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Plant based foods

Written By: - Date published: 8:08 am, April 12th, 2022 - 122 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment, farming, food, greens, james shaw, science - Tags:

As the world readies itself for the sprint that is required in policy implementation if we are to avoid the worst excesses there has been some unfortunate news suggesting that New Zealand was party to the watering down wording in the latest IPCC report.

From Marc Daalder at Newsroom:

Climate Change Minister James Shaw says officials may have created the impression that New Zealand is protecting big polluters “at the expense of the climate”. The comments come after he asked for a please explain when Newsroom revealed diplomats opposed the use of the term “plant-based foods” in an international climate report.

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says a switch to plant-based diets is one of the most effective demand-side measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

While the term “plant-based” appears more than 50 times in the report itself, it is only mentioned once, in a footnote, in the influential summary for policymakers. That’s because New Zealand’s representatives at the IPCC summit that approved the summary line-by-line joined with other agricultural nations to water down the language.

Coverage of the negotiations by the Earth Negotiations Bulletin – the only media outlet permitted to attend the event – makes clear that New Zealand argued against the use of the term “plant-based” in favour of “sustainable healthy diets” in at least two sections of the report’s summary.

Both dealt with reducing demand for products of high-emitting activities. The first, on how products are presented to consumers, saw “plant-based foods” replaced with “balanced, sustainable healthy diets”. India and Kenya joined New Zealand in removing the reference to vegan and vegetarian diets, while Germany unsuccessfully opposed the measure.

James Shaw was not impressed.  Again from Daalder’s article:

While a spokesperson for Shaw originally declined to comment on the issue, the minister provided comment after publication on Saturday morning.

“This is the first I’ve heard of it and I have asked officials for an explanation,” he said. After speaking with officials, he accepted their explanation but worried it could create a misleading impression.

“Officials also pushed for language to promote diet and production choices that can drive emissions reductions, such as tackling overconsumption, food loss and waste,” he said.

“However, in my view, regardless of any merits in this case, New Zealand should avoid adopting positions in these negotiations that could leave the impression we are working to protect our largest industries at the expense of the climate. We push back very strongly against petro-states’ efforts to protect their fossil fuel industries. We should strive to avoid any similar conflict of interest. I will be discussing this further with officials next week.”

As we get ready for the policy implementation sprint that will hopefully ensure that our grandchildren’s world is not decimated, watering down text to lessen the prospect of people going vegan is not something I think that NZ Inc should be doing.

This incident highlights one of the touch points for New Zealand politics.  On one side is the farming sector who will do weird things like oppose carbon sinks because they will change the country’s rural nature.  The organiser of this petition is farmer and provincial president of Federated Farmers Gisborne-Wairoa region Toby Williams.  His area is today going to be battered by the second tropical cyclone in a matter of weeks.  Can someone please join the dots for Toby.

At the more extreme edge of the debate is Groundswell who basically want the farming sector to do nothing about climate change and have the right to drive big utes.  From their position statement:

The NZ Emissions Trading Scheme is seeing large areas of farmland incentivised into pines and a significant cost-burden borne by the world’s most emissions-efficient farmers. The unworkable elements of climate-change policy which are crucifying farmers and growers must be withdrawn …

The ‘Ute tax’, or the Government’s Clean Car Package rebate scheme, must be scrapped as there is no electric alternative to the ute – a vehicle which is essential to New Zealand’s economic heavy-lifters: farmers, horticulturalists, industry support people and tradespeople. If there is no alternative, the policy is clearly unworkable and merely another financial burden.

Now is not the time to water down responses.  We no longer have time to debate the niceties of climate change or to spend long periods of time refining collections of words so they are slightly less offensive to vested interests.

Instead this passage from the IPCC full report highlighted in this very helpful article written by Eloise Gibson in Stuff should be repeated and repeated and repeated.

’Where appropriate, a shift to diets with a higher share of plant protein, moderate intake of animal-source foods and reduced intake of saturated fats could lead to substantial decreases in greenhouse gas emissions. Benefits would also include reduced land occupation and nutrient losses to the surrounding environment, while at the same time providing health benefits and reducing mortality from diet-related non-communicable diseases.’’

The short version, if you want to improve the chances of your grandchildren living on a planet with a greater chance of survival, eat less meat.

122 comments on “Plant based foods ”

  1. DB Brown 1

    There's a strong scientific case to be made for eating plant proteins – for your health's sake as well. Perhaps pharmacological companies also objected to printing truths.

    https://nutritionfacts.org/video/gut-dysbiosis-starving-microbial-self/

    https://nutritionfacts.org/video/increased-lifespan-from-beans/

    I've recently gone from living off my gardens plus the local butchers… to living off my gardens plus the local greengrocers.

    Pretty much vegan today. I'm sure there's the odd animal fat or cheese powder in corn chips that gets past my lax security, but I have really cleaned my diet up.

    I had a health scare. Sitting in hospital feeling like an absolute muppet I decided the writing was on the wall. Time to change.

    The thing is, I didn't really give anything up – I followed some awesome advice – to just add healthy options till the unhealthy options no longer get replaced. This happened in short order, but I do have an advantage in that I know my way round a kitchen – and I immediately subscribed to some next level vegan chefs on youtube.

    Then some amazing anonymous soul had many vegan options delivered to my door to try. I can't recall the labels unfortunately (I'd recognise the patterns) but so far I've really enjoyed vegan hot dogs, and vegan mince in this gorgeous chilli recipe:

    That's one of the channels one might watch to raise their plant game in the kitchen.

    • satty 1.1

      Flexitarian here (vegetarian at home and sometimes meat when eating out).

      Vegetarian Chilli was my first dish to replace the meat version. Taste-wise, consistency-wise there's absolutely nothing missing. I could eat it every day.

      And super easy to make, super cheap, too.

      Other favourites are: Indian vegetarian curry, Italian lentil mushroom ragu, Shakshuka (contains eggs though)… I don't think you need more then 5 to 7 meals to get going.

      Another good point many people don't consider: Without animal products in the kitchen and good meal planning there're only very few bits for the compost and absolutely nothing for the landfill. I always hated my rubbish to smell of rotten meat (cut-offs).

      • DB Brown 1.1.1

        For the purposes of research I just tried the 'Chicken Free Chicken' for lunch – and it was really good. Slightly more like chicken nuggets than chicken-chicken.

        Certainly good enough to go in my wrap. Nice. I wound up eating two wraps. Very Nice.

        It's so easy to transition with all these new products. And the fortified plant milks etc. Iron and B vitamins in many products. Trying to feed vegetarians last century was so much harder.

        And kiwis couldn't cook worth a damn either. It's immigrants who've led the way in the kitchen challenging the meat and three veg philosophy…

        It does seem a little clique-ish in that it's a bit more expensive either money or time wise, once again:

        Government should take GST off whole foods. Just the downstream health savings would pay for it.

        • satty 1.1.1.1

          We don't use / like "fake meat" substitutes at all (they're not cheap either). To get a certain consistency, for example similar to mince meat, we use small-diced carrots, as long as they're not overcooked. Small-diced carrots are in the chilli and in the mushroom lentil ragu.

