web analytics

The Future Is …

Written By: - Date published: 9:54 am, December 9th, 2018 - 288 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

The future is … unwritten.

This post is intended to be a place for discussion of the way forward.

The idea comes from an exchange on Open Mike a few weeks ago. TS regular Robert Guyton suggested we have a dedicated thread where “the way forward can be discussed, within parameters such as doable suggestions, successful examples, contributions from readers who support the concept of the thread, new takes on the future etc.”

So, an Open Mike for ideas, solutions and the discussion of the possible. The Big Picture, rather than a snapshot of the day’s goings on. Topics rather than topical.

If there is sufficient support from readers and commenters, this will be a regular weekend feature. No problem with it going up on Saturday, rather than Sunday, if that’s what folks would prefer. And we’d like to think it’s success will be measured in the quality of comments rather than the quantity.

So have at it! You might want to talk about gene editing or free public transport.

Maybe the future is solar? Maybe it’s female? Maybe the future is merely a philosophical concept that’s had it’s day?

How this post works is up to you, Standarnistas.

Let us know what you think.


288 comments on “The Future Is …”

  1. Jenny 1

    What’s wrong with this picture?

    August 15, 2013

    “Some big-wig” that Ross Vernon, 37, had never laid eyes on told nearly 200 workers at Huntly East Mine headquarters that 93 employees would soon be redundant – 193 well-paid Waikato jobs, some of them already vacant, would be carved down to 86

    It’s economics, Solid Energy chairman Mark Ford told news media later in the day.

    The numbers do not justify the operation continuing in its current form.

    The mechanical fitter was one of the first miners to drive out of the company gates after the announcement.

    While other workers tore off and sprayed gravel, and flipped a middle finger at waiting media, he stopped and answered questions through the driver’s window.

    “They squandered the millions and now they’re having to shut it down,” he said. “We’re basically screwed. The place is going into care and maintenance and they’re going down to a couple of crews.”

    At the same time a move by Contact Energy to back out of a windfarm on the Waikato’s west coast has blown away hundreds of potential jobs in a move described as another disappointment to a region buffeted by lay-offs in the coal industry.

    The Hauauru ma raki wind farm, planned for the coast between Port Waikato and Raglan west of Huntly, was expected to inject $180 million into the regional economy, including $115m of household income over a five-year construction period. It was also tipped to create an estimated 1033 jobs once operational and generate enough power for around 170,000 homes, with its 168 turbines dwarfing the 28 turbines at the region’s next biggest windfarm at Te Uku.

    But Contact Energy, after years of indecision on the project, yesterday announced in its annual result that it would completely pull out of the project, leaving its future uncertain.

    Waikato Chamber of Commerce CEO Sandra Perry said the news was just another disappointment for the region, especially for those in the energy sector following last week’s Huntly Coal Mine lay-offs.

    After the announcement that 93 jobs were to go at the Huntly Mine, Ms Perry was hopeful that some of the younger employees facing redundancy could retrain and head into new jobs – like the construction and maintenance of the windfarm.

    It seems obvious, doesn’t it? When jobs are disappearing in the coal industry, that jobs should be made available in the renewable sector.

    It’s a long time ago that a coal miner was a man with a pick hacking away at a coal face. The skills that are used to maintain a modern coal mine, electrician, engineer, machine operator, driver. are easily transferable to the wind industry.

    Auckland Coal Action for a just transition

    Auckland Coal Action is a climate change activist based pressure group. ACA was founded following the tour of this country by world renowned NASA climate scientist, James Hansen. In his address to the Auckland Town Hall, Hansen identified coal as the most dangerous of the all the fossil fuels. According to Hansen; “If we can’ts stop coal it is all over for the climate.”
    Auckland Coal Action is determined to end coal mining in this country, but not as an end in itself but as example to other countries that coal can be removed from the energy sector. ACA recently organised a grass roots community campaign to stop the development of a new open cast coal mine planned for Mangatangi, just south of Auckland

    Our record speaks for itself.

    “We will stop your mine”

    Fonterra; [we] surrendered our mining permit at Mangatangi

    Auckland Coal Action is committed to shutting down other coal mines in the North Waikato Region.

    Nick explains why K1 must be stopped

    But rather than just being against things we need to be for things as well.

    Eric Pyle CEO of the Wind Energy Association said of the Hauauru Ma Raki project cancellation, “The project is fully consented and with the right policy settings it could be built in stages over time.”

    Let us lobby the the Green, Labour, NZ First, coalition to put those policy settings in place.

    Waikato Windfarm backtrack costs hundreds of jobs

    • Antoine 1.1

      Eric is just rent seeking

    • This looks like topical and specific activism as opposed to a big picture topic.

      Could anything like the current world population survive with no mining at all, or no fossil fuel use?

      I haven’t seen any attempt to explain what a substantially changed ‘green’ world would look like and how it would function. What some propose would be a huge experiment that could easily go badly wrong.

      People in France are strongly opposing just one small change to try to deter fossil fuel use, and the government has backed down.

      I think discussions should consider what is possible as much as what might be ideal. There could be quite a gap between the two.

      • Robert Guyton 1.2.1

        My hope is that compilations of suggestions for genuinely sustainable activities being carried out now, or in the process of being developed, would be valuable and stimulating to read about., for example, water harvesting using home made containers (plucked from the air, that example), or the beneficial effects of art work in public spaces on well-being of those working there or passing through; that sort of thing; suggestions that might snowball as they gather and provoke further thought. There’s no need to solve the problems of the world with a single slogan, as you seem to be demanding, Mr George. How about you provide us with something worthwhile in the form of a suggestion you favour; one that would improve or at least help preserve a future for your children and those of other readers here.

        • Jenny

          “Mr George. How about you provide us with something worthwhile in the form of a suggestion you favour…”
          Robert Guyton 1.2.1
          9 December 2018 at 12:16 pm

          Yes I agree, Pete needs to tell us what his favoured strategy is.

          The strategy I have outlined here is “Think global, act local”

          But there are a number of others;

          From the “No need to do anything strategy” (promoted by the fossil fuel industry and their useful idiots the climate change deniers)

          To the frankly sychophantic “Fast follower strategy” (promoted by John Key)

          From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

          Sycophancy[2] is flattery that is very obedient, or an indication of deference to another, to an excessive or servile degree. A user of sycophancy is referred to as a sycophant or a “yes-man”.

          Alternative phrases are often used such as:

          ass/arse kissing
          ass/arse licking
          brown nosing
          sucking up
          yes man


          • Antoine

            > The strategy I have outlined here is “Think global, act local”

            When I actually read your post, the strategy you outline seems to be “Lobby government for corporate welfare for big (renewable) energy companies”


            • Jenny

              Antoine, if you look at Eric Pyle’s statement, Pyle doesn’t ask for money he asks for “policy settings”.

              When you are talking about corporate welfare, Antoine, it is hard to ignore the corporate welfare extended to Solid Energy, which amounted to a total of over quarter of a billion in taxpayer funds, ($256 million to be exact). A large portion of which Bill English admitted, the tax payer will never get back.

              $128m down the Solid Energy gurgler
              Chris Bramwell – RNZ, August 13, 2015

              The taxpayer will not get back the millions of dollars it poured into Solid Energy, Finance Minister Bill English says.

              Mr English said the banks were taking a hit and the Government would also not get back any of the $128 million it put into Solid Energy.

              “The Government is not in line to recover anything from the sale of the assets, the banks and other creditors as appropriate would be ahead of us.”

              As the saying goes: If the climate was a bank, It would have been bailed out long ago.

      • Jenny 1.2.2

        Pete George 1.2
        9 December 2018 at 10:46 am
        This looks like topical and specific activism as opposed to a big picture topic…..

        This is big picture stuff.

        New Zealand’s total greenhouse emissions from all sources, amount to only 0.2% of the global total.

        Precisely because of this 0.2% figure, (Sir) Peter Gluckman, Chief Science Advisor to the last government, wrote on the Parliamentary website, on climate change, that New Zealand’s greatest contribution to fighting climate change will be by setting an example.

        Same thing with coal.

        Coal represents only 5% of New Zealand’s total electricity generation.

        But in Australia, coal represents 58.4% of Australia’s total electricity generation.

        Pete, if New Zealand can’t transition away from coal, how can you expect Australia to?

        We can, and should set, an example..

        Australia has massive untapped renewable energy resources, all that is missing to develop them, is the political will to do so.

        (That, and vested corporate interest in the fossil fuel sector)

        If we, on this side of the ditch, can set an example it may be just that little bit extra needed to create the political will for Australians and their representatives to stand against the powerful Australian fossil fuel interests.

        After all Australia is forecast to be one of the worst hit nations by climate change.

        Australia is one of the sunniest and windiest places on earth; it should waste no time escaping the “death spiral” of coal and instead becoming a global renewable energy superstar, said experts at a recent conference in Sydney.


        Climate change will hit Australia harder than rest of world, study shows

        Science agency the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology predict temperature rises of up to 5.1c in Australia by 2090 in their most comprehensive forecast yet


        It is quite possible that if Australia as a major world emitter doesn’t change it’s ways, that Australians will get to suffer ‘the boat people’ trauma from the other side of the equation.

        Let us hope that we are more accommodating of refugees than they are,.

        • Antoine

          > Let us hope that we are more accommodating of refugees than they are,.

          Let’s not!


        • JennyHow to get there?

          We ,must set an example

          We can, and we must, and we should, set an example.

          At the risk of being accused of monomania…..

          Getting rid of coal from our economy is the most important thing we can do.


          James Hansen has said if we can’t get rid of coal, it is all over for the climate.

          “Coal is the single greatest threat to civilisation and all life on our planet.” James Hansen

          I can’t emphasise this enough

          We must set an example

          If New Zealand can’t get rid of coal, when it represents only 5% of our electricity supply, how can anyone else?

          How can Australia?

          Australia only nation to join US at pro-coal event at COP24 climate talks
          Country’s stance described as ‘a slap in the face of our Pacific island neighbours’

          Australia has reaffirmed its commitment to coal – and its unwavering support for the United States – by appearing at a US government-run event promoting the use of fossil fuels at the United Nations climate talks in Poland.

          Australia was the only country apart from the host represented at the event, entitled “US innovative technologies spur economic dynamism”, designed to “showcase ways to use fossil fuels as cleanly and efficiently as possible, as well as the use of emission-free nuclear energy”……

          ……Patrick Suckling, Australia’s ambassador for the environment, and the head of the country’s negotiating delegation at the climate talks, spoke on the panel. His nameplate bore a US flag…..

          [Talk about ‘nominative determinism’ J.]

          …..Wells Griffith, a Trump administration adviser speaking alongside Suckling on the panel, said the US would continue extracting fossil fuels, and warned against “alarmism” about climate change.

          “We strongly believe that no country should have to sacrifice their economic prosperity or energy security in pursuit of environmental sustainability,” he said.

          [read: ‘environmental surviveability’ J.]

  2. Estimates of the population of the world at the time agriculture emerged in around 10,000 BC have ranged between 1 million and 15 million.

    Even earlier, genetic evidence suggests humans may have gone through a population bottleneck of between 1,000 and 10,000 people about 70,000 BC

    World population has experienced continuous growth since the end of the Great Famine of 1315–17 and the Black Death in 1350, when it was near 370 million.


    The population is now about 7.7 billion people. Subsistence farming and gathering (I guess many Greens are against hunting) would be impossible (for survival) in most populated parts of the world.

    • Grafton Gully 2.1

      Cannibalism is a possible solution to the dilemma. How much high grade protein goes up in smoke ? You could do the maths. Or if eating other people is not acceptable, why not convert them to fertiliser and food for farmed animals and pets. Organ and blood donation are already commonplace. There are precedents in Pacific cultures, abolished by colonisation, and in societies that practice sky burial. Post mortem processing of human fat and hair for soap and felt was undertaken on a small scale in WW2 Europe. Why not amend the relevant legislation to allow the recycling of human corpses ?

    • Robert Guyton 2.2

      Oh, how I wish I’d been first in line on this thread!
      I was ready, having written a cracker of an opening comment (imo 🙂 designed to set the tone for what I hoped would be an inspirational, fun thread that would attract the creative and pragmatic commenters, of whom there are many here on TS, some of whom helped forge the ideas for this thread – but I was delayed by visitors (nice, unexpected but delaying :-), and now here we are, discussing cannibalism and coal and getting a lecture from Pete George!

      Good Lord!

      Time to pull my Big Boy pants on and join the fray. First up, I’ll paste in my pre-recorded address to the nation, then roll my sleeves up and send Mr George back to his own playground 🙂 (too many smiley faces, I know, but I don’t know how to do the teeth-grinding emoticon!)

      How to get there? Why, start at the beginning, go on to the end, then stop, my last-year-at-primary-school teacher used to say. Everything’s up for discussion though, isn’t it? It might be that we’re already well through our journey (many TS posters were born well before the arrival of television in New Zealand, BT, that is, “Before Telly”, before Samantha’s twitching nose, David Frost’s gravitas, Ellie-Mae’s Clampett’s…good lord, what was it Ellie-Mae exuded???) So, many of the nuanced comments seen here on The Standard come from seasoned observers and thinkers who seem to me a little … anxious about the future and consequently keen to play a part, asap, in doing something about improving the outlook. TS, as a forum for tossing ideas back and forward, is doing pretty well, in my opinion, but can seem a like a Jackson Pollock painting at times; topics from all over and comments from all and sundry, splashing views all over the canvas, but producing something that you mightn’t especially like to hang on your wall.

      This thread, boldly titled, “How to get there” after a poem by Australian cartoonist Michael Leunig’s delightful-if-somewhat-sobering comment on life, accompanied by the images you see at the top of this post that capture the journey described, is intended to attract comments from those who want to … get there, and have something useful to recommend about the process of doing so.

      Over the past several whiles, various posters here have intimated their desire for a “softer” thread that might provide opportunities for non-combative discourse; that is, pleasant trading of ideas about worthwhile things to do, as we elsewhere wrestle with life’s tough stuff; whether that’s possible on an open blog with a clear political inclination is another matter, but we will see.

      This is an idea that arranged itself, as leaves piled after a little whirl-wind in a public park do, with several regular posters here gathering about the spark of the idea and fanning it with their own puffing and blowing, till the ember flared bright enough for the authors here, Te Reo Putake in particular, to take notice and offer to help; thanks TRP, I hope you don’t end up with egg on your face  It could flop. There may be so few people “out there” who care about getting there, or talking about ways that there can be got to, but we will see. In any case, I reckon it’s a good idea and am happy to contribute.

      (written last night, in a haze of bonhomie, before reality bit – gritted-teeth-smiley-face)

      • Antoine 2.2.1

        Good luck, you’ll need it

        • Robert Guyton

          Thanks, Antoine, that’s exactly the sort of positive comment I’m looking for. Do you have another? We can use them as glue to hold this thread together and maybe as buffers in case some naysayer does happen by and try to usurp the good intentions of the thread.

          • Antoine

            I think the thread needs a new title that reflects what you are trying to achieve, and I suspect it also needs some ground rules, which will need to be enforced. Otherwise it will just degenerate into a Russia/Libya slanging match or something.


            • Robert Guyton

              I agree, Antoine. I had proposed that the thread be titled, “How to get there” which is comfortingly vague and aspirational at the same time. That request was lost in translation somehow (no blame or criticism aimed at any one – such things happen easily, but are just as easily righted 🙂
              As for ground rules, my fervent desire is that we don’t express any. If the general tenet of the thread is strong enough, commenters will self-manage, capably assisted by the rest of us, if needed 🙂

              • I’ll retitle the next edition, Robert. The future is unwritten is a Joe Strummer reference. I guess I’m still gutted at losing Pete Shelley.

                • Robert Guyton

                  That’s all good, TRP – I read more closely, your intro when Antoine made the point and liked what you’d written very much, this especially I thought captured what we’d collectively hoped to say:
                  “So, an Open Mike for ideas, solutions and the discussion of the possible. The Big Picture, rather than a snapshot of the day’s goings on. Topics rather than topical.”
                  The future is unwritten, I like a lot also, believing, as I do, that writing; recording live storytelling and myth-sharing, with printed words, is one of the steps we took in the wrong direction. I’m certainly not advocating the rejection of writing, but pointing at one of the markers in human development that could stand some close attention. I reckon too, that the future is unwritten, but I’ve heard some very encouraging whispers…

      • Incognito 2.2.2

        I think this is a great idea and worth doing – sounds a bit like a cheesy add for a TED Talk, doesn’t it?

        I won’t make any significant contribution till well into 2019 though.

        However, I’d like to respond to your Jackson Pollock analogy. I’d like to argue that we are a tabula rasa or perhaps better, like a constantly changing and unfinished artwork (work in progress). If I want to see the effect or product of many a comment and post here on TS I only have to look in the mirror so to speak.

        You’ve probably heard that modern X-ray technology has revealed that many famous painters changed their mind during the course of creating a painting and in some cases covered up their work with an almost completely painting – maybe materials were expensive or they were very unhappy with their creation (which is quite common among very talented people I’ve been told). The term for this is pentimento. My life and life’s history is like a pentimento and posts like this contribute to it 🙂 Never underestimate the power of the written word!

        • Robert Guyton

          Some of us, Incognito, can seem pretty blank at times, it’s true. I really appreciate the view you provided with your reference to pintemento and encouragement to never underestimate the power of the written word; one of my core beliefs also! You would have enjoyed, as I did, watching the street artists who just recently painted our village red (well, all colours really) – seeing them mark-up their walls in a seemingly random fashion, start in unlikely parts of their design and bring it altogether with a final flourish of sprayed paint, was wonderful! I especially enjoyed watching the phenomenon you described; the artist changing tack, over-painting, introducing elements unplanned at the beginning- their freedom and adroitness of mind was a pleasure to see, culminating as it did in a shared wall where each artist added to the other’s work for a huge cooperative work that really made us villagers gasp! Those experiences change world-views!

      • JennyHow to get there? 2.2.3

        “How to get there?” Robert Guyton

        “Put the coal back in the hole”

        A Kiwi scientist’s haiku version of the latest global warming report

    • Robert Guyton 2.3

      Who is suggesting subsistence farming and gathering as a way to feed the present population of the planet, Mr George?

      • greywarshark 2.4.1

        It would be a help if anyone putting up links gave us their choice of paragraph from it making a really big point. The heading is useful as a guide, but what is particularly pertinent in the piece to your mind? Can we have that shown to us please.

