79 thoughts on “General debate, November 25, 2012

  1. Time for the Federated Farmers Summer Swim in our Rivers Tour” ?

    In a speech this week, Bruce Wills from Federated Farmers said

    “when visitors look at our countryside and our waterways, they are struck by how pristine and clear they are.
    I said to the journalist, can we do better? Yes of course we can. But, I strongly believe when you look at what we do and how we do it, we are way up there in terms of environmental performance.
    I then ended by inviting him to come to New Zealand and see for himself. Nothing beats seeing with your own eyes.”

    I reckon it’s time for Mr Wills to come and see for himself too. Grab your togs Bruce, fill up the ute and go check out those rural swimming holes for yourself. Since our waterways are pristine, you’d be happy to take the family along too for a dip in those clear waters.

    Mr Wills also said “some Kiwis delight telling overseas conferences or media what we get wrong, whereas I like to focus on what we get right.”

    “Delight”, I don’t think so…………..How twisted that comment is. Now as we know from the Unsworth email to Mike Joy, the line they are taking is that- you people are just wreckers & doomsayers who enjoy bad news. The rivers are filthy, but lets just focus on the positive.

    Hey what about it? Can we ask Fed farmers & Bruce Wills to get wet? Russel did it in a kayak (that’s cos he’s not silly, he already knew the water was dirty) but these guys say it’s good.

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  2. Nic Toki, in her Stuff blog, posted the most comprehensive response I’ve so far seen to Mark Unsworth’s leaked email.

    To me it’s just another reason to be in support of the principle of the Lobbying Disclosure Bill now being pushed by Holly Walker, even if I’d like to see some of the wording adjusted. It’s not necessarily until you can see the full context of all the information being professionally pressed at MPs and Ministers that it becomes apparent as to how biased, favouring and irrational they might be being in their decision making.

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  3. What a great idea from Viv above.

    We could postpone this event until February, when the water is warmer….Can’t you just see…

    ‘NZ President of FedFmrs to swim in lower Manawatu River’ A spokesman for Mr Willis said he then would travel to the South Island, where he would drink untreated water from bores in Canterbury and Southland. ‘If he survives the swim’ a cynic was heard to mutter…’but not to worry, his term is about up anyway..’ and another said ‘well it is 100% pure..’

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  4. Nic Toki, in her Stuff blog, posted the most comprehensive response I’ve so far seen to Mark Unsworth’s leaked email.

    Oh dear.

    Right in line two she notes “When it comes to our 100% Pure brand”

    See that word: “brand”

    The 100% pure is a brand, an image, a brand that NZ uses to generate income, our second biggest source of income after dairying.

    Who ever would make the mistake that that a brand actually reflected the underlying science accurately?

    We aren’t dealing in science here, we’re dealing in rhetoric, and in the world of rhetoric, shooting the messenger is an entirely noble thing to do. Which is why Dr Joy has copped it.

    The bad news is, of course, that ultimately it wont matter: Peak Oil will kill off affordable long distance air travel within a few decades anyway, and then we’ll have no need to worry about the brand, and/or the science that does or doesn’t underly it. Guess what that will do to pollution levels.

    Pehaps the golden goose has just been killed. Perhaps this is proof that one person can make a difference.

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  5. Who ever would make the mistake that that a brand actually reflected the underlying science accurately?

    I don’t suppose there would be an incentive for branding if many people didn’t in one form our another. What irritates me is an apparent attitude that seems to arrogantly assume all communication coming out if New Zealand has to tow the company line, as if we’re all employees of some giant tourism mega corporation instead of a country full of people all trying to live together. If an international journalist decided they wanted to ask me about concerns I might have for swimming in rivers, or loss of biodiversity, it’d be deeply insulting to tell me I wasn’t allowed to speak to them, and deeply disturbing if that directive came from a government or government marketing source. And it’s hardly Mike Joy’s fault that he actually happens to know what he’s on about and his job is to communicate it.

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  6. Mike says “And it’s hardly Mike Joy’s fault that he actually happens to know what he’s on about and his job is to communicate it.”

    Of course it is, especially when he deliberately sets out to damage our tourism marketing and New Zealand as much as possible in the likes of the BBC and NY Times as a way to get himself publicity.

    30% of New Zealand is protected – one of the largest percentages of any country in the world.

    But Mike Joy changes a good statistic into an “environmental catastrophe” because we’ve lost 70% of our original vegetation.

    Similarly he says virtually all water quality is getting worse. Yet 30 years ago
    – we had a whole valley of factories discharging untreated toxic waste straight into the local stream.
    – our local dump for a city of 100,000 dumped everything straight into the estuary.
    – all of the citys sewerage went straight into the sea untreated.

    Pretty much every waterway around here is massively improved from a few decades ago.

    Today the stream that was once pure black, now has fish in it; the estuary is clean; and we can swim on the beaches that off-limits for decades.

