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Thursday, May 10, 2012

We have a new president!

Chew on this, townies!




















It's Russell. Russell MacPherson. Russell MacPherson who lead the walkout at Environment Southland when past-president Hugh Gardyne spoke in favour of the new rule. He's now president of the southern feds.
Russell has begun his reign by saying that the urban community needed reminding of what farming did for the Southland community and he wants us townies to visit the sculpture of a blade of grass in the city, to reflect upon this.
We've forgotten, apparently, what we owe the farmers.
Russell's tenure will be an interesting one, I'm certain.

32 comments:

wildcrafty said...

I think we all know exactly what farmers have done for Southland ;-)

robertguyton said...

Russell's words will be fed back to him, via the letters to the editor column I'm sure, wildcrafty. He may be forced to eat humble pie, or some such pie like it.

Shunda barunda said...

He won't eat humble anything.

Such a shame, this seems like quite a regressive step to say the least.

The more digging I do, the more I realise that there is a growing divide between rural folk as well as 'townies'.

Unfortunately, the noisy ones that own v8 Holden utes (the most impractical ute in existence) seem to be dominating at present.

Anonymous said...

Robert, interested to hear what you think farmers have contributed to Southland?

robertguyton said...

Anonymous - I like farming. If I had more land, I'd farm it in order to produce food and other products for others (mahika kai, if you know what I mean). I admire farmers application to their trade. I know they spend a great deal of time out of doors and I believe that's vital to good physical and mental health. I sympathise with farmers who are caught in any financial treadmill that might have snared them. I especially admire those farmers who understand the need for their actions to improve the environment and act upon that. The Southland we now enjoy owes a great deal to farmers. It's not however, the only option for Southland. We could have been different. farming could have taken a different path. Farming could still take a different path. I hope it does. Southland is largely de-natured as a result of how it has been farmed. For example, we could have developed and maintained a large flax-milling industry, but we didn't. We could have left areas of wetland for tourism and eel 'farming', but we didn't.You'll b familiar with the 'all your eggs in one basket' phrase. There are a myriad of other options we chose not to take, for various reasons. Farming contributes considerably to the economic wealth of Southland, but it could, and in my view, should, take a different form than it does now. The market determines the form farming takes, I know people will say, but the dictates of the market are not the only determining factor. Communities, families, individuals can decide for themselves what their work/lifestyles/land-use will be like, if they care to. I'd like the people who live in Southland to be the decider of how the environment here is 'used', not the invisible hand of the market, or worshipers of that dead hand, like John Key and Bill English, his brothers and wealthy mates.
Does this give you an idea of where my thinking is, anonymous?
Yours was a fairly broad question.

Towack said...

You done well RG, someone asks your thoughts on farming and somehow you end up talking about John Key and Bill English, his brothers and wealthy mates. Quite sad really, doesnt anything else happen up that end of town, maybe you need to shift closer to the sea and let the easterly blow out those cobwebs, plus theres no cows down here, the odd whale maybe, but dont panic, the japs are eating them as fast as they can

robertguyton said...

John Key and Bill English, his brothers and wealthy mates have a significant effect on farming, Towack and deserve mention. Or do you think that they do not?
If someone asked me about welfare, would I be wrong to mention Paula Bennett?
And yes, that is an odd whale!

Towack said...

I dont like where Southland has gone at all farm wise, however I'm also wise enough to recognise when the change really escalated, and John Key and Bill English, his brothers and wealthy mates were most certainly not in power then, your mate Helen was. The major changes in our farming environment started and carried on over the last 12 years. To blame those fellows now is like blaming me for Captn Cooks intial settling of NZ.

robertguyton said...

Clark started it, so English and Key aren't responsible?
Sorry, Towack. Too lame to even consider a real response.

DarkHorse said...

Crikey RG Towack must have a problem with female authority figures - must have had too many spankings as a lad or maybe he went to a convent school and got the strap lots - you can sort of understand why tho'

Shunda barunda said...

I guess that means Dark horse has a problem with male authority figures.

But that's ok because "he who has the penis is wrong".

robertguyton said...

darkhorse didn't mention a male authority figure, did he, Shunda?
Those people who do cite Helen Clark on a regular basis do seem to have such an issue as darkhorse describes, I'm bound to say.