          Always ensure you have a nice spice-base (doesn't have to be "hot"). And for most dishes look for a little bit acidity, like vinegar or lime / lemon juice.

          The main ingredients we use all year from the garden are: Parsley / Coriander used in Shakshuka, curries etc. and some limes when available. We grow some tomatoes and radishes as well… we don't have much time to grow more at the moment.

          • DB Brown 1.1.1.1.1

            I get it. Some recipes I can 'fake' meat with confidence. Very few.

            Me, I like these products. I've had a taste for meat till only recently. I'll gladly buy an item a week which supplements a few meals. The money is going to innovators encouraging that particular market so I'm happy. And health wise I should be eating legumes a lot. These products make that easy for me.

            The chicken free chicken is mostly peas and pumpkin… interesting how well it comes out in taste and texture at least, needs a bit of spice but so does chicken.

            I can make some amazing dishes with broad beans, overcooked it one time pretty much came up with a tofu haha. While I'll experiment with other legumes as I go, I'm definitely a fan of the ready made plant based alternatives. They cook in 2-3 minutes it's fast food but healthy. Just chop/grate/slice the rest of the meal and bam – it's ready! Eat.

            My carnivorous friends inform me the various 'mock' burgers etc being sold about town are good eating too.

            I got hemp burger patties to try next. Lots of peas, spinach & kale. Sounds pretty healthy too. If it tastes great, another option!

            I reckon they could do with 25% off prices to start to compete with meat if they really wanted working class to start considering them.

            I can't bring myself to try Woolworths brand. (Yet).

  2. Ad 2

    There no rational explanation for why Minister Shaw would try and take out his own weakness on his officials.

    It is Minister Shaw who negotiated that methane from agriculture and waste – accounting for over 40% of New Zealand's emissions – will continue to be exempt from the national net zero emissions goal.

    He has not generated any useful policy on achieving any separate target for methane. And yet we know that methane is the kerosene bomb of climate change gases.

    This government has had plenty of opportunity to hold dairy to account and hasn't. It's not like Fonterra and DairyNZ were ever going to do this government any favours no matter what they did.

    Shaw now only has 4 weeks to nail everything down before the full plan hits the public.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      I still don't know why they treat methane with kid's gloves. In terms of climate change this is a quick way to reduce GHG levels.

      • Poission 2.1.1

        Biogenic Methane breaks down into biogenic Co2 and water.Plants have a preference for biogenic Co2,over thermogenic Co2 (it uses less energy).Mendelian evolutionary laws constrain wordsmiths.

      • Robert Guyton 2.1.2

        The farmers lobby won't allow it – too devastating for their industry, despite the obvious factor it represents. "It breaks down" intone the industrial agriculturalists, blinding themselves completely, wilfully, to the effect it has in the meantime.

        Scandalous, imo.

      • pat 2.1.3

        Flow v aggregate.

        Yes methane is more impactful but the level of methane (from ag ) is fairly constant or diminishing in NZ.

        But we can theoretically reduce the methane effect to give us time to reduce CO2 emissions….time is the problem (always)

    • Robert Guyton 2.2

      4 weeks?

      Shaw's already "nailed it".

      He's just keeping us in suspense before he shares his news.

    • Poission 2.3

      Shaw now only has 4 weeks to nail everything down before the full plan hits the public

      His release will be around the same time as the electrical generation shortfall.A day of no wind,or a factory with cogeneration capability not operating,will see controlled brownouts.

  3. Gosman 3

    There are two major issues plant based food production has compared to animal based and that is plant based food usually require large areas of flat land and are more labour intensive at certain stages of the production lifecycle. What that means is converting grazing pasture on hilly terrain would be a challenge as would be ensuring there are sufficient workers available to carry out the necessary effort. There are technological solutions to this problem but it will likely require a massive amount of capital investment.

    • DB Brown 3.1

      You know that's nonsense, right? Yeah, you do.

      To produce 1 kg animal protein requires 6 kg of plant protein.

      https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/78/3/660S/4690010

      We can skip the middle man (cows) for significant gains in such a system.

      We could even stop throwing nitrate at the land and get beans to fix their own nitrogen. Wahey! – plant protein and free fertiliser.

      We machine process legumes, have done for decades.

      Cue shock and horror. Gosman is wrong.

      • mickysavage 3.1.1

        Yep we can either have a plant based food source or we can have a meat based food sources that has to be fed by a plant based food source …

        • Incognito 3.1.1.1

          I think Gossie’s point is that it is easier to send the meat cows up the hill than the combine harvester.

          • Gosman 3.1.1.1.1

            Exactly. Growing grass and allowing various animals to eat it and then herding them to a central location for killing and processing is a hell of a lot easier than preparing the land, sowing seeds, maintaining the crop, and then harvesting it especially if the land in question is anything other than flat.

            • DB Brown 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Gosman – "a hell of a lot easier than preparing the land, sowing seeds, maintaining the crop, and then harvesting"

              Again just bla bla bla.

              Farmers do prepare land, seed it, plough it, harvest hay, etc etc. They work bloody hard they don't simply wait for grass to grow. If you are to defend farming, have a clue what you're talking about.

              You're just trolling.

              • Incognito

                You may want to re-read Gosman's comment angel

                • DB Brown

                  No I understand. Go read some farmers forums. Dairy farmers. Seed selecting, ploughing, sowing, harvesting. There's a lot more to growing grass than watching it grow.

                  • Gosman

                    Noone stated it was straightforward. It is just generally EASIER than crop farming especially on hilly terrain.

                    • Craig H

                      Particularly for really hilly terrain, where it's very likely that the most productive use of it in terms of food for humans is grazing for animals which are then eaten.

                  • Incognito

                    Gosman made a comparison; he didn’t say it was easy, he said it was easier than.

                    • DB Brown

                      Why are you attempting to coach me?

                      Gosman started with misleading statements and since then talked more nonsense and you've found some semantic to show me about easy vs easier than…

                      And he's now gone for the 'sky is falling' approach, where I've somehow suggested to take all of NZ's hill country out of production. He’s gaslighting, playing the fool.

                      OK INcog, saw your comment below. You’re trying to get the conversation working. That’s good. I’m tired of engaging with people trying to derail it, because otherwise he’d come armed with facts.

                    • Incognito []

                      To me it was obvious that you mis-read Gosman’s comment which is why you accused him of trolling, so I respectfully disagreed with you. If you don’t like me being respectful coaching then I will try moderating next and see if you like that better.

                      If Gosman and you are coming here in good faith, and why wouldn’t you, then you may want to find the (!!) common ground rather than focussing on the stuff the seemingly separates you. If not then at least one would be trolling indeed and my Mod fuse is short today 😉

                      Gosman could help by being clearer and more specific and you could help by setting aside your anti-Gosman bias & hostility and give him the benefit of doubt …

                      These are merely suggestions, not instructions; I just wish discussions would be [of] higher quality here, particularly between people from opposing sides – it is why Authors write Posts here, to generate & stimulate strong but good debate – and I’d like to believe that this is very much in the realm of possibilities 🙂

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Easier?

