A very interesting interview here with the Mayor of Horowhenua Michael Feyen. It is about more than just hemp. Much discussion also around Local Govt and the changes that have come about. He also speaks to the corporatized former Govt departments something I’ve mentioned here for a long time. (Your local council, see at the link, is listed on Dun & Bradstreet). Very on topic in light of what we are seeing NZ wide with LG, and also enlightening on the hemp topic. Something I will be researching myself in the near future I’ve decided after watching this. For further info on the Horowhenua Council visit our LG Watch pages. Mayor Feyen is keen to promote employment opportunities in his district. He is also committed to Treaty Partnership.
This is from Stuff. Surprizingly. Instead of the usual mainstream ‘bona fide justification for poisoning everything and saving our native birds’ (not) it actually acknowledges the information that campaigners for clean water and for refraining from poisoning the entire ecocide have been advocating for decades. Perhaps they’re now getting too loud to ignore.
Damon Rusden has restated the scientific case for continued use of aerial 1080 to control pests, but his argument fails to address the social side of the debate.
Underpinning the continued reliance on aerial 1080 lies the ambitious goal of turning back the clock – of eliminating every single introduced rodent, mustelid and marsupial with the aim of making New Zealand “predator free”. While there is virtually unanimous agreement that our native flora and fauna deserve protection, the feasibility and costs of returning the country to a pre-European state are often overlooked.
In fact, the logic behind being “predator free” requires closer examination. Is this nostalgic vision of returning the country “to what it once was” really what we need and want? Is it possible, and at what cost? If we are going to try to turn back the clock on introduced species, there needs to be consensus on how far back we want to go, and the methods of doing so need to be evaluated in more than just scientific terms.
Taking a big picture view on introduced animals may mean allocating some areas as predator free focus points, while other areas are managed with different outcomes in mind. Introduced species do have their benefits – possums yield fur, for example, and this is a valued resource on many levels. Accepting that possums are part of our national ecosystem and managing them accordingly, might therefore be a better option in some areas.
The ‘where’ and ‘why’ of 1080 also needs careful consideration. Rusden asserts that 1080 is dropped “in areas which are inaccessible by foot”. This might have been true once, but it is far from the truth today. On the West Coast, aerial 1080 is being applied to areas that are easily accessible on foot, with well-established hut and track networks.
The recent Karnbach operation is a case in point, with aerial 1080 placed in the main Waitaha riverbed and on the surrounding tracks. The supposed precision of aerial application resulted in baits submerged in the river itself. This operation, along with many others in the region, was conducted by Ospri as part of the TBFreeNZ program.
These operations have nothing to do with saving native birds or forests. Any benefits to native species are an unintended consequence of protecting the farming industry. The two goals should not be confused, or seen as one and the same.
Rusden goes on to claim that “much of the substance of the anger at 1080 seems to draw from the anti-establishment well”. In fact, there is more than anti-government sentiment at play here. There are sound ethical and animal welfare concerns surrounding 1080 use. What Rusden also fails to mention, is that the majority of aerial 1080 proponents do not live in the areas where it is being dropped.
A lot of the anger and resentment stems from a feeling of absolute powerlessness and lack of meaningful engagement with what is happening in one’s backyard. People who live in a place are often deeply passionate about it in a wholly different way to someone who comes to visit once a year. While the visitor may prize the area for its chortling flocks of tui, the family down the road obtain their water, and possibly their food, from the same block of bush. There is a fundamental difference in perspective. When the helicopters laden with poison buzz over your backyard your water supply, meat safe and recreation ground are all potential targets.
The science may be clear, but it doesn’t take into account the social, cultural or resource value associated with our ecosystems. For those who live in these areas, the anger at this top-down approach is heartfelt and understandable. Simply writing it off as emotion or anti-government sentiment is not helpful.
Economic consequences are another consideration. The current regime of aerial 1080 drops offers little or no economic return to local communities. It would be heartening if locals were approached ahead of any drop, to identify areas that would be feasible trapping targets. Employment is a real concern in areas such as the West Coast, particularly when many of the traditional industries are being shut down. Local residents should be given the priority when it comes to pest control work.
The debate around 1080 is more than the sum of all scientific papers on the topic. It is as much a social issue as it is a scientific one. There are cultural and economic aspects that need to be considered, alongside the goal of bringing back the birds and restoring the forests.
Everyone is keen to see flourishing ecosystems, but people must remain part of that picture.
Photo: please advise if the excellent header image is yours & would like to be credited, or you would like me to remove it.
NOTE ON COMMENTING:
If you are pro poisoning of the environment or anything else, EnvirowatchRangitikei is not the place to espouse your opinions. Mainstream would be the place to air those. This is a venue for sharing the independent science you won’t of course find there.
By Veronica Harrod
An Official Information Act request for the minutes of economic development board meetings held in 2016 and 2017 has been refused by Horowhenua District Council.
