Newsletter - September 2016

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The New Zealand Outdoors Party

Our way of life is founded on our ability to access and enjoy the great outdoors for recreation and food gathering, this is what makes us uniquely New Zealand. Our mission is simple: To protect and enhance those values for everyone, for ever.
We want future generations to be able to enjoy our natural environment from the seas to the mountain tops and have this opportunity protected and set in stone now.

A big Hi to all members and supporters.


We have huge newsletter this month with lots of information we would like to share with you.
Over the last 6 months we have been very busy establishing our message and getting ready for a push towards the next election.
In July we invited a selected number of significant people in the "outdoors" space to a meeting in Turangi so that they could help us understand what that message might be and how we could get it heard. We were very fortunate to have a number of amazing people give so much of their time to participate. A huge thanks to those who contributed their time and expertise.
The result of that meeting has been what we are calling our "High Five Principals". Included with this newsletter is a brochure outlining those "High Five Principals we will take on to the next election. These brochures will also be mailed to all members for passing on to friends and family.

Alan




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What's Happening

  • The NZ Outdoors Party will have a stand at the Sika Show in Taupo at the Great Lake center 24th/25th Sept so if you are at the show please make yourself known. The Sika show is now a major annual event in the outdoors scene with hundreds of exhibitors and huge crowds attending. If you have not been to one then try and make an effort..

  • Benny Bennett has penned us a poem which is fun and with the opening of the fishing season upon us quite topical

  • We are looking to register the party by Xmas 2016 so to this end we need all members to provide a written signature. The NZ electoral system is still quite archaic in requiring a physical signature however we need to follow the guidelines, so after the Sika Show we will post out a membership form with a freepost address on it; sign it and send it back. We will also send you a few extras in the hope that you might find a few other friends and family who are also interested.


  • In keeping with the Parties emphasis on embracing everything New Zealand we opened a bank account with a "NZ bank", Kiwibank. Anyone who would like to make a donation the account number is 38-9017-0320052-00 and it will be very much appreciated. Or you can donate via the paypal button.

  • Our New brochure


    Click to get full sized readable version. Or visit our media page to see all our brochures and posters.


    Back of New brochure


    Click to get full sized readable version. Or visit our media page to see all our brochures and posters.



    David Haynes co-leader Comments on a number of current issues


    WATER WOES
    Fresh (in the loosest possible sense of the word) water is front and centre stage these days and will be a central plank of the 2017 General Election for all parties - even National is planning to soften its stance on "wadeable" as being an acceptable standard.


    A month ago I attended a showing of Tasman District Council's film "Our Waters In Common" - a really well put together piece on how communities are volunteering to plant trees to help restore waterways (more on this later). A senior Council manager stood up at the end and said to the audience of around 500 people "of course we all want swimmable rivers" to which there was a strong murmur of agreement.

    Then, a couple of weeks back I attended the annual Cawthron/Royal Society lecture, this year on the amazing qualities of water. The highlight for me was a fellow Trustee standing up to formally thank Alok Jha for his talk with her saying "we look forward to all our rivers being swimmable". I'm sure this was not lost on her fellow Trustee in the front row, the Hon Nick Smith MP!


    THE PLANT A TREE MYTH
    The good work so many have contributed to riparian planting is to be commended, but not considered as the panacea to our freshwater woes, more of a sticking plaster on the intensification of farming.
    Subsidised irrigation schemes by the current Government are:

    • $60M Irrigation Acceleration Fund (2011-16)
    • $400M Crown Irrigation Investments Ltd (2011-2016)

    And subsidised Clean Ups from the consequence of irrigation schemes, failing urban wastewater treatment plants, forestry run off and industrial effluent are:

    • $100M Freshwater Improvement Fund (2016)
    • $265M Fresh Start for Freshwater (2011)
    • $100M Riparian Retirement Fund (2014)

    Most of the money on the clean ups has been spent on tree planting which is a good thing in respect of:
    it can improve in-stream conditions (willows, often an impediment to anglers, do provide excellent trout and eel habitat).
    Tree lined rivers and lakes look nice.
    It creates positive community adhesion.
    But it tends to address the symptoms, rather than strike at the cause which is the continued intensification of farming and its attendant high irrigation requirements and diffuse pollution loads. Similarly, all the trees in the world will not improve or remove bacteria and parasites such as campylobacter, e. coli, giardia and cryptospiridium.