    Clearly Mike Joy is trying to damage NZ as much as possible and doesn’t give a toss how many people lose their jobs because of his extremist outbursts in international media.

    It’s insane that the government uses our taxes to fund someone who a/ disregards facts to push extremist views, and b/ does as much damage to his country as he can.

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  7. “The estuary is clean”

    Once again photonz wades into an issue he is ill-equipped to comment on.
    I give you the Waihopai arm of the New River estuary and the Pourakino arm of the Jacobs’ River estuary. When you’ve shown me that they are clean, photonz, I’ll read your comments with something other than disdain.

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  8. isn’t it sad that we now have a situation where a scientist reporting undisputed facts (supported by both the Government’s own Environment Commissioner and the business group Pure Advantage) is being accused by the likes of Photonz1 as an extremist or a terrorist.

    “Pretty much every waterway around here is massively improved from a few decades ago.”

    I’d love to know where this came from, it certainly doesn’t fit with any legitimate report I’ve seen including this one from a respected impartial authority:

    http://www.consumer.org.nz/reports/swimming-water-quality/monitoring-results

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  9. Of course it is, especially when he deliberately sets out to damage our tourism marketing and New Zealand as much as possible in the likes of the BBC and NY Times as a way to get himself publicity.

    Actually being quoted in the NYT on the eve of the Hobbit release caught him by surprise, because he wasn’t aware he’d spoken to it.

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  10. Well Photo. They could fix our “brand” by actually doing something about our rivers polluted by dairy farmers, the particulates from industry, over irrigation, polluting industries, our carbon production and lack of funding for DOC and Pacific Island countries AGW gas reduction instead of trying to hide it.

    Shooting the messenger for doing his job and Photo trying to defend the indefensible just shows how morally bankrupt his “side” is!.

    And. Pretty much every waterway around here is un-swimmeable due to dairy farm pollution, even though the treatment of human sewerage has improved.

    Some of my old farming relations, who used to be proud of how they looked after the land and waterways on their farms, would be turning in their graves.

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  11. @photonz1

    I am interested in a couple of your points and look forward to your response:

    Clearly Mike Joy is trying to damage NZ as much as possible and doesn’t give a toss how many people lose their jobs because of his extremist outbursts in international media.

    What possible mileage would an academic get out “trying to damage NZ as much as possible”?

    30% of New Zealand is protected – one of the largest percentages of any country in the world.

    While 30% is terrific, if the remaining 70% – the parts that people live in – is being systematically degraded, why does that not meet the criteria of “catastrophe”?

    Similarly he says virtually all water quality is getting worse.

    But Joy is correct isn’t he? The evidence backs his assertion up. Or are you in possession of facts / analysis that Joy is not party to?Presenting a single instance of counter argument does not change the overall assessment of “virtually all”.

    From Sept 2011, courtesy of Fairfax:

    “A new OECD report will rate New Zealand’s water quality as relatively good but one of the authors is warning that while standards in other countries are improving, the opposite is happening here.

    OECD economist Kevin Parris has also warned that agricultural expansion has left New Zealand facing a “time bomb” on water quality, which means the problems could worsen before they improve.

    Environment Minister Nick Smith largely agreed with Dr Parris’ assessment, and said that although the Government had taken the first steps toward improvements, there was still a long path ahead to solve freshwater issues.”

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  12. @photonz: 30% of New Zealand is protected – one of the largest percentages of any country in the world.

    @Gregor W: While 30% is terrific,…

    A small nitpick — only 12% of New Zealand’s entire conservation estate is presently under any form of pest control.

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  13. Gregor – photonz1 will not answer your questions. If he does respond, it will be by further slighting Mike Joy through the use of hyperbole, as he has already done. You’ll not be able to pin him. His “discussion technique” is without integrity, so he can make whatever claims he likes, then retreat to snigger, untouched, in his muggy office.

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  14. I don’t think Joy is deliberately trying to damage NZ, he’s just doing what he thinks is his job. And if doing what he thinks is his job damages the NZ economy as collateral damage, then he clearly thinks that is OK too.

    Its an easy position to take.

    They could fix our “brand” by actually doing something about our rivers polluted by dairy farmers, the particulates from industry, over irrigation, polluting industries, our carbon production ………

    Wow Kerry – you’re so right.

    New Zealand could improve its CO2 position and improve the quality of many of its rivers by stopping dairy farming altogether. Lets pick a date, how about 31/12/2012. Lets do that, shall we? That’s an easy position to take, and there is little doubt it would work.

    We could also help by not dragging people from all over the planet to here to see our (less than) 100% pure country, that’ll be a lot less CO2 on jet liners. Lets stop that too.

    Can you think of any reason why we shouldn’t make these massive steps towards environmental improvement? You can’t help but agree – taking those steps would really make us a world leading example of taking action to reduce one’s environmental footprint. We could laugh at Kyoto. Wouldn’t that feel good?