In response to the request council’s chief executive David Clapperton said, “The Horowhenua Economic Development Board is not a committee of the Horowhenua District Council. Council is not required to hold and does not possess copies of Horowhenua Economic Development Board meeting minutes. We are therefore unable to provide the information you have requested.”
Profiles of the nine members of the economic development board featured on the council website include three councillors. Deputy mayor Wayne Bishop who is also deputy chair of the economic development board, and councillors Barry Judd and Piri-Hira Tukapua.
Board chairperson Cameron Lewis is rumoured to be standing as mayor at the next local body elections. He has been asked to confirm whether this information is true and his response will be published once confirmation or denial has been received.
Other members on the board include men regarded as “captains of industry” Andy Wynne, Antony Young, Evan Kroll, Larry Ellison and Ron Turk.
The request was made because of concerns the board is having an undue and unmandated amount of influence and control over decisions made by council.
Horowhenua’s economic development three year strategy (2014-2017) states it is, “a ten year vision to guide three year outcomes, priorities, actions and initiatives” that was developed, “with business as well as the council, regional council, central government and council’s key partners.”
The strategy also states an intention to take, “economic development…to the centre of council’s actions.”
After the Official Information Act (OIA) request was received the council removed the profiles of board members from its website in the first instance.
When asked to comment on why this had been done council’s communications advisor Trish Hayward said, “Council is in the process of updating the information, layout and photographs on the Horowhenua Economic Development Board page of our website. The page has been temporarily deactivated while the update is carried out. We expect the update to be complete, and the page to be reactivated, early this year.”
The profiles and page featuring board members has been activated again.
The OIA request has been referred to the Office of the Ombudsman to determine whether council is required to release the minutes of board meetings for 2016 and 2017.
Click on the heading below to go to HDC’s website featuring the board members …
Note: I do recall clearly in the council meeting where the Mayor’s chosen deputy was demoted, shortly after his election. One of the reasons given for his demotion at the time in that public-allowed meeting was because he had spoken out about his concerns regarding these non-elected people who were members of the above board, having access to council/business information ahead of their potential competitors. The board members were named one by one at the time & those present were told that these people provided employment for the Horowhenua. Since that time one of those employers has shifted operations to Vietnam with a loss of 30 local jobs. You can read about that here:
Veronica Harrod is a qualified journalist with a Master of Communications specialising in traditional and new media content. Investigating and reporting on political, economic and legislative trends that negatively impact on the day to day lives of people is one of her main areas of interest. Lifestyle content she is interested in includes celebrating our own especially the tireless work community advocates do as civil citizens participating in democracy to keep those in power on their toes. In a media age dominated by a multi billion dollar communications and public relations industry paid to manipulate information to protect and advance the interests of the few over the many there have to be journalists who are impervious to the all pervasive influencial role they have over local and central government and corporate interests.
For more information about Veronica’s professional qualifications see her Facebook page.
“While this Government won’t do a thing to fix our housing crisis, (other than paying for beneficiaries to live in short term motels at a cost of $22 million in 7 months) we are blowing $53m to build a pavilion in Dubai to try and help the dairy industry whose product is currently polluting our rivers. Here is a refresh on what the National Govt thinks is more important than the citizens of New Zealand.
Ok, so over the last eight years what have John Key and the National Govt with the help of their supporters club (IE Maori Party, Act and Dunne) really done for the people of New Zealand?
Panama Papers, tax havens , blind trusts, out of control immigration, the under funding of hospitals, schools and all other social services of New Zealand under the guise of privatisation.
New Zealanders unable to buy there own homes, 305,000 children and their families in poverty and rising,
Over 42,000 People homeless and on the rise,
New Zealanders living in cars – garages – sheds – caravans.
Granting of permits for the exploration of oil and gas in our marine sanctuaries, the selling of nearly all of New Zealand’s assets, overseas investors buying up Housing – farms – islands etc of New Zealand, Saudi sheep farmer bribes, New Zealand in over $111 billion international debt, continued broken promises including the Pike River tragedy and many others to the people of New Zealand.
A water contamination crisis,
Importation of cheap steel from China,
Tppa costs we know of; Foreign Affairs & Trade Ministry spent over $4M on travel, several ministries were involved. This excludes Grosser’s and McLay’s costs for accommodation, meals, taxis. John Campbell suggests this is only a fraction of the costs as the OIA only gave a few of the costs. $900,000 accommodation, $800,000 meals plus taxis etc. No costs are available for any other Ministry and these are only part costs for Tim Grosser’s Ministry.
I have compiled a small list researched from Newspapers and other media outlets, including Parliament TV, of what John Key and this National Govt believe are priorities over the people of New Zealand.
$260,000 Digital sign inside MBIE (Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment)
$70,000 for a sign outside MBIE.
$380,000 new furniture for MBIE.
$140,000 sundeck for MBIE.
$24,000 fridge for MBIE.