                      "Spray and pray" is "easy" but causes enormous harm when applied to hill country (tussock is destroyed, rain washes soil into gullies).

                      Easy is the problem.

                      It's time we stopped taking short-cuts/short-term "easy" paths and started acting responsibly, with the long-term always in mind.

                    • Incognito []

                      Sigh

                      It is all relative and nobody said it was easy as such, so please drop that now.

                      Other than that, no objections from me 🙂

                    • DB Brown

                      You feel we've still got time for all that to and fro?

                      There is no debate left. The science is done, the planet near done.

                      Opposition to transforming to sustainable systems is gaslighting the whole planet at this point.

                      The question is no longer ‘should we transform?’

                      It is ‘How?’

                    • Incognito []

                      You know what comes next when (civil) debate ceases and politics loses its effectiveness?

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Agree with your "gas lighting" comment, DB Brown.

                      I am convinced though, that most/many "gaslighters" sincerely believe what they say. World-views/ideologies have stronger grips than we sometimes imagine.

                      Gosman, I feel, genuinely holds his views.

            • Robert Guyton 3.1.1.1.1.2

              …is a hell of a lot easier …

              Only because of diesel.

              And diesel has to go.

              Coz, AGW.

              • DB Brown

                "Agree with your "gas lighting" comment, DB Brown.

                I am convinced though, that most/many "gaslighters" sincerely believe what they say. World-views/ideologies have stronger grips than we sometimes imagine.

                Gosman, I feel, genuinely holds his views."

                OK, Incog and Robert – point taken. My bad. I'll try harder to be civil.

            • KJT 3.1.1.1.1.3

              How do you think we grow grass and other crops for animals to eat. Magic?

          • DB Brown 3.1.1.1.2

            Not if you are seeing what's happening to hill country out East Cape way in recent rain events. Decimated by slips. It was on 1 news. Hills got smashed. The erosion, and rains, are only going to get worse. Nowhere in NZ will be immune to this.

            Hills are for trees. Their habitat provision, plus shedding of biomass enables a rich mulch/soil layer for decomposition and then groundwater flow provides fertility and water for lands below hills. The trees also encourage (more regular thus less severe*) rain via the microbes on their leaves being uplifted in winds and catalysing drop formation. We've cut them down and trashed this whole amazing sustainable system.

            *If there's 100 mm rain in the atmosphere and 2 rain events, or 10 rain events – you can do the math. More frequent rain is desirable. Trees microbes catalyse rain.

            Hills should be covered in trees.

            • Incognito 3.1.1.1.2.1

              In other words, hills, or at least those hills, are neither suitable for plant- nor animal-based foods. That makes sense, but what was Gosman talking about then? Other hill country? Not so steep that it will lead to erosion, but steep enough to make it difficult for heavy machinery?

              • Gosman

                I suggest that the area you defined in your last sentence would make up a large proportion and probably a majority of the farmland in NZ. It is certainly not the most productive as that is the plains and valleys such as the Waikato and Canterbury but it is still significant in terms of area.

                • Incognito

                  I wouldn’t know, which is why I like you and others to clarify and elaborate, so that we can all learn something and move this discussion from the usual pro/anti or pro/con to a more nuanced convo that perhaps reflects better the actual situation here in NZ. I’m not here to add, but to pull & push.

                  My very limited knowledge says that low-lying flat land is often more productive not just because it is technically easier to farm but also because it generally is more fertile and often has a better water supply.

                  • Poission

                    The soils,and grassland coevolved with the grazers becoming both more fertile over time,and sustaining a climate with increased external forcing.

                    Grassland evolution has been considered a consequence of mountain uplift and tectonic reorganization of ocean currents, but it can also be viewed as a biological force for global change through coevolution of grasses and grazers. Organisms in such coevolutionary trajectories adapt to each other rather than to their environment, and so can be forces for global change.

                    Some past farming practices have aided greenhouse gas release. However, modern grassland agroecosystems are a potential carbon sink already under intensive human management, and carbon farming techniques may be useful in curbing anthropogenic global warming.

                    https://cpb-us-e1.wpmucdn.com/blogs.uoregon.edu/dist/d/3735/files/2013/07/Retallack-2013-grassland-cooling-q8ay9r.pdf

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Grazed soils can become more fertile, in a way that suits grass, but is wasted when it continues to be utilised for grazing livestock, which produce harmful greenhouse gases that imperil us all.

                      There are ways other than intensive dairying etc. of increasing soil fertility, featuring plants rather than livestock, that do not add to the climate change process at anything like the rate livestock farming does.

                      The green house gas from livestock farming issue is of great importance. This must change. A move to plant-husbandry is the path we have to take.

                    • Poission

                      Biological emissions are not harmful,plants have evolved to use biological carbon,as have grasses evolved to sustain grazers.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      "Biological emissions are not harmful"

                      Unless they are coming in on top of Anthropogenic emissions, such as those from the burning of fossil fuels, in which case, we have to limit them as well.

                      Blame the coal/oil burners if you wish, but take action where ever green house gases are being released, or suffer the consequences.

              • DB Brown

                We've kept pushing dairy into unsuitable areas as long as we were able. Some of those areas are too steep and some of those are too wet, or too dry.

                But instead of paying attention to how the land works we've use bulldozer, drain and irrigation pivot to push ever further.

                Because $$$$, because corporate interests.

                Now, we need to do the things that save the day for everyone, even the well off, even the farmers.

              • Robert Guyton

                Get machinery off the slopes! Get it off the flats as well. Diesel is irreplaceable, in the mind of the farmer, and talk of restricting that will bring on civil-disobedience and rural rebellion. We are smart. We can devise other ways of managing land, using plants and animals primarily; more plants, fewer animals.

                • Incognito

                  I’m in full agreement except for doing away with all machinery, if that’s what you’re really suggesting.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    I'm talking scale. It's difficult to define, but I believe there is a measure by which we can determine the value of machines – the extreme example is the giant behemoths that grind coal from the mines in Germany – a more-difficult-to-see example is the whopper-tractors that operate on many NZ farms – their efficiency and power result in destructive behaviours as a matter of course. Tractors etc. can be seen similarly to corporations; their very existence requires their use and restricts our ability not to employ them. Herbicides are a more subtle machine/technology that behaves even more destructively, but offers ease-of-use as an incentive. Their destructive influence is carefully hidden from sight by the industry that employs them.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Wikipedia tells us that the earliest recorded usage of a water-wheel is Byzantium 3rd century BC but doesn't say it drove a mill.

                      The surname Miller derives from the owner/operator of a mill with wheel driven by a stream, which ground flour for bread. Widespread usage to feed local communities through the middle ages.

                      Dunno about current usage of that early machine, but it is a resilient design using the power of nature.