    Is there anything wrong with this picture?

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  15. “Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Dr Jan Wright released her interim report on fracking this afternoon.

    The report, Evaluating the environmental impacts of fracking in New Zealand, concludes that fracking can be done safely if well managed but raises concerns about the rules and safeguards surrounding the practice in New Zealand.

    “During the course of this investigation I have come to a similar conclusion to the Royal Society which is that fracking is safe if it is properly regulated and managed”

    Great stuff. Fracking is safe.

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  16. I suppose I am being sarcastic when I comment.
    “In further news today Gween MP Gareth Hughes announced that he was pleased to see a science based conclusion from Dr Jan Wright on fracking. He stated that he accepted the finding and that further Green objections to the use of fracking in New Zealand would cease.”
    Yes, and pigs might fly. Any opinion that disagrees with Hughes ill-considered opinions will be either attacked or ignored.
    Which is it going to be Mr Hughes?

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  17. Business as usual for fracking industry

    On the whole the interim report is highly disappointing, weak, disjointed and not very thorough. Unfortunately the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment omits some very relevant and important aspects to the fracking debate and cherry-picks what information is included. Jan Wright also seems to think that a moratorium on fracking isn’t required because the oil and gas industry will somehow magically clean up its act… Yeah right!

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  18. That didn’t take long did it?
    It’s by Jackal rather than Gareth Hughes but it certainly fits the attack criteria.
    “highly disjointed”, “not very thorough”, “omits”, “cherry-picks”, “magically” etc.
    Why don’t you just say that the Green Party was wrong?

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  19. That didn’t take long did it?
    It may be by Jackal rather than by Gareth Hughes but it certainly fits the attack criteria.
    “highly disappointing, weak, dis-jointed and not very thorough” Later on “omits”. cherry-picks”, “magically” etc.
    Why not come out and admit that the Green Party was wrong?

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  20. Or. DBuckley.

    We could be sensible and forest the river banks, to catch nutrients, fence off rivers, use fallow fields and complementary cropping to avoid overuse of fertilizer, use ponds and other methods to keep nitrates on the farm where, it is useful, not in the creek, avoid overstocking and extensive irrigation on land that is not really suitable for cows and breed stock which produces more milk/beef and less methane.
    I am sure someone more familiar with modern day farming can come up with a few more.
    All good farming practice which I know a fair number of farmers do anyway.
    Funnily enough you can also get better production, with good husbandry, and less costs in imported feed and fertilizer.

    I expect the fuel costs of air travel will make your other point irrelevant in future.

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  21. ‘Course you can, but it will take time, effort, money, and will. All of which are in limited (if not short) supply.

    I’m already on record many times, not the least of which is in this thread, that mass air travel has a limited life span.

    Of course, once the tourismn is gone, the point of 100% pure has gone, so then there will be even less money and even less will to do anything about the state of our waterways.

    And that (for those in the cheap seats who have yet to join the dots) is why Mr Joy may think he’s standing up for the environment, but the reality is that he’s hastening its demise.

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  22. Gareth told us to wait for the findings of this inquiry. The findings are in. There are some adjustments to be made, but fracking has been given the go ahead.

    He should remain consistent, else how can he expect his opponents to do so when science and findings agree with his position?

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  23. alwyn

    It may be by Jackal rather than by Gareth Hughes but it certainly fits the attack criteria.

    Attack criteria? You’re clearly deluded! The Greens article published today entitled Safety of fracking not guaranteed by PCE by the Green’s MP Gareth Hughes is very different to the article I’ve written.

    Gareth Hughes is more concerned with the parts of the report that confirm what the Greens have been saying all along, whereas I’m more concerned with what the report doesn’t say that should have been included. I’m hopeful the full report will make amends by looking more thoroughly into all aspects involved in fracking.

    I see very little similarities in both articles and did not read his before writing mine… Besides, Hughes is far more diplomatic than I could ever be.

    Why not come out and admit that the Green Party was wrong?

    Wrong about what exactly alwyn? The Green party is calling for a moratorium on fracking, saying:

    The fact that the PCE cannot not guarantee that world best practice is being implemented in New Zealand and has pointed out many potential gaps in regulation is in itself a compelling case to implement a moratorium on fracking.

    I think they’re wrong and there should be a total ban put on fracking instead of just a moratorium. The problem is that even if worlds best practice and proper oversight is achieved, the technology is still environmentally unsound. Fracking is inherently not safe and there are far better ways to ensure our economy grows.

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  24. Fracking, as I have said before, can be OK in the right places and if proper precautions are taken.

    The Greens are right in that there needs to be regulation and oversight, by knowledgeable people, like most potentially hazardous industries, to avoid harm.

    They are also right we should be spending the money on more sustainable alternatives such as 100% renewable electricity generation, not subsidising oil exploration..