    The Outdoors Party "Keep Freshwater Fresh" sets out our core beliefs:


    • keep freshwater fresh.
    • keep our rivers and lake full.
    • water is free and belongs to everyone.
    • polluters will pay.

    How do we achieve these? Well, implementing a National Environment Standard for Land Use which sets out capacity and use limits for each land type is a start. Diverting investment from dams to on-farm water harvest which captures water when rivers are raging and rains are pouring is another.


    HAWKES BAY
    We are grateful to Tom Belford and BayBuzz magazine for providing this photograph of cattle feedlots adjacent to the Tukituki river and suggest this is a prime example of a wadeable river which meets our freshwater standards as set out in the National Objectives Framework.


    David Parker, Labour Party Environmental Spokesperson has also been busy with his camera, this time capturing how we treat the Ngaruroro River with similar disdain:


    LINCOLN UNIVERSITY SPEECH
    Hon Nick Smith, now best known for his recent speech at Lincoln University and roundly condemned for blaming birds for polluting our freshwater. What he said was "We've got water bodies like the Washdyke Lagoon here in Canterbury and Lake Papaitonga in the Manawatu which are home to many birds whose E. coli make it impossible to meet the swimming standard without a massive bird cull."


    More interesting to us was his declaration that diffuse pollution (runoff from farms for example) "....is much more challenging to regulate. It is difficult to measure as it is small amounts of runoff over large areas that just seeps into the drains and aquifers and which gradually accumulate," New Zealand signed up to the 1992 Rio Declaration which sought to address such pollution and yet here we are in 2016 still not able to manage the problem. We believe a maximum stock unit quota for each type of land mass, is one initiative well worth exploring further.


    MT PISA - A TOWERING ERROR
    Thanks to Mike Pannet for alerting us to some strange goings-on at Mt Pisa Station in Central Otago. Murray McMillan, the owner, is in dispute with DoC over allowing recreational hunters on to adjacent Conservation Land, via an easement which passes over his property, borne from Tenure Review in 2004. Irrespective of the reasons for wanting to stop hunters using the Mt Pisa access route, Mr McMillan may have made a grave error in hiring.....wait for it....a PR consultant to manage the issue. Step forward Michael Laws, ex National Party MP, NZ First representative, Whanganui mayor, Napier City Councillor and talk show radio host with an interesting Wikipedia entry.


    BATTLE FOR OUR BIRDS
    Like us, most hunters don't like 1080, principally as it poisons our dogs and our wild game animals. And rather than focus on 1080 per se, we believe the issue is more on the aerial distribution of toxins - whether it is Pindone, Cyanide, Cholicalciferol or Brodifacoum, aerial top dressing results in the same indiscriminate kill of all animals who ingest it or a poisoned carcass.


    In addition the evidence points to a conservation addiction to 1080 poison, why else would we continue to use it for over fifty years despite still having "biblical plagues" of rats? Even DoC's own web sites acknowledges this:

    Success from pest control in 2014
    The Battle for our Birds programme successfully stopped rat and stoat plagues triggered by widespread forest seeding in 2014.... Pest control in 2016
    Widespread forest seeding this autumn will lead to another rapid rise in rat and stoats...,


    Given the deaf ears that the Ban 1080 message has been landing on, we need to focus on new messages if we are to protect our game resource and recreational estate. We are pushing for two things


    Alternatives, such as the Goodnature self setting traps and the Para-aminopropiophenone (PAPP) a stoat-specific poison, are promising, as is the evidence of low stoat and rat numbers in Te Urewera Mainland Island and Nydia Bay, where local people manage intensive trapping programmes. Possum trapping and species specific bait stations will also play a valuable role in unwanted animal control.


    Reprioritising unwanted organisms: Ask any hunter or angler who frequents beech forest what animal most ruins and restricts their enjoyment of the outdoors and they will most likely answer wasps. Wasps are starting to gain attention of DoC and MPI as they destroy the food chain for insect eaters, from fantails to trout and cicadas are near extinct in the Nelson Lakes due to wasp predation. DoC have had successful trials of Vespex, an insect bait/poison from a Nelson company and both Landcare and Victoria University are researching other wasp ridding solutions. Read our press release on Wasps of last november.


