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What if we let the wilding pines grow?

Written By: - Date published: 1:03 pm, August 7th, 2019 - 129 comments
Categories: climate change, Conservation, Environment, uncategorized - Tags: ,

A conversation in Daily Review last night about transitioning marginal farmland away from stock prompted this post about the values of wilding pines.

This is a 20 year difference:

Photo by Grahame Sydney

 

Robert Guyton made these points,

… the way ahead is forward into trees, not back into livestock. Pinus radiate and its brutal management is the worst of choices and doesn’t represent the model I’m promoting, but neither does livestock farming. Foresters have a long way to go to up-grade their practices to something appropriate for the situation we find ourselves in now, but at least they are planting trees; moving them from monocultural thinking to multi-faceted, forest-based thinking will be aided by circumstance, in my view; the climate and the change in thinking resulting from that will force changes rapidly and that’s what I’m banking on and that’s why I cheer-on the planting of trees. Wilding pines reclaiming high country sheep stations is a good example of marginal land being turned into forestry, wouldn’t you say?

Robert then laid down a challenge,

Wilding pines are not useful in the conventional sense; they don’t produce straight timber for a start, but we are not thinking deeply or strategically enough about them. If we regard them as an enemy that has to be destroyed, we will lose the battle we’ve set ourselves. Better to harness the irrepressible force that they are and use them for our benefit, somehow. It’s that “somehow” we have to explore.

… I’m suggesting taking a different approach and looking at all the “weeds” of the world, not as enemies, but as allies. It’s not immediately apparent how this would work, in specific situations such as wilding pines, but that’s because we haven’t applied our clever minds to the problem using that lens; we’ve just stuck with the “bash our way through” mentality and that’s left much of the world bashed-up.

How about we have a go at applying our clever minds and deeper thinking. Comments welcome below in a similar vein. Here are mine.

A couple of uses for wilding pines that I can see. One is firewood. We already have some initiatives to use wilding pines for industrial fuel, as a more integrated solution. It’s certainly an improvement on the current slash and burn approach. But it’s unlikely to improved the local ecosystem because one of the drivers is to keep certain landscapes bare and iconic. End use biofuels have GHG emissions. Chipping for biofuel is an industrial solution to a problem created by an industrial mindset.

Instead we can take our cues from nature. Conifers have a strong capacity to be productive, and they are adaptive to landscapes that humans are having trouble growing things and where natives species are struggling to re-establish themselves. Pines are already there, giving a substantial headstart over humans planting seedlings themselves. Pines are better at selecting where to grow in order to survive.

An alternative to chipping/biofuel would be allowing wilding pines to create forests and then sustainably log them for firewood for locals. With the right management it would be possible to make this carbon neutral or even a carbon sink. Instead of seeing the pines as a problem that is isolated from their environment, we can see a reforesting solution with the pines integrated into a system of localised climate response. We need more trees, we need to restore landscapes and protect biodiversity. We need fuel for warm shelter, hot water, cooked food. We need climate resiliency for wind and drought events and so on. All those things in one design.

The other, related use then, is to use the power of wilding pines as a way to regenerate to other, mixed species. There are other plants that will share space with Pinus so long as the trees have enough space between them eg by selective logging for firewood. What that mixed forest then gets ‘used’ for would depend on the geography and local needs. We could for instance be reforesting this way for its own sake, for food, for recreational spaces. The above idea about firewood too.

Pine isn’t the greatest of firewoods, but we don’t have to burn it forever, because now we have changed the local ecosystem so it is easier to grow trees that are better suited to the task. A polyculture forestry profession arises. It’s easy to see how the above ideas would create jobs and support local economies. Lots of wins.

There’s a couple of issues here that make that difficult. One is the attachment to iconic high country landscapes. I think the solution to that is to choose as many of those landscapes as we need to and that are appropriate, put a philosophical and management boundary around them, and put resources into returning them to native spaces. This will alleviate the discomfit that many feel in letting pines grow everywhere.

The other is that New Zealanders have a love/hate relationship with Pinus species. We grow a lot of them, build our houses out of them, but hate them when they exhibit their natural piney-ness by expanding their range and by being allelopathic and preventing other things from growing. But our view of pines is skewed by our history of growing them in monocrops. What we need now is living examples of mixed forest where pines have a place but aren’t dominant.

There are lots of challenges to what I am suggesting. How to stop the spread of pines and other wilding species into native systems. How to manage different geographies with regards to climate, weather and terrain. But these problems become easier once we start working with nature instead of against her.

129 comments on “What if we let the wilding pines grow?”

  1. McFlock 1

    An interesting use might be production of pine tar and charcoal. The pine tar is a bunch of hydrocarbons that could be a non-fossil source for plastics or fuels (depending on volume of production), and the charcoal can be a fuel or used in filters and suchlike.

    All depending on per-tree scale, of course. Charcoal not a problem, but no idea on tar outputs from the above ground bit of the tree (as opposed to the tar-dense roots).

    • weka 1.1

      I bet the Europeans know a few things about tar and charcoal from conifers. One of the issues is the distance from wilding pine areas to industry. I'd be interested to know how feasible it would be to localise production.

      • McFlock 1.1.1

        Scandinavia especially.

        Thing is, if they're not needed for logs then it seems to me they can be chipped/shredded almost onsite and put into containers to go to wherever they're processed. Some sort of itinerant facility like a cross between a garden woodchipper and a combine harvester.

        Heck, the wood chips could provide methane to drive the trucks to take the chips to their destination lol

        • weka 1.1.1.1

          Harvesting to clear land maybe. Selective harvest out of regenerating forest is a different thing. This was the point about looking at nature-based solutions rather than industrial ones. Also to limit the GHGs from transport. I think it will vary hugely. Some areas will be suitable for industrial schemes, but there's still the issue of land and biodiversity degradation with that.

          • McFlock 1.1.1.1.1

            Not sure industrial necessarily means clearfelling. There are selective harvesters for high value logs that use helicopters for extraction, as a high-cost example.

            But it definitely requires a change in perspective from 20C industrialisation.

            • weka 1.1.1.1.1.1

              yep. I was thinking lower tech and more local, but not a scenario where no industrial tech is used at all. Not a fan of helicopters as a long term solution but we could make use of them while they're easily available. We should be planning lower tech though, post-carbon and more resilient systems.

              • McFlock

                There are some really interesting forestry tools aroung – basically robots on a ditch-digger chassis with a driver, where you select the tree, the robot clamps onto it, chops it down into set lengths, and strips the branches all in about a minute or less.

                So some sort of machine like that but that can go into more difficult and tight terrain with less of an impact (e.g. trackmarks and crushed foliage) might be possible. and safer for forestry operators.

