The Essential Forest-Gardener – the trees and the heritage

Written By: - Date published: 7:27 am, November 27th, 2016 - 28 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment, food, sustainability - Tags: , , , , ,

The following is a Guest Post from Robert Guyton and is part of a series appearing over 12 Sundays. Other parts can be seen here.

Robert is a sustainability pioneer who along with his family grows the oldest food forest in NZ. A long time organic gardener, permaculturist and heritage orchardist, he’s a columnist, a regional councillor for Environment Southland, and an early climate change adaptor. 

Apples are the signature crop of our forest garden. Pip fruit trees thrive in the temperate climate and loamy soils we enjoy here in southern New Zealand and we have built our forest around them. Other forest gardens in warmer parts of the world feature sub-tropical or tropical staples like banana, papaya, mango or oranges, and those favoured trees influence the design and management of those gardens significantly, perhaps causing them to have canopies that are more open or closed, understories denser or less complex, and likewise, ours is shaped by the presence of fruit trees that like to have the wind flowing through their leaves and enough sunlight to colour-up their autumn-ripening fruits.

Thanks to the efforts of the region’s settlers, the apples we have been able to source for planting here are as varied as can be found anywhere in the world. We have trees from the “home country”, whether that was Britain, France, Holland or America, brought over on the sailing ships that delivered the first waves of settlers to our region, as well as shipments of apple “whips” imported by nurserymen to bolster the orchards of later immigrants to the new land. The conservative nature of Southlanders meant that though aged and infirm, those same trees some 100 years later are still growing, unmolested if unpruned, in farm orchards and in and around the older villages of the region.

It didn’t take much to learn the fundamentals of grafting and armed with secateurs and a head for heights, we collected scions; pencil-thick branch-tips, from the untended apple trees and brought them home for attaching to vigorous young rootstock. The result was a young and very special orchard of beautifully named and wonderfully tasting apples; Merton Russet, Warner’s King, Adam’s Pearmain, Yellow Ingestre, Yorkshire Greening, Black Prince; the list of our apple varietes reads like a nurseryman’s catalogue written by a poet. The fruits of dozens and dozens of equally gorgeously named varieties are as different from each other as they are from the modern apples you’d find in the weedless commercial orchards, each occupying its own special niche in the apple world; some for eating straight from the tree in early summer, others to be wrapped in paper and stored through the winter until their flavour reaches perfection, then baked in the oven or stewed in a lidded pot on top of the stove.

Still more, and Slack-my-girdle is a suitably evocative example, make fine cider and won’t please anyone’s taste-buds if eaten raw. There are those which fit neatly into a child’s pocket and can be carried that way to school and whoppers such as the popular Peasegood Nonsuch that a child would struggle to lift.

Apple trees are everywhere in our forest garden, but don’t stand alone the way they do in other gardens, but are instead intertwined and interspaced with other trees, shrubs, annual and perennial herbs, have their crowns wound with vines and their roots interplanted with bulbs, tubers and corms that throw up flowers, leafy stalks or tender vines in the spring. The dense and complex carpet of herbs of the family apiaceae protect the apple trees from the black spot fungus, by intercepting its spores as they seek to gain access to the new apple leaves with the help of spring rains. Wild onions exude their nematode-repelling vapours beneath the soil and clumps of hairy comfrey haul up nutrients from well below the apple-root zone and present them to those roots, in the form of comfrey leaf which collapses exhausted onto the soil in the autumn. Cow parsley and sweet cicely attract aphid-eating hoverflies to where they are needed and borage and alkanet, growing beneath the spreading boughs of every heritage apple tree in the forest garden, signal to the bees; honey and bumble, that there’s their nectar as well as apple-blossom, right here.

With apple trees, and pears also, dictating the make-up and layout or our forest garden, the overall effect is one of a rambunctious orchard, floral and seemingly natural in design. We have pruned our trees and their compact forms are reflected in the years of attention from the secateurs, but as the garden matures, I’m loosening my grip on those cutting tools, as I did on the lawnmower and the spade, and giving the fruit trees their head. They’ll probably create a canopy of their own complex design, like the ones I’ve seen on the old farms of Southland, and I’m looking forward to seeing that filligree against the southern sky. Our fruit-per-tree rate will probably fall, but that’s no bad thing, given that already we struggle to harvest what grows on trees that are only one eighth of their way through their expected lives.

