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Open and independent, balanced and reasoning minds are required for good regional governance.

Heat over bad water is rising generally, around Havelock North’s current crisis. The larger water quantity, population and risk in Canterbury mean that every tool available to resolve the same challenge must be applied here – and this especially includes democracy. ‘Many eyes keep bugs shallower’,  as the open-source software movement says. Let us all be enabled to act to preserve water quality, essentially.

Tuesday saw competing meetings in Lincoln about freshwater recovery: Two meetings, two visions for Canterbury’s freshwater lakes and rivers. The outcome from the blame game is, who can you believe?

Water users will defend their interests, the stronger the greater these are. Political interests step in taking sides, which muddies the water further.

Fish, fowl or four-legs? we may well ask – all are farmed from the natural resource.

So when fishers and fowlers claim the moral high ground, I for one stand unconvinced.

The Environment Minister is correct identifying a, if not the, major contributor to faecal contamination of urban waterways – that city dwellers get blamed for but cannot change!

Fishers and fowlers maintain hunting stock at maximum possible limits. But more city dwellers want the very messy canada geese gone from river banks, boating infrastructure and estuary and cleaner local rivers.

Thus Fish and Game oppose game-bird culls and leave Christchurch with the crap: both green poos and water quality blame. So it does not wash at all for ‘environmentalists’ to side with farmers of the rivers and lakes (Fish and Game base) expediently, to make their case and too-easy-allies.

Park or wild goose habitat? NZ

Park or wild goose habitat? Photo 170914: “Large flocks of canada geese have descended on the Waterstone subdivision in Paraparaumu, fouling the lakes, grassy areas, paths and walkways. Now residents are urging the council to organise a cull.” http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/kapiti/10517793/Calls-to-cull-wandering-geese

Now Fish and Game claim a place at the Environment Canterbury regulatory table for their farming interests too? Who is this helping really? One more example is enough.

The hazard-prone Opuha Dam in South Canterbury enabled much more dairy irrigation there – love it or hate it for its effects.

Fish and Game’s position is to support the dam, to steady the Opuha River flow for their trout. At this point the argument ends and I leave you to decide your own votes and whose interests you really want served in regional decision-making. Pick those with no interest materially different to your own: no conflict. Pick pure values.

Should it come as no surprise that state broadcast media sides with national government choosing winners in this debate? If we can have no trust in Radio New Zealand or The Press to avoid bias, what use are they to the public in greater emergency?

Refs. Chch water contaminated 125 times in four years, RNZ 30 August 2016 +
Swimmable lakes would require a bird cull – Smith +
Don’t blame birds for bad water, minister told 1 September 2016.

Water shot mix - northern South Island NZ

Water-shot mix, northern South Island NZ – “friends setting Canada goose decoys on the Acheron River during the Molesworth Goose hunt” – NZ stock photo: http://www.naturespic.com/newzealand/image.asp?id=45869

Water quality, real story-telling and this election are about one and the same thing: integrity.

For the only former Canterbury councillor running again in 2016 and therefore a referendum on central government’s treatment of Canterbury democracy and water equity, see CommunityVoice.nz

Quoting a certain prime minister for New Zealand journalism’s benefit, “Get some guts!”

Please do Vote

Kia ora

It has been six long, troubled years since Canterbury lost regional democracy. This year it is being allowed back in partial form by central government. We must celebrate and utilise the consultative opportunity this change of course provides. Given the mounting challenges that Canterbury faces, it is at least worth asking, can democracy provide greater solutions? The answer is undoubtedly yes.

The Waimakariri River

Ko Waimakariri te awa, Ka Pakihi Whakatekateka o Waitaha – the Waimakariri River, Canterbury

Government intervention at Environment Canterbury (ECan) in 2010 turned long-standing threat into action.

Post-Muldoon, post-SMP farming subsidy, Labour governments had forged rural recovery on an intensive dairy model, birthing export co-operative giant Fonterra as one pinnacle. Growth upon growth characterised an industry fast becoming the nation’s leader.

In Canterbury the most ‘fertile ground’ for dairy expansion was found, by tapping underground water and applying nitrogenous fertiliser to former dry-lands. But this massive growth spurt had natural limits – aquifers are finite and their increased depletion, combined with more fertiliser and waste run-off, began to degrade surface water. This the public noticed and said so loudly.

Could Labour keep Canterbury dairy growth going, against natural limits and growing public concern? ‘Yes’, said the Labour-led regional council, to Labour government pressure – with new water storage, irrigation schemes and environmental mitigations.

‘Get on with it quicker’ said an incoming National government from 2008, soon throwing the elected council out and replacing them with appointed commissioners.

Tangata whenua, the indigenous ‘people of the land’, rightly wanted more say and democracy was poorly delivering it. Appointments made with iwi / tribal corporate Ngai Tahu could start resolving this also.

The first remedy, in the return to regional democracy, will be ensuring representation belongs equally to tangata whenua. The primary challenge facing ECan, therefore, is how to structure a return to democratic representation that guarantees the appropriate kaitiaki / resource stewardship role of Ngai Tahu.

The next challenge being, is there enough water for all users wanting it? This is a matter of careful sharing, and in good governance.

The Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS) was developed, and in 2009 launched, by an elected council collaborating with the region’s mayors. Commissioners have been rolling the CWMS out and founding its water Zone Implementation Committees and Plans (ZIPs). Keeping these Zone Committees viable is a function of good democracy – people need to believe and participate in ECan’s resource management plan as a whole.

It is hard to believe trouble greater than rising ‘water wars’ could displace these in Canterbury, but one did – devastating earthquakes.

Now we have seen the capacity for communities to collaborate and recover from deadly calamity, how do we optimise this capacity as a region? ECan co-ordinates local emergency responses and we need reminding and preparedness for what is forecast to come: the Alpine Fault poses a major threat every 330 years or so, the last rupture having been in 1717, around magnitude 8. Are we ready for ‘the big one’ here yet?

ECan’s technical capabilities are tested daily – a very large area to cover, containing some 70% of New Zealand’s freshwater and the nation’s second-biggest city, Otautahi Christchurch. Over half a million people live here which generates transport challenges. Without adequate staffing or accountable public representatives, resources can fall through the cracks and when they do it is scandalous: e.g. Environment Canterbury informs police, Serious Fraud Office of potential taxi fraud news today, story on RadioNZ with Checkpoint interview.

This echoes the finding Millions of litres of water illegally taken: Is ECan doing enough? in June – technically competent elected watch-dogs are needed to raise and maintain a higher level of vigilance. ‘Many eyes, shallower bugs’ is the credo of the open-source software movement and both central and local government need to learn from this international community, fast: the power of engaged communities to help solve the most ‘wicked problems’ on Earth.

For improvements to happen quicker in 2016, I have joined the local election campaign Community Voice .nz – Do join us, do speak – for a safer, more collaborative and prosperous region of Waitaha, Canterbury NZ!

Kia ora

Rik

Updates
A Hawke’s Bay water contamination crisis was erupting at the time of this post:

“Both Hawke’s Bay and Canterbury are among the driest and most drought-prone areas in New Zealand and both rely largely on aquifers for drinking water. Both have braided rivers too, although those in Hawke’s Bay are on a smaller scale than Canterbury.
A rush of irrigation over recent decades in Canterbury has led to significant environmental degradation, including serious contamination of some rural water supplies, loss of biodiversity and transformation of landscapes. Democracy has been damaged too, as development pressures led to the Government sacking the elected Environment Canterbury regional councillors and their replacement with appointed commissioners.
The commissioners promised to improve water quality. They have failed and water quality has continued to decline. Some rural water supplies, including Selwyn, Hinds and Hurunui, are contaminated with high levels of nitrogen and pathogens, leading to people becoming sick.
Canterbury now has the unenviable record of having the highest rate of campylobacter infections in the world, along with 17,000 notified cases of gastroenteritis a year and up to 34,000 cases of waterborne illness annually, according to Canterbury District Health Board figures.
Rates of animal sourced disease such as campylobacter are higher in areas of Canterbury with more intensive animal farming. A Canterbury District Health Board commissioned assessment of the proposed Central Plains Water Scheme found potential health risks to Cantabrians outweighed the probable financial benefits to a few people. Hawke’s Bay should not make the same mistakes as Canterbury. It needs development, particularly in agriculture, that is sustainable and protects water quality and the other natural treasures that contribute so much to the region’s quality of life.”
Amelia Geary: We want to be able to swim in our rivers, NZ Herald, 31 August 2016

Canterbury’s poisonous lake: still toxic, with dry summer ahead, Stuff, 2 September 2016
See Plan Change 6 (Wairewa) to the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan

See wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_pollution_in_New_Zealand

Spreydon-Heathcote Youth Community Board 260716

‘Spreydon-Heathcote Youth Community Board’ 260716

An opportunity to bring constructive resilience to our local communities and youth has been lost, rudely hijacked. The ‘Spreydon-Heathcote Youth Community Board’ has turned out to be a community fraud, an in-house training exercise for Labour Youth. What a shocking waste.

When I suggested last December to bring representatives from all local school councils in the ward together, it was for a broad and deliberative democratic improvement, not a mirror-replica of Labour-dominated local politics. Diversity, depth and breadth of representation and goals were intended, with a Christchurch South youth community resilience role.

Instead my initiative, for a Spreydon-Heathcote Youth Council – for active engagement between local youth, residents’ groups and Civil Defence etc. – was headed off and greatly limited, by Labour politicians using the already-laden Christchurch Youth Council. The corruption of this process is highly pronounced.

What a disgusting insider-substitute for real inclusive agency around resilience and greater good:

the Spreydon-Heathcote Youth Community Fraud just sails away, a mockery of succession planning.


Graphic source, Wigram MP Megan Woods’ facebook post “The most excellent Spreydon Heathcote Youth Community Board – making sure their bit of Christchurch has a strong youth voice! Keep up the great work!”

When Christchurch City Council Senior Project Manager Lee Sampson opposed his local residents’ association, over an intersection upgrade that most in the area want, he backed the powerful against the weak and breached vital governance lines unacceptably. He should know better than to throw local government weight around like this and allow his neighbours to have their say duly heard.

The Hoon Hay/Cashmere/Worsleys Road intersection is scheduled for upgrade to traffic lights in the council Long Term Plan. But construction and opening of a cycling Adventure Park off Worsleys Road in 2016 concerns Cracroft residents especially that congestion delays increase unmitigated.

