Open mike 21/12/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 21st, 2022 - 55 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:


Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

55 comments on “Open mike 21/12/2022 ”

  1. PsyclingLeft.Always 1

    Te Anau farmer accused of destroying 800ha of native forest

    Judge Jon Jackson said in a statement the station was home to "significant indigenous vegetation".

    "Its protection is a matter of national importance. There appears to be a pattern of non-compliance and the clearance over the past two winters alone has allegedly caused irreparable damage to approximately 800 hectares of significant flora and fauna," he said

    The chair of Forest and Bird's Southland branch, Chris Henderson, said it was one of the worst examples of vegetation clearance she had heard of in the district, where there was not much lowland native forest left.

    Beyond the threat to biodiversity and native lizards, bats and bird species, she said it would be in Chartres' interests to keep the native forests for carbon credits.

    "His area that he's cleared could have been a really important biodiversity hotspot if he'd allowed it to flourish," she said.

    https://www.odt.co.nz/rural-life/rural-life-other/te-anau-farmer-accused-destroying-800ha-native-forest

    But……

    The Southland District Council has been ordered to pay $300,000 in costs to a Te Anau landowner following an Environment Court hearing in April.

    The judgment ruled in Chartres' favour and the council was notified about the costs awarded on Tuesday.

    https://www.odt.co.nz/regions/southland/southland-council-told-pay-landowner-300k-over-native-vegetation-case

    IMO : This…especially following on from the already recently high lighted, and… ongoing tragedy of World…And incl NZ loss of Biodiversity (even extinctions ! )..seems incongruous. At the very least

    • weka 1.1

      sounds like the council and environmentalists fucked up. Reasonable write up here of what went wrong for the council,

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/news/features/130418930/the-trouble-with-a-lofty-view-from-above

      He says it’s a battle that began when armed police and two ecologists had arrived unannounced at the family’s homestead back in September 2018 to exercise a search warrant to undertake an ecological investigation.

      If true, that's just a completely stupid action. Te Anau is a conservative community, with lots of people antagonistic towards conservation and environmentalism. It's also a small community. I'm sure the other side has its own telling of how things went down, but you have to work with people not just try and force them into cultural change that the wider community doesn't support.

      There are progressive farmers in the area, and people who are pro-conservation. Getting people's backs up is not a good approach.

      I'd like to know how the station became freehold from the Crown in the early 80s.

      I’d also like to know what compensation the Chartres family have received and not received since the 80s.

      • Belladonna 1.1.2

        Sounds to me like a conflict at the most basic level: should there be a farm there, or should it be a conservation estate. You cannot apply the same rules to both situations (and that's why the Council's knuckles have been rapped so hard).

        Sell off of 'productive' Crown lands in the 80s and 90s was fairly standard government policy. Lands which had been in long-term lease for farming (and therefore weren't conservation areas) – were made available for the farmers to buy, rather than continue leasing. Not all farmers *wanted* to buy – some were perfectly happy with continuing as long-term leaseholders (with perpetual right of renewal).
        From 1998 – many farmers have also gone through the tenure review process – where they can separate out conservation quality land, from general farming land.

        https://www.newsroom.co.nz/ideasroom/pastoral-lease-reform-back-to-the-future

        • weka 1.1.2.1

          So the Chartres would have paid to buy the farm in 1982? Was that market price or was the government doing easy deals for farmers?

          As for what the land use 'should be', the Chartres have farmed there for 100 years and others before them. I can't see how it could now be converted to conservation estate unless the family want to sell to the Crown (very unlikely).

          This is the quintessential conflict between capitalism and nature, but there are many parts of that whole area that 'should' be conservation land and instead there is conversion to dairying.

          A compromise would be for the farm to transition to commercial regenerative land use with a heavy emphasis on native biodiversity.

          • Belladonna 1.1.2.1.1

            Pretty sure that the prices paid were commercial value at the time (hence the fact that lots of farmers wanted to remain as lessors, rather than convert the land)

            I don't think that the farmer is going to think of your solution as a compromise.