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  25. “Fracking is safe if it is properly regulated and managed”

    Great stuff. Fracking is safe.”

    Astonishing that Arana hasn’t noticed that she’s left off the “if it is properly managed” segment of the quote. Such a silly girl.

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  26. A Hobbit blanket of lies, myth and dishonesty covers the truth! (leading to bloglink lest-we-forget-real-hobbit-story page)

    Yes, a lot of myth and rewriting of history there. And many folks won’t even get past the first (of 113) pages of the “impartial” view, which is really just a collection of positions.

    Although there a lot of noise about “film workers”, the position is misrepresented. The union side of the stouche was the NZ Actors, which many folks woundn’t actually call “film workers”. As a (not terribly polished) analogy, if Fonterra were making movies then the actors would be (and I don’t mean this disrespectfully, merely illustrativly) the cows.

    And it is true; actors are treated differently then the craft people. Almost all actors will not carve out careers as “stars”. The character Penny on Big Bang Theory is typical of the story, most “name” actors will tell you about the times they waited tables “waiting for their break”. For almost all, that break never comes. For Kaley Cuoco, if Big Bang gets to a seventh season, she’ll get $350K per episode. Being an actor = being a gambler.

    Sprout notes that “This money [the bribes we paid to have the Hobbit made here] would have been far better spent directly supporting our local film industry that has produced the likes of Boy, Whale Rider and the World’s Fastest Indian that have also received wide international acclaim through telling our own stories.”

    But that couldn’t be more wrong. It’s the same film workers, the crafts people (ie everyone but the actors) who are here because there is work here that make the Kiwi films. The crews are mobile and follow the work (and thus the money). Thats some of what we buy with the bribe. Kiwi film producers get world class talent on their doorstep, and often at highly advantageous rates. Without the big boys coming here that simply wouldn’t happen.

    Is what we (collectively) did shameful? Not at all. The film business globally (well, lets be honest, it’s Hollywood) is big wonga, and, with some well placed bribery, we got a little bit of it. yay us. And its good money too, no shagged over rivers, no mountains of CO2. Yes, they have us over a barrell, largely of our own making, but we are not the only place in the world (or even in America) to offer bribes for filmmaking. It’s very competitive. A bit of googling will get a paper the Brits wrote on the topic, musing what they should do to attract Hollywood.

    There are those still smarting who think it wasn’t the right thing to do; history has proven them very wrong. Be lovely if they would celebrate how lucky we are to have such capability that the world (ok, Hollywood) is willing to use here in Godzone.

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  27. Gregor asks “But Joy is correct isn’t he? The evidence backs his assertion up.”

    Yeah right – it was so much better in the 1970s when virtually EVERY town and city in the country poured raw sewerage into the nearest waterway or beach.

    And factories legally poured untreated toxic chemicals down drains and into their nearest waterways.

    Those waterways and beaches were all safe to swim in back then in those rose tinted days.

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  28. Gregor says “What possible mileage would an academic get out “trying to damage NZ as much as possible”?

    Probably because he thinks peoples livelihoods are insignificant and trivial compared to his cause, and if he can harm the countries economy, more people will listen to him.

    Similar to sprouts attack on the Hobbit.

    The idiot union’s stupid actions cost the NZ taxpayer tens of millions to just keep the film here.

    But because it’s a union, sprout will back it no matter how idiotic it’s actions were.

    And the level of it’s stupidity can be gauged from the fact that thousands of WORKERS, marched AGAINST the union.

    And the claims that the threat to shift the movie to another country was a bluff, shows extraordinary naivety.

    Warners had scouted UK locations for the scenes, and just ONE WEEK after the govt convinced them to stay, paid quarter of a billion dollars for the top fantasy film studio in the world – the Harry Potter studios, in the UK.

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  29. I would love to know where you get your extraordinary information from, Photonz1. If you read the links on my blog post you would know that even Jackson himself emailed the government to say that the union would have no effect on the filming location. You will also see that independent employment experts supported Helen Kelly’s version of events. What are your sources?

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  30. Gregors asks “But Joy is correct isn’t he? The evidence backs his assertion up. Or are you in possession of facts / analysis that Joy is not party to?”

    Recently from the DCC “This is the first time in 100 years that it has been safe to swim at Tomahawk Beach.”

    Here’s a graph of pollution readings from 9 Dunedin beaches
    http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/135216/WWS-Coast-8_8_12.pdf

    Coromandel just spent $81 million on new treatment plants. The Grey River until recently had raw sewage pumped into it, and another $12m was spent improving it this year, some Southland towns have new sewage worm farms.

    This is being duplicated at towns and cities all over the country, who have recently, and still are, are spending hundreds of millions on new treatment plants.