                I think we're getting to the stage where higher tech can mean lower impact. Things like Boston Dynamics' "big dog" come to mind as a low-impact (sort of mule-level) but high tech option. And the only reason that project got cancelled was because the yanks wanted to take it into combat and it was too noisy.

                But a mule train of "big dogs" between the tree-chopperchipper and the access point a couple of km away might be a low impact way to harvest the forests without so many twisted ankles or fatalities.

                • weka

                  I don't disagree about appropriate tech, but holy shit just tried to watch a video of Boston Dynamics' "big dog" and the noise, aarggg. Solve that problem and it might be a goer.

          • Norman Grey 1.1.1.1.2

            Anything Robert Guyton sa

  2. Francesca 2

    Pines won't spread in to healthy native forest , they're not shade tolerant

    They thrive on disturbed and impoverished soils and can be pioneer species, beginning the process of soil restoration

    They 'll take a lot longer than the usual 25 years to reach their full potential for benefit.We just need to adjust our impatient expectations and time scale

    Constant poisoning and interruption of the process hasn't done one iota of good

    We also need to develop other criteria for prosperity ..it doesn't always need to be measured in dollars

    • Dukeofurl 2.1

      Not able to be ‘harvested’ as you think.   Commercial use is out of the question due to the way they grow.

      • weka 2.1.1

        I think you are missing the zeitgeist of the post. It's to look at creative alternatives to slash and burn approaches to wilding pines, in the context of climate change and sustainable land management. Please stay on topic from now on. I'm sure you've got some good ideas you can contribute. "Clever minds and deeper thinking".

      • McFlock 2.1.2

        So I'm an "a tree is a tree" n00b. Why is the way they grow impervious to chainsaw use?

        • weka 2.1.2.1

          it's not.

          'Wilding pine' is a term used for a range of species, including non-pine ones. Some are better suited to certain uses than others, because of how they grow or what they're made of. The point of the post is to look at the conifers and see what we can do with them, rather than what we can't. I'll be interested to see where Duke goes with that.

    • mauī 2.2

      They do spread into native forest. I know of a patch of solid native bush with some old man pines. Now there are multiple generations of newer pines pepper potted throughout the forest, probably from seed that has been able to find a light gap in the forest. Pine can also grow up through native forest, although it struggles.

      I agree though we probably need to adjust our expectations. Pines as part of the native landscape, because they aren't going anywhere. Maybe you could compare them to our native beech forests, where only a select set of native species grow alongside the beech trees creating a more open habitat. Pine forests are similar in that respect – less plant diversity but more open space to walk in and observe. That is probably a more human relatable environment too.

  3. Dukeofurl 3

    Trees may be a good idea but you are overlooking the reasons  Wilding Pines are classified  as a destructive.

    https://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/pests-and-threats/common-weeds/wilding-conifers/

    Wilding conifers threaten to permanently alter the unique landscapes that are only found in New Zealand.

    As wilding conifers overwhelm our native landscapes, they kill our native plants, and evict our native animals. They also have a huge impact on our economy. They suck valuable water out of catchments, they add big costs to farming and they impact on tourism and recreational opportunities.

    See them  as  been able to be 'harvested' is  completely misguided

    Wilding conifers are a major problem in areas where there is no native forest, such as above the bush line, in mineral belts and tussock grasslands. In these areas, wilding conifers modify the natural ecosystems so much that the unique New Zealand landscape is lost and native plants and animals are evicted or die.

    T

    • weka 3.1

      Did you read the post Duke? Because your comment suggests you didn't.

      • Dukeofurl 3.1.1

        Most of your claims arent backed up

        [deleted]

        [neither are yours. I gave you a couple of chances. Stay out of the comments on this post for the rest of the day. – weka]

        [additional mod note now I have more time. Had you said something like “I don’t get what you mean, how can conifers be managed to prevent dominance?”, then we could have had a conversation about that and I would have been happy to tell you what I think. Multiple posts asserting I am wrong and you are right were creating a derail and I don’t have time or patience for that. I hope you get what I am pointing to here going forward with other posts, because I think you do have things to bring to the table, but as you know, it’s not a free for all under my posts. My patience is shorter now than it was a year ago – weka]

      • Siobhan 3.1.2

        Dukes comments..or link..is exactly what I would have put up..and I read the piece twice just to make sure I understood the points being made.

        Though I would add concerns about native fisheries..

        “The pH level (degree of acidity) is important to both bottom fauna and subsequently aquatic life such as indigenous fish and trout. If the pH drops below 5.5 (increased acidity) then long term damage to the fishery, both native and trout, occurs.”

        "Pine trees take much more water from the environment than native vegetation and reports were where pines have been planted, stream flows were noticeably less and even disappeared."

        Now both these statements are in relation to mono culture rather than the wilding pine situation, however from what I have seen wilding pines tend to create their own monoculture fairly quickly.

        I would recommend reading this study.

        http://researcharchive.lincoln.ac.nz/bitstream/handle/10182/354/aeru_rr_303.pdf?sequence=1

        • weka 3.1.2.1

          If you read the post I'm am clearly saying that we need to manage wilding pines to transition to mixed species, and not let them establish dominance.

          For instance, if the current planning and implementation budget was allocated to that instead of spraying, what interventions could we use to create forests rather than plantation? This is what Robert was pointing to I think, that we need to think deeper on these things and see what is possible. Being locked into monoculture thinking was what I wanted to get past.

  4. Gosman 4

    The issue here is one of land productivity. Wilding Pines may well make sense at an economic level (i.e. allowing people to make more money from them than it costs to grow them) however if the land can make more money as a Pine plantation then it is able to support more people at a higher income. If you want people to have higher incomes you need to offer them the opportunities to take that path.

    • weka 4.1

      Some of the land in question isn't suitable for plantation pine, but even where it is, we should still be moving to mixed and sustainable forestry and more diverse timbers. Pine is useful but has distinct limits as a material.

      I can't see any reason why people working in sustainable reforestry can't make a good living from it. I agree about offering people opportunities that will be attractive to them. This is what the post is about, exploring how to do that.

      • Gosman 4.1.1

        You say "We" but this is not a "We" thing ultimately. The owner of the land decides what it is in his or her best interest. You may seek to influence their decisions by providing incentives or disincentives to certain activity but unless it is more financially attractive to have a mixed forest with Wilding Pines then it won't just happen because you think it is a nice idea.

        • weka 4.1.1.1

          Sure, what I mean is there is no reason that society can't develop better models than we have now. That was the point of the post. Private land owners who like to lead the way can pioneer this.

          Wilding pine control uses public funds and is done on public land, it's not just a private property issue. There are publicly owned forests.

