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Open mike 18/09/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 18th, 2022 - 319 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

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319 comments on “Open mike 18/09/2022 ”

  1. PsyclingLeft.Always 1

    Greens firm on backing Labour

    The result is central to the dynamic of next year's election, and a potential third term for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.


    I absolutely agree. James Shaw IS the right person…and he is on to it here. Labour AND Greens need to work together…to cut off Nact. I look to the Positive change that BOTH Labour and Greens have achieved…and would dread the Nact rollback. Which would happen from the get..go.

    Cmon guys…Work Together !

  2. Ad 2

    Not worth a whole post, but annoying to get a flyer in my letterbox exhorting me to submit against Auckland's Tipuna Maunga who own and operate the volcanic cone parks of Auckland.

    Tipuna Maunga are required to go to public consultation about their parks management, including removing a lot of scrappy non-native trees and re-planting them with native ones.

    You can check out the usual coded racist bullshit at:


    Where were these people when over a third of Auckland's trees were chopped down over the last ten years to make way for development? Where were they at the tree protests in Avondale last year?

    Where were these people when it came to replanting Motutapu Island, or the rahui on the Waitakere Ranges because the Council just sat on its ass?

    Where were these people when it came to the Waitakere Ranges legislation, or the formation of Ark in the Park, or indeed on any native re-planting day by Forest and Bird?

    Answer they were nowhere, because they are just a bunch BANANA hypocrites.

    The Maunga Authority have already made moves that Auckland Parks Department never had the courage to do, like remove most of the cattle and sheep off parks, build decent tracks with steps, stop the cars to the top of Mt Eden, and tougher limits on traffic access elsewhere. Actual traffic-free parks.

    So anyway I've submitted, telling them to get on with it faster.

    • Robert Guyton 2.1

      Who was the flyer from?

        • Robert Guyton

          "“It didn’t take long to realise we had unwittingly walked into an intersection of complex and highly nuanced issues that drive to the core of our society”."

          Amen to that!

        • joe90

          Both sites registered to this bloke.

          • PsyclingLeft.Always

            Hmm. Yep…he certainly seems to have more than TREE issues. (Three Waters..and maybe more)

          • Anna

            You are wrong Jo90. Honour the Maunga is a grassroots community group that has no affiliation with any organization.

            Our mission is to save 345 healthy mature trees from destruction on Owairaka Mt Albert. In doing so we hope to help around 2500 from being felled across the city's maunga

            • swordfish


              Don't pay too much mind to all the ludicrous Woke moral posturing, Anna, … a small cadre of dogmatists here, along with their highly opportunistic fellow-travellers (who possess a consummate instinct for detecting where power & future self-interest lie) have important (& highly performative) Heroic White Saviour work to do …

              … there'll be no ostentatious virtue-signaling (& hence, no elite in-group prestige-enhancement) to be had without fabricating yet another batch of "white supremacist" enemies out of thin air … then framing the issue – with wild-eyed dishonesty – as a "racist" attack on eternally virtuous & victimised (yet suprisingly assertive & authoritarian) Iwi Authorities.

              Putting aside, of course, the fact that the TMA actually includes non-Māori city council reps … unfortunately, that’s a little too inconvenient for their “Ahhh, this is just Colonisation all over again !!!” narrative.

          • weka

            Both sites registered to this bloke.

            which sites are you referring to Joe? Honourthemaunga domain isn't registered to him, and democracyaction is registered to a company.

            • joe90

              I'll take Anna's word that Short isn't associated with the honourthemaunga loons however Short is listed as the democracyaction registrant contact.

              • weka


                There's no connection between democracyaction and HTM other than that democracyaction are writing posts about it?

              • tinderdry6

                We aren't 'loons' Joe. We are a group of people who don't think it's a good idea to chop down thousands of mature trees on reserves across Tāmaki, whether they be native or non native.

                • joe90

                  Nope, not loons.


                  • tinderdry6

                    Are you suggesting someone from HtM did that? Because if you have any evidence, you should go to the police with it.

                  • Anna Radford

                    Apart from the fact grafitti is not our style – do you really think Honour the Maunga would be stupid enough to do grafitti right by what was our occupation site at the time? Puh-lese!

                    Interestingly, police and grafitti removal contractors told us a number of things about this grafitti was odd – not your normal protest type grafitti. Make of that what you will.

                    • swordfish

                      Puritan Witchfinder-Generals don't need evidence … their wild smears, baseless accusations & character assassination (from an absurdly presumed 'moral high-ground') should be more than enough.

                      Any critic of the policies pursued by any powerful Iwi-led organisation – no matter how controversial or unpopular those policies – would appear to be a deadly enemy of Joe’s.

                      Which, I think, just goes to show what ‘unusually-refined moral sensibilities’ he possesses.

    • weka 2.2

      Cutting down trees at this point in the climate age is utterly bonkers unless you have a bloody good reason (and yes, we do it far too much for development and it blows my mind that few people seem to be bothered by this). I don't think replacing with natives usually is if the tree being removed is fully grown and it's going to take 30 or more years to replace it, especially as usually the natives can be planted alongside the exotics and then the exotics taken out later. We still have a slash and burn mentality in NZ, even among the nativists.


      • weka 2.2.1

        will also add that in addition to casual, unconscious or outright racism, often people have strong attachments to trees. If someone were cutting down the half century old trees in my neighbourhood and I wouldn't see trees that old again there before I die, I'd be upset too.

        • weka

          and looking at https://honourthemaunga.org.nz/ I can totally see what the objection is.

          They appear to be removing exotics for the sake of it 🙁

          Ratepayer-funded Tūpuna Maunga Authority intends to fell around 2500 mature exotic trees across Auckland’s volcanic cones (maunga), including 345 at Ōwairaka /Mt Albert. Destroying nearly half of this maunga’s tree cover in a five week period will do great harm to this Special Ecological Area

          • weka


            They took out 100 historic olive trees. This is fucked. Would love to hear the counter arguments for the specific tree sets that have been removed.

          • Anne

            I grew up in Mt. Albert. Owairaka was my playground. I played under those trees and walked among them as an adult. They are beautiful and hold special memories for a great many people. I presume they were planted in the late 1800s or early 1900s. To cut trees like that down is a sacrilege.

            Owairaka has many open spaces, grassy knolls and slopes. There is ample room for both native and exotic trees. I can accept sacrificing some of the lesser exotics but a wholesale removal of historic trees is arrogant and insulting. It smacks in my view of reverse racism because they were likely planted by Pakeha.

      • Ad 2.2.2

        Weka you should probably come up and have a look.

        More coverage, higher diversity, richer amenity.

        Not all trees are equal, and carbon is is not the only measure.

        • weka

          I'm not talking about carbon, I'm talking about life and whole systems ecology.

          I shouldn't need to come up there, and I'm sure there are lots of beautiful plantings being done. But if that website is correct, there are gratuitous fellings going on as well. NZ has a subculture of nativists who will remove exotics just because they believe they are wrong, and in some cases because they hate them. This is anti-nature.

          • weka

            it still takes 50 years to replace a 50 year old tree. The only way I can understand this is to think that most people still don't believe the climate crisis is here now.

          • Ad

            Probably you need to search a bit further than the prime advocacy site.

            If you go up to the Ranger Station on Auckland's Scenic Drive you can see a photo from the 1920s of the hills before the whole conservation effort got going.

            Pasture and burnt stumps as far as the eye can see.

            100 years later, solid native forest. Suburbanisation stopped. Weeds and non-natives at a standstill though not perfect. Everyone in on it.

            The only city in the world to situate right next to its own subtropical forest. Much of it in replanting, all of it native.

            Same around the Hunuas.

            You can always fill a hall with people trying to stop something. But you need an actual fight to fill a phonebooth with people prepared to plant.

            • Visubversa

              Two thoughts from me over this issue.

              One – do we trust Tangata Whenua to decide what should be planted on their land – which was returned to them under a Treaty settlement and to which they graciously allow the public to access, or do we not? The Maunga were returned to Iwi because they have historic and sacred importance. The whole of Maungawhau is wahi tapu for example.

              Two – do we realise that these are weathered volcanic cones with difficult soil conditions and they are also sites full of archaeology? We disrespected them for decades by quarrying the basalt for building roads etc and we planted unsuitable vegetation like Australian gum trees on the steep slopes. We ran stock on them for decades and trampled the archaeology.

              Iwi want to return the Maunga to their traditional planting. It is difficult to do this with a piecemeal approach as it is important to reduce the number of times heavy machinery will have to access the Maunga.

              • weka

                One – do we trust Tangata Whenua to decide what should be planted on their land – which was returned to them under a Treaty settlement and to which they graciously allow the public to access, or do we not?

                There are a few things there: who has the right to decide? who has the right to protest? What knowledge bases are being used to make decisions?

                When that other protest was happening last year or so in Auckland (sorry don't remember the name), I saw a *lot of people saying that we should trust the people managing the project because they were the experts. But the point is that the authorities have their own tech biases as well.

                eg We know that most councils, DOC and native groups have seen gorse as the enemy. Those in the counter culture figured out how to work with gorse and grow native trees up through it. The first method is slash and burn, the latter is permaculture.

                This should be compulsory viewing, but it needs to be understood in terms of systems not just mechanics.

              • Robert Guyton

                Nicely contributed, Visubversa.

                In response to Question One – yes.

                In response to Question Two – yes.

                My fervent hope though, is that manawhenua are involving others who have valid views, in the planning/decision-making. This is something Ngāi Tahu do well.

              • tinderdry6

                "One – do we trust Tangata Whenua to decide what should be planted on their land – which was returned to them under a Treaty settlement and to which they graciously allow the public to access, or do we not? The Maunga were returned to Iwi because they have historic and sacred importance. The whole of Maungawhau is wahi tapu for example."

                I appreciate this line of questioning, and it challenged me when I first got involved. But then I learned that the Tūpuna Maunga Authority never actually consulted with mana whenua about the removal of the exotic trees. And it gets worse. The court action revealed that the idea to conduct a one-stage removal of all exotics across the maunga network was never discussed even by Authority members, and was never formally voted on by the Authority. That has caused huge division, and the result is wider community disaffection with the TMA from both Maori and non-Maori.

            • weka

              "Pasture and burnt stumps as far as the eye can see."

              The story of NZ, right?

              I'm going to name explicitly here the need to step out of the binary. Native vs non-native. Planting vs stopping felling. There are other ways. eg plant and then remove the exotics. Treat the site as a whole ecosystem. I support native restoration. I don't support some of the ways that is being done.

              Are the against group opposed to native restoration? Is there a missed opportunity to get them helping with the planting?

              • left for dead

                yes With you on this one weka, thanks for putting up the counter.

              • Robert Guyton

                I suspect it's not a binary, weka. Those involved are likely to be balancing a number of factors. I'd like to hear why the group seeks to remove all exotic trees. Their answer may be finessed. Here's an example to consider:

                Whitebait are threatened with extinction. Whitebaiting should be banned. Whitebaiting is a cultural harvest for manawhenua.


                • weka

                  Kākāpō was also a cultural harvest for manawhenua, but we've banned that. Maybe we need to get closer to extinction of whitebait 🙁

                  Those involved are likely to be balancing a number of factors. I'd like to hear why the group seeks to remove all exotic trees. Their answer may be finessed

                  Completely agree. My comments are generalised because I'm at the other end of the country. But also informed by the previous protest in Auckland, which had a lot of progressives refusing to address the whole systems approach and instead being nativist and taking a 'the authorities know what they are doing' approach. As you said elsewhere, it's a hard conversation to make headway in.

