live in and suck up carbon at the same time?

And at an estimated cost of $2.5 million to achieve 80% cover why not?

From Stuff:

Christchurch’s residential red zone could be turned into native forest for $2.5 million, a group in favour of the idea says.

Greening the Red Zone submitted its proposal to Regenerate Christchurch on Friday, saying 80 per cent of the Otakaro/Avon River Corridor, in the city’s east, could be turned into forest for that price.

The estimated cost, spread over five years, was based on the Tuhaitara Coastal Park in North Canterbury.

School and community groups have helped plant and maintain the 575-hectare park, between the Waimakariri River mouth and Waikuku, as part of a project to return it to native coastal forest.

“Ongoing annual costs in terms of management, labour and capital expenditure are likely to be around $250,000 per annum,” the Greening the Red Zone’s proposal says.

As at Tuhaitara, we anticipate that significant volunteer input will help to keep costs low.”

Great idea. Now all we need is a Government that will stump up with the cash and have the vision and environmental commitment to make sure that it happens.

If you want to fond out further detail Avon Otakaro project’s website is here.

91 comments on “Let’s green the red zone ”

  1. Ad 1

    Surely this would be a Council funded project?

    Great initiative.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      Probably but I feel sorry for Christchurch’s finances!

    • Thanks for the shout out Micky. One wee point – the website you’re pointing to is the Avon-Otakaro Network, which covers many, many ideas for the red zone, some of which we like, some not so much.

      Would you be able to point to ours instead. It’s got so much info, your readers will love it.

      Ta muchly 🙂

      [Have corrected and keep up the good work – MS]

    • Draco T Bastard 1.3

      After the earthquake it should be part of the assistance that the nation is giving the city. In fact, it’s probably worth declaring that part of the city a national park as it really can’t be used for anything else.

  2. Farmers say, “You can’t be green if you’re in the red” and thereby justify their continued fixation with financial profit. They have it wrong, I believe. The better rallying cry should be, “You can’t be in the black unless you’re green”. It’s long-term thinking and therefore challenging to short-term thinkers.

    • bwaghorn 2.1

      ”Farmers say, “You can’t be green if you’re in the red”

      Some Farmers say, “You can’t be green if you’re in the red ,fify

      • Some do, few don’t, in my experience. I believe it’s a widely held belief, not that it’s untrue, just that it’s not the best way to frame the issue. In fact, by saying and believing, “You can’t be green if you’re in the red” works against needed changes to the environment we operate in. My hope is that “some farmers” will devise and use a more appropriate “banner”.

        • bwaghorn 2.1.1.1

          It is causing a fortress mentality in farming the way we all all being lumped into one heap as destroyers of clean green nz.
          can you imagine the reaction i’d get if i said all maori are bad because some beat their wives. (i don’t believe that btw)

          Farming is here to stay , most farmers are science based thinkers so that is the angle to come from.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1.1

            most farmers are science based thinkers so that is the angle to come from.

            That does not appear to be true. If it was the farmers would have been demanding that livestock be counted in the ETS. I certainly haven’t heard of any of them doing that but i have heard that many thought that they should be excluded from it.

          • weka 2.1.1.1.2

            I just wish the ones not in Fed Farmers would form another union, that isn’t a plunder monkey union.

      • roy cartland 2.1.2

        Nice fix Bwag. We should be getting the ‘good’ farmers on side, and all of us against the wreckers.

        • bwaghorn 2.1.2.1

          Unless you are going to run the wreckers off the land you have to find a way to get them to change their ways , attacking only works if you are prepared to go all the way.

          • Robert Guyton 2.1.2.1.1

            bwaghorn – agriculture damages the environment, no matter how carefully it is practiced. The best we can hope for, if we continue with agriculture, especially pastoral forms of agriculture, is to slow down that rate of damage. The end result though, will be collapse, imo. This view will inflame you, I expect, but consider the baseline from which I’m judging the situation. The best farm, in the minds of most New Zealanders, is one with lush green grass from fence to fence, populated with plump animals with glistening coats, heads down, eating contentedly, yes? That scene is bucolic splendor to some, dire to others. Compare the vibrant, diverse, complex, unique space that was that farm before agriculture appeared in the planet’s timeline; when kokako and huia strutted through the branches of the forest of (as yet un-named) totara, kahikitea, kauri etc. and reptiles and frogs abounded, along with birds the likes of which were no where else to be found. Living creatures uncountable occupied the “farm” to such intensity and density that we cannot,in these ecologically degraded times, imagine. The best we are hoping for now, is to “stop further degradation” but that’s not going to happen while the presently-held mindset prevails, imo.
            The just-retired Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Jan Wright, concluded at the end of her tenure in the role, that best practice is not enough to protect New Zealand’s environment from farming. She’s a clear-thinking, well researched, experienced authority on the matter and I believe her pronouncement to be accurate.

