A lesson in survival: 100 humans turned out to be too many for the well-being of 58,000 moa

October 24, 2014

"Please, sir, may we have some moa?"

“Please, sir, may we have some moa?”


Alf read with great fascination today the news – if you can call it news – that the flightless moa was doomed the moment humans landed in New Zealand.

At least, this is what new research suggests, according to this report st Stuff..

Whether they were big or small, moa were wiped out in 200 years and the last were killed nearly 600 years ago, between 1440 and 1445.

It first blush, it is hard to square this environmental vandalism with something drummed into us by our indigenous persons and by such authorities as the Ministry for the Environment), because they insist:

For Māori, the concept of kaitiakitanga is of primary importance. Kaitiakitanga is a fundamental concept of the guardianship of a resource for future generations. It is practised as part of tikanga Māori (customary values and practices).

And…

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Shark-cage operators put the bite on Govt about safety – but is competition their real worry?

December 28, 2011

Code or no code, Alf prefers to get his kicks elsewhere.

Dunno why southern shark tourism operators are making such a fuss about cowboy operators.

They are expressing concerns that the unregulated industry could lead to cowboy operators coming to the Foveaux area.

And these cowboys – they reckon – will put peoples’ lives in danger because they do not know what they are doing.

The reality, Alf suspects, could be that the incumbent operators are pissed off at the prospect of competition and want the industry regulated to make it easier for themselves to make a buck.

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Forget about Crusher Collins – let’s persuade her to become Slugger with this tasty idea

February 23, 2010

Alf has an idea for our Corrections Minister, the admirable Crusher Collins. Our Defence Minister, Wayne Mapp, is smart enough to see the possibilities, too.

Alf’s fertile mind was activated by news that Mapp, wearing his Research, Science and Technology hat, is thinking about coughing up good public money to help study toxic sea slugs.

As the NZ Herald reports today, scientists want to know how far the highly poisonous slugs have spread and why they have suddenly become toxic. But the Environment Ministry and other government departments have so far refused to pay.

Toxic snails? How toxic?
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Breathing space on ETS advised for the farm sector

June 17, 2009

There should be some rejoicing in farm circles today, after Environment Minister Nick Smith released a joint report by economic consultants NZIER and Infometrics.

The report was commissioned by the Ministry for the Environment and provided to the Emissions Trading Scheme Review Committee as part of its terms of reference.

Smith’s media statement emphasises the recommendation that a modified emissions trading scheme as the best way forward for New Zealand on climate change policy.

“The report highlights that the costs to New Zealand’s climate change policy are significantly greater if other countries do not put a price on carbon. This reinforces the Government’s policy of aligning our response more closely with other countries.

“The Government will await the report back from the Review Committee before committing to any decisions on the future of New Zealand’s ETS. The environmental and economic consequences of climate change policy are critical to New Zealand and a careful and considered approach is required.”

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Chauvel’s caution had already been sounded

April 15, 2009

From the Labour side of the political divide comes a media statement headed “Latest NZ carbon position no cause for complacency”.

The statement was issued by Labour’s Climate Change Issues Spokesperson Charles Chauvel, who said there were four reasons why the Government’s announcement of a better-than-expected carbon emissions position should be treated with caution.

Alf was pleasantly surprised by Chauvel’s numerical skills. Obviously he misunderstood when – in a chat with mates in Bellamy’s about Labour leadership prospects – someone said Chauvel didn’t count.
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Bioethics Council bids us bye-bye

March 17, 2009

The Bioethics Council closed its doors yesterday without much more than a murmur or two of disquiet from the public.

Announcing it had been disestablished, the council tried to emphasise its importance by saying that since its inception in 2002, it had issued “major reports” on Pre-Birth Testing, Animal-to-Human Transplantation, and the Use of Human Genes in Other Organisms.
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