South Island

Time to force farmers that have stolen public land to restore it and hand it back

A regional council report details the widespread conversions, called agricultural encroachment, between 1990 and 2012.

The encroachments took place on the margins, or berm lands, of 24 of the region’s braided rivers – described by the report as “internationally and nationally significant”.

“They are a defining characteristic of the region’s landscape and… critical habitat for remaining indigenous biodiversity,” the report said.

The river banks were crucial to that ecosystem, and provided a natural floodplain, it said.

But in the 22 years from 1990, 11,630 hectares of that riparian zone was converted for intensive agricultural use.

I’m not too thrilled about this. ?Apart from the obvious, it has created access issues for the public and it has removed large flood mitigation buffer zones. ? Read more »

The size of the problem or Why you can’t trust the Herald to tell you

The size of the problem in and near Kaikoura is something people are struggling to get information on.

Unfortunately, you can’t rely on the NZ Herald for facts. Here is a prime example.

The scale and the complexity of the slips on SH1 was unprecedented in New Zealand, Knackstedt said, and the task ahead was huge.

“While detailed measurements aren’t yet available, it’s likely that four or five of the large slips which have come down on SH1 could be as large or larger than the October 2011 slip which closed SH3 through the Manawatu Gorge.”

That landslide – the largest in New Zealand history – involved 370,000sq m of material. ?

Read more »

Andrew Little proves he is unfit for office

Andrew Little is a muppet at the best of times, but yesterday he showed what a complete tool he is.

He has said that he thinks there may be no point in rebuilding the road and we should look at alternate routes.

Was he wearing a blindfold when he was surveying the region with the PM?


Does he think that there is an easier route than the one chosen decades ago? You know when technology and earthmoving equipment wasn’t what it is today.? Read more »

Reality sets in as road and rail freight will take ?months? to re-establish as before

As we discussed yesterday with an email from a transport sector contact, the solutions for the transport infrastructure are complex. It is going to take a long time to get even cars moving.

It’s going to be months before the South Island’s freight lines will be fully operational.

Monday’s 7.5-magnitude earthquake destroyed parts of State Highway 1 and railway lines between Blenheim and Christchurch.

Most freight, including food, goes north to south.

Companies that send goods via truck and train are already scrambling to sort out an alternative option ? shipping.

The extent of the damage was still unknown, said Todd Moyle, KiwiRail Group’s general manager asset services.

Early indications are that the lines will take months to fix, he said.

“We are still in the process of assessing the full extent of the damage. There are areas that we can’t or haven’t gotten to yet,” Moyle said. ? Read more »

Bloody whinging Poms

What a bunch of cupcakes…crying a river of tears because their holiday got ruined by an earthquake.

An English couple were brought to tears describing their nightmare New Zealand holiday.

Scott and Selene Papworth saved up, working seven days a week for the past 12 months to come on a trip of a lifetime with their children Faith, 5, and Ronnie, 4.

Scott’s father and brothers, whom he had never met, live in Christchurch and he was determined to visit them.

The trip started off well; they got to Christchurch, met the family, then holidayed in Hanmer Springs before driving up to Kaikoura.

But then it turned pear-shaped.

The quake struck just after midnight on Monday.

“The house was going sideways,” Selene Papworth said. “I was getting shoved 4m either way. It was horrendous. I was getting rag-dolled and I thought ‘just get out’.”

Scott said most of the house they rented was made of glass, which “was going in and out”.

They all ran outside. Scott said he was so frightened he didn’t even notice his bare feet getting cut by running on the gravel driveway.

The four of them then sat on the grass outside in the freezing cold, too scared to sleep as they’d been warned of a tsunami.

When the Herald met them, they were all standing holding hands watching all the helicopters fly in and out.

Read more »

Looks like El Nino is coming. Watch the Green Taliban wax lyrical it is global warming

I just want to get this on record, so that every time the Green Taliban and it?s enablers complain about warm dry conditions, I can point back to this and show them they?re still no better than last year?s Luddites.

An El Nino hitting New Zealand this summer is now “extremely likely”, climate scientists say.

The National Institute of Water and Atmosphere (NIWA) today issued its climate outlook for the next three months, reporting that it was “virtually certain” – with a 97 per cent chance – that the ocean-driven El Nino would continue through to October.

Further, it was “extremely likely” – with a likelihood of above 90 per cent – that the El Nino would persist into the summer of 2015/16.

Over the next three months, above-normal pressure was forecast over and to the south of Australia, while below normal pressure was expected well to the northeast of New Zealand. ? Read more »

Face of the day

Patron of Shakti Helen Clark

Patron of Shakti
Helen Clark

Today’s face of the day is Helen Clark who is the Patron of Shakti. I may not share Helen Clark’s politics but I share her support of Shakti. More people need to know of its existence.

A woman close to my family came to New Zealand from Syria many years ago to an arranged marriage. She had never met her groom and neither had her family. She arrived in New Zealand unaware that she had rights and there were people who would protect her. If Shakti had been around then and if she had been aware of it she would have been able to escape instead of being trapped by the fact that she could not speak English and knew no one. Shakti are specially for women, children and families of Asian, African and Middle Eastern origin.

I did not know of Shakti’s existence until I watched an Australian show called Four Corners about Forced marriage. One of the stories was about a group of sisters rescued from forced marriage in New Zealand by their school’s guidance counselor and Shakti. Their story will move you.

Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Photograph by NASA : [12 December 2006]

Photograph by NASA : [12 December 2006]

Going for a (Space)?Walk

Read more »

Cunliffe vs the truth…again

David Cunliffe’s truthiness issue seems to be getting worse. Today he tweets about the regions:

However the facts are quite different

Provincial regions across the country have led New Zealand?s economic recovery from the Global Financial Crisis according to new Statistics New Zealand numbers released today, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says.

Bay Of Plenty, Gisborne and Hawke?s Bay in the North Island, and Nelson/Tasman, Canterbury, Otago, and Southland, have experienced growth above the national average of the five year period from 2008 to 2013, while Auckland, the West Coast, and Waikato have been just under the average. Meanwhile Taranaki continues to generate the highest GDP per capita by some margin.? Read more »

Map of the Day