The Cracroft, Westmorland, Hoon Hay, Lower Cashmere and Cashmere residents’ associations have all agreed that the lights are needed now, to safely manage the increasing Cashmere Road traffic flow. Council has heard the call and is considering an accelerated upgrade this year. So when council staff start attacking the position of the residents it looks very suspicious indeed.[1]

Is this a determination by council authorities to neutralise the organised voice of the residents? Apparently so. Sampson next wants to claim a community board seat off the residents and campaigns now to that effect.[2]

What does this make the Dalziel-Edwards-run council look like? A rates appropriation of power that refuses local direction, steam-rolling commercial development through and homogenising ‘representation’.

Democracy is much better than this and needs to say so in October. Kia ora.

Southern View 26Apr16 p5

Southern View 26Apr16 p5

[1] Southern View letters, 26 April 2016

Cashmere HoonHay Worsleys Road Intersection upgrade

Cashmere HoonHay Worsleys Road Intersection upgrade

The Hoon Hay/Cashmere/Worsleys Road intersection design in the new District Plan, that most residents want brought forward – before large Adventure Park events cause traffic chaos this summer.

Southern View 120416 p.1

[2] “Health board boss says Princess Margaret Hospital campaign ‘misleading’ residents“ 19Jul16 stuff.co.nz/national/health/82232610/princess-margaret-hospital-closure-making-life-hard-for-elderly-residents

CCC Media Release - Elections 2016 Candidates Information Evening

CCC Elections 2016 – Candidates’ Information Evenings

Democracy needs friends at Christchurch City Council and in local government. Dirty deals to close shop are rife, with council staff put up to prevent the ‘outside’ rate-paying public from ever representing themselves. This is blatant, obscene corruption, that must end.

No wonder revolution is in the air, viz Brexit: when Labour – people’s supposed alternative – is implicated in what is so badly wrong, people despair! Self-anointed “People’s Choice”, Labour technocrats would steal elections and displace rate-payers from their own governance role, from having real choice, as a career option. Labour competes with the public itself! This is electoral crime that voters have power to reject, and to cut self-perpetuating waste within council at the same time: too many councillors and committees shows incompetence.

Already documented is CCC staff member and People’s Choice candidate Lee Sampson’s case – corporate-fascism-at-ccc-sampson-to-resign-christchurch-city-council – where Sampson poses as community member to advance city council planning objectives: stuff.co.nz/national/health/80065995/residents-fight-to-keep-services-at-christchurchs-princess-margaret-hospital. For this imposture, CEO Karleen Edwards should be sacking Sampson, or she endorses underhand Labour hegemony over communities. Dr Edwards, sack Sampson now!

Add to Sampson’s subterfuge those of ECan project managers who – also for People’s Choice – also would seize public representation roles: “In 2016 we have funding from.. Environment Canterbury” – workingwaterstrust.org/who-are-we. With a Zone Committee chair foisted into the democracy breach too at ECan, technocracy, not the rate or tax payer, is to rule under Labour! stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/81225366/three-regional-council-candidates-to-focus-on-change Oh that’s right, there is precedent, when a People’s Choice regional councillor did private consulting for Central Plains Water irrigation company in the 2004-2007 term. Disgusting betrayal of rate-payers and democratic principle, as outright self-service.

That central government endorses what is so wrong with Christchurch City democracy can be seen in this simple fact: in 2010, Key and Co. sacked the Environment Canterbury council for a single 7:7 drawn vote; but when the City Council has one it passes without comment – stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/80893686/catholic-church-told-it-must-pay-150000-development-fee

Will the Mayor’s welfare-assisting capacity continue with Labour power over Christchurch? –
stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/81358306/christchurch-earthquake-fund-closes-after-donating-82m

And will the city’s public assets adequately be protected? –
stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/81468439/sale-delay-for-christchurch-city-councils-maintenance-company-city-care

Go along to the CCC candidates’ information evenings advertised above, to learn how to help and participate in better democracy and better outcomes for Christchurch.

Kia ora

Hints:
stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/columnists/80874905/democracy-doesnt-come-with-optional-extras
hbr.org/2016/03/the-most-important-leadership-competencies-according-to-leaders-around-the-world

New Zealand’s Labour Party are not trusted to govern. Such is Labour-bureaucrat hunger for power, wealth and influence that meaningful difference from the dominant National Party is long lost. Labour has cast principle of purpose aside and the public know it, distrusting evasive professional politicians. Action to rein in the runaway corporate salaries, corruption and control is what collapsing economies most need but instead Labour promotes these and obstructs any genuine opposition. Fixated upon parliamentary power in Wellington, at community level Labour’s lousy monopolist method is most readily exposed for overdue challenge.

So to the 2016 local elections.

From the Labour point of view (dishonestly branded “People’s Choice” in Christchurch) there are only two permissible actors: staff of the corporate council (that Labour battles head-on for control) and themselves. All other community voice – and actual democracy – Labour extinguishes in pursuit of absolute power. These politicians generate few ideas for solutions and specialise in obstructing other people’s (the public’s) ideas for solutions, or hijacking them sometimes instead. A monopoly of ideas works like that: primarily Labour must silence all visible alternative, by any desperate means that they can; corruption included (like National’s).