    Similarly Didymo and Lake Snow have been shunted into the background for too long, these unwanted weeds have ruined many a fishery, such as the Buller and now Lake Wanaka. NIWA has completed some interesting research on the influence of phosphorus on Didymo blooms - exactly the sort of research that benefits conservation AND recreation.


    ACP, who manufacture 1080 baits, made $7.2M in sales for the year to June 2015 and given that DoC assigned $21M to the 2014 poisoning campaign, it provides a good indicator that the bulk of the money is not actually spent on the poison itself, rather distribution and administration - plenty of fat for alternative research.


    Press Release.
    Outdoors Party Tourist Conservation levy Policy Lifted by The Greens! & now United Future! 10th Aug 2016
    "The New Zealand Outdoors Party are flattered that the Greens have seen fit to adopt the Outdoors Party policy of a tourist tax" says Alan Simmons, co leader.
    "Our policy which we have been pushing for sometime now has largely been ignored by the mainstream parties and media until now and we are very pleased a party such as the Greens will adopt it.
    We are however disappointed in the Greens suggestion to distribute the money raised into pest control. The aim of the policy is to fund the Department of Conservation and councils to help provide better and more infrastructure to handle the huge number of tourists who are putting immense pressure on our outdoor environment. These costs are currently borne by new Zealanders through rates and taxes all the while our beautiful places are being consumed by tourists. Often the only people who pay at Department of Conservation camping sites are New Zealanders with many Freedom campers in cars, cheap 2 man tents or sub standard vans moving on without paying unless challenged by a Doc Officer.
    The New Zealand wilderness is groaning under a sea of rubbish over banks from these freedom campers and every roadside piece of bush, camping ground and walking track is littered with toilet paper and excrement . Doc needs more funding to improve and build more toilets which in some areas are absolutely disgusting causing people to go behind the nearest bush.
    Nowhere are there rubbish facilities and tourist just do not know where local collection points are let alone find them open as they pass through a town.
    The NZ Outdoors Party would make this "Tourist Conservation fund" available to Department of Conservation and local/regional Councils.
    "We also need to seriously look at how many tourist are enough and the Outdoors Party hope some of the major political parties may also pick up their policy of this also which is on our website. While we will be standing candidates in the next election we are also wanting to see good outcomes for the outdoors no matter who brings them in." said Alan Simmons.

    TO CATCH A TROUT - Benny Bennets


    No telephone or pushing pens, what weekends are all about...
    Hide away by Mountain Stream go fishing after Trout.


    Camp set up quick scout around, Trout basking in a shallow...
    Instead of casting out my line I went and cast my shadow.


    Sneak up a little closer, right out to the brink...
    Rotten log breaks under foot and end up in the drink.


    Off to camp to dry out, then back to look and see...
    Trout basking in the shallow and grinning right at me.


    Have a go with rod again, and hook him with a tweak...
    But he just spits the hook out and right across the creek.


    Then he's back there basking, incredulously I gape...
    Back for something at the camp, this time there's no escape.


    Spear gun looks real deadly, rubber thong is pulled back taught...
    Trout casually moves a little bit and spear lands four feet short.


    Well that rips the ration book, back to camp to get the gun...
    A nickel spinner coming up, lets see if he thinks that's fun.


    Empty out the magazine, and nearly go insane...
    Trout basking and still smiling, I get wet asse again.


    Back to camp to dry out, can't take much more of this...
    What's left here in the arsenal, this time I will not miss.


    Unroll a length of cordite, this time we do it right...
    Connect up all the blasting caps to a crate of dynamite.


    Sitting here in hospital...I ponder all the luck...
    Wonder if that Trout's still there? ....Yeah...
    AND SPAWNING IN MY TRUCK!


    Benny Bennetts.

    We loved 'the Hound's' Rural News piece a few weeks back on our Ruataniwha Dam press release so much that Alan could not resist responding. The original "hound" comment and Alans reply below.


    The original Press relase.. Ruataniwha Environmental Benefits - Yeah Right! 10th Aug 2016


    The New Zealand Outdoors Party, the newly formed political party, is challenging pro-dam organisations to substantiate claims that the proposed Hawkes Bay Ruataniwha dam is good for the environment. "Rural News and Andrew Curtis of IrrigationNZ are two sources of recent rhetoric in which environmental benefits of the dam have been lauded. Andrew Curtis of IrrigationNZ is, as usual, behaving to type, but we were surprised by the Rural News editorial of 20 July 2016, given their diverse and informed readership" said Co-Leader David Haynes.