            • Ian 2.1.2.1.1.1

              substitute Agriculture with cities,grass with asphalt and animals with people.

              • Substitute agriculture with permaculture or another innovative alternative to the old system that has shown itself to be destructive of the ecosystem we need in order to survive much longer. Should we list agriculture’s harm? It’d take some time. Cities, for starters, are the product of agriculture. Asphalt too. Arguably people, by which I take it you mean “too many people”, yes?

                • Ian

                  Yeah right. Get rid of the people and we don’t need agriculture or cities. Brilliant. You should get into politics.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Get a life you bitter old fool. Robert Guyton has more intelligence and capability than you can conceive of.

                    • Ian

                      I have met many intelligent people over the years. You are not one of them . Robert ,no doubt is a very smart and innovative guy. I was just pointing out to him that people need cities,and cities totally destroy the ecosystem they displace.
                      People also need to eat and agriculture provides food.
                      People also produce effluent and most cities in New Zealand partially treat that effluent and pump it into the nearest river or beach.
                      Commonly called shitting in your own nest.
                      A good case study would be how the Gisborne City Council disposes of all the human Faeces ,urine,household and industrial waste . When it rains they pump it into the river.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      The difference is that Gisborne CC doesn’t make a profit by doing so.

                      When it rains they pump it into the river.

                      PS: that looks like a stupid lie, you bitter old fool.

                    • “I have met many intelligent people over the years. You are not one of them”

                      As I read it, that just means you and Ian haven’t met, OAB; you’re one of the intelligent people whose path has not yet crossed Ian’s.

                      And thanks for the advice re politics, Ian. I’m going to give it serious thought. I think I’m leaning toward local, rather than central government.

                  • greywarshark

                    Ian
                    Robert was just translating your telegram into long form to understand what your point was. It was you who pointed out the problem with cities.

                    All you point out is obvious to all though. As you say what we have to do is think how we cope better with cities now we have them.

                    • Ian

                      Your soo deep ,my mental detector can’t even register a beep ,sorry. Perhaps Robert could explain for himself ,please.

                    • Hi, Ian – sorry, we seem to have got off on the wrong foot. “mental detector” was good, I thought. You wrote:
                      ” I was just pointing out to him that people need cities,and cities totally destroy the ecosystem they displace.”
                      Thanks for pointing that out. I was labouring under the belief that only some people need cities and that for the greater part of humans time on earth, they/we went nowhere near them, as cities didn’t exist. I assumed that meant that life without cities was at least a possibility. Nowadays, cities certainly are hard on the ecosystems they replace. They sometimes become functional systems themselves, but rarely are they anything like the habitats they replace, as with farms. Farms, at least those in New Zealand, generally destroy almost completely, the complex ecosystems that existed before the farm was created; native wetlands, for example, drained and sown in pasture grasses are very much less biologically diverse as farm than they were as wetland. You added:
                      “People also need to eat and agriculture provides food.” Both of those statements are true but, have you heard of “non sequitur”? I’ve met people who have eaten food that wasn’t produced by agriculture. I know! Hard to believe!

            • weka 2.1.2.1.1.2

              “The best we can hope for, if we continue with agriculture, especially pastoral forms of agriculture, is to slow down that rate of damage.”

              You don’t think the various regenags, biodynamics etc can reverse damage? Obviously not to what the land was before, but to another form of pro-life systems?

              • Hi weka – curly question and the answer depends on how “wide” you want to go. The best agricultural system will still result in an expansion of the associated “infrastructures”: the cities, asphalt roads and people, people, people that Ian describes. We’ll get better food, better soil environments, healthier ruminants from, say, biodynamic agriculture, but where will that lead us? Undoing the Gordian knot we’ve tied ourselves in is a huge challenge even to do theoretically and will require, I feel, a re-imagining of what it is to be human and then invoking a multitude of changes to how we act. In my view, this will happen, is happening now; it’s not tidy and success is not assured but, here we go!

                • greywarshark

                  Robert
                  I have been reading up what existentialism is about. And seeing that as they say, life is what WE make it and think it, getting some re-imagining going needs to be what we do. To change the whole creaking apparatus of our minds – and not so fast that our heads go out of shape – perhaps we need to work on changing each week some habit taken from a list to work through.

                  What do you then reckon the list might contain that’s simple stuff.
                  e.g.
                  1 Grow a lettuce parsley and something else in a tub or a small kitchen garden and eat some leaves in a simple tossed salad each day.
                  2 Put many shopping bags into a larger hold-all and put it near the door for when you shop. (Use up plastic bags you already have.)

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Just one example why Existentialism is bunk.

                    Epigenetics: relating to or arising from non-genetic influences on gene expression.

                    • greywarshark

                      Thanks OAB I can rely on you to quickly reply and advise me how I am wrong (and you are right).

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Rational free will, as proposed by Existentialism, is withering away in the face of this and other recent findings, in neuroscience, genetics and epidemiology.