    Work in Auckland has led to a “significant improvement” in water quality in Orakei Basin.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/east-bays-courier/7534120/Basin-water-quality-improves

    Water quality in Lake Rotorua is the best it’s been since tests began.
    http://www.rotoruadailypost.co.nz/news/lake-rotoruas-water-quality-improves/1593172/

    A huge number of places are significantly better than they were a few decades ago, when nealy all towns poured untreated sewage into their waterways.

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  31. Sprout says “If you read the links on my blog post you would know that even Jackson himself emailed the government to say that the union would have no effect on the filming location. ”

    “The danger of The Hobbit being filmed in the United Kingdom was “very real” after a union spat threatened to put the brakes on filming in New Zealand, Peter Jackson says.

    “[Warner Bros] were very, very serious about filming elsewhere,” Jackson told Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report. ”

    Sprout says “You will also see that independent employment experts supported Helen Kelly’s version of events.”

    So thousands of protesting workers were all wrong and Helen Kelly was right? You’d have to be totally blinkered to beleive that.

    Jackson says “”[Warner Bros] had sent a location scout around England and Scotland to take photos, and they literally had the script broken down to each scene, and in each scene there were pictures of the Scottish Highlands, and the forests in England… and that was to convince us we could easily just go over there and shoot the film,” he told Radio New Zealand. ”

    So they’ve location scouted UK, spent quarter of a billion dollars buying a fanstasy genre studio THE SAME WEEK!!!! – and sprout thinks there was no chance of them shifting to UK.

    That’s EXACTLY what the Rugby Union said about the 2003 Rugby World Cup.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/film/8002142/Misunderstanding-in-Hobbit-spat

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  32. Photonz1, with his claims about human sewerage, is full of it.

    Crowing about the progress that has been made from the days we poured raw sewerage into the rivers is fine and dandy, but obscures the fact that we are once again on the downward slide overall and shouldn’t be resting on our laurels, as photonz1 would have us do. With people like him in decision-making positions, our river quality will fall as he and they continue to breathlessly declare ‘we used to be really terrible and it’s worse in parts of China!!

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  33. Thanks for responding Photonz1.

    So in synopsis, your view is as follows:

    1. Mike Joy’s motive to criticise “100% pure” was because he thinks he better than other people.

    2. You don’t have a particular opinion on the systematic and well documented degradation of 70% of the country’s environment because 30% is protected (or possibly didn’t see the question?)

    3. Because the situation is better than the 1970s when there were essentially no environmental protections and furthermore, some regional efforts have been made to improve water quality, the collective evidence based view of the OECD, Joy and the former Minister of Conservation can be dismissed.

    Thanks again for clarifying.

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  34. photon

    Those waterways and beaches were all safe to swim in back then in those rose tinted days.

    I sometimes wonder if you aren’t stuck in some sort of time warp photon.

    What do you mean back then in those rose tinted days? Most waterways that are polluted to a degree that can cause adverse health conditions have no signage to let the public know there’s a problem. This is because the government and councils are doing their best to keep the extent of the problem under wraps.

    That’s because they don’t want to change the way businesses operate. They don’t want to fix the problem and address the issues of where that pollution is coming from. An adult human produces around 1.5 g of Phosphate per day (547.5 g per year) and each cow produces 14 times more waste than a human being (7,665 g Phosphate per year). That’s 45,990 metric tons of phosphate from cows, most of which ends up in our waterways. The total herd in New Zealand is equivalent to more than 80 million people in terms of it’s total waste.

    With around 6 million cows and wastewater from dairy factories, freezing works and an estimated 10,060,000 Tonnes of waste discharged yearly from pulp and paper mills, the problem is getting worse not better.

    Sewage plants have limited treatment capability, leaving behind more than 70% of the nitrogen and phosphorus, meaning that as populations grow, so does the pollution problem. This is the same with increased dairying whereby runoff is not being properly managed on most farms. That’s why more waterways are polluted in New Zealand than ever before photon.

    There are some solutions such as bioreactor systems and ultraviolet light disinfection for treatment plants as well as riparian strips, silt traps and better irrigation management on farms, but these are not going to totally solve the problem anytime soon even if they were fully implemented all over New Zealand.

    The main problem as I see it is that pollution is accumulative meaning that even if it’s reduced, waterways may not recover because they’re now at saturation point. Even if we decrease our pollution dramatically, this might not avert ecological collapse in some at risk areas. That’s not to say we shouldn’t try to save as much as we can, and people like Mike Joy are invaluable in making people aware of the problem. Only through public pressure will the government move to properly implement environmental policy to reduce water pollution.

    Unfortunately the issue of New Zealands highly polluted waterways has been ignored for a very long time by local and central governments, who cannot even be bothered to protect people’s health by installing proper warning signage. National doesn’t seem to want to acknowledge let alone change the historic negligence that has caused nearly half of our lakes and 90% of the country’s lowland rivers to be polluted. Let’s get some politicians in power who actually give a damn.

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  35. Gregor says “So in synopsis, your view is as follows….:”

    You can read what I ACTUALLY said.

