Steffan Browning, Green Party Member of Parliament. Spokesperson on:
Organics, GMOs, Fisheries, Agriculture, Bio-security, Customs, Forestry, Security and Intelligence. Steffan has been a member of the select committee on the Food Bill and has been instrumental in promoting changes to the original document.
A new law, replacing the Food Act 1981, was passed in Parliament on May 27th 2014. The bill introduces substantial reforms to the regulatory regime for the safety and suitability of food. This bill has been ten years in the making and has been sent to the select committee twice. It has just passed its third reading in the house and is to become law.
This bill is about food that is for consumption. It sets a new risk based bureaucratic structure that growers and producers will have to face but as consumers that may be a plus for us. Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye says it will reduce compliance costs. There will be exemptions for small growers. How much bureaucracy should a small grower have to comply with however?
Laws governing the selling of seeds for growing have been changed and are no longer included in the bill. The bill is strictly about the safety of food that we are going to eat.
Steffan Browning and Labour’s Damien O’Connor have both put up amendments to the bill on Country of Origin labelling but the government voted these down. The Green Party has still got Country of Origin labelling in the parliamentary ballot, as that now seems the only way to get the issue addressed.In January 2012, when Steffan was supposed to be on holiday, many people flooded him with letters concerned about this bill. One concern was, where did genetic engineering fit in all of this. After all, it is a food safety issue, since genetically engineered foods are not safe.
If you doubt that statement is correct watch the movie that Steffan recommends,http://vimeo.com/68422959 'Genetic Roulette’.
One concern was that genetic engineering had been removed from the draft bill. Steffan worked with the then food safety minister Kate Wilkinson, and more recently with minister Nikki Kaye and has managed to include wording says that genetically engineered foods MAY be considered a food issue. This means that GE can be included under the umbrella of this food safety regulation, which would ultimately be beneficial, one would hope. The words are in the bill but the actions of this government are not supporting it.
Minister Nikki Kaye has allowed into New Zealand a new Soyabean that has been genetically altered to make it tolerant to the herbicides glufosinate ammonium and 2,4-D (an ingredient in agent orange) as well as roundup. This will undoubtedly create a health issue in the not so distant future. While each of the herbicides are not shown by industry’s own science to cause problems in the human body, there have been no tests on how all three work together. Independent science has shown some very concerning effects from herbicide resistant GE soy.
This latest soy has not been approved by the FDA in the United States yet, which is saying something! Currently in New Zealand no GE food is grown but Steffan talks about the importing of GE food into this country and how we are unknowingly eating it, as our labelling laws have not been monitored or enforced since 2003. He explains why you are probably eating GE in your dairy and meat products via the animals’ food, that may include GE soy, cotton seed and canola.
One of the concerns in this country is the lack of independent, not industry based, science. It appears that even our regulatory body FSANZ has some conflicts of interest amongst its advisors, so how do we ensure we actually are eating safe food?
Steffan says the whole system needs an overhaul. If FSANZ – Food Safety Australia New Zealand – can’t do better than this then we need to bring control back into this country, again.
Steffan is a tireless worker for a variety of food issues and is a major protector in Parliament of the integrity of our food. He is also quick to acknowledge the work of Claire Bleakley, Jon Carapiet, Suzie Lees, and others from http://www.gefree.org.nz GE Free NZ.
This programme was sponsored by The Awareness Party.
The saying that ‘we are spiritual beings having an earth experience’ is resonating with more and more people as this timely clarion call inspires us to action. And as we awaken to the realisation that our society is coming up against limits to our outmoded thinking, belief systems and thresholds - to what is unbridled growth, we are starting to reflect on the inevitable consequences of ‘business as usual.’
‘When the joy of compassionate service is married to a practical and pragmatic drive to transform all existing economic, social, and political institutions, a radical and potentially all-transforming holy force is born.’
This coming from the quintessential sacred activist, Andrew Harvey a global transition leader who invokes the sacred in every thought, deed and action in what is our collective … ever expanding cosmology.
If there was ever a time to fulfill our hearts calling for a better world, it has to be now.