                  I'm not finding anything on the TPA site that addresses the issues being raised by the protest. It's slick and structured like most higher authority sites, channeling the information and kaupapa they want.

                  The protest site content is damning, but I'd like to see a critique of that from people that know the area so I can understand any bias here too.

                  Mostly I’m just tired. Of the incessant resistance to working with nature, and the huge blind spot about climate and ecology. We say climate change is real, but we act as if it is not.

              • Anna

                Hi Weka. Our group supports succession to fully native vegetation on the maunga, but question the environmentally destructive way the Authority plans to do it. Also, planting plans show the natives are going in different places to where most of the exotics currently are, so why not have the best of both worlds.

                And yes, myself and others from our group have helped at planting days.

        • Sabine

          "Not all trees are equal, and carbon is is not the only measure."

          but climate change!!!!!!!

          yes, all trees are equal. All trees are good. And as weka said, you can plant natives and remove the 'exotics' slowly bit by bit.

          You do realise that any and all fruit trees in NZ are literally 'exotics' other then the few natives that carry some sort of berries.

      • Robert Guyton 2.2.3

        See above 🙂

        This conundrum/threat is one that I've been addressing since forever through my different writing/speaking forums (NZ Gardener, regional council, YouTube, here etc.)

        You rightly describe the driver for the clearances as "slash and burn mentality", and it's not until a new approach to landscape management becomes embedded in our thinking, will this change. Progress has been made, but it's painfully slow. I do believe, however, that a tipping-point will be reached as the balance is shifted through the various forums that promote and describe new ways to see the natural world. Until then we will have to endure stuff-ups such as this.

      • PsyclingLeft.Always 2.2.4

        We still have a slash and burn mentality in NZ, even among the nativists.

        Oh ? I certainly know..a LOT of "Nativists"….dont think Ive met any keen "slash and burners" . Maybe Ive not been in those groups…

        • Robert Guyton

          It's so frustrating when people who care about trees, splinter into sub-groups and thwart the others. Same as ever it was.

          Those who don't care at all about trees, don't suffer from divisiveness at all, bless their blue hearts!

          • PsyclingLeft.Always

            Hmm, yea Ive not really struck it personally. Maybe wilding pines ? (which are a Tree…problem, spreading/enveloping… everything, everywhere : (

            Anyway, re


            The page def has a lot of nice pictures of Native Birds. It would be great to actually hear more from anyone ACTUALLY involved ..on both.."sides". For more perspective.

            There must be more common ground..than not?

        • Robert Guyton

          "Cmon guys…Work Together !"


          18 September 2022 at 8:13 am

        • weka

          perhaps you didn't know what I meant?

          Are you not aware of people that will remove exotics because they are exotics? No tree being better than an exotic one.

          • PsyclingLeft.Always

            That was a quick weeding : ) No I wasnt really sure what you meant? Maybe you could let me..and others know which "Nativists" are keen on "slash/burning" . Just so I know who to avoid?

            • weka

              Came inside for breakfast 🙂

              Not sure why you would want to avoid them. It's a mentality and belief system, not a plague.

              Examples of slash and burn (as I used the term).

              Removing exotic trees and leaving bare land, because exotics are wrong.

              Seeing gorse as the enemy and spraying, or burning, to get rid of it, then having to battle regrowth from all the seeds in the soil, trying to plant trees in soil that's now been degraded from the fire or herbicide. Instead, use gorse as a nursery crop, take advantage of its nitrogen fixing powers as well as its protection from the elements and stock, plant into it, or use other techniques to get natives established. See the video I posted above.

              Spraying wilding pines in some areas because they are 'bad' rather than seeing them as a resource that can be harvested, or as pioneers that can be used to help re-establish forest.

              The amount of spray we use to beat back the non-natives instead of working with ecological processes to restore functional ecosystems.

              1080/pindone-ing accessible areas instead of using hunters and harvesting possums and rabbits.

              People hating pine trees because they're not native, and ignoring the fact that most of our houses are built from pines.

              What if we let the wilding pines grow?

              Wilding pine forest: they grow themselves.

            • Robert Guyton

              DoC and Forest & Bird support the use of herbicides (biocides; that is, life-killers) in the pursuit of their objectives (an example, as asked for).

              • PsyclingLeft.Always

                Mmkay..quickly. They also support 1080. Proven to bring back Native Birds. Remember ("Work Together" : )

                • Robert Guyton

                  I'm not decrying them. You asked for examples.

                  1080 is an insecticide, right?

                  Not sure how the Insect Kingdom feels about that (especially the native ones – ever seen a peripitus? Not an insect, but…)

                  Not wanting to start a discussion on 1080.

              • Anna

                Forest & Bird supports Tūpuna Maunga Authority destroying some 2500 trees across the maunga. So does the Tree Council.

                Who would have thought!

                • Visubversa

                  Possibly because they understand Kaitiakitanga. And the ecology of the Maunga.

                  • Anna Radford

                    You do know Tūpuna Maunga Authority's Chairman is a lawyer and property developer who a) represented the mining company fighting local iwi who were trying to protect the environment in the Taranaki iron sands case; b) represented the marina developers who destroyed korua blue penguin homes on Waiheke Island; c) represented interests fighting a couple who were trying to prevent a roading bypass from destroying virgin native forest.

                    Just because someone is Māori doesn't automatically mean they care about the environment or are automatically going to do a good job of looking after it. Just like just because someone is Pākeha does not mean they automatically want to exploit the environment, and know nothing about good environmental stewardship.

                    By the way, Tūpuna Maunga Authority did not consult anyone – not even the iwi it represents – before it destroyed hundreds of trees on Mangere, Maungarei and Ōhuirangi Pigeon Mountain. It still wouldn't be consulting anyone if legal action hadn't been taken.

                    There are a lot of layers in this issue.

          • Robert Guyton

            The wilding pine organisations are determined to kill trees en mass without replanting trees at all. They favour pasture over forests.

            • PsyclingLeft.Always

              ALL of them ? As I see ….there are some that are pretty interested in protecting our NZ Native Biodiversity from wilding Pines…up the Mountains. You and Weka should head up there sometime : )

              I do. And I cull weed pine seedlings. Saving snow tussock..skinks,geckos,moths..and many others that would not survive in a pine …forest.

              • Robert Guyton

                The skink, gecko, moth and snow tussock crowd are wonderful. The main protagonists in the wilding pines destruction programmes though, are tree-despising pro-agriculturalists though, yes?

                • PsyclingLeft.Always

                  The skink, gecko, moth and snow tussock crowd are wonderful.

                  Ok Robert…Ima seeing real connecting here (kinda like I want Labour and Green : )

                  And yep, Tree removal by the Milk Mafia ? Not acceptable. Ever.

                  Cheers : )

                  • weka

                    regular sheep farmers too. Thinking about Mid Dome in Northern Southland.

                    This is from 2018. Around the time the government adopted the Greens' plan for mass tree planting (and handed the organising to NZF 🙄).


                    Before control efforts pines were spreading about 90,000ha a year, and with control under way still cover about 5% of the landscape.

                    If left to spread on their own, the invasive pest plant was estimated to cover 20% of New Zealand's total land area — 5,400,000ha — by 2030, Ministry for Primary Industries wilding conifer control programme manager Sherman Smith said.

                    So if we did nothing, we'd have 20% of NZ reforested in the next decade (not quite, as the trees still need time to grow). But instead, we're going to spend a large amount of money, time and effort to beat back the bush and do what instead? Keep most of that land in pasture?

                    Here's another idea. Put major R&D resources into figuring out how to use the wilding pines at Mid Dome to establish a mixed forest. On the lower slopes, make that food forestry and/or agroforestry. Upper slopes can be hunting forestry.

                    • Shanreagh

                      Re mid- Dome accepting and using the trees that are there was always my view as a lowly PS back in the day. There was such vehement outpouring against the trees I asked a forester if they had some genetic impediment. Couldn't they be managed. No impediment, just classed as weeds so therefore not wanted.

                      The wilding pines at Mid Dome are contorta and it spreads very rapidly. NB both wilding pines and gorse if it is wanted to be removed respond to appropriate stocking pressure (using sheep) along the boundaries. This does not happen, cannot happen sometimes as the boundary has been placed in a poor place or the soil is too frail. If the tussock is to be encouraged to come back then the hard-ish stocking required to keep contorta at bay will also have an adverse effect on tussock.


                      Huge continuing landuse conflicts can be foreseen. Not sure if the option of managing the forest that is left has been explored at all. This would remove the Pinus Contorta and Pinus Mugo and replant in something. The reason that Pinus species was planted at all was for erosion control purposes and we would be crazy to think that this risk of erosion has gone away because we don't like the species they planted to help control the erosion.

                      The spread of pines around Mt Cook and the Mackenzie Basin is at least as troubling though MB is now a more degraded landscape than it was when many were concerned about the spread of pines into beautiful tussock land.

                      The Germans as landuse managers seem to be able to work forestry, agriculture, etc together. At the very least soil & climate map with a large helping of climate change best practice should be the guides.

                    • Robert Guyton


                    • Graeme

                      There's also the vertical range of introduced conifers in the South Island high country. Beech and totara go up to around 1000m, above that would be a tussock ecosystem.

                      Douglas Fir and Contorta will happily go up to 15 – 1700m, and European Larch will grow well over 2000m. So we'd end up with no tussock cover and conifer cover to the top of nearly all the southern high country if the wildings were left unchecked. This would be a dramatic and irreversible change to the ecosystem of the high country if left unchecked.

                      This has already occurred on the hills above Queenstown where conifers have spread up into what have always been tussock above remnant fingers of beach. The higher spread of conifers has been removed and lower areas are being removed as well and the intention is to replace these with beech and other non-invasive species.

                • PsyclingLeft.Always

                  Robert, I can vouch for..and am in total agreement with Graeme's comment

                  Open mike 18/09/2022

                  Its not JUST wilding pines up there…. And protecting Our existing NZ Biodiversity up there…is paramount..for me and many others. I am focused on that.

        • Shanreagh

          Scratch a developer of the tiniest urban section and you will find a slasher/burner. Though they use machinery to prepare a suitable place for housing as they put up 12 units where there was formerly only one. I had a developer who demolished the house next door and in 'napalming' the garden and levelling the already level section pulled out vegetation and in doing so laid the fence to waste. To get the house bits out and the bulldozer in they 'trimmed' all the trees up the shared drive, including those from my side. The top soil that there was on this mainly sandy soil was smoothed out ie removed. Successive blows denuded the section as what was left was pure sand. Now the houses grow concrete and typical beachy weeds. The houses could have been built keeping many of the trees but 'nah'. Too hard.

          I am keen on revegetating but done by annihilating every 'naughty' tree that is growing there is not a sensible way to do it. Gertude Stein and her comment 'a rose, is a rose is a rose' is way to look at it. A tree is a tree is a tree could be one way to look. I would start by removing threes like banksias and wattles and some gums. Some gums are special but many are not. Leave the unusual, the olive planation or large trees. Pocket plant. When trees start throwing down branches then remove and pocket plant. (gums are notorious for throwing down branches) But do it slowly and with the help of good arborists.

          The 3-30-300 rule is what we should have in our cities.


          So every home should see three trees at least from the windows, 30% of every neighbourhood should have tree canopy and every home should be 300m from every park or green space. Trees and green space are the lungs of the city.

          We honour the desire to move to native but do not be silly about it. So saving every last tree, no matter what its merits on Owairaka has no merit and neither does felling every tree no matter what its merits.