                      Shoot the messenger as much as you like.

                  • Hi Greywarshark – it’s all about intent, isn’t it. Action follows intention, so it’s a good idea to spend some time forming elegant intentions and those behaviours you describe are on the way but I believe injecting a dose of beauty into your day will be the most effective creaking-apparatus changer; there’s lots of it around, though much of it will seem odd to begin with, as you’ll be wanting to try some new flavours, sounds and scents in order that your mind can form it’s intentions with fresh material. For me, the most recent “shower” of high-value novelty came from watching Latcho Drom , you may know it, a film about gypsies, featuring their music; like a dose of fragrant salts to a bound-up mind 🙂 I didn’t take specific ideas from the experience, more let it seep into my calcified parts and soften them up so that they work better when the time for whisking up intentions arrives (usually unbidden and sudden). This may not make much sense, but that’s the point, cryptic, obscure, veiled and hard-to-pin-down-with-logic stuff is what intention is built from.

                    • greywarshark

                      Robert G
                      You’re a bright spark to point the way to those veiled, obscure good intentions and actions. Keep the flame glowing, keep a sort of ahi kaa that holds the ground of respectful thought for our world.

                      And it is a good analogy. After I thought of the importance of fire for ancient peoples and how they must have nurtured it, particularly in the cold regions, here is what I found on-line.

                      Environment and nighttime activity
                      The control of fire enabled important changes in human behavior, health, energy expenditure, and geographic expansion. As a result of “domesticating” fire as previously achieved with plants and animals, humans were able to modify their environments to their own benefit.[37] This ability to manipulate their environments allowed them to move into much colder regions that would have previously been uninhabitable after the loss of body hair.

                      Evidence of more complex management to change biomes can be found as far back as 100,000 to 200,000 years ago at a minimum. Furthermore, activity was no longer restricted to daylight hours due to the use of fire. Exposure to artificial light during later hours of the day changed humans’ circadian rhythms, contributing to a longer waking day.[38] The modern human’s waking day is 16 hours, while most mammals are only awake for half as many hours.[36] Additionally, humans are most awake during the early evening hours, while other primates’ days begin at dawn and end at sundown. Many of these behavioral changes can be attributed to the control of fire and its impact on daylight extension.[36]
                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Control_of_fire_by_early_humans#Environment_and_nighttime_activity

                      Hints and tips:
                      http://www.instructables.com/id/7-Methods-of-Primitive-Fire-Starting/

                      And beware:
                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyromania

          • roy cartland 2.1.2.1.2

            Gathering numbers, voting in legislation and compelling them to follow it is what I had in mind.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2.1.3

            I’m in favour of getting them off the land by the simple expedient of taking it off of them – and leaving them with all of the debt that they accrued.

      • Ad 2.1.3

        If a farmer was Red, Green and Black, they would be in a coalition government.

        • bwaghorn 2.1.3.1

          what you have to add to blue to change it to one of those colours is the question, most a blue to the bone for no real reason other than no one else seems to reach them

          • garibaldi 2.1.3.1.1

            “Blue to the bone” because, in my ten years in dairyfarming, they were mainly a bunch of bigoted rednecks, yourself excluded bwaghorn.

  3. gsays 3

    What would be better?
    Having fruit and nut trees planted in the area.
    Provide food for the local people, birds and bees.

    • Plant a multitude of things that grow. It’s no time to be restricting our efforts to suit an “exclusive” ideology of any sort, including a “natives are best” belief. We’ve thousands of varieties and species to choose from; get them into the soil as quickly as possible, I reckon. Turn 2-dimensional space into 3. That factor alone is reason enough to get planting.

      • Eastsider 3.1.1

        We are not thinking of it as a restrictive ideology, but rather a regenerative and positive step toward healing our (very broken) river corridor, and doing our bit for conserving/returning NZ’s unique bio-diversity. The red zone is a massive space, so even if it were reforested to allow the return of breeding tui (80%), there is still around 80-100 hectares unspoken for, and many projects that layer up (the dark sky park, natural playgrounds etc). Christchurch doesn’t really lack places to grow food, we have a lot of fresh produce, some beautiful existing community gardens, and city-wide vege co-ops that make produce affordable. The benefits of the forest park are across many sectors – health, transport, tourism, conservation, green infrastructure, climate change mitigation – for those of us who live here, it is very clear that large swathes of the lower Avon are returning to wetland, whether we like it or not. Our proposal is basically to go with nature, not fight it. Plant what works best.

        • Robert Guyton 3.1.1.1

          Your plans sound excellent. I look forward to visiting and seeing all of the different facets. Bit worried about the kaka though 🙂 Nah! Bring ’em on!

