Monday, January 9, 2012

what is happening

I am enjoying time with my mother and son over the holidays. I love watching the generations together, 76 and 4 and me closer to mums age than Kahu’s. Mum was born into a family that lived in the Catlins, in what would be called now, a shed. Where will Kahu be when he is 76. I do believe we are heading towards tough times but I have hope. I believe in my son and the world he is growing into. I will do everything to make that world the best it can be for him and his peers.

Part of that is highlighting aspects of our society that are detrimental to the benefit of everyone. I was shocked to read this report about dairy farms and their voluntary (non) compliance with the Dairying and Clean Streams Accord

Under the latest accord figures published last month, 69 per cent of Fonterra Tasman dairy farmers told the company their stock was totally excluded from all permanent waterways on their properties deeper than a Red Band gumboot and wider than a stride. However, a representative audit conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture of 35 of those farms found that the actual figure was just 17 per cent, the second worst result behind Marlborough with 8 per cent. Nationally, MAF found 42 per cent of 587 farms inspected excluded stock from waterways, just half of what Fonterra's survey of farmers suggested.
69% to 17% is a disgrace and should be investigated thoroughly. There is something really wrong that farmers can misrepresent what is happening to the environment within their farms. These waterways flow and carry any shit, silt and mud downstream.
Neil Deans, Nelson Marlborough manager of the environmental group, which has long been critical of the policing of the accord, said the gap between what farmers said they did and what MAF had found was too big to put down to a mistake and it was clear some farmers were "pulling the wool".
Sadly a lot of dairy farmers, for all sorts of reasons, are letting us all down. We want the rivers to be clean and alive with strong mauri and plentiful life. The dairy farmers who are actively working against that should be ashamed, and they are making life more difficult in the future for our children – that should be reason enough for them to change their ways. But to date they have made the problems worse and changed little for the better.

The number of dairy cattle in New Zealand increased to 6.2 million at 30 June 2011, Statistics New Zealand said today. This provisional result from the 2011 Agricultural Production Survey was up 260,000 on the number in 2010. "This is the first time the number of dairy cattle in New Zealand has exceeded 6 million" agricultural statistics manager Hamish Hill said. "The dairy herd is now double the number it was 30 years ago."
Our environment should not be sacrificed for a small group to make money. The basic requirements are compliance even if it lacks teeth and is woefully inadequate. The fact that this simple requirement cannot be met should send shivers down our spines because what the hell is actually going on. How bad is it?

7 comments:

whanau4life said...

Hey Marty :-)

Isn't it awesome seeing generations together? The twilight years, the middle years and the hopeful and exciting beginning years. Stories all intertwined, waiting to be told.

Totally agree with the Dairy situation. It is scary to think how fast we are hurtling towards environmental suicide. Farmers flout laws and regulations, our regulatory bodies lack any real teeth to do anything and besides, big business is prepared to pay woeful fines...and continue to pollute streams. Consumers continue to demand their products and the wheel of this disastrous life continues. What is required is a crisis of conscience, from all sectors in society. That's a little summary of what i think.

Happy New Year - all the best for you and your whanau this year e hoa. Keep up the blogging!! Its a great way to connect people and ideas.

bsprout said...

My sister and brother in law have bought a small block of land and intend to live in a manner that is self sustaining and has minimal impact on the environment. They approached the local council to investigate installing a composting loo and found it was going to be almost impossible to do so. Meanwhile 6.2 million cattle poo and wee with impunity...

Marty Mars said...

Kia ora Jacque

Yes it is so great to see the generations together - it is the way it should be - community, communal, whānau. It seems to me to be the best and most effective protection for us all. We need it to happen more and that is why i'm taking Kahu down to the deep south to meet my side of his family this year. I'm looking forward to some amazing insights and realisations from that trip.

Kia ora bsprout - they say in the Kali Yuga everything is topsy turvey and that is a great example. Why is it so difficult for these local authorities to allow people to create sustainability is beyond me. Best wishes to your whānau on their endeavours.

All the best to you both this year and your whānau. whanuau4life and Local Bodies blogs are both awesome and inspiring and I am proud that we are all connected.

bsprout said...

And best New Year wishes to you and your whanau, Marty, my life is also richer through my association with some awsome bloggers like yourself!

Steve Julian said...

It's like that all over the world. We know that the world is finite but yet act like it belongs to us for our pleasure. I wish the heck that the big heads of big business know what they are doing, directly, to their own children. Of course they must feel like they are above everyone else and that they are in heaven with all that cash and power. The Eart "will shake like a dog and shed its fleas".

Simon Lambert said...

A dairy farmer down the road from us has just been fined (20k) for polluting Waihora ...

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/6248725/Dairy-farm-polluter-fined-20-000

Some of the comments are interesting, not least for revealing a real gap in knowledge and understanding between rural and urban dwellers.

Wider word is that Ngai Tahu are to have 70 dairy farms, presumably about Te Waipounamu. They'll have to cut a lot of trees down first ...

Marty Mars said...

Thanks for the great contributions Steve and Simon. Kia kaha and good luck for the year with your blogs, which I really enjoy.