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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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  • Tuvalu language revival and COVID-19
    Te Vaiaso o te Gana Tuvalu 2021 - Tuvalu Language Week moves online due to the uncertainty around COVID-19 said the Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio.  “However it is a timely reminder of the power of embracing both traditional and new ways of doing things. It has been ...
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    24 hours ago
  • United Nations General Assembly: 76th General Debate Statement
    E ngā Mana, e ngā Reo, Rau Rangatira mā o tēnei Whare Nui o te Ao Prestigious people, Speakers of note, Chiefs one and all of this General Assembly Ngā mihi mahana ki o koutou katoa, mai i toku Whenua o Aotearoa Warm greetings to you all from my home ...
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    2 days ago
  • APEC 2021 Women and the Economy Forum prioritises women’s economic empowerment
    Minister for Women Jan Tinetti today chaired the virtual APEC 2021 Women and the Economy Forum, which is working to address outstanding issues for women and girls across the region as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. The forum brought together Ministers and representatives from 21 economies to discuss gender ...
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    2 days ago
  • Upper Hauraki to move to Alert Level 2
    Upper Hauraki will move to Alert Level 2 from 11:59pm tomorrow, 25 September, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. After positive cases were detected in the Upper Hauraki area on Sunday, extra Alert Level restrictions were put in place to immediately prevent any wider transmission of the virus.  “We’ve ...
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    3 days ago
  • Report into Aotearoa New Zealand’s export controls system released
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today welcomed the findings of an independent review into Aotearoa New Zealand’s export controls system, which regulates the export of goods to foreign militaries, police forces or paramilitaries. Produced by David Smol, a former Chief Executive of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the ...
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    3 days ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General David Parker has announced the appointment of Brett Crowley of Wellington as a District Court Judge.  He is currently the Wellington Public Defender and started his career as a staff solicitor working in a range of litigation including criminal defence work. He went to the bar in 1999 specialising ...
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    3 days ago
  • Mental health stocktake shows strong progress
    The first report of the Government’s Implementation Unit has found strong progress has been made since the Mental Health and Addictions Package was announced in 2019. “The report notes most initiatives funded in the Budget 2019 package are on track to deliver what is expected by 2023/24,” Grant Robertson said. ...
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    3 days ago
  • Working together to grow the West Coast
    A project that has been crucial in allowing businesses to continue during the tourism downturn is among a number of initiatives to receive a boost from the Government’s Jobs For Nature programme, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Sustaining South Westland is an extension of an initiative set up last year ...
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    3 days ago
  • Next steps to improve safety in wake of Whakaari White Island tragedy
    The Government is moving to improve safety in light of the Whakaari White Island tragedy and has released proposals to reinforce safety standards in registered adventure activities. The package of proposals includes: Strengthening requirements for how operators, landowners and the regulator manage natural hazard risks Improving how risks are monitored, ...
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    3 days ago
  • New Zealand donates more COVID-19 vaccines to COVAX and the Pacific
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta and Associate Health Minister Aupito William Sio announced today that New Zealand is donating additional Pfizer vaccines to the Pacific and AstraZeneca vaccines to the COVAX Facility, to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. “New Zealand is donating 708,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine ...
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    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Property Council of New Zealand
    Kia ora koutou katoa   Is it a pleasure to be able to speak with you today, and to be able to answer some questions you may have. I would like to acknowledge the organisers of this event, the Property Council. The theme of this year’s conference is City Shapers. Together ...
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    4 days ago
  • Additional MIQ for Christchurch
    An additional hotel will be added to our network of managed isolation and quarantine facilities, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I have approved and Cabinet is in the final stages of signing off The Quality Hotel Elms in Christchurch as a new managed isolation facility,” Chris Hipkins said. ...
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    4 days ago
  • NZ COVID-19 response earns another major digital investment
    Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications Dr David Clark welcomes Amazon’s Web Services’ (AWS) decision to establish a Cloud Region on New Zealand shores, further boosting New Zealand’s growing digital sector, and providing a vote of confidence in the direction of New Zealand’s economic recovery. “Amazon is the second ...