        • Pat

          It is an audio file and the clue is in the title….future proofing agriculture and food production

          • greywarshark

            Did you read what I said. What you have said is obvious to me at first glance.

            • Pat

              pleased it is obvious and therefore dosnt need my interpretation…it is posted unsullied for any who are so interested to listen to and take from it what they will.

              • Robert Guyton

                Thanks, Pat. I’d like to have a listen to that later; right now, I’ve a grandson to entertain. He likes trains, which is a better fixation than cars, but I’d love him to shift his attention to companies of trecking dwarves, but he’s only 2.
                I’ve some lovely copies of The Hobbit, lying in wait for his 7 year-old self.
                I bristle a bit at mention of agriculture and keeping it alive into the future, but I’ll withhold my judgement till I’ve listened to the link you provided.

    • DJ Ward 2.5

      The 73,000 year ago event was the Toba eruption and was so massive that it caused the ocean to drop by 2 degrees for 1000 years.

      Think global warming is a problem!

      Think no crops grew this year, and next year.
      Think sunny Europe, New York, Moskow, New Zealand.
      Then ice sheets covering everything in a matter of years.

      Our very own Taupo is just as dangerous.

  3. gsays 3

    Hey big ups to Robert and others to get this thread off the ground.

    I see food security as the next ‘economy’.
    Gardening is a political act.
    Your food decisions are political acts.

    I have already picked up a couple of things from the regulars here n regards my overgrown raised garden beds. Buttercup is present in compacted ground.
    The solution of smothering is simple and works with the nature of the environment.

    When you have the courgette/MARROW glut, and there is only so much of them you can eat, they can be grated and turned into a cousin of lemon curd.
    I will scratch around when I get home and put the recipe up.

    • Robert Guyton 3.1

      Thanks, gsays though I’m not sure we’re off the ground just yet; still taxiing on the tarmac I think but I know there’s a breeze out there yearning to lift our nose and get under our wings. Looking forward to your marrow curd recipe, for the sake of knowing how to make it but also because a recipe posted here on TS might be a first and that’s the kind of thinking I like! It wouldn’t surprise me if a poem or two appeared here also; poetic language, poems and other non-proser communications, are portals through which truths can be glimpsed, truths that otherwise might take screeds of difficult explanation to express. So yes, put your recipe up and save the planet 🙂

      • Antoine 3.1.1

        Zucchini slice is another option… a deep slab made with eggs and cheese… good eaten cold

        Or a zucchini chocolate cake

        I made a beetroot chocolate cake but I think I did it wrong and no one except me would eat it. It tasted very earthy, is the best you could say for it


        • Robert Guyton

          Putting your curcubits and beets to good use – it could be a sub-thread, Antoine! I’m wondering about your earthy beetroot chocolate cake – you didn’t have a bowl of beetroot-sized clods sitting on the kitchen bench at the time of the baking, did you? Accidentally substituting ingredients is a common enough mistake.
          Your comment is perfectly aligned to the kaupapa of this thread, Antoine, imo.

        • KJT

          Puha and Pakeha?

          • Robert Guyton

            Both tauiwi.

            • KJT

              Pakeha are treaty people. Not Tauiwi.

              Tauiwi is an insult, by the way.

              My family is all mixed up, Pakeha, Poms, Chinese and Maori, ship jumpers, along with Aussie convict and squatter, and probably a few other wild genes, it is hard to know how to describe us. LOL.

              I didn’t know that Puha (Watercress) was an introduced plant?

              • WeTheBleeple

                Puha and watercress are not the same plant. Puha is terrestrial, watercress (semi) aquatic.

                I used to grow watercress while working with lots of Maori. I’d get texts: ‘Got any watercress Bro?” I kept waiting for the cops to turn up, them being convinced watercress was a code for weed…

                • Robert Guyton

                  There’s a sow thistle growing here that’s as tall as I am. It’s using a shrub as a prop to reach that great height.
                  That puma though, is a toddler compared to the giant hogweed that’s growing beside the workshop – see here:

                  • WeTheBleeple

                    Not bad. I grew a manglewurzel that cleared the house gutter by several feet. The seed filled half a 5 kilo rice sack. I sent it off free to dozens of NZ households via a garden group.

                    We’ve put it across a beetroot, now getting amazing red and pink stemmed silverbeet type leafy greens with bonus edible roots. The wild birds and my chooks go nuts for the leaf, I eat a fair bit myself. If the birds have a drink handy they’re less voracious on the veggies. The tubers are a bit bland, but will do in a pinch if one is hungry add a blob of butter and salt and pepper – all good.

                    Big ups on the start of this project. Here’s a pat on the back for all concerned! 😉

                    • Robert Guyton

                      “I grew a manglewurzel that cleared the house gutter by several feet. ”
                      Did you throw it?
                      Have you heard of the tradition of throwing a fresh hen’s-egg over the roof? If it lands without breaking, good fortune is yours. I tried it, successfully, hence my good fortune ever since 🙂
                      Eggs are strong. Admittedly, it landed on lawn, not patio but your account of tossing a huge manglewurzle over your roof is impressive (I jest).

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Thought I’d provide a soundtrack to these shenanigans

                    • WeTheBleeple

                      I just sprouted a triploid macadamia. Bet ya haven’t got one of them!

                      The ovules will be three. They normally have two ovules (diploid) but only one fertilises so only one nut. But I’ve had double fertilised nuts and they grow shell through the centre to make two half round nuts. I imagine Cadbury would be beating down my door if I could repeat this result as they’re perfect for coating in chocolate and putting in a tray…

                      Three nuts, what am I gonna do with triangular nuts?

                      Fuel to save the freakin world.

                  • greywarshark

                    Watch out for that puma Robert. They are meat eaters. Next thing you’ll be saying is that you found a triffid growing in your patch.

                • greywarshark

                  Puha – Vegetables
                  Puha or Rauriki is a green vegetable native to New Zealand. Traditionally it was one of the staple green vegetables of the Maori and is still eaten today. Puha can be found growing wild. The ‘smooth’ leaved puha is the most popular, however, the slightly bitter and ‘prickly’ leaved puha is also eaten.

                  Watercress is watakirihi and here included in a recipe using natural NZ foods – sounds good.

                  • Samuel Goslin: The Lost Springs – Whitianga for “Kaimoana Ōra Kaimoana Aroha” – (Live seafood, Love seafood) comprising horopito, seasoned seared Ōra King salmon served with crunchy piko piko, kina velouté and watakirihi pesto.
                  (One of five in 2014 – The five finalists for Best Ōra King Dish in New Zealand)

                • KJT

                  So the Maori asking to pick the ‘puha’ from our creek were wrong???

                  • WeTheBleeple

                    Let’s just say you were all as well informed as each other.

                  • Molly

                    Not if there was puha growing there on the banks.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Not if they used the word “puha” to describe watercress and “puha”in the local dialect refers to watercress, not sow thistle.

                    • Molly

                      Thanks Robert.

                    • WeTheBleeple

                      Yeah I considered the option of Puha on the banks, and common names, but the jump to calling people wrong pushed my button.

                      Here’s a really good article on watercress. Includes traditional vs non traditional harvest, and how it affects the quality (and potential poisoning) of the food.


                      My rule of thumb has been to not eat wild watercress without cooking it first. Here they look at e coli, I’m more concerned with liver fluke. If the catchment doesn’t have sheep/goats, and you follow traditional harvest methods, your odds of a good clean feed will be a lot better.

                      I have created an aquaponic eel/watercress system that was highly productive and used flooding as pest control. That level of control gave me access to bulk raw watercress safe to eat. That stuff healed my liver after many drinkies. Anyone wanting to produce bulk quality organic watercress – I can definitely help.

                      Watercress has many health benefits. I could bombard you with science article links but go google scholar Nasturtium officinale and you can see for yourself.

                  • greywarshark

                    They might have thought you wouldn’t know te reo for Maori food items but would probably recognise the word puha, as in ‘Puha and Pakeha’!

        • Sabine

          too much beetroot. Like with a carrot cake you use the beet to inject moisture into your cake, so only a little bit. And then of course its important that you choose good chocolate for your cake, non of that button stuff. Funny thing is i could think that some of the more fruity single origin chocolates would have gone nicely with your ‘earthy’ cake.

          but yeah, next time, just go a little less enthusiastic on the beetroot.

      • greywarshark 3.1.2

        Frankly Robert just reading your and others’ comments about gardening and how things are growing, and the birds and insects and so on is a sort of poetry to me, reaches my heart and I feel happy. So definite poems and organic ones, and ones like Leunigs, are all part of the creativity of us. If we can keep the acid-drops out we will have a lot of sweetness and hopeful stuff going here.

        • Robert Guyton

          How about this then, Greywarshark:

          What wondrous life is this I lead!
          Ripe apples drop around my head;
          The luscious clusters of the vine
          Upon my mouth do crush their wine;
          The nectarine, and curious peach
          Into my hands themselves do reach;
          Stumbling on melons, as I pass
          Ensnared with flowers, I fall on grass.

          Andrew Marvell
          The Garden

    • patricia bremner 3.2

      Bottling may make a return, and swap meets.

  4. Ad 4

    Robert this is a great initiative to start on TS and I wish it well.

    Government will always be a part of collective action to determine what … the future is …

    So I keen to hear your thoughts on the collective impact of our suite of policy initiatives including:

    – passing a Zero Carbon Act
    – amending New Zealand’s emissions trading scheme
    – establishing an independent Climate Change Commission
    – continuing New Zealand’s international efforts to ensure the integrity of the Paris Agreement
    – higher fuel taxes
    and the last one that was launched last week, the

    – Green Investment Fund.

    Im almost tempted to ask Mr Shaw to come on this site and explain what difference it is intended this suite of policy measures will make.

    Just on the Green Investment Fund, I understand that its overall aim is to accelerate low emissions investment in New Zealand by focusing on the following four key objectives:

    – Make investments that lower domestic emissions
    – Crowd-in private finance
    – Make investments on a commercial basis
    – Undertake a market leadership role

    Sensibly for an investment fund throwing my money about, it seems to be concentrating on very well proven technologies that have a really good shot at computing in their fields.

    I’m not knocking it.

    But I’d like to hear your thoughts on firstly whether this policy set is the right direction, and secondly on whether the Green Investment Fund is right for us.

    • Robert Guyton 4.1

      Hi Ad, thanks for your well-wish.
      The Government will always be … a part… yes, but politicians need suggestions, feedback and models, on a level they can embrace, of better ways to live. That’s what we can do, show our elected representatives how it’s done. The most powerful changers of behaviour, I reckon, are models; true, successful, vibrant and healthy working models of life well led. Make one, live in it, whether it’s a tiny home or a philosophical vehicle, and invite your local MP (or the leader of the party you support) to join you there; your reality-tested example will influence them more than any lobbying or party principle and taking that experience with them, they’ll go back into the heart of Government and change the settings (best case scenario 🙂
      As far as the Green Investment Fund is concerned, I don’t know. I’m not a political animal and don’t analyse policies and proposals very deeply. Sorry I couldn’t help there.

      • KJT 4.1.1

        It’s a start, like many things this Government are doing.

        Establishing principles.

        When people start to realise that these initiatives are working, they can be built on.

    • Jenny 4.2

      Since these investments are intended to make a profit, I imagine that initiatives like community gardens will miss out. And will continue to have to rely on the sacrifice and dedication of volunteers.

    • greywarshark 4.3

      Why can’t we form a policy discussion group, that would be parallel to this one. Can we discuss the idea of having a discussion group on policy and The Way Forward? If Ad is interested in Robert, what about others who have some expertise putting their hand up to be a sort of focus group.

      Good if we could talk with scions of government in an intelligent and hopeful and practical way? It would take a different line than this post’s, more placing stepping stones in the river so we can get from here to some future not-clearly-drawn place. It would have a sustainable and committed group of individuals who had bonded to make a hard-working, practically and usefully productive yet creative also; and enjoyable society. Can we make a rope bridge to get there from here?

      We would take a different line to “having smart arses telling us what a waste of time we are and that there may be no flies on us but you can see where they’ve been etc!”
      That wouldn’t be allowed.

  5. greywarshark 5

    Hey Robert – good one.
    Maybe it would be a help to start listing major themes, and then sub-themes.

    Water would have to be a main theme.
    Gathering, Retaining, Conserving, Keeping fresh, Preventing evaporation.

    Trees, forestry, another main theme.
    Uses – (subthemes)
    Safe for animals.
    Wood use and treatment.
    Fire prone or resistant.

    Perhaps we could have people just entering up themes as they think of them –
    put Theme and then subject at the top, and then subs under.

    Then these get collected and archived in a space especially for this whole topic area.

    The archive would be a good go to place for people’s experienced tips, for scholarly article links, for good sources, for lifetime committed people with vast knowledge. for a list of blogs for informed discussion.

    • Antoine 5.1

      This would work much better as a wiki


    • Robert Guyton 5.2

      You’re someone with a penchant for orderliness, greywarshark! I, otoh, am someone who welcomes wildness into their garden 🙂
      What you suggest may well eventuate. I’m happy to let whatever unfolds, to…unfold but it’s worth noting that I have exactly the same status as anyone else here and can’t cause anything to happen to a degree greater than anyone else! Open source, we!

      • greywarshark 5.2.1

        Well Robert we could draw in a lot of useful information. I have lots of useful stuff stored on my computer and have tried to set up systems but need better folders so i can track down what I am sure I have set aside as useful. So getting it talking about, keeping it, retrieving it that is important and why I think it is good to try for systemisation just for sorting and finding to make it an effective resource.

        And I don’t understand wiki but I would like The Standard to grow something permanent out of the hard work that has gone in and the millions of words that have flown through. It has got NZ political discussion going and crystallising and morphing etc. Further now we could be a home for something other than talk and being a hotbed of untested opinion and wishful thinking and venomous rejection. So sustainable outcomes could happen with a treasury accessable to any one who is seeking info, a way forward.

        • Robert Guyton

          You’re a visionary, greywarshark! The idea of collecting and making available, “the best of TS” is a very good one. Without systems people, us dreamboats would be lost at sea 🙂

          • greywarshark

            I can’t stand all this positivity. But keep it coming, I’ll just have to learn that I can drop my shield and my wooden sword and come out and play safely.

            • Robert Guyton

              Drop ’em but keep ’em at hand, greywarshark. It’s early days and we’re not into the woods yet.

            • WeTheBleeple

              Must reinforce ‘the best of TS’ is a great idea. I had it about an hour ago with regards to ‘how to get there’, so it’s possibly brilliant 😀

          • McFlock

            It’s getting to the stage where it can be quite difficult to find dimly-recalled posts from 5 or almost 10 years back. A lot of it has a quick expiry date in relevance, but there have been some really interesting pieces about finance, technology, science, or geopolitics over the years. Tags and even an operational search engine don’t really work for that sort of thing, but a wiki’s portal format might be just the ticket.

            A companion wiki might be quite useful – sort of file the best and ignore the shitfights. Doesn’t even have to republish the articles, just maybe do a paragraph summary and link. Not sure how it would handle links to interesting posts elsewhere, though – can get into copyright stuff.

            I’m not a developer, but I could help with collation and editing if needed.

        • Antoine

          > I have lots of useful stuff stored on my computer and have tried to set up systems but need better folders so i can track down what I am sure I have set aside as useful. … And I don’t understand wiki

          I think you need a helpful young person to come to your house, perhaps with a notebook and/or a tape recorder, and help you get some of this stuff in order


          • greywarshark

            I resist that, because I tell myself I have to learn myself. It’s so easy for older people to say I can’t do it, and I often do. But my approach now is first I try, and ask for help to do so when needed, then for a treat I will get someone else. So thanks for good advice Antoine. I must say that learning and failing provides opportunities for amusing anecdotes and shared experience with others.
            For instance
            I can appreciate the old joke of the woman who couldn’t get her computer to work. She thought it was like her sewing machine, put the mouse on the floor and tried to use it as a foot pedal.

            • Antoine

              Well then, I reckon you should go learn how to set up a wiki. It’s not hard.

              I use pbworks but other people here may have other suggestions.


              • greywarshark

                But I wanted to see it come from The Standard and The Standard to be seen as a real Sign-Post. Would a wiki be subservient to that? And I want to see NZs coming forward with ideas, not have it an international site with everybody else’s opinions dominating. NZs have to care enough to do things for themselves or we are just a popped balloon only good for blowing raspberries!

  6. Ant 6

    The competitive spirit, intrinsic to organic life forms has for decades reached unwholesome proportions amongst humans via drugs and match fixing in sport and as obscene imbalance of wealth.

    Sensing the futility of ceaseless one-up-man ship many are turning to cooperative ventures; these may be on a global scale or within modest local communities. Achieving things for one another, with sensitivity to the dire needs of our suffering biosphere, the movement grows with scant recognition or coverage by MSM.

    The postulate is: the competitive consciousness can be eclipsed by the cooperative one, -affording a sense of renewed purpose as the range of skills of individuals are welcomed and appreciated as community projects grow and diversify.

    “Happiness” is not the goal; a sense of directed purpose to one’s life is, a by-product of which is growth and levels of fulfilment that transcend the egocentricities of “happiness.”

    The December Circular 70 (pdf) of the Hurunui’s “Food for Thought” draws attention to progress achieved along these lines in just one such group since 2012. https://www.facebook.com/groups/218120821568830/

    • Robert Guyton 6.1

      And that’s how you get there, Ant 🙂

      • Ant 6.1.1

        Aye Robert….I’d meant to include Emerson’s much loved “life is a journey not a destination” which underlines there is no “there”. Transitions are valid “moments” and we find ourselves in the turbulence of rediscovering/re-inventing/re-pitching whom we are as sentient life-forms. What could be simpler than living cooperatively? 😉

        • Robert Guyton

          Ha! Living cooperatively – good one! It can be done. Two things are needed, I reckon: a shared, strong belief system (religion, philosophy, whatever) and a strong work ethic. The combination of those two elements creates the best chance for success in any cooperative venture, I reckon. Maybe even marriage 🙂

    • WeTheBleeple 6.2

      Excellent comment Ant.

  7. Bruce 7

    HEMP, it’s the way forward for so many things but represents the biggest danger to those who profit from the status quo , hold it back to retain income and power. Clean the earth, stop erosion, save trees, fuel, housing , just think of an issue Google a solution and I’m pretty sure it will appear some where.
    Change the law tomorrow and were on our way to a better future, it’s easy as that.