            He thinks (and the law seems to be overwhelmingly in his favour), that this is farmland (and has been for over 100 years), and usual farm management practices apply. Basically, he can continue to manage his farm, in the way which makes most economic sense to him (within the broad restrictions of NZ environmental legislation, with which all farmers have to comply)

            It may be that regenag could be a good solution- unfortunately the well has been thoroughly poisoned by the Council and conservation activists – and he's unlikely to be willing to listen to them.

            • RosieLee 1.1.2.1.1.1

              "Usual farm management" has nothing to do with modern farming practices, especially in Canterbury. BAN PALM KERNEL now, and accept that farmers should stock their land according to the numbers their own land can sustain.

            • Shanreagh 1.1.2.1.1.2

              Yes BD is correct. If he had a pastoral lease he had no right of obtaining a freehold title unless per mechanism of the tenure review system. Pastoral leases had restrictions on stocking rates etc.

              If he had entered toot the tenure review system he would have been paid in that the land better suited to conservation would have been valued and then the land to be given as a freehold title would be valued and either a credit or debit to the Crown….No way would he have given land or had land appropriated without some sort of compensation. Some land holders do give land but rarely.

              But big bad old meany Crown sounds better when you are a 'poor hard done by Crown agencies' farmer.

              Some of these farmers would be leaning towards recalcitrant and always have been in their dealings with the Crown who was their landlord in times gone by. Worked in this field in the 1980s/90s and it is interesting to see the ones who are still a bit anti Crown/anti conservation.

              In the Te Anau basin itself, as opposed to the high country around it, the Crown poured money and expertise in so that the land could be developed and sold to young farmers back in the 1960s/70s. This followed on from the boom after the war when rehab farm settlements were developoed so those who came back from WW2 could have some recompense for their work to defend NZ. This land is long moved from leasehold to deferred Payments Licences and on to freehold titles and last time I was there much had gone to dairying.

              Some Councils have been using their planning expertise and soil maps to guide on land use. Some are doing a great job but broad brush just lets in inappropriate irrigation and dairying. Some farmers seem to think that they should not be subject to planning rules as the rest of us are.

              I see that some of the land was grazing lease, this had even fewer rights to long term leasing than pastoral leases themselves and PLs were/are pretty restrictive. These usually had no automatic right of renewal and often were re-let after being pruned back and the conservation- type land added to the conservation estate.

              I sense a passed down the generations story of naughty Crown doing things that were quite legal and appropriate when looking at the health of the land.

      • Hunter Thompson II 1.1.3

        "I'd like to know how the station became freehold from the Crown in the early 80s."

        A good start would be Ann Brower's book "Who Owns the High Country?" (Craig Potton Publishing, 2008). Might be in your local library.

        I don't think Te Anau Downs station (Chartres property) is mentioned but the shonky pastoral lease freeholding process certainly is covered in relation to Glendhu Station and others.

        • PsyclingLeft.Always 1.1.3.1

          Ann Brower's book "Who Owns the High Country?"

          Yes. IMO An indictment on those who decided, the people involved … and the utter greed .

      • PsyclingLeft.Always 1.1.4

        armed police and two ecologists

        Well….IMO theres an interesting bit. Maybe wonder why…armed Police ?

        Anyway….some other on Peter Chartres

        The slow pace of the council's investigation has frustrated Robson, especially as he had previously come under fire for not sharing the location of winter grazing breaches with the council.

        He considered the complaint a "slam dunk" which the council should have acted on quickly.

        "Those wetlands are absolutely filled with biodiversity. They're really, really valuable, for lots of reasons. And they've been protected for a reason."

        Ninety per cent of New Zealand's wetlands have been drained, with 3452ha estimated to have been lost from Southland between 1990 and 2012.

        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/southland-farmer-accused-of-draining-wetland/Y4O5L7OY6ZXKVI25ISRGW2H3B4/

        “Chartres is renowned in that district for making life difficult for regulatory agencies – whether they be regional councils or district councils or DoC or anybody else – they just take the easy way out. And it’s not their money.”

        https://www.newsroom.co.nz/negligent-doc-lets-

        IMO : while the different Councils, and DOC, seem to have not been careful…with their cases (seemingly they absolutely needed to have their A game and should have known this ! ) Mr Chartres…quite possibly needed/needs careful handling. IMO.