  5. joe90 5

    Yeah, let them grow if you want to change the chemical composition of our soils, exterminate native flora and fauna, and turn our National conservation estate into a mono-cultural wasteland suitable for conifers and only conifers.

    • weka 5.1

      Why would you let them grow on conservation estate? Did you read the post? Have you been in forests that are mixed species and not conifer dominant?

      The point of the post is to elicit deeper discussion. eg how can we maintain and restore native ecosystems while reforesting marginal farmland with mixed/introduced species for human use?

      • Dukeofurl 5.1.1

        [deleted]

        [see mod note elsewhere in the thread – weka]

      • joe90 5.1.2

        Why would you let them grow on conservation estate

        They grow where the wind takes the seeds from adjacent plantations/wilding populations.

        They've spent the past fifty years trying to control wilding pines in the Tongariro National Park with no end in sight. There are ongoing efforts to eradicate serious infestations in the Kawakawa Forest Park and Mount Tarawera and in the south island they threaten over 200,000 hectares of DOC administered land.

        By all means restore native flora but please, no more exotics. Because more conifers, wilding or plantation, means more infestation in the National Conservation estate.

      • New view 5.1.3

        Have you ever been anywhere near a Wilding Pine. Because the way your comments go you haven’t. You talk of managing them. How, without agent orange. If you don’t want to poison you cut them out or cut them down before they seed. One by one. They  seed on the wind prolifically over a huge area. In the Mackenzie Basin miles from any forest you find the seedlings growing. I’ve seen them. The fuck up on the east Coast recently where hundreds of thousands of dollars of seedlings died before they were planted gives us an idea of the current management skills so I wouldn’t put to much faith in managing wilding pines. I feel the idea is worth thinking about just. But not with Wilding pines. 

        • weka 5.1.3.1

          Did you read the post? The idea is to let *some (not all, and not areas that can be restored to native) marginal farmland be reforested by using wilding pines.

          Management in this context is how to create mixed species (not just conifer) forests. Have you ever been in a NZ forest that is mixed species including pine or other conifers? How did that forest come to be like that?

    • Drowsy M. Kram 5.2

      Possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) are partial to a bit of (exotic) pine.  Plant Porokaiwhiri (pigeonwood; Hedycarya arborea).

      http://www.pestdetective.org.nz/culprits/possum/#vegetation-damage

      http://www.nzfoa.org.nz/images/stories/pdfs/content/researchgeneral/possumspines.pdf

    • Francesca 5.3

      Trouble is people rarely see a pine tree older than 25 years 

      In Milnthorpe park you can see examples of old Pines festooned with all manner of native epiphytic ferns and as astelias, with self seeded five finger,rimus, pigeon wood at its feet.

      The Pines are being superseded by natives

      The notion of Pines being toxic to other species is a myth.  It's a matter of time only

      • weka 5.3.1

        Where is Milnthorpe Park? That sounds amazing? Is there native bush nearby?

        Conifers do form dominant climax forests though right? We'd need to actively prevent that in wilding pine areas, by management. Those areas tend to be dry and have a history of overgrazing so it's hard for native species to regenerate. Letting the gorse and broom grow would help. I wonder if they have/had pines at Hinewai?

      • Robert Guyton 5.3.2

        That's a great observation, Francesca. I used to sit and watch the enormous pines in Isel Park, in Stoke, near Nelson. They were enormous and truly magnificent. Pines are as wonderful as any tree. Pinus radiate has been commodified here in NZ and rendered inert, so far as wonder is concerned, in the minds of New Zealanders.

  6. Dennis Frank 6

    My reason to support wilding pine toleration on marginal land would be the magic mushroom that grows under them.  http://www.fungifoodie.com/2016/04/17/new-zealand-mushrooms-part-2/#sthash.WtkLJp5I.dpbs

    Amanita Muscaria, scarlet with white polka dots.  I was never brave enough to try tripping on it, but as a boy in the fifties would collect armfuls in Autumn, from under the pines on the hillside out back of my grandad's place just above the Te Henui.  They looked so cool!  I'd admire them sitting in rows like an art exhibition.

    Natural magic is essential to human life.  Re-enchanting our hinterland would be a fine way to bequeath a regenerative stewardship ethic to our descendants…

    • weka 6.1

      I love this. I had a fascination with them as a child too.

      There's a whole thing missing from the post about the importance of shifting land from pasture to forest and the roles that fungi play in that.

      • Robert Guyton 6.1.1

        Fungi are the Way Forward. Once we align ourselves with them, we'll be on our way!

    • Stuart Munro. 6.2

      If you're going the mushroom route, the 松茸, Korean: 송이, 松栮, pine mushroom, Tricholoma matsutake would generate significant returns, and it's not called the pine mushroom for nothing. Dry years and rising demand have driven prices in Asia over $1000 a kilo, making it second only to truffles for demand.

      • weka 6.2.1

        cool Do you know if it's allowed to be grown in NZ?

        • Stuart Munro. 6.2.1.1

          I don't see why not – Shitake aren't native & we've been growing them since 1985. Likely the import restrictions are severe however, creating a practical monopoly for the "scientists investigating whether they can cultivate shoro (Rhizopogon rubescens) and matsutake (Tricholoma matsutake)"   of whom little else is said.

          There are likely several other families of mushroom traditionally gathered by Russians that could be gainfully introduced, though of course locals would need to learn to recognize them. Some may be here already – there are apparently porcini in Hagley Park for instance.

          • greywarshark 6.2.1.1.1

            Is WetheBleeple around?   He is very keen on mushrooms and knows a lot about varieties.   I haven't seen his input from mid July I think.

            I remember walking through a forest at Hanmer Springs at Easter one year and was fascinated by the red and white topped mushrooms. Like out of one of my childhood books.   

          • Robert Guyton 6.2.1.1.2

            Hagley Park has ceps. Visitors from overseas inadvertently bring and shed spores of all sorts of fungi; it's not feasible to create barriers to fungi. If we plant the "nurse" trees or create the favoured environments for specific fungi, they might well "turn up" (unless the local fungal population don't want them smiley.

      • Robert Guyton 6.2.2

        Matsutake are delicious. Spores travel, unseen, on paper. Write a letter to your Korean pen-pal smiley

        • Stuart Munro. 6.2.2.1

          A splendid idea!

          I had thought of  bringing some back – you can buy gift packs of them around Chuseok – my banker friend usually receives a few. We did the whole Songi thing once down near Daegu – Songi beer, mandu, soup and barbeque with samgyupsal.

          What I'd like to see is them widespread – providing supplementary income and food the way morels do nowadays in North America, rather than the closed small plantings that characterize contemporary truffieres.

          Korean mountain areas are not farmed and gathering rights are not exclusive, so songi, ginseng and the vast variety of san-namuel 'mountain vegetables' provide pin money for the rural poor, as well as healthy & tasty dietary variety.

