Water storage is more than a farming tool it is a legitimate climate adaptation tool as well: Fed Farmers

Water storage is more than a farming tool it is a legitimate climate adaptation tool as well: Fed Farmers

Content supplied by Federated Farmers

With Dr Jim Salinger reinforcing what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported last year, Federated Farmers believes the logic for water storage is now irrefutable.

“Water storage is more than a farming tool it is a legitimate climate adaptation tool as well,” says Dr William Rolleston, Federated Farmers spokesperson on climate change.

“Whatever ones’ views may be on the causes of climate change, the fact is it is happening and that means we have two realistic options for adaptation."

“First is researching new crops and pasture varieties in the knowledge that farms will face greater environmental stress.  This demands an on-going and bipartisan ramp up in both our agricultural research and development spend and science capability."

“The second of course is the huge opportunity New Zealand has to store rain water."

“Last year, the IPCC predicted that New Zealand could face a future climate of heavier extreme rainfall, stronger and more extreme winter winds as well as longer periods of drought."

“South Canterbury’s Opuha dam, the most recent dedicated water storage facility which started operating in the late 1990’s, has proven itself by insulating South Canterbury from drought."

“It is schemes like Opuha, such as Ruataniwha now being proposed in the Hawke’s Bay, which New Zealand needs to build resilience into our economy and society."

“The constant for water remains irrespective of what current land uses are or what they could be in the future."


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“There are three basics to growing pasture and crops and they are soils, sunlight and water.  While many countries have the first two, it is water, or the lack of it, which limits food production in a world where the supply and demand for food is on a knife edge."

“Stored rain water provides the means to maintain minimum river flows. Water storage is as much environmental infrastructure as it is economic. Every region should be looking at storing rain water and many currently are."

“Aside from being a net food exporter in a world of increasing food shortage, New Zealanders can be very proud that our farmers are among the most carbon efficient in the world. 

“Our leadership extends to our country’s role in the Global Research Alliance on agricultural greenhouse gases and the Palmerston North based Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium."

“Dr Jim Salinger has confirmed what many of us on-farm knew.  Last winter was warmer and he puts it at 1.27 degrees Celsius above the 1961-1990 long term average.  If it’s getting hotter then we need to store water,” Dr Rolleston concluded.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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Please, Dr William Rolleston, Federated Farmers spokesperson on climate change, elucidate all the ways the Ruataniwha scheme is like the Opuha one.
If you don't or can't then we should all assume that at best Ruataniwha is nothing like Opuha, and at worst the Ruataniwha scheme is a dog proceeding only because government policy requires GDP growth into the next election regardless of the cost to future generations. 
I am looking forward to a debate on facts rather than politcal belief systems.

Long wait then.
Though it seems even the staunch deniers now see its loony to deny it....
But no, no, no lets adapt and not reduce CO2....

True. I am not expecting Federated Farmers to engage.
Growing some balls or an intellect doesn't normally happen overnight.

comparing the two schemes.
Ruataniwha lake ares 303 hectare Opuha 710
Storage Ruataniwha 75 Million Opuha 35 million cubic metres
irrgatable area 25000 Hectare Opuha 16000 hectare
I'm sure other here can read the 'fact' sheets from the two schemes, or scams and put other comparisions up.

Joe Romm at Climate Change would have apoplexy reading this piece. Let;s rewrite the weasel words of the third paragraph so that they are accurate:
" The consenus among scientists who have devoted their lives to understanding the science of the climate (from before anyone had heard of 'climate change') agree that the planet is steadily warming because:

  • we burn coal to generate electricity
  • we drive cars
  • we cut down trees to make room for more ruminant animals

As a species we can choose to continue to do these unnecessary things and risk wiping ourselves out or we can stop these destructive behaviours now. Any real farmer will tell you an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure so the new policy of Federated Farmers is:

  • demand conversion of NZ's energy supply to non-coal energy sources
  • elimination of the dairy sector in favour of tree crops

That is all."
"Adaption" is the weasel response of former deniers faced with irrefutable reality.

""Adaption" is the weasel response of former deniers faced with irrefutable reality."
Couldn't agree with that. More like FF and their ilk see it as a opurtunity to push their NEED for growth. Once they have irrigation everywhere then it's on to the next project, most often using other people's money as is being done with the $400m govt donation.

redcows - it would be great to see you using fact not emotive misinformation in environmental discussions this year.  
You are wrong to state the $400m is a donation - it isn't, it has to be paid back.  Also only $80m was allocated in the 2013 budget.  The $400m (if it is all made available) will be made available over a number of years.  
The Government will be a minority investor in each project, and it will also plan to be a relatively short-term investor. In other words, the Government will take a bridging role to get projects underway. 