    • Hunter Thompson II 1.2

      The latest case seems to have been decided on the farmer's "existing use" rights. Although clearance of indigenous vegetation went on for 20 years, the Southland DC plan had some sort of transitional rule allowing clearance of previous regrowth.

      There was also a technical point (raised but not decided) about the council CEO not being able to delegate powers of enforcement all the way down to front line officials.

      Looks like a field day for the lawyers, with the environment the loser.

      • weka 1.2.1

        pretty sure it will be regrowth that is being cleared. The issue being more at what point do we consider regrowth to be forest that shouldn't be cleared. Is that based on length of time, or state of the ecosystem? Should fairness to the farmers be part of the decision? Is the place better off having regrowth and periodic removal rather than being converted to pasture permanently? It's complex.

        • Shanreagh 1.2.1.1

          Fairness to the farmers is almost overwhelming in cases like this …….what is the problem is that it is often all one way…….not inherent fairness to the land as a living breathing thing not to the Crown who still administers some pastoral leases and has stewardship over conservation land.

          In some cases where land was transferred out of the family to suitably a qualified farmer from out of the area it was not unusual to see that the incoming farmer could not see the need to bring in every last acre. They saw the benefit of preserving/conserving land.

          Often unless the older generation of farmers on the land were inherently progressive/awake subsequent generations farmed like Dad did and if Dad/Granddad was only so-so then the later generation would be too. Some of these later generations do not go to Lincoln/Massey or farm as shepherds on other properties here or overseas before taking over the family farm. Not saying this has happened here but it has happened on some of these farms.

          Sad really.

          But the Councils do hold a key in that they can enact reasonable protections for the land as farming land so it holds it for later generations to protect it if they see fit.

          • weka 1.2.1.1.1

            We're just bad at this all round. We don't know what the Chartres think about ecology, we know a little bit about what they think about running their farm. But they are no alone in not being fair to nature, that's pretty much most of NZ. The Crown hasn't been that great a steward either.

      • PsyclingLeft.Always 1.2.2

        Looks like a field day for the lawyers, with the environment the loser.

        Esp when dealing with this particular situation. Also, Sad….but True

        throughout NZ..and the rest of Our Earth

  2. Sanctuary 3

    Hell all, I am off camping now until 2023 so merry Xmas and happy new year to the Standardnistas and their families (IT IS XMAS ON SUNDAY!!!!!!).

    2022 was a bit crappy, but hey – Trump is diminished, the right in retreat, the consequences of nostalgia as policy are biting the British ruling class hard on the arse and Putin is on the ropes.

    May 2023 see Trump jail, Zelensky presiding over the victory parade of the AFU in Red Square, the Democrats back in the Whitehouse, and Jacinda winning.

    See you all in the new year!

  3. pat 4

    No easy way out.

    https://www.interest.co.nz/business/118954/motu-executive-director-and-ex-rbnz-assistant-governor-john-mcdermott-assesses

    Mistakes all round and those least able/responsible to bear the brunt…..as usual.

  4. joe90 5

    Forty nine years ago today Basque separatists assassinated Franco's PM and nominated successor Luis Carrero Blanco.

    • Bearded Git 5.1

      I'm in Spain for a while now Joe and not mourning any Franco acolyte….when I was at college when Franco's death was announced in (I think) 1975 somebody through a beer bottle through the tv when his picture came up ….we had no TV for the rest of the year but we cheered

      • joe90 5.1.1

        I spent Christmas 1975 and a good part of the new year camped up in Hendaye waiting to see if Franco's death would trigger another civil war. We finally entered Spain in October. Post-fascist Spain was a life-changing experience for a Taranaki boy.

        .

      • Scud 5.1.2

        Ah, Also known as Spain's first Astronaut, hard to believe that car was launched over a 5 story building.

        Old mate in the back was killed, but driver survived & I understand there is a book on how they dug the tunnel underneath where old mate would get his car like regular clock work to go to work.

        A brilliant piece of intelligence work & Tactical appreciation which they probably didn't realise the strategic implications on how fast the regime collapse after this bombing.

  5. arkie 6

    Another example of broken laws that are not fit for purpose:

    The Department of Conservation couldn’t intervene when concrete was poured for a new marina within metres of a kororā/little penguin nest containing chicks because of a 2019 Supreme Court ruling on shark cage diving.