The mostly Labour people’s choice for the new south city ward has just been announced, as illustrated here:

Labour people’s choices, 2016

Labour deceived people’s choices, 2016

These are all sitting representatives of the current Spreydon-Heathcote Community Board that the Labour-led council has just destroyed, stripping it of suburbs, history, and connection to the commercial inner city, but with one exception: Labour has decided to stand a senior council staff member for one of the public representative seats.

That’s right. Unbelievable but true – here in black and white print – Lee Sampson is a Senior Project Manager in Social Housing at Christchurch City Council and is proposed, by Labour, for election to a public representative decision-making seat!

Clearly Sampson cannot perform both roles, for that would be terrible conflict of interest: Sampson cannot represent both the council and its rate-paying public at the same time, or else this is pure dictatorship. Therefore Sampson must resign his council service role in order to be able to perform public representation. Sampson should do this immediately, if he has integrity, to make his loyalties and intentions clear to the public he now claims to represent!

That members Clearwater, Potter, Mautner and Coker should stand by, endorse and disguise such an appalling conflict of interest shows how far principle has fallen for each of them individually, in pursuit of outright power. And how ruthlessly desperate Labour always is to win, at any cost, to very clear detriment of democracy. The worst of it is the stupid arrogance that Labour selection seems to imbue its anointed local candidates with – all reason and listening is lost. Theirs are the only opinions brought to bear, thereafter.

Democracy is thus shown to have eroding value under Labour, which is why public decisions have also been going backwards with Labour monopoly of so-called ‘opposition’. Genuine public voice, Labour does not allow. Theirs is pretence, that political ‘left’ does not mean ‘right’ for them. Labour are professional frauds.

This explains why, under a Labour / “People’s Choice”-led council, where their party policy is ‘against’ public asset sales, corporatisation of City Care outdoor maintenance and council Social Housing have still proceeded.

New Zealand is unable to elect a different choice of government until it has thoroughly understood the so-called ‘Labour Party’, demolished it as a force and then swept it into the dustbin of history. Only then will Aotearoa-New Zealand society be able to progress past the rotten ravages of corporate fascism it now suffers systematically.

Kia ora

Ref. Southern View, 31-05-16, issuu.com/the.star/docs/116152ob, p.3.

PostscriptFiddling while Rome burns

“#BREAKING: The Risingholme Community Centre in Chch has been destroyed by fire tonight. @NewstalkZB @nzherald” – twitter.com/lynchinnz/status/739748940900245504

“Second flare up at Christchurch’s historic Risingholme Community Centre” –
stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/80789078/fire-at-christchurch-community-centre

A horrible indictment of Labour-dominated community board, which was long-warned of this high risk to heritage but did nothing – except throw Opawa out of the ward area to advance their own career ambitions😦 Awful loss.

FYI, re technologised work in ‘the brave new world’ – radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/queensbirthday/audio/201803432/how-to-fix-the-digital-economy-douglas-rushkoff

Southern View 2016-05-10 p5

Beginning as conscientious-objector, anti-conscription, trade-union federalists in 1916, only to become conscripting and strike-breaking war leaders a generation later, the New Zealand Labour Party (NZLP) emerged masters of political somersault as government from 1935. Their Federation of Labour of 1937, under waterfront heavy Fintan Patrick Walsh, became gangster enforcers of the Left through war effort, and, confronting Stalinist groups, crushed diversity out of New Zealand alternative politics for decades to come.[1] Labour hegemony, over the politics of opposing capital, maintains the same hard and devious tactics to this day, betraying and subordinating worker interests to capital. The NZLP functional role is to actively dissolve any real opposition to capital. This applies right down to community level, wherever obliged. This post is a study of the underhand methods by which Labour-aligned bureaucrats keep themselves in power, through dirty stranglehold on communities, to constitute a corrupting influence upon Christchurch City Council (CCC) local government.

The socialist reforms that swept social-democrats to power in the 1930s have long since degraded with descent into social-fascism, such that ‘reforms’ are now typically, in the economic sense, mostly negative for working people and favour the corporate elite (that includes Labour).[2] Examples are state asset privatisation, real wage erosion and housing turned into an inflated market commodity, all under NZLP rule. (Labour has capitalised through multiple home ownerships bought via parliamentary careers; steady money has corrupted them collectively, thus creating a classic gang).

Which brings them to today’s water politics. The NZLP response to the rural downturn and lost subsidies of the 1970s and 80s was Helen Clark, from a Waikato dairy farm background, and mass dairy farm conversion with creation of Fonterra milk corporate co-op. With Clark as Prime Minister, new export industry required new sources of supply and in Canterbury – the country’s largest region with the bulk of its available freshwater resource – transformation began. Water demand expanded until it exhausted all usable supply from rivers, streams and wells. Then new irrigation, for pasture on difficult dry land, would require water storage and new publicly-funded supply schemes. Enter the Canterbury Water Management Strategy, when environmental impacts and strong public protest against them had all begun to hit home too. But a change to National government in 2008 allowed it to claim the landscape conversion was not fast enough, nor the mitigation effort. So National replaced the Labour-balanced regional council with appointed business commissioners, lacking much originality. What could the NZLP then do?