    • Robert Guyton 2.3

      I think the issue is "worth a whole post" 🙂

      • weka 2.3.1

        I do too. Would you like to write one?

        My blood is starting to boil so I'm off outside into the garden for a while 🙂

        • PsyclingLeft.Always

          lol..getting stuck into some weeds ! A Win/Win : )

          • Robert Guyton


            Again, “It didn’t take long to realise we had unwittingly walked into an intersection of complex and highly nuanced issues that drive to the core of our society”.


          • weka

            there are no weeds. Only food (for all of life) and plants for recycling.

            • Sabine

              An english garderner once stated that 'weeds are beneficial plants that grow in the wrong part of the garden'.

              • Robert Guyton

                Many weeds are quick-turnover transitional entities. Once their work is done, they disappear. When we intervene, we can thwart that process and force an eventual replay of events. Learning how to use that phenomenon can often save everyone a lot of anguish.

        • Anne

          weka @ 2.3.1
          I think I will do the same… after I've had yet another cup of strong tea to settle me down. 😉

        • Robert Guyton

          I'm pruning apple trees to encourage fruiting. So many to do. 14 orchards.

          Won't be finished today 🙂

    • higherstandard 2.4

      Oh dear – the lazy resort to calling people you disagree with racist.

      Perhaps they just have a connection to the grand old trees and don't want them to go.

      "What we ask for

      Best practice is for succession to fully native vegetation to be carried out over decades – just as would happen in nature – so that the native plantings are supported by the existing, mature forest.

      We are therefore asking for a phased transition to fully native vegetation that takes account of each tree’s natural life. Only fell a tree if an independent arboriculture expert makes a strong case based on internationally-recognised best practice.

      We also respectfully ask Tūpuna Maunga Authority and Auckland Council to engage with us with integrity, in the spirit of positive partnership, to protect Ōwairaka and her life-forms.

      “A living tree is a signpost for a habitable planet.

      – Sir Harold Marshall, Honour the Maunga Patron"

    • Muttonbird 2.5

      I live under Maungarei.

      They removed a stand of dangerous, leggy, brittle pine from the southern cliff face by helicopter a year or two ago. There's a small amount of rubbish left over because it's very steep. This and the cost has been used by honourthemaunga as evidence of destruction and waste but the simple truth is mountain looks much better and is safer.

      They also put the gates in and have recently redone the steps to summit, both improvements. Last thing they did was put screw in judder bars on the road both sides. This I hate because I'm a cyclist and use this mountain for exercise, but I understand why it was done (pedestrian safety) and I'll get used to it.

      • Visubversa 2.5.1

        That is it. The same people complained about the removal of a collection of crumbling Monteray Pine trees from Western Springs Park. The trees were actively dangerous and the falling branches required the closure of the tracks on that area of the Park. They held up the process for so long that it was not possible to helicopter the trees out because they had become so fragile so clear felling was the only option. The trees are now gone, the replanting has been done and the vegetation is regrowing. They are still complaining about it.

        • tinderdry6

          Those pines weren't 'crumbling'. The Council's own survey showed virtually all of the 200 trees were safe. And they were providing canopy to a thriving native understorey. Council spent close to $2m and destroyed the lot. They spent $2m destroying around 15,000 native plants, and then replanted far less. Crazy.

          • Incognito

            Please provide a link to that Council survey, so we can all check your assertions.

            In any case, it appears that many felled trees were not in good health at all.


            • weka

              It appears that the council claims the trees were not in good health. Others disagree. Steve Abel (April 2021)

              A few years ago, on the pretext of safety, it was determined that every last one of the pines must be felled. This has been strongly contested. Chris Benton is the only arboricultural expert to study and make an industry-standard safety assessment of each and every one (in 2019) of the 200 pines. Benton is scathing of the council’s conclusion to fell them. He cites only three pines that need to be removed and a further six that require urgent pruning or some other management. Another respected arborist, Craig Webb, peer reviewed the Benton report and assessed that “the vast majority of pine trees in the forest pose a low or very low risk of harm” and all trees were within what is considered “tolerable” risk. Even the most recent council-commissioned arboricultural risk report suggests that only 26% of the trees need some degree of management for safety.


              • Incognito

                I’m not an arborist but those felled trees in those photos look pretty rotten to the core to me. My questions are in how bad a condition were those trees really, how long would the other seemingly heathy trees stayed healthy, and how much was and could have known about this before the actual felling. Sometimes you don’t know how bad things are until you open up the patient.

                • weka

                  I count one tree with significant rotting, and four others with varying degrees of what is presumably a rotting process. Or maybe this is what old Monterey pines look like inside. Who knows. Arborists do and will have a range of opinions on them. The council could publish their expert assessment reports instead of just doing PR on their blog.

                  Somewhere in the middle no doubt is the truth. At the moment we have the council saying they all had to go because they were dangerous, and treehuggers saying there were a few that needed to be removed for safety.

                  • Incognito

                    The council could publish their expert assessment reports instead of just doing PR on their blog.

                    I’m waiting for a response from that new commenter to provide a link to the Council survey.

                    • weka

                      Both would be good.

                      Google is telling me that there are different kinds of rot, some more serious than others.

                    • Incognito []

                      I have not and will not go that far, as I’m trying to do other things this morning, so far with little success…

                      AFAIK, rot is not reversible but can be stopped or slowed down. At some stage a decision has to be made to put the axe to it and re-plant new trees, I’d imagine, unless one waits for Mother Nature, which could be risky and unpredictable.

                    • weka

                      theres's this, with reference to the arborist survey but it's not the survey itself.


                    • weka

                      the report for Society for the Protection of Western Springs Fores, 2019

                      (posting these for reference for everyone)


                    • weka

                      AFAIK, rot is not reversible but can be stopped or slowed down. At some stage a decision has to be made to put the axe to it and re-plant new trees, I’d imagine, unless one waits for Mother Nature, which could be risky and unpredictable.

                      my guess is that the council made a pragmatic decision based on a range of factors including budget.

                      Still don't like the whole PR spin (for some reason I still have some hope for better democracy including at the local body level).

                    • Incognito []

                      Spin and counter-spin seem to be happening more and more on all levels and at all layers of society and public discourse. For that reason, I cannot take anything said, claimed, and asserted here on TS by commenters at face value without reasonable argument and supporting evidence. That said, decisions need to be made, on a daily basis, and these are delegated to authorities that have to be transparent and accountable (for that exact reason) – they do not have to be omniscient and infallible.

                    • weka

                      What annoys me is that we have all this money and time being spent on assessments and reports, and we have the internet. Why not put up a website explaining it all, telling the truth, giving the information to the public alongside neutral interpretations of that, keep local communities informed and engaged.

                    • Incognito []

                      Well, I can see two sides to that: 1) keep the people informed; 2) keep the people involved. The involvement can comprise anything available in a democratic society all the way to Parliament or the Supreme Court. There has to be a balance, which is [achieved by] controlling the information flow and thus the level of ‘citizen’ involvement & engagement. In other words, what we call spin is a necessary evil that is both the balance as well as the thing that needs to be balanced, if that makes any sense.

                  • tinderdry6

                    Hi Weka

                    "and this, different arborist, from Oct 2020."

                    That's the Council commissioned report by Andrew Benson that (I assume) Steve Abel refers to.

                    The Chris Benton report was a full 'tree by tree' assessment, and found that "94% of the pine trees are stable (low-medium risk) and
                    pose no more risk than trees growing within any normal forest." (I have a PDF version, but no link, sorry).

                  • tinderdry6

                    "Why not put up a website explaining it all, telling the truth, giving the information to the public alongside neutral interpretations of that, keep local communities informed and engaged."

                    Well that depends on your motivation. It soon became clear to me that the removal of the pines at WS Forest was nothing to do with ecology and everything to do with ideology. You used a term 'nativism' in the dialogue yesterday. This is real problem in Auckland at the moment. It is unlikely that the community would accept the idea of removing even a small stand of pine trees at around $2m simply because they are pines. But label them 'dangerous', say you'll plant thousands of natives, and ignore the fact that you'll be destroying a native understorey of close to 15,000 plants, and bobs your uncle.

                  • tinderdry6

                    To Weka

                    "are you able to email me the PDF?"

                    Yes, of course. Where to?

                  • tinderdry6

                    Weka I've just emailed the PDF to the email address shown on the site.

              • Treeadvocate

                I was the lead submitter on the Council's resource consent application for WSF clearance.

                Truth is this was a Treescape promoted clearance ( x Treescape arborist did the report demonstrating most of the trees were not falling down but he is know to dislike pines) but he concluded that all the trees should go in one clearance. He only ever surveyed the pines when this was a mixed forest. Back up support was supplied by Greenscene Council's go to company to get the report they want to get rid of trees ( Big Mac)

                Treescape were Council's preferred contractor at that stage and x Treescape employees were in charge of the management of the Forest. Do you get the picture yet?

                The numbers of healthy trees were always the side issue to keep people arguing as Incognito has demonstrated. And to waste money on reports, jobs for the boys!

                Let us remember originally there were 700 pine trees and by the time Treescape targeted Western Springs for their clearfelling clearance big idea and big payoff methodology there were less than 200 left ( they had naturally fallen or been maintained and absorbed by the Forest processes) but there was a closed canopy regenerating native forest underneath which Council REFUSED to survey. Many of the native trees were over 3 metres and protected trees which Council did not have a resource consent to remove.

                Western Springs Forest Clearance was also supported by Pippa Coom cos she wanted to put a circular cycle track in the Forest which would have destroyed the WSF Significant Ecological Area . CCF are currently installing Coom's cycle track

                The Resource Consent Application made it clear Council and Coom were not telling the truth they only ever intended to restore the forest to park not a native forest. Hence the number of plants in the planting plan kept getting reduced now only 8000 odd ( mostly PB 5s) when there should have been 35,000 with some specimen trees.

                The residents were harassed and bullied by CCF and the people of Auckland were very poorly served by Council on this project. Executive Heads should have rolled. But Rod Sheridan resigned just as the contract started! There are still a few more who should be held to account for this monumental waste of ratepayers money, well in excess of $2million closer to $3million by my estimation, with legals.

            • tinderdry6

              "Please provide a link to that Council survey, so we can all check your assertions."

              Technical report – Western Springs Pines (aucklandcouncil.govt.nz)


              The VALID risk assessment produced:

              • 141 ‘Acceptable’ risks (71%)

              • 6 ‘Tolerable’ risks (3%)

              • 50 ‘Not Tolerable’ risks (25%)

              • 1 ‘Not Acceptable’ risks (1%)

              In any case, it appears that many felled trees were not in good health at all.

              Your link is an Auckland Council propaganda piece.

              • weka

                thanks. That's 1/4 of the trees that are dangerous, which is a bit different from "virtually all" the trees being safe.

              • Incognito

                That report painted a rather negative picture of the pine forest and the state it was in. This seems to be confirmed after the felling, e.g., as seen it the photos in that ‘propaganda’ piece. Of course, it is fairly easy (and lazy) to stick that label on it because you don’t like the message and/or because you disagree with it – both seem to apply to you.

                • tinderdry6

                  The photo's in the propaganda piece showed a small number of trees out of a stand of just under 200. They were cherry picked to suit that propaganda, and even then unless you are an expert in assessing photo's of trees, they don't say much.

                  • Incognito

                    I’ve already said that I’m not an arborist and neither are you, by the sounds of it.