    Or you can make up your own silly summations.

    Your choice.

    Everyone here is desperate for everything to be as negative as possible.

    As commented elsewhere, the Greens are desperately dissappointed that fracking wasn’t doing all the damage they said it was.

    How stuffed in the head is that for people who claim to be concerned for the environment?

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  36. greenfly – your abuse and negativity know no bounds.

    That’s probably why you’re having more success at pissing people off down south, than you are at getting them on side.

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  37. Soltka – yet another extremist making really dumb summations.

    It’s not surprising you can’t comprehend basic english when all you do is make animal noises.

    With so many of you drowining in your own negativity, it’s a wonder any still have the will to live.

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  38. @photonz1

    You can read what I ACTUALLY said.
    Or you can make up your own silly summations.

    I did read what you said.

    The trouble is you went so ‘off piste’ with mutterings about the 70s, extremism, rose tinted glasses and nasty old unions that the points you were actually trying to make eluded me.

    I was merely attempting to summarise your responses to my questions down to the key components.

    So to reiterate, did my summation of your positions miss anything? Are they inaccurate?

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  39. Mike says “photonz1 is an angry angry man.”

    No – I just have a low tolerance for idiocy, and people making really stupid assumptions that no one has ever implied.

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  40. Fair enough, photonz1.

    Which is why I’m more than happy for you to point out where I might have inaccurately summarised, inferred or falsely assumed based on what you actually wrote.

    I’ll make it simple for you by reiterating what appear to be the core of your arguements, and removing my second question to you as you didn’t respond:

    1. Mike Joy’s motive to criticise “100% pure” was because he thinks he better than other people.

    3. Because the situation is better than the 1970s when there were essentially no environmental protections and furthermore, some regional efforts have been made to improve water quality, the collective evidence based view of the OECD, Joy and the former Minister of Conservation can be dismissed.

    Have I got your position wrong?

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  41. Sorry photonz1.

    Number one should have originally read:

    1. Mike Joy’s motive to criticise “100% pure” was because he thinks he knows better than other people – being an expert in the field – and doesn’t care for others livelihoods.

    Sorry if I mislead you there.

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  42. “No – I just have a low tolerance for idiocy, and people making really stupid assumptions that no one has ever implied.”

    Which is obviously your perception nearly every time you visit FrogBlog. You clearly have a strong disrespect for virtually all Green Party policies and supporters so it’s not as if you’re hoping you might learn anything or be enlightened, and you rarely if ever end up finding common enough ground to participate in a constructive conversation. So why do you repeatedly come back, getting into predictable flame wars, if not because you’re really really angry for some reason?

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  43. Maybe photonz1 is just lonely.
    This might be his equivalent of talkback radio.

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  44. Gregor says “I’ll make it simple for you by reiterating what appear to be the core of your arguements…”

    Best to concentrate on your own arguements. Every time you try to reinterpret mine, you come up with rediculous assupmtions about things I haven’t even talked about.

    Mike chips in with more wrong assumptions “..if not because you’re really really angry for some reason?”

    What is it with having to always make wrong assumptions, twist and change what everyone says?

    One of the main reasons I come here (although it would probably be healthier to reduce my exposure to such continually negative poeple), is that researching debating positions often clarifies what’s real and what’s myth.

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  45. Photonz1’s use of ‘rediculous’ is an aspect of his presence here that I truly cherish.
    I’m mystified though, by his claim to ‘research debating positions’. Perhaps he means, ‘I pop over to see what Slater and Farrar say about fracking/beneficiaries etc…’
    Whatever it is he does, it rarely results in anything deserving more than a solkta quack!

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  46. We’ll leave it there I guess, photonz1.

    You have – again – manifestly failed to point out where I might have misinterpreted, made assumptions or incorrect inferences based on your own comments.

    Repeating the mantra that others twist your words doesn’t make it so – it merely weakens any weight your position may have had that could be defended by robust debate.

    It’s a shame you appear to not recognise the difference between ‘reinterpret’ and ‘summarise’ but – your shrill, disingenuous and entirely predictable response aside – it is your prerogative.

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  47. Oh so hurtful – the 1034th and 1035th attack by greenfly.

    Yawn.

    I get it. You’re trying to bore me to death.

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  48. photonz1 – don’t respond to my jibes, it just provokes me.
    (I’m flattered though, that you’ve kept count. Clearly, I’m a special someone in your life).

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  49. I wondered, what exactly does “100% pure New Zealand” actually mean/claim?

    Does it mean/claim that we have no pollution? Not with those words!
    Does it mean/claim that we have no brown grass? No.
    Does it mean/claim that everything we do is endorsed by the “green” committee? No!
    DSorry folks, to me it simply means that all of New Zealand IS New Zealand. We don’t have bits of other countries stuck in places within our geographic boundaries like some countries do, our land is ALL (i.e. 100%) New Zealand.