CO, are you being a little naive in accepting a government media release at face value?
I have watched the video of the last HBRC meeting where Andrew Newman of HBRIC reported on the Ruataniwha scheme. Included was some interesting information regards the involvement of Crown Irrigation Investments with the scheme.  
Some points that Andrew Newman made - or could be inferred - include:

  • Crown Irrigation Investments need not made a return on Ruataniwha (my take - the scheme is not financially viable without CII providing subsidies)
  • The scheme won't have a positive NPV - the case for proceeding will be based on increases in GDP (consistent with the unpublished Treasury report)
  • It is economically rational to keep lowering the price of water until there is enough uptake for the scheme to proceed (this is teaser water - some is at 10 cents per m3 for 5 years rather than 25 cents)
  • The engineering timeline for water to the gate has been reduced from 5 years to 3 years (but with no explanation on how this will be achievable)

Ruataniwha clearly doesn't meet some the criteria for investment set out in your link. 

Hi Colin, My point is that the money is not a donation and that the government has an expectation of the funds being repaid.  Nothing you state above shows that has changed. 
Whether or not I believe the Ruataniwha scheme is a positive, is an entirely different thing.

If government has an expectation that it will get its money back from Ruataniwha then it is more incompetent than I thought.
BNZ Advisory stated clearly in the Council's Feasibility study that the scheme was not commercially viable without a $10 million pa subsidy. Treasury and MPI will have both advised them similarly.
Crown Irrigation Investments will enter into the Ruataniwha scheme on a basis where it will be last to get any return (there won't be) and first to take losses (there will be). On any other basis the private investors won't be interested. Why else has HBRIC has engaged a PPP expert?
I believe government already knows that the crown i.e. taxpayers will lose most if not all the money it puts into Ruataniwha.

Then .. if the project proceeds .. look for the lobbyists .. patronage .. influence peddlers .. who benefits the most .. above and beyond the useage charges

You can tell who will benefit well before it proceeds from as you say: the lobbyists .. patronage .. influence peddlers.

Yes, wasn't it andrewj who said a meeting he attended had bankers and financial advisors outnumbering landowners 3:1.  I cannot believe our democracy has allowed this proposal to get this far. Says something about the distain shown by the decison-makers for the general public.

I think it goes a much deeper than that. I began writing an article on the topic a while ago with a view of submitting it to David Chaston for publication. It's not simply disdain or decision-makers. Might get there one day.

Corruption of process and outcomes?

You might call it an alignment of interests - wherever there is an exploitable loophole - it will be exploited

About a year ago when the approvals of the canterbury dams and irrigation schemes were being finalised and big dollars being thrown around, I said, in my neck of the woods, Fairfax Media and their two favourite bloodhounds would be poring all over the land titles of all the land affected by the scheme looking for commonality with those responsible or involved in the approvals processes.

You reall should write that article. DC as a publisher would be ceertain to ensure the content would not expose you to a defamation suit - nonetheless also ensuring some sunlight was shined on the subject. The world still votes us the least corrupt nation of all - granted the competition might be extremely weak - but I certainly see quite a sea change in the type of public servant of today versus yesteryear. Alignment of interests is a very good way to express it.

And bearing in mind those approvals were not subject to democratic process - i.e., decisions by elected officials.  Democracy had to be canned in Canterbury to get them through.

Yep, lots of snouts lining up at the trough. For irrigation projects normally:
Civil construction
Suppliers to agricultural intensification
Food processors
Politicians, party insiders and a few bureaucrats

So there's a explanation for the above s involvement. But what's Fed Farmers excuse for backing the direction and not looking at things critically.

A good question. It doesn't appear to make sense for a supposedly independent body representing farmers' interests to buy into a political belief system and not look at things critically. Possible explanations include:

  • Federated Farmers are not independent and effectively part of the current government's perception mangement team.
  • Iconoclast's aligment of interests - just not quite as directly as I listed.
  • Defence of the status quo - new irrigation schemes offer hope (mostly false) that NZ agriculture can continue as it has in the past despite intensification and increasing costs. 

The degradation of water quality is one area where Ruataniwha will be like Opuha but it may not be something Dr William Rolleston - Federated Farmers spokesperson on climate change - cares to mention.

Another excellent public submission on Ruataniwha;

The author swims upstream in the Waipawa river from where the Waipawa town sewage is discharged into the river......

Its is treated. The regional council talked us into a very expensive scheme involving a large hill and alot of trees, it failed and the regional council CEO moved on to head irrigation NZ and we are now spending more to fix the problem.  Waipukurau had problems with fat from the meat industry.  Both towns are having to upgrade.   Cows are a bigger problem.