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    4 days ago
  • New Zealand invests in cutting edge cancer R&D
    Scaling up the manufacture of CAR T-cell cancer therapy for clinical trials Advancing New Zealand’s biomedical manufacturing capability Supporting future international scientific collaborations Transforming cancer care with targeted, affordable solutions Research, Science and Innovation Minister Hon Dr Megan Woods has announced that the fight against COVID-19 will not stop the ...
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    4 days ago
  • Expert group appointed to lead New Zealand’s future health system
    An outstanding group of people with extensive and wide-ranging governance and health experience have been appointed to lead the Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “This Government is building a truly national health system to provide consistent, high-quality health services right across the country. This ...
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    4 days ago
  • Funding to help clean up contaminated sites
    The Government is supporting the clean-up of contaminated sites in Northland, Dunedin and Southland to reduce risk to people’s health and protect the environment. Environment Minister David Parker said the funding announced today, through the Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund, will help us turn previously hazardous sites into safe, usable public ...
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    4 days ago
  • Predator Free apprenticeships open up new job opportunities
    The expansion of a predator free apprenticeship programme is an opportunity for more people to kick-start a conservation career, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The Predator Free Apprenticeship Programme is focused on increasing the number of skilled predator control operators in New Zealand through a two-year training programme. “The Trust ...
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    5 days ago
  • Further NCEA support confirmed for Auckland students
    The number of Learning Recognition Credits for senior secondary school students will be increased for Auckland students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. This recognises the extended time these students will spend in Alert Levels 3 and 4. “It means students in Auckland will have a fair opportunity to attain ...
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    5 days ago
  • Long-term pathway next step to better mental wellbeing for New Zealanders
    The Government is taking a new approach to support people who experience mental distress, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “Kia Manawanui Aotearoa – Long-term pathway to mental wellbeing (Kia Manawanui) is the first 10-year plan of its kind that targets the cause of mental distress and also sets out how ...
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    5 days ago
  • Keeping our Police safe to keep our communities safe
    The Government is committed to keeping our frontline police officers safe, so they in turn can keep New Zealanders safe – with one of the largest investments in frontline safety announced by Police Minister Poto Williams at the Police College today.   The $45 million investment includes $15.496 million in ...
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    5 days ago
  • Clean Vehicles Bill passes first checkpoint
    The Land Transport (Clean Vehicles) Amendment Bill will help New Zealand drive down transport emissions by cleaning up the light vehicle fleet, Transport Minister Michael Wood says. The Bill passed its first reading today and will establish the legislative framework for key parts of the Government’s Clean Car Package, including ...
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    6 days ago
  • Funding boost supports ongoing Māori COVID-19 response
    The Government is responding to the need by whānau Māori and Māori Health providers to support their ongoing work responding to COVID-19 and to continue increasing rates of Māori vaccination, Associate Minister for Health (Māori Health), Peeni Henare and Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today.   This increased ...
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    6 days ago
  • Significant increase to COVID-19 penalties
    Penalties for breaches of COVID-19 orders are set to significantly increase from early November 2021 to better reflect the seriousness of any behaviour that threatens New Zealand’s response to the virus, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Throughout this Delta outbreak we’ve seen the overwhelming majority of people doing ...
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    6 days ago
  • Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill returns to Parliament
    The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill has returned to Parliament for its second reading in an important step towards giving enforcement agencies greater power to protect New Zealanders from terrorist activity. “The Bill addresses longstanding gaps in our counter terrorism legislation that seek to protect New Zealanders and make us safer,” Justice ...
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    6 days ago
  • Joint Statement: New Zealand and Australian Trade Ministers
    Hon Damien O'Connor MP, New Zealand Minister for Trade and Export Growth, and Hon Dan Tehan MP, Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, met virtually on Monday 20 September to advance trans-Tasman cooperation under the Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (CER). CER is one of the most ...
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    7 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s Post Cabinet Press Conference/COVID-19 Update opening statement
    ***Please check against delivery***   E te tī, e te tā, nau mai rā [To all, I bid you welcome]   As you will have seen earlier, today there are 22 new community cases to report; three of which are in Whakatiwai in the Hauraki area, and the remainder in ...
