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Local Body Election voting options: Taranaki Regional Council and Urs Signer

Written By: - Date published: 12:50 pm, September 30th, 2022 - 57 comments
Categories: democratic participation, farming - Tags: , ,

Urs Signer, is standing for Taranaki Regional Council and  is talking to farmers about greenies, social justice activists, iwi and farmers working together on Just Transition, to help farmers adapt via regenerative ag and diversification. This is exactly the kind of person we need on regional councils.

He’s funny, articulate, and presents a good opening door for how all of us can deal with climate change regeneratively. Great speaker to watch. Short speech then Q and A.

Hattip for the vid to Robert Guyton, another good man, who you can vote for if you live in Southland.

Postal Voting closes noon on Saturday 8th of October, but if you are posting your papers you will need to get them in sooner than that. You can take your papers to your local council up until closing (but check if they are open on the Saturday).

If you are on the General Election roll you are automatically enrolled to vote in local body elections. If you don’t have your papers yet, you can check your details are up to date online, or you can phone. If you’re not, you can still enroll and cast a Special Vote. Details here.

57 comments on “Local Body Election voting options: Taranaki Regional Council and Urs Signer ”

  1. Ad 1

    If he gets in, I hope he's prepared for the offshore wind farm debate coming their way.

    It's going to be big especially if the Natural and Built Environments Act speeds the path for renewables.

  2. He sounds exactly what we have been hoping for.

  3. Mike the Lefty 3

    It is probably safe to assume about Urs Signer is that he doesn't drive a Ford Ranger and isn't a member of Federated Farmers.
    But seriously, there are (a few) people like that out there.
    I have a daughter who works for a rural-based insurance company and works with customers like him – those in the rural sector who reject the stereotypical National-voting country squire mentality of old and realise the world has changed and farming has to change with it.

  4. Janet 4

    I agree with his philosophies but there is still a big answer needed about who is then going to make the money the rest of NZ needs – particularly the ones in urban areas. – to go on living the good NZ life. NZ has been built on the production and exporting of food the NZ farmers produce ever since my great great grandfather started clearing the land to first grow his veggies and run a cow or two on . It’s a balance we must strike. With the advent of refrigerated ships his grandson, my grandfather, was farming a surplus for export, regeneratively, like all of his generation. Yes, we can step back farming wise, but how/ who will put money in the governments pockets to keep the nation prosperous?

    • Robert Guyton 4.1

      Who will make the money needed?

      The people who make it now, only they'll make it by other means, in ways that don't degrade the "resource" that is our environment; land, water, air and communities; human and non-human.

      Livestock farming, in its present form, must change significantly. It's a form of land-use that has seen its day. Farmers will transition to better food and fibre production practices, involving other-than-ungulate resources. There is already a plethora of ideas and opportunities being showcased/discussed/proposed out there; early adapters are already running some of these in the real-world. Other land owners are digging-in, in the hope of maintaining the status quo. They are on a hiding to nothing. Urs Signer puts it more eloquently than I 🙂

      George Monbiot does too 🙂

      • weka 4.1.1

        I think Janet was pointing to the export earnings. Are you suggesting that we export plants instead of animals? Because that brings its own set of problems.

        • Robert Guyton 4.1.1.1

          Plants?

          Like trees/timber/manufactured articles?

          Or hemp/oil/meal/milk?

          That sort of thing?

          • weka 4.1.1.1.1

            I'm asking if you think NZ's main way of maintaining a certain standard of living should be from selling goods via export.

            • Robert Guyton 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Our definition of a good standard of living and procuring that living is sorely in need of re-jigging.

              • weka

                I agree. The question stands regardless.

                For instance, NZ buying timber from overseas and exporting our own timber is climate/eco insanity.

    • weka 4.2

      It's a good question Janet, one I'd like to see discussed more. The best option in terms of climate and ecology is to scale back the global economy and relocalise as much as we can. Is it possible to run the economy doing that? Do we need a different economic model and tools?

      • Janet 4.2.1

        Yes Weka, what is going to earn the export dollar instead, is the question.

        Destocking is not all bad because many farmers find that with it comes less input costs and improved individual animal returns.

        From the food we produce – animal or plant – more further processing before export can be done in NZ.

        I think it is important that we ascertain what is a sustainable population for this country and work from that. Expanding and “biggering” is not the way to go. Spending and spending is not the way to go ( look at what is happening in Costco Auckland today ! ) . Tourism expansion is not the way to go. It is fickle and world wide travelling needs to reduce not increase to help the environment.

        I am sure we do have to focus on building good quality local communities and individually demand less.