  7. Stuart Munro. 7

    There are some quite profitable uses out there already, starting with essential oils.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/79404774/pioneers-extracting-oil-from-wilding-pines

    Countries with slower growing forests would find ways to use the timber, and we might as well, if we chose. Given that a lot of our tussock grasslands were forested geologically recently, reforesting them should not create a kneejerk panic, albeit twere better to choose a mixture of desirable species rather than settling for self-selection in every case.

    The DoC position seems a bit of a moral panic. Not so very long ago moral panic and 245T was the response to gorse, now it's treated more as a nursery crop and green manure for forestry. I'm pretty sure wilding pines could be used in a similar fashion, and like gorse, robbed of sunlight they'll rapidly die off.

  8. Yes trees, trees and more trees!

    When we look at the sheer amount of wood forests that have been cut down and milled to supply the markets and populations in the last 100 years it is staggering. Back then , the consequences were not realized , barring erosion , loss of fauna habitat etc…but now those chickens have come home to roost.

    If possible , the replanting of indigenous species in each region , but that is not always feasible or practical, but there are surrogates that are and can be put to pragmatic use.

    I am no 'greenie' in the traditional sense, just someone who grew up in the bush with a father that was a park ranger.

    I prefer living in and around the timber than open pasture lands. But that's just me. However , I'm not sure I 100% agree with Robert in the case of arid lands and country's  where essentially 'mobstocking' to mimic former wild herds seemed to have maintained former grassland areas that have now become deserts / semi deserts. I think this chap has to be listened to and taken very , very seriously.

    How to green the world's deserts and reverse climate change | Allan Savory

    The reason I bring this up is because these arid regions contain some of the largest and most problematic areas of the globe, , yet tree planting and wetland management is a no brainer in temperate areas like NZ , which is conducive to vegetation with its high rainfall and favourable climate… that's something we here can do and do well. And turn a profit of considerable benefit.

    Be that profit financial , environmental or both…

    Perhaps then we should allow the wilding pine to grow in some regions.

    Allan Savory on How to Green the World's Deserts and Reverse …

    https://singjupost.com/allan-savory-green-worlds-deserts-reverse-climate-change-trans

    Anyhows , I seem to remember that NZ has only 17% left of its former lowland, and alpine vegetation coverage, – which a huge amount of denuding, – much of which has proven a disaster in regards erosion and soil management…and they have found the only real long term solution was to let those areas return to a natural state. If it were my choice, I’d prefer scrub Ti tree anyday as a nursery tree for the larger species, but in many high country areas that is not feasible, so again… perhaps there is a place for the wilding pine.

    • weka 8.1

      I find Allan Savory's work impressive. Not sure how well it translates here but the principles are sound and could be learned from. Some regenag farmers are using mob stocking on fast rotation, that seems to work for productive farms.

      • WILD KATIPO 8.1.1

        Yeah , your quite right – two entirely different local climates and ecosystems involved. However , with all the focus on the massive and alarming destruction of ongoing  deforestestation , sometimes the grasslands get ignored, which as Savory points out is a colossal amount of carbon and water being lost. I guess the main take away is the collective climatic effects , – that and an example of poor land management.

        • Robert Guyton 8.1.1.1

          Wild Katipo – there's dispute over whether grasslands anywhere are natural: that is, they only came into existence with the help of humans. Aside from alpine areas and some other small specific sites, chemically or temperately difficult.
          The African Plains were forested once. Australia was not always arid and thinly treed.

          • WILD KATIPO 8.1.1.1.1

            Um ,… lightning strikes causing burn offs, flooding, and the Great Plains always supported vast herds of bison. I should imagine the same goes for the herds in Africa whereby trees were thinned / destroyed by the actions of large mammals ie : Elephants and so on and grasslands became the dominant vegetation. Bit of everything , I suspect, and along with mans fires and burn offs, accidental or deliberate.

  9. xanthe 9

    nature abhors a vacuum…. let them grow…. and count them in with our billion trees effort.       plant turpentine is a valuable commodity and will only increase in value.   a fantastic opportunity for small scale sustainable onsite enterprise going forward.

  10. Stuart Munro. 10

    If we choose to pursue the technology, wilding pines could provide the feedstock for a biobutanol industry that can replace petrol in existing vehicles. It's a good tech to pursue because, in addition to running in existing fuel distribution infrastructure, it can utilize the waste from other uses of the pines. A hardy, fast growing self-sowing feedstock is not a terrible thing.

    There's a lot of research into biobutanol at present, which is a bacterial digestion product, but fully commercial models aren't out yet, the are three limitations:

    1. The digestion products, as with brewing, are toxic to the organisms producing them. A continuous process removing them as they are produced requires an engineering solution along the lines of the NZ invented continuous brewing process.

    2. Development of preferred digestion strains is in its infancy and some improvements in yield or ease of culture are expected.

    3. Plant for separation of digestion products is required to produce the high specification standardized fuels and market ready solvent byproducts.

    The logic for pursuing this technology is rather better than that for fossil fuel based Taranaki hydrogen project, given the sustainable source.

  11. Robert Guyton 11

    Ohhhh! I missed this, being away from the computer, up-lifting grafted apple trees for our heritage fruit tree sale this coming weekend! Blast! I'd have liked to have been involved early on, especially with the Duke's comments. It's an emotive and controversial topic, wilding pines and temperatures rise quickly when it's discussed. I'm surprised Mr Leghorn..sorry, gwaghorn hasn't joined the fray, but perhaps like me, he's been busy out of doors. I know the conservationists swoon at the suggestion that wildings might be beneficial and some very respectable and honourable people would seethe at the presentation of the idea, but I think it hasn't been explored to any great depth yet, so I thank weka for taking the initiative and throwing the issue into the pit of debate. 

    One of the issues that Sir Alan Mark takes, is that of water processes that involve tussocks and are interrupted by trees. I don't think anyone's been bold enough to take on his wise words on this matter, but with climate change bearing down upon us, I reckon all cards should be put on the table. I reckon, as a rule of thumb, re-foresting the planet is the way forward.

    • greywarshark 11.1

      I seem to remember Sir Kerry Burke or someone in his Canterbury Environment Council saying about pines being very water hungry which was a disadvantage, and it also cropped up in one of the links I saw and may be in the ones I have included here further down when they come out of  moderation (too many links but I thought they could be useful).

      The tussocks might act as a series of water brakes when flowing down a slope and they would then be akin to the Mulloon Natural  Sequence Farming system.

      2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48x0lPEkypQ

    • weka 11.2

      I thought you might be outside doing tree things. B has other things to tend during the day.

      What was Mark's take on water?