The Irrigation CEO is not the ex CEO of the Hawkes Bay Regional Council?  The Waipukurau mayor changed from the trees on hillside option becasue he went the cheaper way to save ratepayers money and cows arent a bigger problem because there is bugger all in Hawkes bay.

"Last winter was warmer and he puts it at 1.27 degrees Celsius above the 1961-1990 long term average"
What happened between 1990 and 2013? Or does it take a while to collate the data?

He's a denier, you expect logic and truth?
So now he's finally getting around to the fact that something has to be done just as long as he doesnt pay, it doesnt effect his business model, so someone else does, ie joe tax payer as farmers are so "vital" to our economy....even though they pay virtually no tax as they arent making money.
yeah right.

Who's a denier? Jim Salinger? I read it as his quote.
I don't understand why last winter is being compared to the long term average from 1961-1990? Why start at 1961 and why stop at 1990 with the comparison data?

Because you have to define what the 'long term average' is. The range must be large enough to be sufficiently representative but not so long that it incorporates all of the effect of global warming. Including years prior to 1961 will decrease the average. Including years after 1990 will increase the average.
This is what the data looks like: http://hot-topic.co.nz/its-hot-down-here-2013-was-the-new-zealand-regions-2nd-warmest-year/

So you're saying it needs to be large enough to be sufficiently representative but only incorporate some of the effect of global warming?
Who decides those parameters? Sufficiently representative but only a bit of the global warming period.
Could have saved a lot of spreadsheet if they'd just picked one year that was colder than 2013 by 1.27C. ;)

If you go before 1960 you get sued by the the Climate Education Trust (or whatever that group of deniers call their next shell organisation) and after years of time and money spent on court cases rather than science, you will eventually be vindicated and get an award for costs but the Trust will turn out to have no assets.
It is a fairly simple mathematical arguement, if climate is not warming recent temperatures would be on average be the same as longer ago temperatures. As to the detail of why periods were chosen, this is Salinger being quoted in a simplified way by the media, and then in turn being quoted in a simplified way in a Federated Farmer's press release that is actually about the unrelated topic of intensification.

Is that the group that sued NIWA and got blown out?
Interesting tactic before hand, isoltauing with a non-profit? trust as a shell. Suggesting they knew they were likely to lose so protected their wallets, pity it cant be taken further back.

There will only be any good in storing water where there is water to store, I suspect Ruataniwha could become one of those places where sparser and sparser rainfall will make storing water a bit pointless and in the case of the South Island, less snowfall will also mean less water to store. 
The only adaptation the human race could make that will make a difference is de-population, we could do it using the time honoured method, war, or seeing as we know we need to do something, we could do it in an ordered and humane way. Why am thinking that we will obfuscate and procrastinate until the first option occurs

hi raegun.  Please describe what you consider to be the ordered and humane depopulation of NZ - how many people should we depopulate and how?

The estimate is about 2-3 billion of us, in order that everyone may be able to live the rough equivalent of a European lifestyle, so we have a bit way to go, eh? I guess we have some wriggle room with a lessened lifestyle amongst us, but I wouldn't think a lot

I think limiting population growth (that is, replenishment of the species) is all the wrong moral issue to focus on, particularly in an energy limited future. Youth will be much needed to do the manual labour that high grade oil-based mechanisation has largely replaced over the last century.
We more urgently need to learn to act humanely in allowing our species to die a natural death. Medical intervention sees much of the world's population living beyond their biological clock. Peter Gluckman wrote a somewhat related book titled, 'Mismatch: Why our world no longer fits our bodies'. And Gareth Morgan also touches on the subject in 'Health Cheque: The truth we should all know about New Zealand's health care system'.
This notion of a 'European lifestyle' is a thing of the past - it just is not sustainable - and we waste more and more energy as other societies try to lift their populations toward it. China being the worst example of energy waste if its building sector is anything to go by.

Is it the European lifestyle we are aiming for or the "American Dream"?
How attached are we to the lifestyle/standard of living that we are taught to chase that we fear anything "less"?

I see them as the same thing - meaning European/OECD/Western - having all the same lifestyle/cultural morals and aspirations.

I see them as the same thing - meaning European/OECD/Western - having all the same lifestyle/cultural morals and aspirations.

That is a ROUGH equivalent and I have used European very purposely as they are not as wasteful as the American dream generally. 
A rough equivalent would be a roof over your head, food and water, energy, clothing, education and I would probably toss in there, the potential to be able to own your own home/land, not sure. I would like for it to include clean waterways and healthy seas.
From my point of view, more and more people just means less and less opportunity for too many to be able to make their own way in the world.