                    • Gosman

                      You should study how Amish farms work then. Apparently they are among the most profitable in the US. However they require a large pool of labour from the family and wider community that is essentially voluntary and as a result the pay per hour worked is low. If you can get NZ farmers to start having large families again then this might be a viable option.

                      https://www.producer.com/opinion/the-amish-how-can-oldfashioned-farming-be-so-successful-ranching-after-50/

                    • Robert Guyton

                      NZ farmers don't need to (once again) breed their own cheap/slave labour-force, they can entice disenchanted townies onto the farm with offers of good living conditions, good pay/recompense and meaningful work. Of course they'll have to change their farming practices radically, but it has to happen…

                    • Robert Guyton

                      The hand-crafted waterwheel is one example of "correct" application of technology to create machines. It's difficult to define why that is (why I believe that is) but the lesson is: we don't know when to stop! We bigger-ize and bigger-ize!

                      Perhaps also, it's the fact that it's powered by water, rather than fossil fuel.

                      That's a significant factor.

                    • Gosman

                      You can't have good pay with low productivity. The two are mutually exclusive. You can have have more people employed and still be profitable but the income per worker will be much lower.

                      Also the water wheel is ultimately powered by the same thing as Fossil fuels and Solar generators. The energy just gets stored and released in a different way.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      "You can't have good pay with low productivity"

                      which is why I qualified my statement with "recompense".

                      Too subtle?

                      As for your water-wheel = coal-powered furnace argument –

                      paleeeeeeeeze!!!

                    • Gosman

                      The difference between pay and recompence is so subtle as to be essentially meaningless. What would you offer them beyond cheaper food and board that would compensate for having hardly any surplus cash to spend on such things as the internet or a movie or a night at a play or travel?

                    • Robert Guyton

                      What could a farmer offer a "townie" willing to relocated to the farm?

                      Opportunity.

                      A chance to be intimately involved with the management of the land and the harvests from it, all to the benefit of the farmer. For example, he might plant the riparian strip, and in return have free, long-term access to the fuel, nuts, fruits etc. that the trees planted, provide.

                      This is just a quick example, Gosman. If I thought you were really wishing to embrace the possibilities for a new way of living on the land, I could provide many more.

                    • Incognito

                      My apologies. I’d love to engage with your comment because I think the use of machines and automation (and AI) is something not limited to farming. But not enough time sad

                    • Gosman

                      Robert there is a reason people have tended to move away from living a rural life to urban. All of those things you mention as being attractions are actually also a turn off to many. Your challenge is to try and counter the tendency for humans to shy away from that towards a more sedentary life in urban environments.

              • DB Brown

                "Other hill country? Not so steep that it will lead to erosion, but steep enough to make it difficult for heavy machinery?"

                There is an interesting point on a hill where slope goes from convex to concave. Trees should be above this point (erosion zone). Habitat and human favoured trees in the middle (relative safety). Short term crops (and trees that can take water) below (flood zone). Trees in the flood zone, planting across the incoming water, capture debris and silt and build rich topsoil in flood events.

                The potential tree crop list is enormous. Even just timber types. Each crop examined must also be examined for our ability to harvest and process the products. There should be many species, many conserved areas, and selective harvest only on hills, so as to not strip our hill tops again.

          • Macro 3.1.1.1.3

            it is easier to send the meat cows up the hill than the combine harvester.

            Too right there!

            In 1965 I remember driving the truck with a chain to the Massey Ferguson header down an escarpment to a paddock where we were to harvest rye grass seed. The brakes on the Header were never going to stop it, and so we used the truck brakes and 1st gear to keep the header from running away. Scary.

      • Gosman 3.1.2

        I'm not disputing that if you can grow plant based food it is more efficient than animal based food in terms of inputs that you mention. The issue is around the challenges in growing plant based foods. Animal husbandry generally requires less effort in terms of preparation and extracting the food from the land. That is why humans have tended to engage in pastoral lifestyles BEFORE intensive farming throughout history. Any large scale move AWAY from pastoralism towards cropping will need to overcome some pretty significant challenges in most areas.

    • Robert Guyton 3.2

      Terracing.

      • Gosman 3.2.1

        Indeed that is one of the ways to overcome SOME of the challenges. That requires pretty significant capital investment not to mention labour time and effort.

        • Robert Guyton 3.2.1.1

          It's one of many sustainable solutions.

          There's a broad, rolling-hill, enclosed-by-higher-hills, valley/plain "somewhere" in Southland, that I visit on my Longwood Loop delivery-drive every Thursday. It's big; hundreds of hectares. It's used to farm sheep. If it was gifted to me, I would establish a broad-scale forest-garden, in which sheep and cows could be grazed, under close management (shepherds, cowherds). It would be a spectacularly-successful exemplar for land-management in Aotearoa/NZ and people would flock 🙂 to see it and many would choose to stay and work there, so vital and appealing would be the environment.

          What's missing from the rural scene, in my opinion, is people.

          • Gosman 3.2.1.1.2

            The trouble with that is the more people you need to work a piece of land for a similar amount of return in terms of output produced the less well off people are.

            • Robert Guyton 3.2.1.1.2.1

              Well off?

              You mean, money-rich?

              If people are living in healthy, happy communities nearby to the work, they will choose, imo, to forgo being "well off" as it's presently defined, in preference for a life worth living.

              • Gosman

                Except history would beg to differ. People tend to prefer more wealth for the same amount of work or even slightly more.

                • Robert Guyton

                  History? You mean, the way we have been living?

                  That's brought us to a splendid place, hasn't it!

                  Must do as we did before!!

                  • Gosman

                    If you want to change things you need to understand why we have got to where we are now. Then you can address them. You seem to be advocating for a year zero situation where society can somehow be built completely new with no reference to the motivations that got us to where we are.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Your "seeming" is way off. I do understand, clearly, why we have got to where we are now. I am not advocating a completely new society created without connection or regard to the past. Your misreading of my views is, I suppose, my fault – it seems I have not been specific enough in my explanations for someone who thinks as you do.

                      Frankly, I don't think I'm up to it.

                      Are you aware, Gosman, that you "come across" as a foil, a monkey-wrench, a fly in my ointment (and that of others).

                      I guess we all have to play some role or other.

                  • gsays

                    Good efforts in communicating your ideas.

                    We all know flies that tun up in our ointment, these exchanges help us when that occurs.

      • Gosman 3.2.2

        Would an Admin please delete this comment as I cannot.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 3.3

      Soy cropping in NZ – plenty of potential for growth, some reckon.

      Six ‘star’ crops – soy, hemp, chickpeas, oats, buckwheat and quinoa – could represent new opportunities for New Zealand farmers.

      Market-Led Trials of Specialty Grains and Pulses in Canterbury
      Buckwheat, soybeans and quinoa trials were undertaken in Canterbury this year, comprising three of the six ‘star’ specialty grains and pulses identified by Our Land and Water research as having high potential for New Zealand farmers.

      Any widespread rebalancing away from NZ's intensive dairy and meat farming might be a way down the track. Reducing cow numbers by (say) 25% and cultivating soy and other grain crops instead could be a way forward – lower greenhouse gas emissions for a start – abandon (repair) that hilly terrain to Nature.

      https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/AG.LND.AGRI.ZS?locations=JP-NZ-ID-AU
      [Was NZ’s big apparent decrease from 2001 to 2002 only on paper?]