      • Robert Guyton 11.2.1

        That tussock collects water from the foggy atmosphere and that's the start of the water cycle. Smother the tussocks and the water cycle is interrupted.

        • WILD KATIPO 11.2.1.1

          Jolly interesting… that,… after a fashion , is what Alan Savory was saying about regenerating'grasslands'… the main difference being that in those areas they had seasonal die offs which , if it wasn't for the wild herds, would have become desert like… I wonder if the Moa worked the tussock lands in prior times…

          However, tussock retaining moisture so that the soil does not lose that water through evaporation is very interesting…perhaps another example of the perfect symbiosis of the land and indigenous vegetation.

          • Robert Guyton 11.2.1.1.1

            The tussocks serve as "collectors" of dew and fog, funnelling it down to the soil and into the sub-soil etc. Pines don't do the same thing. However, forests attract rain, so the water cycle could be maintained. There's not been enough work/thinking done about this yet, imo.

  12. marty mars 12

    The major issue I have with this is that it is not considering the holistic ecosystem related to trees and a forest. The tree is the big standy up bit but the real value is in the total interwoven support structures in and around the trees. I'm not saying this can't be sorted somehow, I'm saying it must be considered otherwise we are just creating real issues.

    • Robert Guyton 12.1

      Yes, Marty, that's it! Let's think that way, literally deeper than we've previously thought!

    • weka 12.2

      totally agree marty. When I talk about forest I mean all of it including what is under the ground and all the non-plant life. I think we have lots of exciting work ahead seeing what kind of non-native or mixed forests we can grow and what happens in them. I also remain committed to increasing native systems too.

      Thanks for pointing this out, because sometimes forests get talked about as if it’s just the trees, or even just one species.

  13. greywarshark 13

    Turpentine pine?   That would be a useful plant.

    I have been looking at agroforestry to see how it would go if farmers had wildings and also had stock, so being able to continue farming but with trees on paddocks in greater numbers than they would have had before.   And of course they can be used clustered for shelter belts and shade if that suits.

    Wilding pines are just part of the general description of 'wildings' regarded as weeds (plants in the wrong place).

    Wikipedia says :  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilding_conifer

    There are ten main species included in this designation.

    Species

    European larch in the Jollie River. The trees have almost completely blanketed the flanks of the lower section of the valley.

    There are ten main species that have become wildings:

    It appears, from reading the info on google, that none of these wilding pines have a use for supplying edible pine nuts unfortunately.

    https://www.nzffa.org.nz/farm-forestry-model/resource-centre/tree-grower-articles/tree-grower-february-2008/lincoln-university-agroforestry-experiment-findings/

    I think I have interpreted the info correctly.  It appears that –

    Studies on land with pine growing on pasture for animals (agroforestry).  This showed a drop off in growth of pasture, and lower weights of animals and the choice of planted feed had to be nutritious and shade tolerant.     If there were carbon credits gand the pines were used for firewood etc when well grown and interspersed with some forage trees like tagaestes (I think). with appropriate management viability of both animal farming and  healthy tree growing could be achieved.  (That is my perception anyway.)   But should not be written off, and the wilding pines could be left. as long as the variety or all of them were not toxic to the animals in a mixed management.  I don't remember reading anything about that.

    Other links that could be useful:

    https://www.dairynz.co.nz/environment/land-management/trees-on-farms/

    Experiments with trees for shade and dairying.
    https://www.nzffa.org.nz/farm-forestry-model/resource-centre/tree-grower-articles/tree-grower-2014-february/cattle-want-shade-trees-in-summer/

  14. Graeme 14

    Not all wildings are of no use.  A lot of the old crop douglas fir around  the Whakatipu is amazing timber.  A very public example is the trees beside the Skyline gondola, beautiful straight trees that would mill very well.

    A very large old stand at Long Gully in Skippers was milled in the 90's.  I used a lot of it in building and it was the best building timber I've ever used, light and clean, and incredibly stable.  It was a completely different timber to normal NZ plantation D. Fir, but the Long Gully trees were 60+ years old, where plantation trees are usually cut at 28 – 30 years.

    Looking at the way Central Otago and Upper Waitaki grows wildings, especially in the McKenzie, you have to wonder whether forestry wouldn't be a better land use than dairy. There’s a lot of species other than P. Rad and D. Fir that don’t have the same wilding potential.

  15. bwaghorn 15

    I've cut pinus contorta down for doc . They grow very straight once they seed in large numbers . Usually we would have one big ugly contorted mother tree surrounded by many nice straight ones with limbless trunks. 

    Also I was on molesworth recently massive farm with 2 full time and a few part time jobs . Plant that not quality farms . 

  16. Ray 16

    It is not often I agree with Robert but on this I do 100%.

    Most of NZs tussock land was in bush before humans arrived and Mother Nature would really like it to return to that, hence the "wilding problem" which is her using the species available trying to do just that.

    If we can help the planet and edge the process in a way that we can all profit from so much the better.

  17. Robert Guyton 17

    A sobering read:

    "The enclosure of the commons is a story that may have begun hundreds of years earlier in England, but it is one that is by now familiar the world over, especially to the peasants, subsistence farmers, and indigenous peoples who are so often the target of these dispossessions. Whatever the cause – whether dispossession from the land by powerful outsiders, or the catastrophic destruction of forests or biomes owing to invasive organisms – robbed of the commons that lies at the heart of the community, that ecological base that sustains us all, we are made poor. We are made refugees. We are made aliens to nature, to each other, and to ourselves."

    https://dark-mountain.net/where-the-trees-used-to-be/

  18. Pat 18

    Some history..

    "Prior to human colonisation, it is thought that the New Zealand landmass was almost entirely covered in forest, apart from alpine areas. Between the beginning of Polynesian settlement in New Zealand around the fourteenth century and the beginning of organised European colonisation in the nineteenth century, it is estimated that forest cover was reduced by about half, largely through fire. When the European settlement of New Zealand began in earnest in the 1840s, it is estimated that forest, or ‘bush’ in the vernacular, covered about two thirds of the North Island and about 25 to 30 per cent of the South Island. In the decades that followed, bush was destroyed through milling and fire to make way for settlements and farms. By 1900, forest cover had been reduced by half again, to about 25 per cent."

    https://envirohistorynz.com/tag/forest-cover-map/

    http://www.nzjf.org.nz/free_issues/NZJF54_1_2009/5C127D1A-CDFF-4cde-B272-23362D00A078.pdf

    Seems to me that the answer to the question of 'wilding pines' is …it depends.

    Like the 'billion trees' programme there needs to be specific goals, designated species and areas and the removal of economic incentives as the driver

    • weka 18.1

      Re that last bit, there's some low hanging fruit with a fair amount of land in NZ that could be handed over to communities to manage and reforest.

