With Lisa Er.
Trees have a unique place in our environment. Without them, human life as we know it would not exist. Trees conserve water, make our air breathable, absorb air pollution, support our slopes, provide habitats for birds and animals and form the hub of enormous underground micro-environments that strengthen soil and foster insect life. Mature trees can even treat 16 cubic metres of storm water per tree per year.
So why does the government want to delete tree protection from the RMA (Resource Management Act) and prevent local councils from deciding with their communities whether or not to protect their own trees, and create “Nanny State” control from Wellington?
Trees that do not have formal heritage status and scheduled in a District Plan will now be vulnerable to changes to the RMA which will allow the fellow next door to cut down all the trees on his property without consent.
It seems the new changes to the RMA will smooth the path of economic growth at the expense of our environment. Where is local democracy when lobbying from the Property Council wins out over democratic processes?
Beginning with the trees Dr Mels Barton moves on to speak on urban planning, Auckland’s sprawl and the Unitary (30 year) Plan. She expresses her concerns about the mixed housing zones that could become a sea of concrete with no soil, grass or trees to absorb storm water, and how Auckland’s aging storm water system will not cope with the additional housing required for the one million extra people anticipated in Auckland.
She speaks very clearly on housing, and the social cost of poverty on society.
Dr Mels Barton emigrated to NZ in 1999 and ran her own environmental consultancy for a number of years with her late partner. Mels was a member of the Waitakere Ranges Protection Society executive for ten years until 2011. Since 2010, she has been the Auckland and National Coordinator for the week-long annual event ‘Seaweek’. She is also a trustee for the Weedfree and EcoMatters Environmental Trusts and was elected to the Tree Council Board in 2011. She is the Secretary of the Friends of Regional Parks and Chair of the Titirangi Ratepayers and Residents Association. She works for the Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford as his Issues Assistant and runs her own community newspaper for Glen Eden called The Guardian.
This interview is sponsored by The Awareness Party:
From Taos in New Mexico USA. A 'wayshower' to energy, food and housing independence.
Designing and building a bio harmonic home out of indigenous materials of rock and soil, but inclusive of old car tires, glass bottles cans etc, can manifest an exceptionally stable and sustainable 'earthship' home. That with the addition of solar heating and water treatment and storage systems, plus garden area can make your home capable of sustaining you and your family in a well lighted spacious setting for months, without you leaving the dwelling.
Earthships are becoming a growing global phenomena due to their use of waste and left overs from current western technologies and economic systems. With knowledge and skills ordinary people can do extra ordinarily creative things to build an off grid dwelling, that positioned facing the arc of the sun, uses both passive / solar and or windmill energy to power your future with out paying out huge sums to electricity and water utilities. Whilst at the same time keeping the building at a near on constant inner temperature of around 21 degrees all year long.
Originally in the early 1970s in America, Mike responded to the media presenting the future shortage of oil, for heating and cooling, plus electricity for running the home, including future waste and garbage problems with excessive cans and bottles, plus water shortages, sewage disposal and the obtaining of fresh food. So he found an innovative way to incorporate them into building these components into a house, an 'earthship' which he now calls the 6 issues of sustenance on this planet for the people of today.
Using sun and catching rainwater, he includes the physics and biology of our planet's ecology for sewage treatment and food production.
Having stand alone housing systems, allows us not to depend on power utilities, with their higher costs and power outages etc and in the US context, that the power is obtained through detrimental methods, mainly coal and nuclear generation. Wanting softer options he found more bio harmonically benign and self empowering ways to build on the land.
His building technique is based around old tires filled with rammed earth that keep the heat thermal mass in and are also very earthquake resilient. Tires do not out gas.
Regulation - an inhibiting force for independence.
Talks about pockets of freedom where there is less regulation - where are these areas?
Keeping the middle man out of the cost structure.
In the field of alternative housing and settlement we are evolving too slow on a planetary system that is changing and evolving very fast. We need to engage in regulatory change.
The need now is to take charge of our lives and being responsible for all our actions. This is inclusive of incorporating holistic systems showing everything overlapping and working together.
Listen to Mike as he succinctly relates to our house as if it is our body, with energy and water in and waste and water out, totally integrated inside and yet nestled and functioning with natural forces of the outside world.
Speaking in Auckland:
Evening seminars on Friday 5th and Sat 6th July
300 Sir Neil Waters Building @ Massey University, Albany, North Shore.
Also a screening of his new flick "New Solutions" on Waiheke along with a meet and greet Q & A session.
Booking information - http://earthship.co.nz/events
Mob: (027) 281 5022
Who owns and who controls the media in New Zealand?
Covering: The historical perspective, from private and governmental control to privatization?
History of media, early Maori newspapers, wealthy family owned papers in main cities and eventually union owned newspapers. To print media today and by extension web sites.
Then radio and TV their evolution that along with print media is now basically in the hands of about 5 owners and an increasing concentration into fewer hands. Other than TV NZ and Radio NZ, virtually all large media is overseas owned.
Overlapping into telecommunications, via telephones, computers and morphing into electronic espionage and security issues.
How can we encourage NZers to look for optimistic and solution oriented community news?
What is the outlook on the future regarding mass communications and media, including electronic control, such as turning off transmitting capabilities of mobile phones in areas of public demonstrations?
Transparency in a free and open democracy?
Newspapers used to be only owned by the rich but along came the unions, like the Transport Worker and the Maori Land Worker resulting in a completely different news perspective for the under classes. What happened?
Michael Savage in the 1st Labour Government in the 1930s introduced radio broadcasts of Parliament that opened it all up for the commoner to become more aware and engaged.
Censorship was prevalent from the first NZ Conservative Govt and also by Labour when it got into power.
Introduction of Radio and then TV was all Govt controlled. Then pirate/private radio.
The 1984 change of government to Labour and the neo liberal policies of Roger Douglas were basically underwritten by the NZ Govts 'Department of the Treasury' and that changed everything.
Resulting in deregulation of broadcasting after 1989 that led to many changes, National Govt abolishing in 1991 all foreign media ownership restrictions in NZ, opening up to all main media other than TVNZ and Radio NZ being either off shore owned or controlled.
We learn that: The Fourth Estate, is based on journalists and news media to raise issues of public importance and to advance levels of public debate - and to create the resources necessary for social citizenship. This today in NZ is clearly failing us miserably.
That global information today is readily accessed here in NZ and due to the web can now be sourced from non Western perspectives, such as RT, Russia Today which has become the first TV news channel in history to reach 1 billion views on YouTube, and Aljazeera and its well heeled Arab perspective, are more open than say Fox, CNN and BBC World. But RT and Aljazeera also have their undisclosed 'other side' too.
The world wide web has still huge possibilities to expand including tweets etc
Social media and web access etc can expand our communication over broad networks and areas, however it cuts both ways with the ability for surveillance coming back the other direction in real time = being a double edged sword.
Finally, 'we the people own the airwaves across NZ' shouldn't there be a social contract that anyone who broadcasts on these invisible airwaves, also put community oriented programs and documentaries on to assist and educate the public on daily life and not at 1 or 3 am in the morning? For example, TV2 and TV4 at present to many 'conscious' people are trash and rubbish dispensers that can be perceived as fragmenting and making more young viewers lives more disconnected and dysfunctional. Are these stations in their present format serving the public good?