Labour, also lacking originality, has picked up National’s refrain: that city-dwellers should be concerned first and foremost with urban river water quality and not rural – ‘they are to blame’ after all. So Labour wants all the credit and publicity for this diversionary work, turning it into a new propaganda industry to keep itself in the news and somehow relevant. Of course Labour agrees with National – that the public is to have no real choice.

In our local neighbourhood, Labour have begun the Opawaho-Heathcote River Network, with themselves in exclusive charge. They will decide which community groups can participate, so the one I am part of – the Cashmere Residents’ Association – has been shut out; because it is independent of Labour, and, mostly, of the Labour-run city council. Residents will be stopped from voluntarily coordinating their own river-bank clean-up work, to subordinate it to Labour’s, and council staff will be drawn in to muzzle them and force them to advertise a ‘river network’ that they have been actively excluded from. What?! The consistency of this dictation machine is very anti-democratic and scary: it compromises staff ethics of impartiality, atrociously.

Labour’s social-fascist method is to hijack community initiative, to gain publicity and credit for other people’s work. They will hijack community newsletters to get their message out, to increase their influence at community expense. Council staff will help make this happen. What?!

Social-fascists (Labour) are not interested in community; they are interested in controlling communities. The social-fascist interest is directed over communities, through attaining positions of power. They maintain highly effective electoral machines, to elevate their members into positions of authority over the communities that they exploit parasitically. Social-fascists act to disorganise communities, to neutralise them as potential competitors to the Labour Party apparatus, and to substitute their social-fascist voice, opinions and decisions, for the community itself. They do this through targeting and monopolising local positions of council power, especially.

The Opawaho-Heathcote River Network is linked to the Avon Heathcote Estuary Ihutai Trust, recipient of significant council funds. But residents’ groups have the option of subscribing to the long-standing Christchurch Estuary Association, as an alternative; they are not obliged to simply follow the council-sponsored Trust. They can embark on water issue campaigns voluntarily, even their own, autonomously… in theory. In reality, the Labour-run council removes choice (like National does at regional level).

When the (ex-Labour) Christchurch Mayor asked recently for community views on proposed further research into the possible flood-control value of a tidal barrier for the Estuary, to supplement potential stop-bank work, she claimed ‘both the Estuary trusts rejected it’ as one reason for turning it down. This was a lie. Just the council-sponsored Trust opposed further study, whereas the public volunteer-run Estuary Association supported it. The Mayor’s office had asked for the association’s opinion but she herself did not read it or report it correctly.

Public choice, and effective democracy, demands quite a clean-up of the Christchurch City Council. Bullies, out!

[1] nzhistory.net.nz/people/fintan-patrick-walsh

[2] Social-fascism, from the social democracy era, is what defeated overt fascism for the imperialist West in the 1940s – a ‘softer, kinder’ variety of fascism that chose a different and ultimately victorious side in the Middle East oil politics, for rebuilding depression- and war-ravaged capitalism (e.g. the Roosevelt US, that had its own internment camps – for Japanese). Born of militarised societies, social-fascism remains a bulwark of capitalist imperialism, elected to government periodically on the democratic cycle. Out of the fascist era, only variants could compete and survive the state struggle for existence, then to now. This explains the violent growth of Stalinism, that matched attacks upon Russia and China on their own terms, producing stable national entities for the post-fascist era. ‘Social-fascism’ also describes these dictator states, as non-democratic but from degenerated communism. tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/162780/roosevelt-japanese-internment

Social-fascists, from a century of party machine development and many decades experience of governmental power, have a fanatical sense of entitlement. As the established second choice to wealthy nationalists, they know that top office has for generations been within ready reach, with patience and careful plotting. They simply must be the alternative to the nationalists and need not be substantively different (but meet the political pull of the media-created ‘centre’). This has warped social-democrats into mini-nationalists who are unprincipled, unethical and untrustworthy in all their political actions. Social-fascists have corrupt psychopathology that renders them incapable of recognising the betrayal and damage they do to communities, while propelling themselves on to assumed power. There is no way forward for struggling communities but to demolish and rebuild social-democrat (social-fascist) impetus, from the ground up. Waimarie.

Update 23-05-16
That the Opawaho-Heathcote River Clean-up is primarily for propaganda purposes is underscored by the fact that one week later it was being repeated, in part, by a different group:

Southern View, 17-05-2016, p.5

Southern View, 17-05-2016, p.5

Noting a return of readers to my blog today, probably looking for New Zealand earthquake analysis, I will rattle this post off quickly, as a catch-up on a previously strong theme to my writing. Then I will take a good long walk to relax. As should we all.

Having accurately forecast, to within 50 minutes, a magnitude 4.7 Christchurch earthquake yesterday, what are my afterthoughts about this? Under-earth events continue for the country and are detailed here: #Masterton‬ mag 5.2 ‪#‎eqnz‬ this morning is not alone..”[1] (Read research at footnote link). The title is only more fitting, a month to the day since it was written, when there have been two 5.2 magnitude earthquakes, this new morning. (Ironically, says the Moon Man?)

Stunning, really. Awesome Earth!

But what is the big picture, if I am asked?