          • Eastsider 3.1.1.1.1

            Thank you Robert! We would love to have you, and kaka are still in the wildly aspirational basket for us at the moment – we get excited when we see a fantail! So bird-starved are we… 😀

      • lloyd 3.1.2

        Unfortunately SOME exotics will quickly become weeds. Madly planting every plant you come across is not the most sustainable ecology.
        One example is pinus radiata. We can grow it just about anywhere in this country, but shouldn’t we be trying plantations of beech and totara? They grow a lot faster than most New Zealanders think, especially if you put sewage sludge or cow poo in heir soil. A totara plantation will contain a lot more native birds than a pine plantation, and the resulting timber will be much more valuable.

        • greywarshark 3.1.2.1

          Lloyd
          that is interesting about beech and totara and what you say about perhaps using sewage sludge (in the right place where it can be contained.)
          Eastsider is this part of your plan, having plantations of useful and fast growing trees available for milling, and work and income later? Also some suitable for coppicing.

    • Craig H 3.2

      There are already heaps of fruit trees in the red zones because they generally didn’t remove existing trees when demolishing the houses, and most people had a few on their properties. By all means plant even more, but balance is important.

    • mauī 3.3

      Yeah I agree, all good to create a thriving ecosystem that mostly the middle classes are going to get a kick out of. Meanwhile the human ecosystem involves people buying $1 bread from the supermarket and not seeing any benefits of the enhanced natural world.

    • Gsays, Christchurch isn’t lacking in land to grow food for humans (and our proposal does say put community gardens and orchards around the edges, close to the communities that want them). But what it IS lacking in is food for our native birds.

      That’s why there are no tui in urban Christchurch – there is no food for them. Neither do we have ruru or kaka, or many other native species that – if not exactly common – are at least present in other cities.

      So the best thing to do with the red zone is to use it to bring back what we have lost. To provide food that will bring our birds back. Cos Christchurch people need just as much to be in touch with their natural environment as other Kiwis.

      • Greening the red zone – all power to your arm. Have you considered the multitude of fast growing trees that are both non-native and attractive to native birds? Kereru love tagasaste and laburnum more, perhaps, than anything native. For sure, plant kowhai for them, but exotics offer a great deal. My bellbirds adore red hot pokers and over-ripe apples and the tui love any tubular flower.

        • We have heaps of non-natives down here Robert. Squillions of them. What we need is more native habitat. It’s not an anti-exotic thing. It’s identifying what this city is missing, and wanting to address that lack. I think a lot of other Kiwis just aren’t aware how devoid of native bush Christchurch is. We’ve got an amazing chance to undo that damage, and it will be of huge benefit to all future generations if we can achieve it.

    • Lingling 3.5

      hi gsays, there’s going to be a ton of land for orchards and community gardens around the edges of the forest – it’s just not practical to have all 500ha as an orchard. Forest wetland is scientifically proven to be the best option for soaking up stormwater pollution and preventing floods that plague the surrounding suburbs. The fruit trees that are already there will stay – greening the red zone is all about planting trees, not cutting them down – but fruit/nut trees and gardens surrounding the forest will be easier to get to, and easier to find community groups to take care of.

      • mauī 3.5.1

        That sounds great. More light for the fruit trees round the edges too.

      • gsays 3.5.2

        Hi lingling, cheers for yours and green the red zone responses.
        It is heartening to hear there already is plenty of fruit trees in and around
        Chch.

        I made the comment with a view to resilience.

  4. AsleepWhileWalking 4

    They should capitalize on the news exposure and put up a GiveALittle/GoFundMe page right away.

  5. saveNZ 5

    Good idea and use of land.

  6. mac1 6

    If it’s trees for the environment that are the need then fruit and but trees are also a solution, as Gsays says above.

    Here in Marlborough nut and fruit trees in public spaces provide food for residents.

    As I drove around the red zone in January in ChCh I saw another part solution for this land, and that is to provide allotments like I saw in England and Scotland for growing vegetables, small fruits and the like.

    We have a similar scheme here- I am a plot renter of a 110 square metres and from It my mate and I provide more than enough for ourselves- pumpkins, potatoes, kumera, corn, beans, raspberries, blackcurrants, greens. Tomorrow we will provide a dozen cabbages and cauliflowers for the local food kitchen’s weekly free meal.

    • mac1 6.1

      Regarding the reduction of our carbon footprint, this is what vegetable gardens can do.
      “Grow your own vegetables. Ambitious gardeners that use their garden to replace 20% of bought food, reduce their carbon footprint by about 68 lbs of CO2 per year! How does this compare to trees?

      Avoid synthetic fertilizers. Start composting food scraps and lawn clippings. Compost is the perfect solution to the fertilizer problem.

      Use planters and containers made from upcycled materials. Instead of creating demand for virgin materials, reuse something old as a planter such as otherwise unrecyclable tyres.

    • greywarshark 6.2

      mac1
      This providing food for meal supplements to those needing it, is a great idea, and especially if it can be grown organically.

