Category Archives: Land Use

The Future of Managing Water in our Landscapes – Go Local Scale


There are so many examples both past and present where taking a decentralised approach to managing water in dry landscapes provides multiple benefits.  Such examples tend to be low capital as well as suited to a particular people and place – … Continue reading

Posted in Land Use, Thought Pieces | 3 Comments

The Wisdom of Intimacy


Edward Abbey – he of Desert Solitaire, one of the classics questioning the values of our modern world – wrote a short and scathing essay of a laboratory scientist intent on studying dog behaviour because “no one had done it … Continue reading

Posted in Land Use, Thought Pieces, Ways of Seeing | 3 Comments

Who is a Forester, a Farmer, A Fisher?


These are the sentiments of a husbandman, a farmer, a forester.  You can teach all the agronomic head stuff you want, pile on the degrees; but if you don’t have the heart to see more in land, plants, animals and … Continue reading

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What’s Good about Gorse


I recall some time in the distant past having to put up with Wordsworth going on a bit about ‘golden’ daffodils.  Saccharine sweet.  They’re not even golden.  More yellow really – similar to broom.  Now for the colour of deep, … Continue reading

Posted in Land Use, Landscape function, Thought Pieces | 2 Comments

Four Arguments Against GM Food Production


The argument for GM Food is supported by those taking a number of positions: 1. That GM will increase food production and we need to feed the world (false on both counts); 2. that GM will provide business opportunities for our … Continue reading

Posted in Land Use, Thought Pieces | 5 Comments

Greed, Cruelty & Ingratitude – and a Short Future


I’ve been reading David James Duncan’s The River Why.  The movie does absolutely no justice to this book.  I suppose big philosophy books like Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, or Catch 22, will always struggle to get the questions … Continue reading

Posted in Land Use, Thought Pieces | 2 Comments

Rebuilding our Relationship with Land – The Emerging World View


Here lie so many interesting questions – the idea of land ‘ownership’.  Is it a modern social construct? We used to live in tribal common lands – in much of Europe as well as in Aotearoa; in land referred to … Continue reading

Posted in Land Use, Thought Pieces | 3 Comments

Reforming our Regional Economy II – Making Magic in the Landscape


In the late 1940s my father came down from the East Coast to be a shepherd on Omakere Station in Central Hawke’s Bay.  Part of the work was removing regenerated shrublands of manuka and kanuka and turning them into pasture … Continue reading

Posted in Building Regional Economies, Land Use, Thought Pieces | 3 Comments

Reforming our Regional Economy I: Value over Volume


Why do we manage land the way we do?  Why does New Zealand focus on ever-more gross production over a great scale of sameness?  Why do we talk of “feeding the world” when we can at best feed 40 million … Continue reading

Posted in agricultural strategy, Building Regional Economies, Industrial Mindset, Land Use, Land use strategy, Primary Sector Strategy, Thought Pieces | 3 Comments

A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall …. Unless


I had an interesting conversation today heading into the beauty of the Eastern Wairarapa on the road to Castlepoint and Riversdale.  The question was put, why do you even care about the future?  The planet will be fine.  People are … Continue reading

Posted in Land Use, Thought Pieces | 2 Comments