    Minister of Conservation Poto Williams gave the ruling as the reason for not intervening when wildlife advocates raised concern about the impact of work on the chicks within the construction zone of a marina at Waiheke Island in a recent response to Auckland Central MP Chlöe Swarbrick.

    Swarbrick had asked the minister to urgently intervene in October, citing details of a Wildlife Act Authority granted to marina developer, Kennedy Point Marina Development Limited (KPMDL), in March to carry out rock removal and piling work in the protected birds’ habitat.

    The permit stipulated that no work be carried out within 20m of a burrow containing a moulting kororā, eggs or chicks.

    However, Williams wrote in her early December letter to Swarbrick that because the rock and piling work was completed in May, the permit no longer applied and neither she nor DOC “can intervene based on the conditions of the Wildlife Act Authority”.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/local-government/300733403/why-doc-couldnt-intervene-when-concrete-was-poured-next-to-penguin-chicks

    It would be nice if the party with complete control of government didn't use excuses of the limitations of laws to abdicate doing something to fix them.

  6. arkie 7

    Farmers continue to get the kid glove treatment regarding meeting climate change targets:

    After an outcry from farmers the government has made some changes to its proposal to price agricultural carbon emissions.

    It has released its response to the more than 23,000 submissions to its plan, though final decisions will not be made until next year.

    Instead of using the rising price of carbon to drive change, as the Climate Change Commission suggested, the government is now going to set the levy price as low as possible.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/481197/government-makes-changes-to-farm-level-emissions-pricing-plan

    • bwaghorn 7.1

      Thus is a good day , once you've got the mob mustered and shut the gate securely, you can then start to do the things that need doing.

      • weka 7.1.1

        the good farmers are already doing that, the ones who don't care about climate will continue to drag the chain. Maybe there's a shift from the latter to the former, but it's way too slow. We're out of time and anyone arguing for slower transition at this point either doesn't understand the brutal reality of the climate problem, or doesn't care.

        • bwaghorn 7.1.1.1

          I think the ets is a sham and a failure so Takibg any carbon tax and using to study fixs is a win for me.

          Xmas do awaits cheerio

      • Graeme 7.1.2

        Lets see how many jump out of the yards, or just crash through the rails and head for the hills.

        A bit of a show of unity in the announcement but let’s where it is in a year.

        When’s Luxon going to come out say it’s all in bin after the election

      • Robert Guyton 7.1.3

        Imagine if your suburban back yard was growing old-growth native trees. You cut them down and sow grass. Drain the damp area where the dragonflies and frogs live. Drop a concrete pipe into the creek and cover it up. Drench the area with herbicide, because you don't like dandelion, molluscicide, because slugs, pesticide, ditto bees, and pour on the synthetic fertiliser coz grass = profit. That fertiliser contains a poisonous heavy metal, but you've got exemption from the contaminated land rules, so it's all good. It emerges that off-gassing from your activities is endangering us all, but lobbying from your mates all but frees you from the obligation to reduce it.

        You're sitting pretty!

        The neighbours are becoming a bit irritated by you though!

        • bwaghorn 7.1.3.1

          We have turned the corner, I've personally been involved in a couple of large wetlands being formed ,and am now with in touching distance of being able to make real changes myself , recently excluded cattle from 15ks of regenerating native bush ,

          • Robert Guyton 7.1.3.1.1

            Big ups to you, bwaghorn!

            Much of the power for future good is in farmers' hands.

  7. SPC 9

    The SNP is a progressive party seeking independence within the more modern EU than the backward living in the past Tory city of London England.

    They want another referendum (they are working with those wanting one for NI leaving the UK for Eire).

    And this is where they are at the moment promoting self ID.

    Once upon a time English men were a threat to Scottish woman, so a particularly tall Briton living in Scotland picked up a particularly big sword.

    An amendment to the Gender Recognition Reform Bill which the Scottish Government warned would force it to pause the legislation has been rejected.

    Parliament was suspended after protests from the public gallery in the immediate aftermath of the vote.

    A series of other votes on similar amendments will take place later on Tuesday evening.

    Those attempted changes, put forward by Conservative Russell Findlay and SNP MSP Michelle Thomson, attempted to prevent men who had been charged or convicted of sexual offences from obtaining a gender recognition certificate (GRC).