      • mac1 6.2.1

        Greening the Red Zone above at 3.4 says that the proposal does feature community gardens, which is great.

  7. jcuknz 7

    Government or council funding is a hopeless exercise … more to the point if the Aussie story about saving their ‘childrens newpaper’ by public donation is to be believed is correct it is townies like me who need to fund it. This could be the way of the future with the level of political ability as low as it is…. used to be the ‘rich pricks’ did such projects but today a lot of little bits can get there as buying that bit of the coastline last year showed.
    Or helped the marae which was helping TA last winter for another example.

  8. McFlock 8

    Well, it’s not my monkey or cicus, so take it all with a grain of salt, but I quite like the look of it at the moment: wide parkland with trees as ghosts of the communities that once existed. Sort of a living memorial not so much to the dead as to the perils of developer-driven planning.

    But it’s Christchurch’s resource, short of repeating the mistakes of the past and building on it, they can’t go too far wrong.

  9. Brigid 9

    Will Kowhai grow in Christchurch? I can send you tons of seeds. Get a yoghurt pot, go out the back and get half a spade of dirt and plant each one. Since when did a forest need to be managed? You don’t need money, you need people to grow a tree and plant it.
    Collect the seeds you need from local bush (Riccarton bush perhaps) hand them out to people when you’re at the supermarket, and tell them to grow em. Or tell them to look in the interwebs for advice on growing. And don’t go buying expensive potting mix, there’s plenty of fertile dirt around Christchurch.

    If you’re going to wait for funding, you’ll never get a bush, or birds, or frogs.

    Start today.

    • We’ve got heaps of kowhai, pittosporum, lancewoods, cabbage trees, ribbonwoods and all sorts already growing having self-seeded from the trees that were in people’s gardens, Brigid. Nature will do a lot of the planting for us if we let her (hence the low estimate of how much it will cost to revegetate). But we will have to give her a hand, and weed out some of the invasive exotics.

      • mauī 9.1.1

        You may already have this covered but looking at the map it looks like you need tons and tons of totara seedlings which will take a couple of years to grow to get to a plantable size. I’ve seen lots of totara seedlings sprouting through bark mulch under large totaras in parks where I am. Just an idea 🙂

        • lprent 9.1.1.1

          Do Totara grow that far south?

          Around the north they grow like weeds. But I can’t recall seeing many when I have been in the south

          • Indeed totara do grow here, and there are many already in the red zone that people planted in their gardens. And we know of at least one totara in the red zone that is fruiting, so hopefully there will be lots of baby totara nearby soon. Recently, one of our members rang up and asked did we know anyone who wanted some totara seedlings, as otherwise they were going to have to throw them away. Which would be a huge pity. So we donated them to a Scout group that still meets in the red zone, and which is creating a native woodland in the council-owned park next door (with permission). It has totara, kahikatea, and more.

          • weka 9.1.1.1.2

            there’s totara in Southland.

    • Lingling 9.2

      we’re not so much waiting for funding as for permission 😉 wish we could just start planting, but it’s crown-owned land so all we can do is try convince people in power that the green the red zone proposal is the most practical idea (and saves the most money, they seem to care about that a lot).

    • tony 9.3

      Why are you calling soil dirt?

  10. Eastsider 10

    There seems to be something of an obsession with gardening on this thread(!), but I would remind people, especially perhaps those who do not live in Christchurch, that this concept came from residents, many of whom lived in what is now the red zone; consistently this project has rated the most popular way to move the red zone forward. Since it was mooted, not long after the earthquakes, people have enthusiastically supported it. In popularity polls it always rates between 75 and 80% – streaks ahead of any other project. It isn’t a handful of academics waging an ideology-driven crusade, it is what the residents have consistently been asking for: they want their river back, they want the city-to-sea connection, and they want birdsong in urban Christchurch.

    • mac1 10.1

      Fair enough, Eastsider. I’m just pleased to see my old home town regenerating.

      • Eastsider 10.1.1

        Thank you mac1, that is what it is all about – bringing life back! 🙂

        • jcuknz 10.1.1.1

          An afterthought ….. if you believe in global waming it is going to be flooded soon so why bother?
          Sorry the idealistic in me was carried away earlier.

          • Eastsider 10.1.1.1.1

            My ‘belief’ is irrelevant – sea level rise is happening, climate change is happening. There are still many thousands of people living in the low-lying coastal suburbs around the red zone and the beach – and in fact to be honest, most of Christchurch is low-lying! Our best chance at extending the lifespan of those neighbourhoods, (and the city in general), giving ourselves more time to adapt, is the major implementation of green infrastructure like wetlands and forest. The Avon River red zone has virtually been designed by nature to meet that need. And it is going to be developed – the government, in their profit-driven fashion, want to see a return on that land ‘investment’ – we want them to understand the value of saving and restoring our quake-damaged waterway and surrounds – for all the incredible benefits, savings and future-mitigating it brings – and it’s cheap as chips to boot. Some projects require massive engineering and infrastructure and cash! Nothing comes close to the forest park in terms of cost-benefits.

