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9 thoughts on “Blogroll”

  1. Hi Ben

    Cheers for the link. I look forward to following your progress mate and hope to come over and see you sometime once you are all setup. Looks like a great move mate!

    1. Hi JK, indeed, it feels like a great move. Looking forward to getting to know many land-based fishing spots on Great Barrier Island and to hooking up onto some big fish. You are always welcome, will keep you updated.

  2. Hey Ben how are things going? No update for a few weeks? Hope all is ok!

    Caaught up with Paul at PJ last weekend and fished with him. Good fella but kingis weren’t playing ball. Only small ones and snapper. Still good fun.

    Looking forward to your next update.

    1. Heya Jade, cheers for the comment. Yeah, all is fine here and it has been a while since I updated the blog… Good that you guys finally caught up and fished, we saw heaps of small ones here, too.

  3. Hey Ben!

    After spending over a month with you, Raney and Momo up on that hill, in that cute little A-frame, I thought I have to leave a comment on your blog too.
    I wanted to say thank you, for all the time we spend together and for all your kindness!
    Your a really cool guy and I enjoyed listening to your stories and thoughts about the world it has been inspiring. I had a lot of fun and I hope you did as well. I will allways keep that time in my memory and I hope we can stay in contact through the time!
    I am looking forward to see what you do to that nice property you call your own, and of cause how the pig will do in it’s shelter, or the next wwoofer you don’t like. Just kidding!
    I wish you all the best for 2015 and I’ll be back in 10 years, as I told you.
    Your “comback-Queen”

    P.S.: I really like to see my pictures on your website 😀

    1. Hey Marius, thanks for your comment and kind words. All good buddy, you did well, and, indeed, good times. I’ve done a couple weeks of sweet nothing since you left. So yeah, spread the word, it will only get better on beniSland and wishing you great timefor your travels through the country. It would be interesting for me to see where you are in 10 in life, too; as I mentioned, you’ve already got quite a bit sorted, taking your age into account. I’m gonna pick up my game in regards to taking pictures and if you like collect your best ones and send them over, I’ll publish you… Cheers and have some fun on those bus trips for me as well. Ben

  4. Hi Ben, I’ve been googling Great Barrier Island a bit lately, and google throws up you site quite a bit.
    I have a question:
    I’m concerned about heavy metals in the environment at barrier. I remember a few years back there was some cancer scares among locals, which at the time appeared unexplained.
    I have been searching google using key words such as ‘surface water’, ‘groundwater’, ‘heavy metals’ etc but it appears little information is available.
    However, mining and certain areas of NZ can produce heavy metals in streams and ground that is higher than other areas.
    I just found this site https://books.google.co.nz/books?id=8LA4AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA363&lpg=PA363&dq=great+barrier+island++heavy+metals&source=bl&ots=QZA8q39-Zt&sig=d3j3KY4iaTTSY9BDh4mVSG4BGVU&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CDQQ6AEwBGoVChMI6_m1nfusxwIVhqmmCh1-BQEG#v=onepage&q=great%20barrier%20island%20%20heavy%20metals&f=false
    after searching with ‘great barrier island heavy metals’, as well as your page on rats ‘Trapping Rats With Soap’, where you offhandedly mention heavy metals in streams….
    Hence my question! You seem bright, and I thought you may have some insights into heavy metal contamination on barrier.
    My guess is the kaitoke steam and other similar waterways to be higher, though the link I provided seems to say surface rock may also hold high residues…
    If your not up to speed with all this, maybe you could recommend another local or a geologist with some information.
    I imagine coromandel peninsular properties may have similar conditions. mY reasons as such that I am considering moving to barrier, and if so would prefer to avoid a property or activities [stream washing] with higher concentrations of heavy metals.
    regards Frank Collette

    1. Dear Frank, thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, I am not aware of any facts about heavy metals on the Barrier. Traditionally, gold mining, which occurred here on the Barrier, was carried out using mercury to form a gold/mercury amalgamate. Unless the soil and water
      in the vicinities of these mining sites were treated, ALL of that mercury will still be around. I would be very surprised if anything was done in this respect.

      I’m not sure about the processes involved in copper and silver mining. Frank, I would suggest contacting Don Armitage (Barrier historian/writer), he might be able to send you in the right direction.

      I don’t think you’ll get very far with a google search, try finding university-based academics who carry out such research. Personally, I would not believe any of the research being carried out locally by private and/or Council people. The Barrier, after all, is all about hype and superlatives, and as great a place it is to visit and live, my opinion is that environmentally-based research is too often carried out with a vested interest, or performed at least in a poor fashion.

      People don’t like to hear negative stuff, so hard questions, right questions, quantification and analytical analyses are not carried out. It seems, a lot of emphasis is put on counting birds and just using those trendy terms, rather than making sure what is going on or what has happened.

      Another heavy metal problem I see occurring on the Barrier is improper handling and care of flooded lead-acid batteries. Lead, especially in oxidation state +2, is highly eco-toxic and also to humans. I can imagine a few properties being contaminated in some way, due to all the batteries. People used to just dump them somewhere and so on. Who knows how many of them have been buried at the land-fill and on private property?

      For you, I suggest, finding a property you are interested in and taking it from there. To be absolutely sure, you will need an analytical chemist to test soil and water for you. Testing for heavy metals is easy and you can get the facts right, as long as good thought was put into place of where and how to take samples. There are, however, new spectroscopic ways to determine such contamination, and they might be able to test large areas, and volumes at once, rather than taking samples to the lab.

      I kinda agree, from what I have heard, that the Kaitoke swamps will have an unnaturally high amount of mercury.

      In terms of health-issues/worries, one would have to ask first, how contaminated land/water can enter your body. Via water is obviously
      very easy, but via the soil – I believe – very unlikely. A lot of the heavy metal ions will form non-water-soluble salts that will just
      remain in the soil and/or be washed out – without dissolving in water – by surface water.

      Cheers, Ben

      1. Thanks Ben for such a full and succinct scientific reply!
        Uptake via gardening and chickens is a real issue, I believe. I did a bit of reading and examples of things like chickens in orchards that were heavily sprayed decades earlier or vegetable patches on contaminated ground especially leafy greens as uptake of cadmium is concentrated in leafy greens, which is a huge problem in NZ due to super phosphate.

        Though realistically, once mining sites and battery dump zones are identified, and their down stream zones delineated, most other areas should be fine.

        Many people make their vege garden boxes and borders with treated timbers, or galvanised metal poles and wire for fencing…. relative harm is relative if chips and beer are the norm.

        Hope the fishing has been good!

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