      When will NZ be real about our scary future?
      A University of Otago study released in January [2020] agrees that New Zealand beef and lamb production is more efficient than the global average, but confirms that a vegan diet is far less harmful than one based on animal products. The researchers say that, if all adults in this country adopted plant-based diets, the impact would equal a 59 percent reduction in car emissions and save up to $20 billion in health costs over the lifetime of the present New Zealand population.

      Quando, Quando, Quando?

    • AB 3.4

      The greater labour inputs for plant-based food are a problem only if:

      • the labour is not available, or
      • it is available but the real purpose of growing the plant-based food is actually profits – which would be reduced or eliminated by high labour costs

      The point on physical difficulties in hilly terrain seems important – it is unlikely that the pattern of very highly productive, intensive annual crops we see on plains and river flats could be reproduced in very hilly country. Less intensive, perennial planting (nuts, fruits, perennial vegetables) might be possible. I'd guess they come with lower planting and management costs, but much higher harvesting labour costs.

      In any case – absolutist positions should always be avoided. Humans are inventive – both of new ways to destroy each other and the planet – and the opposite.

    • Tricledrown 3.5

      Plant based food require less space less labour less water less fuel . what planet are you on. you don't need hilly terrain ,that can be retired planted out in forest.that can absorb carbon generate oxygen or be used for bio fuel and construction lumber.Gosman you are so far out of touch it makes me wonder if you are on the federated farmers or oil companies payroll. combined harvesters have been invented in most food growing systems.Drones will do more farm work something you would be good at.I suggest you watch a few country calendar episodes. Small areas can generate huge amounts of food ,Kathryn Ryan had a New Plymouth small intensive farmer on her 9 till noon show last week. sure labour intensive but that will change man is using robots and mechanization more and more.The health benefits will also speed change, Meat is so expensive it will price itself out of the market. Its also not very profitable our 2 largest meat companies barely turn a profit on huge turnovers.

      • Gosman 3.5.1

        Mechanisation requires large amounts of capital investment as well as a sophisticated integrated supply network.

        Also your last two sentences are contradictory.

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    The essential info missing from this (otherwise excellent) report is who the wrongdoers are and what official positions they occupy that somehow gave them the authority to do the censoring. If they are Labour hacks trying to defend fossil-fuel addicted famers to get Labour re-elected, no problem. Just tell us.

    Not you, MS, the govt. Naturally they will hide behind traditional anonymity. Any ruse will do to stop government being accountable. Democracy sham as usual.

  5. Corey Humm 5

    No thanks to the plant diet.

    Every vegan I've ever met suffers from a host of mental illnesses and are extremely unpleasant, nasty, judgemental, paranoid ,conspiratorial people. just like keto, veganism is a diet I'm not interested in. No thanks.

    Im doing more for the environment than any vegan. I'm never having kids. That should be number one. I'm proud of my generations low birth rate.

    I don't drive, I have an electric scooter/bike and otherwise catch public transport.

    I'm not giving up anything else I've already given up my bloody plastic straws and am stuck with cardboard ones which go soggy during a movie.

    Besides who can afford a plant based diet? Not the poor. We can barely afford vegetables as a side dish right now.

    Eat the plant based diet if you want it and can afford it but I'll eat whatever I can afford to eat and what I feel like eating and anyone telling me what I can and can't eats gonna lose my vote and the vote of the poor.

    Vegans behaviors are appalling nasty and conspiratorial and deranged. No that's not discrimination veganism is a diet. They are usually rich entitled people too.

    The left can try make people plant based diets… Or they can be in office but it can't be both…

    Now farming reforms, cleaner energy sources, water reforms, water bottling fees, less plastic and more hemp based plastic, more public transport, more electric vehicles I'm down with but telling people what they can and can't eat…. In a farming nation…. Where people can barely afford to eat…. And where the poorest will be most decimated by climate change reforms but also most decimated by climate change…

    If the worlds survival depends on me giving up bacon….. Bugger the world… It's done nothing for me…. But bacon will always love me

    In a time of extreme living costs the left will not do itself any favors by telling people what they can and can't eat and that they have to spend even more on food to the duopololies, everyone will just vote national who say do next to nothing.

    My generation will have to live through the lack of action be on climate change, I'll support all actions on energy, transport, water reforms (I've come around to three waters) but I'm not ever in this life or the next becoming a god damned vegan.

    I'd rather let the world burn. It's me who'll have to live through it.

    Im gonna go get a bacon burger. Have a great day.

    • roy cartland 5.1

      And it's "they" who have the nastiness and mental health, you say.

      • DB Brown 5.1.1

        Better out than in.

        Corey, nobodies asking you to be vegan, let alone forcing you.

        Signed – a newly converted “extremely unpleasant, nasty, judgemental, paranoid ,conspiratorial” person.

    • satty 5.2

      Plant-based diet is more expensive?

      Every time our groceries bill is a little higher than normal, I automatically double-check and it almost certainly includes an animal product, either butter, cheese or eggs. It's still significantly lower compared to pre-flexitarian times.

      The only plant-based exceptions are walnuts and olive oil (we prefer NZ-made olive oil), which we don't have to buy often.

      • DB Brown 5.2.1

        Years ago I started eating from my garden. My transition from catered and pre-cooked/processed food to largely garden based food had a steep learning curve, namely, cooking skills. I was not that happy eating from my garden before I could cook – it was just necessary because I was a student and I had no budget. Clearly, food I grow is a lot cheaper.

        Cooking skills were the game-changer though. That's what makes a diet switch relatively easy. Or lots of dosh…

        My transition from omnivore to vegetarian similarly required additional cooking skills. Luckily, I'd been practising a few vegetarian options already – for the budget's sake, and trying to make proper use of the garden. So the learning curve was simple. Just exploring alternate products and watching chefs for ideas that inspire me now.

        Vegetarian certainly can be cheaper, or you can spend as much and start sourcing better quality & local condiments, ingredients etc. It's still cheaper once the larder's restocked with whole foods (that you know how to cook).

        But cooking and learning takes time and practise.

        Many people have money but no time. Fortunately many catering businesses provide for plant based and whole food type diets today.

    • James Simpson 5.3

      You do make one valid point. Bacon = awesome

      • Tricledrown 5.3.1

        Obesity. high blood pressure ,heart disease,doctors visits, medication, poorer health ,vegetarians live 12% longer than meat eaters.

        • Incognito 5.3.1.1

          [Links required]

          • DB Brown 5.3.1.1.1

            Can start with the first links I posted at 1.0 and check that site. Science out the wazoo. That guy and his team are the real deal. Everything that Poser Mercola wishes he was.

            Maybe try this link for an appetiser:

            https://nutritionfacts.org/video/flashback-friday-food-as-medicine-preventing-treating-the-most-dreaded-diseases-with-diet/

            I’ve dropped a bunch of aches and pains in short order by following the advice/science on this site. I’ve better skin and hair, joint pain down 90%, breathing better, moving better, feeling better, gut… gone!

            OK, OK… Gut mostly gone.