                    I look at the photos, see rot and holes (some rather large), and read the accompanying text and it makes for a rather different story than the one you have been spinning here. The Benson report did also mention the poor health of quite a number of trees before the felling and presumably those were among the ones that we can see for ourselves in those photos taken after the felling.

                    Was the Benson report also ‘propaganda’?

                    • tinderdry6

                      You are relying on the text in an Auckland Council propaganda piece and photo's of a handful of trees. I'm relying to the opinions of expert arboriculturalists Chris Benton and Craig Webb.

                    • Incognito []

                      Your wheels are spinning fast. You omit that I also rely on the Benson report to which you so kindly linked. It was a very interesting read, thank you so much!

                      Is this the same Benson we’re talking about:

                      Andrew Benson. Ph.D., BSc, FdSc Urban tree ecophysiologist

                      Sounds like he is an “expert arboriculturalist”, wouldn’t you agree?

                    • tinderdry6

                      "Sounds like he is an “expert arboriculturalist”, wouldn’t you agree?"

                      Absolutely. So let's accept his worst case scenario that 25 needed to be removed. And let's accept that they need to removed now (which he didn't say, but indulge me). Even accepting all of that, then a developing native forest of an estimated 15,000 plants was destroyed to make way for planting several thousand less when there was at least one alternative. Stupid.

                      Have you read the Benton report yet?

                    • Incognito []

                      Your strawmen hypotheticals are not useful; we need facts and expert opinion, both of which are in short supply. We do, however, have no shortage of opinion pieces, some of which you prefer to label as propaganda. You have already declared your agenda in this context, which is appreciated, but my agenda is to come to a mutually agreed discernible truth through robust debate here on TS.

                      I have not seen the Benton opinion piece. The Benson report looks solid with references to previous information, which can be tracked and verified. This makes it the most reliable source of information for me, at present.

                    • tinderdry6

                      "Your strawmen hypotheticals are not useful; we need facts and expert opinion, both of which are in short supply. "

                      I have provided facts and expert opinion. I’ve also provided you with access to the Benton report. It’s now up to you to go and read it. In the meantime, it seems clear you were not aware there was a native forest under the pine trees. I hope that extra information may help you to understand why I am arguing my point.

                      Edit: sorry just found this:
                      “From my assessment, I have formed an opinion that the vast majority of pine trees in the forest pose a
                      low or very low risk of harm. This is primarily due to the absence of actual targets, or the very
                      infrequent occupancy rates.” That’s from the peer review of the Bento report, conducted by Craig Webb., Let me know your email address and I’ll send the original, then you’ll have two expert reports to read.

                    • weka []

                      are you ok if I email you at the address you are using to comment here? As an Editor here I can see it in the back end.

                    • Incognito []

                      You did not provide me with anything but your reckons and one link to a report by an expert who assessed the health of the pine forest as poor and deteriorating and who offered basically two scenarios for Auckland Council to consider. Auckland Council decided on one, which you don’t like. BTW, the Benson report focussed on the pine forest.

                    • tinderdry6

                      "You did not provide me with anything but your reckons and one link to a report by an expert who assessed the health of the pine forest as poor and deteriorating and who offered basically two scenarios for Auckland Council to consider."

                      Rubbish. The report found that 74% of the pines were of acceptable or tolerable risk. You haven't read the other two reports, but you're satisfied with photo's of a handful of trees. I'll leave it others to decide whose more credible.

                    • Incognito []

                      Absolute nonsense from you, again.

                      There’s only one expert report publically available: the Benson report. This was commissioned in 2020 and I have read it, as it is the only one available to me. The so-called Chris Benton opinion was made in 2019. Neither this not the alleged review by Craig Webb are available to the public and the readers of this site. You want us/me to take your word for it and trust you and then, on top of that, agree with you, obviously??

                      Why did Andrew Benson not refer once to the opinion by Benton and review by Webb? Did he also not have access to it? Did he know of it? It just doesn’t make sense for Benson to leave this out of his apparently comprehensive section on previous information, IMO.

                    • tinderdry6

                      "This was commissioned in 2020 and I have read it, as it is the only one available to me. "

                      That's lazy. I told you I emailed the Chris Benton report to The Standard, so you could easily access it. I've also provided a link to a piece by Steve Abel, and there have been comments here by others involved with WSF. The truth is out there.

                    • Incognito []

                      I told you I emailed the Chris Benton report to The Standard, so you could easily access it.

                      Wrong. I have no access to it, as I have no access to the site’s e-mail. Other readers of the site don’t have either. You’re making lazy assumptions. Steve Abel is someone who I could trust on this topic, but he also refers to [the] unavailable reports. Your interpretation of the Benson report was severely wanting – I won’t comment on other commenters here.

                    • weka

                      I'm busy so not going to chase this up now, but when I googled the other day I found more than one report on the WS forest.

                      I do agree that the report being referred to that isn't online needs to be made publicly available, which I will do this week.

                    • tinderdry6

                      I've emailed Weka the Benton report and the Webb peer review. When he/she posts them, you will have access to balance what you already have. In the meantime, I'll leave you with this from Chris Benton's report:

                      Other professional arborist observations of the Forest and Stand
                      24. I have observed, out of professional interest, the Forest and Stand nearly every day (except for rain days), seven days a week for approximately 17 years as I have walked in the forest every day (where possible) during that time. I have taken it upon
                      myself to enter and observe the forest immediately following large storm events to observed any trees that may have fallen or been damaged. These observations have allowed me to form clear opinions on the reasons why trees within the stand have failed. Those visits meant that I have been able to observe failure redispositions before and after failure has occurred. This puts me in a unique position to review the status of the Stand vis-à-vis deterioration. While a great deal of observable deterioration within the Forest and Stand is unconcerning as it appears natural. I have been concerned with what I consider to be unnecessary tree works and unsupportable tree removals over the last 10 years or so.

                    • Incognito []

                      Lovely, but changes nothing.

                    • solkta

                      Is this the Benton report in question?

                      August 2019


                    • Incognito []

                      It appears so, thank you (and no thanks to that other commenter who’s not been forthcoming with a link). I’ve got other things piling up now, but will read it later, with considerable interest.

                      Do you happen to have the Webb review too?

                    • solkta

                      WESTERN SPRINGS FOREST
                      Client: Society for the Protection of Western Springs Forest/
                      Friends of Western Springs Forest

                      REPORT PREPARED BY: CRAIG WEBB
                      DATE: 12 DECEMBER 2019


                  • tinderdry6

                    To Solkta

                    "Is this the Benton report in question?"

                    YES!!! Thank you, you are a gem.

                    • solkta

                      I just googled 'Chris Benton report western springs pines' and it was the second listing with the first being the Abel article.

                    • tinderdry6

                      Hi Solkta

                      Thanks for the Craig Webb link. Webb also did a peer review of the Benton report – I've emailed that to Weka.

                • weka

                  tbf, this applies the other way too. We have conflicting reports and conflicting positions. I'm not seeing a good reason to trust the council just because they're the council.

                  • Incognito

                    Andrew Benson prepared a report for Maureen Glassey Auckland Council in October 2020 – I don’t know who the Reviewer (Sean McBride) is/was. The report looks solid to me, not being an expert in the field [no pun], and it appears to be consistent with that Council piece I linked to. I have not seen any other independent expert opinion.

                    • tinderdry6

                      Neither you nor I are experts, which is why we can only rely on the opinions of those who are.

                      Even the VALID risk assessment report commissioned by Council stated that 74% of the Pines were of acceptable or tolerable risks.

                  • tinderdry6

                    To be fair, the reports are only conflicting by degrees. Both agree that a significant majority of the pines could remain. So let's accept the worst case scenario that 25 needed to be removed. Even accepting that (and I don't for reasons outlined in Steve Abel's article), then a developing native forest of an estimated 15,000 plants was destroyed to make way for planting several thousand less. It's madness.

                  • tinderdry6

                    "are you ok if I email you at the address you are using to comment here?"

                    Yes, of course.

                • tinderdry6

                  This article by Steve Abel is a good explanation of what happened at WSF. He describes the wanton destruction of the native understorey, and also provides information on a 'Plan B' the community proposed that was rejected by Council.

                • tinderdry6

                  "The core issue was the pine forest…"

                  Between the comment you were confused by, and you're realisation that there was a native forest at WS, there were a total of 9 other comments about the native forest.

                  Your comments are not conducive to forming an informed opinion on the matter aka you’re all over the place.

                  You will believe that, because you have no knowledge of the site, and no desire to learn anything about it.

                  Auckland Council decided that it was best to remove the pine forest in one single operation based on expert opinion.

                  You've only read on 'expert opinion', and that found that 74% of the pines could remain in place.

                  Until I see any other reliable fact and expert opinion that seems a fairly sound decision to me…

                  You've came in part way through a conversation, formed an opinion without understanding the physical dynamics of the site (you didn't even know there was a thriving native forest being destroyed) or bothering to read the variety of expert opinion available. That's just lazy, but it's typical of those who support this madness.

                  • weka

                    Personally I've found your comments interesting and informative. You and others have made excellent arguments for your position and provided a lot of resources to look at for those that are interested.

                    Sometimes conversations get confused once the the threads are long (hard to follow and see what people are referring to and what's already been said). I don't think you have to keep defending yourself here, lots of what you have shared is a good contribution to TS and I'm grateful for it.

                  • Incognito

                    You will believe that, because you have no knowledge of the site, and no desire to learn anything about it.

                    Wrong. I have read the report by Benson (2020).

                    You’ve only read on [sic] ‘expert opinion’, and that found that 74% of the pines could remain in place.

                    So, now the opinion by Benson is an ‘expert opinion’ after we agreed he’s or at least like an expert arboriculturalist!? Benson commented on the state of the pine forest, past, present, and future, and it was not good. The number of pine trees had gone down an average of 15 trees per year since 1988. You keep on ignoring that fact that does not suit you.

                    The Benson report was about the pine trees. The decision was about the pine trees and to remove them. No other expert opinions on the pine trees are available to me or to the other readers of this site. That’s neither madness nor laziness. If you want us to trust you then you’ll have to do better than that – your comments so far have not convinced me at all and they come across as biased.

                    • tinderdry6

                      "I have read the report by Benson (2020)."

                      yes but that's all you've read. Other than a Council puff piece you naievely accept as gospel.

                      "The number of pine trees had gone down an average of 15 trees per year since 1988."

                      You do know that forests age, right? That trees don't live forever? That they need managing?

                      "That’s neither madness nor laziness. "

                      In your case it is lazyness. You have access to other material. You can do better.

                    • Incognito []

                      yes but that’s all you’ve read. Other than a Council puff piece you naievely accept as gospel.

                      Wrong. I also read the opinion piece by Steve Abel. We already know what you think about article on the Council website with its inconvenient photos that to me appear to be consistent with the Benson report. That’s neither naïve belief nor gospel, but I see you have to resort to cheap & lazy labels again.

                      You do know that forests age, right? That trees don’t live forever? That they need managing?

                      Yup, and so did Benson and he knows a lot more about trees than you and I ever will. He suggested felling of all pine trees in one single operation to Auckland Council as one possible option. He was adamant that 51 trees needed to go regardless. That’s prudent advice, IMO.

                      In your case it is lazyness. [sic] You have access to other material. You can do better.

                      I have? I checked my inbox and it is not there. Why not? Because you did not send it to me but to The Standard, which is not me. Are you going to send it to all readers of this site? Why is not publically available in the first place, the Benson report is? People could have leaked the Benton & Webb documents …

                    • tinderdry6

                      "with its inconvenient photos that to me appear to be consistent with the Benson report. "

                      There it is again. The photo's are of a handful of trees, most of which show little or no deterioration.