Shunda barunda said...

She was the f@cking prime minister Robert.

Shunda barunda said...

Race card
Gender card
So many cards to play to instantly demonise your opponent.

I could just as easily say those that dislike Key are anti-Semitic, but I don't.

robertguyton said...

You have.

Shunda barunda said...

And why was that Robert?

Could it have been the blatant caricatures depicting 'Jewry' that the left think quite acceptable?

I even made a gentle suggestion to you that you might want to reconsider using them.

You didn't take it up.

Helen clark was the Prime minister Robert, that she is a woman is irrelevant.

It is my democratic right to criticise the Prime Minister.

Not that the left have a clue about democracy in this country.

Anonymous said...

Robert, nice to hear your support for farmers and the benefits. It appears Russells Presentation worked, already you are contemplating and advocating the benefits.
"we could have". Seriously..... Aliens could have landed and handed out bonus bonds too. If you really believe that why don't you buy a dairy farm and convert it to an eel farm.
Market forces have an impact... Sure. But people own the farms... Yes people. People who want sustainability. You can remove market forces with rules. We know what governments are called that remove market forces. I am a bit shocked you have said that.
I have listened to Russell and thought back to the 80s when farming was tough. Invercargill was a ghost town. Shops were dead and life was tough for all. As a Latt'e sipping townie I agree with Russell. I need to think before I criticise.
Finally. Shunda, really with the language... Still.

robertguyton said...

Anonymous - Russell's instruction to ponder on the blade of grass may have 'worked', but it's attracted a scathing editorial in today's Southland Times. He's making it too easy to mock the federation. Adroitness with PR is not one of his strong points. I expect we'll see more of this.
Tell me, if you will, Anon, what are your thoughts about the legal requirement for farmers to securly exclude their stock from the roads wih fences? That legislation, the Fencing Act, is an outrageous imposition on farmers who after all, own the land - it's their private property. What right, do you suppose, does the Government have to dictate to farmers, very sensible people, how to run their farms. Farmers are humanitarians and don't want road users killed or maimed by wandering stock - the Government should butt-out and leave the management of farms up to farmers, don't you think? It's a form of Communism, that fencing rule. Mind you, I'm very disturbed at the Fonterra cooperative model! That Socialism, isn't it? Co-operatives are so China and Russia! Don't get me started on federations! I see a red flag waving when I think about federations - commies, I'm sure you agree! I'm amazed that the National Party champions those communist-style systems so openly. Don't their members see the irony?

Anonymous said...

I can see you are going to have a fantastic relationship with the new president. I wonder if you have had a chance to speak to him since his speech? And before critiquing him. I like to see people in power showing their disfunction. It gives me confidence that new rules will represent the people. And before we start the he said she said game, my mum always said "it takes two to fight".
I am looking forward to seeing NZ government requesting farm fencing plans which they will critique and perhaps limit farming if the plans don't fit their needs of the day.
I embrace rules that solve specific problems and balance the needs. I don't agree with governments taking over farm management to control the market. Of course this is a whole new debate. But you asked.

robertguyton said...

I don't soft-soap public figures, Anonymous. I'm pretty consistant about that. I don't regard doing that as 'disfunction' either. Have you ever heard Bill English talking about those who sit on the other side of the House? There you'll see some disfunction.
Regarding the fencing plans, if a farmer didn't fence his property off from the road properly, he/she would come under the 'critique' of the Government, througfh their agency the police, and have their activities 'limited' due to their lack of compliance. Your counter-argument seems empty.
As to 'governments taking over farm management to control markets', I've not suggested that, so you'll get no argument from me there. I'm suggesting that communities take control of their own destiny and not be dictated to by the markets. Self-determination, Anonymous. That's what I believe in. Not being a puppet for the dead hand.

Shunda barunda said...

Finally. Shunda, really with the language... Still.

Spare me your self righteous bullshit.

Usually people like you belong to Pentecostal churches or some such.

Oh wait! you do don't you!!

Anonymous said...

Interesting you compare your yourself Bill English.
Perhaps you need to reclaim the willingness to improve the relationship between ES and dairy farmers. If the leaders of ES can't be civil to the leaders of Feds what hope is there?
Yes I am accusing you of not being civil. Attacking a new leader In a public forum without first consulting is in my opinion not civil.
ES are using farm management plans to control makets are they not?

robertguyton said...

