Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Message Stick

Latest newsletter (September 2010)of the Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

The term of Chair Mick Dodson is coming to an end, a term marked most notably by the passing of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples was passed in the General Assembly on 13 September 2007.

"Our sense of humour is still with us after so many centuries of tragedy, it is what binds us, helps us to keep going and I think key to our survival. There is nothing like a good laugh to break tensions, aid communication and to move forward."

Friday, September 24, 2010

Maori and Carbon Sequestration: if my pohutakawa seedling dies, is the Whenua Conference no longer carbon neutral?

As mentioned earlier, carbon credits, the ETS, and Maori agribusiness were top of the pops at the 2010 Whenua Conference at the Distinction Hotel, Rotorua. As part of the giveaways, attendees received a dainty wee Pohutukawa seedling, along with the ubiquitous flax kete. My old employer, Manaaki Whenua/Landcare Research Ltd. have been very proud of their money-spinner, carbonZero. By planting these baby trees about the whenua, we were supposedly ensuring the conference was carbon neutral and therefore somehow sustainable.


Mine's been in the flax kete sitting in the storage compartment next to the drivers seat in my clapped out and definitely carbon-spewing Subaru Legacy (okay, except when I took it out for a photo shoot after a jug of Classy Red at the Lincoln road Harringtons Bar and Brewery).

My question is quite simple. If I let the thing die (and i don't think it can survive this far south), does the conference then become non-neutral for carbon auditing reasons?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Tahuri Whenua AGM 2010

We celebrated the 7th AGM for the National Maori Vegetable Growers Collective, a.k.a. Tahuri Whenua, on September 18th at Parewahawaha marae, Bulls. The mother of all storms - as big as Oz they said - was passing overhead, so a formal powhiri was dispensed with and we ran through the whakatau inside the wharekai.

It was great to catch up with old friends, including Rosie from Ruatoria...
Rosie fed back from regional Ngati Porou efforts.

Nick and Hanui talking about the kumara varieties cared for by Del Wihongi. Tahuri Whenua has offered to help Del's daughter with kaitiaki duties.

Aleise Puketapu presenting her research on the 'Lifecycle and epidemiology of the Tomato/Potato psyllid'. This pest, originally from North America, has seriously impacted on several crops including Taewa. Aleise, incorporating research findings from experts from UC (California, not Canterbury) advises monitoring your crops, choose selective chemicals, and plant a border crop where you can hit them first, fast, and hard!

Who dat?!

...Aunty Chrissie!

We've produced an excellent poster celebrating the first seven years of T.W., with photo's of each hui about the motu, including the Peru trip of last year.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Christchurch Earthquake: Ruana te whenua...

I've yet to say anything significant about the recent Christchurch earthquake. 7.1 - a decent shake by anyone's estimation - I was in Wellington at the third and final MANU Ao Maori Academic Leadership. Yeah, irony in spades...

No deaths, lots of broken wine glasses, some frazzled nerves, and one of those reminders we may not want but always need.

Anyways, my drinking spatiality has been dramatically altered. The Lincoln staff club will change venue, Memorial Hall being more like a barn...

The Famouse Grouse, Lincoln's historic pub (no, I didn't know either; second oldest in Canterbury evidently) is no more...

And even the Craic on Riccarton Road is fenced off.

Otherwise the storm is about to start. Don't for a moment think that Cantabrian spirit and resilience is in good shape.
Simon Lambert

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