From Mahatma Gandhi to Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, and Martin Luther King, Jr., we have over the last century witnessed beings stand up to the status quo and against the odds, courageously show(ed) that their passion to represent the repressed and downtrodden continued, unabated.
Here in our country of Aotearoa we too have a growing number of people, who surrendering to a greater calling than service to self, devote their lives to doing what they feel, and intuitively know is right, to stand firm in the face of adversity as well as recognising the growing general consensus that things are definitely not sustainable.
Where once virtues, values and ethics were more deeply embedded in our community and that they were intrinsic to what we thought and felt society should embrace, yet we are also continuing to witness on a daily basis a greater void in the world. This emptiness is in many ways being foisted upon us from the global corporate juggernaut that has overreached itself and now, ‘sacred activists’ are riding the pendulum that’s finally starting to swing life back towards balance and that of community.
Todays new calling is for positive change, for deep dialogue, to open to new ideas, innovation and expanding the parameters of new paradigm thinking. At the same time bringing with it a warm hearted countenance, that unifies the spirit and connects with the common aspirations of so many people who have been affected, but have been struggling and unable to truly contribute to the world.
Thus, we are all being called to participate in this upwelling of transformation, in both the outer world and our inner realms especially our celebrating of our reverence for life.
So the question that now lends itself to your continuing curiosity, are you a sacred activist? Are you a metaphysical change agent? Do you know anyone who is? And, do you aspire to ignite your own inner wisdom and participate?
If this ideal feels compelling to you:
Join Diane Marama Winder and Michael Fleck
As we share and express what has been bubbling into our consciousness as that of the ‘sacred activist.’
Diane Marama Winder is an inter-spiritual guide, international teacher and intuitive messenger. She is unique among New Zealand's visionary writers and speakers. Her transformational and heart-opening work on evolutionary living and personal and planetary healing bridges many worlds - from corporate leaders to Tibetan Monks, health care to UN groups, youth and families to the unseen realm. An ordained interfaith minister and biologist, Diane is CoFounder and Spiritual Director of the Sephira Institute and the Winder Foundation with its B-Cool Program for Boys 'at promise.' Born in America, she has lived in Auckland for 15 years.
Contact: marama [at] aroha.net
Michael is an Auckland eco-activist and event designer, specialising in guiding people on sacred journeys throughout New Zealand and the Pacific. He is the co-founder of Ecoversity and the Good Company Pacific resource network.
Contact: michael [at] aroha.net
Brendan is a courageous advocate for growing of healthy food and the World Rural Forum have asked him to participate in what is a world civil societies initiative to the UN's International Year of Family Farming.
70% OF THE WORLD FOOD PRODUCTION IS PROVIDED BY FAMILY FARMERS
Of that 70%
50% comes from arable, cropping and gardening
12.5% come from hunting and gathering
7.5% is produced by small urban farmers
The other 30% of food production comes from highly mechanised Western farming.
25% OF THE WORLD'S POPULATION IS COMPOSED OF WOMEN FARMERS, which comes to about 1,600 million women. These women are usually running the household, bringing up the children, cooking, cleaning and taking care of the sick and or aged parents as well. (Spare a caring thought for them).
So the International Year of Family Farming is not about the family farm or farming, and it is more than just producing food and products. It covers, contracts, teachers, safety, health workers, education, land use, including farm labour, fisheries, forestry incorporating the whole of the global rural regions.
Brendon being the Oceanic representative and coordinator on a National level, gives a broad overview of what the challenges are; he has a team of 4 very qualified people here in NZ to support this initiative.
One of the main objectives is to explore here in NZ are:
Of these 5, three are to be focussed on.
At present NZ has no rural strategy especially for rural telecommunications connectivity.
None addressing debt and this is a large overhead for many farmers and gardeners.
None of the key issues addressing ‘identity’ are being discussed at ANY level.
Thus this initiative has created 'this Forum' for these discussions to be heard and addressed.
In this interview:
The word organics is broached to which Brendan replies, that when we drop the word organics and have the conversation under more generic terms everyone wants to talk about healthy food. Because from growing to marketing we are all interconnected.
What is the 'International Year of Family Farming' in 2014 and what is family?