  19. R.P Mcmurphy 19

    look what should happen is next autumn allkids go out and collect acorns and they are topdressed everywhere.

    they will out compete pines and provide a better ecological solution.

    I am not even going to bother with any counter arguments. These trees grow fast and provide canopy protection for native flora.

    When is somebody going to get the frigging job done.

    • weka 19.1

      Oak forests would be a game changer.

      Not sure how well oaks grow from seed in the landscapes that have wilding pines. Anyone know?

      • Graeme 19.1.1

        Around Arrowtown oaks will grow anywhere the acorn lands, I've got a couple of wild (probably fell off the back of a truck) ones coming away nicely on the roadside outside home.

        We have sycamore forests too, again wilding trees, and spreading prolifically.  But no one seems to care about them, and the hawthorn, and rowan, and elder.

        • weka 19.1.1.1

          those sound like the makings of pretty interesting forest. Are there areas of mixed species? Does oak grow on it own?

          • Graeme 19.1.1.1.1

            Oaks do require a bit of human intervention, intention or otherwise, we don't have any wildlife to spread the acorns around, ducks hoover them up but I don't think the acorns are viable out the other end.

            Sycamore forest quickly becomes a mono-culture like D. Fir, but a lot nicer at 20 years old.  So really still weeds at this point.  What happens in 50 -100 years is yet to be seen but could be interesting.

            Add into the mix is several wilding conifer "control groups" with considerable council and DOC support who are doing a sterling job of cutting down and spraying the conifer weeds, to let the other weeds, sycamore, hawthorn, rowan, broom, gorse, briar and everything else that's escaped the garden thrive.  And there's been a bit of native that's been clobbered in the process.

            • Robert Guyton 19.1.1.1.1.1

              We should look to the natural forests where sycamores grow in balance with other species and learn from those how to create mixed exotic forests here. We can't hope to have native-only forests here; that option is long gone. 

  20. peterlepaysan 20

    Ahem!

    There is some discussion  about bovine (but not human) contributions to methane production.  Apparently methane is a significant factor as well as CO2.

    Reforestation (on a huge scale)  seems to be a partial and significant solution.

    Unfortunately pine trees inhibit (to put it mildly) the destruction of methane.

    I suspect other species may do likewise, Cypress would be my prime suspect.

    We should keep planting trees, actually keep planting  and stop making co2 and methane. 

    No more burping an farting.

    • weka 20.1

      "Unfortunately pine trees inhibit (to put it mildly) the destruction of methane."

      How does that work?

      • Mack 20.1.1

        "How does that work?"  Don't think you'll get a straight answer for that, Weka. .. just looks like some pompous, juvenile, loon .. right from go,, with the "Ahem".

        There's some tree planting madness gripping the climate crisis crowd but it's all futile nonsense. There's total loss of perspective.  Don't even worry about the Amazon too much, either… satellites show that night time transpiration of the Amazon jungle releases vast amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. Sure, there is a net fixing of carbon by tree photosynthesis, but it's just in proportion to tree growth, and some trees grow very slowly.  People forget that the land area covered by trees is proportionately not very large compared to the rest of the surface of the planet .  72% is covered in ocean, and this is where the "lungs of the world" really is. Satellites show vast blooms of phytoplankton regularly occur in the oceans, which suck up the heavy CO2 gas wafting above the sea. These vast blooms don't last very long but die off pretty quickly… taking the dissolved CO2 as a carbonate sediment to the bottom of the ocean.

      • Robert Guyton 20.1.2

        How does that work?

        Try this explanation:

        "Last Sunday on Radio NZ, kiwi climate science Jim Salinger spoke of his current research in North America. A colleague gathering air over pine forests found that the pines “burb” isoprenes that inhibit the removal of methane from the atmosphere. The Science Direct website explains the impact of isoprenes in the atmosphere stating it “reacts with oxidised molecules that would otherwise react with methane, thereby extending the residence time of methane and enhancing global warming…”

        So if we continue to extend our pine plantations we could be extending the life of methane in the atmosphere. Pine trees will inevitably be the majority of the billion trees the Government plans to plant. Recent reports also advocate reducing pasture. We need an urgent rethink. Here is a link to Jim Salinger’s interview. Comments on methane start at 3.15 minutes."

        https://northlandclimatechange.org/2019/04/04/more-pines-more-methane/

      • Robert Guyton 20.1.3

        Jim Salinger says a chemical produced by pines might be interfering with the binding of methane molecules in the atmosphere, causing methane to remain up there for longer. Might be. He's researching the issue now, in Canada. In any case, we all agree here (aside from Mack who's "futile nonsense" comment is self-descriptive) monocultures are inappropriate and a diverse planting approach is the way to go. The idea of people adding diversity to monocultural plantings is an entertaining one. The classic tale of "The man who planted trees" would be a good inspiration for people, preparing to head out into pine forests with bags of acorns over their shoulders smiley

  21. Ad 21

    QueenstownLakes Council is taking out all of its pine forest. They don't support any native wildlife there, they acidify the soil, and are as invasive as rabbits.

    Tussock country as legitimate native landscape should be protected not further ruined. Just because pines survive well, does not mean they shouldn't  be eradicated in the wild. 

    • Robert Guyton 21.1

      Eradication projects foster an anti-biotic mindset. Gorse is another plant that attracts ire and antipathy, yet is proving invaluable for recreating forests. Hinewai Reserve is the prime example.

      • Ad 21.1.1

        So let's be really clear Robert.

        I want eradication of rabbits, mustelids, phytophthera, deer, ragwort, and a vast range of regionally and nationally recognized pest species.

        You can pick and choose if you want. Explain which programme should be de-funded. Go ahead.

        I'm sure every dead carcass can grow a native something. That's a pathetically weak argument. Gorse has been one of the most destructive species we've ever had in New Zealand. Pines are the same. 

        There is no argument to overturn well recognized national and regional policy against wilding pines. State which policy is wrong – you should be across it on a regional council for that long.

        Wilding pines should be on the Predator Free New Zealand list, and for government and councils they effectively are.

        • Robert Guyton 21.1.1.1

          Ad

          You might want  "eradication of rabbits, mustelids, phytophthera, deer, ragwort, and a vast range of regionally and nationally recognized pest species." but your chances of getting what you want are not high, in my opinion. That "vast range" is, as you say, vast, and eradicating them all is totally unrealistic, again, in my opinion. Regional councils shed organisms from their lists when the realise that they can't achieve the aim of eradication and those organisms become background and part of the growing numbers of "pests" entering the country or flaring up from colonies already here. 