$400 for hair straighteners for MBIE.
$78,000 two doors for parliament.
$363,000 for govt agencies to watch sky tv.
$4000 for a sign for Steven Joyce opening MBIE new building.
MBIE spent $38.9 million on external contractors and consultants
$4000 for a sign Paula Bennett’s office.
$600,000 spent on flowers by National.
$1200 taxi fares.
$4000 a night in hotels.
$80,000 for Grosser’s party in Washington
$17 million paid to a US yacht club.
$11 million paid to a Saudi sheep farmer.
$30 million tax cut for Warner bros.
$30 million tax cut for Rio Tinto.
$6 Billion NOT paid By National in to NZ super fund as part of Govt’s contribution SINCE 2008.
$4 billion tax taken from New Zealand’s super fund.
$200 million invested and lost by our superfund in an overseas bank that was under investigation for fraud before the money was invested.
$2.3 million paid to a banker to give advice to HNZ on how to sell HNZ homes.
Taxpayer paying for beneficiaries to live in short term motels at a cost of $22 million in 7 months.
$700,000 in legal fees fighting a compensation case over abuse that happened in state care.
$45 million bail out media works.
$29 million Social bond program.
$45 million Nova pay.
$27 million paid for a flag referendum that 67% of New Zealanders did not want.
$1.7 Billion bail out SCF.
$200 million lost from buying junk carbon credits.
$6.2 million spent by National for a apartment for one in Hawaii.
$11 million spent by National for an apartment for one in New York.
$86 million to produce new currency that is uncounterfeitable… which has been counterfeited!
$20 Billion NZDF.
$6.4 million spent for new BMWs for ministers.
Ever wondered what happened to asset sale money? That’s despite Finance Minister Bill English promising in 2011 that all revenue from the sales would be put in a Future Investment Fund to pay for “schools, hospitals, roads, rail and public transport”. Money used from asset sales … one big ticket item is our membership to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank which was funded as part of this year’s Budget and came in at a cost of $144M.
Another bank membership has also been paid for out of the fund. In 2014, the fund was used to pay $23 million for a subscription to the World Bank.
Computer programme for ministers.
Some of the cash was also splashed on the Prime Minister and Cabinet with investment into a document management project, Cabinet, which received $2.6M in 2012 and a further $1.8M in 2014 — a total of $4.4M.
Doing up Government House
In all, $500,000 was also allocated to the Prime Minister and Cabinet to be spent on a new Visitor Centre at Government House in 2012.
This is just a small part of the total failure of this National Govt in its responsibilities to the citizens of New Zealand and would be called corruption in other countries,
An enlightening three minute clip from the Positive Money YT channel on why we have inequality. It’s a mythical illusion that all can succeed under capitalism and a short review of the literature on that, looking beyond all the spin, will prove it. The documentation of the proponents of this monetary system tell us quite clearly that scarcity and the inability for all to succeed is what’s required for it to run successfully… for those at the top of the pyramid that is.
1. The current money system distributes money from the bottom 90% to the top 10%
Because 97% of the money in the UK is created by banks, someone must pay interest on nearly every pound in the circulation. This interest redistributes money from the bottom 90% of the population to the very top 10%. The bottom 90% of the UK pays more interest to banks that they ever receive from them, which results in a redistribution of income from the bottom 90% of the population to the top 10%. Collectively we pay £165m every day in interest on personal loans alone (not including mortgages), and a total of £213bn a year in interest on all our debts.
2. It transfers money from the real economy to the banks
Businesses are also in a similar situation. The ‘real’ (non-financial), productive economy needs money to function, but because all money is created as debt, that sector also has to pay interest to the banks in order to function. This means that the real-economy businesses – shops, offices, factories etc — end up subsidising the banking sector.
3. It transfers money from the rest of the UK to the City of London
Banks pay their staff out of their profits, which in large part comes from the interest they charge on loans. Because most of the high earning bank staff work in the City of London, this results in a geographic transfer of wealth from the UK to those working in the City of London.
4. The instability that the system causes means that temporary and low-paid jobs are insecure
When banks cause a financial crisis it leads to unemployment. It tends to be low-paid and temporary contract workers who are the first to get made redundant first, so that instability in the economy has a bigger effect on those on low incomes with insecure jobs.
5. High house prices increase inequality
When house prices are pushed up by banks creating money, those on low incomes suffer the most. People on low incomes often can’t get a mortgage big enough to buy a house, so they don’t benefit from the rise in house prices. Meanwhile, those who can get access to mortgages can buy multiple houses for buy-to-let and benefit from artificial inflation in house prices. Younger people also lose out, as the cost of buying their first house swallows an ever larger amount of their income, while older and retired people who own houses benefit. This all increases inequality across different income groups and between the young and old.
Help us change the money system!
Our debt-based money system is fuelling inequality. By taking the power to create money away from banks, we can reduce inequality and make the economy more stable.
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