How do we build a rural strategy for NZ and be lead by civil society and not going to the government for money.
How do we have conversations in rural NZ about GE, for example and water quality and soil degradation?
In the rural sector family farms versus corporate farms are a growing tension Corporate farms would not employ the local accountant or the local engineer or the local lawyer and other localised trades people.
So rural communities are suffering and how do we address this?
Forestry - a lot of deaths by accident - loss of family, father, and compensation, welfare etc - more care more training, more up skilling
Farming is about having a deep connection to the land and the farmers feet are also in the ground with an intimacy of soil fertility, grasses, trees, bird life, smells and the change of the seasons. However, you lose intimacy when your operation becomes too big ... where ... you can't or don’t walk your land as it is already digitally mapped, on GPS. It is also very much about finding that sweet spot on your land, and as a metaphor it’s around families and kids at play and immersing themselves in natures sounds, colours and fragrances, but also a lot of these days families are under stress. Like availability of finding partners for marriage and start a family. Where once there were community dances, tennis clubs, badminton and table tennis at the local hall. Yes, there maybe the rugby club, and that's the convergence point of a local area for anyone, not even rugby supporters.
Farms are not always about profitability and about production. It's also a good time and have friendships experiencing producing high quality products, being innovative, working with animals, machines, and sorting out problems, that makes rural living exciting. Kids can learn much, also to be gentle yet strong - nurturing in a growing way, not in a hunting, killing exterminating way, but feeling, being connected and honouring of place. This especially with children is becoming more rare. Note that there is also death on farms, that animals do die, and this has to be taken in stride as well.
Brendan intimates that this whole initiative could lead to transformational change in farming and land practice, if it gets the needed support / buy in.
Hear that in a private capacity Brendan's team come in alongside small to medium size NZ business get them fit and strong so that when match fit, they are able to go into the world and thrive internationally.
From production to market lead, now farming is becoming relationship lead i.e people wanting to connect with the farmer/gardener to learn about their food that is being sold into the city.
Putting ones soul into the land, blood and sweat (and tears) creates and enhances the land when we understand the energetics of building up soil fertility faster to a better quality etc using biological and ecological process like enhancing water standards and landscapes plus treescapes. It’s not really about technology, it's about techniques as well as the synergy of working with people all the way to distribution, marketing and overseas export.
Connection to quality is becoming relationship based. Especially with labelling of country of origin now being initiated in NZ. Called connection by biological and ecological consciousness.
Quality of care equals enduring relationships
Conscious connection, is growing every year and in this field of quality food it could be 7% per year.
Overseas they are now wanting to know about carbon neutrality, food miles, fairness of trade - pesticide residue, organic or not and wanting tests done again and .. again questioning plastic in foods, coverings and processes of foods. Being certified organic picks up a premium return. Organics means individual health, environmental health, uncontaminated soil, clean streams, no air born contamination, a better ecology from the local to the global this is what translates into health, that benefits the whole.
Learn also about how organics is being regulated in NZ and covers the fact that NZ's state of the environment has never been worse ... basically it means that 'we' collectively are not on the winning team and the reason is poor communication and lack of ... that their needs to be change in our mindset and that the languaging of ecological and environmental considerations be invoked in our daily vernacular.
Be it biological or ecological producer what ever the name .... overseas now the word organic and biological are synonymous and perceptive ears of discerning buyers are listening out for how we in NZ speak to our connection in the way we go about our farming practices.
Brendan also stresses that we be thankful when we eat food, be mindful of its growth into what it is … involve ourselves do gardening and grow some food.
It is actual gardeners not farmers that feed the world so be part of this shift in awareness.
And, be courageous and be daring ... of course you can ...if the seed is ripe ... plant more seeds.
And much, much more.
Transnational Corporations are moving in to NZ where once they were only multi national corporations. The percentage of incursion into NZ is virtually the highest of any developed country on earth. They are dominating our country more and more as the laws of NZ are very laissez-faire and liberal, buying into established businesses that NZers have built and also buying up our land and housing as well. Generally it is open slather with very few exceptions.
THe TPPA is a wolf in sheeps clothing and when you peruse: http://www.converge.org.nz/abc/ you will get the picture. Big Time.