Well, it’s not good. Not for New Zealand, one of the newest land masses and nations on the planet – it is likely to have to start again. In our lifetime? It seems / I would say, perhaps yes. Because a 330-year Alpine Fault cycle is sitting at year 299, approximately.

The tectonic motion we have begun to experience as a constant factor of the post-colonial state has the capacity to practically destroy it. In my opinion. A catastrophe so large is built into this land, Aotearoa – Land of the Long White [volcanic] Cloud – that it will surely cripple us one day. Soon? Hard to say. Why? It looks like this:

Current south-east/central North Island quakes are signs that the Australian Plate it is on is moving, a little bit more. When it finally gets going properly it will be a huge leap south-east, and this will spread the central plateau / Kermadec Arc enough for the Taupo super-volcano to explode again. That will obliterate the central North Island and disable both Auckland and Wellington.

What will initiate this calamity, however, will be almost as bad for the South Island  – a magnitude 8+ slippage of the Alpine Fault, disabling Christchurch and the then-isolated West Coast. This (long-term) ‘regular’ event constitutes the letting-off of the not-quite slow-moving tectonic brake, that is the Southern Alps, that keeps this geological system ‘stable’. A relative term. Long calm will resettle again, after many many large and small aftershocks.

Will Otago-Southland be left standing to pull us through? Let us hope so.

There is no way we can recover from this imminent (in our lifetime?) surety without massive international support and massive sacrifice of sovereignty.

Let us prepare for that transitional step now. However we are best able to.

But it may be that the next magnitude 8+ Alpine Fault earthquake does not release Taupo super-volcano.[2]  Let us hope so. ‘Not yet please.’  We are not ready. …

Is the Taupo volcano on a 5, 6 or 7 Alpine Fault-slip cycle? Some decade on from now, all New Zealand will be discovering this, as-yet hidden fact, together. It will be our darkest hour. Human spirit will pull through.

Kia kaha. Kia ora. Waimarie.

[1] facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10209826325001836&set=a.1294734535479.2045005.1443783772&type=3

[2] “1800 years ago Taupo volcano in New Zealand had the largest volcanic eruption in the world for the last 5000 years.” sott.net/article/249473-Is-The-Super-Volcano-Taupo-in-New-Zealand-Awakening and see wikipedia.org/wiki/Taupo_Volcano “The main pyroclastic flow devastated the surrounding area, climbing over 1500 metres (5000 ft) to overtop the nearby Kaimanawa Ranges and Mount Tongariro, and covering the land within 80 kilometres (50 mi) with ignimbrite from Rotorua to Waiouru. Only Ruapehu was high enough to divert the flow.”

“Possibility of further eruptions on White Island remains high” 10 May 2016 m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11636672

“Mt Ruapehu still shaking” – top closed to public radionz.co.nz/news/national/303667/mt-ruapehu-still-shaking

“Aggressive 4.7 Christchurch shake centred close to February 22, 2011 earthquake”  stuff.co.nz/national/79890087/earthquake-rattles-christchurch and five hours later a “‘Strong’ earthquake shakes lower North Island” stuff.co.nz/national/79892918/Strong-earthquake-shakes-lower-North-Island 12 May 2016 – graphic, GeoNet.org.nz/quakes/drums:

120516b-NSN-drums-Masterton4.7-5.2

Update 30/5/2016

Scientists prepare for Lake Taupo eruption

“A team of researchers is studying the volcano so better response plans can be put in place in case of a large eruption. The Earthquake Commission said damage from the last time the volcano erupted – almost 1800 years ago – would be large enough to destroy the central North Island…”
radionz.co.nz/news/regional/305214/scientists-prepare-for-lake-taupo-eruption

Understand that the Taupo Volcanic Zone, stretching from Mount Ruapehu to north of White Island, marks the southern pin of the broad Kermadec Arc and basin, a massive slow-spreading rift in the Earth that forever thins its crust. From this steady motion – eastwards, of the Australian Plate – re-eruption of Taupo Volcano is inevitable. It isn’t the centre of the North Island for no reason – it explains why the island is above water. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taupo_Volcanic_Zone

Subduction Zone diagram

Subduction Zone diagram

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lau_Basin + Graphic: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Back-arc_basin

The 5th most explosive volcano event known to human scientific records:
Name: Whakamaru
Zone: Taupo Volcanic Zone
Location: New Zealand, North Island
Notes: Whakamaru Ignimbrite/Mount Curl Tephra
Years ago (approx.): 340,000
Ejecta bulk volume (approx.): 2,000 km³
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supervolcano#VEI_8

Later, “Earth’s most recent eruption reaching VEI-8, the highest level on the Volcanic Explosivity Index” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taupo_Volcanic_Zone

“The Ōruanui eruption (about 26,500 years ago) covered much of the central North Island with ignimbrite, up to 200 metres deep. Ash fallout was spread by the wind over the entire North Island, much of the South Island, and a large area east of New Zealand, including the Chatham Islands. About 1,200 cubic kilometres of pumice and ash were rapidly ejected. This caused a large area of land to collapse, forming the caldera basin now filled by Lake Taupō.”

…”Big bang – The Ōruanui eruption was so enormous that it is hard to visualise. In only a few days or weeks it ejected enough material to construct three Ruapehu-sized cones. After the eruption, the new lake gradually filled to a level 140 metres above the present lake. The lake broke out to the north, resulting in a huge flood. For several thousand years the Waikato River flowed northwards into the Hauraki Gulf, but it later changed its course to flow through the Hamilton lowlands to the Tasman sea.”