Europe is really where the luxury lifestyle originates - take the designer fashion and the European cars, for example. America on the other hand gave us Fords (assembly lines to produce economical vehicles for the average man) and Levis. There is nothing more wasteful than a Gucci handbag to my mind :-).

Good grief, just using a guideline, not every European lives a Gucci lifestyle. 

But a good many likely aspire to it - just as many Americans do. It's why China made a fortune out of knock offs - they were feeding those wasteful aspirations of Western lifestylers.
But your objection to the example I've given makes me wonder - in what way as a generalisation do you think Americans are more wasteful than Europeans?

For this particular argument, who cares.But to answer your question I am betting the average American uses more gas than the average lets say, Frenchman. 

Wastefulness. I might be picking apples and oranges here, but if I was to take my world view through the tv only, I'd be comparing
In the first example, they knock over a home, and often seem to leave behind a large palace that may or may not be maintainable by the benefactors.
In the other, somebody gets sent away for a weekend and all their friends come round and tidy up their garden a bit. Maybe chuck in a new bbq and some ready-lawn or such like.

I think it's a good cultural comparison. I saw Extreme Makeover once and totally agree with you - just ludicrous .. and all the screaming in hysteria (much like the Ellen show) just annoys me to no end. Annoying or not however - it is a statement on today's American psyche: when a "star" gives you a free DVD player - it's somehow like you've won the lotto.

Why does everybody seem to think that the "American Dream" is to force everybody to chase a certain lifestyle, defined mainly by material wealth, whether they like it or not?
This is the definition I found on Googling:  "that anyone, regardless of where they were born or what class they were born into, can attain their own version of success in a society where upward mobility is possible for everyone".
The bit I've emboldened and italicised clearly shows that it does not involve "teaching" people to chase any particular lifestyle/standard of living, nor does it require us to "fear anything less".  People get to decide for themselves what they want from life, and they are allowed to pursue it.
Now nobody would claim that the US, or any other society, has actually achieved such a state.  It's not a claim that such is the case.  It's something to aspire to.    And as an aspiration for a society to it doesn't look that bad to me. 

Happy New Year Ms de M. .... and thankyou for reminding us that the " American dream " is not necessarily materialistic .... it is all about freedom , equality , liberty , tolerance of creeds & cultures ...
... out of that framework you can construct the particular lifestyle you wish ...
And it is not about creating a fortress state , denying entry to aspiring new migrants , as some are fervantly promulgating for NZ ...
... cheers : Gummy .

have you tried migrating to America? - much much tougher than getting into nz - perhaps AndrewJ can advise

... no need , got enough on me plate dividing my time between NZ/Oz & the Philippines ...
Live is good my friend , and getting even more gooder by the day ...

Life was pretty good for Hitler, Goering, Himmler et al. Well for a time anyway, is was all very rosy until the lost the race for oil.

I forgot nothing ZanyZane. Germany was in Russia trying to secure a route to the oil in Azerbaijan. Germany lost the war because it didn't have sufficient oil period. Hard to run bombers, battleships and tanks without it. The failure of the campaigns to secure oil, Russia and Africa, were the losing of the war. Hitler knew this 1942 but he and his henchmen carried on living the high life regardless. Those millions of men expended that  you mention just highlight how critical oil was viewed.
Recently I have also read information that WWI was contrived to stop the Germans building a railway through to the middle east via the Balkans......to secure oil.

Don't forget Japan was basically forced into war with the US after they cut off the bulk of its oil supply in response to the invasion of Manchuria.

Agreed Mr Z.z. .... I thought friend Scarfie's comment was in worse taste than Sweeney Todd's meat pies ....

.. and today all those qualities are a joke given the reality of life in the good 'ol USA - unless of course you consider that most Americans still fulfill the "dream" by shopping at Walmart ... where everyone is equally free to take the liberty to indulge themselves in the latest fashion, appliance, handheld device ex-China and tolerant enough to stand in line with folks you'd never invite home for a beer.

Bloody hell ! .... some people just wanna focus on the negative 100 % , and ignore all the good ....
... you win , I give up .... Gummie's off to hang out with some free spirited happy folk ... ... too many long grey clouds and chicken littles at interest.co.nz ....
Ciao , baby !

Not focusing on the negative - more mourning the loss of a once compassionate, honorable and proud nation being an ex-pat myself. Proud to have been born (relatively poor) there - sad to see what it has become.