  8. greywarshark 8

    I will start loading some things that others have put up while we have been discussing setting up this post. First up is a long, thoughtful one from Open Mike on 22/11:

    Tony Veitch [not etc.] 4
    22 November 2018 at 8:01 am

    Premise: we simply can’t go on rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic!
    Some ideas for radical action. And I mean RADICAL!

    Action on cars:

    • ban the import of all combustion engine vehicles immediately.

    • begin a controlled phase out of all vehicles over 10 years old (my own included) with the government offering reasonable compensation.

    • allow the import of unlimited EVs – with subsidies.

    • 10 x the bus fleets in all our cities and towns (and only buy electric buses) so a means of getting around is not denied to poorer people.

    • make public transport (in the words of John Minto) free and frequent.

    • expand the rail network so the bulk of our long-distance transport is by rail. By bulk, I mean in excess of 80%.

    • rehabilitate some of the discontinued rail lines, and restore others (like the line to Gisborne.)

    In other words, do everything possible to take petrol and diesel vehicles off our roads ASAP.


    On Farming:

    • declare dairy farming a sunset industry.

    • ban large scale irrigation, restrict irrigation to vegetable growing.

    • Plant trees! And, incidentally, stop exporting our raw, unprocessed logs!

    • De-industrialise farming. There’s no reason (except greed) for a nuclear family to own more than one farm.

    • Actively encourage the move to a vegetarian diet (and I’m one who likes meat)!

    • Above all else, farming must be sustainable! If it pollutes in any way, it is not sustainable! Therefore, it stops!

    On housing:

    • much as I applaud the coalition government’s efforts to rebuild housing stocks, every new house should be able to be independent of the national grid.

    • in other words, all new houses should have solar panels and be energy neutral – it may cost more in the short term – but . . .

    On fishing:

    • ban all foreign vessels from NZ waters immediately, including joint venture vessels.

    • our fishing stocks are a precious tahonga and need to be preserved.

    On immigration:

    • New Zealand is approaching the upper limit of population – in the very different world we will face with climate change.

    • so, strictly enforce the sale of land only to New Zealanders.

    • cut immigration to the absolute bare minimum.

    • we simply cannot keep expanding our tourist population indefinitely. We will need to put a cap on tourist numbers.

    • restrict aeroplane travel !!

    On Natural monopolies:

    • all natural monopolies and essential services must be returned to government hands for the benefit of all NZers. Such as power and water services.

    • get rid of the neoliberal nonsense about SOEs having to return a dividend to the government. If they produce a social return (ie a good for the community), that should be enough.

    I’m sure other posters will have more ideas (and better ones!)

    Don’t tell me all this will cost a lot of money or that jobs will be lost – that’s just rearranging those damned deck chairs again.

    We’ve got between three to twelve years to turn this around, and yes, New Zealand can be a world leader in the effort to save the planet.

    If climate change is this generations ‘nuclear free’ moment, then let’s do something radical! (Rather like banning nuclear ships from our ports – that, in the context of the 80’s, was radical.)

    Further reading: http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2018/11/climate-change-what-would-real-action.html:

    (I have tried to make the headings stand out a little more for effect with capitals and italics but this is all Tony’s work. Thanks Tony from Greywarshark)

    • Jenny 8.1

      Hi Grey, (and Tony). All good stuff.

      Tho as the crisis hits, I think that you may have to amend the policy on immigration on humanitarian grounds. At the very least the free passage that we enjoy with Australia will have to be extended to our Pacific neighbors, who unlike Australia are the people in the world least responsible for the crisis, but who face some of the very worst effects, from climate change fueled tropical super storms, to sea level rise, making their island homes unliveable.

      143 Million People May Soon Become Climate Migrants
      Laura Parker – National Geographic, March 19, 2018

      …..Sea-level rise is already prompting the migration of people from Pacific and Oceania island chains and low-lying coastal areas that flood regularly, and areas suffering extreme drought has sent others in search of sustainable farmland. Much of the coming migration will shift populations of people over the next three decades from rural areas to urban areas. Not surprisingly, the poorest people in the poorest countries will be hardest hit, the report finds.

      And as for refugees desperate enough to try and make a crossing of the Tasman

      I am against, (just as I am sure you are), the let them drown, policy now being followed by European countries in the Med.

      Aquarius rescue ship will no longer operate along deadly Mediterranean routes
      Middle East Eye, December 6, 2018

      A search and rescue ship that has helped almost 30,000 refugees, migrants and asylum seekers in international waters between Libya, Italy and Malta has been forced to suspend operations, human rights groups announced.

      Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and SOS-Mediterranee said on Thursday that the Aquarius would no longer operate in the Mediterranean Sea.

      “This is a dark day,” Nelke Manders, MSF’s general director, said in a statement.

      “Not only has Europe failed to provide search and rescue capacity, it has also actively sabotaged others’ attempts to save lives. The end of Aquarius means more deaths at sea, and more needless deaths that will go unwitnessed.”…….

      …….Before the announcement on Thursday that it would stop operating, the Aquarius had been forced to remain in a European port the past two months, MSF said.

      The humanitarian group decried what it said were attempts by European countries to stymie the vessel’s efforts – as it was twice stripped of its registration and “faces allegations of criminal activity – allegations which are patently false”.

      In particular, MSF said it has faced “a sustained campaign, spearheaded by the Italian government and backed by other European states, to delegitimise, slander and obstruct aid organisations providing assistance to vulnerable people”.

      In particular, MSF said it has faced “a sustained campaign, spearheaded by the Italian government and backed by other European states, to delegitimise, slander and obstruct aid organisations providing assistance to vulnerable people”.

      • Jenny 8.1.1

        As John Lennon sang “Imagine there’s no borders”. To retain our humanity, the coming climate crisis may very well force that reality on us.

      • Sacha 8.1.2

        “refugees desperate enough to try and make a crossing of the Tasman”

        A figment of right-wing imaginations. Prepare for far more likely tests instead.

        • JennyHow to get there?

          “Prepare for far more likely tests instead.” Sacha

          Can you clarify?

          What specifically, in your opinion, are these “far more likely tests”?

          And how should we “prepare” for them?

          • Sacha

            Indonesia’s military invading Fiordland to secure a fresh water supply is way more likely than any refugees trying to cross the Tasman.

            Diplomacy and strong global relationships are about all we can do about that. No way the US or Australia are going to send their military to help us. China might, I guess, depending on what’s in it for them regionally by then.

    • Jenny 8.2

      Hi Grey, Tony et al

      If I could add one more thing to this wish list.

      It would be a total ban on all PKE imports into this country.

      New Zealand is the world’s biggest importer of PKE 

      Fonterra, New Zealand’s biggest company has been linked to deforestation for the production of Palm Oil

      Deforestation is a major factor in climate change

      Oh, and a ban on all new coal mines and coal mine expansion projects would also be a good thing.

      • Robert Guyton 8.2.1

        The PKE “ban” (or rather principled, voluntary rejection) is pending. Let’s not be cynical, let it go , but be alert for the next outrage 🙂

        • greywarshark

          PKE – Palm kernel extract. In my opinion why it is bad is because often it comes from clear felled forest that is part of the environment of local people in South Asia relying on the land for their food, water and necessities. If it is grown as a plantation that seems better, but often the land has been common ground or locally controlled before and is arbitrarily or with threats, removed from grassroots control.

          If our farms were not over-stocked and were properly managed we would need very little of this feed. But the large number of animals need it to supplement inadequate amount of NZ grown feed PKE is feed that makes use of leftovers but it won’t result in milk that has the same properties as that from grass-fed animals, is a vector for foreign bugs, and it is unfair to the ordinary people where it is sourced.

          • Robert Guyton

            That’s right, greywarshark. A permaculturalist might suggest that feed for animals should be grown on-farm….

            • DJ Ward

              We have intoduced crops as part of trying to increase on farm feed as well as being part of the grass renewal process. We also use Palm Kernel. We need scientists to help develope more options. We don’t use the other waste products like Mollasis.

              Don’t blame us farmers. Blame townies for the demand for the oil. Look in your pantry. You can see where this waste product we utilise to create food to feed people comes from and who is responsible. We convert it to extremely important fats and proteins. We Diary farmers had no part to play in creating the situation that created the waste product. We didn’t go, heh can you create palm oil so we can get some palm kernel. When a Buisiness is offered a resource that is financially viable and legal and would otherwise be wasted we will utilise that resource. I believe that Palm Kernal imported to NZ is on the basis of from within the industry already created, rejecting product from illegal expansion.

              Should we persecute animals that eat rice, or industrialised wasabi, or drink wine? Huge areas of Aboriginal and Maori land is being used and wasabi uses more fossil fuels than pretty much anything.

              Without industrialised farming modern cities would struggle to exist. The transformation back to deindustrialise and in turn the elimination of mega cities is just not going to happen.

              Without the Diary industry women would have all the freedoms gained by formulae taken from them. The science is pretty clear on the subject. Breast feeding is very important for the first 2 months after that formulae is just as healthy.

              • greywarshark

                Blame is that all you can think about DJWard. And justification for keeping on doing what is being done now. Doesn’t seem much to offer on a post looking to how to do things differently and better in the future. Try again, eh.

                • DJ Ward

                  Hypocrisy. Did you look in your pantry?
                  You blame diary for PKE.

                  I just analysed the situation to find the cause of the situation. You just described it as blame because I pointed the finger at you. Humans desire for palm oil.

                  What are you saying? Palm oil is an imaginary construct of greedy cow farmers?

                  If diary stopped buying PKE nothing changes. The desire for Palm oil will not be stopped by doing that. It would simply be stupid not to utilise the waste. Commonly referred to as recycling.

                  Very green policy.

                  Your pantry doesn’t change in regard to stoping Palm oil.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Diary, diary who can know these days?
                    Dairy farmers who use PKE are not “to blame for PKE” but they are feeding the problem. Twisty blame-shifting is pointless; the game’s up already and the problem recognised. Western Sarahara phosphate will go the same way, organic, regenerative agriculture will reign, until it doesn’t and plants regain their rightful place, where cows and sheep now pug 🙂

                  • Robert Guyton

                    ” You just described it as blame because I pointed the finger at you.”
                    Hey, DJ Ward! Do you mind not pointing your finger around here? We’re busy building something enjoyable and worthwhile and we find wee stabby fingers just annoying. Cheers!

              • Sacha

                What did dairy farmers use before PKE?

              • Robert Guyton

                “Without the Diary industry women would have all the freedoms gained by formulae taken from them.”
                Makes you wonder what women did before the diary industry came into being – probably wrote on scraps of paper or something of the sort.

                • DJ Ward

                  They were by circumstance tied to the home. Formula creates more freedom for women. Notice much change in the freedom of women since the introduction of safe and healthy formula.

                  If you don’t think feminists can be a powerful political force.

                  Take formula away from women.
                  See what happens.

                  • solkta

                    You can get these really great pump things these days that suck out the breast milk so ya can keep it in the fridge.

                    But, what about the diary industry? What did women do before that?

                  • Molly

                    “Take formula away from women.
                    See what happens.”

                    I remember vividly watching a documentary in the 80’s about “giving” formula to women in India, and the devastating results from what was a sales promotional campaign. (I think this might be it)

                    We have in recent history, 2008, fatalities resulting from Fonterra’s formula in China. which is not helped by the current discord.

                    “Notice much change in the freedom of women since the introduction of safe and healthy formula.”
                    Not really. Just another job description change.

                    • DJ Ward

                      Fonterra didn’t itself put the stuff in the milk. It like everybody else didn’t know it was happening.

                      So you complain about the patriarchy oppressing mothers into stay at home servitude to men. Which is really because we didn’t have contraception, or the fridge, or the washing machine, or the ability to travel distance, and religion etc.
                      Then you complain about things men have developed that give women the ability to make choices for themselves.

                      Can you make you mind up for once Molly.

                      Do you want freedom for women or not?

                    • Molly

                      Fonterra chose a procurement model for the financial benefits. Although they didn’t have to, they also chose to use this model to abdicate responsibility for ensuring that this would maintain the quality of supply.

                      The financial benefits were to Fonterra, the costs were borne in this case by the consumer. Fonterra chose this model, and also chose not to inform the consumer until they had to. Typical business practice, but not ethical or moral.

                      “So you complain about the patriarchy oppressing mothers into stay at home servitude to men. Which is really because we didn’t have contraception, or the fridge, or the washing machine, or the ability to travel distance, and religion etc.
                      Then you complain about things men have developed that give women the ability to make choices for themselves.

                      Can you make you mind up for once Molly.”

                      Link to any comments where I have stated any of these.

                      Preferably, stop the false accusations instead of discussing topics with clarity and integrity. There are better conversations to be had here.

                      BTW, if you really think product development such as you have described is an altruistic project in order to “free” women from what you don’t say but imply to be women’s work (ie. cooking and cleaning), then you have a naiive view of why products are developed for the market.

                      It is usually simply to make money.

                    • DJ Ward

                      I’ve been thinking about the formula sales stuff in poorer countries.
                      There’s no doubt formula is expensive. I’ve being buying it.

                      My partner petty much went back to work days after birth, plus she was having had actual issues and I was impressed she lasted as long as she did. Did the fridge thing to. Suplimented feeding. As a stay at home dad I think I’m inadequate naturally, so really formula is my only option.

                      Thankfully we are free now of the burden of buying it.

                      So to me if a mother can, she breast feeds. You also can’t force a woman to do something, so unless the child is wet nursed then formula is the next best option along with milk from other mammals.

                      If a sales person comes along and gives free formula to women to cause them to “dry off as a cow farmer might say”, then removes the free product, knowing they can’t afford it then that’s at least a few steps past corrupt, into intentionally causing harm, and deaths.

                      How do we seperate that from the advertising we have in our community. While many struggle, and formula is something some families avoid because of cost, there is still the ability to manage if you do end up using formula. So informed consent, quality medical system, midwives, Plunket. The family already has meaningful opportunity to learn the good reasons why breast feeding is best for as long as the mother can. The mother should be left alone, with quality information and support, to make her own decisions about her life, and in her mind, the child’s interests.

                      Formula is not any bodies enemy. It enables options for people to do the things they want and need to do. The human did the corrupt act. The formula, let’s say, had inert thoughts about the event.

                      $10 billion dollars a year of mothers making that choice.

                      Here’s one for you Molly.
                      I support descrimination agianst men.

                      Although I support equality in 50:50 shared care, variation by consent, I do support mothers having full custody in a defined period like 6 months with regular contact with the father.
                      Due to the importance of breast feeding.

                      Mothers also can try and extend breastfeeding by bottle feeding when they need too and breastfeeding when they get the opportunity. Students, workers, the PM, all have to make difficult decisions. Formula enables choice.

                      Formula is a major advance, at least for people living in cities. Not like they have a personal milking goat, or house cow. Terrible things were put in milk to try and preserve it, resulting in countless deaths. A mix of corruption and ignorance.

                      We should be looking how to make formula in more sustainable ways. I have no doubt the industry is investing in making there products better, and because of capitalism and a free market, cheaper.

                      Formula is in its infancy, development wise.

                      Thank you Molly for that link. I had not seen that before.

                    • Molly

                      If you find the documentary it is worth watching. we have never knowingly purchased Nestle because of the impact that had on me in my teen years.

                      Alongside the cost factor though, there was the issue that in third world countries access to safe drinking water – and cooking fuel for sanitisation – were inaccessible. Newborn babies were exposed to bacteria while their immune systems were new, got sick and died – all from some motivation to expand the formula market.

                      Here’s one for you Molly.
                      I support descrimination agianst men.

                      Although I support equality in 50:50 shared care, variation by consent, I do support mothers having full custody in a defined period like 6 months with regular contact with the father.
                      Due to the importance of breast feeding.

                      I think the ACT led bill regarding shared care was flawed. It doesn’t appear to be in the best interests of the child, especially when they are of an age to attend school. I think the reason it appeals to many non-custodial parents, is financial, if care is “shared” then financial support need to be offered. Not an admirable position to take as a loving parent – making them carry the burden of discord so that payment is not required.

                      If, however, it is in the best interest of the child – shared parenting will be the result. Life is a lot more complicated and messy than black and white strictures. I don’t think this issue is easy, but I do think the current perspective of the best interest of the child prioritises the most important aspect. 50:50 parenting advocates have other agendas going on.

                    • Molly

                      … need not be offered…

                      BTW, your example is not “discrimination towards men”. It would be a decision made in the best interests of the child. If you see it as discrimination, then you will be seeing discrimination towards men in everything. Something for you to ponder.

                • greywarshark

                  You are a hoot. This is very enjoyable so far. May the Forks be with you, and the Trowel too.

              • WeTheBleeple

                Formula is not great. It’s not what’s in it (excluding melamine) that’s the problem, it’s what’s not:

                “Gut microbiota influence the growth and differentiation of gut epithelial cells, and play pivotal nutritive, metabolic, immunological, and protective functions (O’Hara and Shanahan, 2006). Its deregulation is involved in the pathogenesis of immunological, cardiovascular, and metabolic diseases.”


                “Neonatal gut microbiota establishment represents a crucial stage for gut maturation, metabolic and immunologic programming, and consequently short- and long-term health status. Human milk beneficially influences this process due to its dynamic profile of age-adapted nutrients and bioactive components and by providing commensal maternal bacteria”


                Study after study rolls in concerning developmental outcomes affected by the gut microbiota.

                Convenience is at the expense of child health. Some need formula, others should not.

                • Molly

                  That is my personal view too.

                  But I have had friends who have not been able to produce enough milk to sustain their children, and have suffered both physically and psychologically because of it. And I feel for them because those first few weeks with a newborn child can be so enjoyable when all is well.

                  In that respect, having the option of formula is a godsend, even with the concerns re allergies and possible long-term health impact.

                  • WeTheBleeple

                    Not a view, a whole body of research. Your thoughts are validated.

                    Yes some can’t produce milk unfortunately. Some children can’t take breast milk too. My brother was on formula. He’s a corporate sociopath with dyslexia. The dyslexia is correlated with ‘gut issues’, the sociopathy?

                    Be very interesting to see how psychology profiles play out in breast vs formula.

                    “The concept of parallel and interacting microbial–neural critical windows opens new avenues for developing novel microbiota-modulating based therapeutic interventions in early life to combat neurodevelopmental deficits and brain disorders.”