                      "Yup, and so did Benson and he knows a lot more about trees than you and I ever will. He suggested felling of all pine trees in one single operation to Auckland Council as one possible option. He was adamant that 51 trees needed to go regardless. That’s prudent advice, IMO."

                      As one possible option. What he didn't suggest was destroying a thriving urban native forest in the process.

                      "I also read the opinion piece by Steve Abel. "

                      When? It must have been since your comments yesterday that showed you didn't know about the native understorey.

                    • Incognito []

                      When? It must have been since your comments yesterday that showed you didn’t know about the native understorey.

                      You conflate absence of evidence and evidence of absence. The focus was on the pine trees and I stayed focussed on that. I failed to read your mind and make the same mental leap as you, which I’ve already acknowledged, which has got nothing to do with my knowledge of the undergrowth in the pine forest. Stop making lazy assumptions that are off the mark by a long shot.

                    • tinderdry6

                      " I failed to read your mind"

                      No, you failed to read the comments. Would you have paid more attention if they were accompanied by a Council letterhead and glossy photo's?

        • Muttonbird

          I was driving home alone Mt Wellington highway this afternoon looking at Maungarei and thought about the idea your group wants to transition to native slowly and that cutting crappy pine destroys what is underneath.

          I can tell you what is underneath, gorse! Yet another import.

          I'm no expert but I can also tell you with some confidence they is no way native regeneration would happen with that pine there. There is however a glimmer of hope natives will strike under the gorse now the pine has gone.

          • tinderdry6

            Muttonbird you are wrong.

            1. Native plants grow happily under pine trees (here's a list for you).
            2. There was a thriving native forest growing under the pine canopy at Western Springs forest. It was destroyed by the removal of those pines, only to be replaced by half the number of plants, all at a cost to ratepayers of approaching $2m.
            3. If you're referring to the maunga environments, there are no pines on Ōwairaka. But next time you're driving, drop by. You'll see native plants thriving under the exotic canopy across the maunga, all of which will likely be destroyed when those trees are removed.
            4. The cost of this destruction is approaching $1m per mountain. $1m to destroy mature, healthy trees that are acting as canopy cover to young native plants, habitat for native bird life and a host of other life forms. It’s crazy.
          • weka

            I can tell you what is underneath, gorse! Yet another import.

            I'm no expert but I can also tell you with some confidence they is no way native regeneration would happen with that pine there. There is however a glimmer of hope natives will strike under the gorse now the pine has gone.

            Using gorse to regenerate native ecologies. It's not a glimmer, it's now proven strategy.

            Please educate yourself. Even just read the comments in this conversation and follow the links. The idea that natives can't regenerate under pines comes from plantation pines. It's an erroneous idea. When pines are not in plantation, lots of other things will grow with them. I'm a few minutes drive from a pine and kanuka forest.

            You can see more examples in this post and the comments under it,

            What if we let the wilding pines grow?

            • Treeadvocate

              Thanks for addressing these issues Weka.

              In fact natives do grow in pine plantations and Kiwis can and do live in pine forests.

              I have had conversations with a past president of the Forest Owners Ass who is a committed native forest regenerator about this. There is also a very good article about pine plantation myths which was published in NZ Geographic some years ago before the fundamentalist nativists took over and politicised NZ's environment with tree racism and obsession for demonizing habitat plants.

              First question is always "what exactly are these plants doing? " Don't make assumptions and suspend your cultural beliefs, we all have them,

            • Muttonbird

              Well, I am talking about one particular stand of something pine on the steep side of a volcano, my volcano, Maungarei, which I use every day.

              I'm well aware gorse provides nursery to other plants which is why I mentioned it. Perhaps that was part of the thinking when TMA commissioned the work done.

              And I don't hate pine trees, their cones fill my fireplaces. Love a good oak tree too as long as I don't have to clean up after it.

          • Samar Ocean Wolf Ciprian

            Hi there,

            Gorse is a potent nitrogen fixer, with root systems that stabilise soils. Where you see gorse, you see soil asking for repair.

            You also seen a snapshot in time, where ‘imported’ plants are doing a powerful job in the here and now for the land. The work they do now prepares the soil to once again support her endemic species, oft displaced by dramatic changes created by humans.

            Yes, Pine and Gorse are imported. But so are you and I. The first peoples of this land acknowledge and document their own sacred migration in their lore, and there is deep learning available in humbly listening to the histories of Tangata Whenua.

            Hatred for particular species is rooted in a colonial mindset. This often manifests in Aotearoa as a ‘land management’ perspective. It has been my humble observation that for many of European descent, a rejection of non-native plant species is a form of internalised racism and apologism. The feelings behind this must be honored and taken seriously. There is pain here.

            Unchecked, these emotion-driven attitudes lead to the justification of horrific destruction. The common thread between what happened at Western Springs, Canal Road and the three Maunga that had their non-native trees stripped was the death of thousands of natives – trees, saplings, birds, frogs, skinks, eel, insects, fungi are more. Without habitat, life ends.

            It appears this mass ecocide was worth it so this city can visually virtue signal.

            While it is inconvenient for our minds, biological exchange and the evolution of ecosystems is an ongoing reality across the globe. We can argue and polarise, or we can be in relationship to the land and learn from the repair work she is doing. If we truly want to support native biodiversity, the first place we need to work may well be within our own attitudes.

            • PsyclingLeft.Always

              It has been my humble observation that for many of European descent, a rejection of non-native plant species is a form of internalised racism and apologism.

              Oh really? Thats a pretty interesting statement. Im kinda glad you said it was only your "humble observation".

              I'd hate to think you were promulgating it as more….

              • weka

                makes sense to me, although I see it more as Pākehā trying to find a way out of colonial guilt as well as rejection of our ancestors. To be clear, the point here is hatred of introduced species not love of natives. I've seen people direct hate at forests because they weren't native. That's nuts.

                • PsyclingLeft.Always

                  makes sense to me

                  Maybe thats your perspective too. So thats 2 of you. Cant say I have ever seen it. Might be the people we Associate with/Know….

                  Oh also Graeme and I had noted wilding problems up Mountains

                  Open mike 18/09/2022

                  And I also noted here today dangerous rotting Poplars.

                  Comment 9

                  Open mike 18/09/2022

                  Note Dangerous.

                  • weka

                    could be. I used to see it a lot in new age circles. It goes hand in hand with ideas about spiritual purity.

                    But as we talked about the other day, nativism is reasonably common in NZ and manifests as people that believe that non-natives should be removed, full stop. This is happening all over NZ. Is it happening in the projects you are involved with? Are non-natives being removed even if there's no immediate reason to?

                    • PsyclingLeft.Always

                      Hi Weka. Thanks for clarify and I do think we are in the same Green Mindspace. Wouldnt want that to change…

                      Cant say I have ever been to near "New Agers" ( They maybe nice enough..but not really sure : )

                      Oh re Native/Non Native…I did say the other day…I like my Fruit trees, like Oaks, and other Beautiful trees. Not so keen on Sycamores…(as you'll know if from Dunedin)…and the Wilding creeping death (to snow tussock and its Biodiversity) on Qtowns Mountain tops..as Graeme and I linked…And the Lombardy Polars.

                      Anyway…I gotta do stuff. I always read you and Roberts ..and DB Browns comments Re Permaculture with interest.

                    • weka

                      Cheers PLA.

                      When you come back let's have a conversation about the forest on the edge of the town belt in the Leith Valley. Sycamores grow there among the natives. Should they be removed? When? How?

                      Nativists would say they should all be taken out now. Permaculturists and regenerators would say, what role are the sycamores playing currently? What are the impacts of removal en masse? Impacts of selective logging? Impacts of doing nothing? What other options are available?

                      Is it possible to create a fully native ecosystem in that place given the number of seeding sycamores in the area? Does it matter if it is a mixed forest? Can we create a fully native ecosystem in another place and leave this existing forest to get on with its business?

                  • tinderdry6

                    "Cant say I have ever seen it."

                    That surprises me. I can say it's rife in Auckland. At the Waitematā Local Board meeting that finally decided to remove the pines at Western Springs Forest, one local board member (who has British parentage) explained that her reason for voting to remove the pines was her own guilt about colonisation. It seemed a very strange reason to vote to destroy a native understory containing more plants than have been subsequently replanted.

                  • Samar Ocean Wolf Ciprian

                    I spoke to this below. I've had a lot of long conversations over the last three years with NZers of European descent about this and how it feels to them. There are a lot of people who feel that they have to reject non-natives, and it is an extension of self-rejection.

                    Personally, I would not assume to know what any other individual feels, but I do feel a responsibility to bring into the conversation psychological factors that are at play societally.

                    Its important to hear ofcourse, that that is not true for you, because that is valid as well.

                • Robert Guyton

                  "Nativists would say they should all be taken out now"

                  They might not 🙂

                  Nativists might also be willing to play the long game, using sycamore as an "interim state" tree that can ensure the success of their eventual aim for 100% native. It's easy to ascribe thoughtlessness to the "others" 🙂

                  These ideas are very complex. Imagine if the "exotic" was a possum.

                  My feeling is that most problems don't have definitive answers; the genie is out of the bottle and from here on, we scramble to find the best of a bad bunch solution, and even that will be constantly subject to change.

                  I'm also not so sure that "colonial guilt" is a useful model to use. I expect that at a deeper level, people are confused/disturbed/guilt-ridden as the result of a wider cultural disconnection from our earliest ancestors who didn't kill without thinking and were much more finely tuned to other living things. As modern humans, we are complicit with so much destruction and brutalising of nature (driven on an earth-smothering road, lately?) that at a level we know we are brutes and can't easily be anything else.

            • Robert Guyton

              My thoughts echo yours, SOWC. Part of the problem is the habit of instant gratification, which doesn't translate well when it comes to establishing forests. Succession; planting establishment crops then rolling forward with successional sowings/plantings etc. seems beyond the imagination of most people and it surely is something that has to be studied hard before the penny drops, for most people and certainly, organisations. In this instance, it sounds (from a great distance) as though several stages of forest establishment were already passed and the clearance will have set the process back to square one, so to speak. Disappointing. Despite the reference to colonialism, it seems to me that there are good learnings to be gleaned from very old European cultures that employed successional forest management practices. Maori may have, but the forests here are of a different nature to those elsewhere in the world, so employing certain techniques might not be traditional here. Coppicing, for example, may not have flourished here, as it did in Europe. Nor pollarding. Terrapreta. Seedballs. Nightsoil.

              Personally, I blame agriculture for the mindset that destroys trees. And it's evil cousin, civilisation 🙂

              • Samar Ocean Wolf Ciprian

                Hi Robert!

                Thank you so much for your lovely comment!

                Firstly, huge gratitude for centering European indigenous practices and land care. This is pivotal to understand. We all come from a memory of living close to the land. Every single one of us. The differences are related to time, and how long ago our families/tribes were separated from place.

                The purpose in discussing colonization is connected deeply to the rationale presented early in the piece for the removal of trees off the Maunga. It was clearly presented as a decolonisation process.

                To my mind and heart, the question naturally becomes ‘what is decolonisation’? Is there a way to do it with compassion, where everyone, including the living world has a seat at the table? Where wounds are treated according to need but nobody is vilified or left behind?

                Yup. Agriculture/civilization etc. All create distance. There’s no going back, but here we stand at a pivotal time where our behaviours have caught up with us as a species.