Then, …”Taupō eruption – The most recent major eruption of Taupō volcano took place in late summer–early autumn around 200 AD, from vents near Horomatangi Reefs (now submerged). The eruption produced a towering ash column, resulting in tephra-fall deposits over a wide area from Hamilton to Gisborne. The airfall deposits were much thicker to the east of Taupō because the eruption column was blown in that direction by strong westerly winds. The eruption column was followed by a devastating pyroclastic flow, blanketing a roughly circular area within 80 kilometres of Lake Taupō with ignimbrite, and destroying all life in its path. The ground-hugging pyroclastic flow appears to be one of the most powerful ever recorded, and was able to overtop Mt Tongariro and the Kaimanawa mountains, climbing 1,500 metres in a matter of minutes. The outlet of Lake Taupō was again blocked during the eruption, and the lake level rose to 34 metres above its present height, forming a widespread terrace. The lake eventually broke out in a huge flood whose effects can be traced for over 200 kilometres downstream, and include boulder beds and buried forests.”
http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/volcanoes/page-5

That is, the same most recent was, the ‘Hatepe eruption’: “considered New Zealand’s largest eruption during the last 20,000 years.. ejected some 120 km3 (29 cu mi).. of which 30 km3 (7.2 cu mi) was ejected in the space of a few minutes. This makes it one of the most violent eruptions [on Earth] in the last 5000 years.. Tsunami deposits of the same age have been found on the central New Zealand coast, evidence that the eruption caused local tsunamis” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatepe_eruption

“Radiocarbon dating indicates an uneven spacing of Taupo’s eruptions, from decades to thousands of years apart. This makes it difficult to forecast when the next eruption will occur and how big it will be.” http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/volcanoes/page-5

http://hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/index2.php#supv

http://quakes.globalincidentmap.com

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake

Update 4/6/2016
“Magma chamber blamed for Bay of Plenty earthquake swarm.. study found the previously unrecognised magma body caused several thousand small earthquakes between 2004 and 2011.. expansion of the molten rock chamber approximately 9km below Matata has pushed up 400 square kilometres of land by 40cm.. something was accumulating at a depth of around 9.5 to 10km beneath the Earth’s surface.. The magma body could have been there for centuries or more.. The area was a ‘rift zone’ where over time the crust had been stretched and thinned – but it was not clear whether the crust was already thin, or the magma made it thin. ‘It is probably a thinner crust than the average you’d find elsewhere.. But what happens is as you stretch the crust and the hot rocks beneath come to a shallower depth, as they become shallower they get less pressure, which actually then enables them to melt and become magma. That magma, because it’s less buoyant than the surrounding rock, it then wants to percolate up through [into the crust]'”, RNZ – radionz.co.nz/news/national/305592/magma-buildup-blamed-for-quakes & Science Advances article, “results suggest that the continued growth of a large magmatic body may represent the birth of a new magma chamber on the margins of a back-arc rift system” – advances.sciencemag.org/content/2/6/e1600288.full
“A huge deposit of magma has been detected just 9km below a small North Island town – and scientists say it may be causing earthquakes. Matata is nestled between Tauranga and Opotiki, and new research using satellite image, GPS data and surveying has revealed the molten secret. The level of the town has been steadily rising over the last few years – up to 10mm per year of uplift, but it is now beginning to slow to about four-five millimetres per year. Scientists are confident there will not be an eruption in the near future, but say they will continue to monitor the magma field”, TV1 – tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/huge-field-molten-magma-found-under-north-island-town
“Rising magma to blame for swarm of quakes”, TV3 – newshub.co.nz/nznews/rising-magma-to-blame-for-swarm-of-quakes-2016060400
“Volcano status and notifications come to the GeoNet app – With the flurry of volcano activity last month, we’re pleased to add some new features to the GeoNet app so you can keep an eye on them, too”, GNS 30May2016 –
info.geonet.org.nz/display/appdata/2016/05/30/Volcano+status+and+notifications+come+to+the+GeoNet+app

Update 17/6/2016

Lake Tarawera water warning, 10 Jan 2015 – “People are being warned not to drink water from Lake Tarawera or swim in it after locals noticed the water was discoloured. It was reported to the Bay of Plenty Regional Council yesterday by Hot Water Beach residents. The council says geothermal activity could be to blame for the water’s white, milky appearance. Samples have been taken to test for the presence of algal blooms. The results are not due back until next week.”
http://www.newshub.co.nz/nznews/lake-tarawera-water-warning-2015011012

Lake Tarawera tests positive for algae, 15 Jan 2015 – “Lake Tarawera has tested positive for potentially toxic blue-green algae, but a health warning will not be issued. The confirmation comes after samples were taken from the lake last week, as well as Te Rata Bay near Hot Water Beach. The lake is at ‘amber alert’, meaning the situation will continue to be monitored. ‘The blue-green algae identified are potentially toxic but the levels of algae are below health guidelines,’ says Bay of Plenty Regional Council science manager Rob Donald. ‘We recommend that people do not swim in the water if it is discoloured.’ Blue-green algae only recently arrived in New Zealand, but has already taken its place in lakes throughout the North Island. It causes water to appear green and cloudy, and sometimes green specks will be visible.”
http://www.newshub.co.nz/nznews/lake-tarawera-tests-positive-for-algae-2015011517