                    • DJ Ward

                      I was raised on cold cows milk from day one. Something to do with me rejecting my mother, or her me.

                      Explains a lot.

                      The benifits of breast milk is the colostrum. Passing down immunity etc. Totaly agree with your breast is best comments and risk to health if it doesn’t happen. The exception being that after a few months of breast feeding there’s not much to gain vs formula. We don’t for example need breast milk forever to keep healthy. There is a cut off point to the significant health benifits of breast feeding. IE once all those immunities etc are past down to the child.

                      Irony. For those pro cannabis law reform like myself.
                      The endo canabiniod system.
                      Breast milk contains 2 canabinoids, so in effect not legal. If you processed human breast milk to collect and supply those cannabaloids you would be breaking the law. But obviously as evolution rarely lets bad things survive it must be beneficial to babies to give them canabiniods.

                    • Molly

                      “The exception being that after a few months of breast feeding there’s not much to gain vs formula.”

                      There are a few considerations beyond the providing colostrum.

                      Financially, if it is possible, there is a benefit to breastfeeding vs formula in terms of reduced cost;
                      Also, in terms of introducing unwanted bacteria – having to be scrupulous about sanitation and hygiene with formula is another level of possible infection being introduced,
                      And as wethebleeple points out the development of beneficial microbiota play a significant part in long-term well-being, development and health,

                      My older child developed chickenpox while I was breastfeeding his sister, and she developed one lesion which disappeared, which I contributed to my immunity being transferred to her. Several years later, I was informed that several of the children she had been playing with had developed chickenpox and waited to see if she would – she didn’t. And despite a couple more exposures, seems to have had enough exposure as a newborn to be resilient to infection.

                    • WeTheBleeple

                      The gut is made up of autocthonous (local to the gut) and allochthonous (passing through for a short visit) microbes. Many beneficial species are in fact allochthonous.

                      Allochthonous microbes can hang around a while, and can multiply on fermenting prebiotics – basically the stuff in vegetables and fruits we can’t digest, the fibre. Prebiotics are feedstock for beneficial species as well as containing various other health benefits. Go figure, good food, good health.

                      The switch from breast to solids afforded ongoing ‘protection’ traditionally. Small numbers of beneficial species are found on vegetables e.g. bacillus on cabbage. And when you ferment vegetables and other foods the probiotic numbers increase exponentially. Fermentation was/is a major method of food preservation for us. Autochthonous microbes continued to be seeded in humans through their use of prebiotics (vegetables) and probiotics (fermented foods).

                      One day we’ll tailor a probiotic for infants to accommodate their absence from formula. I’m sure for Mums and kids that day can’t come fast enough.

                      The many health benefits implicated in the use of probiotic microbes amass an impressive trove of literature. But you’re not allowed to claim such things on food without way expensive research and procedures – for good reason.

                      In the meantime, they help…

                    • Molly

                      Thanks, WeTheBleeple.

                      We make a version of sauerkraut, not for the health benefits, but because we like it. I’ve always known about the health benefits of fermented foods, but have never bothered to find out why. Your clear explanation is a good basis to understanding.

                  • WeTheBleeple

                    You’re welcome. I should maybe do a post on fermented foods . Like I say I’m restricted in claims I can make but the science can speak for itself. Also qualified in the field. And I have Bill Mollison’s ‘The Permaculture Book of Ferment and Human Nutrition’. It has a collection of indigenous ferment recipes spanning the globe.

                    If I forget to post materials in this area, feel free (anyone) to remind me.

                    Self-care and food preservation are both important topics.

                    • greywarshark

                      This gut thing is jolly interesting. Not a minor matter to be mentioned and pass on I think.

                      Being a hero! Being strong, being fit, being useful.

                      Also what I have got wind of from reading Christopher McDougall book Natural Born Heroes about retraining your body and gut from sugar to fat.
                      The best-selling author of Born to Run now travels to the Mediterranean, where he discovers that the secrets of ancient Greek heroes are still alive and well on the island of Crete, and ready to be unleashed in the muscles and minds of casual athletes and aspiring heroes everywhere….

                      McDougall makes his way to the island to find the answer and retrace their steps, experiencing firsthand the extreme physical challenges the Resistance fighters and their local allies faced. On Crete, the birthplace of the classical Greek heroism that spawned the likes of Herakles and Odysseus, McDougall discovers the tools of the hero—natural movement, extraordinary endurance, and efficient nutrition. All of these skills, McDougall learns, are still practiced in far-flung pockets throughout the world today.

        • JennyHow to get there?

          Robert Guyton 8.2.1
          9 December 2018 at 5:41 pm
          The PKE “ban” (or rather principled, voluntary rejection) is pending. Let’s not be cynical, let it go , but be alert for the next outrage 🙂

          You don’t see a place for regulation?

          And in my opinion, if you are not outraged, you are not paying attention.



  9. One Two 9


    I have thoroughly enjoyed the comments regarding gardening and growing, they are educational and inspirational…thanks…

    The future, however is ‘unknown’, but the big techs have been working ‘hard’ at removing unpredictable aspects of ‘life’…

    Should there be a continuation of the open slather and reckless deployment of technology, the future will become increasingly controlled, restricted and devoid of space in which natural entities can be ‘free’…

    The first thing humans should be doing is opposing the development of digital prisons which are being deployed throughput the natural world, forever altering them…

    Digital, is death to analogue…

    How long will options be available…before they are removed…permanently…

    I do not believe that ignoring the digital prisons is an approach which should be employed…lack of awareness is also an issue…

    • Robert Guyton 9.1

      It’s the grass-loving ‘open grounders’ versus the green men of the forest…isn’t it?
      Trying to remove the unpredictability of life .v. inviting wildness into your world…that’s what us forest gardeners are talking’ about!
      Digital .v. Analogue … that’s interesting framing, One Two; very thought-provoking…

      • One Two 9.1.1

        Robert, I have been appreciating your comments and information regarding the council work, local happenings as well as reading and learning about the forest garden…

        Wildness, it is the essence of our ancient relationship with planet earth, and I believe we need to embrace it once again…quickly. ..and making some use of modern understanding and knowledge…

        Digital does not exist in nature…it is an imposter..a trojan horse seeking to usurp the natural world and the bahaviours of inhabitants…it will also mimic and alter the natural world so as to patent and profit from the plagiarism…

        This is the battle going on through rampant technology and the road maps corporations have which run decades into the future…those roadmaps are the financial life-blood those same corporations rely on to exist…innovation does not exist in the digital world…yet the word has also co-opted…

        The architects of ‘the future’ do not respect the natural and spontaneous world of imagination…we must all become very comfortable with the understanding that we are the defenders of the a analogue world…and we must do whatever we can to keep the trojan horse outside the gates…

        • Robert Guyton

          You’ve identified the threat neatly, One Two. Now, what to do about that? You have already recognised the need to take the analogue path and eschew digital language, thinking and mythology, in order to think clearly and healthily. Care to share some more observations with us? I was hoping for the kind of thinking you’ve offered here…

          • One Two

            Thanks, Robert…

            I am inspired towards becoming a gardener of some description…my green credentials to this point have been via awareness of my own contribution to the status quo, and seeking ways to minimize the footprint of that contribution..

            The plan of action is in various forms, constituent parts which I am fixated on turning into a more ‘natural life’…

            Commentary such as yours and wethebleeple have been wonderful starting points for recent changes in reading material…

        • Sacha

          “to patent and profit from the plagiarism” – that’s about capitalism, not ‘digital’ as such.

          • One Two

            They are becoming intrinsically linked, Sacha…

            It was not my intention to explain demarcation points…

  10. RuralGuy 10

    What an absolute hoot this thread is. I do enjoy when the standard decides to delve into parody topics.

    I enjoy reading how a bunch of urban f*#kwits think food is produced, in a thread championed by one of the most poorly performed regional councillors in the country.

    My challenge to you Robert, is to take your whacko and fruitcake ideas to the council table to see how real people dissect your ideas rather than the usual bunch of crackpots on this site.

    • One Two 10.1

      Are you ok rural guy?

      I have a challenge for you…it will be confronting, uncomfortable but potentially life changing…

      Start self evaluating…looking inside yourself. ..start by using that comment and examine why you wrote it….dig deep…identify as many rocks as you can to turn over…

      I challenge you…

      • Robert Guyton 10.1.1

        One Two – RuralGuy yearns to be challenged but feels uncomfortable when he’s embraced 🙂

      • greywarshark 10.1.2

        Don’t waste your time advising rural guy. Since just about everyone learned to read and write, the idea that there are different levels of understanding and discernment has been overlooked by many of those who have achieved the basic skills. Being a know-all, with bullying tendencies, has no doubt served him well, and blaming others for any hitches in the plan also. A good bad example – not to be included in a co-operative venture.

    • Robert Guyton 10.2

      Hey, thanks for the endorsement, RuralGuy and how thrilling it is to have a representative of the country’s backbone here, on The Standard, to lend his support to our mission to make the world a better place! After reading your inspirational suggestions, I searched through the others here on this thread to find the comments you cited; “how food is produced” but couldn’t really find anything that might have spurred your interest – have you some links, so we can join in your excitement?
      I love your challenge, RG 🙂 Take your ideas to the council table and see how they’re received! Brilliant! Only, I’ve been doing that for the past 8 years and I’m pretty pleased with the way they’ve embraced such initially foreign concepts as…climate change – big ups to the farmer-councillors of Environment Southland who have really “gotten in behind”! Have you more, RG? I’m keen to hear from you – perhaps you could outline your proposals for a successful future?

      • WeTheBleeple 10.2.1

        I’ve an idea on that food is produced nonsense:

        Most animals need shelter. The provision of shelter increases production and birthing rates in NZ dairy cows [1,2], sheep [3], and even whitebait [4]. Many plants also require shelter to produce well.

        Traditional shelter belts in New Zealand are one or perhaps two exotic species of trees. Pines, poplars, gorse and even boxthorn have featured heavily in our bordering of paddocks and properties. But in many instances, even these are gone. The idea that shelter belts reduce production for pastures seems widespread; but evidence points to the opposite being true [5]. There is ecological and economic merit to increasing shelter belts throughout our landscapes.

        1. Kendall, P. E., et al. “The effects of providing shade to lactating dairy cows in a temperate climate.” Livestock Science 103.1-2 (2006): 148-157.

        2. Jordan, E. R. “Effects of heat stress on reproduction.” Journal of Dairy Science 86 (2003): E104-E114.

        3. Marai, I. F. M., et al. “Physiological traits as affected by heat stress in sheep—a review.” Small Ruminant Research 71.1-3 (2007): 1-12.

        4. Hickford, Michael JH, and David R. Schiel. “Experimental rehabilitation of degraded spawning habitat of a diadromous fish, Galaxias maculatus (Jenyns, 1842) in rural and urban streams.” Restoration Ecology 22.3 (2014): 319-326.

        5. Littlejohn, C. P., et al. “Shelter provided by a bioenergy crop (Miscanthus x giganteus) increases pasture production on dairy farms.” Proceedings of the 5th Australasian Dairy Science Symposium. 2014.

        I hope all that science doesn’t drag down the tone. A wee snippet from the book…

        • WeTheBleeple

          Note: The book makes a case for rethinking the design of shelter belts. Not for more of the same pine, poplar etc. We can plant for multiple purposes according to our needs:

          Pest control, pollination, habitat, carbon capture, nutrient capture, mulch, pole timber, building timber, investment timber, fuel, fruit, nuts, berries, herbs, medicines, animal forage, conservation, honey…

          and shelter.

    • Bruce 10.3

      Thank you rural guy, as an urban fuckwit l think I have a pretty good idea of how food is produced, I am in an area that that most would describe as abject poverty. Surrounded by rice fields no one goes hungry. Most houses have a room storing rice, a concrete block tank growing fish, and the people share knowledge of all the eadable weeds and plants that grow around. The morning market offers an abundance and variety food . There is no plastic packaging and every part of every thing grown is used for something. Population density would rival Auckland, but each area supports a market that shares it’s produce amoung it’s population and there are still plenty of open shared space to party. Its a life of simple pleasure and strong community I really don’t think the idea of taking something thats not yours has occured to the people, of course passion can get the better of anybody.
      I would suggest with the attitude you display that you look at your expectations, enjoy a bit of fruitcake and cooperate to build a sustainable future through community. Imagine.

      • Robert Guyton 10.3.1


      • One Two 10.3.2

        Excellent, Bruce…

        ‘Poverty’ as it is lived in some places, can provide the model needed for ‘rich’ nations to adopt…

        One way or another…is going to be the ‘poverty model’…

        Better to adopt it willingly and through learning…first hand such as you are ideally…

      • greywarshark 10.3.3

        hold out hope for the ruralguys to come around. They live and breathe by breathing disdain for others. And it is impregnated in their fibres. You have to be determined to despise, then if you hurt or steal from the despised, then that is not a subject for guilt – ‘they’ deserve it. When the going gets really tough, there can be no extension of tolerance given to such hatefull people.

        • Robert Guyton

          I don’t reckon, greywarshark. RuralGuy genuinely believes the things he says, and you’ve gotta respect that! Were he to contribute an idea that builds our store of realistic ideas for the future, I’d be very thankful.

      • DJ Ward 10.3.4

        Rice is a greenhouse gas (methane) polluter.

        And people bitch about irrigation as well. Oh the irony.

        They produce enough for themselves. What about the 4 billion people who physically can’t. A mass migration into the wilderness to develope small holdings?

        • Robert Guyton

          “They produce enough for themselves.”
          Excellent, that’s them sorted, DJ Ward. Now, what do you suggest for “… the 4 billion people who physically can’t. “??
          Come on! Share your ideas, that’s what we’re here for!

          • DJ Ward

            I have shared one in regard to population growth. Which I think is paramount to enable any solutions to be effective.

            The male pill. We can be proactive to what is clearly a proven solution, or twiddle our thumbs watching its opposition get its way. We need a little bravery in making dreams become reality.

            I have plenty more ideas, some that I’ve given in other posts. I’ll have a bit of a think, read and do a comment on what I discover next time this topic is posted.

            • Robert Guyton

              Cheers, DJ.

            • solkta

              We don’t need the male pill as on average our fertility rate in NZ has been at replacement since the late 60s and i believe is currently below replacement.

              I’m not sure how effective it would be globally anyway, the most sure method of lowering the fertility rate so far has been educating and giving equal rights to women.

        • Bruce

          Wow, rice maybe a methane producer but it’s grown and consumed within a kilometer of both practices. And it sustains the local very large population .
          You use palm kernel grown where once were trees that completed the irrigation cycle, and provided habitat, shiped on boats made consuming fossil fuel, burning fossil fuel, to feed to cows because the land they are on cant provide enough food for them , to convert to food for calves and sold to people in China.
          The 4 billion were able to live subsistantly till some one cleared the land to grow palm trees to sell for money. Or some other form of land rape to create money so they could put it in the bank and think of themselves as some how better and entitled.
          That’s the whole problem some people want more, not content to live and consume what is local , all the countries that are now plagued with hunger were once self sufficient, it’s only that some wanted more stuff than they needed and raped and pillaged those that were content, so they could bank it .
          The solution must be in some way to sustain ourselves locally

          • Robert Guyton

            “The solution must be in some way to sustain ourselves locally”
            Agreed, Bruce (with all your comment, in fact) but I have a view about sustainability that is local, based around Brazil nuts, which can’t be grown in *Not-Brazil and have to be bought/traded for, if a New Zealander like me wants to eat something with selenium in it – my point is, no man, or village, is an island ( except those that …are) – it’s good to have relationships with outsiders based on food, done right, and good to be a provider of something needed, done right. For all that, the basics should be produced as close to home as possible and giving up your vegetable patch to grow coffee, sugar cane, whatever, whether by choice of compulsion (it’s usually compulsion but what about dairying in NZ?)is dysfunctional.

            *not a real country 🙂

            • Bruce


              As I said in previous post ,if you have an issue, Google hemp for the solution and sure enough hemp seed and selenium brings a result.
              Not sure though if it’s high enough to replace Brazil nuts. And really I agree with your point, trade is and will always be be an important part to a good life. And commodities like nuts , herbs and spices will need be shared internationally but in amounts insignificant when compared to basic staples.

              • Robert Guyton

                Selenium in hemp seed? Sounds good, but if it was grown here, it’d have none, unless selenium was applied to the soil. In any case, good news.

  11. Morrissey 11

    The future is….


    Until January 19, 2025.

    The Trump Regime extends its thanks to the DNC, CNN, The Daily Beast, and all others who have assiduously focused on fabulous, fantastic, freakish, far-fetched, phenomenally phuckin’ footling phantasmagoria such as “Russian masterminds” and “Russian collusion” and “Russian meddling” instead of on our actual crimes.

    Laughing at you, SUCKERS!


    Real Donald Trump
    Jared Fuckhead
    Betsy De Vos
    Mike Pence
    Mike Pompeo
    “Mad Dogg”
    Ryan Zinke
    Ben Carson
    Wilbur Ross
    Wilbur Post
    Kanye West
    Kirstjen Nielsen
    “Bloody Gina” Haspel
    Steven Mnuchin
    Rick Perry
    Hope Hicks

    • greywarshark 11.1

      Morrisey your comment will I hope go to Open Mike. You are not thinking about how in NZ we can prepare for the future, and your opinion about things is not in the slightest bit useful for the purpose of the post. Put your clever mind to it over the next week and think of something useful. This is all going to be archived and like a rose is a weed when it is out of place, your piece is a weed here.

  12. Robert Guyton 12

    Wellll…he made a tenuous link…perhaps though, a man of Morrisey’s calibre could contribute constructively to a thread like this? I reckon so. If not, let’s enjoy the incongruity of his comments anyway, greywarshark. Beautiful paintings in a gallery rely on bland walls to really pop!

    • Sacha 12.1

      It’s an apt mark of his calibre.

    • greywarshark 12.2

      It’s like graffiti on the wall but he isn’t Banksy. More like a kid roaming around the house with a bunch of crayons. Morrissey get yourself into gear and give us some good stuff next week – good links, ideas of how you want things to be without waiting for pollies to clean up their act. What if we don’t take potshots on them so much and plan something for ourselves. We need to have a cohesive system in mind that we start and show pollies how it can go if they and their administrative teams can get on board the people’s bus or train.