    Haynes continued "Our researchers have spent some time analysing the publicly available environmental assessments on the proposed dam commissioned by Hawkes Bay Regional Council. During construction sediment discharge downstream and loss of access is anticipated for nearly five years. Once constructed, loss of galaxid habitat by inundation, blocking of passage for spawning eels and trout, loss of spawning sites and nuisance periphyton growth were highlighted by the reports. Additionally, immediately below the dam, a 50% reduction in invertebrate habitat caused by short-term flow fluctuations and 100% loss of rainbow trout spawning areas in the Makaroro and Waipawa Rivers was identified along with reduction of survival and/or growth of trout due to reduced in-stream food and increases of nitrogen and phosphorus pollutants of 81% and 41% respectively. The formation of a stillwater fishery has also been characterised as one where the current average size trout will be superceded by smaller trout.


    "The good news appears to be limited - Stillwater habitat creation for some native fish and trout albeit at the loss of flowing-water habitat for these and other species, improved low flow levels but only if existing water allocation holders agree to forego their free resource for purchased Ruataniwha water, higher low summer flows but at the expense of reduced median flows and flushing flows which should scour undesirable periphyton growth. Unfortunately, the latter may not occur now that irrigators may be given contractual preference over environmental flows.


    The Opus report on Recreation Assessment is similarly bleak - suggesting building a cycling track alongside the irrigation intake stream as a recreation opportunity for the dam, despite the fact that these two projects are wholly independent of each other. Opus also acknowledged recreational opportunity in the formed reservoir would be compromised by the lake level's frequent fluctuations of up to twenty metres, leaving a 'dead zone' around the lake periphery.


    "Even with extensive mitigation recommendations there will be a net loss of environmental values to the Tukituki catchment. All in all it's another example of tax and rate payer funded freshwater vandalism." concluded Haynes.


    ENDS


    PS. If readers want to see eveidence of what is really happening around Havelock North, with regards to the water disease Campylobacter and the intensifacation of farming in the Hawkes Bay they should take a look at Bay Buzz editor Tom Belford's blog... They say pictures are worth a thousand words....... Bay Buzz images and blog




    The recent Carp Farm "battle" was an excellent example of a community and democracy at work and while it was a local issue (Taupo) it could have been anywhere else in New Zealand where I am sure the outcome would have been the same. What it did show is that if the people do get together and protest they can win against all odds but it needs to include the wider community as it did in Taupo not just one interest group.


    Because of my involvement on the executive of the Federation of Freshwater Anglers I was aware of how this proposal was slipping though under the radar and that very few people in the Taupo district were aware of it. The federation was fighting it on it's own and getting nowhere. Using my position within the newly formed NZ Outdoors Party I put out a press release to the wider media which was generally ignored except by TV3 (One good reason why we should watch TV3) who decided to do an interview with me near where the farm was to be sited.


    That interview ended up as second item on the Saturday evening news which then prompted other radio media to take an interest in the issue. You can see that initial news item here on TV3 NewsHub


    From that point onwards the people of Taupo rallied, but no matter how much they protested they became increasingly frustrated at not being listened to. Facebook pages were set up, petitions organised and politicians contacted. In this case our appointed leaders and politicians were of no use and they all ran for cover. The Mayor of Taupo had written a letter of support for the proposal so he and his officials just vanished and refused to talk to their constituents about it. They were happy to put the $93 million dollar Per year trout fishery and the future of Taupo at jeopardy in return for 4 jobs. Our local MP Louise Upston supported the proposal and while many wrote to her early in the piece she finally replied at the end when she saw public opinion building "that she was watching with interest". She is so out of date over this issue that as of 1st April she wrote to the electorate "I am listening to the views of the community, for and against." She could loose her seat over this.


    The Greens never responded, so much for their love of freshwater and Lake Taupo, Labour said this was a matter for the minister and left it at that. New Zealand First put out a press release condemning the proposal and moved on. United Future with its leader having a house in Taupo and presenting itself as a party looking after the interest of the outdoors were completely silent.