    It’s a tag line, an advertising slogan, something to attract the eye and get a bit of mind-share. It is NOT an advert for the success of green politics are attitudes, any more than by walking a particular way, or “step” we can end child poverty.

    Kettle – Pot – Black! Let’s get off this before someone’s advertising/PR spend gets roundly criticised!

    Or maybe not – perhaps we should examine every word and slogan??

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  50. I dunno if this one‘s relevant:

    “Toxic algae that can be deadly to dogs has flared up again in the Hutt River. [...] The river has been plagued with toxic algae since 2005, and 11 dogs have died from eating it.”

    What happened in 2005?

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  51. photon

    One of the main reasons I come here (although it would probably be healthier to reduce my exposure to such continually negative poeple), is that researching debating positions often clarifies what’s real and what’s myth.

    Commentators on frogblog are not continually negative photon. Please don’t confuse people acknowledging the fact that New Zealand has a serious water pollution problem with depression. Most activists have a strong sense of what’s wrong and what’s right, and are proactive in trying to change things.

    A truly depressed person would simply not bother to comment, whereas a person working towards change would present facts and try to illicit support to force change. It would seem to me that you’re the one who’s depressed about the accuracy of those facts, because the rightwing you support is doing its best to ignore and ridicule them. You would clearly prefer to reside in the fantastical myth that everything is hunky dory.

    dave stringer

    Or maybe not – perhaps we should examine every word and slogan??

    You’re basically arguing against truth in advertising… The New Zealand 100% Pure campaign is pretty specific about what it’s stating. 100% Pure means that there’s no impurity in any way. This is clearly wrong, being that 90% of our lowland waterways are highly polluted. Therefore the 100% Pure campaign is false advertising, which isn’t just morally questionable, it’s also against the law.

    The Advertising Standards Authority sets out a number of rules, one of them being:

    Truthful Presentation – Advertisements should not contain any statement or visual presentation or create an overall impression which directly or by implication, omission, ambiguity or exaggerated claim is misleading or deceptive, is likely to deceive or mislead the consumer, makes false and misleading representation, abuses the trust of the consumer or exploits his/her lack of experience or knowledge.

    This is important because visitors will be duped into believing that New Zealand has a clean and green environment, and act accordingly. With many thousands of Kiwis becoming unwell from polluted water, we should assume that visitors are even more likely to not know the dangers involved in many recreational activities.

    So you can believe that the statement is OK because everybody knows that New Zealand isn’t really 100% Pure or you can understand that the campaign will mislead people. Whether McDonalds also misleads is largely irrelevant to that fact, but just goes to show ASA is largely ineffectual at ensuring advertising standards are adhered to.

    MikeM

    What happened in 2005?

    Basically the problem started getting reported on because a number of government reports were released and it could no longer be ignored by the MSM. There was no drastic increase in toxic algal blooms as far as I can tell, with the size and frequency increasing year on year for a very long time. The only other effect that could have had an impact is that temperatures have increased in more recent years, but again this didn’t suddenly happen in 2005.

    So basically nothing happened apart from a change in people’s perceptions and more awareness about the extent of the problem.

    Those pictures used on the Dominion Post article you linked to are of Hutt River Benthic Cyanobacteria taken December 2007 btw. It probably looks a lot worse now.

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  52. Thanks @Jackal. I thought it may have been something like that.

    On a different topic, is this government unusual in respect of the PM being such a prominent figurehead? From opposition MPs and other concerned people alike in media, it seems as if I often hear them complaining about John Key by name, as if it’s entirely him, instead of complaining about the entire government, or other Ministers, or the governing political parties, which is more what they mean. Sometimes it seems as if he deflects much of the negative attention from where things are actually happening, though. From the criticism that’s out there, you’d sometimes think the entire government is about a guy with a smiley face.

    Helen Clark maybe attracted similar amounts of criticism from the opposition, but I always had the feeling in her case that she was actually wired in to what was going on. The current PM, though, seems more like a hands-off diversion puppet who could gracefully resign to playing golve in Hawaii just as soon as is necessary, and be replaced with a more popular person with a clean reputation, and the same old things would keep happening.

    I bring this up because when there’s criticism, I think it’s often directed straight at “John Key” as if all the problems are all entirely his fault when it should really be directed at something like “the current National government” or “the coalition government” or “[insert Minister name here]“, and so on.

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  53. I will take any support I can get… but would prefer to elicit support than illicit support, as the latter often leads to visits from the 3 letter agencies :-)

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  54. On a different topic, is this government unusual in respect of the PM being such a prominent figurehead?

    Yes.

    We’re flirting with the style of Presidential politics.

    The National party is John Key in the eyes of the electorate, and he’s “such a nice man”. He only does nice things. Which is why National can do truly horrible things and yet JK remains popular.