        • Robert Guyton 4.2.1.1

          What is going to earn "the export dollar" instead?

          Clever devils, us humans and those of us who live in NZ, especially in the rural parts, claim to be especially smart and innovative.

          Those folk will answer your question, develop the new export-dollar earners.

          It's what we do so well, isn't it? Aren't our farming systems superior to all others, "best in the world"?

          Wouldn't whatever we do to replace farming livestock also be superior and best?

        • Shanreagh 4.2.1.2

          We have had this discussion before about export dollars…..

          At the moment many of our export dollars are spent on buying 'cra*" from China.

          Some of this stuff was formerly made in NZ to a higher standard than we have now.

          At the moment buying some of our good fresh produce that is exported is out of reach for many NZers. We can however buy lots of 2min noodles for the same price. I am sorry but I don't think that is a wise or nutritious use of our fine agricultural produce.

          There is some thing wildly out of balance in our exporting and the economy when we are still mainly exporting commodities ie bulk milk powder, bulk cheese, logs and whole lambs etc instead of adding value and exporting finished timber, lamb cuts etc

          If we exported finished products with a greater export value it would mean we don't need to export huge volumes and perhaps then we can give ourselves some room for regen ag, setting up factories for processing etc.

    • theotherpat 4.3

      i think your answer lies in just running a cow or two so to speak not 1000…. all farming practices need to adapt and change with the environmental issues whether natural or brought about by too intensive practices…. read that as dairy….we can grow and export so much more variety .

  5. Drowsy M. Kram 5

    Yes, we can step back farming wise, but how/ who will put money in the governments pockets to keep the nation prosperous?

    The tide has been going out on "the [relatively] good NZ life" for more than 50 years.

    An Economic History of New Zealand in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
    Living standards in New Zealand were among the highest in the world between the late nineteenth century and the 1960s. But New Zealand’s economic growth was very sluggish between 1950 and the early 1990s, and most Western European countries, as well as several in East Asia, overtook New Zealand in terms of real per capita income. By the early 2000s, New Zealand’s GDP per capita was in the bottom half of the developed world.

    Is the tide turning, and/or are Kiwis in for a rough ride? Time will tell – fingers crossed.

    Government backs largest ever pastoral farming study on regenerative farming practices [2 Sept 2022]

  6. swordfish 6

    .
    Presumably the same Urs Signer deeply immersed in the Urewera paramilitary training camps of 2005-07 ? … one of the fantasist nutters running about in military uniform with unlawful possession of lethal firearms & restricted weapons and allegedly talking of targeted assassination & bombing ? (in the way that self-righteous dogmatists, bereft of anything resembling basic morals or ethics – despite all the ostentatious posturing – tend to do).

    Farcical fantasists like The Young Ones’ Rik in urban guerilla camouflage or genuine hardcore proto-terrorists … who the hell knows ? … but wouldn't want them anywhere close to power at either a local, regional or national level.

    • Blazer 6.1

      Yes I thought that name was familiar.

      Weka-'

      'This is exactly the kind of person we need on regional councils.

      He’s funny, articulate, and presents a good opening door for how all of us can deal with climate change regeneratively. Great speaker to watch. Short speech then Q and A.'

      Maybe he's a changed person…like Uffindell.wink

      • gsays 6.1.1

        I have been mulling a similar thing.

        How ne'er-do-wells can, in a different circumstance, emerge as leaders.

        We have been urged to be wary of any local democracy wanna-be, that may have views that are empathetic to some of those who congregated at parliament grounds.

        I am still of the opinion the candidates that promise more of the same/status quo/don't spook the horses are a bigger threat to our society.

        It must be a tad nerve wracking when certain 'fringe element' types are seeking election and there is an enthused portion of the electorate in a time of low turn-out.

        • Robert Guyton 6.1.1.1

          Was this guy a "ne'er do well"? do you think, gsays?

          • gsays 6.1.1.1.1

            Not in my eyes, Robert.

            As we can see that view isn't shared by others round these parts.

            Edit. As an aside, I listened to Tame Iti speak at one of the Parihaka festivals. It preceeded the domestic terror that was the state/police raids on the people of Te Urewera.
            Only one party has needed to apologise and it ain’t “fantasist nutters” nor “hardcore proto-terrorists”.

            • Robert Guyton 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes, I was surprised by the responses of some.

              He seems to me to be personable and genuine.

              His background interests me also. I'm keen to learn more. I met "Bailey" when she was in her early days as a film-maker. She seems … personable and genuine" also 🙂

              • gsays

                I reckon we are making ground here.