                The best possible outcome of a decolonial project would be to bring people together to care for the living world again. What is unfurling with the Maunga so far is antithetical, and the polarization in the community demonstrates this.

                Thank you again, appreciate your wisdom.

                • Robert Guyton

                  "Is there a way to do it with compassion, where everyone, including the living world has a seat at the table? Where wounds are treated according to need but nobody is vilified or left behind?"

                  Sounds like this is not an option in the present situation. That's not surprising, as there are complex streams, cultural, ideological, personal, racial etc. flowing this way and that.

                  Looking more widely (land use across Aotearoa/the wide world) a similar challenge simmers. Perhaps issues like the one here will serve a test-cases and we will be able to offer our findings/accomodations to the world; somebody has to keep at it till it's resolved.

                  To my mind, this is the essential work. It's very challenging and very interesting. And a lot is riding on us resolving it 🙂

                  • Samar Ocean Wolf Ciprian

                    This is the challenge of our time, to revive nuance and work towards a cohesive human and humane approach.

                    We may not get there. But again, one has to know what they can live with. I know I have to try.

                    And trees are so much better than people ❤️

                    • Robert Guyton

                      They're certainly stoic.

                      Except for those, such as elms, that strategically drop limbs:

                      "Elm hateth man

                      And waiteth"


            • joe90

              Nope, no loons.


              • weka

                you know better than this. If you want to argue they're wrong, then make the argument. If you want to do ad homs, then there's a limit on how much that will be tolerate.

                • joe90

                  I've seen enough of the Gulf island reserves to know what's possible so I support Tūpuna Maunga Authority plans to return Tāmaki Makaurau maunga to something like their pre-European state.

                  So AFAIC, there's no argument to be had with a pack of well heeled nimbys, or indeed the likes of Brash's mob nor the stetson wearing twit they seem to appeal to. A majority want maunga replanted so suck it up, kiddies.

                  And then along comes this fucking twit and her reckons about peoples motivations opposing said pack of well heeled nimbys.

                  There's no argument, there's only derision.

                  • tinderdry6

                    "I've seen enough of the Gulf island reserves to know what's possible so I support Tūpuna Maunga Authority plans to return Tāmaki Makaurau maunga to something like their pre-European state."

                    You're buying into a series of myths.

                    To return to a "pre-European state", Ōwairaka, to take just one maunga, would need to be stripped of all of it's trees, native and exotic. Is that what you support?

                    And if by 'Gulf island reserves, you're referring to Tiri Matangi, you might want to educate yourself.

                    “A majority want maunga replanted”
                    Yes, so do we. There is no need to remove the exotics, they are either providing canopy cover, or are not in the same proximity to the proposed plantings.

                    ” there’s no argument to be had…”
                    However you characterise people you disagree with, you’re not putting up any kind of coherent argument to support the removal of the trees, so in that sense, you are missing out on engagement.

                  • Sacha

                    The authority also retained advice from arbourists. It's not as if they came up with removing exotics first on their own. But the whole thing has become a flashpoint for anxieties about whose expertise counts.

                    • tinderdry6

                      "It's not as if they came up with removing exotics first on their own."

                      Actually, it's worse than that The decision was not made by the Authority, but by one individual without reference to either the Authority members or the wider public. I quote from the Court of Appeal judgement:

                      [[107] Mr Majurey’s evidence can be contrasted with that of Mr Christopher Parkinson, who was a member of the Tūpuna Maunga Authority from its inception to the end of 2019. Mr Parkinson at the relevant time was a board member of the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Reserves Board. He was appointed by the Council as a representative on the Tūpuna Maunga Authority for two three-year terms. In his affidavit, he noted that while the Tūpuna Maunga Authority had agreed the Annual Operational Plan, the documents comprising that plan did not contain any detail of the proposed removal of the trees. He said that he had attended all of the hui and prior workshops held by the Tūpuna Maunga Authority, aside from “a few absences” both during the formation of the IMP and after that. He said that to the best of his knowledge, there had been no discussion of the removal of all of the exotic trees on Ōwairaka at any of the hui or workshops in which he took part.

                      [98] There is no written record of the decision to remove the 345 exotic trees from Ōwairaka, nor to do so over a short period of time. The Judge found that the decision was made at some time in the period of 9 August to 11 October 2018, and was made by Mr Turoa on behalf of the Tūpuna Maunga Authority.

                      I am not aware of any single arboricultural expert who supports the single stage removal of the exotics on ecological or environmental grounds.

                    • weka []

                      it’s a requirement of this site to provide a link when copy and pasting (or an explicit citation if the quote is not online). This is for a range of reasons related to keeping debate robust eg people may want to see context. Can you please supply the link now.

                    • Incognito []

                      Weka has already asked for a link, so where is it?

                    • weka

                      The authority also retained advice from arbourists. It's not as if they came up with removing exotics first on their own. But the whole thing has become a flashpoint for anxieties about whose expertise counts.

                      Farmers retain advice from experts and our rivers are dying.

                      yes a flash point. With a fair amount of denialism from some progressives.

                  • Samar Ocean Wolf Ciprian

                    Its not immediately clear who the twit is in your commentary, but on the off chance its me I'll respond here.

                    My suppositions on internalized racism and the transference of that onto non-native plants come from many heartfelt conversations over the last three years with New Zealanders of European descent. It takes a lot for them to be vulnerable to the degree required to face such deep conditioning. Consistently, they share that how they feel about non-native plants is an extension of how they feel they ought to about themselves. This isn't something to take lightly, or mock.

                    In referring to people as 'kiddos', 'nimbys' and suggesting people must 'suck up' anything if it is not their choice to do so, I am hearing a defensiveness and aggression.

                    It is possible for us to disagree. I respect your choice to support the TMA. I am not asking for the same in return. However, I also don't believe I or anyone else needs to tolerate being ridiculed for their stance or belief.

                    Wishing you well.

                    • DB Brown

                      Last time I removed an exotic (not counting this time turning privet into a food forest) it was a large sweetgum with heart-rot. It endangered my greenhouse and neighbours house so it had to go.

                      I used the logs to make garden surrounds, to landscape slopes, and to grow fungi. I used the mulch to fill in the garden surrounds, and I planted herbs, spices, flowers, vegetables and other trees in them (lemon, lime, lemonade, olive, feijoa, cherry guava, titoki, kowhai…) using mostly just the resources of the one 'fallen' tree (some cardboard, manure, rockdust and a bit of lime – certainly helps).

                      Western Springs was imbecilic. I weed pines and gorse at times when up there because, surprise surprise, they are popping up in the gaps as they do, but! – not in the bush. Unfortunately, they removed a large chunk of the bush and there's a massive gap. A team of arborists could have done a significantly better job than those forestry types. But now it is locals weeding and long may that continue before council turn up with more bloody cides.

                      There seems to be a lot more doers than thinkers involved in many of these projects. The eagerness to be seen to be doing something overriding the need to be doing it right. The machines turn up, the chemicals, it's all over rover.

                      But what is right or wrong with trees?

                      Natives can take care of themselves and local wildlife, in turn taking care of us for relatively little input (via ecosystem services of flood and drought mitigation, pollination, air cleaning, oxygen provision, cooling, pollutant reduction, seed provision, fuel, fibre, food…). Exotics that aren't spreading – who cares really, nice to have the diversity. Exotics that are invasive… they'll cost a fortune and wipe out diversity. So define the exotics.

                      Keeping rampant exotics in check can be hugely demanding in time and resources. Fine for me where I can steward the land, coppicing and growing logs, poles, fuel… from privet. But taking on wilding pines now, not tolerating or trying to just check them, could stop a huge amount of problems down the line (wildfires for a start). As for other trees…

                      What trees? Exotics don't belong in native bush, but trying to knock exotics out of Auckland parks seems a bit daft, unless they're problematic – unless they're bloody Tory trees or something!

                      If they got to drop them, turn them into fertile ground for natives.

                      Todays protests all get counter-protestors. It's a wonder we get anything done. Everyone screaming to do it right, no left, no!!!

                      What is right? And what is left after all the fighting?

                      One would hope common sense.

                      If invasive – stop it reproducing or remove it. If not invasive and not endangering anything, leave it be or at least utilise it. My 3c (inflation).

                    • Robert Guyton

                      In Southland, the rampant exotic that suppresses native tree establishment is…pasture grass!

                      Bloody exotic pest!!


                    • solkta

                      You are lucky your neighbors don't complain about the privet. From memory you are in Auckland and i am not sure about the rules there, but Northland Regional Council has a bylaw about privet in that it must be removed if within 50m of a dwelling of someone who's health is affected. And also within 10m of a property where the occupier is trying to eradicate it.

                    • DB Brown

                      Council rules on privet. Ermmm. My house backs on to an entire forest of Ligustrum lucidum on council land – in mid city. Slowly it's being thinned and the natives under it, given the light gaps, are thriving. Other weeds have needed more constant control there, jasmine, tradescantia… to let the native nursery take place.

                      You kill them by leaving a trunk and pulling the suckers off every few months for up to 2 years. This requires attention to the land. It only needs minutes per tree but the landowner needs to be paying attention. Or you can use tons of poison and hope for the best. Poison mostly works but some regrow.

                      These trees generate a lot of fungi when you drop them without poisons. The fungi in turn build gorgeous topsoil. Coppiced, they make good garden poles in 1 year. Hot non-sparking firewood size in 2, fungi cultivation logs in 3. The flowers have medicine that modulates blood glucose. The berries feed birds – chooks love em but unfortunately that spreads them.

                      Not all privet are equal. I just dropped some 10m trees of the L lucidum. I've found many uses for it, much to the horror of others whom know two fifths of fuck all about it.

                      The problem is the solution. One day there will be no privet here as they will have provided the impetus and biomass to enable a thriving food forest (and adjacent native forest) in their wake.

                • tinderdry6

                  "Can you please supply the link now."

                  Yes, of course. 0f7fd3e7-192f-4904-9149-9b9558303850.pdf (justice.govt.nz)

            • Muttonbird

              Bro, you've used the term, "virtue signal".

              That itself is a signal.

          • tinderdry6

            Here's another link I was looking for.

            Pine forest natives | New Zealand Geographic (nzgeo.com)

  3. joe90 3

    We’re only losing because NATO is better than us!

    And then they turn on the guy pointing out the absurdity of their argument that it’s okay Russia is retreating, because an American author and military commentator was there.

    • Ad 3.1

      But it is an open proxy war.

      • joe90 3.1.1

        I that's what it takes.

        In the city of Izyum, liberated by the Ukrainian military during a large-scale counteroffensive in the Kharkiv region, a mass grave was discovered. According to the prosecutor of the region Oleksandr Filchakov, 445 graves of civilians were found – and another mass grave of Ukrainian servicemen. Some bodies testify to the use of torture. Exhumation work continues. Meduza shows the main photos of the 205th day of the war.

        google translate (NSF sensitive souls)

  4. Molly 4

    Just in case anyone was wondering about the Q and the + in addition to the T.

    Despite images appearing on social media, there was a reluctance to accept that these were actual images of a Canadian high school teacher at work.

    Unfortunately, not only have these images been verified, the school has now issued an EDI statement, confirming they will continue to expose other school members to this man's sexual fetishes. Effectively, forcing participation without consent.

    “We are aware of discussion on social media and in the media regarding Oakville Trafalgar High School. We would like to take this opportunity to reiterate to our community that we are committed to establishing and maintaining a safe, caring, inclusive, equitable and welcoming learning and working environment for all students and staff,” the email reads.

    The school defers to the Ontario Human Rights Code, suggesting that any concerns about Lemieux would be akin to discrimination.