    But Shona Robison, the social justice secretary, had previously warned the members that there was a “serious risk” that these changes would put the bill beyond the competency of the Scottish Parliament.

    Ministers said the amendments would make the bill incompatible with the European Convention of Human Rights as it would require all applying for a GRC to be asked if they had been charged with a sexual offence.

    Yet the ECHR does not require any right to self ID …

    Nor does the ECHR prevent police checks and pre employment vetting …

    The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) protects the human rights of people in countries that belong to the Council of Europe.

    UK Human Rights is in accord with ECHR.

    https://www.holyrood.com/news/view,gender-recognition-reform-msps-reject-amendment-following-government-concerns-about-competence

    • weka 9.1

      I haven't been following the legislation closely but here's my best guess,

      1. the SNP don't want a public debate on self ID, hence any delay is seen as a problem. Even delaying to sort out the best way to write the law.
      2. we already knew that men's rights trump women's right to not be raped, because trans identified males (TW and men faking it) are already being housed in women's prisons and women are already being raped and assaulted.
      3. the idea that the prison service can be trusted to best assess a trans identified male and their risk of sexual violence against women has already been shown to be a nonsense, but it also reinforces the low value placed on women's rights and safety. Women are collateral damage to the ideology that says that any man who says he is a woman should be treated as a women in law and policy. Any man. Including rapists.
      4. gender ideology is misogynist and half the left can't get its head around that because it is so committed to the idea that trans rights are the priority. Hence the left wing SNP pushing through legislation that will entrench harm to women
      • SPC 9.1.1

        The essential problem is defining self ID as a human right without qualification. The first duty of a realm is the protection of the rights of its citizens which includes their safety.

        Any government that both had pandemic mandates and also supported self ID has a credibility problem.

        But I dinna think they canna see it.

        The issue is not gender, gender equality was and is a worthy cause, it made manifest common/equal human rights. So I would be wary of claiming claiming gender ideology is misogynist as that plays into the hands of the promise keeper Christian patriarchy types and their war against "liberal/Marxist/woke" culture.

        I would rather focus on noting that Self ID compromises women's safety, and that allowing transgender women to compete with women in sport is unfair (exceptions for community participation). And reserving the rights of women's groups to restrict membership to biological females (if they so choose).

        • Anker 9.1.1.1

          Yes SPC. I can't believe that people would go into bat for the right to enter whatever competition they chose sporting wise (no one gets that, a heavy weight boxer can't choose to go into the light weight category), what ever bathrooms they choose (women have always had sex segregation bathrooms for bloody obvious reasons). Also changing the language so it is no longer "women" but people who menstruate etc.

          Its so arrogant and narcisstic

        • Sabine 9.1.1.2

          Fwiw, the left no more then the right gives a fuck about those that are not born man. The left as much as the right will use those not born man to advance their own plans and ideas, and then discard those that are not born man without a second thought.

          And seriously, the left needs to find a better bogey man to scare those who can't be defined anymore with the 'christian right'. That train left a long time ago.

          The biggest threat to women the world over is not the right, it is the utter mockery that the left made out of womanhood. The right could have never hoped for a bigger and better gift by the men of the left to the right. But then, bros before…..?

          You want us to be afraid of the right? You just erased women as a fully human being, endanger them, dehumanize them, and have them raped, assaulted and threatened legally. You are the ones that lock convicted rapists into cells with women’s. You are the ones that will charge incarcerated women with extra time if they refuse to call a he/him a she/her simply because that he/him identified themselves into the female estate. You are the ones that harass women that want to assert their rights to boundaries and single sex spaces. The left are the ones that call women bigots for not wanting to be washed by men in womanface. The left is the one that says that ones man erection in his stolen clothes from an airport makes them a 'women'.The left is the one that promote the castration and sterilisation of children.
          The left is the one that provided the legal frame work for medical experiments on young and vulnerable teenagers and young adults. The left has become theTaliban of our society. Their god is Gender, Their religion is gender ideology and they are religious zealots. The only difference is that the Taliban know what women are and they put them under bedsheets. The gender ideology taliban in our countries removed us from law, from medical documents, from pubic speech and pretend that men can give birth, but lets us know that we can abort any child someone fucks into our tummies, and that sex work is work. There bitch, that ought to do it. You can suck dick for min wage and if your john knocks you up you can have an abortion. There, that’s your rights.