    After a while some Councillors spoke up and said that the matter had never been bought before council and got in behind the protest. But even amongst their ranks were councillors who still saw it as an economic opportunity for Taupo. Fish and Game who represent the anglers ran for cover and not once responded to anyone's concerns while the Taupo Fishery staff who manage the areas fishing were hamstrung by their political master being the Minister!


    Our Fledgling Political Party the NZ Outdoors Party continued to be engaged by way of numerous interviews and press articles trying to bring this issue to heel.


    The local newspaper was woefully out of touch and it took phone calls and emails to the editor to even get a small bit in the paper about it.. fortunately Taupo does have an independent weekend paper who took up the issue.
    The Minster of conservation Maggie Barry was deathly silent throughout the affair but as protest from the public grew louder and louder she eventually started to indicate that the permit already issued was subject to conditions. To me that was the beginning of the back down.


    Slowly but steadily momentum built until the Mayor could not ignore it any longer and eventually a public meeting was called. The large hall was overflowing with irate citizens and the mood angry, culminating in a unanimous resolution to condemn the farm and tell the political masters to rescind the permits already given. It was pretty obvious to the Mayor that he and his staff had made a big blunder. The Maori people were angry at not being consulted and no matter what, they were never going to let this happen.


    All the while not one person in Authority came out and and said we will stop it.
    Fortunately I was asked to be interviewed on National Radio by Radio Live and I agreed thinking we needed to up the anti and it occurred to me that the land was being leased from Contact Energy so in that interview I pointed out that Contact Energy was a company that spent millions convincing us what good environmental stewards they were and now they were allowing their land to be used for something that could destroy one of the finest lakes in the world. I said in the interview that the the people of Taupo should look to switching electricity suppliers. You can listen to this interview here at Radio Live


    Within a day the Spin doctors of Contact energy were in damage control and within two days they announced they would not complete the lease deal for the farm. That was the end of the proposal and Contact Energy should be congratulated for at least realising public opinion was against this proposal and doing something about it. None of the politicians did! What this did highlight is that it was emotion and commercial interests that stopped the proposal and nothing to do with the facts or our elected leaders intervening and does show us that moving politicians to take action is nearly impossible. They sit on the fence watching public opinion and see reversing any decision they have made as a complete slap in the face and something they will never do unless forced to.


    This was a fine example of people power but it took hundreds of hours of time by so many individuals to knock over when all along the people we vote in to look after our interests should have stopped it before it even got started. All I can say is that with Local body elections due later this year the Carp Farm fight will still be in everyone's minds and with National elections in 2017 we need to remember how little our current crop of politicians cared and how indifferent they were. But then as night follows day they will be all-over us with more promises and reasons for us to vote for them at election time.


    They know we all seem to have very short memories, or do we!

    Monday, 8 August 2016. Press Release: Outdoors Party
    David Haynes



    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment report on Tourism Infrastructure, which identifies the effects on National Parks of too many tourists, is the tip of the iceberg according to the NZ Outdoors Party. The Outdoors Party advocates for outdoor values including environmental stewardship, recreation and food gathering.


    Co-Leader David Haynes said "Conservation Boards, academics and recreation bodies have recognised for a number of years that there is a limit to how many people can experience our unique outdoor destinations beyond which that experience becomes compromised by overcrowding and destruction of the very environment that attracts. The predominant vista when walking the Tongariro Crossing, for example, is the backs of the multitude of those ahead of you."


    Although the report has identified the issue of unsustainable visitor pressure on our public conservation estate, solutions are thin on the ground.


    The Outdoors Party is very concerned that New Zealand could be yet another "eco-destination", like Machu Picchu, the Galapagos Islands and the Great Barrier Reef, whose decline in popularity is caused by too many tourists.


    The Outdoors Party is calling for a Futures Commissioner, appointed by Parliament but independent of any political party, to look at this issue for the long-term, along with the wider capacity limits of our environment and infrastructure to support population and economic growth, whilst maintaining our ecological and cultural identity.
    END

    Thats it for our September newsletter!
    If you have anything you would like to contribute please contact me, Alan Simmons at alan@outdoorsparty.co.nz
    OR
    David Haynes david@outdoorsparty.co.nz
    Once again I thank you for your continued support. Please put your hand up if you can help and also we need you to keep working on other outdoors people to join. Send this newsletter on to your club or get us mentioned in your club newsletter.

    Don't forget if you are at the Sikla Show then make yourself known.
    Until next time.

    Alan Simmons

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