Our forest garden is by no means exclusively apple trees; our list of fruiting trees is long and various; quince, nashi, Mexican hawthorn, Chinese dogwood, medlar, tree fuchsia, New Zealand and Chilean wineberry; all sorts of pip, stone and berry fruits make up the harvest from our forest garden, but apples are king here, or queen more likely, given the beauty of their blossom and the modest form the trees take, their twigs a delicate tracery and their wood that turns a pretty bowl. Along with friends, and with a thought for the neighbours who might not think so highly of our apples, we celebrate with a winter night’s wassailing, involving plenty of cider sampling, a noisy, night-time march around the leafless orchard and enthusiastically delivered words of encouragement for the trees and their health for the coming spring. Given that our heritage trees hale from regions where such ceremonies were once regularly held, I’m sure they benefit from our version of the wassail and thanks to our somewhat muted approach, the neighbours haven’t said a thing. Contributing to that happy state, must be the sound-absorbing quality of our densely planted forest garden.

guyton-8

28 comments on “The Essential Forest-Gardener – the trees and the heritage ”

  1. [deleted]

    [banned 2 months for intentional derailment and wasting moderator time – weka]

  2. Looks like I’m the early bird (aside from the-other-Robert, who sounds as though he hasn’t slept well 🙂 Just a note to anyone wanting to see the moving pictures version; the “film of the book” can be seen here; “An invitation for wildness” has been online for just two days now and looks great, Robyn and I reckon. The Happen Film crew are good at their work and lovely people with it.

    • I’m just watching it again – very enjoyable – found it from Ōraka Aparima Rūnaka Pānui so the word is being spread.

    • weka 2.2

      I loved this film as well, beautifully made, and a good showcase of what you and Robyn are doing. The overhead footage gave me a much better sense of the whole, and it was great they allowed enough time for you both to be really explaining what is going on.

      • Yeah, they were very patient 🙂 The second cameraman was Jason Hosking; he’s a photographer for New Zealand Geographic magazine and has taken some magical images of tui in flight, amongst other things. He operated the drone over our garden and has very interesting views about domestication, developed from the many times he’s emerged into farmland from working on projects in the national parks and being struck by the contrasts, especially in the way we regard birds. He talks about the shock of realising how differently we treat kakapo to the way we treat battery hens, for example.

        • weka 2.2.1.1

          How we value ‘things’, eh.

          Ironically early Europeans did have a battery hen type attitude towards Kākāpō, in that they were something to be consumed with little regard for their own intrinsic worth or that of their surroundings (although I suspect that small mammal predation was a bigger factor in their demise). A colonising attitude rather than a Consumer one, a precursor perhaps.

          Meant to ask btw, do you get eggs from your chooks in the free-range months?

          • Robert Guyton 2.2.1.1.1

            You seem to have a personal interest in birds, weka 🙂
            Kākāpō, kererū and other native birds have a very low egg-laying rate and can’t be equated with jungle fowl, imo. The whole “Kentucky-fried kererū” argument seems a nonsense to me because of that. I do collect, cook and eat eggs laid by the hens here and don’t anguish about that. It feels as though I’m doing them a favour, clearing their nests and making room for more 🙂
            As an aside, we have had ruru in or forest garden for some time now – they visit during the night on their way to somewhere else. A bird I love is the grey-fronted heron but they need very tall trees to nest in and I don’t have anything of the “old man pine” variety here, although the stone pine I planted 20 years ago is getting up there and may one day attract the gawky herons. I saw several riflemen here a while back and felt happy that they would come here. Grey warblers too, and brown creepers. Fantails in abundance. No weka though :-)_

            • weka 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Well there was the dude that tried weka farming 😈 But I tend to agree, lots of breeding gone into domesticating the animals we get food from and I can’t see a huge case for trying that with natives until we at least restore habitat.

              Ruru, isn’t there a more pork pun in there somewhere?

              Do your hens have their own nests in the forest, or do you have a night house for them?

              • Yes, a night house for the hens – it’s high up on posts, mimicking their branchy heritage and has a ladder I made from a big forked branch with treads bound on with flax fibre 🙂
                One hen made a wild nest in the forest this spring and raised a family of chicks but they’ve been encouraged to move into the run with the others. When they’re out and about, they find my colonies of brassicas and peas pretty fast.

  3. I roto i te pānui ra? Pai rawa tena! The bunui I got from Putauhinu is about to flower so I’ll take some in to taua tari though it might make some yearn for nga moutere titi.

    • weka 3.1

      he aha tēnei mea ‘bunui’?

      • Ko bunui ” punui” ranei he tipu te koiora ataahua no nga moutere titi ki te taha o Rakiura. It grows as the understorey to the rata forests on Putauhinu and has leaves the size of dinner plates. Its stems are edible. Stilbocarpa Lyallii – here’s a link to a photo of one growing in my garden:
        http://robertguyton.blogspot.co.nz/2016/11/raining.html

        • weka 3.1.1.1

          Kāore au i mohio i ngā kahere rata i reira. That must be a sight.

          He aha te tārawa o nga bunui stems? Ka kaiota, ka tunu?

          • Robert Guyton 3.1.1.1.1

            Tēnā koe weka
            Ae, he pai te tirohanga o te ngahere ra (the rata forests are wonderful, especially where the birds are using cliff-top trees as launching sites, engari apologies for my patchy reo – I tend to bodge together what I can, having forgotten much in recent times, however, I’m back to learning, as I love te tangi o te reo tūturu o ēnei motu 🙂
            I kai au i nga tātā kaiota o te bunui.

    • weka 3.2

      Hey Robert, can you please use the reply buttons? I only just realised that you were replying to marty. I see lprent was asking people to do this other day too, it does help with a better flow of conversation.

  4. The lost sheep 4

    Have you ever tried growing tete-a-weka (Olearia angustifolia) on the Mainland Robert?

    I have been lucky enough to be given seeds and seedlings from some good friends, and tried it in several South Island locations, but the longest I ever got it to grow was about 3 years before a catastrophic wilt killed it.

    You see it perched on the most outrageous of exposed sea cliffs, like the South End of Pohowaitai just above the 70 metre or so height the Southern Ocean scours clean…but it seems to me the one thing it can’t survive is comfort!

  5. Hi lost sheep – you’ve got that right; tete a weka needs to be thrashed by salt-laden sub-Antarctic rain and wind to feel happy. It’s a beautiful plant, with its wavy-edged leaves and daisy flowers. I’m impressed that you got those fluffy seeds to strike – their viability is notoriously poor. I have a naturally crossed hybrid that is more suited to Southland; not quite so special but lives longer, although this season they’re looking less than perfect. Easy to propagate from cuttings. Were you fishing offshore from Pohowaitai?

    • The lost sheep 5.1

      Can’t remember where I got the tip (Metcalf?), but the secret to getting Southern Olearia seed to strike is to leave a 100 or so planted seeds in soil from their point of origin over Winter, keeping the surface clean. In the Spring / Summer you’ll get 10 or so sprouting….if you’re lucky!

      I’ve been privileged to hitch a few Rum soaked trips into the Deep South on Rakiura Fishing boats, and dropping off ‘birders, and a couple of less inebriated voyages even further South with DOC and the Navy.
      Been lucky enough to have seen a lot of the World, but for me, that’s the place i love the most.
      Legendary though your gardening skills are, I don’t fancy the odds of your forest garden doing very well on The Snares!

  6. Ha! Beaten by gannet guano and flattened by sea lions! I often wonder how much poorer our soils are with the demise/disappearance of the seabird hosts in times gone by. You must have an iron gut, lost sheep, to have made those voyages and survived. I’ve heard stories. (and seen swells!)

    • The lost sheep 6.1

      The one thing I can tell you Robert is the answer to the old debate of whether a hangover or sea sickness is the worse malady?
      Without a doubt, having both at the same time is the worst of all possible scenarios!

      But I’d happily suffer that for 2 weeks straight to spend an hour wandering among the mega-herb gardens of The Auckland Islands.

  7. I kind-of regret that I will never wander those extraordinary “gardens” – I’m growing what I can here, but they are a pale shadow of what I believe is down there. Some places are best left un-visited by me, I reckon – keeps my imagination keen and in any case, I can avoid the hangover/sea sickness. I had bought “Paihia Bombs” in preparation for a trip to Antarctica, but changed my plans at the last moment, and stayed here 🙂

  8. Cinny 8

    Robert… would your black spot solution work for a fig tree please? My fig is suffering for the first time from black spot, I feel it is because of the excessive spring rains we have had this year.

    “The dense and complex carpet of herbs of the family apiaceae protect the apple trees from the black spot fungus, by intercepting its spores as they seek to gain access to the new apple leaves with the help of spring rain”

    Which apiaceae plants would you recommend please for underplanting?

  9. Hi Cinny – I’m surprised that figs get black spot. Mine have no sign, but they’re underplanted in the same way my apple trees are; thickly. Your plants need to be growing well before the spring rains come so have to be biennials like parsley, carrot or celery-family plants. Once they’ve done their “interception” job they can be mown or rolled flat if they are getting too thick and unruly. I mix wild onion/onion weed in with my understorey for a number of reasons; the allium exudes a substance that aids apple trees in their ability to repel sub-soil pests plus they make a good addition to salads. Chickweed and miners’ lettuce too, are multi-use and attractive. The growth of chickweed in the spring signals the soil is warm enough for you to sow seed.

    • Cinny 9.1

      Thank you so much for that valuable information Robert, I really appreciate it. Dad grows all his plants from seed, so I’ll hit him up for some parsley (grandma always said one should never buy parsley, instead one should be given it, especially if one practises the craft), lol she had the best superstitions.

      It’s funny because I underplanted the fig with some fennel last year and no black spot, Great tip about the chickweed and soil warmth, thank you, chickweed has wonderful medicinal uses.

      Your advice and experience I find fascinating, myself I am big on companion planting, luckily there are orchards close by, so my garden at the moment is humming with bee’s as the orchards have hives.

      Raspberries are outstanding this year, picked our first crop last night, almost a cup full, so my tummy is very happy.

      I love gardening, been doing it my whole life, thanks to parents and both sets of grandparents being avid gardeners, Grandad was from Riverton 🙂

  10. You’re from sturdy stock then, Cinny 🙂 Your grandma and her craft sound interesting also. I love the stories behind plants, especially the alternative names; elecampane becomes elf dock, etc. I’ve grown elder, hawthorn, oak, hazel and other European trees for reasons your grandma would appreciate 🙂
    Raspberries this early in the year is amazing! Your not living in Southland, I’m guessing. We are eating strawberries though, fresh from the plant. I’ve a lot of fennel growing here, ’cause, you know, blue cod (your Grandad would know what I mean 🙂

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    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    6 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    6 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    7 days ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
    This is a guest post by reader Grant A, the second of a pair about how to fix Broadway. If you missed the beginning of the show, here’s the link to Act 1 from yesterday. Yesterday, I discussed changing traffic circulation around Broadway in Newmarket. This included implementing a car-free ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • National breaks another health promise
    National has broken another manifesto health promise, apparently to save only $550,000. It will now train an additional 25 med students next year rather than the 50 it promised. This comes on top of the delays caused by National’s coalition partners in pushing ahead with the Waikato Medical School and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Climate Adam: Coping as the world’s best known climate scientist
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Katharine Hayhoe is quite possibly the world's most famous climate scientist. She's produced wide ranging research, and communicated climate change with ...
    2 weeks ago

  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
    The Government is providing a narrow exemption from the discontinuation of the First Home Grant for first home buyers who may face unfair situations as a result, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “The First Home Grant scheme was closed with immediate effect on 22 May 2024, with savings being reprioritised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
    Work to increase flood resilience in Hawke’s Bay can start sooner, thanks to a new fast consenting process, Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery Mark Mitchell and Environment Minister Penny Simmonds say.  “Faster consenting means work to build stop banks, spillways and other infrastructure can get underway sooner, increasing flood ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Judge Craig Coxhead and Nathan Milner newest Māori Land Court appointments
    Tangata tū tangata ora, tangata noho tangata mate. Minister for Māori Development Tama Potaka today announced acting Deputy Chief Judge Craig Coxhead as the new Deputy Chief Judge, and Nathan Milner as Judge of the Māori Land Court. "I want to congratulate Judge Coxhead and Mr Milner on their appointments ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade and cooperation
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

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