          As to gorse, I invite you to watch the short film about Hugh Wilson's work with gorse at Hinewai and particularly note the comments from the farmer who originally felt as you do about gorse; it's a great watch.

          • Ad 21.1.1.1.1

            Robert since you are standing for re-elwction, what is your opposition to Predator Free New Zealand?

            Laziness and pessimism is a good reason to vote you out

            What parts of Southland regional policy on pest species do you oppose? 

            Don't ask me to watch junk when you're incapable of actual policy argument. You want gorse, go have a chat with the Maori of Northland.

            • Robert Guyton 21.1.1.1.1.1

              Ad – my concerns about Predator Free NZ are many and I'm always willing to talk about the issue openly, in order to lead the way for others who might have reservations and need a prompt to express themselves.

              Your second sentence could be thought offensive, however, I take no offence at it, knowing that you're mistaken in your thinking.

              I'm concerned that the commitment to eradicate all of the predators listed, will fall short for various reasons and that over all, re-infestation will have us wondering at the wisdom of committing so much to it in the first place. Off shore islands are good places to run such ambitious programmes; the whole of NZ is not, in my opinion. I think too, of the methods being employed and weigh up the effects of those on the environment with the expected (but vain, imo) result. 

              As to your characterising the film about Hugh Wilson as "junk", you lose a lot of credibility, imo,  by saying that. I'm interested though, in what aspect of Hugh's work you don't support. Your apparent hatred of gorse puts you in a different camp to many people commenting here. I didn't say I want gorse, I'm saying, where it exists, it's wise to consider a Hugh Wilson type approach to it, if reforestation is your eventual aim, as I guess it would be for you, so keen you seem to be on ridding the land of possums; I presume that's for the sake of the forest, yes? Or are you wanting to protect cattle and the cattle farmers from the effects of TB?

              • Stuart Munro.

                As far as I can make out through the fog of spin, the 1080 program insofar as it relates to cattle (and prior to the invention of the 'predator free' campaign 90% of 1080 use was directed to that end) is intended not so much to control TB per se, as at achieving TB free certification for marketing purposes. This makes the benefits claimed for the program, which must weigh against its negative impacts, remarkably slender.

              • greywarshark

                Robert at 12.44 pm

                I like your considered and balanced approach.   You take a pragmatic approach, looking at the cost and benefits and judging by the likely outcomes.

                You note that humans can decide something but Nature rules in the end – 'Man proposes but God disposes'.   So it is no use making a decree that something should happen, without thinking about the problems that plan would create, and whether the outcomes would be better than if other methods were used.

          • WILD KATIPO 21.1.1.1.2

            Wonderful video, had me smiling . Its the age old thing , to let the natural processes do the work. And NZ native bush is tough. It will , if left alone, reclaim the land generally. Great work and a great vid !

        • greywarshark 21.1.1.2

          Adedit –

          This is no time for rigidity – following a policy that is time-consuming and actually goes against what is seen as a current need.    You seem inflexible about sticking to projects and behaviours that were formulated last century.

          This century we are faced with a different view of the world, how we cope with that will show up as being successful at limiting damage, or unsuccessful and causing great sadness.    Nobody with a healthy outlook wants to see most of the country hit by constant enervating problems because we failed to direct our efforts earlier, to the most practical and far-seeing and innovative measures we could that are nature-based.    No authoritarian force keeping strictly to the rules set up in times of ignorance can stem Nature.    We must work how we can using a template that identifies the best methods for the outcomes we want, and overturns past methods if shown to be below the best option.

    • Pat 21.2

      Which native landscape?…the native landscape of 10,000 years ago, 1,000 years ago or a hundred years ago or of today?

      • Robert Guyton 21.2.1

        Today's landscapes are "native". Our task, having created them, is to optimise them, manage them and make them a good as they can possibly be, for all concerned.

        • Pat 21.2.1.1

          And that requires a definitive goal….not some vague process driven by market forces with all of its perverse outcomes

          • Robert Guyton 21.2.1.1.1

            Yes. Discussions like this one need to be had widely, so that the problems, challenges and solutions can be revealed. We shouldn't be fearful of poking at "wasp" nests of accepted wisdom; if we stir up the embers we might get the fire going. Presently, it's smouldering and we need some heat applied to the problem quickly!

            • Pat 21.2.1.1.1.1

              we can discuss endlessly while the problem overcomes us….or our so called leaders can show some leadership instead of trying to be all things to all people.

              • Robert Guyton

                As far as reforesting is concerned, it seems as though they're trying. Further discussion though, is needed to make their efforts and investments more effective and appropriate, I reckon. This sort of discussion should never stop. As well, "non-leaders" should feel inspired to join the fray and improve our chances of success, by presenting their own plans, testing them in public them get on with implementing them, knowing they are backed by others. 
                It’s useful when discussing trees, to be working closely with trees: I’m presently “shaping” my forest garden with pruning saw and secateurs, and have the topic of forest-creation in my thoughts constantly. Right now though, I’m off to sort fruit trees for our sale this weekend, so I’ll miss the conversations here during the day. I hope they’re productive.

                • Pat

                  then our perceptions are quite different re the trees policy….I see a poorly considered policy that has no definitive goal and a process with the wrong incentives and unconnected and contrary to other relevant policy areas ( conservation, wilding pines, land use change etc)

              • greywarshark

                But they do have to consider all things, and all people.   That is a change that has to be made from past thinking and behaviour.

                This requires real thought for the future beyond profit-is-queen.  And that thinking has not been done in a continuous fashion since the shocks of the 1970's.     What a great future we have managed to purvey after WW2!     The future was before us to do great things to make society a good and enjoyable and admirable thing that all countries would achieve.    We didn't they didn't.   We have to suck it up, turn round and listen to the people who think and care, and explain the problem to the rest, as we know that society will always have different factions.

                So mere leadership isn't enough – we need to have direction and means and helping people to get on board the moving pathway. If they don't, who is going to be there to help them cope?  Perhaps we will have the sort of leaders that picks them out and puts them in 'detention centres' when they are not nasty  criminals undermining society.    These would not be good leaders for a society regarding itself as responsible and decent.

                • Pat

                  Yes they have to consider all things and all people….AND THEN DECIDE….not defer direction for political expediency. It appears to me that there is no goal other than that of reelection, is that any way to deal with a crisis, or even run a country sans crisis?

  22. Warren Doney 22

    I've often thought let nature heal land the way it wants to. Even gorse can be beneficial, forming a kind of nursery in its midst. I would probably pick manuka over pine though. It self seeds well once established, and it's good for stabilizing hills. Maybe hemp too?