                A bit like the Wellington congregation, it was a tad unfair that the extreme actions of a few were constantly used to sully, besmirch and undermine all that took part.

      • Robert Guyton 6.1.2

        His past seems well-known (I didn't know 🙂 so does someone have a link to reports that discuss him personally?

      • weka 6.1.3

        Swordfish just asserted a bunch of unsubstantiated reckons, why are you taking that seriously?

        • Robert Guyton 6.1.3.1

          Swordfish regularly posts overheated comments. He/she seemed, in the past, to be privy to background detail that supported his/her comments.

          Seems no longer to be the case.

        • Blazer 6.1.3.2

          Why were the allegations Swordfish makes tested in court if there was no…evidence?

          • weka 6.1.3.2.1

            please provide evidence that the people charged were tested in court to see if they were fantasist nutters. Better make it good, see my comment below, I'll be modding next.

          • gsays 6.1.3.2.2

            "Why were the allegations Swordfish makes tested in court if there was no…evidence?"

            The cops were past the point of no return, what with holding children at gunpoint and all, they had to follow through.

    • hetzer 6.2

      Yes indeed the very same person.

      Some may feel his credentials appealing ( hes funny and articulate! ) , others may find him ( tosser! ) abhorrent.

      • weka 6.2.1

        Some just prefer evidence based opinions 🤷‍♀️

        funny and articulate aren't credentials, they just make the election more enjoyable.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 6.3

      Kiwis are aware of the damage a heavily armed genuine hardcore terrorist can do, whereas the concerns of police orchestrating the Urewera raids seem a bit farcical now.

      Terror raids: Urewera 4 couple 'will never forget' [14 October 2017]
      Signer and Bailey had been found to be [in] joint possession of a .22 calibre rifle, mainly used for hunting small animals.

      Signer will be too 'woke' for some, but judge for yourself. http://www.urssigner.info/

      One of Signer’s co-accused recently co-produced and starred in a NZ-made movie.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T%C4%81me_Iti#Documentary_and_film

  7. Urs 7

    Kia ora, Urs here. Yep, we got arrested in 2007, and yes I am running for the Taranaki Regional Council. Thanks for all the comments. Look, we moved to Taranaki shortly after the raids and have been politically active ever since, for example through community work at Parihaka or climate justice work opposing oil and gas drilling etc. When we first did media work on these kaupapa it was always "Urs Signer, of the Urewera 4, says drilling for fossil fuels is bad" but to be honest, mostly people have just moved on. It's not something we are hiding or anything, it probably just seems like a lifetime ago. So while some people – like people in this comment thread – have a certain idea of us based on the crown's theory of a court case (that ultimately fell apart), most people seem to know us for the work we have done as community organisers. Yes, left-wing, yes climate justice, yes #landback – if you want to have a kōrero, we are pretty easy to find.

    While elections are usually a personality contest, i am just really not interested in that. It's about raising issues, about putting a different vision forward for a future based around the principles of climate justice, the intersection of social justice, environmentalism, indigenous sovereignty, and the liberation of all the oppressed and exploited. Running for this election is an extension of our community activism and once the election is over we will just keep doing that mahi. (For the record, i have a clean criminal record, i just have a google record these days.)

    Good to see you fighting the good fight in the deep south, Robert. Your food forest work has inspired me deeply, along the syntripic agroforestry work by Klaus Lotz and others up in Matapōuri – as a pathway forward to grow food while regenerating soil and capturing carbon. The videos you have done with Happen Films are phenomenal!!

    Anyway, that's probably enough blah blah for a rainy afternoon. Have a good weekend.

    • weka 7.1

      Nice one Urs. Thanks for making the time to share where you are at. I like what you are saying here, the social and community intelligence shine through. Heartening. Good luck with the election.

    • Robert Guyton 7.2

      Tēnã koe Urs

      Nice work there, at that candidates meeting – good to have some openness and levity in what can otherwise be a very dour evening. Excellent also, to hear you kōrero Mãori so well.

      You have a little fan club here on The Standard! Some detractors, naturally, but it'll be the same out there in the wilds of Taranaki! Murihiku sifts out similarly for me :-).

      If and or when you find yourself sitting around the table of the regional council, and feel you're getting the run-around, drop me a line and I'll share with you what I learned over the past 12 years in the chamber at Environment Southland HQ 🙂

      Your attitude and approach to governance is spot-on and I hope you will succeed in winning a seat.

      Thanks for your pro-forest-garden/syntropic agroforestry comments – it'll be what I'll immerse myself in, should I miss out come vote-counting time next Saturday 🙂

      Robert

  8. Best wishes for the elections to Urs and Robert. smiley smiley

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