            • Incognito 5.3.1.1.1.1

              I don’t doubt the health and economic benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle. However, many wild claims (pro and con) are made about vegetarianism, especially about longevity, without any critical evaluation of the veracity of these claims. So, unless I see some hard evidence showing being a vegetarian causes people to live 12% longer than meat eaters I call BS on that ‘statement of fact’. Similarly, regarding the long list that Tricledrown put up, which to me sounds something coming from a dubious ad for a health product. So, let’s get some hard scientific facts on the table and not make-beliefs and simpleton reckons, shall we?

              BTW, that YT video is 1:14:38 long and seems to be about diet, not vegetarianism per se. Please don’t waste my time with exhaustingly long YT videos or PDF reports; point to the exact times or places where it supports Tricledrown’s or your claims.

              • DB Brown

                If you're not willing to learn or even try why should I waste my time. That video puts forward study after study after study. But 1 hour plus is too much time for addressing major claims about major health issues?

                Every wee clip on that site I linked to up top is loaded with actual studies, and they don't muck around with nonsense.

                But no worries. The creators of food production will gladly tell you a different story and you can carry on getting all those health issues my doctor called 'aging'. All those niggles I had that are largely gone since following dietary advice.

                Gimme a break. Go cheerlead for Gosman's contributions if you're not interested in learning. Too busy or some shit. It's your health.

                • DB Brown

                  "Nutrition offers the means to improve health and well-being and among the predictive factors of successful aging, nutrition appears as one of the major determinants"

                  https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0167494309002088

                  "But after the growing period, nutrition remains a crucial factor for maintenance of good health and prevention of disease in later years. Many recent studies give strong evidence-independent of meat consumption-for an inverse relationship between vegetable/fruit intake and various types of cancer, for a relationship between type of dietary fat and coronary heart disease (for review, see WilletP), and for the effect of dietary fiber intake on mortality from coronary heart disease, cancer, and other sources. Because these nutritional aspects are directly related to vegetarian diets, it seems reasonable to include them in the discussion as well."

                  https://doc.rero.ch/record/293972/files/nutritionreviews55-s061.pdf

                  • DB Brown

                    Check Google Scholar, throw search terms at it. See for yourself if you want to learn more.

                    I followed the food pyramid pretty damn close. And I still got a bunch of aches and pains, issues, and my Doctor was of no use "it's aging".

                    But it turns out most of it wasn't. I'm still wearing my glasses, I haven't risen out of a wheelchair or some such Marquee worthy event. But I'm telling the truth.

                    I'm not ranting to defend a point here. I'm ranting like a convert. Scary.

                    I looked into health, health is rife with nutbars, antivaxxers, alternate life stylers. But I do have a few clues as to research so I avoided that crowd and found the papers and the people sharing them. Folks using diet to deal with the niggles and diseases they too were beginning to experience. Folks forming non profits and trying to help.

                    The food pyramid will sell you a lot of meat and dairy. And let me tell you, I LOVE the stuff. But it was messing with my health, having been an avid fan for decades.

                    There's more than an ecological case for eating plants. Planet saving, and life saving?

                    I can post an overview/rant on diet I sent a family member after months of (part time) research. But if you demand links for it all it would take me days, and I really can’t be bothered doing that there’s no benefit to me, and it’s on you if you want to know more, not me.

        • Whispering Kate 5.3.1.2

          I changed subtly my diet when I was 14 kilos overweight and told I was pre-diabetic about 8 years ago. I read up about low GI ways to eat food and I was away laughing and have never looked back. I gave up refined carbs of all kinds unless it was special occasions. Upped my intake of fruit and vegies and legumes and I love what I eat now and am fitter and no longer pre-diabetic.

          My elixir which I swear by is my version of hummus. I blitz 1 partially drained can chickpeas and 1 can of any bean – borlotti, butter, or canellini together, add olive oil, some sesame oil, lemon pepper seasoning and crushed garlic (to personal taste) and lemon juice. Wallah it is elixir from the Gods. I slather it over steamed veg, roasted mixed root veg, use it as a salad dressing and its bloody fantastic. Have been using it for years. Happy cooking. The commentators here have given lots of handy ways to make eating meat less important in our diets. I am not a vegan/vegetarian but my meat intake is vastly less than it used to be.

    • Patricia Bremner 5.4

      Shop Glass Straws. No more soggy. Corey. $3 for 4.

      I know what you mean. I try not to have too much meat, same for Norm.

      I have tried to find a replacement for a hock in the vegetable soup, so your love of bacon resonates. I make 4 quarts of lentil peas celery parsnip tomato onion carrot plus one pkt of Kings veg soup base. Slow cook 2 hours, remove hock and strip off edible meat. That makes a tasty soup based meal with pita. The rest makes 6 to 8 two person pottles. Easy lunches…..about $1 a serve.

      Now you vegans may tut, but Corey is right "Preaching" turns people off.

      Helpful recipes on the other hand…encourage change.

      devilPerhaps each Monday we could come with an idea to help us transition. Some will have meat, many could be transitional ideas to lessen meat consumption.. Thanks for the video of the chilli.

      • Shanreagh 5.4.1

        Yes this is a great idea.

        Now you vegans may tut, but Corey is right "Preaching" turns people off.

        Helpful recipes on the other hand…encourage change.

        devilPerhaps each Monday we could come with an idea to help us transition. Some will have meat, many could be transitional ideas to lessen meat consumption.

        I also like the focus on lessening.

        When I left my Hall of Residence a few mumble years ago my mother wrote out a number of recipes for dishes with protein other than meat based. I have them still. Meat based diets were expensive even in those days. Also recipes with less expensive meat cuts.

        So our economy does have a focus on primary produce. Our climate and soils are good. It is a main staple of our export earnings.

        The mantra used to be that we needed to lessen our reliance on sending commodities overseas and add value to the products here in NZ.

        Do we produce just enough for our needs in the future?

        I am keen on the concept of regenag. I still see a place for exporting our better processed primary products.

      • gsays 5.4.2

        A great substitute for meat is dried mushrooms. I know they come from China, therefore diesel miles, but they provide a chewy, umami, tasty aspect to stir fry, fried rice, chow mein, casserole.

        Highly likely to be a good business opportunity for the mushroom farms out there for their 'seconds'.

      • DB Brown 5.4.3

        You're most welcome. That young man is a seriously impressive cook. I've tried some of his fungi recipes and they are NUTS good. As you've gathered over the years I'm quite the mycophile.

        I'm a fan of bacon bone/hock soup myself. Old school recipe off Mum, and her mum, etc. Trouble with cooking like that is it attracts neighbours haha. Who can resist that smell.

        While I'll probably not eat certain things again meat has been comfort food for me and many others for some time. My go to was beef stew with field mushrooms in autumn, shakes off those seasonal blues. And then winter with the bacon hock…

        I'll keep my eyes peeled for an outstanding veg soup, if I can find one.

        My health is already so much better. So many little niggles just gone now. I'm quite hesitant to go back to meat should my health also go backwards.