Comparing myself? Contrasting our behavious, more like. Bill's caustic, and I think, cruel with his comments. I try to be light-hearted and flippant, truthful too, though I'm aware that others see my comments as 'attacks'. Some figures, Key et al, I regard differently and mock caustically. Public figures at that level are fair game, in my view. Russell, I've not demeaned and unless you can quote me something I've said that is cruel or unreasonable, I can't really repond to your charges. Feel free.
I have, you may know, spoken with Russell, at some length on the telephone about the issues that irk him. I've received email missives from him and responded to those too.
"ES are using farm management plans to control makets are they not?"
No, we are not. We are requiring farm management plans to protect fragile environments. The 'markets' model is yours, not ours.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic! Robert the eel farmer! and one less nasty polluting dairy farm, as a member of the southland community I urge you robert to pursure this endevour. As to beening no land suited I think there is a large lagoon near invercargill. Time to get busy!!

Anonymous said...

For example, we could have developed and maintained a large flax-milling industry, but we didn't.

Why didn't you?

We could have left areas of wetland for tourism and eel 'farming', but we didn't.

Why didn't you?

robertguyton said...

Anon@4:01 as fate would have it, I bought a chunk of dairy farm (as negotiator/chairman of a landcare group) and we have returned it to wetland where eels and whitebait flourish, so in a sense, I did hat you suggest. Any chance i get to do more of the same, I will take.

Anon@4:03 (are you a different Anon?)
"For example, we could have developed and maintained a large flax-milling industry, but we didn't.

Why didn't you?"

Wasn't here at the time, but even now, I've promoted the idea, through the writing that I do and in discussion. I believe the flax-fibre industry is potentially a valuable one. We've the environment for it and the history to show that it can be done. Sadly, we've destroyed most of the flax, but that's reversable. Why haven't I bought a farm and converted to flax? Too expensive by far and my skills are not in milling flax. I still see it as a possibility for someone more able though. Natural fibres will have a place in the future.

We could have left areas of wetland for tourism and eel 'farming', but we didn't.

Why didn't you?"

Because I wasn't around at the time when much of the Southland plains were converted from eel-habitat to sheep and cow habitat. I'd have had something to say had I been there.

Anonymous said...

the lasts post has indicated a problem with your market free model Robert. It doesn't work.
I see you are trying to make friends with Bill too. Is there anyone you like out there? Perhaps try smiling a little more you might not hate so much?
Am I wrong in thinking land sales and dairy farms are part of markets? Of course this farm management plan will control those markets. And all this with no promise of Environmental improvements.

robertguyton said...

Anonymous - I smile so much my jaw aches - have we never met?
Trying to make friends with Bill? You've not seen my placard for tomorrow's march then.

robertguyton said...

No environmental improvements, Anon. Then farm plans are worthless, aside from increasing productivity?
Nutrient budgeting only serves to save the farmer money?
There's no environmental gain in knowing where your field tiles lie? What soil types you have?
Are you a farmer, Anon?
I'm kind-of hoping you're an armchair farmer and have no farm under your control. I'd hate to think of it's impact on the environment, if those things I've asked you about are the case.

Anonymous said...

The 19 page document is largely worthless. Things such as winter plans and nutrient budgets can not be filled in with any level of certainty prior to conversion. ES say fine is is a flexible document. I say what is the point if you are asking for speculation/lies.
Tile drains.... You must be joking. I won't go further into that in the hope that you are joking.
Soil type descriptions are a crude tool at best. When you try to control farming practices using this tool you will simply get lots of court cases. This will cost rate payers and farmers and simply increase the divide.
Are you showing your hand early by suggesting any farmer that doesn't fill out a management plan is a potential polluter?
Robert, amongst other things I am an Environmentalist. I believe you and I share similar goals in some areas but I cannot agree with the management plans. When you make some rules that sensibly benefit the environment you will have my full support. Until then I think you should stop fighting with the other kids in the sand pit and get on with those sensible rules.

robertguyton said...

OK.

Anonymous said...

Nice to hear.