Yes you are focusing on the negative Kate.  You are singling out aspects which you choose to hold in a negative context then claiming your selection represents something you call "Reality". Kinda like singling out someones rectum first thing in the morning and saying "The reality is this person is full of crap." 
Maybe there's more to them than that.  You can do better. 

As you know I was in DC recently, didn't know it was the Chocolate City until I got there :-) One my daily 10 minute walk to the mall there were a dozen or so regulars sleeping on the streets, usually on the grates ducting heat up to ground level from generators underground that service the subway. Didn't get any better in other cities really.
However I was suprised by the infrastructure, incredible wealth there but I wonder if they can keep it up. They will stay top dog for a while yet but there is decay on the fringes.

Nope. You might say I am a product of the American dream - "rose up" through a fully state paid tertiary education. I was smart enough and poor enough to qualify for the assistance. But it was available in spades in those days (my guess around 40% of those I went to uni with were state funded) .. not so anymore - maybe 1% of the uni population are on full scholarships these days. In the US, like here, education has been taken over by the financiers/bankers - a debt creation scheme.
Saw one of those undercover boss programs last night .. a guy with a Msters in entomology was glad to be working in the field (field being crawling under domestic dwellings and poking around in folks backyards) and I shudder to think what kind of wage he was on. Certainly not enough to save for his own kids educations; probably still paying off his own. Masters degree in entomology not required for the job, of course, but at least he was 'working' with bugs... well, that was his take on it.
Personally, I thought he should be angry as all hell. But you see this has become the American way - to accept that any job is better than no job - despite the fact that it was drummed into in school that if you apply yourself, anyone can succeed in America.
Largely true these days for basketball players and rappers. And how many aspiring those do you think there are?

GBH come back when the 'non-rational' optimists are back from having their summer time fun.

Yep , you're right there , Brendon ....
..... you'd think some of these bloggers were seriously let down by Santa Claus .... meebee they were a tadge frustrated , and had  asked for a Christmas root ..... and all he left in their stockings was parsnips ....

Very true Kate
Last week we went on our annual expedition, out of the city to a regional centre to enjoy the unspoilt countryside. While there visited the regional art gallery where they were exhibiting a native artist Jack Dale with this legend

I have foot-walked all over these lands and despaired at the changes wrought by others hands
That made me nostalgic for the lands I have known, far, far, away from the Walmarts and shopping centres

Spirits Bay, Cape Reinga, Tom Bowling Bay, Hokianga, The Kaipara, Kaukapakapa, Maketu, Waikaremoana, Southern Lakes
If you have never been and walked Spirits Bay and Tom Bowling Bay, you need to

Yes, must do someday. I recall my NZ husband extolling the virtues of the general store at Te Araroa/Hicks Bay. Amazing place indeed. Retail as it has long since been forgotten. I'm guessing that proprietor had as many SKUs as the Warehouse does today - shelf-life and turnover didn't matter - what mattered was that whatever  you needed, it (or a viable substitute) was there. An experience that I will always treasure having had.

Come now MdM, I know you're not that naive.
The original definition of the "American Dream" was lost long ago within the economic and political model that society operates under.  It has been distorted by the few that desire money and power, that have been allowed by the masses to take and accumulate more than they ever need.
The masses are "taught" everyday the "image" of lifestyle.  Prosperity and success is measured in monetary terms hence it is all about material wealth.  It's told to us everyday - prosperity and a higher standard of living is only possible through economic growth.  The whole point of keeping property values elevated is for the "consumer" to feel wealthy so they will consume material items.  The whole economic model, the cost plus profit system, is dependent on individuals desire for more money and more material consumption.  How many people do you know that have truly discovered what success means to them rather than just conforming to what they've been taught to believe?
Our current lifestyles must change if we are to solve the issues of resource depletion, environmental issues, and inequality - this is what I meant by a fear of less.

Spot on. One reason I loathe Hollywood studios. I'm often unsure which institution deserves more scorn - them or the Fed.

Can you name three Hollywood movies in which a rich, successful corporate businessman is presented as an aspirational role model?

...I  think you stumped Kate on finding one such movie .... let alone three !
Stumped the Gummster too ...

Clark Gable in Gone with the Wind.
Pierce Brosnan in The Thomas Crown Affair. 
And (so as not to discriminate) Bette, Goldie and Diane in The First Wives Club.
But not sure that has anything to do with the issue of what's sinister about the Hollywood studios.

I had taken your comment as meaning that Hollywood was part of the apparent conspiracy to teach the masses that what they (the masses) want, and must strive for, is material possession at the expense of all else, for that is the only measure of success and the only appropriate aspiration.  If you meant something else, then by all means please explain further. 
There are many, many examples of Hollywood movies whose basic premise is precisely the opposite.    I would present Wall Street, Avatar, Titanic, The Great Gatsby and Elysium as examples of the presentation of wealthy people/corporations not as role models to be admired and aspired to but as despicable evildoers to be defied and defeated.
Rhett Butler was a spiv and Thomas Crown a crook, albeit both very attractive ones (allowing for changing tastes in the case of Clark Gable). I haven't seen The First Wives Club.

Lots has been written on it, but here's one example article available online;
And of course we've recently capitulated to it twice, one on behalf of Sir Peter and secondly, on behalf of James Cameron (acting on instruction from the studio bosses).
Also lots written on media/Hollywood's influence on American culture - a different but also very important issue.

Great link.

What exactly did you see in the wikipedia article which you feel supports your interpretation and contradicts mine? 

By way of personal example: my mother was finally "allowed to die" in the US a few years ago. By "allowed" I mean a doctor finally un-prescribed her blood pressure meds and she suffered a blood clot in the brain. Passed quietly in her sleep.
For five years prior she suffered terribly - numerous broken, replaced then dislocated hips, multiple surgeries, lots of pain meds which led to rapidly progressing Altzheimers. My brother and sister-in-law took care of her (when not in hospital) in their own home. They are absolute saints given Mom was bedridden much of the time - and when ambulatory got up to all kinds of mischief and disruptive behaviours.
At one stage my sister-in-law commented that if she had only a fifth of what Medicare had spent on my Mom over the last five years she'd be a millionaire - and she was dead right, literally.  She and my brother have three children - all young adults - none of which yet own their own homes.  I am absolutely certain my mother would have rather bought them each a freehold house for their futures, as opposed to spent that taxpayers money on her last misery-ridden five years of life.  It was me on my final visit over there that suggested they (my brother and sister-in-law) stop giving Mom the BP meds - but of course they thought that unspeakable (due to the possibility of being found liable for causing her death as the caregivers), so I suggested they speak to her GP (who agreed to do the unsubscribing).  Mom's brain accident happened about five months later. Would it have happened had she still been taking those BP meds - I doubt it. Might well have lived to suffer another five years.
We "Europeans" need to get real. Youth is the future.

 China is growing old before it has grown rich. There were six Chinese children for every one elder in 1975; in 2035 there will be two Chinese elders for every one child. With the one-child policy (to continue for at least another decade), the fertility rate in China has fallen to 1.4 from about 5.8 in 1970. The boy-to-girl ratio in 2009 was 119 to 100; the world average is 107 to 100. China has to feed 22% of the world’s population with less than 7% of the world’s arable land and could face a food shortfall of 100 million tons by 2030. Today, 40% of China’s arable land has suffered from deterioration, and 90% of its natural grassland is affected by deterioration to some extent. India has more than 500 million people under 25, will have more people than China by 2050, and has more malnourished children than sub-Saharan Africa does. Crop yields could be reduced by up to 20% in East and Southeast Asia and up to 30% in South and Central Asia by 2050. Almost 23% of Japan’s population is older than 65; retiring baby boomers will further strain the pension system. By 2025 South Asians may consume 70% more milk and vegetables and 100% more meat, eggs, and fish than today. Asians earning more than $7,000 annually outnumber the total population of North America and Europe—laying the foundation for unprecedented consumption. New concepts of employment may be needed to prevent political instability among the 60% of Arabs who are now under 25 and face poor prospects for conventional employment.
South Africa

She's a tough one alright, I just think it behoves us to attempt, at least, to find ways other than culling via war. Whether it works or not, is a whole another question

Youth always has been the future but they are their future, wouldn't it be better if there was enough to go around for them.
It is already at a point where many can longer afford to do the things we accepted as normal as kids, a holiday for instance
Totally agree with the whole not keeping life going at any costs. I know myself if a time comes that I am faced with the worst and cannot be assured that I can bow out when I choose then I may choose sooner, while I can still do it. Taking these measures would actually IMPROVE life for many, knowing that they do not have to face a terrifyingly painful descent toward death

Problem is once at that stage you are usually a ward of the health system. It is the system that needs to change - a new moral/ethical perspective is needed.

I'd say NZ is possibly round about right now, or perhaps we look at how many we had when the world's population was around the 3 billion mark, as a guide
And how? birth control, obviously, along with very controlled immigration, I accept some is fine, but open gates, no. 

Birth control, obviously. 
Should this involve differentiation, such that each woman gets an individual allocation of babies that she is allowed to have depending on the likelihood that she will have babies likely to be worthwhile members of society; or is there to be a single allocation that applies equally to all women? 
How is that number to be determined  - and enforced?  How exactly do you propose to prevent women who want to, from having more babies than the allowed number?  Are such women to be sterilised, or made to have abortions, against their will, ie by force?

A hard Q...right now we have WINZ, is that viable in the future?   No I dont think so.
Look at how it "worked out" in victorian times then....starvation etc.
I'd hope that we'd come round to realising we have to limit ourselves as a thinking species and get over "culture" crap.
I'd suggest we are all going to be more local and our incomes local, so locals "carrying" families that chose to over-produce wont be tolerated, or simply left to get on as best they can or not, very harsh.
That kind of points at the possibility of anarchy/mayhem.  A mad max world, not nice.
Consider this further, as the UN says and has happened historically ppl will migrate to find food....what are NZers going to do about being swamped?  by boat ppl? or land / resources will be fought over?  Countires like Pakistan are broke and have an armed population who will get hungry as oil becomes scarce and un-affordable.
Do you really think there is a peaceable outcome in such an extreme event?  maybe NZ sends them food for free?
Thats going to work, isnt it...

But what are you suggesting the Government do?   

The government can't "do" anything.
Therein lies the problem - we have become accustomed to expecting govt. and the "market" to fix everything.  What do these institutions represent?  The collective action of individuals, therefore change will only come at the individual level.

As the education and freeing of women seems to be a contraceptive itself then that is where we need to concentrate our energies. 
Given what happens when you do that, it won't matter if a few want nothing more than to have a large family. How many large families do you know, these days

Depends if they expect to be supported by me, im getting older and not as entusiastic as I used to be. No better contraception than the pitter patter of tiny feet.
 We have five children, its been a long expensive fun haul. Would hate to do it without the financial means.  I've also payed my fair share of tax along the way.

Birth control - state enforced sterilisation, state enforced limits on family size? Willing to apply measures such as China does - forced abortion/babies killed on birth to ensure people don't over produce.  How would that be reconciled with Maori/Pacific cultures where the larger families are currently occuring? Are you telling your children to stop producing mokopuna or limiting their family size to one child?  If not why not?

Yes, hard Qs.  So in terms of culture, what happens if our economy cant keep paying out?  (via WINZ  etc?)   So the kids would starve (to death?)   Which is the old way of Nature sorting it out.
So we as a thinking species should be coming to the conclusion that if we dont reduce our population, nature will.   However without information we wont think on it will we?  
We'll just ignore it, just keep carrying on as the right whingers/bleeding hearts/libertarians/religious nutters "think" its un-acceptable to limit ppl, ergo nature will do it to us.
What a great outcome.
" Are you telling your children"
Im asking the Q of the Green party, and their MPs and getting silence.  PDK has asked some of Labour's MPs and got denial....
Personally, we have limited our family size and Im educating my offspring on the limitations they face. 

As things are we don't have to go to one-child-per-family.

If we act now then we can limit it at two-per-family + surprises (unexpected conception after sterilisation, twins or triples).

The very first thing that should be done, free (good quality!) sterilisation operations for any person who has had one or two kids.

Next up, tax break 2-3% off PAYE/INC for zero or one kid familys and singles..."resource tax" for future infrastructure/pension/welfare-risk to recognise the public costs from children

ie 2-5% family "Resource" tax after 2 kids, per kid beyond 2, for that "resource tax" for future infrastructure/pension/welfare-risk to recognise the public costs from children.   All the Keynesians will be happy as the extra tax will mean more funds for government to grow the economy.    Wealth does mean people can afford bigger families (if their lifestyle goes that way)...but at least they will have the wealth to support them better.

IF we act sooner rather than later, then the changes will be smaller and easier.

And IFF the world decovers a way to hugely increase clean energy yield AND food AND cultures have developed to support it, then we can always ease the policy once we know that people won't be starving, and families won't be spread ever thinner supporting _THEIR_ offspring.

And final note; I see no reason to support poor or benefit families if they will not act to support themselves.  I have my own family and responsibilities, as do we all, there is no legitimate reason that someone who isn't willing (note: didn't say not temporarily able) to shoulder their own responsibility should expect others to carry their burdens for them.

The problem Im looking at is the skill sets of our present population.  So we have lots of un-skilled who have expectations, no jobs no problem, handout for WINZ payments.
Then we have lots of skilled ppl, specialists whose jobs are only viable in a complex and energy intensive economy.  When our economy starts to get simpler, "media specialists", PR spin doctors etc and many others etc become un-employed and un-employable (in any skilled job) then where does their income come from?  
Will WINZ be able to indefinately support a hefty % un-employed?  20~30%? I cant see how.
Hence I call them carrot pullers....eg farm labour....whether un-skilled or overly specialist.

at least farm labour adds something useful to the economy.  spin doctors only appear to.