        So it's onwards and upwards. We live and learn as we go aye.

        to gsays – absolutely fungi have a great role to play. Check the top link for Daz’s fungi recipes – amazing.

    • Shanreagh 5.5

      Corey I support much of what you are saying. I don't think the future lies in a solely plant based diet but in a diet where the components are affordable. At the mo'. for many, vegetables are expensive, so is meat, cheese and milk.

      We live in a country where we can produce tasty things……..but when living overseas the last time (in Chelsea London where I shopped at Waitrose on a students income) the fruit and vegetables were far superior and cheaper cost. The semi processed food such as the type of soups we can buy here for between $5-7 were in bigger packets and so slightly cheaper in value. In NZ I would have had to trek to a weekend market to get similar quality of fresh vegetables that I could afford.

      So we live in a country of milk and honey but we don't seem to be able to get hold of it at consistently good quality and price. These simple concepts seem hard for some to grasp. Why is this? Fresh fruit, vegetables and proteins are the foundations of good diets and good diets feed brains and well-fed brains & bodies find it easier to learn……. work, play sport etc.

  6. Gosman 6

    Here's a solution that will have a minimal direct impact on humans but would be a good first step to this plant based future. Convert all feed for domestic pets to be plant based. If that cannot be achieved then that would highlight a flaw with any plan to widen it to include humans.

    • Robert Guyton 6.1

      DB Brown was right the first time.

      • Gosman 6.1.1

        That is a solution I could get behind. It would provide a good way to explore this area and show people how it could be done. Where is the downside?

        • Shanreagh 6.1.1.1

          My cat is making an inadvertent transition to grain based products due to a 'terrible' shopping mishap by his human. He is not convinced so far but hunger and mixing does make a difference. He is is able to add to his diet by hunting for mice etc. The point though is that cats and dogs, particularly working dogs, need easily accessible (digestion-wise) protein of some sort.

          I have lived with vegetarians and one vegan. My observation is that both had many meals (up to 6/7) during the day as what they were eating in terms of protein did not seem as long lasting as a diet that has some meat or animal based protein in it.

          I am not convinced that soy based products are the feel good alternative and a vegetarian diet using them with the monocultural crop use practised by soy farmers may not be any better than a grass fed animal based diet.

    • Tricledrown 6.2

      Their are enough rabbits and possums to feed all our pets.2 birds with one stone.

  7. roy cartland 7

    Interesting that among noise, there is still a kind of consensus – we're not moving fast enough:

    National Party leader Christopher Luxon this morning said a concrete plan was needed.

    ACT leader David Seymour was critical of the lack of action … plant-based meat and food would be hugely important for New Zealand’s future, he said.

    "We've kind of been kicking the can down the road for the better part of 30 years … (Shaw)

    Now we agree we need to move, let's move fast enough!

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/465136/greenhouse-gas-emissions-fell-3-percent-in-lockdown-still-up-21-percent-on-1990

  8. This incident highlights one of the touch points for New Zealand politics. On one side is the farming sector who will do weird things like oppose carbon sinks because they will change the country’s rural nature. The organiser of this petition is farmer and provincial president of Federated Farmers Gisborne-Wairoa region Toby Williams. His area is today going to be battered by the second tropical cyclone in a matter of weeks. Can someone please join the dots for Toby.

    I am not sure that these folk oppose carbon sinks per se.

    There is a difference between planting good product farming land in to pine trees with a view to cropping them in the future, and the concept of carbon sinks as I understand them where the carbon is sequestered and the idea of cash cropping whole swathes of potentially erosion prone land to get the pines in 20-30 years time is not part of this.

    It is this regime of planting to crop that has seen huge downstream impacts on the coastal towns of the East Coast. The slash that comes from regular pruning that can usually be left to rot away beside the trees cannot be used on the steep EC hill country. This 'slash', and calling it this minimises what it really is, let us call it branches of up to 2-4m long does not stay in place in steep areas subject the weather bombs that we have seen there from Cyclone Bola on.

    If we move from a a regime where sequestering is the norm and we plant to maintain this it will hopefully mean better pruning and harvesting practices. The land that Toby Williams is concerned about can get its produce out on gravel roads and to a port 2.5 hours away using stock trucks and wool carrying trucks. Using logging trucks of the type that are currently pounding the main Napier/Wairoa road to smithereens would add to the soil erosion massively.

    Many of these properties are well farmed to traditional soil conservation measures and there will be large areas retired from farming already. I would be very surprised if there farming practices would be adding much to the rivers blocking etc. This area and around closer to Gisborne was the area that saw the formation of the Soil Conservation and Rivers Control Council with its focus on differently managing erosion prone land – the huge Mangatu slip was the impetus for this.

    So I see it more as perhaps we need to have conversation about the ETS/sequestering etc. To my mind if it means that we just wholesale give over land that is possibly more suited to pastoral uses to bang in a commercial tree crop and then haul it out over poor roads to unsuitable small ports that mean long road journeys by trucking behemoths to bigger ports then we have not gained much. For a commercial tree cropping operation the workers do not live on site. They are flown in and out, much as the workers are to oil rigs and with about as much contact with the community.

    If the sequestering comes with careful long term land management with a place for other crops as well and a focus on communities and longevity then great. If not I can definitely see where Toby Williams is coming from.

    • ken green 8.1

      Slash is not prunings. You have obviously never been on a East coast skid to see the carnage that goes on there.Whole trees and part thereof are just left in huge piles as they get approx $35 tonne for pulp logs but it costs $45 tonne to ship to said paper mill so they are just left especially in gullies and water ways. This is the problem.Most isolated forests on the Cape can be 3/4 hours from Tauranga or Gisborne.

      • Robert Guyton 8.1.1

        That's right, ken green and points to the total inappropriateness of the plantation forestry process, as it stands now. There are, however, far, far better way to manage forests for harvest.

        • Shanreagh 8.1.1.1

          I am not sure up on the Coast. These are not benign, the soil is young and different from areas like in Southland. They are hugely erosion prone. While the forestry/grass and judicious farm/forestry/conservation holds the land, when it is harvested in a normal large scale way erosion comes back.

          The forestry companies up the Coast had to be told by the local authorities in words of one syllable after the heavy rainfall a couple of years ago 'hey mates your forestry practices are causing floods etc.'

          It will take a very big change in extractive methods both to minimise the erosion and to cater for the logs to go somewhere.

      • Shanreagh 8.1.2

        I have. Used to work in forestry admin moons ago so may have used the wrong terms. People seem to think that prunings/slash/whatever/thinnings is not causing the problems with blocking streams, valleys up there. Some think that the prunings are what you get when you've just pruned your apple tree……ah no.

        The whole concept of growing trees to cut them down when there are poor roads, poor ports is crazy. Just cut them down and leave them in situ and they all run down into the valleys and creeks.

        The whole concept of doing this when there are more viable agricultural uses …….

        Surely this is not carbon sequestering? The cost of remedying roads and fixing towns after floods using diesel machinery would surely shatter any carbon savings?

        • DB Brown 8.1.2.1

          "Surely this is not carbon sequestering? The cost of remedying roads and fixing towns after floods using diesel machinery would surely shatter any carbon savings?"

