Long time no blog

It has been a few busy days since I was last on the blogs. I have been speaking, putting up billboards, doing up my campaign truck, and spending some much-needed time with my family. The campaign is going well and there is a lot of interest in the party.

I was in a great debate at Canterbury University last Thursday on tertiary policy, it went for 2 hours as the students were so interested and had so many questions. There was a lot of interest in our tertiary policy, especially taking GST off basic essentials and introducing achievement-based fees abatement (ie the higher your marks, the lower your fees) to encourage success rather than just handing everything over on a plate.

We now have a few billboards up around the place down here, I think we have the best billboards of any party, although the Green party has tried hard to have some half-decent ones too they just don’t come close to our own. National and Labour haven’t even tried to have attractive billboards.

Family Party billboard West Melton

Family Party billboard West Melton

8 Responses to “Long time no blog”

  1. greenfly Says:

    Mr Dennis – don’t use this image as part of your Environment Policy! What happened to the landscape? Does the farmer??? hate his soil? Was there some kind of mass extinction event here? It’s chilling. No reflection on you or your party, but it is just plain worrying!

  2. Mr Dennis Says:

    Have you never seen a ploughed paddock before greenfly?

  3. greenfly Says:

    I have and it’s a sight that appalls me! The carbon being oxidised and lost to the air is just one of the sad aspects of this kind of irrisponsible land management. Soil micro organisms that are vital for plant health (I’m guessing the farmer is going to attempt to grow something on this field) are destroyed by this primative practice, soil profiles are wrecked, erosion to the wind and degradation by the sun are significant factors that the conventional farmer doesn’t recognise. There will come a time when this kind of abusive treatment of soil will be against the law, in the same way that animal abuse is now. Does this give you a bit of a look-in to why I wasn’t impressed by your photograph Mr Dennis? Thanks for asking.

  4. Mr Dennis Says:

    I agree as a soil scientist that there are many issues with conventional ploughing. I am a favour of minimum-tillage systems myself wherever practical, ploughing is generally detrimental to soil structure. I wouldn’t agree with the passion of your views (wanting to make ploughing illegal by the sound of it), but certainly recognise your concerns.

  5. greenfly Says:

    Mr Dennis – other side of the coin – I watched as a Southland farmer, using his second tractor, tried to haul out his first that was sunk to the axles in the sodden ground he had been trying to plough. Fool. There is no excuse for that kind of shortsighted vandalism. It may be that for a while, farmers have been able to mask the damage they have been doing to our New Zealand soils by pouring on the petrochemical based fertilizers and forcing grass growth, but those pigeons are coming home to roost. Conventional farming brutalises soil. As a soil scientist, you must be aware of this particular eco-crime. Are you speaking out about it or, like most politicians (actual or would-be) looking the other way, so as not to upset your voting base? The passion of my views? Similar to yours on legalising smacking, I’d have thought.

  6. Mr Dennis Says:

    I talk about this often actually. Our views on this issue are both similar to our views on smacking:

    – You see both smacking and ploughing as wrong, and want to legislate against them both, thus forcing your viewpoint on everyone.

    – I see both smacking and ploughing as not necessarily desirable but with potential uses in some circumstances, and believe that it must be up to the individual to decide what to do. I believe parents are in charge of their children and farmers are in charge of their private property. I therefore encourage freedom of choice and no legislation on either issue. For this reason I would encourage minimum tillage but not force anyone to not plough, because everyone’s situation is different and there may be circumstances where ploughing is necessary.

  7. greenfly Says:

    Mr Dennis – farmers have a responsibility to care for their animals in a way that is humane and there is legislation to guide their behaviour, farmers also have a responsibility to care for their soil and it’s a free-for-all? There are parts of the world where farmers have completely wrecked the landscape through innapropriate managment. Ploughing is an innapropriate soil treatment. Should we let them do as they will? Is that socially responsible? btw – I didn’t call for government intervention or legislation, you made that call, tying it to the Section 59 debate for your own ends. I asked for open discussion. I watch with interest, the Clean Streams Accord – voluntary action by farmers to protect waterways from the effects of their practices – what a sad joke. Voluntary accords don’t work for farmers, nor commercial fishermen, nor any other group of that sort – do they🙂 Are you still keen to legalise smacking?

  8. Mr Dennis Says:

    If you’re just calling for an open discussion on the issue that is fine by me, there is much to be learnt through discussion. And of course I am still keen to legalise smacking.


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