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    7 days ago
  • Major milestones for Māori COVID-19 vaccine rollout as new campaign launches
    Whānau Ora and Associate Health (Māori Health) Minister Peeni Henare acknowledges two major milestones in the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme for Māori. “I am very pleased to announce more than 50 percent of eligible Māori have received their first dose and 25 per cent are now fully vaccinated,” ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government funding to fight infectious diseases
    $36 million for research into Covid-19 and other infectious diseases The investment will improve our readiness for future pandemics Research will focus on prevention, control, and management of infectious diseases The Government’s investing in a new Infectious Diseases Research Platform to boost Aotearoa New Zealand’s Covid-19 response and preparedness for ...
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    1 week ago
  • Quarantine-free travel with Australia to remain suspended for a further 8 weeks
    Suspension to be reviewed again mid to late November Decision brought forward to enable access from Australia to first tranche of around 3000 rooms in MIQ Air New Zealand working at pace to put on more flights from Australia from October    The suspension of quarantine-free travel (QFT) with Australia has ...
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    1 week ago
  • Extra support for Ethnic Communities to share vaccination information
    Extra support is being made available to Ethnic Communities to help them share COVID-19 vaccination information within their communities, Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities Priyanca Radhakrishnan said. “We know we need to get every eligible person in New Zealand vaccinated. A fund being launched today will allow for ...
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    1 week ago
  • School holidays remain unchanged for Auckland region
    School holidays in Auckland will continue to be held at the same time as the rest of the country, starting from Saturday, 2 October, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I’ve carefully considered advice on the implications of shifting the dates and concluded that on balance, maintaining the status quo ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government continues crackdown on gangs and organised crime
    Operation Tauwhiro extended until March 2022 Since it was launched in February, Operation Tauwhiro has resulted in:   987 firearms seized $4.99 million in cash seized 865 people charged with a firearms-related offence Gangs and organised crime groups will continue to be relentlessly targeted with the extension of Police’s successful ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech to Body Positive 'HIV Treatments Update Seminar 2021'
    E ngā mana E ngā reo E ngā iwi Tēnā koutou katoa Ka huri ki ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēnā koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I te kaupapa o te rā. Nō reira tēnā koutou katoa Acknowledgements It’s a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Power bill changes bring fairness to charges
    A key recommendation of an independent panel to make electricity charges fairer across all households will be put in place, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced. “Phasing out the regulations on ‘low-use’ electricity plans will create a fairer playing field for all New Zealanders and encourage a ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ economy’s strong momentum will support rebound from Delta outbreak; COVID fund replenished
    The economy showed strong momentum in the period leading up to the recent Delta COVID-19 outbreak, which bodes well for a solid economic rebound, Grant Robertson said. GDP rose 2.8 percent in the June quarter, following on from a 1.4 percent increase in the previous March quarter. This was a ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Projects create benefits into the future
    Making a well-known lake swimmable and helping to halt the decline of the endangered hoiho/yellow-eyed penguins are among a suite of new projects being supported by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme across the southern South Island, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “It’s no secret that many of our most ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Opening statement for Whāriki Indigenous Small Business Roundtable
      Kei ngā tōpito e wha o te āo e rere ana te mihi maioha ki a koutou nō tawhiti, nō tata mai e tāpiri ana ki tēnei taumata kōrero mo te ao hokohoko arā mā ngā pākihi mo ngā iwi taketake Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa – Pai Mārire.  ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New members appointed to Kāpuia
    The Government is adding four additional members to Kāpuia, the Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “I’m looking forward to having Pamela MacNeill, Huia Bramley, Melani Anae and Katherine Dedo  join Kāpuia and contribute to this group’s ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Timeline confirmed for Emissions Reductions Plan
    Cabinet has agreed to begin consulting on the Emissions Reduction Plan in early October and require that the final plan be released by the end of May next year in line with the 2022 Budget, the Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw confirmed today. “Cabinet’s decision allows organisations and communities ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Pay parity pathway for early learning teachers confirmed
    Pay parity conditions and higher funding rates for education and care services will come into force on 1 January, 2022, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins confirmed today. The Government signalled this work in Budget 2021. “From 1 January, 2022, centres opting into the scheme will receive government funding and be ...
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    2 weeks ago