Free trade agreements are actual investment agreements to provide the means for trans national corporations to acquire more power, profit, control and riches and wealth under the guise of Free Trade ... NZ is being recolonised by Corporations.
In NZ the banks are creaming it. Not one is suffering at present ANZ, with record profits same for Westpac.
Corporate Welfare here in NZ, namely Rio Tinto (the old Comalco) easily obtaining a $30 million dollar subsidy from the National Govt, by saying they will not close their smelter until 2017. Yet, they have a secret electric power deal that is far below the current rate for ordinary householders and ... the power that they take daily is equivalent to all the electrical power that is consumed by the city of Auckland. And they have been doing this for 50 years with every single government that has got into power. Note with no smelter, NZ would have huge amounts of excess power ...
Other situations where the NZ government gave our hard earned tax dollars as enticements to, were, Skycity, Chorus, Fox Studious, Warner Bros etc.
Note, Skycity's offer to build a National Convention Center as long as the Govt gives them umpteen poker machines to be unleashed on the public. And that this deal is LOCKED in for 35 years. That no Govt can ever reverse it no matter which Government gains power.
Chorus who is rolling out the ultra fast broad band cable across the country was told by the NZ Government Commerce Commission that they have been overcharging all customers by $10 per month and that they had to repay their customers so instead, they cried that it would send them broke, so the government came in and helped them out.
These are three examples of political interference and corporate welfare dictating how our elected Parliamentary servants represent, we the NZ citizens.
Then there is corporate tax avoidance, last year it was announced a day before Xmas eve, that the NZ IRD, Inland Revenue Dept reached an 'out of court settlement' of $2.2 billion dollars (around 80% of the total amount) with the 4 top Australian owned banks as they had previously dodged paying tax. This being the biggest tax avoidance case in NZ history. This was very hush hush, when in fact they all should have been taken to the highest court of the land. With an 'out of court settlement'
they avoided penalty taxes and court costs ... very cunning.
CAFCA also runs the Roger Awards for the Worst Transnational Corporation operating in NZ. The Roger award named after 'you know who' and is also represented by the pirate flag of the skull and cross bones called the unjolly Roger. The banks are always in the finals, especially the ANZ. This year the Award was won by Rio Tinto, with Sky City 2nd and 3rd being Chorus. All 3 were judged as interfering with the Government and receiving backhanded - handouts.
Note that in January 2014 in the Business Day column of the Christchurch Press it was stated that Facebook, Google and Apple made an estimated $750 million dollars in NZ in the last tax year but only paid less than $4 million in tax. That works out as a tax rate of 0.4% yet the NZ company tax is 28%, how did they get around this? NZ loses and CEO's and Shareholders of these transnationals win!
And they are not paying their taxes in the USA either, using offshore tax havens ...
In England the Tax Justice Network are looking at these deals - 'The price of offshore'. http://www.taxjustice.net
Then there is the TPPA the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement and the loss of NZ's sovereignty as well as a plethora of circumstances that will effect our country across the board. See www.itsourfuture.org.nz
TPPA is also means to 'contain' China from the US perspective. As the World Bank has just in the last week stated that China will overtake the USA as the worlds largest economy this year, and this is the first time that this has happened since 1872 when Britain was surpassed by the USA. Previous predictions were thought to be 2019 for China to make this break-through.
Note, if PHARMAC here in NZ is abolished it will mean huge costs for drugs in this country. PHARMAC drugs here cost 1/3 of US costs and 1/2 Australian costs.
Then we have the Security Apparatus, that composes 5 of the main countries of the 5 Eyes Echelon Communication Network. USA, UK, Canada, Australia and NZ.
The NZ GCSB is increasingly doing the service as the subordinate and being even servile to the corporate agenda. In March 2013 the NZ Business Review stated that 'our spies principle mission used to be the defence of the realm, todays GCSB is about the protection of Corporate property and interests.'
GCSB and the Dot com saga, tells the NZ community that there is much murk behind the scenes ...
You can write to the director of the NZ SIS, Security Intelligence, Box 900 in Wellington and ask them if they have a file on you and ask for a copy of your file ...
Other points of interest in this information packed interview:
That the US now has access to all of NZ's tax records - the Law has been passed in Parliament ... passed in the last month or so .... who of us slept though this one?
That there is a direct telephone line from the US State Department to Treasury in Wellington.
That Wikileaks let out information that Americans wanted to allow NZ's spys to be connected directly to the Department of Homeland Security in the USA , however the NZ director of the SIS refused to approve it - so he was pushed out until someone more 'proactive' was employed.
Also, in those Wikileaks documents there was evidence that the US embassy was given all hours access by being given actual swipe cards to get into the NZ buildings of Foreign Affairs and NZ Defence HQ in Wellington so that they could come in day or night and have access to certain people and records and that sort of ... stuff.
Note that the NZ legal definition of a foreign company is anything more than 24.9 % yet our PM in saying we are only going to sell off 49% of Meridian and Mighty river power and Genesis, this is actually double the legal definition of a foreign company.
I encourage all listeners this morning to open up your web browser to www.cafca.org.nz and peruse this site, then tell your friends and neighbours that we are losing our country.
Murray has for 45 years, been at the forefront of educating the NZ public telling them that every week large slices of New Zealand's farms and city and suburban properties are being sold off to over seas entities. And much, much more.
In 2012, the Overseas Investment Office approved the sale of 43,080 hectares of freehold rural land and 8,554 hectares of leases and other interests in land to foreigners. About 10,000 hectares of the freehold land and almost all the leases and other interests in land were from one foreign investor to another. In the decade 2003 to 2012, the average was 133,942 hectares of freehold and 60,435 hectares of leases and other interests in land approved for sale.
Statistics on sales of land to overseas interests are poorly recorded and incomplete. Our best estimate is that in 2011 at least 8.7 percent of New Zealand farmland including forestry, or 1.3 million hectares, is foreign-owned or controlled and it could have reached 10 percent.
(Overseas Investment Commission and Overseas Investment Office. "Overseas Ownership Of Land: Far Greater Than The 1% The PM Claims", by Bill Rosenberg)
People's Rights Before Corporate Profit
Public Service Not Private Profit
An Independent Foreign Policy
No Unjust Secret Treaties
These topics include
* transnational corporations' tax avoidance
* corporate welfare
* asset sales - NZ Farmland
* spying abuses by the GCSB/NSA
* the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA)
* Five Eyes - Waihopai
* plus plenty more
Murray Will be speaking in Auckland
Friday May 9th at:
Pacific Media Centre
Sir Paul Reeves Building
Auckland University of Technology
Local Contact: David Robie 021 112-2079
Full Itinerary here: http://2014cafcatour.blogspot.co.nz/p/blog-page.html
Websites of interest:
Interviewed by John Coombs - Dr Wayne McCarthy has been in practice for 25 years working as a Naturopath, including primary care work in USA. Dr Wayne, a medical school graduate from Oregon USA, has used this training to develop what he believes is the most simple and cost effective health care options available.
He returned to NZ in 2005 to help get Ozone therapy established in NZ.
Dr Wayne has worked tirelessly since to promote Ozone Therapy building a practice to help thousands of people recover from a wide range of health challenges with many of them moving towards optimal health and vitality.
Ozone has proven effective for most health conditions as it helps fully oxygenate the body improving the immune system to a level where naturally occurring healing and vitality readily occur.
Prolotherapy another key aspect of Wayne’s portfolio fills an important gap between physiotherapy and surgery strengthening ligaments, tendons and cartilage, restoring joints and enabling normal function and mobility.
It’s especially good for old knee and back injuries as well as restoring shoulder strength and mobility. It’s potentially a permanent cost effective solution for sporting injuries.
Dr Wayne has also trained in osteopathy and psychology giving him an holistic portfolio of skills for dealing with most health challenges, from simple infections through to difficult chronic conditions.
To book to see Dr Wayne or for more information go to http://globalhealthclinics.co.nz/practitioners/wayne-mccarthy-ozone/ or call 09 4880208 Monday to Friday and the reception team will help you.
Dr Wayne is located in Takapuna on Wednesday and Thursday and Whangarei during other times in the week.