    “We strive to promote a positive learning environment in schools consistent with the values of the HDSB and to ensure a safe and inclusive environment for all students, staff and the community, regardless of race, age, ability, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, cultural observance, socioeconomic circumstances or body type/size.”

    • Sabine 4.1

      The Teacher is brave, stunning and most marginalized and the students just have to suck on that huge transcock if they find this person not brave, stunning and most marginalized. Never mind the OSH problem. But this is Canada, and this is for whom Self ID was made. I can't wait for this to be here in our streets, schools, and just everywhere. So brave, so stunning and so so marginalized.
      Also no one would ever think that this would not be a women, as no one would be able to tell without checking on their genitals.

      • Molly 4.1.1

        I'm sure it's bigoted of me to be somewhat unconcerned about the back pain that may result from lugging 16kg prosthetics around all day.

        I now await with a mixture of both anticipation and dread, the same defence of a woman teacher trotting around in a Flash Gordon outfit, with similarly exaggerated male genitalia.

        What's that, it will be unlikely, as there is a sex differential in sexual paraphilias?

        Who would've thought.

        • Sabine

          Their hair is in their face, they are not wearing googles, their silicon tits are about to be sawed of. This person is a walking OSH case. Any back pain from their extra large silicon tits should not be accepted as a 'work place accident' after all they ordered, paid and strapped them on.

          The kids though. No rights to say anything at all. Made part in this teachers affirmation fetish without consent, unless going to school now to receive an education is now consenting to participating in the teachers fetish of objectifying womanhood, and woman body parts.

    • Rosemary McDonald 4.2

      No doubt I'm still in the dogbox…but someone needs to point out the very obvious workshop health and safety issues going on in this footage.

      Flowing hair, long sleeves and whatever are those growths on that teacher's chest…tut tut…would not be allowed around my workshop power tools.

      The mitre saw is bad enough… but just imagine that hair in a drill press, or those growths around a table saw. Eeek!

      [Yes, so why don’t you get yourself out of the dog box? You know how. This is becoming more than tedious, so this is your last chance – Incognito]

      • Incognito 4.2.1

        Mod note

      • Molly 4.2.2

        I hope you do get out soon Rosemary.

        Good H&S points.

      • weka 4.2.3

        The mod note about the dog box is here


        My suggestion is you retract your inference that the study said covid vax caused heart attacks, and move on.

        • RedLogix

          You do not have to go very far to find tens of thousands of people who have been vaccine injured one way or another – and I am one.

          We did what we were assured was the right thing – and now we're being told to fuck off and not embarrass the Big Pharma establishment.

          • Molly

            I don't quite fathom the need to have everyone agree on interpretation, especially re medical data, but I am sorry to hear of your vaccine injury.

            Have you had any improvement on that front?

            • RedLogix

              Thank you for asking. At present the symptoms are mild – but the antibody test that formally diagnoses it was not. Future uncertain.

              Suffice to say I am doing all I can to improve my odds. Radical no stress being one of them 🙂

              • Molly

                Uncertainty can be more stressful sometimes.

                Given the unprecedented number of vaccinated around the globe, your situation is likely to be shared by many.

                An effective government response to LongCovid and vaccine is needed.

                How and when this will manifest is the question.

                • weka

                  Let's say that in another year's time 50% of the NZ population has had covid (2.5m). If the LC rate is 10% of infections (more likely higher than that), that's 250,000 people with ongoing symptoms. Let's say 25% of those are serious to the point where people can't work or can only work part time. That's 62,500 people that need health care and financial support as well as support with life tasks like childcare or cleaning their house.

                  Current SLP numbers are about 90,000 (long term people unable to work due to disability).

                  What I want to know is what is likely to be happening at year 5. Or year 10. If subsequent covid infections increase risk of LC, are we heading for most people eventually getting LC? What happens at the point that there are more people with LC unable to work than those able to keep society functioning? Or even running the health system? Mostly I want to know what is going on in people's minds that we aren't talking about this as a major crisis on the horizon.

                  • Molly

                    I'm not going to dispute your numbers. They look fairly conservative to me.

                    I'm more than certain, we will never know the true figure of vaccine injuries though. We have to have a sincere intention to identity and record those, anId we still have a focus on denigrating those who did not get vaccinated.

                    I'm sure that there are conversations going on in various ways about both Long Covid, and vaccine injuries. The discussion however, is not being led or explored by our Ministry of Health, politicians or commentators.

                    As always, when health is compromised, those who suffer the most are unlikely to be in a position to advocate strongly.

                    I don't know what the answer is here. Perhaps getting in touch with the Ministry to indicate concern or send a OIA request.

                    I'm not impressed with their medical management on a few issues. The fact that they will drop the ball here as well, is expected rather than a surprise.

                    Those in power who ignore the impact, are doing the usual. Avoiding that which doesn't have a clear answer.

              • Anker

                Hope you are o.k. Red Logix

              • left for dead

                All the best ,too you Red.

          • weka

            You do not have to go very far to find tens of thousands of people who have been vaccine injured one way or another – and I am one.

            I don't know how many people have been vaccine injured, and as far as I know no-one does. Because we don't have robust processes for tracking this. Maybe it's tens of thousands globally, ranging from low level reactions to serious disability causing injuries to death. The latter being rare.

            We did what we were assured was the right thing – and now we're being told to fuck off and not embarrass the Big Pharma establishment.

            Not news to me or many others who were trying to talk about this from the start. The debate on TS when the vaccine was being developed split between those with high faith (vax reactions are very rare, trust the authorities) and those with strong feelings that vax is wrong and who denied the value of the vaccine. Missing was the idea that vaccines do cause damage but the overall damage is less than not vaccinating against covid, and what that means for the individuals vs the collective.

            I've been trying to have these conversations on TS for a very long time, long before covid.

            • AB

              I've been trying to have these conversations on TS for a very long time, long before Covid

              Taking any drug is a utilitarian calculation of risk. I have had unpleasant reactions to some anti-hypertensive drugs – but they have undoubtedly lowered my blood pressure. The reactions are not life-threatening, whereas a stroke or heart failure might be. So I take the risk – and fortunately the risk and reward are almost entirely private to me, apart from my responsibility to be here and keep supporting a narrow circle of immediate family.

              An infectious disease widens that circle of responsibility to include everyone else in society, most of whom we've never met and never will. Getting vaccinated is an act of solidarity as well as self-interest. But the problem with utilitarian calculations at the whole-population level, is that harms and benefits are not equally distributed. There is no way round this dilemma – as anyone who has watched their own child being vaccinated will know. Sometimes faith is a useful habit.

              • weka

                good summation.

                Pragmatically I can't see how we could have managed without vaccinating against covid. There will be people harmed by this, but it will be considerably less than those harmed by covid and LC. There's also the flatten the curve issue and impact on the health system.

                We could however have done better in looking after people who had averse reactions to the vaccine, and those who were affected by the mandate. And likewise, those who get LC. We are still really bad at this. See Molly's comment above as well.

              • weka

                Sometimes faith is a useful habit.

                True, although it irks when it's used by rationalists who then deny they are using it. I just wish people would be more honest about it because then we could account for it and get better at dealing with the downsides.

                • Shanreagh

                  I just have a feeling that the impacts of getting Covid ie without a vaccine or even with it are spread over many more people than vaccine injury. The impact of Long Covid, even on the vaccinated is a whole different subject.

                  I know of only one person who has had vaccine injury and that is Redlogix. Many of us had sore arms and aches but these were fleeting, for some no worse than the annual flu injection.

                  Those of my friends and acquaintances who are still suffering from the after effects of having had Covid as vaccinated people are many more. What would it have been like had we not had the vaccine, many of us would be dead I think. I suspect this view is being played out/expressed all around the world. We may have had to accept a less than perfect result from the vaccine because this virus came upon us so quickly.

                  • weka

                    That's how I see it too. Which sucks for the individuals who have adverse reactions to the vaccine, and yes this is the price we are paying. Which is why I think we should be looking after those people and we just aren't.

                    • Shanreagh

                      Yes I agree. I know several people who would be classed as having long Covid, am suspecting I fall into this category. Constant tiredness and soreness on the soles of my feet that the Dr says may be neurological…..

                      One friend has newly acquired asthma, another has her Doctor wondering about hiatus hernia like symptoms or digestive symptoms that developed immediately after Covid. If all these things don't pass then there will be impacts on us and the health system and for those of us still in the workforce on our earning capacity and productiveness, then on the earning capacity and productiveness in all facets of life in our country.

                      All this and the future for those who were vaccine injured is lost among the BAU, prosperity churchers and silly anti mask enthusiasts.

        • Rosemary McDonald


          I did not infer the study said the Pfizer product causes heart attacks.

          The study found that the Pfizer shot can cause myocarditis, (possibly at a much higher rate than we were warned), and that there were measurable changes in the hearts (based on changes from a wide range of baseline readings) of many study participants.

          [You have not responded to the original Mod note nor have you retracted it, but just repeated your misleading interpretation and extrapolation of a manuscript that has not been peer-reviewed yet and that is based on very small numbers, which you both deny and confirm. Your science illiteracy is compounded by your strong negative bias and your stubbornness – it is hard to escape the feeling that there’s an element of deliberation in your ambiguity and confusion.

          You’ve had several chances and it is clear that you will simply repeat, rinse, repeat, ad nauseam, which is your MO here on a number of topics. Of course, after a ban you will continue this and I’ll continue moderating you for the same reasons and behaviour as I see fit, which is what you expected and thus what you’ll receive. TS readers deserve better than gaslighting from commenters. I’ll move you to Black List for a month – Incognito]

      • weka 4.2.4

        Incog will deal with your comment in Pending, but I did want to address this,

        I did not infer the study said the Pfizer product causes heart attacks.

        I don't think you did either, but the problem is your comment was ambiguous. All you have to do is acknowledge that the study didn't say that and clarify what you actually meant. Simply and without adding a whole bunch of other stuff. If you had done that at the time, you wouldn't be about to get a ban.

        All that is happening here is you've been moderated and haven't responded and are about to get a ban because of that. If you want to avoid that, you can just do as I suggest and see if that works. I'm saying this because I want you to keep your commenting privileges here.

        The study found that the Pfizer shot can cause myocarditis, (possibly at a much higher rate than we were warned)…

        In the original thread we addressed a lot of this. The study had one person out of 300 who got pericarditis after vax. You claimed this meant that a 1 in 300 rate. It was explained to you why that is not true. You made a false claim based on low science literacy.

        You've now changed your position to 'possibly', but you still need to provide evidence for that opinion if asked. And you are just bad at doing this. Usually you respond with a bunch of rhetoric like you just have, which is both a diversion and a sucking up of mod time.

        The more you do that kind of thing (make false statements, refuse to provide clear evidence, double down with more rhetoric when asked for evidence), the less trustworthy your opinions become. All I'm saying is up your game, because those kinds of claims are not necessary and they're counter productive.

        In terms of TS, both of the main mods are sick of having to pull people up on this. Some topics require a very robust level of evidence, and this is obviously one of them. I want the debate here to stay open and people be allowed to argue a range of positions, but there are limits.

    • weka 4.3

      Is that Canada's particular legal situation boxing schools in?

      Helen Joyce was on point,

      • weka 4.3.1

        the sooner we get public discussion about AGP and how it fits into the Stonewalled definition of trans the better.

        • Sabine

          Yes it is all legal. That is whom Self ID is for.