      • Morrissey 12.2.1

        Gosh, I really have put my foot in it this time. Of course I charged in on my high horse, seeking to inflict maximum carnage as always, and it’s the wrong battlefield. In fact it’s not even a battlefield at all, but a civilized coffee klatsch, full of serious people talking intelligently.

        And to this oasis of calm and reason, I bring in the loathsome Trump and his gang.

        I am sorry, everybody.

        And, Robert and Shark—and Sacha too: here is my positive contribution in the spirit of this excellent discussion….

        I agree with Ivan Illich that society should move no faster than the speed of a bicyle.


        • Robert Guyton

          Thanks, Morrissey, that’s brilliant.

        • greywarshark

          Haven’t seen Ivan Illich mentioned for years. Thanks Morrissey for bringing some of the deceased thinkers alive again, their words trembling vibrant in the air. Poetic eh! It’s not too late to consider them and include them in our mindset.

          • Morrissey

            He was up there with the likes of Chomsky and Bertrand Russell. You can still pick up some of his small, densely written paperbacks if you keep an eye out. Medical Nemesis is one brilliant book, and Deschooling Society is another—and even better immediately after reading Herman Hesse’s The Prodigy, as I did some years ago….

            • greywarshark

              Thanks I’ll note those and look out for them. But my guilty secret is I like reading British detective novels. The police are usually trying to do the right thing, they are thorough and in the end the crime is solved and the stress and horror is finished. It is so good to read about something that has an end to a certain level of satisfaction. But I must catch up on some of other more serious ones.

              • Morrissey

                I love British and American detective novels—especially anything by Ross Macdonald and Patricia Highsmith. I think the greatest modern writer—of any genre—is, without a shadow of a doubt, James Ellroy.

                I’ve read some fantastic New Zealand thriller writers—Maurice Gee, Charlotte Grimshaw and Paula Morris. Though I’m sorry to say I am unimpressed by Paul Cleave and Vanda Symon.

                • Robert Guyton

                  Morrissey – I wonder if you’ve read Hesse’s “Glass Bead Game”? and if so, did you find it valuable?

  13. Rapunzel 13

    The future is the “four day week”
    or variations of that with an income that is at minimum liveable, along with more on the job training which the now moaning “businesses” have ignored for years – that used to be the norm for the majority of people, obviously especially in trades.
    It will be better for families, it was once the norm to have a mother at home and kids weren’t farmed out early just so a family could, hopefully, be fed and housed. If parents aren;t working “full” weeks they can mix and match the care and duties – not everyone wants to be a fulltime at home mum as it is now anyway.

  14. Sabine 14

    i’d love to see more community based assets.

    i.e. community cars/shuttles to serve suburbs and smaller towns rather then giving contracts to big business bus services.

    community kitchens, where food can be prepared daily and consumed / handed out to anyone who shows up for a feed, this would be a lovely chance to get to gether and meet the people that live in ones town, suburb, town

    community bakeries, bake bread for sale to finance the bakery and bake the bread prepared by individuals, these type of bakeries were common in Europe before the 1940’s and are still in use in the Middle east.

    community gardens, food co-operatives etc, to provide cheap and affordable food to the local community

    more groups like Community Fruit Harvesting that picks fruit that is not good enough for exports, or is growing unused in backyards etc and prepares jams, Chutneys, cordials, fruit leathers etc and provides these free to food banks, old folks homes, and such.

    replanting of our tree less parks and play ground to provide shade and habitat for our birds
    clean ups of our parks and play grounds
    re-cycle and upcycle malls rather then more of the same two dollar shit stores

    park benches, so people can sit again in a park. Small things tht would bring people out of their single use houses and back into the community.

    • Robert Guyton 14.1

      “park benches, so people can sit again in a park”
      An innovation of inestimable value, I reckon, Sabine. There are significant numbers of experienced, thoughtful …older, members of the community now, who could foment delightful mischief/plan wonderful innovations for their communities, if only they had a place to sit and share ideas with others of their ilk. Mature community members, talking about stuff, in relaxing, leafy surroundings… a recipe for positive change!

      • Sabine 14.1.1

        well we need meeting spaces that are free of charge and nothing better then parks. I live near one which is a delightful little piece of wilderness in a town. Small streams, dykes, trees, grassy areas and one ….1 bench near a play ground. So even if parents or grandparents came with the little ones to play they would have no place to sit, they would have to stand while the children played, Bring back park benches and make common outdoor spaces something to be enjoyed.
        I agree with you, it would bring people together.

        i might have to make a bench and drop it at one of my favorite spots. Just sit in the green by the stream, and soak it all in. It clears your brain good.

        • Robert Guyton

          Our newly minted “MenzShed” (don’t start 🙂 has attracted retired blokes like a flame draws moths and they are yearning to build stuff for their community – what to make, what to make???
          I’m going to talk with our local crew on Wednesday about a great idea I saw online over the weekend…
          (thanks, Sabine!)

          • Macro

            Our newly created MenzShed here in Thames is (so I am told) doing just that – maintaining and creating the benches around the town.
            Just up the road from where I live, there is a playground, and next to it, a community garden begun by our excellent T3 (Transition Town Thames)
            https://www.t3connect.org.nz/ There are also numerous fruit trees planted as well not only in the park, but also on the berms along the road.

            • Robert Guyton

              That’s wonderful. I’m going to mention to our guys, what your guys are doing. T3 sound to be going very well indeed! I wonder if there’s a compilation of all those sorts of projects held anywhere? That’d be something to see!

              • Macro

                I’m not sure about that – but here is a list of the transition towns in NZ and their contact details for those on here curious to connect to a local group
                There is a facebook page as well

                • Robert Guyton

                  Thanks, Macro. I’ve a friend who was in Totness at the time this stuff was being gestated and hung around with the gestators, so I know something of the origins.

                  • Macro

                    Last month we had a gathering at “The Brew” (The Brian Boru Hotel) with a good 20 odd to hear and join in a skype call with James Renwick on the latest UN Report and its significance for us here. There are a number of initiatives started locally and some ideas wrt local sustainable energy etc – we have a very good wind resource and an arrangement with a solar PV supplier. The town has lots going for it having been in the past a large town with a population of around 40,000 – but now down to around 8,000. The result being that much of the infrastructure of the past remains eg Hospital, schools, Cinema, Halls, Pubs, etc. And the best Hardware shop in the country! But without the crowds….

  15. Sacha 15

    Successfully tackling big problems like climate change and a fairer distribution of resources will require stronger democratic decision-making.

    Citizens will be engaged in more ways than voting every few years, and each decision will reflect the makeup of society. This is already possible, just not being done consistently.

    • greywarshark 15.1

      They have to be thinking citizens though. We have the experience here of those who want to participate just long enough to let off a fart. When time is of the essence, those citizens who want to apply their minds and who want better outcomes for all from the resources available will have to be deferred to. If we
      want to put out a fire, we can try with the garden hose, but we will call in the specialists who have trained for the job. We need politicians who have done a training course, not just picks by the Party because they have white teeth and a proven record of being able to argue their way out of a paper bag.

      • Sacha 15.1.1

        The great thing is that it is no longer an either-or. Currently-used methods like citizens’ juries offer a good blend of being well-informed and being representative. There are also good online engagement platforms that weed out shallow opinions. We just need to use them more widely and consistently.

        • Robert Guyton

          “There are also good online engagement platforms that weed out shallow opinions”
          Can we be one of those?
          I’m up for giving it a go.

          • Sacha

            A blog is the wrong format, sorry. And we have seen the difficulty finding ways to coach and manage discussion quality here.

            • Incognito

              Nothing a bit of proactive moderation can’t guide into the right direction IMHO and then it is up to the participation of willing like-minded people to make it work. My sense is that this is a little different from the standard TS MO in that it doesn’t necessarily promote robust debate but instead asks for robust ideas to share.

              FWIIW, movements don’t appear from nowhere and are often gestated, if not also conceived, and given birth online in Social Media. A blog can be the spark that ignites (into) action. I think that’s the idea (or hope rather) behind this new initiative on TS but Robert or somebody else can correct me on this.

        • Robert Guyton

          I wouldn’t say, “weeding out” though, being a “natural gardener” who promotes the inclusion of until-now-despised plants, aka “weeds” in the wider system, managing them by increasing the numbers and variety of other plants as a mechanism for control. It’s interesting how the words and phrases we choose to describe our thoughts reflect our world views and quite important, I reckon, to think about as we communicate with each other.

          • Sacha

            “increasing the numbers and variety of other plants” – and how do we do that in discussion and decision spaces?

            • greywarshark

              Perhaps you can participate in this experiment Sacha and along with interested others, be there, participate and learn.

              For those who like Yes Minister’s little digs at our political system, this bit about trying new approaches will make the lips curl upwards.
              Let’s give this practical idea-seeking thing a go in an encouraging, hopeful way, with little negativity and a certain, but not onerous, amount of formality. And an occasional wry laugh.

              Sir Humphrey Appleby: Minister, if you block honours pending economies, you might create a dangerous precedent.

              James Hacker: You mean that if we do the right thing this time, we might have to do the right thing again next time. It seems on that philosophy, nothing would ever get done at all.

              Sir Humphrey Appleby: On the contrary, many, many things must be done…

              Sir Humphrey Appleby, James Hacker: [together] but nothing must be done for the first time.

              Sir Humphrey Appleby: No, no, Minister. What I mean is that I am fully seized of your aims and of course I will do my utmost to see that they are put into practice.

              James Hacker: If you would.

              Sir Humphrey Appleby: And to that end, I recommend that we set up an interdepartmental committee with fairly broad terms of reference so that at the end of the day we’ll be in the position to think through the various implications and arrive at a decision based on long-term considerations rather than rush prematurely into precipitate and possibly ill-conceived action which might well have unforeseen repercussions.

              James Hacker: You mean no.


            • Robert Guyton

              That’s a good question. What I note is that the time taken to stop and do battle with some challenger or other, is time not spent posting another good idea for those who are enjoying the discussion to harvest. In my garden, I don’t go out to clear away any particular plant, as a task, because that’s not as much fun as planting some new and useful plants which might require me to clear some convolvulus or nettle, but isn’t the main objective. That way, the job becomes a “building” one, rather than a “destroying” one. In a discussion space like this, attracting more and more people who want to contribute ideas is the equivalent of “increasing the numbers and variety of other plants”, where stropping up naysayers would be “weeding” – people love to be where there’s fun, light-heartedness and joy – parties are magnets, so if we can create and maintain a “party” vibe here, we’ll draw in people who otherwise keep to the shadows for fear of indelicate talk, or whatever and that way, we’ll grow our team, without having to squish bugs. Sorry about the mixed metaphors and imagery, but the garden of human thought is filled with creatures of every description 🙂

              • Sacha

                Weeds block access to light and food for other plants – often the same list of species who are vulnerable to being crowded out.

                Merely attracting more participants does not increase diversity. Composting may help, as will careful transplanting.

                Gardening thus tends to involve a mix of planting, tending and weeding.

                • WeTheBleeple

                  The point here (I think) is that you don’t weed what you are not tending. I watch people come in and weed and spray out back of my place for twenty years. Have they achieved anything – they’ve spent a lot of money, sprayed a lot of poison. Apart from economic and environmental insult their efforts have resulted in fuck all.

                  We are either stewards of the land, or we leave it to nature. Bare land is eroding land, thus it is polluting land, and not capturing carbon land.

                  Weeds are better than bare land. Weeds on bare land are not weeds at all, they are ground cover.

                  When you want to replace the weeds with productive plants, that’s when you weed. When you are prepared to take ownership of your actions and tend the ground you disrupt. Anything else is excessive, unnecessary, and in all likelihood detrimental.

                  Part of how we got here is the obsession with controlling nature. Moving forward requires working with nature. Inviting wildness is inviting the teacher to speak.

                  • Sacha

                    “Inviting wildness is inviting the teacher to speak.”

                    Back to what we were metaphorically discussing, are you saying unmanaged discourse will lead to wisdom? Even just looking around this place should disabuse you of that.

                    • WeTheBleeple

                      You’d be surprised how much of everything is connected in some manner.

                      How dissenting voices give spark to ideas, give cause for concern, Give reasons for dissent.

                      We keep plants in line with deadly poison, and people with snide remarks, public shaming, and superior airs. I like to snipe them down with ‘facts’ myself.

                      Which one of the people I censor as we disagree is the one with genius, with ideas that have real traction, merit, wisdom?

                      Which is the canary in the coal mine, pointing out my folly?

                      I think every challenge is a means with which to ascertain truths in things.

                      Professional trolls and disruptors can be spotted though they get to throw stuff about for a bit. Even then they often bring in talking points and shoot their own stance in the foot.

                      I react to them, which is wrong as I’m short changing myself. But I’m learning. What manner of ills need to be addressed where people are in a rage over small issues, yet nonchalant over extreme danger.

                      Misdirection is all part of the game. We might save some ragged souls from BS here at TS.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      “Back to what we were metaphorically discussing, are you saying unmanaged discourse will lead to wisdom? Even just looking around this place should disabuse you of that.”

                      Our discourse here isn’t unmanaged, Sacha; there are posters here who are trying to shape the conversation by making positive, pro-active comments in order to nudge the way the discussion evolves and the direction it might take. Several of us have been sharing ideas on how this might (or might not) work and this is our trial post. There’s even an attempt to manage discordant voices in a way that doesn’t result in runaway squabbles/ a stampede of hobbyhorses, and that’s proving to be an interesting one, especially with comments posted after the initial day the post went up. As well, we’ve prefaced the discussion with some guiding comments about the intentions of those who birthed “How to get there”, so there’s that too as a management tool. As for wisdom and evidence of it here, that’s something that will, if it’s to be, reveal itself over time, as further posts go up. I’m hoping the wisdom will exhibit in the form of the shared/sharing mind, rather than individuals who write clever stuff; we aren’t looking for wise-guys 🙂 Inviting wildness in doesn’t mean not requiring it to wipe its feet on the mat before its comes in; that is, this isn’t an invitation for destructive chaos, Kali, more a polite visit from our shaggy-maned cousin. Probably doesn’t make a lot of sense, my mixed-metaphor monologue, but it was fun to write 🙂

                • Robert Guyton

                  Yes,you are right, Sacha – a gardener must make decisions, moving and removing certain plants in order to achieve whatever target they’ve set themselves. I guess I’m talking about intent or at least framing what you do in a way that fosters admiration and identification with the living organisms you are working with, rather than dislike and a desire to exterminate certain ill-favoured organisms. When it comes to food production, light is paramount, so clearing spaces to let sunshine in is required but there are nuanced ways to alter the mix of plants in a garden that go beyond “weeding”, imo.

  16. Jenny 16

    Me and my partner volunteer in our local community garden. It is not easy, being in a low decile area, often a lot of produce goes missing in the night. Also I don’t like going there alone because of the stray dogs in the neighborhood. But putting in a garden and making your own compost and trying to live as sustainably as possible, will not solve the climate crisis. Not while business as usual continues in wider society,

    Mass collective protest action which shifts the political goalposts, can’ and has made a difference in the past, And will do so again.

    Can’t stop using coal. We will occupy your coal mines.

    Can’t stop importing PKE we will blockade your ships.

    Can’t stop exploring for more oil and gas. We will place our bodies in the way of your survey ships.

    Pass laws that make it illegal to protest. We will defy them.

    Make it illegal to raise climate change as an objection in consent hearings for fossil fuel projects. We will shame you.

    Neoliberalism has conned us into fighting climate change as individuals
    “Stop obsessing with how personally green you live – and start collectively taking on corporate power”
    Martin Lukacs – The Guardian, July 17, 2017

    ould you advise someone to flap towels in a burning house? To bring a flyswatter to a gunfight? Yet the counsel we hear on climate change could scarcely be more out of sync with the nature of the crisis….

    ……While we busy ourselves greening our personal lives, fossil fuel corporations are rendering these efforts irrelevant. The breakdown of carbon emissions since 1988? A hundred companies alone are responsible for an astonishing 71%. You tinker with those pens or that panel; they go on torching the planet.

    The freedom of these corporations to pollute – and the fixation on a feeble lifestyle response – is no accident. It is the result of an ideological war, waged over the last 40 years, against the possibility of collective action……

    …..Neoliberalism has not merely ensured this agenda is politically unrealistic: it has also tried to make it culturally unthinkable. Its celebration of competitive self-interest and hyper-individualism, its stigmatization of compassion and solidarity, has frayed our collective bonds. It has spread, like an insidious anti-social toxin, what Margaret Thatcher preached: “there is no such thing as society.”…..

    …..The political project of neoliberalism, brought to ascendence by Thatcher and Reagan, has pursued two principal objectives. The first has been to dismantle any barriers to the exercise of unaccountable private power. The second had been to erect them to the exercise of any democratic public will.

    Its trademark policies of privatization, deregulation, tax cuts and free trade deals: these have liberated corporations to accumulate enormous profits and treat the atmosphere like a sewage dump, and hamstrung our ability, through the instrument of the state, to plan for our collective welfare……

    ……Eco-consumerism may expiate your guilt. But it’s only mass movements that have the power to alter the trajectory of the climate crisis. This requires of us first a resolute mental break from the spell cast by neoliberalism: to stop thinking like individuals.

    The good news is that the impulse of humans to come together is inextinguishable – and the collective imagination is already making a political come-back. The climate justice movement is blocking pipelines, forcing the divestment of trillions of dollars, and winning support for 100% clean energy economies in cities and states across the world. New ties are being drawn to Black Lives Matter, immigrant and Indigenous rights, and fights for better wages. On the heels of such movements, political parties seem finally ready to defy neoliberal dogma…….

    …..So grow some carrots and jump on a bike: it will make you happier and healthier. But it is time to stop obsessing with how personally green we live – and start collectively taking on corporate power.

    • Robert Guyton 16.1

      It’s time to look ’em in the eye, Jenny and with our carrot-enhanced eyesight, we’ll have the advantage if all about us is gloomy!

      • JennyHow to get there? 16.1.1

        I am distressed that you find my call to mass protest action gloomy.

        It is what has made a difference, from the Civil Rights Movement in the US, to the anti-nuclear movement here.

        From Bastion Point to the Springbok Tour.

        This is what works. While gardening and water harvesting are good, I do them myself. All around us unmoved by our individual efforts, corporations and governments continue with Business As Usual.

        If we are to make a real difference we have to throw ourselves on the levers.

        Accepting this reality is not gloomy, joining with your fellow citizens in direct action is transformative, and liberating.