  11. greywarshark 11

    Does the new cathedral come into this. Now that the CofE have decided to make up their own minds how they build and what they build of their own building, all the old men and women can go off and meddle in other affairs. Leaving the way wide open for the CofE to bring in something that is very nature-oriented and different,
    bringing back the Garden of Eden effect before we learned about good and evil and started our living in interesting times.

    Perhaps going to church could be like going into a forest with little fantails scooting about and the hymn would be the children’s naive hymn All Things Bright and Beautiful. We have gone far too far from being simple and naive to being devious and derelict in our duty to each other and our world. Bees could buzz and visit flowers in tubs at the end of the rows. There would be no thorns.

    • I’m stunned by your comment, Greywarshark. Stunned by its elegance!

      • greywarshark 11.1.1

        You are spreading your green ideas into the corners of our brains, or mental detectors!

    • Eastsider 11.2

      Funny you should say that – Greening the Red Zone’s head ecologist, Dr Colin Meurk, has big green eco-plans for the Square too – in fact he has his heart set on an eco-city! Once we get this thing started – there may be no stopping us… 😀

  12. lloyd 12

    After it is flooded mussel farming? Kelp farming?

    • Eastsider 12.1

      Haha! Very imaginative – in fact mahinga kai is a big part of the proposal too, and there are various exemplars being planted out by dedicated volunteers, all through the red zone.

  13. greywarshark 13

    Talking about greening and restoring wetlands and limiting flooding – I guess you are partly thinking of New Orleans which would not have been flooded so savagely if the Army Engineers hadn’t helped business by removing levees to make channels for shipping.

    And about allotments, a good idea for around the clumps of fruit bearing trees, native and exotic, the birds decision is what should be considered. Some wild areas just for them and then corridors over allotments.

    Fruit trees need a kaitiaki group to watch over them so they don’t become vectors for some nasty disease or fungus. Some responsible committed group, inspecting and taking care of them and advising when they are available for picking, and whether general public or some trees kept apart just for the handicapped children, solo parents, or nearby school would be good. There will always be raiders, some just mischievous children, but some grown rip-off artists.