          Hot damn you tell em! Bloody imbeciles ruining lives, infrastructure and landscapes all for a fast buck.

          We need catchment legislation that makes companies culpable for avoidable downstream damage.

          • Shanreagh 8.1.2.1.1

            We used to have catchment focussed legislation and this was the Soil Conservation and Rivers Control Act with its locally based system of specialists who knew about catchments, land use etc. They worked long term magic by 'retiring' land that was unsuitable for grazing and subsidising (wash your mouth out) the intensification of use on lower less vulnerable land.

            From my recollection this was no longer wanted on the journey around the time of the Neo lib reforms in the 1980s/early 90s and any powers were subsumed by the local authorities. Of course local authorities are not going to employ rural land use specialists and the land use planning they do is often seen as imposed. The Resource Management Act was supposed to be based on catchments as were the set up of the Regional Authorities themselves.

            All that seemed to happen is that the forests that were planted for Soilcon and rivers control purposes and managed differently by the then NZ Forest Service, were leased* to forest harvesters and are now being harvested. So land that was planted with the idea that harvesting would be a long time coming are now having this happen.

            The trees on land in Northern HB & Gisborne East Coast is now trucked out at enormous cost along fragile roading systems to ports. The land is slipping again in many areas.

            If it is true that the land is now going to be sequestered, carefully managed that would be great. I would doubt being too rosy spectacled about this though, this as some of the leases are based on an extractive model of fell & replant on 20-30year cycles.

            Presumably we are expecting that market led signals and an emphasis on ETS and sequestering will prevent wholesale erosion reoccuring.

            Pardon my cynicsm.

            *I give thanks often for the actions of the NZ Maori Council in taking the then Govt to the Courts as Treaty Partners on the forestry issues around the Environmental restructuring. NZMC won the cases and thus instead of selling to overseas forestry interests we had leases. We, as the people of NZ, at least have the land and a smidgen more control than if control had moved totally overseas.

            There were several cases in the late 1980s/90s where NZMC spoke for the people of NZ in getting a 'taiho' put on the worst land-based excesses of the Rogernomics regime. Many PS at the time while doing our best to enact what Govt wanted, nevertheless silently cheered when NZMC won its cases. We realised that NZMC was acting as a wise steward, something usually associated with Central Govt.

            These are my reasons for having complete and utter faith in the Governance model proposed for Three Waters. Back in the late 1980s Maori saw that this (crazy) neo lib model was not going to work, was a breach of Treaty provisions etc etc. A little later into the 1990s, my work colleague, Charlie Tawhiao# said to me 'what is good for Maori is good for NZ'.

            #Chair Te Runanga o Ngai Te Rangi 2008 to present

            If co control of the taonga of water by Maori will help in Maori it will also help the rest of us.

      • Shanreagh 8.1.3

        I agree with all you have said…..that was my point. I hold no position that is automatically in favour of forestry especially if it is to be so-called sequestered/ETS' but subject to the usual extractive measures once the crop is ready.

        • Robert Guyton 8.1.3.1

          My expectation is that forests being planted now will never be harvested – at least in the manner they are presently.

          The world will change. Forests will become "sacred".

          Extraction of timber will become an art.

          • Shanreagh 8.1.3.1.1

            That is my hope too.

            But is that the realistic view? Are these large multi nationals buying up large on the East Coast with this in mind?

            It will mean a complete change in management and specialist harvesting.

            If this is also true why are they planting in short lived trees as compared with natives. Why are they not planting in a patchwork of trees for small areas instead of blanket pinus radiata?

            I have a huge does of scepticism about this especially when the overseas players were formerly the poachers in poacher/game keeper scenario.

            As indicated by the mess that local authorities on the Coast have had to deal in terms of prunings (call it what you will) and now mature trees as indicated by Ken Green up thread, the message does not seem to be travelling very quickly.

            Hopefully there will be greater use of landuse planning on a more micro basis ie by catchment at the largest area to encourage and planting trees to suit the land.

            I for one do not see beauty for the future in monocultural plantings.

            I don't know much about the ETS scheme and hope that it does treat native regeneration equally with exotic species such as the pinus species.

            • Robert Guyton 8.1.3.1.1.1

              No, they aren't planning it to be that way, but they'll be aware of the likelihood.

              It won't worry them much – their profit will still come. Their and our concern should be fire.

  9. Janet 9

    It does not need extreme over-reactions to rebalance NZ farming and it does not need us to go “plant based.” First it would be very “healing” for NZ farmers to have it acknowledged that many of the farming practises today were actually researched and promoted by NZ agricultural scientists and MAF beginning back in the day of my father ( 1950,s) with for example the introduction of super phosphate over the paddocks, including the hill country in the 60,s, and 245T to kill off the gorse and 245D to kill off the thistles and then new grazing management techniques and so on and so on…

    The farmers were receptive then and responded well! When are the scientists going to step up and say “ Hi guys, we were wrong and we pushed and encouraged you to farm in ways that we now see as unsustainable “ When are they going to take a share of the blame, a share of the public,s wrath at what are seen to be wrong farming practises now.

    Of course, many farmers have already begun the rebalancing needed. Many have turned back to farming the way my Grandfather and Great Grandfather did. Good farming practice is a balance of livestock management and plants because one is beneficial to the other and both are beneficial to us.

    • Shanreagh 9.1

      Very good points Janet. I think there are differences between the uses made of land by industrial large scale farming, and farming families. The former can have a more extractive edge to them, and this has its downsides. They can also be more innovative as they have more land to test things out on. (I am not sure that this theory is palying out in practice though)

      I think NZ farmers are/can be as good at plant based farming as they are at grass-fed animal farming……we are already with our orchards, vineyards market gardens etc. NZ farmers are realists as well. If there are markets that are strong for plant based agriculture than animal based agriculture then they will make the switch.

      The key is scale both in the type of farming, how it is controlled and the amount of land that is used. The industrialisation of dairying and tree cropping on a 30 year rotation, has been a big winner for some but for many others we see prized landscapes gone forever (Mackenzie Country) , communities gone forever. The scale is large, the focus is industrial and the amount of land controlled is far, far in excess of the need.

  10. Robert Guyton 10

    Rod Oram reliably gets it right.

    "To give examples of positive changes, it applies the Avoid-Shift-Improve approach to environmental sustainability developed first in Germany in the early 1990s for the transport sector.

    Applying the concept to global emissions the IPCC says: “The greatest Avoid potential comes from reducing long-haul aviation and providing short-distance low-carbon urban infrastructures. The greatest Shift potential would come from switching to plant-based diets. The greatest Improve potential comes from within the building sector, and in particular increased use of energy efficient end-use technologies and passive housing [those by design and construction that require no heating or cooling].”

    If such changes in behaviour and culture were achieved at large scale across societies, they could deliver between 40 percent and 70 percent of the emission cuts required to meet the 1.5c goal, the IPCC concludes."

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/sustainable-future/rod-oram-our-fantastically-inflated-view-of-our-climate-progress

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