Open mike 19/03/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 19th, 2022 - 244 comments
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244 comments on “Open mike 19/03/2022 ”

  1. Jenny how to get there 1

    The end does not justify the means. Rotten means are indicative of a rotten ends.

    "One of Vladimir Putin’s objectives in the Russian incursion into Ukraine was to “denazify Ukraine.”…
    …Once Russia has succeeded however, the world will be a better place for it."

    Mike Smith

    https://thestandard.org.nz/denazifying-ukraine/

    "the world will be a better place"?

    Really?

    The war in the Ukraine has nothing to do with suppressing neo-nazis in the Ukraine. Russia has neo-nazis fighting on their side with Russia's blessing and support.

    Make no mistake, the Russian invasion of the Ukraine is about imperial conquest and expansion. And the revanchist dreams of Russian leaders for a return to empire.

    Appeasing the expansive ambitions of, wanna-be imperialists only leads to greater conflict.
    If we don't stop this war, the world will not be a better place, as Mike Smith contends, the world will be a worse one.

    The growth economies of large capitalist opposing blocs have no choice, expand or decline. Growth or Recession.
    Not only are the capitalist growth economies of the various political and economic rival blocs, bumping up against the natural buffers of the planet, they are bumping up against each other. War is the inevitable outcome.

    The pretexts given for these conflicts are often ridiculous.

    The murder of an Archduke?

    Rooting out neo-nazis?

    The Tonkin incident?

    War on terror?

    So how do we end imperial wars of conquest, and expansion? What's the solution?

    Some have compared Russia's invasion of the Ukraine to the German invasion of Poland.

    Just as Poland was Germany's corridor to the East. geographically and politically Ukraine is Russia's corridor to the West.

    Ukraine has always been the link between the East and the West. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, when countries close to Europe like Romania, Lithuania joined NATO, Ukrainians were divided in their aspirations. In the Eastern part of Ukraine, most people speak Russian and remain pro-Russian while the west of the country leans towards EU.

    Why is Ukraine important to Russia? – News | Khaleej Times

    A better comparison to Russia's invasion of Ukraine Gernmany's invasion of Poland, would be America's invasion and attempted conquest of Vietnam.

    Just like Ukraine Vietnam was a tempting prize for imperialism. First invaded and colonised by the French Imperialists in the 19th Century, Vietnam was reinvaded by the Japanese Empire during WWII, The Japanese, helped by Vichy collaborators, imposed their own colonial rule over Vietnam. Before the end of the War the Japanese imperialists were defeated by the Vietnamese people. At the end of WWII France launched a military campaign to regain their former colony. The post-WWII French imperialists, like the Japanese imperialists before them, were defeated by the Vietnamese people.

    Seizing their chance the US imperialists sought to recolonise the newly independent country of Vietnam. Just as America had done in the Philippines after the Philippines revolution of 1898 following the collapse of Spanish colonialism..

    (Mark Twain the founding chairman of the American Anti-imperialist Association commenting on the naked US imperial grab of the Philippines wrote that the stripes on the American flag should be changed to prison bars and the stars to skulls.)

    Despite the lengths the U.S. military went in its attempt to gain control over Vietnam, it would go on to lose spectacularly. There are two key reasons for this. The first is that the United States underestimated the Vietnamese fight for independence. This was a country that spent much of its history occupied, and having just had a glimpse of its independence after defeating the French occupation in 1954, the Vietnamese people were not about to be ruled by another foreign invader. Through determination and well-organized guerilla tactics, the people of Vietnam would go on to shock the world by expelling the powerful American empire from their land.

    The Vietnam War: Brutal, Criminal, Imperialist

    https://www.leftvoice.org/the-vietnam-war-brutal-criminal-imperialist/

    The other 'Key reason' for America's failure in Vietnam was the antiwar protests in America itself.

    This is the second similarity between Russia's War in Ukraine and America's War in Vietnam. And the other reason why Russia will lose the war in the Ukraine.

    Thousands of anti-war protesters detained across Russia

    Thousands of people turned out in cities across Russia this weekend to protest the war in Ukraine, risking arrest in a country where such demonstrations are illegal. Many of them were detained and some subjected torture as a result, according to an independent Russian human rights group.
    Police detained more than 4,640 protesters in 65 Russian cities on Sunday, according to the monitoring group OVD-Info. It says more than 13,000 Russians in 147 cities have been detained at anti-war rallies since Russia first invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.
    “At least 30 instances of protesters being beaten have been confirmed and it is likely that this number is much higher," it wrote in an update on Sunday. "There are many videos on social networks in which police officers are seen beating anti-war protesters.”

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/anti-war-protest-russia-arrests-1.6374994

    Despite the repression, the longer the war goes on, the anti-war protests in Russia and around the world will only grow.

    People power can stop war!

    During the Vietnam war New Zealand was reputed to have the highest per capita protests against the Vietnam in the world greater even than in the US. The demand of New Zealand anti-war protesters today must be for the Labour government to close the Russian diplomatic mission in this country and expel the Russian ambassador.

    This is how we stop imperialist wars.

  2. DB Brown 2

    Satire:

    Captain Christopher Luxon wants to fly the plane.

    "Let me fly" said Christopher. "I saw tons of planes through my window at work, I know all about planes. First, we take money off people for riding in them."

    "Ooh" said the mainstream media. "He is clever". They were eating fish and chips Jacinda brought them, so refused to talk about the tyranny, or publish execution lists.

    "Let me fly. I will reduce taxes." Said Christopher.

    "Ooh" said the mainstream media. "That is clever too, and he's so shiny". Even though they were now drinking the milkshakes Jacinda also got them. "We'd like reduced taxes" they cooed.

    "Where will the money come from" said Simon, who clearly knew nothing about planes. Then they gave him a parachute and said, "You clearly know nothing about planes, Simon, good luck with your new job."

    And then Simon jumped, freely and of his own will.

    "Let me fly" said Christopher. "I know how this works. Sit back and expect to be served. Just make sure you know where the exits are."

    • Patricia Bremner 2.2

      A day in the life..

      Camera close up "What do you need?" says Luxon to the business man.

      "Staff and customers" comes the reply "Right" says Luxon

      "Remember to sign in" says a voice stage right.

      "Oh yes" Luxon diving away to do that.

      Is he in control?

      • DB Brown 2.2.1

        I saw that. Poor chap – such an easy flub amplified by cameras. Credit to him for not turning it into silly grandstanding.

        You make a good point about who's in charge.

        • Patricia Bremner 2.2.1.1

          DB I loved your satire but somehow my comment on it got lost. My bad for not noticing in the edit timeblush Cheers. Yes and have you noticed the busy striding from place to place. Sending "Urgent" vibes.

      • Kat 2.2.2

        John Key is still getting the hang of the remote control……….

    • ianmac 2.3

      Yeah. So true. Great DB.

  3. Blazer 3

    The Natz must be a party of talent…according to chrome dome…Bridges has a 'big brain'…and he is jumping ship…his replacement in finance, Willis also has a ….'big brain'.

    So no …brain drain then.indecision

    • ianmac 3.1

      Fran O'Sullivan is a great backer of the shiny new National Leader but what is this?

      OPINION:

      If Christopher Luxon was back in his old role at Air New Zealand, his board would be asking "how come our CEO has been so careless as to lose a key appointment just three months after he put him into the role?"

      After all, it was Simon Bridges who Luxon had touted as having the required skills and "intellectual heft" along with a "good brain and great work ethic" to take on National's shadow finance portfolio (along with infrastructure).

      "Simon Bridges taking it to Grant Robertson is going to be a great contest … he's the guy we need to go up against this Government," Luxon said back in December, 2021.

      This was the man who was ideally suited to prosecute the wasteful spending decisions, spiralling debt and rising costs of living occurring under the Labour Government. Goals which now fall to Luxon's newly minted finance spokesperson Nicola Willis.

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/fran-osullivan-has-simon-bridges-exit-exposed-a-christopher-luxon-blindspot/KM5LRP3622J7AZBUGQ2F6UJGMM/

      • AB 3.1.1

        As a putative 'journalist', Fran can't appear to be what she actually is – hopelessly compromised by her ideological commitment to the deadly alliance of corporate power and the neoliberal state. She has to temper her shameless fawning on the powerful with the odd bit of minor criticism. She then gets to claim that she is balanced.

        Anybody who has worked in a private company of any size has heard exactly the same sort of glowing endorsements of new executive appointees that Luxon delivered about Bridges. And anyone old enough to be out of nappies always laughs at them in private. Luxon is an inane babbler, endlessly and moronically spewing and repeating a set of upbeat business cliches that are always the first refuge of dishonest fools.

  4. gsays 4

    Marsden Point is closing.

    Minister Woods has been reassured by officials this is the way forward.

    "Woods' spokesperson last night said officials had advised the conversion "is not expected to have a significant impact on fuel security".

    "Relying solely on imports of finished fuel products, which are ready for distribution, allows for a flexible response to fuel supply disruptions."

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2021/06/marsden-point-closure-shutting-new-zealand-s-only-oil-refinery-could-expose-country-to-fuel-security-risks-report.html

    So, we have learnt nothing about the brittleness of supply chains. As a nation, we stay dependent on a company shipping refined product to us.

    Where do these officials come from?

    A greed (what is the collective noun for economic parasites?) of shareholders voted to close the refinery because of a period of low profits.

    https://newsfounded.com/newzealand/there-is-no-last-minute-reprieve-for-the-marsden-point-oil-refinery/

    None of this is news, typical neo-liberal thinking, from the shareholders voting for their wallets through to Minister Woods accepting the officials narrative.

    The reason for commenting about this is an unintended consequence of the closure. Yesty evening I had a brewing buddy taste a New England IPA that I had brewed.

    In the conversation he said how the price of CO2 had gone up markedly because of the closure of Marsden Point. He reckoned the refinery was responsible for producing 80% of the country's CO2.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2021/06/marsden-point-closure-shutting-new-zealand-s-only-oil-refinery-could-expose-country-to-fuel-security-risks-report.html

    • pat 4.1

      "In the conversation he said how the price of CO2 had gone up markedly because of the closure of Marsden Point. He reckoned the refinery was responsible for producing 80% of the country's CO2."

      And how did he arrive at that conclusion?

      • gsays 4.1.1

        To be fair, I had, in 2 minutes; discovered that my IPA (which I was immensely proud of ) had an touch of acetone, there was too much bitterness at the back of the pallette and that Marsden Point was the major producer of CO2 in Aotearoa.

        He also brews commercially and has seen the price go up. There may be some hyperbole as we were a few beers deep by this stage.

    • Blazer 4.2

      AMPOL insisted on the closure in its takeover offer.

      Guess why!blush

      As for Z ,another NZ entity sold off.

      A terribly run coy, with overpaid ,underperforming management ,that has cost investors a billion plus.

      • gsays 4.2.1

        Sucks be those investors.

        Things have gone awry when a bunch of people with excess money, can vote to close a key infrastructure, officials can tell the minister 'nothing to see here' and we become less resilient as a nation.

        Before anyone brings up the red herring, I don't think these decisions have much to do with the climate emergency we are in/entering.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 4.3

      'Such a move closure]will mean a massive drop in the site’s carbon emissions – a reduction of 1.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, or about 5 per cent of New Zealand’s total emission reduction needed by 2030 to meet the Paris Agreement.'

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/green-business/124821191/marsden-point-oil-refinery-could-become-green-energy-hub-in-bid-to-futureproof

      Its 5% of the emission reduction by 2030, which is 30% of the base year

      So its more like 1% of NZs total current carbon

      • gsays 4.3.1

        It's not as if that carbon isn't going to be released as we are going to buy the oil refined.

        I was, of course, talking about jolly CO2, used for brewing, not that polar bear killing CO2. wink

  5. Sabine 5

    Winz telling a single parent with two teenagers, a full time job and a part time job to get another job so as to make ends meet.

    Winz telling someone with two jobs to get another job. Vote Labour 2023 – you can have as many jobs as you like in order to meet the weeks end.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/128070649/all-you-can-do-these-days-is-exist-living-every-day-on-your-last-cent

    Work and Income suggested she take on a third job and even though she feels like a zombie she says she’s “sadly considering it”.

    This is something we expect from Winz while under a National government. But then i guess what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

    • arkie 5.1

      Appalling.

      Surprised they didn't tell her to start charging her teenagers rent. That's a government-approved way to make a living. /s

    • Molly 5.2

      Great Kainga Ora policy on display there, raising rent for a pensioner by 25% during a cost of living crisis.

      But as always, why would this surprise?

      We know the government's priorities by what they do, not what they say.

      How many examples do we need?

      • Sabine 5.2.1

        How many examples? To many, we will need way to many examples of this shit happening under both L and N in cohorts with the third parties who prop up L and N.

      • SPC 5.2.2

        The rent is based on income.

    • Patricia Bremner 5.3

      That pension sum mentioned in the story seems very light. $353?

      As of 1st April, the pension for a single live alone is weekly after tax @ M=*$436.94 plus winter warmth payment of $20.46 So $103 dollars more. But that did not suit the theme of the story so was not mentioned.

      The Mum with the teenagers has my sympathy.

      • SPC 5.3.1

        $436 was the amount from 1 April 2021.

        PS It's good he gets a good condition Kainga Ora house – an increase in rent, $80 to $100 is based on income.

        • SPC 5.3.1.1

          It's $462.94 from 1 April 2022. The rent (25% of income) might go up to $115 at the next assessment.

    • alwyn 5.4

      "we expect from Winz while under a National government."

      Why do you "expect it" under a National Government? Do you have evidence that it ever happened and, given the way you say it, that it was a normal occurrence?

      What is your evidence that it happened Sabine?

      • Sabine 5.4.1

        Because Winz was a shit show under the last government and the very dear Paula Benefit.

        Just in case that you forgot.

    • SPC 5.5

      She is not a WINZ client, given she works full-time. She would get WFF tax credits from IRD, so the point of contact is over AS to cover rent costs or the Emergency Benefit (not entitled for other benefits).

      • Sabine 5.5.1

        If she went to WINZ for an AS or any other benefit then by defintion she is a Client of WINZ. If WINZ refused that help to her on the grounds of her getting a third job, well that is WINZ under Labour for you.

        If you look at the unemployment stats and stats for beneficiaries in NZ you will find that many employed people are also WINZ clients. Go figure, in our rockstar economy with the lowest ever unemployment. LOL.

        For WINZ to tell this women to get a third job, well i guess that is kindness and care as per the instructions of the very dear Carmel Sepuloni, WINZ super Drone for Labour.

        • SPC 5.5.1.1

          AS is not a variable, it is a fixed support payment available to those working as well. Any access to an Emergency Benefit (available to those unable to get any other benefit, in her case because she is working full-time) is based on it being paid back – thus mention of increasing income – 3rd job.

          If you look at the unemployment stats and stats for beneficiaries in NZ you will find that many employed people are also WINZ clients. Go figure, in our rockstar economy with the lowest ever unemployment.

          The reason for this is that many on benefits work part-time. Because they work part-time they are not recorded as unemployed. Thus unemployment can go lower, while numbers on benefits can rise.

          The cut off point, working or beneficiary is c 30 hours a week – when people qualify for WFF tax credits.

          Given the Labour government increased the amount of amount beneficiaries can earn before abatement, many are now better off in terms of income. Now if only government could control rents – rent controls …

        • Blazer 5.5.1.2

          I was told that an AS was not available if you have 7k in the bank or liquid assets…not sure how accurate that is.

          • Sabine 5.5.1.2.1

            I would not have a clue to be honest. And the little i know of WINZ always makes me shake my head as the distribution of funds seems very arbitrary and depended on the good mood or lack thereof of the WINZ drone administering that kindness of granting a benefit.

          • SPC 5.5.1.2.2

            You may get an Accommodation Supplement if you:

            • have accommodation costs
            • are aged 16 years or more
            • are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
            • normally live in New Zealand and intend to stay here
            • are not paying rent for a social housing property. Social housing properties are provided by Kāinga Ora (used to be Housing New Zealand) and approved community housing providers.

            It also depends on:

            • how much you and your spouse or partner earn
            • any money or assets you and your spouse or partner have.
  6. pat 6

    Scenario.

    What if (for whatever reason) we could not import anything into NZ….what necessities could we supply ourselves with?

    Food?

    Clothing?

    Transport?

    Infrastructure?

    Healthcare?

    • Sabine 6.1

      food – we could, but would have to ration immediatly until production and delivery is sorted.

      Clothing – do we still have weaveing and spinning machines to make cloth? We could probably do quite well with the surplus clothing we have already here, i.e. second hand, hand me downs, repair. But do we have the machines left to make cloth? Ditto shoes. Do we have cobblers left that know how to make shoes, tanners that know how to make leather etc.

      Transport – could be tricky if no gasoline is in the country, but say we could have donkey carts, bicycles, walking, trains. Wellington will miss its electric buses for sure if they don't already do.

      Infrastructure – again, could we make the necessary products to build?

      Healthcare – what pharmaceutical companies do we have here and what can they produce without needed 'ingredients'. Could we grow Weed to for tinctures, use plants yes, will they help with cancer…? Who knows.

      Chances are we could survive, many of us will live shorter lifes, we will all be slimmer again – lack of food and increased walking will see to that, and i am not sure Society would cope very well.

      • Molly 6.1.1

        On the plus side we have capacity for food production in excess of need, and one of the fast disappearing resources – fresh water.

        Even if we were limited to local resources and materials we could house ourselves.

        We would have to plan and implement pharmaceutical manufacture as priority, and then prioritise other manufactured products (ie. electronics/whiteware, transport)

        Most importantly, it would necessitate cultural change, which would be nigh impossible to achieve without resentment and pushback.

        • Sabine 6.1.1.1

          Yes, food and housing would be the smallest issue. Heating could be an issue, delivery of foods would be an issue. But it could be done. Problem would be that we are working on a 'no import' rule and that is where i think we would have problems when it comes to health and infrastructure. These are two areas where rawmaterials that we don't have or for which we don't have mining/extracting resources are needed. But generally speaking it could be done.

          The issue as i see it would be fair distribution of goods to all.
          How well would people cope if they were given ration cards as was done during WW2?

          • Belladonna 6.1.1.1.1

            If there is sufficient to go around (even if not as abundantly as people are used to), then I think rationing would work.

            There would (of course) be a black market – for those who can pay and have more …. shady … ethics. But that's pretty inevitable. And can be managed through existing policing frameworks. Inevitably, those in rural areas will do better (foodwise) than those in cities – and would probably be a driver towards internal migration out of cities.

            What wouldn't work would be a two tier system – where those in the governing classes allocated themselves a greater share of the pie (thinking here of Stalinist Russia).

        • Blazer 6.1.1.2

          If ever the situation developed,I wonder if people would be able to inhabit the 200,000 empty homes …in…NZ!

          • Sabine 6.1.1.2.1

            Squatting is a thing.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squatting_in_Hamburg

            During the 1980s, a squatters movement existed in Hamburg and had links to Berlin and also Amsterdam.[7] In order to prevent its growth, the state minister Alfons Pawelczyk decided that no squat in Hamburg would be permitted to last longer than 24 hours and thus many attempts at occupation were quickly evicted.[1]: 25 

            In 1983, the Hamburger Abendblatt recorded that 57 squatters had been arrested and were on trial for occupying a former police station at Billstedt in Hamburg-Mitte, the previous year. The squatters were fined.[8] Amongst the arrestees was a Grün-Alternative Liste Hamburg (GAL) politician.[9]

            Schanzenstraße 41a was occupied in 1987, the first of many squats in the then run-down area of Sternschanze.[10] The squat was legalized and a housing co-operative was set up to run the 50 apartments. In 2007, the police attempted to storm the co-operative during the Asia–Europe Meeting after riots in the local district. Whilst doing so, 170 police officers tear gassed themselves by accident.[11]

            “In 1989, Kleiner Schäferkamp 46a was squatted and evicted the same day.[12] The building was later reoccupied and became legalized as a housing project, with an infoshop on the ground floor called Schwarzmarkt. In 2019, the project complained that the police had illegally set up a hidden camera to monitor the house from”

            • Blazer 6.1.1.2.1.1

              As many empty homes are owned by non residents….squatting may be a viable option.

              With 23,000 living in motels…we sure as hell …need one.

            • arkie 6.1.1.2.1.2

              It's tough to achieve in NZ:

              Sometimes called squatting, adverse possession is a legal method for people who do not own a piece of land, but who possess or occupy the land continuously for at least 20 years, to gain formal ownership of the land.

              The land possession should be obvious, even brazen.

              Fencing the land, grazing livestock or planting crops and trees are often good evidence of possession.

              Under the 1963 law, registered landowners do not have to be contacted directly before ownership is transferred.

              Adverse possession is allowed in part because the Crown wants land to be used productively rather than abandoned.

              https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/property/108269114/an-australian-man-has-got-a-home-using-squatters-rights-and-theres-a-similar-law-in-new-zealand

              Brazen:

              http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/10718939/How-Bells-block-was-snatched-away-legally

              • Sabine

                my example above is a different scenario. We squatted derelict houses that were not occupied, literally and forced the local government to actually provide a legal framework to get these properties in order for rentals.

                The Hafenstadt in Hamburg is an awesome area, very old, a bit like Venice, and at the time was ripe for ripping apart and gentrification. Squatters actually unwittingly protected some of the nicest parts of old Hamburg by their actions. And it needs to be said that some 60% of housing was destroyed in Hamburg during WW2. So housing was an issue well into the 80's, myself i grew up in a house that had one half bombed, shared loo's on the hallway and no bathroom. Washing was done in a bucket/laundry basket and for bathing one would go to the local swimming pool that also has bathrooms attached. That was the early to late seventies.

                I am not sure that you can squat land in Germany. Nor do i believe those of us that ended squatting in the 80s did so to gain a property as individuals, our aim at the time was a. to have a place to go to, b. force the local and federal government to keep existing housing available and to renovate these houses.

                • arkie

                  Absolutely, I applaud your actions, it would be great to see a similar action on the empty houses in this country too.

                  • weka

                    I once argued during the Key years, when HNZ houses were sitting empty and becoming derelict, that community groups should just go take them over and fix them up (to legal standard) and let people live in them. Community groups being more resilient than individuals, and HNZ houses because it would garner support from across the political spectrum to see them being made use of.

                    • arkie

                      That's still a very good idea. Community groups are just small examples of the effectiveness of solidarity. It would have to be a very brave group though, I think the support they garner wouldn't be necessarily as widespread as we might hope.

                    • weka

                      Agree on the bravery. And support would depend on how smart they were in terms of action and PR. Many people are angry about the housing crisis. Hard to imagine much pushback from a well organised and presented group from doing some affirmative action.

                      Building supplies might be a problem though, but I expect much of that could be managed through reuse.

          • Molly 6.1.1.2.2

            Squatting has historical precedence in terms of being an acceptable method of housing (in some quarters) and equity redistribution. There are specific movement's overseas using squatting as a form of protest – and a necessary practical solution – to the housing crisis.

            I watched a video on Spain that had organisations set up to support people with squatting. It's an interesting and practical approach.

            In NZ's current climate it would require a seismic shift. (Not that I'm against it personally, mind you.)

            • Koff 6.1.1.2.2.1

              I belonged to a squatting organisation in London and spent 4 years in 'organised' squats before eventually getting a council flat to rent. The organisation developed a good working relationship with several London local borough councils after forcing attention to homelessness caused by high rents. During the subsequent Thatcher era, not only did much of the council housing stock get flogged off, but squatting became a criminal offense rather than a civil offense / turn a blind eye as long as the property squatted was looked after by the squatters. Squatting in Britain is still a criminal offense and as far as I know (could be wrong) there are now no longer any equivalent squatting organisations and those who cannot afford commercial rents are harder up than ever before.

              • Macro

                During the subsequent Thatcher era, not only did much of the council housing stock get flogged off, but squatting became a criminal offense rather than a civil offense

                She was such a caring person wasn't she. The country still hasn't recovered from her vindictiveness towards the poor. But as her father always said "Hard work never hurt anyone" or something like that. Except with her austerity measures there wasn't much work for those who wanted it.

                Margaret Thatcher Quotes - MagicalQuote

      • weka 6.1.2

        Apparently we have one year’s worth of oil in reserve.

        https://www.worldometers.info/oil/new-zealand-oil/

        But that’s based on current consumption. If we did a fast powerdown, it would last a lot longer than that. Where are we at with refining in NZ?

        So we'd have a bit of leeway to sort out how to manage transport of essentials like food. Relocalising food production (think of how much food can be grown in a neighbourhood) would have to happen immediately. Seed supplies might be an issue.

        • Sabine 6.1.2.1

          Yes, rationing would be the answer to a lot of the issues in the first instance.

          The question is how would people react to rationing, and who would set the limits and set priorities.

          Seed supplies is actually one thing were i think we could manage. There are many many people in NZ that have awesome collections of seeds, seed sharing is happening already, Koanga seeds, garden clubs etc.

          My main point of concern would be to sell rationing to people who have a hard time understanding the need for it.

          • weka 6.1.2.1.1

            we do do a lot of seed saving, but I'm not sure it's enough to upscale to localised food production to replace imports in the first year or two. I would hope the big seed companies in NZ hold reserves, but think about wheat, oats, corn and such that need large scale sowing (and the ability to compensate for failed crops). Plus you also have to have seed farms to be growing for seed.

            We could live on potatoes, kumara, veg/fruit and meat/dairy quite easily while grain crops were sorted out, but I agree that there'd need to be some fast adaptation around supply chains if it was a hard/fast loss of imports. Let's just hope it's Labour/Greens in charge not NACT.

            • Poission 6.1.2.1.1.1

              We have the capacity to replace imported milling wheat,at present it is cheaper to freight from Australia to AK then CHCH.

              https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/country/463536/new-zealand-farmers-consider-planting-more-milling-wheat-in-face-of-global-shortage

              We need better more cost efficient coastal shipping,rather then contract it out to overseas shipping companies.

              Seed production is not a problem for NZ,Canterbury for example produces 70% of all the worlds carrot seed.

              • weka

                I guess the issue is if we have enough wheat in NZ today to last us until harvest next year. I have no idea how that is managed. Is it sitting in warehouses somewhere?

                We also have a lot of grain being stored for dairy support that I guess could be repurposed.

                • Poission

                  The feed grain is unsuitable for bread as it would break apart,and is of lower quality.SI is self sufficient in milling grains, NI imports most.

                  • weka

                    I bet we would figure out how to use it if we had to though.

                    • Poission

                      We could also switch to rēwena bread very fast (although sales would also be very fast)

                    • weka

                      A learning curve for those used to processed foods, but lots of delicious potential.

                    • Sabine

                      @ weka : A learning curve for those used to processed foods, but lots of delicious potential.

                      old saying from home : hunger makes an expert cook.

                      btw, chestnut make good flower and we have heeps of these trees here.

                • Macro

                  I had occasion to be present at a Cabinet Economic Committee Meeting when Muldoon was PM and Min of Finance. One of the topics was a discussion on the price of wheat. Very illuminating. 😉

                  Again in '67 when working in the Reseach Branch of Dept of Statistic I recall an urgent request from Muldoon, the then Min of Finance, as to the effect on the CPI of raising the price of a loaf of bread by 4p. I was working on converting the CPI from pounds shillings and pence to dollars and cents handraulically calcuating standard deviations to 7 decimal places! – no computers or calculators in those days. There was one friden electric calculator on the office – a monsterous thing – but one had to line up to use it.

                  • Anne

                    I remember the very first computer that was installed in the Meteorological Office Auckland. It was in the early to mid 1980s. A special room was created to house the damn thing with a temperature controlled atmosphere which meant the doors in and out had to be kept closed at all times. It stood along the full length of a wall from floor to ceiling. On the opposite wall were the printout machines which banged and clattered their way through reams of paper 24/7.

      • weka 6.1.3

        Clothing – do we still have weaveing and spinning machines to make cloth?

        Yes. There are companies still manufacturing in NZ.

        We could probably do quite well with the surplus clothing we have already here, i.e. second hand, hand me downs, repair.

        Absolutely! Lots of people still have these skills and they are teachable in quite short time frames.

        But do we have the machines left to make cloth? Ditto shoes. Do we have cobblers left that know how to make shoes, tanners that know how to make leather etc.

        Yep. https://mckinlays.co.nz/

        I think making the sole materials would be the challenge (and gumboots!). But lots of options for innovators.

        • Poission 6.1.3.1

          I think making the sole materials would be the challenge (and gumboots!). But lots of options for innovators.

          Plenty of used tires looking for a home.

          • Sabine 6.1.3.1.1

            agree. IF we could use our surplus stuff that ends up on the tip as rawmaterials we would not have to many issues.

            Mainly getting things up and running 5 – 10 years?

          • weka 6.1.3.1.2

            true!

            An explosion of re-use tech and innovation for much of our waste stream.

            • Poission 6.1.3.1.2.1

              I have a pair of sandals with tyre treads I got in asia 20 years ago (around 2$) the soles would still pass a WOF.

              • weka

                reused tyre? ie. cut from the existing tyre rather than the rubber being recycled

                • Poission

                  Reused

                  • weka

                    😎

                    That's lots of footwear sorted then.

                    • Macro

                      We used to manufacture our own tyres in NZ as well. 3 factories across the country. One in Auckland, one in Upper Hutt, and the other in Christchurch. All closed, and every tyre is now imported. I visited the Factory last year where my dad worked for 30+ years and I worked part time as a uni student in the 60's. It now serves as accommodation for a number of boutique breweries. 🙂

                      Dad was the President of the Rubber Workers Union for 25 years until his retirement. The husband of a close friend of my mothers was Managing Director of the Auckland Factory. Occasionally we would holiday in Auckland at their home while they were away at the bach. Talk about union hopping into bed with management !laugh

                    • weka

                      haha, NZ egalitarianism for the win.

                      I guess when the shtf, we will have plenty of beer to drink even if we can't drive anywhere because of the tyre shortage.

                    • weka

                      how hard would it be to set up tyre manufacturing in NZ again, even small scale for essential transport?

                    • Macro

                      The manufacturing of tyres would require importation of latex – mostly now synthetic. The machinery is obviously specialist equipment. All the machinery at Dunlops was ex UK to begin with and required a workforce of around 800. Some of the jobs were extremely filthy where the natural latex was mixed with the carbon black. The workers at the end of their shift were literally cover in soot – only the whites of their eyes. The tyres were made up by the tyre builders placing layer upon layer before heading off to the massive steam presses where they would be formed into the tyre, and cured. Very physical and hot work. I'm sure today much of that has been automated.

                    • weka

                      always seemed to me that tyres were the big flaw in the 'EVs will save us' idea. There really are not too many good solutions to them.

                      I would imagine a scenario where we have far far less vehicles, and so tyres are needed for essentials. Specialist tyres would be an issue.

                      Can you make tyres from recycling tyres?

                    • Macro

                      You can retread cross ply tyres if the cases are not damaged. Truck tyres which are cross ply are frequently retreaded. You see evidence of that along most highways when you see a truck retread cast off (probably from a deflated tyre) on the side of the road. Modern radial tyres which have better road holding are less able to be retreaded.

                      https://www.oponeo.co.uk/blog/radial-vs-cross-ply-tyres

                    • Patricia Bremner

                      Gadabouts Shoes Waihi. My Mum was a top line post machinist there for years. She did the final stitching on the uppers.

    • gsays 6.2

      This is a question I would want the 'officials' to be working on.

      Quietly though, I would hate for the hipsters and other folk who are upset about the price of their barrista coffee to find out, that it may be for the chop.

      As Sabine indicates, hemp is the answer to a lot of questions including textile and building and plastics issues.

      • Sabine 6.2.1

        You can quite successfully grow Coffee in NZ. It is being done, ditto bananas and pineapples. They would be luxuries again.

        And roasted Dandelion root is a good Coffee Ersatz whit the added benefit of being a liver cleanser.

        Hemp and la MarieJeanne are both useful for their fiber and for their medicinal properties. And i hope one of the current contenders for third party happiness will come up with a legalize, regulate, and commercialization of both Hemp and Marihuana. Act would be my guess, the Greens dropped the ball on that, and neither L nor N have guts to actually propose it, mind they might be cynical enough to propose it as a election grabber. Still not holding my breath on that.

        • arkie 6.2.1.1

          the Greens dropped the ball on that

          To be fair, the Greens got the referendum to happen as part of their negotiations in 2017, Andrew Littles fumbling lack of clarity, and Ardern's post-hoc endorsement of legalisation demonstrate exactly what you say; the centrist parties overwhelming cautiousness.

          The Greens still campaign for legalisation medical and recreational cannabis:

          https://www.greens.org.nz/drug_law_reform

          • Sabine 6.2.1.1.1

            To be fair to the Greens, i am of the believe that Arderns reactions was a calculated kneecapping of the only person in the Green Party that has some brain and guts.

            But i can't see anyone in the Greens nor in Labour to come back to that and do something meaningful for the future.

            I guess its now to ACT or National to be the ones pushing this forward, and i would not be surprised if they did. Votes are to be had.

        • weka 6.2.1.2

          my guess is that if we had a hard shift to no imports, cannabis and hemp growing would be one of the first things to proliferate, and the police would have more important things to be focused on.

        • Belladonna 6.2.1.3

          Great news for the Far North – best climate for coffee growing, and a luxury product! Finally something to leverage them out of the persistent poverty and underinvestment.

          • Sabine 6.2.1.3.1

            Well i don't know if it is good news for the Far North, maybe it actually is, but personally am quite jealous of what these guys can actually grow up there, vs me in middle north island.

            Coffee would not be the thing for me, but pinapple and bananas yes. Mind, i get to grow red currants/black currants, while we still have frosts.

            • Brigid 6.2.1.3.1.1

              The climate may be great for growing coffee bananas, pineapple etc, but soil fertility mostly isn't so great. The best land has already been taken for dairying. Even citrus orchards have been ripped out to grow the white gold.

    • joe90 6.3

      Scenario.

      We probably won't starve. But it took a succession of interventionist/protectionist governments a hundred years to reach the manufacturing capacities of 1968/9.

      If the import tap dries up, in the short term we're dead in the water.

      https://www3.stats.govt.nz/New_Zealand_Official_Yearbooks/1971/NZOYB_1971.html?_ga=2.118155276.464979383.1647639398-413755901.1645950148#idchapter_1_137512

      https://archive.li/Ka22n#selection-239553.0-239571.104

      • weka 6.3.1

        we have vastly different tech, resources, skill and knowledge than in 1869, or even 1969.

        We also have people who understand and practice the powerdown. eg I would guess that there is enough clothing in NZ to easily last a year without having to manufacture, we'd just have to adjust our expectations and culture around what is acceptable to wear.

        We still manufacture clothing in NZ. We waste massive amounts of textiles. The challenge would be shifting to locally sources materials, and creating new materials that we cannot import (thinking shoe soles).

        • joe90 6.3.1.1

          Whanganui is littered with empty garment work rooms. The work wear manufacturer my MIL spent thirty years with is gone. The largest manufacturer of top end wet weather gear is gone. The shirt factory is long gone. Ditto the jeans factory. Shit, even Sue's repairs have closed.

          Following liquidation of the country's second largest producer of woolen fabrics, the entire plant was taken offshore by the owners and adjacent garment work rooms packed up and shipped, too. Adding insult to injury, scrappies hoovered up what was left and shipped it offshore.

          The industry is long done in this town and things don't bode too well nationwide for a sector that's gone from 11,000 employees in 2020 down to 1,850 in 2021.

          https://figure.nz/chart/tAQeOoJ0aDCZo3ER-YfTLxVSkytrTWEBW

          • weka 6.3.1.1.1

            yep. Fuck neoliberals, they're basically a death cult, only the death is very slow.

            The question here isn't whether we can replace that, it's whether we can adapt if imports stopped. I think we can, and that there are still people around who worked in those industries and hold knowledge is a good sign.

          • lprent 6.3.1.1.2

            I wish I could find work/living spaces like that left up here in Auckland. They’re usually ideal to refit and configure as combined living quarters and computer work area. I’ve worked in them in old garment and warehouse work spaces in various places.

            The main reasons to live in Auckland for a programmer have been because

            1. the supply chains are here and often on the shelves,
            2. transport offshore for people and goods wasn’t the struggle that it was in smaller centres,
            3. the multiple places to work are here,
            4. the decent comms were here.

            Number 3 is still true, but increasingly constrained by congestion and high housing costs. The others are less so after covid19 rejigged the delivery systems. I haven’t tried it myself, but computer-literate people in places like Hamilton or Palmerston North are reporting less issues with deliveries.

            Personally, I’m not flying internationally any more for several reasons.

            Auckland is a pigsty for work. You can’t easily move or transport to a workplace that is more than a few kilometres away. Basically I won’t work more than about 5-7km away from home unless it involves remote working, really interesting work, or a major salary hike. I used to accept work in Manakau City or Albany or Takapuna at run of the mill salaries for interesting work. But not any more. It costs me way too much time from Ponsonby and it costs too much to maintain a vehicle, and public transport is just as congested as traffic.

            Currently all of my work is remote. I have a desk in Hamilton that I have seen once. I test code on remote servers in NZ and the US after I code it. I could work from NZ just as happily everywhere except Europe. Their timezones suck for sprint and other progress meetings – makes it nearly impossible to maintain a team.

            But I think that I really need to get out of Auckland. With both of us working remotely, there isn’t enough space to do so in our apartment. I currently rent a workspace so I don’t have to listen to conversations with her team in New York, and she doesn’t have to listen to me with my meetings. Plus I get a bigger carrel to fit a larger ultra-wide screen. Living/working space simply costs too much in Auckland.

            grumble

            • Sabine 6.3.1.1.2.1

              Living/working space simply costs too much in Auckland.

              Have been locking for that here in middle north island and sadly the prices are the same. Am considering putting a commercial kitchen in a shed on the property rather then rent a hovel for 30+grand a year, and that is pretty much the lease for anything larger then a closet.

              • alwyn

                A hovel for 30+ grand a year.

                Really? I just had a look at rentals in Taupo. If anywhere is to be called the "middle north island" I would have to suggest it qualifies.

                There seem to be places for rent at prices between $400 and $460 per week. They appear to be 2 or 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom properties. Your 30+ grand works out at $577/week. Are you sure of your facts?

                https://www.realestate.co.nz/residential/rental/central-north-island/taupo

                • Sabine

                  work and income, = a commercial property with living attached.
                  Add GST to your fee. For a starter, because you pay GST on commercial leases.

                  yes, i am sure of my facts.

            • Belladonna 6.3.1.1.2.2

              I know of several IT programmer guys who are working out of Gisborne.
              They do it purely for the lifestyle (surfing, mainly), but also sun, climate, and just a chilled lifestyle. Certainly no space issues 😉

              Utter pain to drive anywhere else. But they just fly if they need to. Even overseas (this was pre-Covid). As one of them said to me that it was quicker to take a domestic flight from Gizzy to Auckland and then on to NY, than it was to drive from the North Shore, through Auckland traffic, to take the same flight.

              It seems to work for the top-flight people (who can pick and choose what they work on) – which I'm sure is your category as well.

              Only argument against it comes from a cousin of mine, who said – well, if you're remote working in any case – what stops the bosses from hiring the work done in India or Malaysia at 1/3 of the cost? I guess it's only going to be viable if you add more value than they do, or can effectively market your local knowledge.

              • lprent

                …what stops the bosses from hiring the work done in India or Malaysia at 1/3 of the cost?

                Mostly the required versatile skill-sets. Most of the jobs I apply for are massively multi-skilled across a wide range of languages, operating systems, libraries, and hardware. Typically they're looking for people capable of doing architecture, design, interacting with engineers, and who have other traits as well. Usually I pickup a new language or new library or a project within a couple weeks from a standing start.

                You can use teams from India for particular operations. For instance several times I've been on teams that use testing teams from there. Or for implementing a well designed project in a known ecosystem with clear detailed design. They aren't that great on improvising to loose specs. Also tend to be copy-and-paste programmers, often copy-pasting bugs.

                …can effectively market your local knowledge.

                I haven't produced systems orientated for local markets for about 25 years. I really don't have local knowledge.

    • weka 6.4

      Depends on how fast we would be cut off from imports, but generally,

      Food: easily (assuming we can use what we would normally export)

      Clothing: reasonably easily, we have leather, wool, harakeke, hemp, and I can't see why we couldn't grow cotton here. Harakeke would take some time to get infrastructure set up again. Likewise it might take time to get shoe production going. Rubber would be more of an issue.

      Transport: we could manufacture bikes reasonable soon here. We could make our existing fleet last a lot long than normal if we shifted to manufacture of parts. Not sure about tyres. Also fuel, lol. Lots of challenges.

      Infrastructure: yeah, I'd be interested to know if we even audit for this. How many parts of essential services infrastructure are imported? Small scale we could manufacture, large scale we'd hit limits pretty fast. Quality of materials etc. too. We do however know how to grow timber well and fast. And I assume we have lots of manufacturing plants that could be adapted to produce other materials. Laptops and cellphones? Right to repair is looking pretty useful eh.

      Healthcare: tricky too. Cuba found that their health stats improved when they went through their early peak oil in the 90s. People had to walk more, eat less meat and processed foods and so on. Cuba also has a very high % of doctors per population and they do home visits, so this is where I would look first: how quickly can could we train more health practitioners, not just doctors but across the board. MoH shifting to a health prevention model would be more of a challenge. I assume we could manufacture at least some pharmaceuticals here, but obviously high tech medicine would be a challenge.

      Much of the above improves when seen through a powerdown lens. If we use less, are more careful with what we do use, if we repair and manufacture things to last longer and be repairable, then that's a huge load off.

      • weka 6.4.1

        massive mining of landfills btw. A friend and I predicted this in the 80s when NZ was starting to look at recycling. Think of all that metal that's been dumped over the years.

      • Belladonna 6.4.2

        If you're talking about a 'hard' lockdown (with virtually nothing arriving from overseas) – then you'd be looking at a lot of people dying in the first year. We are almost entirely dependent on overseas supply for medical therapeutic drugs, for treatment of conditions like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc.

        Yes, it would be possible to tool up to manufacture these – but probably not in time for the majority of the people who need them. Right now, pharmacies are limiting prescriptions to one month, instead of the usual three months, because of supply chain issues.

        Longer-term health might improve because of better diet, more exercise, etc. – but in the short term, a lot of people would die.

        • weka 6.4.2.1

          yes, I'm thinking people on thyroid meds as well. But, I also think that there are a not insignificant numbers of people who could transition off those meds if they had to and manage in different ways. Earlier stage type 2 diabetes and heart disease are obvious conditions that can often be managed without meds and that would free up supply for those that really need them.

          • Belladonna 6.4.2.1.1

            About 25,00 people with T1 diabetes (all of whom would die without insulin), and about 26,000 diagnosed each year with various cancers (though some of these would survive without cancer treatment drugs – just surgery, the majority would die).
            https://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/conditions-and-treatments/diseases-and-illnesses/diabetes

            https://www.health.govt.nz/publication/new-cancer-registrations-2019

            And that's setting aside the fact that the hospital system depends on overseas supply (mostly from factories in China) for just about everything that they use on a daily basis – everything from syringes to operating gowns and sterile dressings.
            Yes, it would certainly be possible to produce much of this locally – but not within a reasonable timeframe – not to mention where the power and materials required to build all of these new factories would come from, and how we would keep them running (coal? gas? wood-burning? reserve electricity for them – which means that homes would need to be heated using the other means)

            If you want to see what a local medical infrastructure looks like without significant supply from overseas looks like – you just need to look at Africa – or, closer to home, many of the Pacific Islands.

            • weka 6.4.2.1.1.1

              Or NZ in the 1950s.

              I'm not suggesting for any of this (not just health) that we replicate what we have now, just locally. I'm saying that by powering down we could manage.

              (I also assumed the thought experiment was for loss of all imports that we didn't choose, rather than us doing it intentionally)

              There is a massive difference in a wealthy and well resources country like NZ powering down, and countries like in Africa that have geopolitically enforced mass poverty. It's not like we lose our advantage in tech, knowledge, experience, or many materials.

              Also, how far are we actually from being able to small scale produce pharmaceuticals? https://openinsulin.org/

              • Belladonna

                I'd taken this from the original post

                "What if (for whatever reason) we could not import anything into NZ….what necessities could we supply ourselves with?"

                So the assumption is that nothing is coming in from overseas.

                • weka

                  same, but it depends on how fast the change happens. If it's overnight, it's a hard crash scenario. If we get some warning and can prepare, it's softer.

                  My point about choice was pointing to the innovation that happens when we have no other choices. NZ is in a good position to adapt, even quite fast, because we are so well resourced and we still have a reasonable proportion of the population that have skills and/or resiliency.

    • DB Brown 6.5

      "What if (for whatever reason) we could not import anything into NZ….what necessities could we supply ourselves with?

      Food?"

      Bad timing from me, just went vegetarian edging toward vegan. Whereas if we're to be hypothetically supplying ourselves there's no shortage of meat and dairy.

      It was health reasons that tipped me over to vegetarian btw, not angry people telling me I was a KILLER WITH NO HEART.

      Although, if I kept eating all that fat, the no heart thing might have been apt.

      Now that I'm here on this side of the fence, should I do the reformed smoker bit and tell you all how much better it is!

      You bring up a good topic of conversation Pat. This is something we should think seriously about, not for some future scenario, but now.

      Resilient > profitable in turbulent times. But resilience should always be built in. Those bean counters looking for efficiencies are fair weather friends at best.

      Gardens once again are proving hugely valuable. Mine and other peoples. As swapping and sharing helps the budget/resilience considerably. On a broader scale we've already got farmers contemplating wheat crops. The plebs will get fed here, it's just what else we get fed when we're fed (shonky nutritional advice aka the food pyramid to help flog shonky nutritional product).

      Feel like this topic deserves more but my post is long already.

      Why just survive. We could thrive here if we got our priorities straight. Threat of isolation shouldn't be the impetus required to consider a reasonable level of self sufficiency. That stuff lends self esteem, resilience, good credit even. The right are always telling folks to 'pull your socks up and be your own man'. Well, be your own country, too.

      • weka 6.5.1

        agree it wouldn't just have to be about survival, we could thrive. But as Belladonna points out, if it was a hard shut down of imports, a large number of people would die and others would be unwell and that's pretty hard on communities and families and wears on resiliency.

      • Belladonna 6.5.2

        Given no diesel (and therefore no tractors, etc.), I wonder how productive the vegetable sector would be?

        None of the current generation (sorry about the pun) of EV are sufficiently heavy-duty enough to power a tractor, plough, combine harvester, etc.

        I guess you could convert them to something like LPG (don't know enough about the mechanics)?
        Sheep require little in the way of mechanized support in the 'field' – you can round them up using horses/dogs and bring them back to base for shearing/drenching, etc. Milking cows could be done with electricity produced locally (even wood-burning at a pinch)

        But, you need mobile heavy machinery to manage a wheat or potato farm productively. If we're looking at going back to the horse-drawn plough – then the acreage under cultivation is going to drop substantially. And the number of people living a subsistence lifestyle (grubbing potatoes by hand for weeks on end isn't exactly a fulfilling life) is going to increase substantially.

        • Sabine 6.5.2.1

          the gasoline reserves would have to be rationed, i.e. law enforcement, ambulances, hospital generators, and farming.

          • Belladonna 6.5.2.1.1

            OK, so still looking at drilling for oil locally, and processing into diesel (Marsden Pt or equivalent).
            Have to think about transport, as well as the essentials (no point in producing the food, if you can't get it to market). Uness we're going back to coal-fired steam trains, that means diesel for the trains, and probably for the trucks as well (an awful lot of farms aren't within reach of the railroad.

            Oooh. Just thought, no sugar! That's going to impact on our health 😉

            • DB Brown 6.5.2.1.1.1

              I'm growing good sugar, and it's replicable, and doesn't need fertiliser.* Auckland up, on the right sites, no problem.

              *sugar loves chook poo. Sugar fixes some nitrogen itself but can vary a lot so tests could be done and ‘good strains’ reproduced very rapidly via tissue culture.

            • Sabine 6.5.2.1.1.2

              sugar beet and sugar cane both can be grown in nz.

              honey is excellent sugar.

              • Stuart Munro

                Sugar maples grow well here, and birch trees can be tapped for sugar in spring too.

        • weka 6.5.2.2

          biodiesel (cropping and waste stream sourced) can replace diesel in some situations almost overnight.

          There's a long way between industrial scale farming and subsistence farming. Many people enjoy gardening and easily produce excess beyond their own needs. Many people would love to be paid to produce food in small scale situations.

          Some things would still be better suited to farming, but much of our fresh produce could be produced locally in home gardens, community gardens and urban farms.

          Diversifying is part of this. Don't rely on one large potato crop, because if it fails there's no food. Instead grow multiple crops in multiple ways (spuds, beans, tree nuts, animal produce, grains and so on all provide calories). We have the expertise in NZ to do this, lots of people already doing it.

          • Sabine 6.5.2.2.1

            Food growing could also be organsied in co-operatives. With different groups growing different crops and then sharing.

      • Belladonna 6.5.3

        Guess I'd be having chickens in the back garden (suburban Auckland), and a vege garden (sadly, I've not much of a green thumb). But it would be unlikely to supply enough to live off – unless I was pretty much doing it full-time.
        Which, I guess I would be, since if there's no overseas imports, my job evaporates.

        • weka 6.5.3.1

          Nah, there will be people not far from you who are already expert in growing food who can grow it for you. You will have other skills that they don't have.

          That you have a suburban section that can grow food is a huge benefit (yes Auckland, stop infilling now). If you have a good income you can pay someone to grow food on your sections. If you don't you can land share. Or put on an orchard/food forest.

          Most people can manage things like tomatoes, lettuces, herbs, the things that bring pleasure and joy (gardening and eating).

          • Sabine 6.5.3.1.1

            Auckland has a lot of big parks that can be turned into Victory Gardens. Many towns in NZ have these spaces. We just need to claim them for food.

            Potable water is the main issue in my books. That and medication for sepsis, infections etc.

            • weka 6.5.3.1.1.1

              Parks would be good for food forests and orchards too.

              I'm way less worried about managing infections, and we need to stop using antibiotics so liberally anyway to prevent resistance. Lots of plants have antibiotic properties and are already used in the counter cultures successfully (and were used by everyone before we had antibiotics). As long as we can maintain hygiene and housing/water standards. As per the other areas, saving the antibiotics for where they are really needed (eg surgery, although some surgeries can be done without them too).

              I think we already make antibiotics in NZ.

    • Belladonna 6.6

      Batteries would be a challenge – not just your small torch ones, but the ones which would be required with a significant shift to electric power (rather than oil)

      NZ has little of the mining/mineral industries required to produce the active ingredients (even the very basic lead/acid type). We might be back to open-cast mines in areas like the Coromandel & Waihi, if we need to produce substantial quantities in a short time period.

  7. Jenny how to get there 7

    Stop The War!

    The ends does not justify the means. Rotten means are indicative of Rotten ends.

    "One of Vladimir Putin’s objectives in the Russian incursion into Ukraine was to “denazify Ukraine.”…

    …Once Russia has succeeded however, the world will be a better place for it."

    Mike Smith

    https://thestandard.org.nz/denazifying-ukraine/

    "the world will be a better place"?

    Really?

    The war in the Ukraine has nothing to do with suppressing neo-nazis in the Ukraine as claimed by Mike Smith. Russia has enough neo-nazis of their own.

    (State sponsored Russian neo-nazis are fighting on the Russian side in the Ukraine and have been since 2014).

    Make no mistake, this war is about imperial conquest and expansion. And to realise the revanchist dreams of Russian leaders for a return to empire.

    Appeasing the expansive ambitions of a wanna-be imperial power will only lead to greater conflict.

    If we don't stop this war, the world will not be a better place, the world will be a worse one.

    The growth economies of large capitalist opposing blocs have no other choice, expand or decline. Growth or Recession.
    Not only are the capitalist growth economies of the various political and economic rival blocs, bumping up against the natural buffers of the planet, they are bumping up against each other. War is the inevitable outcome.

    The pretexts given for these imperial and colonial conflicts are often ridiculous.

    The murder of an Archduke?

    Rooting out neo-nazis?

    The Tonkin incident?

    War on terror?

    So how do we end imperial wars of conquest, and expansion? What's the solution?

    Some have compared Russia's invasion of the Ukraine to the German invasion of Poland.

    Just as Poland was Germany's corridor to the East. geographically and politically Ukraine is Russia's corridor to the West.

    Ukraine has always been the link between the East and the West. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, when countries close to Europe like Romania, Lithuania joined NATO, Ukrainians were divided in their aspirations. In the Eastern part of Ukraine, most people speak Russian and remain pro-Russian while the west of the country leans towards EU.

    Why is Ukraine important to Russia? – News | Khaleej Times

    A better comparison to Russia's invasion of Ukraine than Germany's invasion of Poland, would be America's invasion and attempted colonial take over of Vietnam.

    Just like Ukraine, Vietnam was a tempting prize for imperialism. First invaded and colonised by the French Imperialists in the 19th Century, Vietnam was reinvaded by the Japanese Empire during WWII, The Japanese helped by Vichy collaborators imposed their own colonial rule of Vietnam. The Japanese imperialists were defeated by the Vietnamese people. At the end of WWII France launched a military campaign to regain their former colony. The post-war French imperialists, like the Japanese imperialists before them, were defeated by the Vietnamese people.

    Seeing a colonial prospect going unexploited, the US imperialists wasted no time in seeking to recolonise the newly independent country of Vietnam. Just as they had done to the Philippines after the Philippine revolution of 1898 following the collapse of Spanish colonialism.

    (A war of imperial conquest that led the founding Chairman of the American Anti-imperialist League, Mark Twain, to state that the stripes on the US flag should be replaced with prison bars and the stars with skulls.)

    Despite the lengths the U.S. military went in its attempt to gain control over Vietnam, it would go on to lose spectacularly. There are two key reasons for this. The first is that the United States underestimated the Vietnamese fight for independence. This was a country that spent much of its history occupied, and having just had a glimpse of its independence after defeating the French occupation in 1954, the Vietnamese people were not about to be ruled by another foreign invader. Through determination for independence and well-organized guerilla tactics, the people of Vietnam would go on to shock the world by expelling a powerful empire from their land.

    The Vietnam War: Brutal, Criminal, Imperialist

    The other 'Key reason' for America's failure in Vietnam was the antiwar protests in America itself.

    This is the second similarity between Russia's War in Ukraine and America's War in Vietnam. And the other reason why Russia will lose the war in the Ukraine.

    Thousands of anti-war protesters detained across Russia

    Thousands of people turned out in cities across Russia this weekend to protest the war in Ukraine, risking arrest in a country where such demonstrations are illegal. Many of them were detained and some subjected torture as a result, according to an independent Russian human rights group.

    Police detained more than 4,640 protesters in 65 Russian cities on Sunday, according to the monitoring group, OVD-Info.It says more than 13,000 Russians in 147 cities have been detained at anti-war rallies since Russia first invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.

    “At least 30 instances of protesters being beaten have been confirmed and it is likely that this number is much higher," it wrote in an update on Sunday. "There are many videos on social networks in which police officers are seen beating anti-war protesters.”

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/anti-war-protest-russia-arrests-1.6374994

    In spite of repression, the longer the war goes on, the anti-war protests in Russia and around the world can only grow.

    People power can stop war!

    During the Vietnam war New Zealand was reputed to have the highest per capita protests against the Vietnam in the world. The demand New Zealand anti-war protesters of today must be for the Labour government to close the Russian diplomatic mission in this country and expel the Russian ambassador.

    This is how we stop imperialist wars.

    [@ 7:18 am you posted your first absurdly long comment, the first comment in OM. Of course, it had too many links, as usual, and was held up in Auto-Moderation until a Moderator released it @ 9:48 am.

    @ 10:33 am you reposted the same comment here with only a very subtle change at the top without first checking that your initial comment had been approved and released.

    Three days ago I answered your question here (https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-12-03-2022/#comment-1875427) as to how many links are allowed in a comment and you completely ignored the answer and instructive guidance 🙁

    Take the weekend off for wasting our precious time and link-spamming (cf. Policy) – Incognito]

  8. Blazer 8

    'Make no mistake, this war is about imperial conquest and expansion. And to realise the revanchist dreams of Russian leaders for a return to empire.'

    Don't know about that.

    I thought Russia wanted a neutral state on its borders,not one armed to the teeth and threatening danger spurred on by its western masters.

    '

    'During the Vietnam war New Zealand was reputed to have the highest per capita protests against the Vietnam in the world. The demand New Zealand anti-war protesters of today must be for the Labour government to close the Russian diplomatic mission in this country and expel the Russian ambassador.

    This is how we stop imperialist wars.'

    Oh so the Vietnam War was 'stopped' because we/someone expelled the American diplomats and ambassador!….get a …grip!

    • aj 8.1

      In the propaganda war Ukraine is so far ahead, it's as if the Russians haven't fielded a team. Then again, their team has be largely banned from the western pitch.

      Some of the narratives being pushed don't survive close inspection, as pointed out here.

      https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1504687807008108544.html

      The whole story on "the U.S. warns China against assisting Russia with military equipment" is such bad statesmanship on the U.S. part that it should classify as geopolitical misconduct.

      • Byd0nz 8.1.1

        Exactly no even playing field allowed, only the typical Yankees rule of lies and arrogance and we’ve seen that in all the ongoing wars of the US since WW2, has there ever been a US President since then that hasn’t been a wartime President.

    • Jenny how to get there 8.2

      …..the Vietnam War was 'stopped' because we/someone expelled the American diplomats and ambassador!….get a …grip! – Blazer

      Hi Blazer, I never said that!

      I never said the Vietnam war was 'stopped' because we expelled the American diplomats and ambassadors.

      To build a powerful anti-war movement we must have an achievable goal to aim for and build around.

      Closing the Russian legation, is my suggestion of an achievable goal for the modern day anti-war movement. I don't think that is such an unrealisable demand.

      During the Vietnam war the achievable goals that the anti-war movement drew up, were, apposing conscription and R&R visits by American warships.. The peace movement in this country was successful in both preventing conscription for Vietnam and keeping out visiting US warships.. I remember the protests against Compulsory Military Training, which many believed to be a precursor to full conscription for Vietnam. Protesters blocked the tracks on the train taking the trainees to Papakura military camp. When many of the trainees got off the stalled train to join the protesters that was pretty much the end of CMT. Compulsory Military Training was abolished and conscription failed. In Australia where the anti-Vietnam war movement were not as successful, military conscription for the Vietnam war was imposed.

      To win public support for greater involvement of this country in the Vietnam war, the US mounted a charm offensive. Vice President Agnew was dispatched to this country. We had workshops making banners in the weeks leading up to Agnew's visit And I attended the huge protests outside the then Hotel Intercontinental in Waterloo Quadrant Auckland where Agnew was staying. Which degenerated into a riot when the police attacked the protests.
      Every time a US warship visited.it too became a target for anti-war protests. In the end the protests became so vigourous and huge that, visiting US warships had to avoid the main centres and dock in Whangarei. I remember one weekend climbing into the back of van with other antiwar protesters, as part of a contingent to drive all the way to Whangarei to protest one of the last US warships during that war to visit this country.. No seatbelts in those days, or even seats. A very long and uncomfortable ride.

      (Disappointingly for me personally, it was decided by the other protesters, that I was too young to join the action to board the US warship and had to sit on the wharf for for four hours as the other protesters occupied the rear of the ship while hanging an anti-war banner over the stern. For being left out, I sulked the whole trip back to Auckland.)

      To me the lesson is this; That to have an effective antiwar campaign you need to set targets you need goals. Evicting the Russian legation is all I could think of. Blazer, if you have any other ideas on how this country could pressure on the Putin regime, feel free to raise them.

      I see that the Prime Minister, asked whether this country would expel the Russian ambassador, the Prime Minister replied, "Nothng is off the table". The Prime Minister prefaced her remark, "not many" have done that. The reason she gave is that we would have to withdraw our representatives from Moscow as well. The Prime Minister noted that three countries have called back their diplomatic missions from Russia.

      Maybe we could do that. Call back our diplomatic mission from Moscow. Of course giving fair warning first, to New Zealanders in Russia, that New Zealand's representatives will be withdrawn.

      Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: We've not removed any options from the table at present. I would note that that is a significant step that hasn't been taken by many at this stage, and in part that is because at the same time we have to factor in our ability to continue to look after New Zealanders in the region too. So there is that consequence. My understanding is that at present there have been some who have recalled their own representation—only, I believe, three countries have done that at this stage. But, as I've said, nothing is off the table.

  9. roblogic 9

    Another brain busting word game!

    https://hellowordl.net/?seed=20220319&length=11&game=1

    hello wordl 3/6
    ⬛🟨🟨🟨⬛⬛🟨⬛🟨⬛⬛
    🟨🟨⬛🟨🟨🟨⬛⬛🟨⬛⬛
    🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩

  10. Blade 10

    The latest assault on our intelligence. This road safety ad is so bad, I would sack the waster who signed off on wasting our hard earnt taxpayer dollars.

    The brief – target all New Zealanders:

    ''The Road to Zero campaign targets all New Zealanders because we all have a part to play in keeping each other safe on the roads. It takes everyone to get to no one. Mā tātou e kore tētahi e hinga.''

    https://www.nzta.govt.nz/safety/what-waka-kotahi-is-doing/marketing-campaigns/current-marketing-campaigns/road-to-zero-campaign-riding-together/

    A snippet from the transcript.

    Timestamp: Visual information: Audio information.

    0:00 Camera shows a close up of a family of four driving (dad in driver seat, mum in passenger seat, girl and boy in back)

    [DAD] Diddy wop.

    0:01Camera continues showing the family of four driving.

    [DAD & MUM] Kama kama wang dang sad

    No guesses as to why the comment section on the You Tube clip has been turned off.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHmGKIVOSts

    • arkie 10.1

      Seems like a gently humorous reminder that road safety happens through collective effort rather than just individual actions. I find it less offensive than the gratuitously graphic advertisements of the recent past, they didn’t seem to achieve the goals we are seeking and probably traumatised quite a few children, haha.

      No guesses as to why the comment section on the You Tube clip has been turned off.

      If you perused ministry and governmental youtube channels regularly you would be aware that comments are off on all of them. If you allow commenting it becomes your responsibility to moderate them. Would you rather your ‘hard earnt taxpayer dollars’ were spent on maintaining the staffing to moderate the 100s of youtube videos the govt publishes?

    • Muttonbird 10.2

      It's great. Interesting characters, funny, diverse, relatable, engaging. Sells the message (the Road to Zero campaign/brand) that a lot of effort by a lot of people goes into trying to keep us safe on our roads.

      Perhaps tried to do a little too much in one ad, could have done without the dog and its translated subtitles, but overall a very good start.

      The take-away is that you do your part by driving well, and not bitching about speed limits, etc.

      Thanks for sharing.

      • Poission 10.2.1

        the road toll this year is 60% of the covid death toll to date this year.

        The advertising money would have been better spent,on a fuel conservation campaign which would have decreased both fuel consumption and RT( as risk correlates quite nicely with mileage) Megan Woods was not very forthcoming on a conservation campaign when asked.

      • Shanreagh 10.2.2

        It is one of those laconic NZild ads/shows that have visitors scratching their heads like 'nek minnit' and the Tui ads 'yeah right'. They have a reputation to maintain

        remember the ghost chips

        https://teara.govt.nz/en/video/39872/ghost-chips

  11. Blade 11

    ''Seems like a gently humorous reminder that road safety happens through collective effort rather than just individual actions.''

    I'm sure most would agree with you. I don't. I find it puerile and infantile. A little like the B grade comedians who infest our country.

    It's also great social commentary about the state of our society. And maybe what bureaucracy and the government think of our capacity to understand. The Covid response is a great example of leading the dumb sheeple down the garden path.

    A little like this ad?

    ''If you perused ministry and governmental youtube channels regularly you would be aware that comments are off on all of them.''

    Yes, I'm aware of that. I just used a little artistic license to state what would undoubtedly be true if the comments were turned on. I mean, for anyone with half a brain, the trolling opportunities are endless.

    I wonder if this old ad would sink like a lead balloon if screened in our modern era? Pretend it was advertising some modern gizmo, and not tapes. I think it fail for a number of reasons.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CD6S8DZHpG4

    • DB Brown 11.1

      "A little like the B grade comedians who infest our country."

      Oh, the B comedy is great. It's the A comedy that has us racing for the remote.

    • Blazer 11.2

      Hey…you want to see some of the B Grade commentators…on the Standard!laugh

    • McFlock 11.3

      Well, I guess you're smart enough to know what it takes to keep everyone safe and aim for a zero road toll.

      PSAs aren't always aimed at people as smart as you.

      • Blade 11.3.1

        ''Well, I guess you're smart enough to know what it takes to keep everyone safe and aim for a zero road toll.''

        I wouldn't have a clue. But I'm betting the road toll will increase and never come down again, given the increasing P use and people pissing their worries away. I just hope I'm not a casualty. That you believe we can aim for a zero road toll speaks volumes.

        ''PSAs aren't always aimed at people as smart as you.''

        If you had read the brief above you would know it's also aimed at me. That's what I find offensive. There should be a warning before this ad plays:

        Warning. The following ad may be confronting for people who have an IQ higher than 98. Viewer discretion is advised.

        • McFlock 11.3.1.1

          So you watched the ad, thought it infantile, yet still wouldn't have a clue about what it takes to lower the road toll.

          Not sure P has the same impact on the numbers that alcohol used to.

          But anyhoo, here's the NZ road toll figures. 2000-2005, nothing below 400 dead.

          Haven't hit 400 since. An increase in the road toll isn't inevitable by any means.

          Oh, we might only hit zero when we get rid of drivers. But until then, there are a few hundred lives we can try to save every year.

    • Blade 11.4

      What a weird world. I've just listen to a radio interview with the chap who had inputs into both the adverts I have commented on.

      • Incognito 11.4.1

        We’re all exceedingly happy for you and that you share your joy with all of us here.

        • Blade 11.4.1.1

          Thankyou. Although it wasn't a joy when I was banned for no reason I can fathom.

          • Incognito 11.4.1.1.1

            If you’re referring to your third Moderation note and ban (https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-23-02-2022/#comment-1867085) under the same Post plus the long explanation for your edification after you were banned (https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-23-02-2022/#comment-1867176) it is because your IQ is under 98 (by your own admission, but it is quite obvious). Enjoy listening to some more chappies on the radio.

            • Blade 11.4.1.1.1.1

              Ah, yes. I was warned twice. You then went on to put the boot in under this lead paragraph after I was banned. I had no right of reply (at the time) to your biased opinions…in my opinion.

              ''Since another Moderator has now banned you, this is for the record.''

              From my perspective there was too much of your opinion in that record.

              ''For the record:

              ''So that the true facts about something are clear or known, especially publicly or officially.''

              https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/for+the+record

              But I don't want to be churlish. You where the moderator and I had two warnings. Fair enough.

              You haven't explained where the offending is that lead to my banning?

              I was warned for not supplying links to some of my comments and quotes.

              Here let me help you out: This from the link banning me.

              ''You need to get less arrogant and learn to listen to moderators. This is our site – you don’t make the rules. We do. We prefer that if you want to quote then you need to substantiate the quote.''

              I listened. But I was banned.

              ''It is because your IQ is under 98 (by your own admission, but it is quite obvious).''

              I don't remember saying my IQ was under 98?

              • Incognito

                One cannot make a horse with an IQ < 98 drink. Is it stubbornness, arrogance, or low intelligence or all of the above? Re-read your own comments.

                BTW, next time you make a pointless comment about a radio interview with a “chap” you may want to include names, radio station, time stamp, and a link.

                Thank you for showing and explaining again why you were banned (aka QED).

                • Blade

                  Personally, if I was in your situation, I would just have said '' sorry, we may have got that wrong. We owe you one. So the next time you will get three warnings before we ban you for life.''

                  ''BTW, next time you make a pointless comment about a radio interview with a “chap” you may want to include names, radio station, time stamp, and a link.''

                  That was just to highlight to you the sometimes arbitrary nature of moderation. You gave two replies to that post. Hopefully the new auto-mod MAY even things out for everyone. The post was however true. It was not a made up story.

                  Of course, for the record, you weren't the one who banned me. Fact.

                  [Some people don’t pick up on subtle hints. Some people don’t pick up on clear and instructive Moderation. Some people do neither and you’re one of those.

                  As you wish, you’re now in Pre-Moderation until you provide the info required for your comment @ 12:16 pm (comment # 11.4) – Incognito]

                  • Incognito

                    Mod note for you.

                  • Blade

                    https://www.magic.co.nz/home/shows/talk/the-sunday-cafe.html

                    @ 19 minutes.

                    Man's name is Murray Grindlay.

                    • Incognito

                      Thanks! I knew you could do it; it wasn’t so hard, was it now?

                      Happy commenting, without the nonsense that just gets you into trouble 😉

                    • Blade

                      Incognito -I didn't write the above post I have been hacked again. Someone is having fun at my expense. All above posts except the last one have been written by me.

                    • Incognito []

                      I have no idea which comment you’re referring to, the one @ 5:08 pm or @ 2:25 pm?

                      All WP log entries tell me that they came from the exact same source.

                      They all sound as if they all came from you.

                      If you have been hacked then you must sort it out, at your end. If you wish, I can block you here till you think you’re clean again.

                      Until then we cannot tell any different and assume they are all yours.

                    • Blade

                      The 5.08pm post.

                      ''All WP log entries tell me that they came from the exact same source.

                      They all sound as if they all came from you.''

                      All posts came from me except the 5.08pm.

                      ”If you have been hacked then you must sort it out, at your end. If you wish, I can block you here till you think you’re clean again.”

                      Yes, please block all posts until I have someone check my computer out.

                    • Incognito []

                      Ok, thanks and good luck with getting this sorted ASAP. Your TS comments are the least of your worries. To make it easier on the Moderators you’re now in the Black list. When you’re ready let us know in a brief comment, which will end up in the Trash folder in the back-end, and one of us will release you from the Black list and restore your commenting privileges here, but please be patient.

  12. pat 12

    Scenario part 2

    Would we have enough people and skills to provide those necessaries?

    Food?

    Clothing?

    Transport?

    Infrastructure?

    Healthcare?

    and an important one i missed in part one

    Education?

    • Poission 12.1

      and an important one i missed in part one

      Education?

      Ya kidding,social media is full of experts educating people on their errors.There is an infinite army of educators.

      • pat 12.1.1

        lol…i shall rephrase…'formal education.'

        And if we cant import, whos to say we will have an internet?

    • weka 12.2

      Scenario part 2

      Would we have enough people and skills to provide those necessaries?

      Food?

      Yes, easily. NZ is replete with farmers/market gardeners, home gardeners, regenag and organic growers, lifestyle block growers and so on. Once Were Gardeners (Māori, Pasifica, Chinese, Europeans, Brits/Irish) and we're not that far from that historically.

      Clothing?

      Massive amount of clothing in NZ that could be worn, reused, mended, upcycled. The mending/upcycling is skilled work that can be easily taught. Knitting and crochet are easy to learn skills. Weaving is a bit more involved. Māori hold a huge knowledge and skill base. So to artists/craftspeople. Again, NZ is fairly replete with people with these skills

      I'm just listening to a podcast talking about the visible mending movement, and someone just made the point that cheap clothes (more simply made) are easiest to repair).

      All that gives the time/space to look at more industrial manufacturing. We still have clothing manufacturers in NZ, and we still have people who worked in the industry before neoliberalism wrecked it.

      Transport?

      Lots of mechanics, home mechanics, farm mechanics, engineers. I'm not too worried about the repair and keeping things going side in terms of skills. Probably ok for people who can machine parts too.

      Infrastructure?

      Can you be more specific?

      Healthcare?

      Sure, we have practitioners and the schools to train them in. Home healthcare is a skill that's been lost, but it's teachable we we still have plenty of people who can share that especially in older generations and in the counter culture that have been doing this all along.

      and an important one i missed in part one

      Education?

      Lots of teachers. Lots of homeschooling parents with skills.

      • pat 12.2.1

        K…..will let it run and respond later, but highlight the word 'enough'

        • weka 12.2.1.1

          All my comments are in the context of Powerdown rather then trying to replicate what we have now (which I think would be impossible). So sure, growing food is not that hard when you have someone supervising who knows what they are doing, and then people learn the skills. Apprenticeships become a thing again across many sectors.

          Some specific sectors would be tough in terms of enough I'm sure, maybe we should name them. I don't think any of the major ones are though. Again, it's a matter of how fast/hard the stopping of imports is (overnight is really hard, but with warning it's easier).

          • weka 12.2.1.1.1

            I've spent a lot of time around people who are handy and fix stuff, so I see it a bit differently I guess.

          • weka 12.2.1.1.2

            In terms of enough people, think of all the jobs that would no longer need to be done, freeing up people to do other things.

            • Belladonna 12.2.1.1.2.1

              "Freeing people up to do other things" is a nice way of putting – 'thrown out of work that they enjoy and are suited for, and working 10-hour days of hard labour on farms, which they neither enjoy nor are particularly competent at.'

              Yes, in an emergency situation, you do what you need to do to survive. But our civilization is built on thriving, not just surviving.

              Living a 19th century lifestyle is darned hard work – and even more so for women, who did/do most of the domestic labour.

              • weka

                I'm not suggesting living a 19th century lifestyle. Sorry, but that's the limitation of your imagination, not mine. There's no suggestion here that we give up many of the advances made in the past several hundred years.

                "Freeing people up to do other things" is a nice way of putting – 'thrown out of work that they enjoy and are suited for, and working 10-hour days of hard labour on farms, which they neither enjoy nor are particularly competent at.'

                I also didn't suggest anything of the sort. How many people do you know that would give up their wage slave job to do market gardening, or food forestry, or farming? Because I know a lot. I know people who have already given up those jobs.

                There are many people doing work they don't want to be doing. There's no good reason to assume they should do other work they are unsuited for (again, this is your thinking, nothing to do with what I am talking about).

                And the 10 hour days of hard labour on farms is really an industrialist idea. Nothing to do with relocalised food production, or the powerdown.

                Growing food is often hard work. The people I know who do small scale food production work hard and they love it. But it's not necessarily hard work in the way you imply. I suspect you are talking about subsistence farming where people don't have enough resources or tech or they are constrained financially or by politics.

                Some gardening isn't that hard (permaculture is based on a principle of making it easier and less time consuming. Food forests become less work over time).

                • DB Brown

                  So many make everything sound so hard when it doesn't need to be. Honestly half my food just comes to me now, the maintenance of the food forest area is minimal. If I spent two hours out there a week I could raise production considerably.

                  Yes it took some considerable effort at first. Also, learning to cook was just as important as learning to garden. Both are highly creative, if shared with others, and approached with finesse, neither need become a tedious repetitive chore.

                  I don't work in the garden, instead I stare at the trees. Pull a string of kaikuyu from an edge to lure the cat with. We lie in the grass strip path. Graze on berries, stare at clouds. Ponder where a pond might go. (Ponds are for pondering too).

                  Then I typically come in with an armful of fare that presents itself as I stumble about enjoying the beauty of it. I go out there to take a break, not to work. I come back in replenished in spirit and larder.

                  Today I had wedges and a burger. I grew most of what was in it. I bought the flour, oil, avocadoes…

                  I have olives growing, avocado seeds soaking. That easy.

                  • weka

                    that's it. So much socialisation that only civilisation and high tech is keeping us from a terrible existence, but there are other ways of living.

                    I feel fortunate to have grown up around gardeners and farmers. Then learning things like permaculture later on and refining how that can be done. Working with nature (and what is) is so against the grain of what we have been taught.

      • Peter 12.2.2

        Would we have enough people and skills to provide those necessaries?

        Food? Yes, easily."

        But we're always on about there not being enough to pick crops, do harvesting and work on farms.

        • Belladonna 12.2.2.1

          In this scenario, there would be plenty of people who no longer have a job – since their employment was predicated on the existence of overseas imports. Anyone working in the Warehouse, for example, or shipping, freighting or car imports.
          Work or starve is a stark choice.

        • weka 12.2.2.2

          But we're always on about there not being enough to pick crops, do harvesting and work on farms.

          some farmers and orchardists are on about it because they don't pay decent wages and find it hard to find staff. And, they're basically capitalists needing wage slaves and offering poor conditions in return.

          If you switch to a local food supply chain, a lot of food is grown in people's backyards and the incentives to look after and harvest are entirely different. Likewise someone being paid to produce food locally.

          For the crops that still need large scale production and harvest, just pay people properly and give them good work conditions.

        • Graeme 12.2.2.3

          If we had no imports, we'd also have no exports, for whatever reason we had no imports.

          So, we'd be producing a lot less agriculturally in total, but producing a much wider variety of produce, so we'd need maybe the same workforce on the land, but they'd be employed all, or most of the year on many crops.

          Just producing for the domestic market would free up land for fuel crops as well.

          • pat 12.2.2.3.1

            Yes we'd have a glut of dairy produce…..if we can maintain all of the infrastructure that currently supports it, which id suggest is highly unlikely given virtually all of it is imported, most by necessity…not for economic reasons.

            The range of goods would greatly diminish and distribution would be problematic.

            The freed up land would require redevelopment for alternative use (energy/resource intensive) unless left to revert.

            • Graeme 12.2.2.3.1.1

              The freed up land would require redevelopment for alternative use (energy/resource intensive) unless left to revert.

              Not really, the development to increase plant growth like irrigation and contouring is already in place. A change in use is just put in new crops and maybe reconfigure fencing.

              With a pivot irrigated farm that's currently dairy, the fences would go and the whole thing becomes a big crop circle, most pivots internationally are for cropping rather than livestock. Also, there's a lot of pivots here that aren't irrigating intensive livestock farms, although in many cases you could add "yet" to that statement with a reasonable degree of certainty. Would be interesting to see irrigated Canterbury and McKenzie properties transition to cropping for grains and oil seeds.

              I'm presuming your premise for no imports is that international trade breaks down completely because the current sanctions against Russia degenerates into a Battle of the Atlantic situation where 'Western' commercial shipping and aircraft are being pinged off at random around the globe in international waters, presumably by Russian, or Russian aligned actors. This won't be a pretty situation for the world and particularly New Zealand. We could be in for a bit of a shock.

              • pat

                Funny thing happened recently…a bit of wind knocked over some pivots around here and the farmers were somewhat perturbed to find they couldnt be fixed for some time due to the unavailability of parts ex the US.

                Perhaps DB can make some from his clay?

                But not to be flippant, I fear you both miss the point….work backwards.

                What do you need to make the parts for say a centre pivot?

                A steel industry…and what do you need for a steel industry?

                A mining industry.

                And these industries need to be of a scale to supply all needs, not just centre pivots.

                Assuming we have all the minerals we need (we dont) we dont have the existing industry to create the industry we need….but lets say we find a work around….we dont have the technical skills resident to create them anyway…but we somehow manage to overcome this …we need the physical labour to do the work….while continuing to maintain existing systems…..where will we draw it from?

                Our current ag/hort systems rely heavily on imported labour now…with all the productivity benefits of modern machinery and systems and energy that will become severely constrained in a non import environment.

                It isnt so much a question on whether we can do something, its can we do enough of it fast enough with the resources available.

      • pat 12.2.3

        The purpose of the post was to make people think about how an economy works (or dosnt) without the fog of 'money'….you will note that hargly anybody mentioned it.

        We dont (i'd suggest cannot) support anything like our current lifestyle, not because we have insufficient money, but insufficient resources both physical and human.

        Do we currebtly have enough nurses or doctors (even with those we import)?

        Do we have enough teachers?

        Do we have enough engineers?

        And that is with all the productivity advantages of having just about everything we use made by large scale and efficient producers somewhere over the horizon….if we had to attempt to maintain anything like the systems we currently enjoy without that productivity advantage we would quickly discover we simply do not have enough bodies/skills/time to produce that which we need to maintain our systems.

        I live on a lifestyle block and have no reliance on the council for water or sewerage provision, I have land to grow food and i can produce my own energy if needed….but without all of the industrial supports of the global economythat would all quickly become inoperable, and that is before I even consider that there are simply not enough hours in the day to do all the tasks that are required…nevermind working to provide services for others in the community who are dont have that advantage.

        Thats living 'beyond our means'.

        • weka 12.2.3.1

          totally. My starting point was that we cannot keep our present way of living. But this is not new for me, I don't think we can anyway, irrespective of imports. It's only a matter of time until we hit the limits hard.

          I live on a lifestyle block and have no reliance on the council for water or sewerage provision, I have land to grow food and i can produce my own energy if needed….but without all of the industrial supports of the global economythat would all quickly become inoperable, and that is before I even consider that there are simply not enough hours in the day to do all the tasks that would are required…nevermind working to provide services for others in the community who are dont have that advantage.

          There's a reason humans evolved in tribes 😉 Many hands make light work.

          • weka 12.2.3.1.1

            btw, I assumed that if imports stopped, our whole economy would have to transition to something else incredibly fast. Too big a topic to take on in this thought experiment, but I was more interested in the resources and skill side too.

          • pat 12.2.3.1.2

            Theres also a reason that until recently humans had large families….but thats an aside.

            Stating that we cannot keep our present way of living dosnt solve the problems of transitioning to a way of living that we can maintain EVEN if we could agree on what that is.

            Whether by choice or circumstance it will be painful and messy….and thats if we are successful…..and we know from history how the vulnerable fare in that environment.

    • Sabine 12.3

      the main question in all that is really,

      do we have the material and skills in the country to keep our water infrastructure alive.

      the short answer to that is no. And without potable water and even just 'clean' water you will have all sorts of issues, and generally people dying very quickly.

      We can walk/cycle/ride/boat for transport, we can reuse, recycle, upcycle for a while to make up for the lack of materials, we can teach our children – enough teachers, artists, writers, singers, weavers, etc so that too would not be an issue.

      But if you don't have potable safe water you can die very quickly of a simple thing such as a stomach bug or a cut.

      • weka 12.3.1

        Let's break this down into actual scenarios to see how bad it might be.

        Take Dunedin. No shortage of supply (big underground aquifers), possibly some issues with treatment and reticulation. First, take the load off by getting as many people as possible collecting rainwater (a reasonable resource in Dunedin). Use this for watering the garden, washing (laundry, bodies).

        Get as many people as possible and who can handle it doing home humanure composting. It's not hard for people that don't have a yuk factor.

        Both those strategies take a huge weight off the town water supply.

        Set up specific systems for potable water (drinking, washing dishes and vulnerable people like babies, elderly, unwell people). Does the town still have the capacity to treat water? Pump water? Why/why not?

        Rainwater collection can be done for potable water too.

        • Sabine 12.3.1.1

          Auckland 1.5 million people all flushing twice a day at least. That needs to go somewhere and it needs to be treated. Ditto for all the other towns. I could build a compostable bog on my inlaws property as they have enough land, but imagine that in AKL.

          I am not saying that it is an issue that can not be managed, but initially it would just be a mess. Btw, just as a disclaimer, for a few years i worked for a chemical company and part of my job was to make sure that water treatment chemicals got delivered on time to waste water treatment plants the country up and down lest people get a brown water order to boil their water. And what would they boil their water with if they don't have access to electricity, gas for bbq, or open fires to boil that water with.

          So you have the issue with the chemicals mostly coming from CHina.

          Secondly, IT and spare parts. Another issue.

          So as Belladonna upthreat states, in the first year, plenty of people could/would die of otherwise preventable diseases. And now, we could not organise water the way you suggest, not in the big towns. unless we all go back to doing out business in a bucket and have that bucket emptied in a truck who will then take that sludge somewhere to be used as manure. And will we have the gasoline for that truck.

          Water. Is the first thing to look at, and electricity to run these waste water plants, and if we are short on electricity we also have issues with water delivery.

          I live next to a large body of water. I could potentially go down the lake with a bucket and schlepp that up to the house and boil it in a kettle placed in the fireplace, old school. But i can't see how you can replicate that into apartment living, or flat living without a body of sweet water near. As for rain, it has not rained for weeks where i live. And we are having longer droughts up and down the country.

          So really, for without water we are no different to any third world country were women walk for hours to bring home a few containers of 'clean' water.

          • Belladonna 12.3.1.1.1

            We might be lucky and be able to use solar for some of the local power needs (boiling water, cooking, etc.). I do think we're going to run into battery problems – so solar would be daytime only.

            We may be moving back towards burning wood/coal etc. – especially for heating (no cooling – all of those expensive heatpumps will be waste junk). Which is going to have an impact on air quality in cities (anyone remember the week-long fogs in winter in Hamilton)

            Talking about light. What about household lighting? Are we back to rising and going to bed with the sun? Candles (beeswax, since no paraffin)- don't give a very good or consistent light, and are not cheap. I don't think we're going to consider whale oil! Batteries (even rechargeable ones) will run down, and have to be replaced (so expensive, even if doable locally).

            • Sabine 12.3.1.1.1.1

              Are we back to rising and going to bed with the sun?

              That would be the cheapest, easiest and most economic use of a free resource, ditto co-sleeping in winter during the very cold days.

              • weka

                I was outside last night, full moon, lots of things I could have been doing, it was bright enough.

                Traditionally cultures without electric light use the darker times (eg long winter nights) for storytelling and such.

            • weka 12.3.1.1.1.2

              Olive oil is easy to produce in NZ and makes a usable lamp light.

              so solar would be daytime only.

              That's doable. Most households can adapt to that. It takes lifestyle and behaviour change.

              Woodburning can be done either as net zero carbon, or even a carbon sink (you plant more trees than you burn, you use coppicing). The main problem NZ will have is that we've just spent 20 year replacing wood burners with heat pumps.

              In the medium and long term, wood stoves can be build to be very efficient (both heat storage/release, and rocket stove tech) as well as ultra low emission. We should be doing this already of course, NZ is pretty bad on this.

              • Belladonna

                I think you're underestimating just how physically hard working without electricity (for most things) actually is.

                Just break down the 'woodburner'. Which requires. Trees to be cut down. Wood to be sawn, split and stacked. Wood to be transported (lets say 10K – though it would be certainly more in most towns) – if we're looking at one person with a wheelbarrow, that's around 100 wheelbarrow or cycle trailer loads for a few months. Wood to be stacked (requires space) for seasoning (otherwise doesn't burn well). Wood to be further split for kindling, etc. Fires to be started and watched (serious safety issue) – though your modern enclosed wood burner would be a winner here. [NB: this is one of the biggest reasons for the transition from wood to coal – the concentrated energy made the transport/storage more efficient for users]

                Most of this is going to be massively less efficient without using power (oil or electricity).
                Cutting down a tree by hand is not a trivial exercise. Sawing and splitting wood is hard physical work. Transportation by hand (or foot!) is hard work and takes a long time, and if going back to the horse and cart days, requires that infrastructure to be developed.
                So, in terms of 'man' hours your woodfired stove is a lot more expensive than your current electrical (or gas) one. All of those additional man-hours are spent on surviving, and aren't free to invest on thriving.

                • weka

                  you're teaching your grandmother to suck eggs there Belladonna. I grew up with open fires, learned how to cook on a coal range as a kid. I don't think I've ever lived in a house that didn't have a fire or woodstove. Often I've been able to cook on a woodstove or coal range (sometimes just burning wood no coal). I've also lived quite a few times without electricity, or been on low solar. Also lived without running water at times. I've cooked a fair bit on outside fires too.

                  Not only that, but using wood for space and water heating and for cooking, is pretty normal in the circles I move in. Lots of people do their own firewood, at least part of the time.

                  I've also been around people who develop alt tech eg rocket stoves, which are incredibly efficient.

                  The ideal here is this: a passively designed house to minimise the need for burning any kind of fuel. Solar hot water with either electric or woodfired back up. If you are cooking on a woodstove, then may we well heat your water and your living room at the same time.

                  Electricity is best for electronics and pumps and stuff that we can't do easily in other ways. It's also good where its abundant and where we either have storage (hydro) or can use when it's being generated (sun/wind/ride).

                  And it's site appropriate. Urban city apartment dwellers need electricity (but the passive solar and uber insulation mentioned above and the solar hot water still apply), people living in rural areas and small towns can more easily burn wood in places where it makes sense (large parts of the South Island).

                  In the medium term, plant forests in cities and towns, plant copping trees close to where they are needed. This is all basic sustainability and resiliency design. Once you put all that together, it gets easier.

                  And, in community, people don't all do their own firewood each on their own. They help each other, they can manage a woodlot together, they can share infrastructure, they help stack the firewood – which is a very satisfying job, more satisfying for many that washing dishes in a hotel to earn the coin to buy the electricity to run the heat pump that you can't even cook on or heat water with. People I know, myself included, who choose to live this way do so because we like it. It's not some nasty, brutish survival existence. Some people burn wood because they have no choice, and some of them have to get their own firewood in. Those are both solvable problems.

                  • weka

                    btw, the biggest challenge to what I am talking about is the cast iron or steel needed to make ultra efficient woodstoves and the manufacturing infrastructure, but even there the rocket stove tech seems to be reducing that need.

                    Chainsaw tech would also be an issue in this scenario eventually.

                  • Belladonna

                    Yep, I grew up in a house with open fires, too. Which is why I know just how much work they are.
                    Just imagine doing all of that work with only muscle power. I certainly don't want to be chopping down trees or splitting wood without a chainsaw (no petrol and/or batteries), or transporting loads of firewood any distance (no transport). Coppicing isn't really a reality in any suburban area (and, tragedy of the commons), isn't really likely to work effectively anywhere except a farm or small village/town. It takes time and knowledge (not a lot, but some), and more importantly a community with good levels of trust, to manage a woodlot.

                    Woodburning is a nice-to-have (and moderately renewable) energy source, supplementing other power – but not, so great, if it's the only one you have.

          • DB Brown 12.3.1.1.2

            I can strain water with graded rocks and soil. But don't let the need for chemicals from China stop you. But I understand the tools (space) and (materials, dirt, sand, rocks, oystershell) may not be available to all.

            Why, if we're isolated, are we also powerless, that seems unlikely. Disrupted supply yes, absent? Only in isolated pockets like we get now. We might need to restrict usages as we adjust, but we do have a lot of renewables already.

            Hell, I'm on the coast. I could get some old paint buckets and plastic sheets and rig up a solar water harvesting enterprise and charge yuppies a fortune for drinking water.

            I taught a guy some microbiology for disposing of animal faeces the other day. I'm sure those skills could translate to other poos too.

            It's all relative. When shit hits the fan the rich man will seem a fool. And vice versa…

            • Sabine 12.3.1.1.2.1

              again, you try that in a city with 1.5 million people. yeah….you do that. And fwiw, i did state that people not living in town will have better chances. As for now, you like anyone else here likes their water clean.

              • DB Brown

                I don't know where we got the belief we're all helpless in the face of adversity. Far from it. But… run those worst case scenarios they're informative and worth noting.

                • pat

                  Its not a question of being helpless DB (though some are more capable than others) its that if you genuinely consider everything you currently use in your life no matter what its like and then considered that if you personally needed to provide it you would soon reduce your requirements to the bare minimum .

                  You mentioned old buckets and plastic sheets….who made them?who transported them?

                  You certainly didnt make them or mine the raw materials, just as I didnt make the staple that I put in the fence, or the hammer i used to hit it with… and somebody else made the fence post and cut down and milled the tree.

                  And a final thing to think about…what you were capable of yesterday is not a predictor of what you are capable of tomorrow.

                  • DB Brown

                    If the buckets fail we could always collect rain, although, I suppose roofs will all fall off too if there's a transport breakdown…

                    At some stage you might consider we're not all victims waiting for the next disaster to bemoan our fate.

                    We've manufactured before and we can do it again.

                    • DB Brown

                      P.S. If I walk out my front door and put in a spade I can find good clay only 18 inches down. Clay I could make all manner of things with.

                      The can't do attitude of some is not reflective of the kiwi ability to innovate and DIY.

        • Belladonna 12.3.1.2

          But not readily transferrable to Auckland (for example) – where we've just had around 4 months of no rain (though we did have a light fall yesterday – much to the relief of the gardeners amongst us).

          No backyard rainwater collection system is going to be sufficient in this environment. Not to mention the increase in apartments/townhouses with little or no space for rainwater storage and/or composting (even of the ordinary kind, let alone humanure – which is just begging for a cholera outbreak).

          For safe and reliable water, you need to have a water reticulation infrastructure (dams, treatment, pumping and wastewater treatment). Now, a lot of that is already in place, so it just becomes a maintenance question – which, I would not have thought is impossible, even in a zero import environment. However, it does require electricity – and the question of how that is resourced in an energy limited environment.

          • weka 12.3.1.2.1

            Belladonna, and Sabine. Here's the thing about resiliency and design: you start with what works and explore that rather than going to the hardest, can't do that, scenarios.

            Which is why I chose Dunedin, because I know it well enough, and it's not that hard to demonstrate how it would work. I'm not seeing any critique of my outline, which is a shame, because there are definitely holes in it. And wrangling with those holes brings solutions and teaches resiliency thinking.

            If you start with the hardest, all you do is build yourself into a no solution corner. The thought experiment isn't 'should we end all imports?', it was,

            What if (for whatever reason) we could not import anything into NZ….what necessities could we supply ourselves with?

            You and I both are looking at beyond the necessities, or rather, that thriving is a necessity. So the resiliency approach to that is to look at what works first. Because it gets easier after that. If you start with 'can't be done', how will you manage when there is no choice?

            Here's another thing: good design is always local. What works in Dndn won't work in Auckland, or the West Coast. Auckland needs its own solutions. That is how we get resilient (and sustainable) solutions and design.

            • Belladonna 12.3.1.2.1.1

              I don't know enough about Dunedin to critique its water infrastructure effectively.

              However, I know enough about human nature to know that any kind of widespread 'humanure' processing in cities is begging for a cholera outbreak.
              Modern 1st world cities require a waste treatment infrastructure – so you have to figure out how to do that in an energy limited environment.

              Reliance on rainwater is likely to require some kind of local sterilization (the boil water notice). In Dunedin, I'm thinking that solar is not likely to be effective for much of the year – so you'll be back to coal/wood fired cooking/heating – with the consequent impact on the air-quality. This is also likely to be a problem in new houses, with no fireplaces/chimneys – and a major fire risk if these are hurriedly retrofitted.

              TBH – in the scenario that's posited (zero imports from overseas), I'd think that cities would hollow out fairly quickly. Historical 'super cities' (Rome, Venice, London, etc.) were all merchant cities – growth driven by international (rather than local) trade. Auckland has little reason to exist historically, except for its harbours.

              • weka

                Have you ever used a humanure system? It's really not that hard. And it's safe. People set them up in Chch after the quakes, where there was little other choice. You don't set up large scale, you have a humanure system on each suitable property.

                (as an aside, I think I have a draft post on this, but there was a group that wanted to get the domestic food scrap contract with the council in Ak, that had a system of collection from houses and composting it and reselling to gardeners. See that closed loop and how the waste becomes a resource? That's resiliency and high efficiency using very low tech, I think they were even going to do it using bikes).

                If all imports cease, we are no longer living in 1st world cities. We are living in rapidly adapting powerdown cities.

                Reliance on rainwater is likely to require some kind of local sterilization (the boil water notice).

                Not really. Lots of people have lived on rainwater (including myself), it can be done safely with minimal treatment.

                In Dunedin, I'm thinking that solar is not likely to be effective for much of the year – so you'll be back to coal/wood fired cooking/heating – with the consequent impact on the air-quality. This is also likely to be a problem in new houses, with no fireplaces/chimneys – and a major fire risk if these are hurriedly retrofitted.

                Solar hot water and cooking is fine in a place like Dunedin at times. But yes you do need other system (best to have multiple ways to heat). Retrofitting housing for increased passive heating wouldn't be that hard, especially if we were still producing glass.

                Solar cooking can be done outside in some situations.

                Putting in woodburner flues isn't that hard, lots of tradies could do that if they had to. The safety issue is one of supervision and committment, and I agree it's something that would need attention.

                TBH – in the scenario that's posited (zero imports from overseas), I'd think that cities would hollow out fairly quickly. Historical 'super cities' (Rome, Venice, London, etc.) were all merchant cities – growth driven by international (rather than local) trade. Auckland has little reason to exist historically, except for its harbours.

                I think this is likely too.

          • weka 12.3.1.2.2

            But not readily transferrable to Auckland (for example) – where we've just had around 4 months of no rain (though we did have a light fall yesterday – much to the relief of the gardeners amongst us).

            Dunedin annual rainfall: 600mm/year

            Auckland annual rainfall: 1100mm/year

            What you are pointing to is a design issue. There are techniques to take into account long drought periods.

            No backyard rainwater collection system is going to be sufficient in this environment.

            The idea here isn't to rely on rainwater alone, it's to use every resource, and to take pressure of the reticulation system. Collecting rainwater is even more of a benefit in dry climates, or those prone to droughts.

            Not to mention the increase in apartments/townhouses with little or no space for rainwater storage and/or composting (even of the ordinary kind, let alone humanure – which is just begging for a cholera outbreak).

            Humanure systems, when done properly (not that hard), are safe and have nothing at all to do with cholera outbreaks.

            Composting (including humanure) can be done in small spaces or intensified housing. That's really just a design and behaviour issue. But again, the point isn't that everyone has to do this in every situation. If all the people that can do it relatively easily do it, it takes the pressure off the sewerage system for those that can't.

            Collect the rainwater off five townhouses into one central tank and use that for watering the garden.

            For safe and reliable water, you need to have a water reticulation infrastructure (dams, treatment, pumping and wastewater treatment).

            One thing that was learned by people in Chch after the quakes is that large cities are really small towns interconnected. If you think that we have to have what we have now, and it has to be done on this really large scale, it gets much harder to see how it can still be done on smaller scales and under less than ideal conditions.

            Now, a lot of that is already in place, so it just becomes a maintenance question – which, I would not have thought is impossible, even in a zero import environment. However, it does require electricity – and the question of how that is resourced in an energy limited environment.

            This would be one of the most pressing issues I would see in the short term especially. But, assuming the grid is still functional I see no reason for cities to not have power to run essential services like water and sewerage. We waste a lot of power, and there are many ways in which we can use less, freeing up the grid for things are more important.

            • Belladonna 12.3.1.2.2.1

              "Humanure systems, when done properly (not that hard), are safe and have nothing at all to do with cholera outbreaks."

              That's the issue. ATM, they're set up by people who are highly invested in making them work, and work safely.

              Reality is that many people who are 'forced' to do so, won't have that level of knowledge and/or commitment. A poorly constructed/maintained backyard longdrop – is going to attract flies. Flies to food is a quick and dirty (pun intended) method of cholera transmission.

              • weka

                Humanure composting systems and long drops are distinct and different systems. Both have a place but I wouldn’t suggest long drops in an urban situation.

                In a situation where city sewerage infrastructure can’t cope or is broken, humanure composting systems are relatively simple to get up and running. I already qualified this as being for people that could manage them. Don’t know what you mean by forced. I guess Chch people had few choices, but they still had some.

                if a humanure system is getting flies in contact with faeces it’s not functioning properly and should be attended to in the same way we would a broken sewerage pipe of blocked toilet. These are not difficult systems to maintain properly.

                • weston

                  Actually by far the simplest solution for disposing of shit fast safely etc is just dig a fresh hole each time .To make it easy you need a good spade not a standard garden spade [ tho will do at a pinch ] but idealy either a planting spade or one with a curved tapered blade and preferably heavyish . Mine is a modified planting spade has a beatiful patina from years of use Takes me about a minute
                  to dig a small hole about 150 wide and 150 to 200 deep .Make youre deposit and fill it back in . easy and simple .If youre shiting on a lawn cut the turf out neatly first and replace after you should be able to do it so that you cant even tell its been done {the neighbors will never find out !}

                  Sorry this is turning into an essay but theres a couple of downsides one is if you are running chickens they are always looking for fresh dirt to both scratch in and dust bath in so dig the holes a bit deeper or put a small rock or brick or something on top and if yr space is limited youre prob gonna have to mark yr holes with a sm stick or something cause yr cycle shouldnt be less than 3 months or 2 max .
                  Intended as a general guide for anyone in need not just you weka !

              • weka

                That's the issue. ATM, they're set up by people who are highly invested in making them work, and work safely.

                humanure compost systems have been used at festivals, where there are people in charge of set up, functionality and disposal. Kind of like how we have plumbers and council black water engineers now. It’s just a different technology.

            • Sabine 12.3.1.2.2.2

              I tend to always operate of the worst case scenario and I plan that way forward in my life. Pats question to me seems to point to that "what if" this actually happens? No deliveries, only stock on hand what we have on hand to run our water infrastructure, but also health, and food. And with that in mind we need to consider ideas that can be implemented before the 3 month drinking water reservoir is dry due to drougth, etc, and we don't have the chemicals to clean waste water of any kind. Worst case.

              And in that worst case we do line up for water tank deliveries or those that have water nearby use that. And if rains falls those that have collection and storage facilities will try to collect as much as they can.

              In my scenario i expect rural/semi rural/lifestyle blockers/permies etc to have the best survival chances. So that leaves towns. How do we deliver clean water, reliably to people who have no land to use, rent, and are poor to semi poor. (the economic outfall in Pats scenario would be interesting to analyse too), who can not catch or store rain water, and who might be somewhat irate if there is no water on tap, or might be irate with shortages or rations in general. Worst case scenario.

              If worst case don't happen, then it means that the situation is not that dire which in our scenario here would be a great bonus to all as it would mean we have clean, accessible and affordable water.

              • Blazer

                If a fortress nation situation ever developed I believe we are living in the best country on the planet.

                -temperate climate

                -water-plentiful

                -hydro electric power

                -only 5 mil pop

                -reasonable infrastructure

                -arable land

                It's so good ..we should…sell it!laugh

      • pat 12.3.2

        Its one (possibly the most important) area that we are currently incapable of maintaining…..and to become capable (and convert to a system we can maintain) will take considerable time and resources…..what happens in the meantime?

    • DB Brown 13.1

      I tried to do a comedy set about reconciliation after reading about a potential genetic basis of political leanings – yes, you read that right. (but we need more data).

      See, if that is true, all the to and fro here is kind of pointless. What we instead might do is start to examine our commonalities, and as we define those, all purely selfish pursuits will become more readily apparent. That doesn't mean they're blocked out, just prioritised from ALL – > some – > few. Now it is FEW – > fuck those guys.

      I wrote the routine just before covid hit it was the best (message) and worst (laughs) comedy I ever did.

      Dating, what's that about?

  13. Blade 14

    And so the exodus begins. Labour must take full responsibility for this. They say Chris Faafoi hasn't got his mind on the job. He wanted out, if I remember correctly. This is just madness.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2022/03/desperately-needed-medical-workers-leaving-new-zealand-due-to-visa-difficulties.html

    • Blazer 14.1

      At least you quote a reliable source….

      'The National Party says hundreds are quitting these shores because they're simply on the wrong visa or can't wait while their residency applications are frozen – and we're losing more than we're gaining. laugh

    • pat 14.2

      That there are major problems at Immigration NZ has been evident for years….what they are is somewhat more opaque

    • Muttonbird 14.3

      Family doctor Paul Jones says,

      Without (fast tracked residency), we don't have rights to buy a house, we don't have rights to health care, it's quite unstable for our young family.

      Welcome to NZ, Dr Jones!

      Half the fucking country can't buy a house or get access to health care. Half the fucking country lives with instability day in, day out. What makes you so special?

      This is the way we do things here and if you don't like it, there's the door. :lol:

      • Blade 14.3.1

        What makes him so special is half the fucking country can't save my life or yours. He can. Common senses, 101.

        ''This is the way we do things here and if you don't like it, there's the door.''

        No, that's the way your dumb socialist government does things – always ideology before anything else. Idiots.

  14. Blade 15

    Kiwi girl gets the cold shoulder from Chinese students.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/300544537/concerns-after-nz-uyghur-fulbright-scholar-subjected-to-walkout-bullying-at-us-university

    This is the problem with China and Chinese. They are becoming bullies..and, in NZ, we cannot rely on those living in our country to support us in all our endeavours. Chinese are expected to remain loyal to the motherland.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/445646/chinese-communist-party-spies-in-nz-universities-lecturers-suspect

  15. Stuart Munro 18

    Fortress NZ? Where do we get our coffee?

    • DB Brown 18.1

      I harvested my first beans this year. They were shrivelled which is apparently a lack of water. Considering the coffee beans formed grew through a drought next to water hungry bananas neither of which I watered… fair enough.

      The beans, after finding they were shrivelled inside (they appeared whole with the skins on) I discarded – and tried to make a note to water the coffee around flowering from now on.

      I tried Cascara though – a new coffee drink taking off in various circles – which is tea made from the fruit the coffee beans come from. I thought it was quite pleasant, and peppy. So coffee potentially has two products now.

      People complaining about the price though, they have NO IDEA. If the labour and faffing about was properly accounted for, it would be $20 a cup.

      • Stuart Munro 18.1.1

        I'm given to understand that NZ coprosma fruit can be made into very acceptable coffee – they are terribly small however.

  16. weston 19

    Galloway being very reasonable talking to a group of equally reasonable persons from a variety of ethnicities and countries including Russia on the Ukraine crisis .

    Warning contains alternative viewpoints !!Watch at own risk ! Could contain traces of truth ! lol

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChrSGp8XNx8

  17. Karl Sinclair 20

    Russia says it launched hypersonic missile at Ukrainian ammo depot

    rather significant don’t you think……

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

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  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
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    5 days ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
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    5 days ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
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    5 days ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
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    6 days ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
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  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
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    7 days ago
  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
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    1 week ago
  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
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  • Speech – Lunar New Year 2024
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  • Budget will be delivered on 30 May
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    1 week ago
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    1 week ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
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    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Committee for Auckland
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    2 weeks ago
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    2 weeks ago
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    2 weeks ago
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    2 weeks ago
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    2 weeks ago
  • Greater focus on getting people into work
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    2 weeks ago
  • One year on, NZ appeals for release of Phillip Mehrtens
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    2 weeks ago
  • Ministers reaffirm Pacific connections this week
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    2 weeks ago
  • Rt Hon Christopher Luxon – Waitangi speech
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government awards primary sector scholarships to students
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    2 weeks ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
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    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand provides further humanitarian support to Gaza and the West Bank
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    3 weeks ago
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    3 weeks ago
  • Tai Tokerau Water Boost
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    3 weeks ago
  • Fast track consenting in the fast lane
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  • JOINT STATEMENT ON AUSTRALIA-NEW ZEALAND MINISTERIAL CONSULTATIONS (ANZMIN) 2024
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    3 weeks ago
  • Minimum wage set for cautious increase
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    3 weeks ago
  • Increased security improves ED safety over summer
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    3 weeks ago

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