Mt Tarawera vent erupts after 35-year slumber, 17 Jun 2016 – “One of the geothermal vents in Mt Tarawera’s Raupo Pond Crater came alive for the first time in 35 years last month, according to GeoNet. The Mud Rift feature — a 6m-wide, 36m-long, 15m-deep vent formed in 1906 that has been lying dormant since 1981 — was activated sometime between May 17 and 20 this year. A blog on the GeoNet website suggests the eruption was a fleeting event, and involved fluids flooding into the vent and causing ‘stress and browning off’ of surrounding plants. It says the eruption was mainly steam-driven, and involved plenty of water, creating what has been likened to a ‘muddy geyser’.”
newshub.co.nz/nznews/mt-tarawera-vent-erupts-after-35-year-slumber-2016061716

Update 27/7/2016
It appears this blog post has been read and authorities are now responding:
stuff.co.nz/national/82524357/team-granted-funding-to-plan-response-for-alpine-fault-megaquake

– Noting that a Megaquake could hit central New Zealand, Stuff 19 May 2015, motivating research like Simulation of a Magnitude 8.4 Megathrust Quake in New Zealand, GNS Science youtube, 12 November 2015

Stuff graphic - "Megaquake could hit central New Zealand" - 19 May 2015

Stuff graphic – “Megaquake could hit central New Zealand” – 19 May 2015

Occupy Christchurch: In Our Own Words

Occupy Christchurch, Information, Oct-2011

Occupy Christchurch, Information, October 2011

A lot of excellent oral history work by Byron Clark is soon to add to the written record of the late-2011-to-early-2012 Occupy movement moment in New Zealand. The content progress can be followed and listened to here: archive.org/details/OccupyChristchurch

Transcript for Kindle available online here:
goodreads.com/book/show/29745296-occupy-chirstchurch-in-our-own-words

Watch for a publication date here:
amazon.com/Occupy-Christchurch-Our-Own-Words-ebook/dp/B01DMEOV5U

Well done OChch and Byron! Thank you for all your efforts.

Here’s the project website: occupychristchurch.nz

I will next write a blog post inspired by reflection upon the collective Occupy Christchurch experience, as now expressed through Byron’s work. The aim is for this to become an informed philosophical and practical talk, to also be presented soon. We look forward to the book launch!

Kia ora. Kia kaha. Ka kite ano.

Update 6May16
Occupy ref. “Noam Chomsky on the death of the American Dream
Famed scholar, activist and political theorist Noam Chomsky talks frankly to Nine to Noon’s Katherine Ryan about politics, society and his new film, ‘Requiem for the American Dream’. Filmed over five years, the 87 year old unpacks the US policies of the past half-century which have lead to an unprecedented concentration of power in the hands of the select few. The documentary gets its New Zealand premiere at this years Documentary Edge International Film Festival It screens in Wellington today and on Sunday and in Auckland on Tuesday May 24th and Saturday May 28th.” radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/201799712/noam-chomsky-on-the-death-of-the-american-dream

Protest Is Broken’: Co-Creator of Occupy Wall Street Calls for New Mental Shift occupy.com/article/protest-broken-co-creator-occupy-wall-street-calls-new-mental-shift  “Occupy.. was a ‘constructive failure’” 2 July 2015 “..the main trigger for the next revolutionary movement will be a contagious mood that spreads throughout the world and the human community. For me, the main thing we need to see is activists abandoning a materialistic explanation of revolution – the idea that we need to put people in the streets – and starting to think about how to spread that kind of mood, how to make people see the world in fundamentally different way. That’s about it. The future of activism is not about pressing our politicians through synchronized public spectacles.. In the long run, it is much better to develop nonviolent tactics that allow you to create a stable and lasting social movement” – re new book:  The End of Protest: A New Playbook for Revolution by Micah White micahmwhite.com/the-end-of-protest-micah-white-phd 15 March 2016

Local government work is worthwhile when helping good initiatives take shape. This was the case last week, when the Spreydon-Heathcote Community Board endorsed the concept of a ward youth community board:

Christchurch Youth Council deputation to SHCB, 1 March 2016

Christchurch Youth Council deputation to SHCB, 1 March 2016


The Christchurch Youth Council spoke to us about challenges local youth face, due to funding cut-backs in mental health, loss of useable space, activities and opportunity in the Christchurch rebuild, cultural diversity, disability support, etc. They have a Memorandum of Understanding with the Christchurch City Council and are exploring how best to activate it, this week. How a local youth council could work was outlined in December, during SHCB’s Child and Youth Workers network meeting:
extract - Child and Youth Workers network meeting - 2 December 2015

Extract: Child and Youth Workers network meeting, 2 December 2015


The full record of this meeting is here: Notes – Child and Youth Workers Network Mtg – 2 December 2015.
We look forward to this new council establishing! Any assistance required, please do ask. Thanks and well done!

Refs. Christchurch Youth Council; Canterbury’s mental health funding to be cut; Spreydon-Heathcote Community Board