With the unskilled, there is work out there but there is so little fat in the system, wages so steep, and the problems associated with hiring (and risk of getting stuck with bad employee!!!)  it's not worth taking on anyone that isn't absolutely necessary. 

 If the bar was lower (less risk, low cost) then people could afford to get/expect less productivity and some of those people could support themselves, and business could afford to take a chance at upskilling them or taking time to motivate them.  At the moment, we need such high efficiency and productivity that only the shinest cherries will do (and they often burnout, aren't as good as promised anyway...)

Raegun - "Possibly round about right" sounds like robust analysis. Birth control! How are you going to kill off the other four billion? Nice how everyone else should die but not chosen kiwis. And here I thought the eugenics consensus died out a century ago.
How about "she'll be right" and just let the population peak at its projected 9 billion?

Why not, because you will have many many more people suffering famines and probably wars and disease in the meantime. I believe that is the LEAST humane method to do it.
Of course we all need to take part, yes I know, there are cultures that won't accept this, but they are going to have to come to the party or just keep blowing each other up.
This has NOTHING to do with eugenics, it has almost everything to do with educating the women of the world because as we know, it is in societies where the women have freedom of choice and education that birth rates drop.
We are doing our bit, probably, and without immigration our population would be falling now.
All that is needed is accepting that with technology taking over so many of the menial tasks that we need to more fairly distribute the spoils from it than we are.

If you think NZ is standalone, I think you are mistaken.  Really population control humanely has to be fertility control, so really 1 to 1.5 NZers per household and close to zero incomers.
I'd also look at canceling NZers passports where they have paid no NZ tax for say a decade...maybe 2.  If thyey are not living here, will they cant come back to retire and ponce of tax payers.

steven, Do you really mean 1 to 1.5 people per household or 1-1.5 children per household? Of course NZ is not standalone, but if NZers are saying the world needs to depopulate, then they need to start practising what they preach. IMO it is culturally offensive for NZers to be telling other countries/offshore cultures that they have to reduce their populations, so lets see those here who talk the talk, walk the talk. Do you tell your children that they should choose not have more than 1-1.5 children, or have none at all?  

Cancelling kiwi's birthright, turning them into stateless people
Steady on steven. Glasshouses and all that
Over time you have declared that you are a migrant, arriving here in the early 1990's, as a middle-aged migrant, with a ready-made family. You have also indicated that your parents are also here.
Did they arrive before or after your arrival? Did you sponsor them in? Are they retired yet? Have they both worked and paid tax in NZ? How many years were they NZ taxpayers for? Are they receiving the NZ Super yet? Are they also receiving a UK pension? Are they double dipping?

Ah yes, Im not saying its the way to go, but there are some un-fair actions going on so can these be corrected "fairly"?
How do you define a good (NZ) citizen?  Someone who works here all (or much of) their life and pays NZ tax during that time? Or someone born here by chance who at say 25 jumps on a plane and earns abroad for 40 years and pays no NZ tax in that time? and comes back to retire? expecting free healthcare etc?
I recall after the London bombings some kiwis ran back here and expected WINZ after being offshore for 10+ years as they couldnt get NZ jobs, is that fair?  They also whinned about poor NZ wages and got back on the plane a bit later and wont have paid NZ tax since.
NZers working in the Oz mines, on very good money, as they come back they expect to jump on WINZ, is that fair?
Do we say that in future if a NZer goes abroad after 10 years their passport is cancelled as the expectation is they get a foreign citezenship? I mean after a decade is that that un-reasonable?
Not sure I'll admit.  What I do see is we'll be faced with some hard Qs in the future.
Family etc, actually much wrong, but of no matter to the discusion. 

Japan achieved 1.41 without anything drastic. As has most of western Europe. You could just let boring old education and consumerism take its course.
The Economist reckons China will settle out at 1.62 with no one child policy. Women these days prefer handbags not babies. Now that you don't need lots of kids to help pull carrots.

TV works wonders. We never had one for years hence, 5 kids. ;).
Basicaly first world wealth creates low fertility, simple as.

This is a change from the tenures of Don Nicolson and Charlie Pedersen who denied that anthropogenic climate change was occurring. However, dam building is about intensification not adaptation. An alternative approach of mitigation would be to reduce stock numbers. Many would argue that dairy farming on the Canterbury Plains is already environmentally unsustainable in the current climate.

I find this type of spin by the new management even more offensive than outright denial - as this type of spin is Realpolitik in its most pernicious form.

Spot on.


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