    Which is also why National are going to be in power until rolled in 2020.

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  55. jackal says “Commentators on frogblog are not continually negative photon.”

    That’s funny – only 99 times out of 100 in your case (to give you the benefit of the doubt).

    You’d be hard pushed to find anybody, anywhere, on any blog, more continually negative to the extreme than yourself, Kerry, BJ and Greenfly.

    I sometimes wonder why any of you bother to get up in the morning.

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  56. Wonder no longer, photonz – I’ll tell you. I spring joyously from my bed at 6 am, keenly anticipating the day ahead, one filled with earthy activities like cultivating, planting and sowing vegetables, flowers, trees and vines. I eat a hearty breakfast with my wife, daughter and sons and whoever else might be staying with us at the time, be they foreign traveller or New Zealander on tour, then bound into the great outdoors along with those who want to help in the activities of the day. We work and talk. Sometimes I retire to my “office” to write or visit Frogblog to prick any grandiose bubble you or Arana might have fabricated during my gardening-time, or perhaps don my suit and head into the boardroom to make governence decisions on behalf of the good burghers of my city. I take photographs, wherever I can, of the wondrous things I see about me and I spend as much time as I’m able, talking with people who come into my shop for their organic lifestyle needs. It’s a happy and positive existence and I’m known about the place for my cheerfulness and sunny disposition. You’ll have guessed by now that I don’t agree with your “continually negative to the extreme” comment – in fact, I laugh in its face, Hahahahahahah, tralala, skip-edi-dee do day and wonder, “Is photonz1 wrong about everything, or is it just the comments he makes on Frogblog that are so far off the mark?”
    Your chirpy friend, greenfly

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  57. BJ

    I will take any support I can get… but would prefer to elicit support than illicit support

    Ah yes! Elicit not illicit. Thanks you walking dictionary/thesaurus you. Not sure about the 3 letter agencies though, as it would no doubt be the Police knocking on the door of somebody trying to gain support through illicit means :)

    photon

    You’d be hard pushed to find anybody, anywhere, on any blog, more continually negative to the extreme than yourself, Kerry, BJ and Greenfly.

    And yet here you are continually putting us down photon in an attempt to foist your own depression onto us. I think in the case of Greenfly especially your comment is entirely unjustifiable. It just goes to show how deluded you are photon in your confusing the problems we often highlight with the people we actually are.

    Such delusions about people you’ve probably never met are clearly what sets many right wing commentators apart from their left wing counterparts. In other words only someone as deluded about such things as yourself photon would vote for National and their repressive and archaic policies… Saying they’re repressive and archaic policies doesn’t make me a depressed person btw, it makes me a realist. I suspect that’s the real reason for your continued negative abuse that clearly comes from somebody who is dissatisfied with their own lives.

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  58. Photonz

    We aren’t negative… except about the ability of NZ and the Planet to continue with Business As Usual. We have solutions to problems that you don’t admit exist and that you claim we can’t do anything about. They ALL involve the end of “Business as Usual”.

    It is YOUR particular attitude that construes that end as being “negative”. We see it as quite positive, given where BAU has taken the planet. Its demise is a quite delightful prospect for US.

    So “negative” may not be the right word.

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  59. Well the good news for today is that it looks like Petrobras has pulled out of oil drilling in the Raukumara basin on the East Coast of New Zealand, likely a result of pressure from environmental groups and local Iwi plus the fact that Petrobras has major financial problems at the moment.

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  60. From @Jackal’s blog:

    @JanWright said: “I haven’t reached a firm conclusion that there have been no problems in Taranaki. While I haven’t found any big red flags, I will be having a closer look at the monitoring that has been done.”

    Then @Jackal said: “Saying that you haven’t reached a firm conclusion that there hasn’t been any problems in Taranaki because of fracking is a roundabout way of saying you know of fracking related problems.”

    No it isn’t. If anything she said that she doesn’t yet know of significant fracking-related problems, but is continuing to look.

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  61. Farmers should oppose fracking

    The potential for fracking to pollute pasture and water supplies in Taranaki isn’t just speculation… Documented evidence shows that fracking fluid blow-down pits at the Kapuni site had polluted the groundwater which was no longer fit for human or stock consumption. The BETX (benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene and xylenes) contaminated water also didn’t meet the criteria for irrigation, meaning it was highly toxic.

    Of course Shell Todd Oil Services, which owns Kapuni, and the complicit regional council say there’s no link with the fracking that’s occurred in the area and the groundwater contamination, however BETX has been regularly used in fracking around Taranaki and there’s no other explanation for it to be found in the groundwater other than unsafe storage of well fluids in fracking blow-down pits.

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  62. Russel Norman – Hero of the Week

    There’s no question that Dr Norman articulates himself well and is as dedicated as they come to a future government that will reduce GHG emissions to protect our environment. In fact his ability in the house to show National up for their environmental failures is second to none…

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