        In the defying corporations and governments, we discover that we are not powerless afterall.

  17. Ad 17

    Great start Robert do another one

    • greywarshark 17.1

      I’m glad that you like this Ad. The thinking behind it is that it isn’t just a one or two-off, but permanent so you’re comment is limiting in its scope.

    • Robert Guyton 17.2

      Thanks, Ad and thanks for contributing. There was a good turnout on the day, wasn’t there! I didn’t even get a chance to talk about plants, so busy was I reading the thoughts of others – very interesting all round. I’ll ask for a spot next Sunday and we’ll see how that goes. There are some ideas here I’d like to see expanded; some of the “wee gems” that appeared here in this thread are most likely, seeds.

  18. WeTheBleeple 18

    “To be thrown upon one’s own resources is to be cast into the very lap of fortune, for our faculties then undergo a development and display an energy of which they were previously unsusceptible” Benjamin Franklin.

    We can’t solve a problem without understanding what it is. Why do corporates act in inhuman ways that will ultimately result in their own destruction?


    “Both the Inter-American and European jurisdictions consider shareholders’ interests to be pre-eminent – either upheld directly as individual shareholders’ rights, or vicariously as “corporate rights”. This raises an unsolvable contradiction – shareholders are rights-holders without having any corresponding responsibility for the potential human rights violations committed by the company in which they have invested.”

    This is the loophole through which corporations stomp on others rights while protecting themselves. It only takes one well placed shareholder and a lawyer…

    The growth model, contrary to popular opinion, is not bound by law. It just slipped into the psyche as some kind of mantra for morons.

    It’s the sociopathic individuals, within or without the corporate boards that do the real damage. They use the human rights loophole to claim they’re hard done by if anyone does anything but make profit.


    “So, where did the mistaken idea that directors must maximize shareholder value come from? The notion is especially popular among economists unburdened by knowledge of corporate law. But it has also been embraced by increasingly powerful activist hedge funds that profit from harassing boards into adopting strategies that raise share price in the short term, and by corporate executives driven by “pay for performance” schemes that tie their compensation to each year’s shareholder returns.

    In other words, it is activist hedge funds and modern executive compensation practices — not corporate law — that drive so many of today’s public companies to myopically focus on short-term earnings; cut back on investment and innovation; mistreat their employees, customers and communities; and indulge in reckless, irresponsible and environmentally destructive behaviors.”

    Hedge fund managers, again…

    Passive income is a fair indicator of crimes against humanity and the planet. Human greed is a huge issue – what is it trying to compensate for?

    Lack of social structure? Lack of family structure? Fear?…

    Sociopaths supposedly make up only 1% of us. So where have the 30% Nat voters come from, the Republican numbers, the Tories?

    – The brainwashing of Hollywood and media that the rat race is the only game in town.

    – That lie that rich and famous is better than wise and caring.

    – The corporate advertising machine that tells you daily that you are not enough.

    But you are.

    ”Even at the moment of your failure, right there, you are beautiful.

    You don’t know it yet, but you have the ability to reinvent yourself


    Lidia Yuknavitch.

  19. greywarshark 19

    An apt slogan for this post:

    A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

    • Robert Guyton 19.1

      And isn’t it encouraging to realise that there are many people who have already been walking for quite a while – drawing up beside them as they continue on is a delight!

      • greywarshark 19.1.1

        Let’s all join them in the Long March, and think, as we journey, of the nature in all its meanings, of the sort of society we will have when we arrive at each staged restpoint on the journey.

        We need to remember that one meaning of revolution is of going round the full 360 degrees to the original starting point. Making useful change is a matter of degree, and part of a revolution. Somewhere motion must pause and the position be stabilised at an agreed point. Mere ideological propulsion for a revolution is not adequate to answer problems, but thought about how things ought to be done and when is necessary for a result of practical improvement.

  20. Puckish Rogue 20

    The future, barring some cataclysmic event, is blue-green or capitalism with stronger Green influences bolstered by stronger scientific advances

    However Socialism and Communism keep getting in the way and subverting what should be the most natural political influence

    How much has NZ been enriched by farming and, over the decades, how much better for the environment (through science) has farming become

    The future for world food production is in blue-green and NZ can, and should, lead the way in sustainable, efficient food production

    It can be if, and I admit its a pretty big if, both National and Green can compromise and work together.

    Blue-Green, not Red-Green, the best of both worlds.

  21. WeTheBleeple 21

    I’ve found the majority of blue voters only pay lip service to the blue-green fantasy, as they’re desperate to shut the left out.

    The future is cooperation.

    • Puckish Rogue 21.1

      “I’ve found the majority of blue voters only pay lip service to the blue-green fantasy, as they’re desperate to shut the left out.”

      No thats simply not true. You go to any deerstalkers meetings for example and you’ll see a large cross section of all that is good in NZ, all that NZ could be. You’ve got blue-collar, white-collar, you’ve got discussions on all manner of things that fall under the Green banner and its all good

      You are right in that cooperation is the way to go but how to get the past long held beliefs on both sides

      • Robert Guyton 21.1.1

        WeTheBleeple said; “Ive found….” so you can hardly tell him that’s not true. Only he can know what he’s found.

        Hey, Pucky! What’s your practical suggestion for move us all into a better space? Change who you vote for, was that it? We we’re amassing a lot of very sound, inspiring ideas yesterday, under the banner, “how to get there” and oddly enough, amongst the 150 or so comments, none was about voting…curious!

        • Puckish Rogue

          Well barring a cataclysmic event whatever happens will have to involve voting, I know its not “sexy” or “radical” though

          I’m confident that eventually the west will evolve enough to sort out the most pressing issues facing the earth

          Like look where the west is now compared to 50 years ago, a hundred years ago, a thousand years ago and to me the west isn’t the finished product yet

          It seems to me that other countries are in catch up mode, get enough chinese and indians into the educated middle class and the living conditions for their people will improve and then for their children they’ll wan the environment looked after

      • Robert Guyton 21.1.2

        “You are right in that cooperation is the way to go but how to get the past long held beliefs on both sides”
        That’s a critical element, Pucky. Is that your intention, hanging around a lefty blog, sharing your views?

        • Puckish Rogue

          Maybe its my ego (yeah ok it absolutely is my ego) but maybe some aspiring politician will read these posts and maybe think to themselves that red v blue, the whole adversarial way politics is done in NZ isn’t the best way or most efficient way

          Maybe they start to think about better ways, maybe a politician on the right thinks that dairying has gone to far and suggests a moratorium on diary conversions, maybe a politician on left thinks not bad maybe they can support an increase in defence spending

          Who knows but reading through TheStandard I’d say there’s more similarities than there are differences in most of the contributors and if that’s case here then why can’t that continue onto politics in general

  22. Robert Guyton 22

    “Like look where the west is now compared to 50 years ago, a hundred years ago, a thousand years ago and to me the west isn’t the finished product yet”
    On the brink of collapsing the entire ecosystem, is that what you mean, Pucky?
    I’m somewhat underwhelmed.
    When you say “product” I sense you have no qualms about commodifying anything at all and therein lies the “West’s” problem. Nevertheless, your confidence is something we can enjoy here; not that which you are confident about, but the positivity you express; better that than being a moaning Minnie!

    • Puckish Rogue 22.1

      No I mean we’re living longer than ever before, more people are out of poverty than ever before, more social welfare than ever before, less wars than ever before, women have more rights than ever before, more people are going to university than ever before, that kind of thing 🙂

      I mean as an example of how good life can be I’m communicating cheaply and easily with someone living in the riviera of the south, that by itself should be caused for celebration

      We have an unmarried mother as PM and on the other side we have a sexy, mature lady as the leader of the opposition so, for women, we have examples of being able to succeed no matter your circumstance (and a great deal of luck of course)

      Also cherries are available so life is good 🙂

      • Robert Guyton 22.1.1

        Yeah, I guess we are celebrating, only there’s this nagging feeling it’s not sustainable, the “cherries” on top of the Cake of Civilisation. What people on this thread are trying to do/are doing, is identify the problem, envisage a better result, pick the paths to get there and share ideas, large or small, that could serve as paving stones to make the path easier for others to follow.

        • Puckish Rogue

          Sure and I truly believe the way forward for NZ, for all NZ, would be blue-green, if both sides can compromise of course

          • Sabine

            We have many many years of past efforts of Team Blue working with others to point out that the others ‘parties’ are all dead…….hence the No Mates Party. 🙂

          • Sacha

            “blue-green, if both sides can compromise”

            What would you expect the Greens to give up in exchange for the Nats relinquishing oil and highways?

            • Puckish Rogue

              Do we need to give up oil and highways or do we rethink how oil and highways are used, can we have highways and rail ways together

              I don’t think its a case of either or but I suspect that there is the main stumbling block between National and the Greens, that neither party will want to have a serious discussion

              • Sacha

                “neither party will want to have a serious discussion”

                The Greens developed and published a policy-by-policy map of their position compared with National’s before at least two recent elections, and concluded there were not enough overlaps.

                They did negotiate a couple of specific programmes with the Nat govt – which subsequently abandoned one of them mid-term without any further negotiation. Pretty clear who was interested and who was not.

      • greywarshark 22.1.2

        No moaning Minnie, more Minnie the Moocher! Cab Calloway tells us about the original Minnie:

      • Sabine 22.1.3

        poverty. – more people then ever need a food bank to at least once daily, need assistance to pay for housing, need assistance to bury their relatives, need assistance to pay doctors etc etc.

        welfare – the world over welfare is gutted and made redundant one cut at a time

        womens right – yes, we have been given rights, thanks we have come a long way from biblical times where women were chattel to be sold, traded and used like any other domesticated animal. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_rights_of_women_in_history

        living longer then ever – unloved and uncared for in expensive retirement home staffed by overworked and under paid staff.

        more people going to university – yep, lawyers and accountants galore, can’t find a decent plumber nor a decent builder not for love nor money, so we import them. And student loans – see poverty

        less war – War on Drugs, War on Poverty, War on homelessness, War in Jemen, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Uighurs, Tibetans, Rohingas, Iran, North Korea/South Korea – fighting stopped but the war not yet finished, The war on Truth, The war for oil, the war for water, the war or arabale land, the war against rising oceans……

        • Puckish Rogue

          • Sabine

            gallows humor does not change the fact that they are tied on a cross and are gonna die in a most painful way over the course of many many hours and days. First thing to give? Arms and shoulders. Then the blood flowing down to your feet, then the birds that come picking on your soft bits.

            So go on pretend shit ain’t happening, and sing us a song.

        • RedLogix

          womens right – yes, we have been given rights, thanks we have come a long way from biblical times where women were chattel to be sold, traded and used like any other domesticated animal.

          Completely true; yet it omits the equally hard truth that for most men life was scarcely any better. Slavery, feudalism, constant sacrifice in warfare, brutally tough hard labour, almost zero legal rights, constant threat of disease, crippling accidents, poor food, clothing and shelter, illiteracy and ignorance were the commonplace lot of virtually all people … male and female alike.

          This takes nothing away from your point; yes women were more vulnerable, less physical strength, periods that made life difficult at least several days a month, breast feeding was mandatory, pregnancy that could easily end in death and so on. Their domestic life before the invention of clean piped water and sewerage systems, electric appliances like the hot water cylinder, the washing machine and so on … was an endless round of dull drudgery carrying water, sweeping, cooking, washing and cleaning. Caring for the elderly and sick was a frequent burden.

          All of these specific burdens meant that none but a few unusually wealthy women could live independently. The way all human societies solved this problem was for men to take responsibility for protecting and providing for women. Wealthy men might have the resource to take care of many, most of the remainder partnered with whoever life made available for them, if any. Interestingly in our deep past this trend apparently took some extreme forms:

          Once upon a time, 4,000 to 8,000 years after humanity invented agriculture, something very strange happened to human reproduction. Across the globe, for every 17 women who were reproducing, passing on genes that are still around today—only one man did the same.


          My point is simply this; for much of our history life for almost all people (except for a tiny wealthy minority) was exceedingly difficult and oppressive. And each gender experienced this in specific ways.

          In my mother’s family we know that in the 1860’s two families left Ireland, two fathers, two mothers and between them eight children. On the five month voyage to New Zealand only one father, one mother and two children survived … who then recombined and became my great grandparents. We can scarcely imagine the grief and difficulty of their lives.

          Yet to frame all of this as somehow a narrative of men systemically oppressing women seems unhelpful. It may be hold some truth in some respects, but it leaves out a much more inspiring story … that for the most part men and women, despite their differences, have largely helped each other through a long and troublesome history. That we made it this far is to me a miracle we should celebrate a little more.

          • Sabine

            despite the fact that 100% of the world population was born to a women, MEN OWNED ALL THE WOMEN. But you have a point.

            • RedLogix

              I agree that the ancients thought of this as ‘ownership’; but really they had no other intellectual model to work with. The entire notion of the sovereign individual which arose in the West after the Renaissance, had yet to happen.

              The ‘king’ was the ‘owner’ of everything, all the land, all the resources and people. In practical terms much of this was delegated via complex hierarchies of both competence and privilege, but conceptually this was the only model they had.

              And it was normal to them. For instance us moderns are very disapproving of chattel slavery or serfdom; yet for thousands of years it was considered perfectly acceptable. It might not have been desirable to be a slave, but no-one quibbled with the legitimacy of the institution.

              After the Renaissance slowly but surely the idea of everyone being equal before both God and the Law took effect. This was the single most powerful and liberating idea humans have ever had. Inevitably the old notion that one human could ‘own’ another human body and soul became discredited. Slowly and with much difficulty we extended the idea of legal rights first to the wealthy, then over time to wider and wider groups of people. A process that more or less culminated in the UN Declaration of Human Rights. (A much under-rated document.)

              So yes I agree that in our history the responsibility men had towards women was framed as ownership; but this is a model that we have thankfully discarded. But this doesn’t change the underlying relationship between us … which has always been one of mutual help and companionship.

              And dare I say it … sometimes an enduring wondrous love. 🙂

              • Draco T Bastard

                A process that more or less culminated in the UN Declaration of Human Rights. (A much under-rated document.)

                And overly complex and poorly worded. And certainly not followed by the majority of countries. The US actively goes against them in many matters.

                So yes I agree that in our history the responsibility men had towards women was framed as ownership; but this is a model that we have thankfully discarded.

                No, we still have the same model. We just no longer allow it to apply directly to people.

                We still allow ownership of a business with the de facto ownership of the people who work there and the outright ownership of their produce.

                • RedLogix

                  I’m grateful for the progress we have made.it took thousands of years of struggle and sacrifice.

                  This web forum is a fucking miracle. As is most of modern life. It isn’t perfect and never will be. But straining at unobtamium is the enemy of what can be usefully achieved.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Nothing I said was unobtainable.

                    We have come a long way over the last few thousands of years. We have a long way to go. Labelling that path as unobtainable is what prevents us from walking it.

      • WeTheBleeple 22.1.4

        We’ve confused a veneer of civility for being civilised. We’re the assholes who turned up at the party and wrecked the house.

        Corporate control of science is quite literally a nightmare. It threatens everything. Now, the rich are beginning to understand the longevity of their businesses are threatened, so they want to co-opt the Greens to save them from themselves and at the same time deny lefties a seat at the table??? Always an agenda that doesn’t even make sense.

        I’ve been party to these ‘positive conversations’, nobody knew WTF they were talking about. But they liked saying ‘blue-green’ a lot, it made them think they care. I said ‘there is no economy without the environment’ and they lost their shit like a guru had arrived.

        Three glasses of wine and each became a philosopher.

        It’s gonna take years of therapy after all that self important drivel, many, many years.

        • RedLogix

          We’re the assholes who turned up at the party and wrecked the house.

          So the solution is to call the exterminators?

          Of course there is no economy without an environment. This is the eternal problem ALL creatures must solve. We’re all predators and exploiters of ecological niches to some degree or another. All species are prone to losing the balance in boom and bust cycles.

          It’s just that us humans became self-aware of the whole process; and some of us recoiling from the horror of it. This is the price of consciousness … we either fall into the trap of thinking our knowledge is the ‘total’ of all things and we fall into hubris, or we despair of our innate wickedness and embrace nihilism.

          Here is the truth of it; we are all oppressors and oppressed, we are all predators and prey, we are all dominant and submissive, we are all offensive and offended against. And we are all both privileged and deprived at the same time. Good and evil lies within us all, each one of us never sure which force will play it’s part on any day.

          All we have is the power of our moral choices.

          • greywarshark

            All we have is the power of our choices, and the banding together of trustworthy souls to make the right choices, then follow those up with planned good and practical actions. Words and thoughts to start, then physical actions that lead to moral outcomes.

            So what are your suggestions for actions Red L now you have done your tub-thumping?

            • RedLogix

              Sorry I gave the pulpit a bit of a bash there.

              Solutions will have to wait until I’m off this phone.

        • Robert Guyton

          I reckon some humans or other were bound to wreck the house – all thoughts become reality if shared by enough of us and civilization’s one of those thoughts that once thunk, had to be realised. The question is, what to do now? We’ve plumbed the depths and need to surface before we run out of air.

        • greywarshark

          Wouldn’t it be good if we could have a philosophers’ party with optional three glasses of wine and a bus back to the hotel, once a year or so. I remember Chris Trotter going to the Ika Restaurant of Leila Harre which I think would have a political address or something. There is the Bruce Jesson memorial address. Perhaps there would be a series of mind-feasts during the year that people would have listed where some interesting thoughts would be discussed and people from all-over could plan to go to, at least one a year and make bookings well in advance.

          Of course the truly green would be riding a bicycle, going on the ferry, travelling by rail or bus, rather than flying but might be able to organise the time if there was enough lead time for planning. And what about a train-fest infested with academics, new economists, small business entrepreneurs, a different topic in each carriage. That would do wonders for KiwiRail in its off-tourist season.

          • WeTheBleeple

            TED is a great form of idea fests. I’ve not attended a local event but should.

            Train Fest! You had me at trains. Great idea. Add some entertainment. Radar would be amazing, give a lecture on some part of NZ we stop for lunch at… but we have a number of great talents if he’s not about.

            Local musicians in the bar car.

            This could totally work.

            The idea itself is a draw. Some great speakers would seal the deal. And you might get funding fairly easily for promoting lots of good ideas including rail in such a manner.