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  • Face to face meeting delivers significant progress on NZ-UK FTA
    New Zealand and the UK have committed to accelerating their free trade agreement negotiations with the aim of reaching an agreement in principle this August, Trade Minister Damien O’Connor announced. “We’ve held constructive and productive discussions towards the conclusion of a high-quality and comprehensive FTA that will support sustainable and inclusive trade, and ...
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    2 hours ago
  • Government taking action to protect albatross
    New population figures for the critically endangered Antipodean albatross showing a 5 percent decline per year highlights the importance of reducing all threats to these very special birds, Acting Minister of Conservation Dr Ayesha Verrall says. The latest population modelling, carried out by Dragonfly Data Science, shows the Antipodean albatross ...
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    18 hours ago
  • Adoption laws under review
    New Zealand’s 66-year-old adoption laws are being reviewed, with public engagement beginning today.  Justice Minister Kris Faafoi said the Government is seeking views on options for change to our adoption laws and system. “The Adoption Act has remained largely the same since 1955. We need our adoption laws to reflect ...
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    1 day ago
  • Wider roll-out of cameras on boats to support sustainability and protect marine life
    Up to 300 inshore commercial fishing vessels will be fitted with on-board cameras by 2024 as part of the Government’s commitment to protect the natural marine environment for future generations.  Minister for Oceans and Fisheries David Parker today announced the funding is now in place for the wider roll out ...
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    2 days ago
  • Plan for vaccine rollout for general population announced
    New Zealanders over 60 will be offered a vaccination from July 28 and those over 55 from August 11, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The rollout of the vaccine to the general population will be done in age groups as is the approach commonly used overseas, with those over ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand introduces Belarus travel bans
    New Zealand has imposed travel bans on selected individuals associated with the Lukashenko regime, following ongoing concerns about election fraud and human rights abuses after the 2020 Belarus elections, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has announced. The ban covers more than fifty individuals, including the President and key members of ...
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    2 days ago
  • NZ economy grows driven by households, construction and business investment
    The Government’s efforts to secure the recovery have been reflected in the robust rebound of GDP figures released today which show the economy remains resilient despite the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Grant Robertson said. GDP increased 1.6 percent in the first three months of 2021. The Treasury had ...
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    2 days ago
  • Milestone 250th tower continues to improve rural connectivity
    The Government has welcomed the completion of the 250th 4G mobile tower, as part of its push for better rural connectivity. Waikato’s Wiltsdown, which is roughly 80 kilometres south of Hamilton, is home to the new tower, deployed by the Rural Connectivity Group to enable improved service to 70 homes ...
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    2 days ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria to lift on Tuesday
    Following a further public health assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne, New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria has been extended to 11.59pm on Tuesday 22 June, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. It has been determined that the risk to public health in New Zealand continues ...
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    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister mourns passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is mourning the passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall, New Zealand’s first Children’s Commissioner and lifelong champion for children and children’s health. As a paediatrician Sir Ian contributed to a major world-first cot death study that has been directly credited with reducing cot deaths in New ...
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    3 days ago
  • APEC structural reform meeting a success
    APEC ministers have agreed working together will be crucial to ensure economies recover from the impact of COVID-19. Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs David Clark, chaired the virtual APEC Structural Reform Ministerial Meeting today which revolved around the overarching theme of promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth ...
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    3 days ago
  • Digital hub to boost investment in forestry
    A new website has been launched at Fieldays to support the forestry sector find the information it needs to plant, grow and manage trees, and to encourage investment across the wider industry. Forestry Minister Stuart Nash says the new Canopy website is tailored for farmers, iwi and other forestry interests, ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government continues support for rangatahi to get into employment, education and training
    Over 230 rangatahi are set to benefit from further funding through four new He Poutama Rangatahi programmes, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “We’re continuing to secure our economic recovery from COVID by investing in opportunities for rangatahi to get into meaningful employment, education or training ...
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    3 days ago
  • NCEA subjects up for consultation
    The education sector, students, their parents, whānau and communities are invited to share their thoughts on a list of proposed NCEA subjects released today, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. This is a significant part of the Government’s NCEA Change Programme that commenced in 2020 and will be largely implemented by ...
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    3 days ago
  • Major investment in plantain forage programme aims to improve freshwater quality
    The Government is backing a major programme investigating plantain’s potential to help farmers protect waterways and improve freshwater quality, Acting Agriculture Minister Meka Whaitiri announced at Fieldays today. The Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures (SFFF) fund is contributing $8.98 million to the $22.23 million seven-year programme, which aims to deliver ...
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    3 days ago
  • America’s Cup decision
    The Minister responsible for the America’s Cup has confirmed the joint Crown-Auckland Council offer to host the next regatta has been declined by the Board of Team New Zealand. “The exclusive period of negotiation between the Crown, Auckland Council, and Team New Zealand ends tomorrow, 17 June,” said Stuart Nash. ...
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    3 days ago
  • Food and fibres sector making significant strides towards New Zealand’s economic recovery
    The Government is backing the food and fibres sector to lead New Zealand's economic recovery from COVID-19 with targeted investments as part of its Fit for a Better World roadmap, Forestry Minister Stuart Nash said. “To drive New Zealand’s recovery, we launched the Fit for a Better World – Accelerating ...
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    3 days ago
  • Speech to He Whenua Taurikura – New Zealand’s annual hui on countering terrorism and violent...
    Check against delivery Can I begin by acknowledging the 51 shuhada, their families and the Muslim community. It is because of the atrocious violent act that was done to them which has led ultimately to this, the start of a dialogue and a conversation about how we as a nation ...
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    4 days ago
  • Cost of Government Southern Response proactive package released
    The Government has announced the proactive package for some Southern Response policyholders could cost $313 million if all those eligible apply. In December, the Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission, David Clark announced a proactive package for SRES claimants who settled their claims before October 2014. It trailed the judgment ...
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    4 days ago
  • New support to reduce emissions from public building and construction projects