    • Mack 22.1

       I can't see why these wackos are getting their nickers in a knot over methane. It only comprises 0.00017% of the earth's atmosphere. Corrupt old hammer and sickle head loons like Jim Salinger are talking even less than a fart in a hurricanes worth wrt methane. And as for Nitrous Oxide… at 0.00003%… that's 4 0s !!!… well, we could all do with a bit of an increase in that laughing gas stuff.  I'm all for making the world a happier place.   

      • Pat 22.1.1

        This may explain why

        https://www.wired.com/story/atmospheric-methane-levels-are-going-up-and-no-one-knows-why/

        “Humans have been producing methane for thousands of years, by clearing land with fires, raising cattle, and growing rice. Thanks to air bubbles trapped in ice cores taken from Antarctica, we know that the global average methane concentration in the atmosphere has nearly tripled in response. Because it lasts only about a decade in the atmosphere, cutting methane is a relatively fast-acting lever for slowing climate change. But it isn’t clear how we should pull that lever”

        • Mack 22.1.1.1

          Same old cliches we hear from you loons…

          "… we should pull that lever"

          …. we should plug in.. switch on.

          ….we should take positive action.

          ….we should get to grips with.

          …we should open our eyes.

          …. we should pick the low hanging fruit.

          …. we should extract finger.

          Nah, we should run around like a headless chook, under the directions of the NZ global warming high priest James Renwick , who is stupid enough to believe that earth's global temperature would be -18deg C without some wacko "greenhouse effect" in the atmosphere. Stupid enough to believe that the ATMOSPHERE is keeping the OCEANS from becoming FROZEN SOLID.

          • Pat 22.1.1.1.1

            apparently you didnt read the link

            • Mack 22.1.1.1.1.1

              Nah, I didn't Pat. and I guarantee that nobody else here bothered to wade through all that wasted scientific thinking about methane. Never in human history has so much scientific time and effort been devoted to study something based on such a false assumption. 

              There were a few more cliches… in addition to "pull the lever."

              "… is the wild card"

              "….. is an educated guessing game"    … "final score of the game"  …… "but not who scored what and how"

              "….. water in a bathtub with an open faucet and plugged drain"

              "….. gotten the wind out of its sails"

              "…. what's coming down the road"

              There's one more I've just remembered from our troughing climate clown, J. Renwick    "….which way the dice rolls." 

              This leading loon needs his ass firmly kicked.

              https://www.climateconversation.org.nz/2019/05/psst-engineering-gossip/#comment-1563811

              • weka

                Mack, I'm having trouble understanding your posts. Do you believe that climate change is caused by humans? Do you believe that it's a serious problem?

                • Mack

                  No weka, , I think I'm about the only denialist here at The Standard. I prefer denialist to denier.. it's more professional.

                  • weka

                    ok, thanks for being clear and honest. I don't allow climate denial under my posts. You can look up past posts of mine to see why. Please refrain from commenting under my climate posts in future.

                    • Mack

                      Sure thing weka. You should ask Patrick Crewdson for a job at Stuff. He's the pseudo-intellectual bearded climate clown gone full retard on feeding the "climate change" crap to the NZ public. He'll give you the know how on how to discern and censor out anybody, like myself, who threatens to undermine the "cause".      

                      [I have warned you before about (personal) insults and linking to your own inane comments on other sites (/three-disturbingly-different-views-on-climate-change/#comment-1627708), which coincidentally started under one of Weka’s posts in early 2018 (/open-mike-19-01-2018/#comment-1437717). However, under the current post, you link to yourself again on another site (/what-if-we-let-the-wilding-pines-grow/#comment-1644466), which links back to a comment by you here on TS! This self-referencing self-reinforcing auto-feedback loop is a prototypical example of a perpetual recycling shit-in-shit-out closed mind of somebody who has no interest in genuine debate and who wouldn’t know good faith if it struck them between the eyes. Literally, nobody is served with this kind of behaviour and I promised you to take action if it happened again. Permanent ban – Incognito]

                    • Incognito []

                      See my final Moderation note to you @ 7:37 PM.

      • Robert Guyton 22.1.2

        " I can't see why…"

        Perhaps you could apply yourself to study? You might make the connection, understand the issue, gain a sense of what others are thinking… you know, break out of your own ossified mind-set, who knows, maybe you'll…see why!

        Good luck!

        • Anne 22.1.2.1

          Not a chance RG. We've got a severe case of Dunning Kruger syndrome here:

          The Dunning-Kruger effect is a type of cognitive bias in which people believe that they are smarter and more capable than they really are. Essentially, low ability people do not possess the skills needed to recognize their own incompetence.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

        • Mack 22.1.2.2

          "Perhaps you could apply yourself to study?"

          Spoken like a true teacher… speaking down to his pupils from his position of authority.  Feeding to young , receptive, innocent ears any ideological garbage that infests his tiny imagination. The trouble is. you're teaching my/our children… but it's a good job you've retired now?  Hope you weren't teaching "climate science" to our kids?

          "… gain a sense of what others are thinking"  

          Nah, Robert, I've been around long enough to have an idea of what others are thinking…and have an ability to think for myself … broken free from the establishment group think of the classroom. Unlike you, haven't stayed with the loony govt. classroom Koolaid… that not eating meat will make a difference to the temperature of this planet. 

          "…ossified mind-set"  

          Nah, Robert  I think you're the believing bonehead.

          Good luck! 

          • Robert Guyton 22.1.2.2.1

            So, that's a no to further study?

            There's no need to regard me as an "authority", Mack; we're all equal here on The Standard. I do bridle a little at your describing my imagination as "tiny"; I've been working on expanding my imagination and felt I was doing okay, but perhaps I need to apply myself more. We have something in common, you and I: both of us have escaped the classroom! Good news all round; I never felt at home there; I'm better suited to the garden really; no one to instruct, no need to direct anyone's attention, no requirement to assess anyone's abilities; you can see why I'm so happy out of doors, especially school doors. Bonehead? Not for me to say, really. If that was the general consensus, I'd have to take the charge seriously; as it is, only you have levelled it, so I'll suspend judgement till such a time as the title becomes commonly applied.

            • Mack 22.1.2.2.1.1

              Good reply, Robert. 

              All the best

              Mack.

              Sky Dragon Slayer's Chief Public Relations Officer.

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    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs 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 unexpectedly missing or ...
    8 hours ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    9 hours ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    9 hours ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    11 hours ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    21 hours ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    21 hours ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    24 hours ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 day ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 day ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    2 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    2 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    3 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    4 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    4 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    4 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    5 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    5 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    6 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    6 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
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    5 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
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    5 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
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    6 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
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    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
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    6 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
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    6 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
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    7 days ago
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
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    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
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    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
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    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
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    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
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    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
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    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
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  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
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    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
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    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
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    1 week ago
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
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  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
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    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
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    2 weeks ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
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    2 weeks ago