            Advertising, well, it’s a great story – free media can do most of the advertising. That’s how I bolstered shows for pubs in the sticks, coming to town was news so I wrote a press release off to local rags. Published 10/10. Worked 9/10 times to fill seats but the onus was on the owners press releases just a bonus. <- see what I did there! More poetry!

          • Robert Guyton

            “Wouldn’t it be good if we could have a philosophers’ party with optional three glasses of wine and a bus back to the hotel, once a year or so.”
            Be still, my beating heart!
            Would we debate, Platonically?
            Whatever happened, it’d be great! And debates in trains, while they’re moving!!
            The only problem would be convincing us to disembark!

  23. WeTheBleeple 23

    I disagree that we either fall into hubris or nihilism. And I didn’t suggest calling the exterminators, you went there.

    But the reality of blue-green as a solution is, imo, entirely questionable.

    It’s called greenwashing. Now with an added dash of desperation.

    • WeTheBleeple 23.1

      In keeping with solutions based approaches.


      • Puckish Rogue 23.1.1

        To me this whole idea of “capitalism has failed” or whatever is completely wrong but does capitalism need some rules around it, it absolutely does but capitalism not socialism needs to be the driver

        But if what it took for the idea to be accepted then fine Blue-Green-Red it is, in order of importance

  24. Robert Guyton 24

    “Blue-Green-Red it is”
    Leaving Judith-in-yellow out of the picture altogether.
    I do wonder if you’ve all restricted your palettes unnecessarily.

      • Robert Guyton 24.1.1

        Fair cop. Bit mean though, to pull that one on a colour-blind bloke.

        • Puckish Rogue

          To be fair that was a bit of luck on my part

        • WeTheBleeple

          You guys are funny.

          Yeah Puck I agree that capitalism needs some rules but they’ve been riding rough shod over rules for ever. Or simply writing their own. The results… not good. Science gave us many benefits, capitalists exploited every one. I’m all for small to medium business there’s no issue with provision of goods and services – but these too big too fail bastards are screwing us all. The left are impoverished, the honest business folk tarnished. It’s not cricket. Large corporations suck. We should stop envying parasites and recognise the divide between the idle rich and honest business folk.

          I suggest the right stop voting for neoliberal tory bankers, and demand better from National. They are not representative of what business should be, but corporate globalism. A monster that will devour us all till there are two corporations left waging eternal war over dwindling resources.

          McD’s vs KFC, the Armageddon to end all Armageddons.

          Sustainable businesses will kick ass in our brave new future. Social media makes them darlings so the advertising is practically free. When the product/service is legit, the customer stays. Steady income not market driven uncertainty, undercutting and stripping trying to get more pie…

          We’re over that, the planet is over that.

          And businesses also need to realise not only are they nothing without a planet, they’re also nothing without their workers. Those commie bastards.

          We’re all in this together.

  25. WeTheBleeple 25

    Water Water Everywhere. Part 1.

    New Zealand is heavily reliant on water for hydro-electricity generation, agricultural production, and human consumption. We experience enough rainfall to maintain the flow of waterways and replenish aquifers. However, much of our rainfall is diverted straight out to the ocean taking topsoil, nutrients and other pollutants as it goes.

    The hydrology of our land has been extensively changed. In urban centres vast areas of roads, roofs and other impervious surfaces drain into the nearest water body. In rural settings, hardpan from soil compaction and drainage networks do similar. With local power shortages, pollution, drought, conflict over water rights between corporate and commons, and urban and rural water users; our system of draining the country appears to be broken and ready for an overhaul.

    We observe rivers flowing for months without it having rained. This is groundwater flow, water that has infiltrated the soil rather than running off the surface. Groundwater flow typically does not exceed a couple of metres a day and is how rivers keep running. Replenishing groundwater stabilises rivers (thus hydro-electricity) and helps replenish aquifers.

    It is not the amount of water we get here that is the issue. We often have too much. Feast and famine in the form of flood and drought. The issue is the speed of the water flowing through the landscape. Floods in lowlands are often the result of water in the higher catchment flowing over, rather than soaking into and slowly moving through, the landscape. While we might not prevent extreme events, we can certainly dampen their severity.

    Here is a video that illustrates the use of rainwater to replenish groundwater. I apologise to those who may, like me, be intolerant to folk music. Note that in the one application of earthworks (ponds and swale-derivatives) he has not only provided water security for his property, but also flood mitigation. All of these ideas scale up or down.

    This man not only waters his farm, he’s replenishing his stream and his neighbors well. One man on a mission.

    The video is so good I’m going to allow the folk music.

    In Part 2 I’ll explore a few urban options for capturing and slowing rain. In Part 3 I will don my flak jacket and look at ideas for farmers. Until then… hold your water.

    • greywarshark 25.1

      Thanks WtB good fklow of info and ideas coming from your lively brain, probably new stuff to a lot of us. Magic, but in real life. If we can connect ideas and network with like-minded people we may be able to save the essentials needed for
      a simpler way of life and people living well in respectful, friendly community.

      • WeTheBleeple 25.1.1

        Thanks. I’m just a conduit for others work in most cases.

        Water is a huge subject. I decided to KIS and cut it up into digestible chunks with videos to illustrate examples. We can link it as one thing later if required and according to how this evolves. Also stops me over-editing as a document gets longer. Bad habit, time wasting habit. Edit last. But, I can’t help it… posting chunks helps me move to the next bit.

        This wee farm does all right too. He talks about a seed selling business plus a couple hundred families they supply. Fair bit of variety grown so that’s not a piddling income. He only talks about 7 acres of production right now. Add amenities, borders, ponds, roads and call it 10 acres. Two hundred families supplied. You get 100 small farms and they might supply much of the produce to 20 000 families from 1000 acres. Protein production as well. Nothing to snort at. All of this scales.

        Those theoretical 100 small farms could work together in local clusters like we used to. In the days when haymaking was a community thing not vast machines. Farming was a lot better with people on the land. They’d share equipment, labour, scones, stories and beer. Get a sawmill running, fibre production, all sorts of industry could spring up.

        In the video, observe in the drone shots how the surrounding land, and to the right on his property where he’s just bringing things online… it’s dry and brown. But where he’s established the water systems, a green lush farm.

        His inputs will be very low compared to a conventional farm too. Onsite production is the permaculture way.

        • greywarshark

          Sounds doable to hang onto for hopeful future way. I think that local with seasonal work could apply. In the old days, the school might shut and everyone travel out to a farm, and pick etc. No reason that a sensibly organised local government system couldn’t organise that. Educational too, to see where everything comes from. Remember ‘Money doesn’t grow on trees children!’ But other things do.

          I think we need a total change in our education system to set kids up to be self-initiating and self-confident at running a household, with their parents.
          Not done that myself but with changing times and lack of physical jobs, it is time to give kids their rights to not be dependent on big machine boss. Got to get their heads out of the cloud eh. I looked at A S Neill and his self-choice freedom school, where kids didn’t have to go to class. It sounded okay and didn’t limit learning but I think was more a reaction to the rather rigid British system, and also from what I have read, between the lines, there seems to have been a fair bit of classism and homosexuality particularly at the boys schools. A S Neill encouraged kids to take an interest in everything but also to think and they had school management meetings where the kids spoke up, not scared to be heard, and pupils were elected to run them.

          So education that allowed working with the community and no-one being helpless and bullied, with basic education taught and then specialisation in the particular choices for which they could find teachers, would bring the whole area closer than tends now to be the case. Work skills and experience would fit right in there.

    • Robert Guyton 25.2

      Do you know of Haikai Tane, WTB?

      • WeTheBleeple 25.2.1

        No. Just looked him up. Has that multi-disciplinary look about him that marks the effective thinker.

        • Robert Guyton

          He spends half his time in NZ, half in China. Loves and champions willows. Doesn’t rate braided rivers 🙂

          • greywarshark

            Do we know if he and Shane Jones have had any meaningful talks. Jones could hone his Harvard knowledge with some of this more applicable on-the-ground stuff.

  26. WeTheBleeple 26

    Just a wee observation for AK gardeners to disseminate among themselves. Can’t speak for other regions but may be worth testing.

    Broadleaf plantain develops a leaf fungi early before cucurbits are starting to run. The fungi eating ladybirds (yellow), normally turn up way too late arriving on mildew battered cucurbits, but they arrive very early for the plantain.

    I suggest letting some broadleaf plantain run through winter close to where your pumpkins etc will go. The fungi looks like the plantain has been dusted with concrete powder, I thought it was the result of workmen putting in a path nearby till I saw the ladybirds have at it.

    While the ladybirds are not effective arriving late, they might be useful arriving early on plantain, before the cucurbit specific mildews show, they might even afford some control. I’ll be watching closely I’ve got a lot of cucurbits this year.

  27. Robert Guyton 27

    We do a similar thing for the parasitic wasps that lay their eggs in aphids – they’re not much good if they arrive late, so we grow grains that have their own aphids, harmless to brassicas but attractive to the wasps, and we time them to be ready well before the brassicas come in, meaning the wasp numbers are well built up in time for the brassica aphids. It works very well.

  28. WeTheBleeple 28

    Any specific grains? I can throw oats into winter cover crops with mustard and lupins they’re all good together would be great if they doubled as a lure…

    I find puha is a good trap for aphids in that they prefer it to brassicas, but if you want a feed of puha maybe not so desirable. We get all these orange aphids on the swan plants, they’ll go after roses but leave the rest of the garden alone. They’re typically late arrivals though. Black ones can arrive early on puha but they’re problematic, as are the greys. I guess what I’m missing is more hosts for the wasps. There’s some celeriac flowering only now. A bit late. Many flowers but nothing targeting the niche. Flowering coriander and parsnips are my favorites for the minute insect swarms they attract, too warm for parsnips here though.

    Suggestions of any perennial flowers appreciated.

  29. Robert Guyton 29

    Our greatest player is/are the apiacaea/umbelliferaea: fennel, parsley (giant black, cow etc) alexanders, giant hogweed 🙂 and so on, that attract hoverflies, which predate aphids, and flower early in the season. There are some succulents too, that are crazy-irresistible to hoverflies, especially drone flies. Our grain crops were oats and barley.

    • Puckish Rogue 30.1

      Giant Hogweed, not my favourite Genesis track (I prefer their later, more commercial work) but its not bad

      ‘Long ago in the Russian hills
      A Victorian explorer found the regal Hogweed by a marsh
      He captured it and brought it home…to London
      And made a present of the Hogweed
      To the Royal Gardens at Kew’

  30. WeTheBleeple 31

    Excellent that works. Got fennel celeriac celery wild carrot dill et al. The oats are easy and the chickens’ll love more of them. I’m pretty partial myself should learn to winnow em.

    That sweet cicely reminds me of tansy with different flowers. Interesting fern-like plant.

    I like how seasonal variation in pests keeps me on my toes as, despite some struggles, it keeps me looking to learn.

    Integrated Pest Management seeks to keep pests below a certain economic threshold, typically a percentage loss of foliage before crop is affected. Did you know brocolli can lose up to 40% of leaf mass and produce without losses.

    Like many gardeners with reasonable biodiversity will testify, if I don’t panic, and I don’t spray, the problem typically sorts itself out. Some losses are acceptable as the biodiversity has me covered. As you know…

    Have I mentioned my observation (purple) taro displaces lily Zantedeschia aethiopica aka death lily? They both love the same spots (provided it’s warm enough for Taro) but the Taro takes over the spot just one plant in a patch and watch it rule.

    This is a perfect example of your concept of letting a more desirable plant displace a less desirable one.

  31. Robert Guyton 32

    Death lily! Never heard of it, but it sounds …intriguing 🙂 But yeah, add rather than subtract. Gotta go, the Firm’s Christmas Bash tonight and I gotta scrub-up!

  32. greywarshark 33

    The Aral Sea dried up when its water was diverted by the Soviets.
    Things are changing for the the 4th largest lake in the world once covered in salt.

  33. greywarshark 34

    Creating soggy bottoms in Australia! How to deal with droughts.

    • WeTheBleeple 34.1


      “63% increase in production in the hydrated portion of the valley”.

      That’s something Farmers can understand loud and clear. Now imagine having the advantage of plenty of water without the public outcry.

      Probably worth doing.

      Keyline systems. Swales and ponds. Or stream works like above. The options are interchangeable and have the same goals.

      Keyline is amazing, and the yeomans plow something of a legend. I’ll get into that before too long plenty of our farmers would already know about subsurface ripping. But how many know they can push water towards their ridges using it?

  34. greywarshark 35

    From Bowalley Road Wednesday, 12 December 2018
    Normalising The Unthinkable.

    Would that the world’s artists were willing to latch on to the much more optimistic Fixing-Climate-Change scenario elaborated by Counterpunch contributor, Steve Hendricks. https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/12/07/what-if-we-just-buy-off-big-fossil-fuel-a-novel-plan-to-mitigate-the-climate-calamity/

    His eminently practical plan of simply paying the fossil fuel industry to keep their product safely in the ground; and then giving them the job of transitioning humankind to a sustainable green future; is proof of what we human-beings are capable of conceptualising when we shun the darkness and choose instead to keep our eyes firmly fixed upon the light.

    • RedLogix 35.1

      An excellent essay, well written and thought provoking. The fundamental premise aligns with my contention that while big industry got us into this mess; it’s also big industry that has the capacity to get us out of it.

      This isn’t the only strategy we can pursue, bio-capture of carbon is some form is the other method we have for getting the CO2 out of the atmosphere … but this Cash to Convert scheme is either brilliant of a dark satire. Hard to tell.

      • WeTheBleeple 35.1.1

        Yeah I can’t quite tell if it’s satire, or a brilliant plot by big oil to get a huge payout from all this, we already know they have a well-oiled PR department.

        Conspiracies R Us.

        Paying off big oil is not an example of big industry getting us out of this. It’s obscene. Even if it worked they wouldn’t have saved the day, rather, blackmailed the planet.

        Those paying the ransom would save the day. I’d be very interested then in finding the kidnappers, recovering the funds, and fully holding them to account.

        • greywarshark

          But you are talking more on what’s morally right, and process-right WtB. We may have to go with whatever is available and willing to do what is needed NOW. We are being blackmailed okay, swallow the dead rat. Ugh. But what would be right and what is the best offer in town may be two different, very separate things.

          I have thought of a basic premise for our human position that I think is correct and should be used as a test to everything we say and do when evaluating some plan or a contested action. This is that in NZ we don’t choose to do things because that would be sensible and precautionary and wise, we look at what is expedient, we look at the cost-benefit effect not to the country as a whole, but to the leaders and their advancement, then we act accordingly. This tends to be the thinking of the wealthy, and therefore the thinking of Conservatives. Where some action doesn’t fit within this premise, it can be seen as the exception to the rule, coming from some cause that is quirky and unusual.

          Perhaps it comes from the British character, and then it would show up in 5-Eyes territory. Certainly watching things that the Conservatives do over there might fit the theory. Why would May and the Party she is with have taken any notice of the referendum which they didn’t need to act on? Some idea of increasing their own influence, power and wealth, probably. But also they have been stretched by the numbers of colonials wishing to live with Mother Brit. and the refugees from the wars that Britain has participated in are the last straw. So it is expedient for them to exclude such people seeking help from the cause of their country’s destruction.

          If I am right about the expediency barrier, then that mindset should be taken into account when trying to get movement on important, even threatening issues. The argument for action should play to it, rather than morality; that the action requested is the right thing to do and important for some reason. If it isn’t important in aiding those in power then they will regard it as not expedient, and we have to make the case of why it is expedient, for them to use their influence to facilitate whatever is being requested and needed.

  35. WeTheBleeple 36

    Water security provides flood mitigation (think of the savings), drought mitigation (think of the continuity of the power supply), crop protection (did someone say GDP?), export income (trade), food security (good for PR), fertiliser reduction (clean rivers) etc.

    I spell it out clearly enough. There are so many benefits. But to benefit the majority, some rich people might not like it. e.g. water and fertilizer suppliers, oil companies…

    You’re just not going to please those bastards, they all want it all.

    Best we learn to look after ourselves, plan for self sufficiency and upskill in sustainability. Should the Idiocracy actually come through… at least I’ll be in a position where I’m not so dependent on them and can help others improve their lot.

    Water provides the means to grow my needs. Can’t control me nearly so easily if I’m fed and warm of my own accord. Not requiring a handout, or not handing a cheque over… So obviously not going to be popular with Government.

    Only necessity saw rain gardens and water recharge start in California. The land is crumbling in on the empty aquifer… Wildfires and drought, widespread desertification, and finally, some pilot programs…

    Methinks we need to be working as individuals and communities to solve things. I’m not going to hold my breath for the idle rich to help they’re welcome to join.

    My earthworks have made a difference to my creek. People can make changes. You’d be surprised once you get a few moving.

  36. greywarshark 37

    I am easily impressed. Put lots of zeroes behind a figure and my eyes light up (without electricity too) and so when these big figures cropped up in this article –
    which link was in my 35 (got it from Bowalley Road!) – I thought just a para would give us all an idea of what sets thinkers off with their own rocket juice!

    We’ve done our damnedest to stop them from wrecking the climate, but they’re nonetheless pulling carbon from the ground in wondrous quantities. It was once astonishing that in the U.S. alone they could extract 55 quadrillion BTUs worth of oil, gas, and coal each year, as they did from 1970 to 2005. (A new home furnace puts out about 50,000 BTUs.) But 55,000,000,000,000,000 BTUs looks almost quaint now.

    Big Carbon extracted 60 quadrillion BTUs from U.S. soil in 2011, 70 quadrillion in 2015, and next year it’s expected to be 75 quadrillion. No wonder the 40 billion tons in CO2-equivalent greenhouse gases that our species emitted in 2001 became 45 billion in 2004, 50 billion in 2009, and 55 billion today.

    Climactivists have mostly preferred to ignore these ugly facts and focus instead on the impressive growth in renewable energy. And it is impressive. But here’s another somewhat inconvenient truth: We’re not using the new renewables to replace fossil fuels. We’re just using them to keep up with new energy demands—demands from our growing population and the newly consumptive lifestyles of once-poor peoples being lifted from their poverty. In short, Big Carbon is a juggernaut that we’ve hardly checked.

    Sometimes pulling out an impressive para on its own gives that focussed view that goes to the heart.

  37. greywarshark 38

    I copied this over to here because it is so good, one of the success stories that good determined people are doing around the world that inspire us. Greywarshark

    SaveNZ 17
    14 December 2018 at 2:42 pm

    Nice story for a Friday afternoon.