    Government agencies are getting new support to reduce carbon emissions generated by construction of new buildings, with the release of practical guidance to shape decisions on public projects. The Ministers for Building and Construction and for Economic Development say a new Procurement Guide will help government agencies, private sector suppliers, ...
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    4 days ago
  • He Whenua Taurikura: New Zealand’s first Hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism
    The Prime Minister has opened New Zealand’s first hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism, which is being held in Christchurch over the next two days. The hui delivers on one of the recommendations from the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain ...
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    4 days ago
  • Speech to inaugural Countering Terrorism Hui
    E aku nui, e aku rahi, Te whaka-kanohi mai o rātou mā, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau whakapono, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau aroha, Waitaha, Ngāti Mamoe, Ngai Tahu, nāu rā te reo pohiri. Tena tātou katoa. Ki te kotahi te kakaho ka whati, ki te kapuia, e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Campaign shines a light on elder abuse
    A new campaign is shining a spotlight on elder abuse, and urging people to protect older New Zealanders. Launched on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Office for Seniors’ campaign encourages friends, whānau and neighbours to look for the signs of abuse, which is often hidden in plain sight. “Research suggests ...
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    4 days ago
  • Farewelling sports administrator and philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson today expressed his sorrow at the passing of Sir Eion Edgar – a leading sports administrator and celebrated philanthropist who has made a significant impact both within and beyond the sport sector. “Sir Eion’s energy, drive and generosity has been truly immense. He leaves ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government to apologise for Dawn Raids
    The Government will make a formal apology for the wrongs committed during the Dawn Raids of the 1970’s. Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration enforcement policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families. The raids to find, convict and deport overstayers ...
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    5 days ago
  • Humanitarian support for Bangladesh and Myanmar
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced that New Zealand is providing NZ $8.25 million in humanitarian assistance to support refugees and their host populations in Bangladesh and to support humanitarian need of internally displaced and conflict affected people in Myanmar.  “Nearly four years after 900,000 Rohingya crossed the border ...
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    5 days ago
  • Poroporoaki: Dame Georgina Kamiria Kirby
    E Te Kōkō Tangiwai, Te Tuhi Mareikura, Te Kākākura Pokai kua riro i a matou. He toka tū moana ākinga ā tai, ākinga ā hau, ākinga ā ngaru tūātea.  Haere atu rā ki te mūrau a te tini, ki te wenerau a te mano.  E tae koe ki ngā rire ...
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    5 days ago
  • Feedback sought on future of housing and urban development
    New Zealanders are encouraged to have their say on a long-term vision for housing and urban development to guide future work, the Housing Minister Megan Woods has announced. Consultation starts today on a Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development (GPS-HUD), which will support the long-term direction of Aotearoa ...
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    5 days ago
  • Clean car package to drive down emissions
    New rebates for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles start July 1 with up to $8,625 for new vehicles and $3,450 for used. Electric vehicle chargers now available every 75km along most state highways to give Kiwis confidence. Low Emission Transport Fund will have nearly four times the funding by 2023 ...
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    6 days ago
  • Progress towards simpler process for changing sex on birth certificates
    The Government is taking the next step to support transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, by progressing the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill, Minister of Internal Affairs, Jan Tinetti announced today. “This Government understands that self-identification is a significant issue for transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, and ...
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    6 days ago
  • Crown speeds up engagement with takutai moana applicants
    The Crown is taking a new approach to takutai moana applications to give all applicants an opportunity to engage with the Crown and better support the Māori-Crown relationship, Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little says. Following discussions with applicant groups, the Crown has reviewed the existing takutai moana application ...
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    7 days ago
  • Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court opens
    The Minister of Justice, Kris Faafoi, and the Minister for Courts, Aupito William Sio, have welcomed the opening of a new Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court in Hamilton. The AODT Court (Te Whare Whakapiki Wairua) addresses situations where substance abuse and offending are intertwined. “New Zealanders have told ...
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    7 days ago
  • EU and UK FTAs top of list for first ministerial trip since COVID-19
    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor today announced details of his planned visit to the United Kingdom and European Union next week, where he will hold trade and agriculture discussions to further New Zealand’s economic recovery from COVID-19. The visit will add political weight to ongoing negotiations with both the EU ...
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    1 week ago
  • Arihia Bennett to chair Royal Commission Ministerial Advisory Group
    Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu chief executive Arihia Bennett MNZM has been appointed chair of the newly appointed Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “Twenty-eight people from diverse backgrounds across Aotearoa have been selected for the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Medical Association General Practitioners' Conference, Rotorua
    Ki ngā pou maha o te whare hauora o Aotearoa, kei te mihiTo the pillars of our health system I acknowledge/thank you Ki te ope hapai hauora o roto o tēnei rūma, kei te mihi To our health force here in the room today, I acknowledge/thank you He taura tangata, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Karangahape Road upgrades are streets ahead
    The upgrades to Karangahape Road makes the iconic street more pedestrian and cycle-friendly, attractive and environmentally sustainable, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said at the formal celebration of the completion of the Karangahape Road Enhancements project. The project included widening footpaths supporting a better outdoor dining ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech to APEC business event
    E ngā tumu herenga waka, ākina ā ngaru, ākina ā tai ka whakatere ngā waka ki te whakapapa pounamu, otirā, ki Tamaki o ngā waka Tena koutou katoa… To the great leaders assembled, who guided your waka through turbulent times, challenging waters and you continue to navigate your respective waka ...
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    1 week ago
  • Pause on Quarantine Free Travel with Victoria extended
    Following an assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne, New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria will continue for a further seven days, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. There are now 93 cases associated with the outbreak in greater Melbourne, spread over four clusters. Contact tracing efforts ...
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    1 week ago
  • Supplier Diversity Aotearoa Summit: Navigate 2021
    *** Check with delivery *** A mihi to all who have contributed to making today a success – starting with you! As you have explored and navigated government procurement today you will hopefully have reflected on the journey of our people so far – and how you can make a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Pukemiro School to close
    Pukemiro Primary School near Huntly will close following years of declining roll numbers, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “I’ve consulted with the School Commissioner, and this decision acknowledges the fact that the few remaining students from last term are now settled at other nearby schools. “I want to thank ...
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    1 week ago