          The left really has become what it is so afraid of. Religious zealots by any other name.

          The left is done.

          • SPC 9.1.1.2.1

            You want to cultivate hate against the left among women, fine .. but the biggest victim of right wing government are women, it's a function of inequality in society.

            You could compare notes with the women of Teheran and Kabul and inform us of their response, if that is possible …

            • Sabine 9.1.1.2.1.1

              I don't cultivate that hate, the left does a good job on its own, and it seems to hate women so much they pretend that men are women.

              Biggest victim of the left governments in the US, Canada, Scotland, Germany, France, and so forth are women and children. The ones that now have to content with men in their prisons, changing rooms, awards, list places, and so forth, the ones that get put on medication that will remove their sexual function and trap them in broken bodies for the rest of their life.

              I am comparing notes, and you know what, i remember 1983 in Iran when the women suddenly were to wear bedsheets lest they get beat, raped into death – cause god will not allow raped and sullied women into the heavens, and so on. And you know whats the difference between us and them? A change of government. That is all it took. From a very left, western orientated US American stooge to a rightwing religious zealot. 1983 – you can actually look it up for your information.

              And fwiw, it might be a religious government that likes to kill young women by raping them into death, but it is a a very trans friendly government. Yes, that right wing religious government is quite happy to castrate gay man and surgically fashion them into something akin to 'women' or if they don't want to hang them from a crane. I mean can you feel the kindness?

              And the women in Afghanistan that get beat to death for wanting an education, for not wanting to marry man the age of methusalem, for wanting to listen to music and maybe not die age 11 in childbirth, well i guess the Taliban know full well what women are, but then the left in our world can't define women at all. You can look your birthing body in the face and not know what it is. That is the epitome of 'the left'.

              I mean, who is more of a fuckwit? The one that admits reality and beats it to death for wanting to live, or the one who denies reality and threatens to send it to prison for stating that men aren't lesbians? That would be Norway – that bastion of left liberalism.

              As i said, the right in all these countries is quite happy to let the left destroy any and all women rights, after all it means they don't have to do it.

              You can hide behind the right as much as you want too, you can't however pretend that the left is not doing the shit it is.

              And self ID is the gift of the left to the right.

      • Anker 9.1.2

        100% Weka. So well put.

        I think that it is more than half the left are so committed to trans rights over women and girls (just my guess). They have brought the idea that trans women are a highly marginalized group and their needs must always trump those of women and girls.

  8. Ad 10

    With the government as of today enabling farmers to calculate their own offsets, betcha within 5 years all those marginal high country farms go to bush or pine.

    Fewer animals killed, fewer cows total, more kiwi habitat, more honey.

  9. SPC 11

    We have a problem with debt keeping people in poverty.

    Talking about household debt is difficult. Whether it’s to banks or loan sharks, most Kiwis will find themselves in debt at some point.

    But often missing from the conversation is debt households owe to Government – and the way it can negatively impact lives.

    … more than half a million New Zealanders collectively owe the government $3.5 billion. For many living in unmanageable debt, a significant portion is owed to the Government.

    It sounds absurd, but there is no single place people can go to see how much debt they owe to the Government. Without a central data portal, debtors owing to many different government agencies often struggle to identify where their debt lies and how much is owed. This places people on low incomes with little margin for error into a fog of uncertainty about their finances.

    For example, you can owe money to the Ministry of Social Development for emergency assistance, Ministry of Justice for parking tickets and other fines, or the IRD through Studylink.

    If government placed repayment of debt whether to MSD, MoJ and IRD studylink on the same terms it would make things a lot easier.

    The one for TD would be ideal (it would defer repayment of MSD debt until people found employment).

    And groups trying to assist people out of poverty caused by costly debt repayment via interest free loans would have better information to work with.

    PS One of the best ways government could reduce child poverty would be to assist women retain a place to live after divorce by taking over their partners share of the house.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/opinion/130817881/kiwis-need-to-be-able-to-see-everything-they-owe-the-government-in-one-place

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