    Desert turns into oasis: Man plants 50,000 trees in 15 years in N China

    A resident in southwest China’s Guizhou Province has been planting trees on a barren mountain for more than 30 years on end, without cutting a single tree for profit. He has, together with his wife, planted 76.67 hectares of trees since 1985.


Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    5 hours ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    5 hours ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    16 hours ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    19 hours ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    21 hours ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    21 hours ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    24 hours ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    24 hours ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    1 day ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 day ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    3 days ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    5 days ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    5 days ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    6 days ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    6 days ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    7 days ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    1 week ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
    I wrote this review a couple of years ago when I was still in the process of getting my head around the politics of transgenderism, and specifically the claim that intersex conditions lend support to the notion that sex is ‘socially constructed’. Since writing this review I have come across ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
    Two weeks ago, Malaysian-owned oil company Tamarind declared it was insolvent and went into administration after a failed offshore drilling campaign. Tamarind apparently specialises in buying oil fields at the end of their life and trying to squeeze out the last few drops of pollution. But part of their scam ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How much does flying contribute to climate change?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much does our use of air travel contribute to the ...
    SciBlogsBy Shaun Hendy
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The task before us
    Two weeks ago, the Zero Carbon Act became law. Right this moment, the Climate Change Commisison will be working on its initial budgets for 2022-25 and 2026-2030, and the UN has just given them a very clear steer:Countries must make an unprecedented effort to cut their levels of greenhouse gases ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2309) Mr. Spock
    Minor planet/asteroid (2309) Mr. Spock is named not for the character in Star Trek, but for a cat that was itself imperturbable, logical, intelligent and had pointed ears In a preceding blog post I introduced one of my favourite asteroids, (2472) Bradman, and also mentioned (6581) Sobers amongst a few ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Measles deaths and antivax misinformation
    Today the death toll from measles in Samoa rose to 32. All but four of the dead were less than 5 years old. Absolutely terrible, heartbreaking, news. That statistic alone should be enough to give the lie to the common claim by antivaccination activists plague enthusiasts that “measles is a ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Colombia: the state murder of Dilan Cruz
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh It is late here in Bogotá, almost 11.30pm on Monday the 25th of November as I write this. The day began full of hope with yet more massive marches throughout the country, a mix of the International Day of Non-Violence Against Women and the National Strike. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Anti-fluoride propagandists appear not to read the articles they promote
    Anti-fluoride activists are rubbing their hands in glee over what they claim is “yet another study” showing fluoride harms the brains of children. But their promotion relies on IQ relationships which the paper’s authors acknowledge disappearing when outliers or other factors are considered. And they completely ignore other relationships ...
    1 week ago
  • The rise and collapse of classical political economy
    The feature below is the conclusion of A History of Economic Thought, whose author was a leading Marxist economist in Russia in the early 20th century, Isaac Ilyich Rubin.  The book arose from a course he ran at Moscow University following the Russian Revolution.  First published in Russian in 1929, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2472) Bradman
    There are many thousands of asteroids with formal names, some humdrum but other more noteworthy (depending on your predilections). One of my favourites, the name of which I was involved in suggesting, is (2472) Bradman, named for the Australian cricketing great.  As a minor planet (synonym: asteroid) spotter, I have ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Some cheap soundbites i thought up while reading about the underwhelming Conservative manifesto
    Tory manifesto: big on austerity, low on promise, non-existent on delivery. The Tories: the party so big on ambition they couldn't be arsed writing a manifesto. MLK: "I have a dream!"BJ: "I'll just have a nap." Labour: Broadband!Tories: Narrow minds! Labour have hope, dreams and ambition. The Tories will save ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles vaccination required to travel to islands and Phillipines
    The Ministry of Health has announced that “people under the age of 50 travelling from New Zealand to Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji” are now on the list of national priorities for MMR vaccination. Given the outbreaks of measles in Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji, the Ministry of Health is ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Giving the finger to Beijing
    Hong Kong has been protesting for six months for, demanding democracy, human rights, and an end to police violence. Today, they went to the polls in district council elections - a low-level of government with virtually no power, similar to community boards in New Zealand. But while the positions themselves ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia’s national strike
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On Friday 22nd of November a curfew came into effect and troops were deployed on the streets, here in Bogota. It was the first time since September 1977 that a curfew had been imposed on the city. The decision was a cynical pre-planned ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • National supports slavery
    Meanwhile, while the government is planning to restore voting rights to prisoners, National is promising to turn our prisons into US-style slave-labour camps:The Opposition is proposing compulsory education, training or employment for prisoners who are serving sentences of two years or more. [...] On Sunday, National Party Leader Simon Bridges ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Erasing the infamy
    Last year, the Supreme Court confirmed that National's prisoner voting ban - a law so shoddily passed that it brought Parliament into disrepute - breached the Bill of Rights Act. This year, the Waitangi Tribunal added that it also breached the Treaty of Waitangi. And now, the government has finally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Trade unions that never fight the sex industry bosses
    Excerpts from Being and Being Bought, by Kajsa Ekis Ekman Spinifex Press, 2013. Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book. This is the second part of a synopsis and brief commentary of the book by Daphna ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • A Team Approach to Tackling the Psychology Replication Crisis
    Dalmeet Singh Chawla In 2008, psychologists proposed that when humans are shown an unfamiliar face, they judge it on two main dimensions: trustworthiness and physical strength. These form the basis of first impressions, which may help people make important social decisions, from who to vote for to how long a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Big Pharma has failed: the antibiotic pipeline needs to be taken under public ownership
    Claas Kirchhelle, University of Oxford; Adam Roberts, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and Andrew Singer, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology Antibiotics are among the most important medicines known to humankind, but we are running out of this crucial resource. Decisive action is needed if we are to retain access to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bloody Great Political Story (From A Parallel Universe).
    Things That Make You Go - Hmmmm: “All right. Let me come at this another way. I’m guessing that what you’ve got in that box contains names, dates, bank account numbers – all the details you need to put Winston Peters and Jacinda Ardern squarely in the cross-hairs. So, the first ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Submit!
    The Environment Committee has called for submissions on the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading Reform) Amendment Bill. Submissions are due by Friday, 17 January 2020, and can be made online at the link above. The bill makes a number of changes to the ETS, including linking it to the carbon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Message From Messenger Park.
    Coasters Turn Out In Droves: It’s precisely the widening gulf between those with actual experience of things like guns, chainsaws and drilling machines, and those who regulate their use, that accounts for the angry crowd at Greymouth’s Messenger Park on Sunday, 17 November 2019. In the rarefied atmosphere where decisions ...
    2 weeks ago
  • JFK’s assassination: a bit of physics
    There are perennial arguments about the circumstances of the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963, and in particular whether more than one shooter is required by the evidence (such as the Zapruder film). Those who know little about physics frequently claim that the sharp backwards motion of JFK’s head as ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Is car washing so bad we need to ban it?
    Apparently, some people enjoy washing their cars. Each to his or her own, I suppose. I mean, some people like duck shooting, some people follow Coronation Street, and some people’s idea of a good day out is to sit on a grass bank at Seddon Park and watch cricket all ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • If Shane Jones isn’t corrupt, he is trying very hard to look it
    Last week we learned that New Zealand First had apparently tried to enrich itself from public office, with a dodgy forestry company linked to a number of NZ First figures sticking its hand out repeatedly for government money. Today in Question Time Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones had his ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: We need to end fossil fuels
    Finally, governments seem slowly to be beginning to act on climate change. But its not enough. While they're publicly signing up to targets, they're planning to destroy the world by continuing fossil fuel extraction:The world’s nations are on track to produce more than twice as much coal, oil and gas ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • As bad as we expected
    Stuff has begun interviewing NZ First's secret donors, and it turns out that its as bad as we expected. They start with racing industry figure Garry Chittick, who is predictably grumpy about NZ First's coalition choices. Meanwhile, I'm looking at the list of pork NZ First has effectively given its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Second (And Final?) Crucifixion Of Winston Peters.
    Stag At Bay: Twelve years ago, Winston Peters was still robust enough to come back from the political crucifixion which his political and media enemies had prepared for him. In his seventies now, the chances of a second resurrection are slim. We should, therefore, prepare for the last gasp of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Earth’s artificial rings
    Satellites pass over NZ all the time (literally). Here I focus on the 187 Planet Labs ‘Dove’ Earth-imaging satellites, and I show that one can determine in advance where they will be, enabling scientists on the ground to correlate their environmental and other data collection with opportunities to get imaging ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Softy Jejune Parson – the new Mother Superior of Wellington
      The Council of Disobedient Women has learned that the Prefect of Aro Valley has been promoted to a new role with the blessing of the Pope of Wellington. Softy Jejune Parson has been appointed Mother Superior of Woke Wellington for the work she has been doing calling out heretics, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Atlantic shakeup: US and UK leadership contenders ripping up the usual scripts?
    On both sides of the Atlantic, some purportedly “contentious” and “difficult to deal with” leadership contenders to lead the US and UK, as President and Prime Minister respectively, seem to have thrown a few spanners into the works of the normal messaging most are used to hearing constantly. Except they’re ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston is the PM’s problem
    In Question Time today the Prime Minister was naturally facing questions about Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and his dubious party financing arrangements, which seem to violate electoral finance law. Her response was to pretend that it was nothing to do with her, and that she is not responsible for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
    The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider making changes to local electoral legislation before the 2022 elections to fix the problems that have arisen where elections are settled by a coin toss.  The Minister says the recount process in the Murupara- Galatea ward at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ to Join IMO Convention to Reduce Ship Emissions
    New Zealand will sign up to new international maritime regulations to reduce ship emissions and lift air quality around ports and harbours, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Subject to completion of the Parliamentary treaty examination process, New Zealand will sign up to Annex VI of MARPOL, an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bill to empower urban development projects
    New legislation to transform our urban areas and create sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities will tomorrow be introduced to Parliament, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said. “The Urban Development Bill gives Kāinga Ora-Homes and Communities the tools it needs to partner with councils, communities, mana whenua and private developers to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Early Learning Action Plan to kickstart long term change
    Today’s launch of He taonga te Tamaiti: Every child a taonga: The Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029 provides the foundation for long-lasting changes to early learning, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.   “Early learning will be one of the Government’s top education priorities going into 2020,” Chris Hipkins said.   ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Climate change lens on major Government decisions
    Major decisions made by the Government will now be considered under a climate change lens, Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. “Cabinet routinely considers the effects of its decisions on human rights, the Treaty of Waitangi, rural communities, the disability community, and gender – now climate change will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Tertiary Education Commission Board announced
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced the appointment of Māori education specialist Dr Wayne Ngata and Business NZ head Kirk Hope to the Board of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). Dr Alastair MacCormick has been reappointed for another term. “Wayne Ngata, Kirk Hope and Alastair MacCormick bring a great deal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Next phase of Pike River recovery underway in time for Christmas
    The next phase of the Pike River Re-entry project is underway, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little says. “Fresh air will be pumped into the Pike River Mine drift this week, following acceptance of the plan for re-entry beyond the 170m barrier by New Zealand’s independent health and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Insurance contracts to become easier to understand and fairer for consumers
    New Zealand consumers will have greater certainty about their insurance cover when they need to make claims as a result of proposed government changes. “Insurance is vitally important in supporting consumers and businesses to be financially resilient when unexpected events happen,” Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Kris Faafoi said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A new opportunity for Ngāpuhi collective and regional negotiations
    The Crown is providing an opportunity for the hapu of Ngāpuhi to rebuild its framework from the ground up for collective negotiations to deal with its historical Treaty claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little and Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The Crown is also ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Referendums Framework Bill passes third reading
    A Bill enabling referendums to be held with the 2020 General Election has passed its third reading. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Act is important for upholding the integrity of New Zealand’s electoral process. “The Government has committed to holding a referendum on legalising recreational cannabis at the next ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Referendums website and initial cannabis Bill launched
    The first release of public information on the two referendums to be held at next year’s General Election was made today with an informative new Government website going live. Additionally, the draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill has been released, showing the strict controls on cannabis that will apply if ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to ban foreign donations
    The Government is taking action to protect New Zealand from foreign interference in our elections by banning foreign donations to political parties and candidates, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Legislation will be introduced to Parliament this afternoon and passed under urgency. “There’s no need for anyone other than New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Governments and tech converge to strengthen joint response to online terror events
    Governments and tech companies are holding a two-day workshop, hosted by YouTube/Google in Wellington, to test the Christchurch Call Shared Crisis Response Protocol. The workshop aims to refine and strengthen the response in the event of a terrorist attack with online implications. Companies, governments, civil society experts and NGOs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Cancer Control Agency to drive improved care
    The new independent Cancer Control Agency has formally opened today, delivering on the Government’s plan to improve cancer care in New Zealand.         Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Health David Clark marked the occasion by announcing the membership of the Advisory Council that will be supporting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supporting small business to prosper
    Small businesses who deal with government departments are set to be paid faster and have improved cash flow as a result, under a new strategy released today. The Government is backing recommendations from the Small Business Council (SBC) and has agreed to implement three initiatives immediately to support business and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bill has biggest education changes in decades
    The Education and Training Bill 2019, introduced in Parliament today, proposes the biggest education changes in decades and is an important step towards improving success for all our learners, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “The Bill’s rewrite of education legislation is long overdue. Indeed one Education Act, parts of which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bali Democracy Forum to focus on democracy and inclusivity
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Bali to represent New Zealand at the 12th Bali Democracy Forum that will be held on the 5-6 December. “The Forum is a valuable opportunity for Asia-Pacific countries to share experiences and best practice in building home-grown democracy and fostering ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Innovative technology and tools to better manage freedom camping
    A package of new and expanded technology and other tools will encourage responsible camping and help communities and local councils better manage freedom camping this summer, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. “Our Government has been investing to improve the freedom camping experience for everyone because we want to support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Improving wellbeing by understanding our genes
    The government is laying the groundwork to understanding our genes – work that can help us tackle some of our biggest health challenges, like heart disease and diabetes, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. $4.7 million has been invested in the Genomics Aotearoa Rakeiora programme. The programme will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government investing to future proof school property
    Nearly every state schools will receive a capital injection next year valued at $693 per student to bring forward urgent school property improvements, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today.  The one-off cash injection is the first project to be announced from the Government’s infrastructure package ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Infrastructure investments to be brought forward
    The Government has decided to bring forward major investments in New Zealand’s infrastructure to future proof the economy. “Cabinet has agreed to a significant boost to infrastructure investment. I have directed the Treasury to help bring together a package of projects that can be brought into the Government’s short and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Future-proofing New Zealand
    It is a great pleasure to be with you today in Whanganui. Like the Prime Minister I grew up with the TV clip of Selwyn Toogood booming “What do you say Whanganui, the money or the bag?” to an unsuspecting ‘It’s in the Bag’ audience. For those under the age ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s newest Great Walk, the Paparoa track opened – an asset for the West Coast
    New Zealand’s newest Great Walk, the Paparoa Track, was officially opened in Blackball today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage alongside the family members of the Pike 29 and Ngāti Waewae.  Local mayors and MP for the West Coast Hon Damien O’Connor were also in attendance. “Paparoa National Park ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • P-8A Poseidon base works commence
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark turned the first sod of earth on the infrastructure works for the new P-8A Poseidon fleet at RNZAF Base Ohakea today. “The Coalition Government’s investment in Ohakea will ensure the Royal New Zealand Air Force can manage, maintain and task the new fleet efficiently ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Launch of the National Emergency Management Agency
    Civil Defence Minister Hon Peeni Henare today announced the establishment of the new National Emergency Management Agency from 1 December 2019.  The National Emergency Management Agency will replace the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management. It will be an autonomous departmental agency, hosted by the Department of the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NASA 2020 Internship applications open
    New Zealand tertiary students with top grades and a passion for space will once again be offered the opportunity to work with the world’s best and brightest at NASA, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Recipients of the New Zealand Space Scholarship are nominated by the Ministry of Business, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand to send more medical staff and essential supplies to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further support to Samoa in the wake of an ongoing measles outbreak in the country. Additional medical supplies and personnel, including a third rotation of New Zealand’s emergency medical assistance team (NZMAT), further nurse vaccinators, intensive care (ICU) specialists and Samoan-speaking medical professionals, will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cost less of a factor for Kiwis seeking GP care
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new data showing a sharp drop in the number of people who can’t afford to visit their GP is a sign of real progress. One year after the Government made it cheaper for about 600,000 Kiwis to visit their doctor, results of the New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Trade for All Board releases recommendations
    The Trade for All Advisory Board has released its recommendations for making New Zealand’s trade policy deliver for all New Zealanders.  The report was today welcomed by Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker.  “Trade is crucial to this country’s economy and well-being, and the benefits need to flow to all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Porirua housing partnership to improve housing in the city
    A partnership signed today between the Crown and local iwi, Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangātira (Ngāti Toa), will improve the quality of state housing in western Porirua, says the Associate Minister of Housing, Kris Faafoi. Contracts have been signed at a ceremony at Takapūwāhia Marae, in Porirua, between Ngāti Toa, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minster Delivers Erebus Apology
    E aku manukura, tēnā koutou. He kupu whakamahara tēnei i te aituā nui i Te Tiri o Te Moana, i Erebus I runga i tētahi maunga tiketike i riro atu rā tētahi hunga i arohanuitia E murimuri aroha tonu ana ki a rātou.  Kua titia rātou ki te manawa, mō ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PGF backing Southland skills
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is supporting an initiative that will help Southlanders into local jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced in Invercargill today. “I’m pleased to be in the great South today to announce PGF support of $1.5 million for Southland Youth Futures. This initiative is all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ten Southland engineering firms get PGF funding
    Ten engineering firms in Southland are receiving Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment to lift productivity and create new jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones said today in Invercargill. Minister Jones announced over $4 million of PGF support for projects in the engineering and manufacturing, and aquaculture sectors and for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Public service gender pay gap continues to close and more women in leadership
    The Government has made good progress towards eliminating the gender pay gap in the Public Service, Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter announced today.  The latest data from the annual Public Service Workforce Data Report, shows that the 2019 Public Service gender pay gap fell to 10.5% from 12.2% in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Safer speed limits for schools
    The Government is delivering on its commitment to make streets safer for kids to walk and cycle to school, by reducing speed limits to a maximum of 40 km/h around urban schools and 60 km/h around rural schools. “Our kids should have the freedom to walk and cycle to school ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago