This week I have Stephen Grant-Jones in the studio to talk about the relaunch of the www.GreenplanetFM.com website & the merging with www.Ourplanet.org into a dynamic, far-reaching local to global web presence.
GreenplanetFM is upping it game, it’s jumping its codes to a whole new platform by extending its outreach to as many people as we can who we share breath with.
In doing this, it is merging with Tim’s flagship website Ourplanet.org - which first went up on the world wide web as one of the pioneers of html coding and art work - 20 years ago in 1996.
When first put up it collected a number of awards for both content and aesthetics as well as gleaning hundreds of hits a week every year, whilst sitting ‘in suspense’ waiting to be truly activated - well, this time to accelerate our expansion is now!
Stephen Grant-Jones started building websites many years ago after being inspired by an interview he heard by David Bowie and was the person who took the GreenplanetFM audios and turned them into podcasts in 2008 with the streaming of the show via our website and iTunes.
What he has learnt during his tenure running a web design agency is an understanding of the different areas of digital marketing and how all the disparate threads can be joined together and optimised, this includes how websites are built incorporating SEO (search engine optimisation), writing copy, email marketing, video, social media, analytics and paid advertising. They all interlink together, into a complete strategy.
In this interview he talks about building a “strong web” and providing value first, educating, inspiring and entertaining, making sure that a website has many interlinking parts with other parts of the web, which is what we’re doing with the relaunch of the two websites into one.
Stephen explains how we’ve built the website using ‘Agile’ and ‘Scrum’ methodology to build the site in ‘Sprints’ or increments.
We talk about the direction that the new site is taking, going ‘mobile-friendly’, some of the functionality to expect and how you can help and be a part of the unfolding platform we’re creating.
By leveraging social media feeds (Facebook and Twitter for example) to draw people’s attention to our website, we can educate, inspire and entertain them with webinars, localised video, podcasts, blogs and news, plus articles - from unique planetary movers and shakers and others on the leading edge of positive change.
Also, every week GreenplanetFM will be on air - broadcasting from Auckland’s sky tower so that anyone who is intuitive to empowering and inspiring their life, can tune into 104.6FM from 8-9am every Thursday.
We’ve spent over a year on this project so far, with having to organise and coordinate getting 330+ one-hour podcasts from one server to another, and making sure we pay attention to detail to make sure we don’t lose any data and our place in the search engines.
Not to mention the actual design and development of the new website platform, all the specialised coding and building of ‘Web Apps’ that we’ve had to create.
As GreenplanetFM is a voluntary radio program and I don’t have any ‘products’ as such, we’ve had to ‘bootstrap’ or fund it ourselves with our own time, energy and money, so it’s taken some time to pull all the threads together.
We’re down to the last final push to get the site launched and have decided to do some crowdfunding to get it over the line.
Stephen and I will be holding a Webinar (or online presentation) to take you on a journey through what we’re creating and why. You can sign up for it here; www.ourplanet.org/webinar.
We’ve setup a page on PledgeMe http://pldg.me/ourplanet where we’re not just wanting to accept donations, we have some ‘rewards’ that people can choose from.
Join us as we release the first details and the launch date of the new version of our website, ourplanet.org
Stephen has just completed 6 digital marketing courses that cover Website Funnel Conversion, Email Marketing, Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Marketing and Paid Traffic Mastery. He is about to complete the Testing & Optimisation and Data & Analytics courses.
He can be contacted through his LinkedIn profile; https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephengrantjones
(Due to Public Concern, this is a Repeat)
Are New Zealand citizens really wanting mass medication in their water supply?
For years health experts have been unable to agree on whether fluoride in the drinking water may be toxic to the developing human brain. Extremely high levels of fluoride are known to cause neurotoxicity in adults, and negative impacts on memory and learning have been reported in rodent studies, but little is known about the substance’s impact on children’s neurodevelopment. Despite many studies, the Government now appears to be planning to implement mandatory fluoridation to the whole of New Zealand.
Currently, only around 50% of households are on fluoridated water, with only 23 out of 67 local councils still fluoridating, many voicing their growing concerns about fluoridation risks and dangers. In response to more and more councillors and mayors deciding against fluoridation the Government is now taking the decision away from local councils and communities and putting the power into the hands of District Health Boards (DHB), who are under the direct control of central Government. Auckland Council is not one of the councils supportive of fluoride free. Many residents of Huia and Onehunga are currently up in arms about the addition of fluoride in their areas. Watercare extended the Waikato Line through Pukekohe westwards to the Franklin townships in 2014. No consultation or notification of fluoridation was made to the residents. So residents of the Franklin Ward townships of Buckland, Patumahoe, Clarks Beach, Waiau Beach and Glenbrook Beach (who receive reticulated water) have been consuming fluoridated water since 2014 without their knowledge, or the legally required consultation
Prof. Paul Connett, PhD, Emeritus Professor from St. Lawrence University USA is an, executive director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) and its parent organization, the American Environmental Health Studies Project. He tells us of the dangers of fluoride and how he, a scientist, first came to this In a meta-analysis, researchers from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and China Medical University in Shenyang for the first time combined 27 studies and found strong indications that fluoride may adversely affect cognitive development in children. Based on the findings, the authors say that this risk should not be ignored, and that more research on fluoride’s impact on the developing brain is warranted. Yet New Zealand Authorities are challenging Councils ability to keep being fluoride free or remove fluoride from the water supply. And isn’t it a basic human right NOT to be mass medicated, even if some might think they are doing us a favour? When the fluoridation of water began, there was little evidence for its long term safety (as for GMOs) and since then little attempt has been made to monitor its health effects systematically. Because there are so many unanswered health questions, fluoridation of water must be considered an ongoing experimental procedure, and as such it is a violation of the Nuremberg Code, which forbids experimentation on humans without their informed consent. In Europe, nearly all countries have either never fluoridated their water or have ceased doing so. Yet the incidence of tooth decay has declined just as much as in those countries that practice fluoridation. This fascinating interview with Dr Paul Connett, will raise alarm bells about many aspects of the mass medication of the population by fluoride and he challenges us to do something about it.
Tooth decay is caused by poverty and a poor diet, not a lack of fluoride Poverty is one of the biggest predictors of poor dental health. Many people do not realise that they should never put any sweetened drink, or even flavoured milk, into a baby’s bottle. Leaving babies to suck on a bottle is the cause of baby bottle tooth decay (early childhood caries). This is the main cause of children suffering extreme dental decay and needing tooth extractions, and fluoride will not protect from that.
NOTE: This interview is a repeat but the information is still valid and so is worth a replay.
This interview is sponsored by The Awareness Party: http://www.theawarenessparty.com/home/fluoride/
Whangarei in the north of NZ is stirring and it’s around ‘community participation’ as a result of a small dedicated team based on collaborative leadership.
Food resilience is one of the important focusses of Transition Towns (TT) as it affects everyone, the poor, middle income and even the rich. We all need high quality food in our body to obtain optimum results. By relocalising their food system, which even here in NZ has been taken over by large corporate players and international supply chains, we have to have plan B.
Fortunately over the last 8 years, Jeff has been in Whangarei holding the space whilst many if not most TT’s have dissipated and/or fallen away. But, in Whangarei people come in and out depending on the issues and they are continually finding situations that galvanise people and engage community and get them involved. Which he warmly finds is contagious. Once you gain the awareness of people who want to find out what they can do, it then becomes all what they can do at a community level.
Especially film evenings when you have 'conscious get togethers'. One of them very recently being 'This Changes Everything' a Naomi Kline movie, assisting in pulling the threads of community together can build up a synergistic momentum.
Jeff mentions Cuba, being a classic example when the Soviet Union dissolved, it left the whole country of Cuba with no oil supplier as well as no chemicals for agriculture.Thus, resulting in the Cubans falling back on their own commitment to self and group responsibility which resulted in a very resilient community in a matter of 4 or 5 years growing into being.
He also sees that, we too in NZ are in transition and when we get community engaged and involved the coming together, the passion and the enthusiasm the commitment and the cocreation that happens it's potent and empowering ...
Jeff Griggs states that the principles of the Transition Town (TT) model are very robust, as it contains so many aspects that builds resilience back into community. Including co-opetition, community building and because it was positioning to cover the peak global oil situation, when it was sidelined by full spectrum fraking. This fraking did bring down oil prices, but in the process, in so many cases, destroyed the water pan with chemical pollution causing many unrecorded environment and health problems, like discharging flammable gasses into the water supply that came out through kitchen water taps.
What he now states is the end of cheap oil and we here in NZ, being dependent on oil needs, still exposes us to being vulnerable around oil supply. So going back to the TT model, it is far broader than just fraking and costly oil. This is where organics and permaculture meet, home schooling and holistic healing modalities, alternative currencies such as green dollars and time banks extend into the local economy, as well as a reignited ‘neighbourhood support’ system. Thus the strings of a community extend across many demographics and resilience comes into play.
Jeff thinks that when we pool all these components together there is 'collaborative' leadership and this word is becoming to be more known in the mainstream vernacular. When you get groups of people with common visions sitting down around the table actively listening to one another, looking at possibilities, getting creative in a co creative way the magic and the power that comes from that kind of round table discussion is quite mind blowing! When you compare this polite dialogue and sharing with the antics of NZ’s Parliament or US politics, we need go no further.
Validating collaborative leadership is a new way forward.
Which due to Jeff's experience in local government this is what is missing collaborative leadership.
The challenge now is to convince government and bureaucracy to commit to find ways to embrace collaborative style of being and working ... where you get rid of the win/lose scenarios and also the power struggles and the competition.
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” R. Buckminster Fuller
When you clear the old patterns put these old forms aside and embrace the new all of a sudden when people start engaging in this new way of working, the collective wisdom, the collective knowledge starts to emerge and this is where the leadership starts to come up from the grass roots level.
People practising this experiential learning of collaboration find it’s like the magic ingredient where you get the group together create the space and then you just let it go ... and the outcomes are so powerful its going back to community outcomes, community wellbeing and health of the environment all this stuff starts to play out.
The passion gets renewed.
This interview covers a lot of C words ...
Can do ...
Commitment which many people seem unable to do ...
Other words for these times.
Be the change
When in a group situation and people are using this vocabulary you know that you are all on the same page and wavelength.
The Transition Towns model being a very well thoughtout model that with 12 parts to it Jeff thinks it is a very well structured system.
One of these unique parts of this TT system, calls for ‘inter generation’ connection and honouring the elders these are all components that consist of building interactive resilience back into communities the coming together the grand fathers/mothers the very young this is known within indigenous populations where is is very much a natural unified field.
One such initiative that happened when listening for the voice of the youth of Whangarei, was that no one was looking for their aspirations, they were not being actively factored into the future so Jeff and a team wrote to the Principles of the five major high schools in the City saying that their TT group was a voice of concerned citizens and they were interested in hearing the voice of the youth of today.
They asked for two students from each school and meet with all five high school representatives to support them in asking them to share their aspirations and get their voices out. So the TT group coached them in being media savvy and how to give presentations etc.
Then Jeff met with them personally for near on two years and they wanted to have a number of things, one being a forum to be able to communicate with government politicians and a youth space where they could come together and support each other along with other smaller objectives, such as tutoring. As a result the feel confident to go in front of the Whangarei Council and they have been acknowledged, listened to and have their own space and received funding for ongoing group consensus etc.
The TT group seeded it, now they have stepped back.
Then the TT group checked out the elders and saw that the women were far more organised and had their social networks, but the men, they were another story. Jeff said that he sees them at the library bring back cartloads of books they were just home reading. Yet, they had so much talent and skills sitting untapped by the community. Having heard about the Man Shed concept in Australia, where the Federal Government actually funds them because they can see the indirect health benefits of keeping the men occupied, because with no outlet the men get depressed, and go onto medication and the downward spiral ... and Jeff and a team decided to do it here in Whangarei where the end product is that there are now 80 men in a shed that happens to be the old Whangarei railwaystation.
This they purchased off the Council for one dollar, they are now restoring it, they are doing projects all over Whangarei for charities and non profits, Salvation Army, hospices, repairing furniture etc This being a total entrepreneurial old group of guys who love being together, love building things and love giving back to the community. They are now bringing in home school kids, women groups, also to learn many differing skills, that it is becoming a community point where everyone comes together to honour this intergenerational connection.
The next step being, to invite in young males who have missed out on connection with fathers and male energy to come hang with these older blokes and learn and laugh and again bring the intergeneration energies together into a more cocreative environment, these older men are ex builders, plumbers electricians etc with a huge resource of skills.
There are now mens shed in Kaitaia, Kerekeri and starting in Ruakaka and they are being donated huge amounts of tools and gear etc. It is overwhelming what is being donated.
Also mentioned in this interview is Barbara Marx Hubbard (whom we both have met) out of Northern California, who talks about "Conscious Evolution" as against, unconscious evolution, which is basically where we are at in this old paradigm that is hemorrhaging and not fulfilling humanities needs or the natural world. http://barbaramarxhubbard.com
Covering; GE Free Northland as championed by the Whangarei Council and the Far North Councils. Plus, honouring Zelka Grammer and her unwavering and dedicated work to keep GE & GMO's out of the North. https://organicnz.org.nz/node/624
Other TT projects are about re localisation. (Do a web search on ‘Localise’ NZ for the various web sites www.localise.nz ) This will give pointers about Relocalising our food and reshaping Northlands food production as well as integrating distribution and and understanding consumption systems.
Because Whangarei and districts have a niche climatic system, available water, rich soils many of them volcanic, the possibilities are huge yet compared to the food grown in Northland 100 years ago very little food is grown today.
6,000 people go to the Saturday morning Whangarei markets on Saturday morning. Based on the collaborative leadership model it is fundamental to bring in this new paradigm and re educate everyone including the present businesses, the institutions, the economic development people, leaders etc, to see just what is possible.
And ironically, all this Transitional Town dynamism is being done by volunteers, actually just three people ( Just as this radio program is totally voluntary as well) No resources or money other than their own time has gone into this project.
Jeff tells that last year he took 4 months off in 2015 to visit North America to study the local food movement, especially in Vermont, which has quite a counter culture and where Bernie Sanders comes from and they have this ‘localised food movement’ absolutely sussed. The Book called ‘The Town that Food Saved.’ Based around an organisation called ‘The centre for an agricultural economy.’ www.hardwickagriculture.org/ It's a social enterprise, is very entreprenurial and is self supporting.
Kaitiakitanga means guardianship and protection. Rahui and regenerating fish stocks. Northland being a GE and GMO Free Zone and Auckland City being the gate keeper to keep such materials out from the north.
The very high price that organic dairy farmers are getting for milk powder emphatically states that there is a world market for top quality healthy products. 5 times the price of conventional dairy prices. Covering a huge array of subject matter from Morgan Williams the ex Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment and how strong and forthright he was when taking that post.
That today, the NZ Government and ‘business as usual’ have corrupted and abused the word sustainability and deleted it from any ecological context, but use it to sustain the ongoing plunder of our planets resources, people and future.
The semantics of sustainability."if it is good for the environment and good for the people and good for the economy then you are well on track to be sustainable" Morgan Williams. It is the life supporting capacity of our planet that has got to be the main criteria for us in supporting the biosphere.
Progress indicators GDP and the measuring of gross domestic product Dr Ron Coleman who was invited by Dave Breuer of AnewNZ and who had Michael Cullen’s ear, ( The Minister of Finance for the previous Labour administration.) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genuine_progress_indicator
The game is to replace the system with one that is going to work for our common future and environment, people and economy basically in that order.
In fact "it is not a revolution it's a paradigm shift" from the grass roots up.
And more and more people are twigging to it, as they tire of the same frenetic diet of homogenous unconscious drivel spewed out via the MSM and when they see the possibilities of TT’s bountiful expression and the garden of delight it awakens them to their real self and their connections to self and the greater community.
Neo Liberalism has been totally embraced by the NZ National Party and it is not serving the country as whole.
Food for Life in Whangarei is based in giving food to school children in low decile schools = 1200 meals per week.
Stopping food waste, at super market is something that is being looked at.\
USA Hospitals have an initiative called "farm to hospital" so as to get fresh food into hospitals from local sources. rodaleinstitute.org/farmtohospital/ and www.farmtoinstitution.org/
‘Sew good’ Where Whangarei women engage in teaching and sewing in a community workshop space. http://www.sewgood.org.nz
Whangarei, is maybe becoming a cellular nucleus or mothership to not only the localised area but for supporting new community collaborative initiatives in outer lying towns within the Northland region.
This is a wonderful interview that will warm your bones and get you excited. I apologise for this poorly written summary, there are only a certain number of hours in the day.(Tim)
http://www.transitionwhangarei.org Newsletter @
The 2016 New Zealand Organic Market Report.
Organic produce sales have increased 11% per annum across the country, as New Zealanders are becoming more mindful as to what they are putting in their mouths and swallowing.
This interview covers the era (and error) of the 1st World War where newly concocted chemicals were introduced in armaments etc, that were seen to also have an effect in seemingly speeding up growth in plants.
This onslaught continued into synthetic chemicals and the challenges we have today with industrialised factory farming becoming intoxicated from pesticides and herbicides.
That then turned into industrial agriculture - a particular ‘culture’ (not really farming) and now we are coming to the end of this industrial age plus its ‘so-called’ mythology.
Pesticide and (herbicide) use is everywhere in our civil society, our road and parks management, in conservation and agriculture, and it begs the question:– Are we going to continue to poison our environment, our soil, our food, (that means spray poisons directly onto food), then eat it?
Is this going to be our normal practice, now and into the future? Any sane person has to say, NO I do not think so! This does not make sense!
Thus NZ society is waking up to the realisation we have to clean up our act and quickly.
Few people are aware that the NZ organic movement has been in existence for 75 years and it was on the 7th April this year that Organics NZ celebrated their anniversary in Parliament, in the ‘grand hall’ - sponsored by a pan party Primary Production Select Committee, –where this event actually garnered some media attention. That Parliament was open to this Organic presentation showed that change is coming to the halls of power as a result of decades of honest toil and work by the organic producers sector.
So in the words of Brendan, organics is going “gangbusters” and if we discipline ourselves this sector can grow quickly with huge benefits to people, the country, our health, to the ecology, longevity and our children’s future.
Organics in NZ grew from 2008-2010 by 8% per year –and from 2012 -2015 it is up to 11%, with plenty of room to expand.
Not only that there is more awareness in general, but people are becoming more conscious of what is happening to their food. People are wanting to make a deeper connection to their food source and one of them is ‘through ’certified organic’ products’
The Market Report for Organics Aotearoa NZ that was produced, was sponsored by New World and Countdown, Ceres, Fresh Direct and Vespry. Here is mainstream NZ in behind this report saying this is the way to go. Though Brendan tempers this by telling us that instead of using the organics slogan “We are the answer”, to now saying “We have solutions”. Very real solutions.
Today, Fonterra’s organic milk powder has a value 5 times more than conventional milk powder. This should be an eye opener to NZ dairy farmers! Especially, in a fickle and topsy-turvy world market.
So who is it buying organic products? It’’s Generation Y, born in the 1980s and 1990s, comprising primarily the children of the baby boomers. They want authentic foods and are prepared to pay for it.
Buy Pure New Zealand - why?
Because the world wants what we are growing here, isolated away from the big industrial polluted northern hemisphere.
The big question being, are we prepared to listen to what people want and deliver that back to them in the way that they want it?
The market report is positive and there is a ground swell heading our way.
This interview covers:
How do young NZ people get back on to the land?
What does it mean to identify with place and merge with your land and farm, developing one's intuition, and being at one with the elements, knowing that you are gifting from the soil the highest quality food that retains its life force.
Using appropriate technology and knowledge to be at the forefront of land management. That we can have healthy soil, healthy food and healthy people and are delivering on biodiversity and ecology.
That NZ becomes the biological - ecological producer of nutrient dense organic food for the world.
The new way forward is based more on relationships from –the farmer, to the customer who is the consumer.
The 3 organic keywords are ‘growth, celebrating diversity and confidence’– because Organics Aotearoa see that this is achievable.
Note, that contrary to mainstream media’s message, most food in the world is grown through gardening and not through farming. This is provable.
Having your children work in the garden, do chores etc. Letting them understand the connection that plants grow in fertile soils to produce tomatoes and corn, that eggs come from chooks etc.
That when children spend quality time in the garden they embed themselves in connection to natural systems that is very real - it’s not a fantasy, it’s not a TV show or an iPad game.
Organic standards, what are they in NZ? – Bio Grow being the leading certification agency.
Today Countdown and New World have 77% of organic retail sales across NZ. Countdown has its own organic house brand.
Brendan tells the story of 500 hundred year old trees in the Ureweras here in NZ giving honey to Koreans –but, they don’t see it as ‘just honey’ they see it as medicine from an elder, one that is 500 years old.
When it comes to organic food production and land use the best results by far is when you are inclusive and participative. That your dealings are open and clear and when we involve ourselves in this intent, it becomes a relentless pursuit and endeavour to bring NZ land management, health and wellbeing - into fruition.
Managing continuous 11% growth needs very focused attention and nurturing where you can not take short cuts. Organics engenders integrity of being and of effort.
Now we in NZ need top down assistance, –we have done decades of bottom up grass roots work, now we need support from government to shift the energy for the whole country.
11% each year - it is happening! It may be an intergenerational shift, but it may come faster. If we get some major support from a ‘conscious’ NZ government - magic could happen.
Now we need some enlightened policy, some regulation, and it can not be political.
This is what is best for New Zealand and ultimately, our planet.