        • Stuart Munro

          We've had unintended legislative outcomes before. One was the bill that legalized prostitution. Though the intent seemed to be the freeing up the lives of women of slender means, a non-trivial result was making life much easier for pimps.

          • weka

            that one was foreseeable too.

          • Molly

            I never understood the intent of that bill. Negative outcomes were obvious.

            I recall Chris Carter speaking about a study that had 68-80% of prostitutes reporting they required illegal drug use to get through the day. That didn't seem to give him pause for thought when advocating for the bill.

            • weka

              Decriminalising of prostitution stops punishing women who are largely doing sex work out of financial need. We could have decriminalised selling sex and criminalised buying sex though.

              • Stuart Munro

                That's certainly a popular approach – I think Korea uses it, the effect is more to suppress some of the less desirable client behaviours, than to stamp it out.

                I would have wanted a rule that only two forms of business were ok for prostitution though – self-employment, or cooperatives. No freeloading Terry Browns or Chow brothers motivated to grief or addict people to exploit.

              • Molly

                The Nordic model (?) – that decriminalised the prostitutes, but retained laws against procurement or pimping was discussed at the time. The political will seemed to lie elsewhere.

                (This topic is worthy of a specific post. There is a lot to it)

            • Stuart Munro

              Well there was a section of the Labour party that was notoriously lacking judgment. It cost Clark dearly.

              It's always been a complicated question, prostitution. It's no picnic for those obliged to resort to it, and it is often also exploitive of its customers. Recognizing it as vice is common in most societies, like gambling, which was also legalized in a similarly breathtaking act of irresponsibility around the same. So much for the decent society.

              I imagine part of the motivation was the out of control neo-liberalism in Parliament, exercised through Winz, whose shriveled consciences could now pretend that going on the game was just like other forms of business.

      • Mike the Lefty 4.3.2


        Some people are right attention seekers aren't they!

        • weka

          do you know what AGP is Mike? Do you think it's ok for a teacher to act out their sexual fetish in their day job in front of students and other staff?

          • Mike the Lefty

            Did I say I approve?

            I simply meant that this person is obviously a through and through attention seeker and is getting all the attention he/she/it wants.

            And suddenly a few of you get narky.

            Some would describe that as "woke".

            • Molly

              "And suddenly a few of you get narky."

              Making comments is the point of this platform.

              Asking for clarity is common. Especially when the intent is not clear.

              Since only weka and I responded, I can't see that either of the two comments should make you feel defensive. But perhaps you do.

            • weka

              I asked you two reasonable questions Mike. Nothing narky, I'm curious if you understand that this person isn't simply seeking attention but is probably acting out their sexual fetish in a school classroom.

              I also wanted to know if you are ok with that, not because I'm being narky, but because a large chunk of the left does indeed support this. So much so that in Canada, the school won't do anything about the sexual transgression.

        • Molly

          @Mike the Lefty.

          This person with a obvious sexual paraphilias – including exhibitionism – has unconsenting minors participating in his sexual stimulation.

          And the school intends to defend this as inclusive practice.

      • AB 4.3.3

        Is there any reason why overtly sexualised behaviour such as this wouldn't result in any teacher being removed from the classroom – no matter who they were? Such laws exist, and things like this shouldn't escape them.

        • weka

          Trans people are divine and can't be touched.*

          The problem the school has is that it will be accused of transphobia if it does anything. Canada has some hefty laws around this too, so their hands may be tied.

          Few people want to talk about AGP. If we can't name AGP, or fetish, then this is simply a trans woman expressing her identity and it's forbidden to challenge that. It would be a brave person to stand up and say this is something sexual and therefore contextually wrong.

          *here I mean the ideology. Plenty of trans people getting caught up in this bullshit unfairly.

      • Anker 4.3.4

        Wait for the cries of transphobia, for not automatically affirming and celebrating this "womans" identity

    • Anker 4.4

      This of course is the outrage that this automatic affirmation, self ID is about.

      Anyone willing on this site to argue why someone with this fetish should be allowed to be around school pupils? Do I hear silence?

      Blind affirmation, allowing this trans women's desires to trump all shows the madness of the allies of this movemnt.

      Stunning and brave? Not so much, in fact not at all. Please make it stop

  5. joe90 5

    Johnny Mee's CT mates are in the news.

    https://archive.ph/Fbpfv (the times)

  6. Mike the Lefty 6

    I read in Stuff that the government is going to change the rules for subdividing land to protect valuable horticultural land from being developed into housing – particularly around South Auckland.

    About f….ng time!

  7. Samar Ocean Wolf Ciprian 7

    Hi there,

    As a founding member of Honour the Maunga, it feels important to respond to some of what has been raised here. Please excuse me as I haven’t read all the comments so will only address the ones that I have.

    We have been dealing with accusations of racism from day one, despite our organisation being made up of people from many ethnic backgrounds, including Māori. I myself am indigenous on both sides, with tribal ancestry in the Middle East and Northern India that I can trace back thousands of years.

    Given my own ancestors have dealt with the many damages of colonisation, had a treaty with the British and technically decolonized in 1971 by taking complete agency within their nation, what interest would I have in perpetuating Eurocentric norms? None.

    However, I know through lived experience that life itself matters more than identify politics. My ancestral lands are damaged beyond recognition, entirely due to money making projects and intensification at the hands of my own people. So, I can’t turn a blind eye when I see this kind of damage to the Earth being perpetuated.

    Our critics also fail to notice or mention that our organisation has been adopted via the process of uriwhanaunga into the Te Tawera hapu. This extended family bond is rooted in common concern. Te Tawera’s ancestor Wairaka’s footprints dwell upon this maunga, and they have voiced repeatedly the deep damage a tree massacre would have on this very special place.

    It is also rarely acknowledged that a long term member of our group has started her own organisation. Shirley Waru is Māori and she has begun to assemble around protecting the non native trees on Ōtāhuhu/Mount Richmond. She has stated many times that it is not in her understanding of tikanga that such horrific destruction could be justified. Yet, Shirley gets very little coverage by any media, certainly less than we do for being ‘white racists’. Please note, I’m visibly not white and contain zero European DNA. The same goes for several of our other members, who consistently get rendered invisible.

    So in terms of racism, it is frustrating to watch it play out in this way. If you are brown and don’t play to a cookie cutter prescription of what to believe and what to stand for, you are rendered voiceless. Much like the thousands of trees, birds and life forms about to butchered because people are unable to look past a binary construct that has been set up for them.

    Additionally, regarding to 13,000 natives replacing 345 exotics – please note this doesn’t mean 13,000 trees are going to take the place of this existing urban forest. The vast majority of plantings are low growing grasses, and the vast majority of those already in the ground are dead. There are plenty of resources and data on our website http://www.honourthemaunga.org.nz for those who wish to examine this issue from its multiple angles further.

    Regarding Canal Road, we were there. We were also there at Big Mac, Western Springs Forest and several other tree massacres. Sometimes for a very long time. I personally helped set up initial communications at Canal Road and dropped everything to show up at the old Four Kauri Medical Centre site recently to ask some quite dodgy tree fellers If they understood these native giants they were felling so haphazardly were someone’s ancestors. Our social media platform, which I manage, is consistently used as a voice of advocacy for other tree related movements. I hope that answers that question.

    Where were we for the last ten years? Well for the last three we have been at this day in and day out, unpaid and holding down other full time roles at the same time. Frequent slander isn’t uncommon, but sometimes in life you don’t do things to be popular. You do them being it’s right, and you need to be able to live with yourself at the end of the day.

    What happens to the land will affect all of us.

    Sending love and blessings to all.

    • weka 7.1

      thanks Samar. There are obviously a lot of complex dynamics going on here. Thanks for stepping up for the trees.

    • Visubversa 7.2

      The Western Springs replanting is doing very well after the removal of the crumbling pine trees. All your chanting, cursing and pissing on the bulldozers got you nowhere.

      • tinderdry6 7.2.1

        Council spent close to $2m removing 200 mostly healthy pines, and in the process destroyed more native plants than they have replaced. Meanwhile, the area is now a wasteland.

        You might find this article interesting.

      • Samar Ocean Wolf Ciprian 7.2.2

        Hi there

        since your comment was in response to my post I think it’s polite to reply.

        I haven’t personally cursed, chanted or urinated at any tree protection sites I’ve been too.

        It’s great that some of the plantings at Western Springs are surviving and doing well. I am aware there are areas where the pine chip wasn’t cleared, and therefore volatile terpenes will be preventing the others from doing as well due to inhibiting root development.
        The wet winter certainly would have helped.

        However, the people on site weren’t just protesting the felling of the Pines, the majority of which were not crumbling, and this was proven to be true in assessments of the area. They were protesting the destruction of an existing wild native forest underneath them.

        At least 15,000 established natives – including rewarewa, pōhutukawa, kauri, tōtara, taraire, kawakawa, kowhai, puriri, tarata, whauwhaupaku, taupata, karo, karamu, puka, kiokio, harakeke, horoeka, rimu, houpara, matipo, mamaku, ponga, nikau and more lost their lives at a price tag of round about 2 million dollars to be replaced by 7000 new ones, some of which appear to be surviving.

        This is what the protestors fought for, and the innumerable other lives – animal, plant, insect, microbial, fungal, fish, eels – that went with this forest. And you’re right. It achieved nothing.

        Now I’m sincerely curious. What makes you feel that was a positive outcome?

    • left for dead 7.3

      yes Cheers for your and fellows effort.

  8. PsyclingLeft.Always 9

    Just re rotting Trees and their problem/cost/danger. I had forgotten the dangerous Lombardy Poplar.


    Queenstown's famed poplar trees have crushed cars, damaged a motel and killed a man, but the council still won't test the internal rot of the tree trunks.


    Dec 2021

    A poplar tree beside a rural Queenstown road has toppled in the same week a decision was made to close the road in high winds.


    Planted by early settlers…and quite dangerous.

    • tinderdry6 9.1

      Trees need managing, native or exotic. The headline of the Queenstown example says it all.

      • PsyclingLeft.Always 9.1.1

        Well..I personally …IMO, you understand..actually read the link article. And surprise..It DID say QLDC coulda/shouda.

        However..IMO of course ! Dont think ALL trees need managed. SOME do. And that folks is my input here.

        This has all become a bit …tiresome. So many on completely OPPOSITE sides. "Nativists" NonNativists" "Others". I cant be bothered. I'd as soon keep doing what I'm doing.

        • weka

          Forests that people spend a lot of time in, or that are next to important infrastructure always need to be managed.

          We pay roading companies to manage the native trees that fall on the roads inside forested areas. Have you seen how much damage a full grown totara or other podocarp does when it falls?

          Yes, some trees are prone to causing specific problems, including lombardies. As others point out this is a management issue, nothing to do with native or exotic. But no tree lives forever, and there will always be trees at the end of their life.

    • Robert Guyton 9.2

      Ever seen large fallen tree limbs in native forests?

      Dangerous as!

      • PsyclingLeft.Always 9.2.1

        Hmm. Not too sure where you are going with that. Is to blow off my Poplar comment? Seems so. I kinda hope not..but ah well.

        • Robert Guyton

          Nah. Trees tip over, especially those grown in a nursery, rather than as the result of fallen seed. Management is the answer, from start to finish. I wish every person was knowledgable about trees and plants in general.

          • tinderdry6

            Hear hear. BTW, Samar sent me this link. I just love what you've done. I wish I had the patience and the skills to tackle something like you both have.

            • Robert Guyton

              Thanks, tinderdry6 – I'm glad you enjoyed the video. I'm not so patient and skilful – more restless and curious 🙂

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