Category Archives: Politics

Endorsing and Subsidising Solar Power – New Zealand Must Do More

In January of this year I wrote an article about ‘long-term plans and incentives‘ after experiencing first hand the magnitude of already installed renewable energy systems throughout Germany within the private and public sector. Stating that the dimension and the extent of what Germany has been doing in this respect is incredible in this country is certainly no exaggeration. I was talking to a local board member about solar, wind and hydro power and whether there are any (comprehensive) plans from the Auckland Council and/or the Great Barrier Island Local Board regarding a pathway toward renewable energy sustainability for this Island (you may exchange ‘Island’ with whichever city you live in).

Continue reading Endorsing and Subsidising Solar Power – New Zealand Must Do More

NZ Fisheries – That’s Not Fair

Just got this message from a Green Party MP in regards to the reduction of the daily snapper bag limit for recreational fishers in the wider Auckland area that has been announced by the current government. Yes, it is down from 9 snapper per day to 7 and the size limit will increase from 27 cm to 30 cm. Commercial snapper fishing won’t be affected though (no size limit at all.) ‘That’s not fair!’ This is what many think, including this Green Party MP. Continue reading NZ Fisheries – That’s Not Fair

Groceries & Other Dilemmas – Why Complacency Is The Big Problem

Recently, there have been a few letters from locals in the Barrier Bulletin (Great Barrier Island’s Fortnightly Newspaper) in regards to local employment opportunities which appear to be shrinking due to respective decisions being made on the mainland by people who do not live on the Island. My take on this is quite simple and perhaps also naive.

  • Try not to judge the book by its cover. Not every off-island decision and not every on-island contract being given to (big) off-island contractors must equal a bad thing.
  • In an ideal scenario most island decisions will be made by people living here, but complaining alone will never achieve much, one has to take on the challenge and lead by example. Continue reading Groceries & Other Dilemmas – Why Complacency Is The Big Problem

Independent, Off-The-Grid Lifestyle – is only a dream

Living off the grid, on a remote and at times isolated island, is certainly a lifestyle (choice) which many seem to be in some form or another dreaming of. Imagining a life in harmony with nature, where ecological sustainability is a top priority, where one seeks not only financial security or independence but also independence from what I will just call ‘the system’ for the remainder.

Not likely the most adequate term for what I am thinking of, thus let me describe the reference. Well, in simple terms, I believe that there is this generic idea, which is taught repeatedly, of establishing financial independence, thus aiming at a comfortable lifestyle.

Continue reading Independent, Off-The-Grid Lifestyle – is only a dream

Of Drones and Other Dilemmas

We had finally some much needed rain over the last two days. Actually, I ran out of water temporarily a week ago, and when I walked up to my creek, whilst inspecting the alkathene pipe and connections along the way – it has happened before that a connector popped out or that it was blocked – I noticed there was hardly any water flowing. The reservoir I collect my water from was at the lowest I have ever seen, and my two hoses were not submerged. It was an easy ‘fix’ and I had remote access to the water again, but I took away an uneasy feeling: a) I was hoping for rain and b) eventually, I will have to invest in a tank.

It seems that the rain has moved on, but it is very windy at the moment and as keen as I am fishing for kingis off the rocks on the east coast, the swells and winds have rendered it unfishable for me. It has been like this for a couple of weeks and I hope there will be a window of opportunity soon. I just got some exciting news from a local fishing legend. ‘Kingis have been spotted…
Continue reading Of Drones and Other Dilemmas

Of Incentives and Long-Term Plans

I mentioned in a previous post (39 Hour Trip to Germany) about the roof tops of houses and publicly owned buildings in Germany being fully covered with solar panels. While  most houses in Germany don’t have photo voltaic panels installed I like to note that it isn’t rare either. When you’re driving on the Autobahn, you’ll notice in most parts of Germany that farm buildings have them installed and moreover you will see many gigantic windmill farms, too.

One of the local primary schools in Neuenkirchen, a town with a population of 13000.

Continue reading Of Incentives and Long-Term Plans

National Truth Day

I’m sitting at home at the moment, awaiting my grocery delivery from town to the island, and started thinking about what we believe is right or wrong and why one’s own perception is such an important thing in life. Just to be clear, I haven’t done any research on such topics and have not read a “clever” book discussing such terms, either. So, really this post is nothing more than my own perception at this point in my life and, further, it isn’t well prepared either.

Continue reading National Truth Day

Rate Assessments for Great Barrier Island: My Nightmare Scenario for 2040

Auckland is not just a city anymore after the amalgamation of its different districts, but is now a ‘Super City’ with a ‘Super Council’. That’s what the Auckland Council is proclaiming, and despite that Auckland has gone through such an amalgamation not long ago that proved unsuccessful, everything is going to be successful this time.  Well, I say, yeah right. The Mayor (Len Brown) has great dreams and visions for the Super City. He envisions in his 2040 plan – am I the only one who thinks it is utterly appalling to have a road map for 2040 when you are only elected for 3 years? – that Auckland will be ‘the most livable city’. I say: “Most livable in comparison to what?” The Mayor is  in his mid fifties, most likely he won’t even be alive in 2040. Continue reading Rate Assessments for Great Barrier Island: My Nightmare Scenario for 2040

Another Take on Iran or Making Myself Unpopular; Yet Again…

BENIsLAND is about my life and my views. Today, after a hard day of labor, I really felt the need to write something that has been in my mind for a few weeks. It is of political nature, something you want to avoid in a Blog, as to not affect the potential spectrum of readers. However, those who know me personally, also know that I like to speak my mind, I try not to be offensive, I like to debate and I am controversial and polarizing. So, here goes.

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My heart is filled with sadness and I can only curb my rage by acknowledging people’s ignorance. When are we going to stop regarding ignorance as an excuse? Continue reading Another Take on Iran or Making Myself Unpopular; Yet Again…